There was no fanfare and no press release, but a handful of 27.5 versions of Specialized’s tires have become available on the brand’s website. There are versions of the S-Works Fast Track (2.0), Ground Control (2.1) and Butcher (2.3) listed.
The new tires are notable in that Specialized doesn’t make a 27.5 bike to fit these tires, though a push into the aftermarket segment is certainly a good idea since the wheel size is here to stay.
Will there be a new round of Specialized bikes built around 27.5? No comment yet, but the brand was famous for saying it would never make a 29er, and we all know how that turned out:
UPDATE: We got a hold of Specialized and predictably enough they didn’t spill the beans on any new bikes, but they did confirm these tires are going after the aftermarket segment.
“A lot of riders think of us as a bike company,” said Sean Estes of Specialized. “In reality, tires were our first product and we remain a tire company as well as a bike company. These treads reach across XC to Trail to All-Mountain giving these riders high quality choices for their 650b wheels.”Tweet Print
It was certainly not the first, but no bike typifies this new genre of “trail” or “all-mountain” 29ers quite like the Honzo. The brainchild of some serious gravity-addicted minds at Kona, this ain’t no old-school big wheeler.
How so, you ask? Well, up front the 68-degree head tube angle is mated to a 120mm RockShox Revelation (though it can easily handle a 140mm fork) and out back the chainstays measure a teeny-for-a-29er 16.3 inches. The stays are so short, in fact, that Kona designed the bike around a single-chainring-only drivetrain. No front derailleurs need apply. The frame has a great low-slung, BMX look that I like a lot. Kona also deserves a shout-out for the tinted clear-coat finish and retro graphics. Everyone at Dirt Rag HQ agreed it was a handsome fellow.Tweet Print
Some spy shots floating across the web today:
Kiwi Brook MacDonald posted this pic on Instagram of his 27.5 Trek Session that he’ll be racing at the New Zealand National Championships tomorrow:
Meanwhile, Kevin Aiello was spotted in Bootleg Canyon, Nevada, with this 29er KHS prototype at the Mob ‘N’ Mojave race. Aiello raced a 27.5 downhill bike in 2013, so the only way to go was bigger.
Will the bigger wheels lead to faster times this summer? We’ll have to wait and see. My guess is there will be several 27.5 DH bikes at Sea Otter and nearly every major brand will have one by Interbike.Tweet Print
It’s hard to imagine a more unassuming guy than Joe Breeze. Unlike his contemporaries Gary Fisher or Tom Ritchey, who are easy to spot in a crowd, Breeze could be the guy standing in line in front of you at the grocery store, or your friendly neighbor who always greets you with a wave and a smile. Of course, if you live in Fairfax, California, there’s a good chance he is both of these things.Tweet Print
Gravity Anomaly is a small operation founded in 2012 that is sold only online or at small pop-up shops or events. All of its products are made in the USA and use domestic fabrics whenever possible.
Teamster Shorts $64
The Teamsters are cross-country or general-purpose shorts that hit above the knee. They have the full complement of pockets that you would find on a pair of cargo shorts or blue jeans, including a rear pocket. The 4-ply nylon shell is mud and water repellent and light enough to wear all summer.
Longhaul Shorts $79
The Longhaul shorts are more gravity oriented, and hit just below the knee. They fit well over knee pads without looking like an NBA baller. They are adjustable at the waist with large Velcro straps and have the same standard pockets—including two rear pockets, which are rare for a gravity short. The front pockets are deep enough that I didn’t have to worry about things falling out when getting rad.
Considering they are made in the USA and are as well-made as most other shorts I’ve tried, the price is a steal. I don’t think my satisfaction is any sort of anomaly. See the shorts as well as some new jerseys at gravityanomaly.com
In this business, we travel a lot. Planes, trains and automobiles, as well as the occasional water-born vessel, that’s the life. We carry a lot of crap too—helmets, shoes, pads, all sorts of oddly shaped items. That’s where the North Face Base Camp Duffel comes in. Available in several sizes, they’re perfect for getting my stuff from Point A to Point B.
There are no features, no frills, no fancy pockets or organizers (except for the zippered mesh pocket in the lid). It’s a big bag to hold your crap.Tweet Print
After years of fits and starts the final wall holding back the flood of 27.5 trail bikes broke, as more than a dozen manufacturers brought new or redesigned models to market. One was something of an unlikely source: Breezer. Yes, Joe Breeze was a key player in the birth of mountain biking but in the past decade his brand had been largely devoted to practical city bikes and some 29er hardtails.
So I wasn’t the only one surprised when Breezer skipped past short-travel XC bikes and went all-in with the unveiling of a 160mm, 27.5 bike aimed squarely at big-mountain and enduro riding. And what moniker would grace such a groundbreaking design for the brand? None other than Repack, named for the world’s first downhill race that plunged 1,300 feet down a dirt road in Fairfax, California, in the late 1970s.Tweet Print
This is one jacket that truly lives up to its name. Built from a waterproof/breathable exterior over a soft, polyester fleece liner, the $145 Alpine Storm jacket from Royal Racing straddles the riding and lifestyle categories from bike saddle to bar stool.Tweet Print
Let me answer this question first: no, this is not a Krampus with holes drilled in it. While ECR closely resembles its 29+ brethren, it is a completely different beast. The frame is different, the geometry is different, the build kit is different and the fork is different.
Built for loaded touring, exploring and “Escaping Common Reality”, Surly designed the ECR from the ground up with versatility and cargo capacity in mind. It has eyelets for pretty much anything you can imagine: Up to five bottle cages, three sets of Salsa Anything Cage mounts, mounts a cargo rack out back, fenders (if you can find some wide enough), lowrider or cargo racks on the fork, a Rohloff hub, even a Surly trailer mount. All of this is made possible with Surly’s stout 4130 steel tubing (‘natch) and unique rearward-facing dropouts shared with the Ogre and Troll models.Tweet Print
I have gotten fat this winter, and I couldn’t be happier.
Just before Christmas this neon dream of American-made aluminum showed up from the Khaki Santa (aka the delivery guy) and made my riding bright.
Fatback was built exclusively around fat bikes, and it has kept this decidedly American sport homegrown by partnering with Zen Fabrication in Portland to build all its aluminum frames here in the U.S. of A. It’s built from 6000-series aluminum with an oversized headtube, three sets of bottle cage mounts, an S3 direct mount front derailleur mount and a 31.6 seatpost diameter.Tweet Print