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Bermstyle by Jason Van Horn - 1h ago

The new All Out Belt featuring the wheelie wrench multi-tool EDC

Fix Manufacturing got their start on Kickstarter, combining a belt and compact multi-tool to launch a wearable EDC multi-tool, purpose built for the needs of skateboarders, snowboarders and cyclists. We’ve been wearing and testing the All Time Belt for the last few months (review dropping soon) and it’s made fans of us.

Fix sells the multi-tool separately, with three options available specific to the needs of skaters, snowboarders and cyclists

The new All Out Belt is the latest iteration of the Fix tool-toting belt design. Like the All Time belt, wearing the All Out Belt means you’ll always have quick access to a multi-tool as well as ensuring you’ll always have one on you, even for a quick spin around the block. The new All Out Belt still features the unique tool-toting Payload Pocket, but the weight, thickness and the number of moving parts has been reduced, making the Fix EDC carry less intrusive.

The All Out Payload Pocket Tool carrier mounted to a hydration pack.

The new adjustable stretch webbing strap features a hook closure, with one size fitting most. The new Payload Pocket design also allows the belt to be removed for use on a waist belt/hip pack or on a backpack, for easy access on those rides wearing shorts without belt loops.

Fix All Out Belt. Image courtesy of Fix Mfg.

Our web dev Adam and I have been rocking the All Time Belt paired with the Wheelie Wrench daily. Whether you’re commuting or wrenching on bikes, having quick access to a multi-tool becomes something one gets used to quickly, and I’ve found that I feel weird wearing other belts. (and not having a tool handy)

The All Out Belt lists for $35.00 and the tools are available separately ranging from $25-35. Learn more at FixMfg.com

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GUP Sealant and quick inflator

Flats are the worst. Even tubeless tires — which thanks to tubeless sealants, have reduced the likelihood of flatting considerably — can be punctured and fail, leaving you forced to add additional sealant or install a tube in order to get home. Sealant dries up over time, which make sealant part of many riders carry for those just in case situation. GUP is a new option that combines two popular solutions into one product: its both a quick fix to leaks and inflation device combined in one.

Designed for use with tubeless, tubular and tubes, GUP is compatible with both presta and schrader valves, making it a viable solution whether you’re a mountain, gravel or road riding cyclist. The latex based contents are under pressure, making it possible to reseat a tubeless tire in the field.

The sealant comes in 125ml canisters and a separate strap is available for holding it on your frame or post. Reports from the field are extremely positive, and while we haven’t had to use it, just having it strapped to my frame brings on a bit of lightweight insurance and piece of mind.

On the Trail

Before dropping in for my run at a local Super D, I unbuckled my waist pack and tossed it into the shuttle, with just the GUP and a multitool, and while that’s a bit light for anything but a relatively short and non-technical run, it’s a welcome addition to my regular ride carry.

The velcro strap holds it secure enough, but I’m also considering adding a bit of rubber to the back of the strap to keep it from moving around in the rough or when I’m pulling my bottle in and out.

GUP Sealant, as carried on my Transition Sentinel

Installation

While I haven’t had the opportunity to need it yet, (and hopefully won’t for some time) installing it is straight forward, just point the valve straight down in the 12 o’clock position and hold the tip and let ‘er rip. Here’s the instruction video from GUP:

GUP Sealant & Inflator: How to Apply - YouTube

The GUP Quick-fix Sealant & Inflator lists for $14.99 for a 125ml canister and the optional holster strap sells for $3.49. We’ll update this post as soon as we flat with more details.

Learn more at www.gupindustries.com

Can’t find it locally? Order it online at Amazon.com

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Reynolds Cycling TR 309 S 29″ carbon wheelset

Carbon wheels have been slowly coming down in price the last few years, making them more accessible for riders on a budget seeking top level trail performance. At $1549, the TR 309 S carbon wheels from Reynolds Cycling are $1000 less than what a set of flagship carbon wheels cost just a few years ago, while still providing most if not all of the benefits of the flagship models.

You can certainly spend more. The TR S series sits in the middle of the Reynolds Cycling line with the Blacklabel models perched at the top. Like all high end bike parts though, performance increments are smaller at this level, though even the Blacklabel models have come down slightly, now listing for $2299.

Reynolds TR S hub detail: Shimano freeub 12×148 boost

On the other end of the spectrum, the new TR wheels offer Reynolds carbon at their lowest price point to date at $1299.

The TR models feature the same rim as the TR S, but use a less expensive hub and spoke to hit the lower price, gaining over 100 grams in the process.

