Commitment is a big word for some people, some will run from it, some will half commit and not fallow through, and some will go head long into it all the way knowing they have done their homework believing in what they are doing.
Now a lot of you may know already that GIANT BICYCLES has done just that, they have went head long into the 27.5 tire size for just about all their 2014 mountain bike line and have all but sent the 26″ mountain bike way of the Dodo (for our younger readers this is a saying referring to an extincted bird) except for their DH Glory and Reing X which I would bet will fallow next into the 27.5 line, after all their are others that are doing DH and Freeride bikes in 27.5 with some success.
For those who know GIANT this wouldn’t be the first time they have done this. In 2006 GIANT was the first manufacturer to bring the tapered headtube to market, known as OverDrive2. So you can bet that when Giant decides to do something big it won’t be on a whim.
Here is a look at why GIANT feels the 27.5 is superior performance without compromise and cool pics of the 2014 27.5 line.

Overall Bike Weight
Compare the weights of identically equipped bikes with different wheel sizes and you’ll see substantial weight differences. As expected, the 26-inch-wheel bike is somewhat lighter than the 27.5, and substantially lighter than the 29 (up to two pounds of overall bike weight savings from 29 to 27.5). Every gram saved helps you ride faster.

Wheel/Tire Weight
The overall weight of a 27.5 wheel set (wheel, tire and inner tube) is only 5% greater than that of an identically built 26-inch wheel set. Compare this to the 12% increase of a 29-inch wheel set and you can see how a seemingly small increase in diameter results in substantial weight gain—and poorer performance when climbing or accelerating.

Weight Comparison
Static wheel weight
Lighter wheels/tires result in a quicker acceleration and lighter overall bike weight – a win-win combination.



Snappier acceleration and a reduced angle of attack for a smoother, more agile ride.
Increased wheel diameter decreases the angle of attack (the angle in which a round object intersects a square object). This is a good thing. A 29-inch wheel rolls over a 6-centimeter square-edge obstacle 14% more efficiently than a 26-inch wheel does. In comparison, a 27.5-inch wheel rolls over the same obstacle 9.8% more efficiently than a 26-inch wheel does.
Another way to analyze angle of attack is the degree of impact—where 26-inch equals X degree, 27.5 equals X-4 degrees and 29 equals X-6 degrees. Again, a shallower angle is better—so 29-inch takes the win, with 27.5 exhibiting nearly the same performance but without the weight penalty.


Arguably the most important benefit of 27.5 over 29 is quicker acceleration. This is the “snap” that a rider feels when they push hard on the pedals. It is affected not just by overall static weight but also where the weight is distributed throughout the wheel. The farther the weight is from the center of the hub, the slower the acceleration. So a similarly constructed 1000-gram 29-inch wheel is slower to accelerate than a 1000-gram 26-inch wheel—because the larger diameter rim and longer spokes place weight farther from the hub. The key to snappy acceleration is minimizing the weight of the outermost components (rim, nipples, spokes, tire, tube). As you can see, a 27.5-inch wheel is only 1.5% slower to accelerate than a similarly constructed 26-inch wheel, but a 29-inch wheel is 3.6% slower than a similarly constructed 26-inch wheel.

A larger tire contact patch, increased stiffness, and optimized frame geometry improve traction, braking and handling.

The larger the diameter of a wheel, the greater the contact patch of the tire. A larger contact patch results in better traction, which leads to improved acceleration, deceleration and cornering. As you can see, a 27.5-inch wheel has a similar contact patch to the 29.


Frame Stiffness
Lateral (side-to-side) frame stiffness can be affected by wheel size. To accommodate larger wheels, frame dimensions must be elongated. Therefore, a size medium 29-inch wheel frame has more lateral flex (bottom bracket and headtube) than a size medium 27.5 or 26-inch wheel frameset. Additional flex compromises handling under heavy pedaling or sharp cornering
Frame Geometry
The larger the wheel, the more difficult it is to optimize geometry, especially on smaller frames. As the frame size decreases, headtube heights become higher (in relation to saddle height). On 26 or 27.5-inch frames, it’s less of a problem, but geometry limitations can affect smaller 29-inch-wheel frames.