Out of the Box

Unboxing the Reynolds TR S wheelset

Unboxing a new set of wheels is not unlike the experience of unboxing a frame. Seeing as how both are equally pricy investments in future good  times, one may as well enjoy it. (even or should I say especially, in the case of a hot set of loaner wheels)

Decals are included in a variety of colors to match your bike, which is a really cool touch. Unrelated to what comes in the box for the consumer, Reynolds also tossed in some of the best swag I’ve received to date, a set of whisky glasses that I will not be sharing… often. (they’re rad, thanks fellas)

Like any quality wheelset these days, the wheels come set up for tubeless and include valve stems and adaptors for both the Shimano spline and 6 bolt rotors. Rotors are quickly installed using a bottom bracket tool making wheelset up a cinch.

Detail of the tubeless ready hookless profile of the Reynolds rims

Installing the TR 309 S carbon wheels

My experience installing the TR S 309 wheels was similar to the Black Label Wheels I tested last year. That is to say, as effortless as it gets.

I had signed up for a grass roots super D event earlier in the weeks and with the wheels showing up the night before, I was a bit concerned with setting up new tubeless tires just before an event. A badass set of carbon wheels was a major performance upgrade though, so heading into the shop, I started by soaping up the bead of the tires and put them on. Pumping right up, they seated without hesitation; a loud “pop” and that was it. I was careful to swish around the sealant (I used Stan’s this time around as it was what we currently have on hand) and let the wheels lie in a horizontal orientation for a few hours, rotating and swishing them periodically. Good to go.

The Reynolds TR 309 S wheels mounted up to the berm bashing, jump loving enduro beast Transition Sentinel.

First Rides

The next day they were holding air still and I set them to my “new wheels pressure” of 32/35 psi and headed to the races. The lowered rotating weight was a massive change to the personality of the bike and although I hadn’t ridden the course in years and rode it blind, managed a 4th in the men’s open category. (Zang wheels, thanks for making me fast)

At the local bike park the lower rotating weight was again apparent as I chased the hardtail guys doing laps around the park. Last week it took a lot more effort to keep up on the buff trails and quick bursts.

TR S 309 Sidewall detail

Installing the carbon Reynolds TR 309 S wheels on my long travel 29er was an eye opener. While I’ve spent time on carbon wheels in the past, the performance upgrade is significantly more noticeable with bigger 29″ wheels. Between the lighter, fast response when you jam on the pedals and the stiffness when railing a turn, I’m not sure what stokes me more.

They are a lot more stiff than the alloy wheels they replaced. (Stronger too) On a top to bottom enduro style Strava run at Sandy Ridge, I felt the additional feedback of the trail on rock covered sections, with my shoulders taking a beating. (Much of that I’ll attribute to my stiff suspension setup and tire pressure though, which is set for big jumps.)

I also tend to run a lot more air when I’m running wheels that aren’t mine, which I’m going to try to get over. I also hate punching holes in tires, so I’ll be experimenting with slightly lower pressures and will see how that goes.

Specifications:
  • Rim Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Rim Construction: Hookless tire bead, tubeless ready, Mountain Rim 5 (MR5) Construction Technology
  • Rim Size: 29”
  • Rim Width: Internal 30mm, External 36mm
  • Rim Depth: 26mm
  • Rim Weight: 474g
  • Hub: Reynolds TR6 Mountain Hub, 100% CNC machined – 5 degree engagement, 6 pawl freehub
  • Spoke Count: 28 Front, 28 Rear
  • Brake Interface: Disc Only, Center Lock
  • Front Axle Spacing: 15×100 or 15×110 (Boost)
  • Rear Axle Spacing: 12×142 or 12×148 (Boost)
  • Freehub: Shimano 9-11spd (testing) or SRAM XD
  • Listed wheelset weight: 1635g
Are the carbon rims for you?

I’m a XT over XTR kind of rider; my preference is to focus on performance but I don’t always care what is the lightest — especially considering the trashing our bikes get on our local trails. If you’re going to slap a Cushcore into the rear tire, you may not care about saving a few more grams making the TR model appealing. That said, if you’re going to splurge for carbon wheels, an extra 100 grams is the point, and for another $100 it feels like the upgrade to the TR S model is a no brainer – and they’re bad ass wheels.

I’m going to be rocking these as long as Reynolds will let me and will report additional feedback in future posts.

The Reynolds TR 309S carbon wheelset lists for $1549. Learn more at ReynoldsCycling.com

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Bermstyle by Jason Van Horn - 1w ago

It’s currently Post Canyon season. Go and ride there. HRats has been fixing up trails that were wrecked by the fire fighting last year, and things are running awesome. Busted stunts are getting repaired, there are lots of sweet new features, a new step up and a crap ton of sweet lines to take.

Seriously, that’s all. Get it while it’s good before the dirt dries up!

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Bermstyle by Jason Van Horn - 1w ago

Spanish mountain bike manufacturer Mondraker is known for pushing the lines of what a modern mountain bike looks like with their Forward Geometry. Their new release, the Foxy 29″ is their first entry in the long travel 29″ trail smasher category.

With 29″ wheels regaining in popularity in the US and their recent entry into the market, it was just a matter of time before they released a bike with the big wheels. Not only does it fill a gap in their line up, its a solid step forward, as it’s a good looking bike that demands attention.

Based on their 27.5 Foxy all-mountain bike, it fills the long travel trail/all mountain/enduro 29er niche with 150mm of rear travel and 160mm of fork travel. The 66º head tube angle is adjustable to 65º with included cups and it features a shorter 44mm offset fork to aid weighing the front wheel in turns.

Like the rest of the line, the reach on the Foxy is long. Standover is a non-issue, so picking a size is based on reach. With the medium featuring a 470mm reach, it’s inline with the large size offering from other brands; we recommend testing a few sizes before you commit.

One thing is certain — once you become accustomed to the geometry of the new bikes, it will have a profound effect on how you feel on every other bike you own.

Starting at $5399 for the Black Phantom/ Light blue R29 model with SRAM GX, it is available in three builds with the top level XR 29 build listing for $9399. For those looking to unleash the full rock garden conquering capabilities, a coil shock equipped enduro ready  edition is available. It’s also available as a frame for $4,000.

Learn more at Mondraker.com

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The Lake Cunningham Action Sports Park in San Jose, California is the latest in a growing number of urban bike parks hitting the radar of bike park loving dirt jump enthusiasts. Spots like Calabazas and Red Devil put the area on the map for years, with the resulting scene cultivating a number of pro BMX and mountain bikers. Although San Jose has enjoyed long storied history as a BMX destination, it faded in recent times due to high profile lawsuit that shut down Calibazas.

Dirt jump spots come and go though, and of the two, only Calabazas remains. Some time after the lawsuit that closed it, it was poorly rebuilt as a public park and only with a shade of its former glory.

The opening of the expanded and rechristened Lake Cunningham Action Sports Park puts San Jose back on the map, with a diverse dirt bike park experience with features that include a slopestyle course, dual slalom/MTX cross, dirt jumps, drop zone, skills area and pump tracks.

The project has been on our radar for some time and during our recent trip through the Bay Area, we made a point to stop by and experience it just a week or two after its grand opening.

The downside? Because its pay to play model, the park was completely closed when we initially planned to visit San Jose and ride. If you’re traveling, we strongly recommend visiting the website to verify hours in advance. Completely closed on Monday and Tuesday (supposedly for maintenance) it doesn’t open until noon on weekdays.

Frustration about open hours aside, the design of the park is ambitious, with 10 acres of city park land dedicated to action sports pursuits. Already the site of the largest skate park in California, this spring the new dirt BMX/MTB expansion to the park opened to the public.

Building off the existing concrete park, the large dirt pump track wraps around the fenced off skating area and is divided into two, with one section dedicated to beginners and the other more experienced riders.

The opening weekend apparently took its toll on the pump track. A number of blown out areas in the lines detracted from the flow, making it hard to maintain momentum. While still being able to hit quite a few lines including the wall ride it was a bit beat already.

Since it wasn’t running very well, after a few laps I moved on to the dirt jump lines across the way, which were significantly more enjoyable.

The dirt jump zone was fun with jumps at four different levels lined up to facilitate riders of various levels. All the jumps are easy to roll with the beginner and intermediate consisting mostly of table tops. The 3rd line in features a concrete face for the jumps and were mostly step up style landings.

I found the biggest line easist to hit as the transitions were longer on my 26″ dirt jump bike. However, keeping up the momentum to pump through the entire set took a good amount of effort — especially considering the temperatures, San Jose is hot mid-day — so I ended up transferring to the right a lot as I made my way down the course.

The jump line ends with a big curved wall ride and exits by a much appreciated water fountain.