Their was quite the buzz around the GIANT both and it was great to see them back at Interbike. The Advance line was beautiful to look at and people were very interested in the bikes, with the reps super busy and questions being ask I have to say GIANT may have a very good year in 2014.

So you got a glimpse of the 27.5 tech and a look at GIANT’S Advanced Composite line, but if you don’t want the Advance bike GIANT also has their ALUXX SL aluminum framed 27.5 Bikes, and Frame sets for the ANTHEM XC and TRANCE in Advance composite, as well as ALUXX aluminum, so they have your taste cover one way or the other.

Commitment, a big word for most brands out there. Most will want to wait and see what and where the current trend will go before they commit major resources and time to something as big as this. GIANT has the resources, takes the time, and has always brought their brand one step further then most I have seen with a lot of bang for the buck.
You could go to GIANT’s website at or see your local GIANT dealer today.

We want to say thanks to GIANT for the 27.5 Tech provided on their website and Mark Helms for the time at DirtDemo going over the 27.5 bikes.


I know this is, but Cyclocross bikes are cool and you can take them on a trail ride too. If you don’t know what Cyclocross, CX, or CROSS is (as they are also known as) then I’ll tell you what it is.
Cross is a race that’s run on a closed course during the fall and winter, in rain or shine, under all conditions, on a bike that may look like a roadbike, but far from it. The time frame of these races will be from 30 minutes [for CAT 3 beginners], 35 minutes [CAT 2 sport category], 45 minutes [CAT 1 expert], and well the ELITE go for 60 minutes.
This is a full gut wrenching sprint with one foot tall boards that you have to dismount your bike and jump over. Now the really brave souls will bunny hope over them. This could be quite fun to watch happen.
So lets talk about the bikes. The have a tougher frame to take the beating, chain stays and forks are wider to let mud go through the frame easier, geometry is a lot different then compared to a roadbike, and know with the most recent change in rules from the UCI Cross bikes can now have disc brakes.
Here is a shot of my first year racing Cross.
RALEIGH’s top CX bike will come with electronic shifters and Disc Brakes.
There is something about Italian bikes I just can’t explain, so I will let the photos speake for me.
GIANT’s entry’s were cool as ever and proven winners.
VAN DESSEL always has a simple looks, but it will take you to the top if you got it.
KHS Cross bikes don’t just look good hanging up.
REDLINE will always be a bike of choice for me when it comes to racing Cross. I won my Cross series on a REDLINE CONQUEST and its clear to see REDLINE’s 2014 CONQUEST series is still a winner.
I know you readers will know the PIVOT line from their quality made bikes and their awesome DH bike the PHOENIX, well PIVOT has a Carbon framed Cross bike now and it really looks great from head to toe.

Well there you have it, some Cyclocross hotness. If any of these look like a fun choice you should go for it. I had the time of my life racing Cross and I will be hitting some races this year.

Thanks to all the companies that let us capture their bike on camera for our readers.

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Interbike 2013: We still have a few more articles

Yes I know that Interbike was about 2 weeks ago, but we still have quite a bit of content to publish. Between and our sister site:, we’ve already published at least 40 articles. So while we get the rest of the articles up and ready, check out our sponsor, Black Tiger Jerky, they make really good jerky!

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Interbike 2013: Trunk Locks

Here’s something that caught our attention at Interbike 2013, Trunk Locks. From what we were told, it was designed by a Fort Collins Co. woman in her early 20’s. She wanted to be able to secure her bike while it was attached to her trunk mount rack. So the idea is that you put the fat part of the Trunk Locks inside your trunk and close it. Now your bicycle lock has a secure point to attache it self to. Kudos to the inventor, I hope she does well with it.
trunk locks
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I am always on the look out for new ways to get that great riding footage or a cool product video reviews for our readers of and in doing so we are on the look out for the newest tools to help us with that, so when we go to Interbike you will see a lot of new POV cameras trying to make a break in the market.
Now I will be truthful here I really didn’t know that SONY had a POV camera and what I saw did kind of remind me of the one I have now, but when I went into the booth something about the SONY ACTION CAM just caught my eye that told me it may be a hair better if not greater then the big guy out there, also this is SONY!! They are a leader in the camcorder industry as well as cameras, along with other electronics, so why wouldn’t they not know how to make a POV camera better then the leader in this realm.
Rachelle Arcebido from SONY Electronics was kind enough to go over their new ACTION CAM with me and I for one really like what she had to say about the SONY ACTION CAM’s features. Lets take a brief look at the new SONY ACTION CAM and
what you can get with it. The camera will come with two surface mounts, rugged waterproof protective housing, also in this pic below you will see the handle bar mount, as well as the camcorder mount, other accessories you will be able to get will be a chest mount, goggle mount, and roll bar mount just to name a few.