The large starting mound for the dirt jumps also serves as the starting hill for the dual slalom course. I found it to be more of a hybrid mountain cross/ dual type of run with most of the jumps being wide table tops that served both sides. The bottom of the dual slalom ends with a climb/push back up the paved ADA friendly path.

Having brought her trail bike to the party, Inga spent the bulk of her time at the park on the dual. It enjoyed a lot of use from other riders on their trail bikes as well.

A paved path/ surface runs in a big loop around the park facilitating access for park workers, first aid and maintenance. The park is already getting a ton of use and looks to be a chore to keep running based on the hit many sections took in the short week since it opened. Fortunately water hoses spread at various points for watering and the pump track (and the other dirt areas) are designed with drains in a number of locations. From what we saw though, maintenance is limited to park staff only.

Shaded benches provide relief for downtime or parents watching kids, and with the temperatures getting quite high during our stay we took advantage of it, as well as the drinking fountains positioned at the bottom of the dirt jump course.

After acclimating to the various jumps and features throughout the park, the slope style zone ended up being my personal favorite. Not only is it one of the longest feature packed runs in the park, but the wood kickers are likely the same jumps we have at our local bike park. It made the transitions easy to get accustomed to.

Also, being set up as double black diamond level with gaps, the line on the starting hill was much smaller.

I’ve been spending a lot more time on my trail bike at our local bike park, so my flow game needed a bit of work during the day. Pedaling between jumps helped a bit as I worked my way through it all. If I was a local here a lot I’d consider gearing my dirt jumper a bit higher.

Like the dirt jump zone the slopestyle run features multiple levels for progression. I again found the larger jump easier to negotiate on my dirt jumper, and really enjoyed running laps down the slopestyle course as I dialed it all in.

After the first few sets, the slopestyle changes things up with a hip jump into a wall ride followed by a turn, another curved wall ride and even more banked wood turns.

That leads to a whole another straight with even more features, like this step up to whale tail style feature.

The slopestyle run is flanked by a beginner drop line suitable for conquering basic drops and ties to a skills run that goes around the entire park. It doesn’t quite flow through the park but should faciliate riders looking to learn the basics.

Pay to play

We recommend doing a bit of home work and paying for parking off the bat, as the park features what seems to be a growing trend in cycling: a pay-to-play model with fees for parking as well as admission. You’ll want to stay on top of getting the parking paid for – we saw no less than 4 rangers walking the lot writing a significant number of tickets.

Besides the $6.00 parking fee, there is a $7.00 entry fee to partake in use of the facilities. (I’ve reached out to parks for more information but have yet to receive a reply; no word on if there is a price break for lower income kids/riders at this time)

Riders do receive value for their dollar. Amenities of the park include a number of free bicycle and skateboard repair stations, maintenance staff, a shaded patio with heaters and fans, wifi and a watering system. With the use this park is destined to receive, park staff will undoubtably have their hands full.

Find it

The Lake Cunningham Action Sports Park is easy to locate at 2305 S White Rd, San Jose, CA. 95148.

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Bermstyle by Jason Van Horn - 2w ago

The Dog River Super D took place this weekend, kicking of the first round of the Mountain Man Challenge. Presenting some of the best grassroots mountain bike racing in the area, the super chill vibe made for a good day of riding as riders gathered for a shuttle to a timed run down a closed course.

Deciding to participate a few days before the event took place, we missed out on chances to get out and pre-ride the course. I’ve ridden it before (8 years ago as noted in this post) and knowing it is a fun run, pinged riding buddy and Bermstyle webmaster Adam to sell him on the even. Between the inexpensive entry, which included a shuttle to the start as part of the package and the promises of a fun ride, we pre-registered and committed our Sunday to racing bikes.

Arriving at the bottom of the Dog River Trail head promptly at 9:30,we picked up our number plans and sized up the vibe. It’s been a while since I’ve participated in an gravity themed MTB event in the PNW, but it was great to be back as I was greeted by faces old and new.

It’s amazing to see Petr Krates of Hurricane Racing is still active in the scene. Hurricane has been the cornerstone of gravity events in the area as long as I can remember.

After the typical rider meeting, we loaded bikes and piled into shuttle vans to get dropped at the top of the trail. After setting up timers the riders lined up for their runs, setting off at 2 minute intervals. We warmed up by pedaling up and down the adjacent road while waiting for our turn at the starting line.

The smaller grass roots theme meant our wait was short and we were quickly off, charging down the 7.1 mile trail. An uphill traverse and classic PNW style trail, filled with numerous switchbacks with tight radius turns valued a lighter weight, faster steed and fast rolling tires.

I managed a clean but overly cautious run down the trail without knowing what was coming up. My strategy: pin it on the straights and anywhere sight lines were open, and keep the tires on the trail. The tight turns combined with long wheelbase of my new Transition Sentinel and the lack of time riding on the new bike took a bit of a toll as I creeped though corners. The aggressive DH-like geo was the wrong combination for Dog River.

Having logged plenty of commuter miles, my legs felt good at the bottom. Unfortunately, my lungs hated me.

All good though, anytime you get to pin it on a closed course is a good one. At the finish, the keg was flowing and hot dogs grilling as riders shared their experiences on the course, commiserated or celebrated their runs.

There are two more events in the Mountain Man series with registration currently still open. With most of the area enduros all filled up and sold out, act quickly to get in on the fun.

Check it out at Fattirefarm.com/mountain-man-challenge

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Squeezing water bottles into some frames can be a challenge sometimes, making side loading cages a great option for carting a bottle on the bike. Lezyne’s offering in the category is the Flow Cage. Designed and offered in left or right side configurations, its available in a variety of colors for riders looking for some visual pop on their rides.

They come in at a listed weight of 48 grams with pricing ranging from $9.99 to $14.99. Look for them at your local shop or get one ordered up now at Amazon.com

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Bermstyle by Jason Van Horn - 3w ago

Review XP c300 Action Camera

We have a few GoPro cameras in our bag, but at this point they’re both a bit dated, so when the folks at Review XP reached out to ask if we wanted to try the 4k C300 Action Camera, our answer was an enthusiastic yes.

The entire camera kit fits inside the included easy to carry padded case

The Review XP Action Cameras are extremely affordable, with the C200 model starting at $59 and the C300 listing for $69 on Amazon. There’s also the C600 model ($89.95) that adds an anti-shake feature as well as a diving and car mode for use as a dashboard cam. At these prices they seem too good to be true. Especially when you consider the entire package included for that price:

  • Padded and shockproof carrying case
  • Waterproof case
  • Belt Clip
  • Camera frame
  • Quick ties
  • Tether cable
  • 4k Review XP C300 Camera
  • Switch Support brackets x3
  • Fixed base mounts
  • Handlebar mount
  • Helmet mounts x2 and double sided 3m sticky foam
  • Lens cloth
  • Velcro straps x2
  • 2x 1050 mAh rechargeable Batteries
  • Protective back cover
  • a User manual
  • Strap
  • Wrist mountable remote control for camera
  • Charger adopter
  • USB Charging Cable
  • GoPro chesty compatible mount

The full package, minus the two batteries which are included.

Based on all the stuff you get in the package, you could buy the camera for the accessories alone to go with a GoPro camera. It is missing a few of our favorite accessories like the chest mounted belt, but if you don’t already have one, Review XP offers an additional accessory kit that includes it, a padded case, a multitude of mounts, car helmet suction cup mount, extending selfie stick, head strap mounts, floating handle bobbers, wrist mounts for snorkeling and more for only $21.95.

Yes, the Review XP is a GoPro clone, but that’s also its biggest selling point. I’m still wrapping my head around the feature set, but more importantly, the controls are intuitive. Admittedly I’m comparing it to a Hero 3+ so it isn’t a fair comparison. A better comparison with be with the GoPro Hero, which is positioned as the base model in the GoPro line at $199.00.

I’m still diving into the controls and testing our setups as well as and sourcing additional cards and a gimbal, but we’ve been wanting to expand our video channel for sometime so stay tuned for updates as we update this working review and complete our boxing and first ride review video.

The Review XP 300 Action Camera ($69.99) is available on Amazon.com

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Bermstyle by Jason Van Horn - 3w ago

Mondraker Vantage 27.5 hardtail

Mondraker bikes are known for progressive, cutting edge geometry, with long front centers and slack front ends that bring the DH feel to the trail. Coming soon to a bike shop near you in the US, like many riders we’re super intrigued and looking forward to throwing a leg over one to see how it handles our local trails.

Their enduro/AM hardtail the Vantage RR, especially caught my eye. The simplified diamond shape of the frame makes the split top tube gusset stand out with a unique look that brings memories of my first “nice” hardtail. (a Cannondale Delta v)

Although designed around 27.5 wheels, its short 425mm rear end fits good size rubber and can also accommodate a 29″ wheel with up to a 2.2″ tire in the rear.

Check it out at Mondraker.com

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