As you can see in the next few photos the ACTION CAM is slim and sized to be light in weight. Operation is also made to be easy. The only thing that I was told that SONY does not do themselves is the optics. SONY went to one of the leaders in the field for this and that would be Carl Zeiss. They give you an ultra-wide angle Vario-Tessar lens for perfect clarity. The ACTION CAM has a view screen on one side, the waterproof protective case has a standard tripod mount on the bottom, so you will be able to use it on just about any type of mounting system. True stereo speakers (not a mono speaker like the other guys), and all the necessary cable hook-ups within the unit, oh and did I forget to mention SONY’s own hallmark SteadyShot™ image stabilization, and Wi-Fi, and of course 1080 HD.
Is SONY going over the top with this new POV cam, no way. Watch out other guy I think you have some competition now.IMG_9424

This was one feature I loved more then anything, SONY has a kit that will turn your ACTION CAM into a hand held camcorder. Once you clip it into the unit it has a flip out screen that turns for you to position, also it has the standard tripod mount on the kit. This makes for one versatile POV camera.IMG_9432

If you don’t know who K-Edge is they make mounting systems out of nice machined aluminum that mount POV cams to the handle bars and under the seat. These are slick units that keep the cameras nice and clean on your bike.

I could go on with all the great feature that come with the new SONY ACTION CAM, but if I did and we get one to test I won’t have anything left to tell you, but what I can say is Rachelle said something that that made perfect sense when it come to the other guy, “They make mounting systems for a camera and we make a camera, the mounting systems are for it”. The camera should come first and we all know SONY has what it takes to make the best. This being said its a tough market to break into and it will break those who don’t keep up. SONY has a good thing here.

Thanks to Rachelle Arcebido for showing us the new ACTION CAM.
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DAINESE FULL OF INNOVATION>BOA retention system (what you see on ski boots and road cycling shoes) in their new line of knee and elbow pads, they also added aluminum sliders ( this from the roadracing suits) on the knee and elbows to the OAK PRO Guards, and to top off the last of it DAINESE developed a new padding to absorb impact better to go with their newest pads.

Made with the synergyc use of two innovative materials: Pro-Shape and Crash Absorb materials. A sandwich composed of an outer layer in polymer derived from F1 racing with the highest shock absorption capacity and remarkable elasticity is bonded to an inner layer of polyethylene foam of the highest thickness and visco elastic nitrile rubber to create an extremely flexible pad. (as quoted from Dainese)

With the popularity of Enduro Racing most companies have come out with lighter pads as well as gear and DAINESE has done the same.

For the Enduro Racer or weekend worrier the new light weight TRAIL SKINS Knee and Elbow Guards incorporate the same PRO-SHAPE materials as the OAK series of pads, but lighter.IMG_9250
Highly breathable as well as flexible one could only feel the air flow through them. You will also see side impact protection as well.

The new RHYOLITE JACKET SOFT has been updated for 2014 with added shoulder and elbow protected sleeves that can be removed. Back protection is the flexible Crash Absorb shape memory retention material (water-repellent elastic-visco nitrile rubber), along with PRO-SHAPE and Crash Absorb that is positioned in the front chest, side and abdomen areas.IMG_9252
The jacket like the pads is fully breathable.
If your just looking for the back protection DAINESE has you covered with the BACK PROTECTOR SOFT

The new Downhill Freeride line has changed as well. BASANITE jersey and HUCKER shorts are made with lighter materials and have more breath ability. If you look at the photo of the jersey from the back side you can see through it.
The shorts have nice big air panels to allow flow and comfort

The new ROCK SOLID-D gloves caught my eye. They look like the ROCK SOLIDS, but have a added PRO-SHAPE panel to the knuckle area. They were quite comfortable on the hand and as you can see in the photo the PRO-SHAPE flexes nice to the hand.
I don’t know what RL was trying to do here, but he made a nice hand model, plus his tux shirt matched the gloves.

DAINESE also has a new PERFORMANCE Jacket as well as PERFORMANCE ARMOR that uses the new MANIS Back Protector, also DAINESE has their new Enduro/Trail jersey and short called the DRIFTER. More on this later.
Look for DAINESE new gear soon.

Thanks to DAINESE guys for the time.

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COMMENCAL has always been a bike that looks cool to me. If you have never heard of this little company from Andorra, they have had such riders as Anne-Caroline Chausson, Cédric GRACIA, and the powerhouse cycling family “the ATHERTONs on their bikes. Winning races all over the world cup circuit. Since 2000 this small company has made a big impact in a short time.

The flag ship SUPREME DH WORLD CUP leads the way with all the bells and whistles you need to take on any World Cup course. Top of the line Fox suspension, Formula Disc brakes, SRAM XO, RaceFace cranks, and E-13 Chain Guide you are ready for that rainbow jersey. IMG_9439

Now don’t take this one lightly, the SUPREME DH may not be the top of the line, but it will take you to the top of the podium if you have what it takes. It shares a lot of the same company components, but just the the next step down.
A closer look at the rear suspension gives you a super plush ride in the rough.



This is badass 6″ Enduro entry with Fox Float CTD with remote lever, Fox 34 Float Factory CTD FIT Remote. Both fork and shock have the KASHIMA Coating for smooth action, Formula Brakes, SRAM XO, and to top off a Rock Shox Reverb Stealth dropper seatpost.IMG_9435


COMMENCAL didn’t forget the little one’s in you clan. They are one of the few if not only manufacture that makes a 24″ and 20″ mini DH bicycle called the SUPREME24 and 20. This is the coolest thing to see out at your local races and I just love it. Makes me want to go have a kid just so I can buy one. “WOW I didn’t say that!!”
Also COMMENCAL has their Push Along called the RAMONES 12, which is disc brake compatible.IMG_9433

The colors may be a little bright, but one things for sure you will be noticed when you cross that finish line and to see more about the COMMENCAL line go to

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Smith Optics is well known for there sunglasses and goggles, but now they have entered the helmet game and they have done so in a way I have never seen before when it comes to helmet construction.
Now I know a thing or two about helmet safety and what goes into making a safe helmet seeing that I work for a well known helmet company and now I have been impressed a second time here at Interbike 2013.
The new Smith Forefront is loaded with a lot of cool features when it comes to an All Mountain Enduro style helmet. If you look at the shell you will see off the bat the flo green material on the inside that is a honeycomb. This material is called Koroyd, a material that absorbs up to 30% more energy on impact when tested to international standards, it also will aid in more cooling into and out of the shell.
The design of the helmet shell is something Smith calls AEROCORE construction. As Smith puts it in their AREOCORE philosophy, increase airflow, improve temperature regulation in fog-free vision, and impact resistance.
You will see in the photos that Smith has combined EPS and Koroyd together these two materials create a stronger helmet.
As you can see in the KOROYD test material the honeycomb does not crack like EPS.

Other cool features are a adjustable/removable visor, 21 vents, integrated skeletal and Carbon fiber reinforcements, VaporFit adjustable fit system, X-static performance lining, AirEvac goggle ventilation, Light/POV camera mount and goggle retention strap.
Smith was certainly busy in there booth and I have to believe it had to do a lot with the introduction of their new FOREFRONT helmet. With Enduro Racing becoming so popular there is always a way to improve something like safety. IMG_9344

We would like to thank Mallory Burda and Scott Oliver for taking the time to go over the new FOREFRONT helmet here at INTERBIKE 2013.

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