Finally! The Return of Drop-Bar MTB

Rawland announced their new Drop-Bar MTBs at Velocult in Portland. Our friends from PLP were there and uploaded this short video. Also see the report from Bicycle Times about The Ravn and Ulv. In a market that’s not very well defined, you can call these bikes whatever, and just be happy for more hand positions and tire choices. The Trek 920 is similar with road-touring geo and 29r wheels, as well as the Specialized AWOL, and what Raleigh did with the Roker – first ride here and reviewed in our mag.

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Ravn 26-inch wheels with Panaracer Driver Pro tires and will fit a 650b x 42 tire with fenders. Photo: Bicycle Times

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Ulv with clearance for a 27plus tire or a 29-inch mountain bike tire. It also has additional braze-ons for bikepacking gear. Photo: Bicycle Times

As I’ve said, if roadies are gonna ride off ride without suspension, it’ll take more than high volume tires to make for a comfortable all-day ride. Next up, bring back the Rock Shock Ruby, seriously. What I’m spending my miles on now is the Trek Boone that smooths out gravel with their IsoSpeed decoupler. I wrote about a ride on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail last weekend.

So why would you want a MTB on fire roads instead of a touring bike? According to Rawland’s Jeremy Spencer:

The key to both models is the low trail geometry. By lowering the trail the bike becomes much more stable with a load on the front end and without super-wide handlebars to maintain control.

Mark V reviews: Spurcycle Bell

Since the frameshop at which I work moved from downtown to the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, my commute is largely confined to the bike paths. Instead of sprinting for yellow traffic signals and drag-racing automobiles off the line, I face the surprisingly difficult task of negotiating my way through pedestrians, strollers, slower cyclists, and the occasional Elliptigo, all while trying to maintain the facade of being a responsible and considerate member of society. What is needed is a way to politely and effectively communicate my presence and intentions at a distance, and few things do that as well as a bell. Not all bells are the same however. And not to be a snob, but each of my bikes represents serious money and planning. I am not about to zip tie a cheap apology for a ringer on my handlebar. On the other hand, I am not actually immune to the costs of bicycle products, even if I work in the industry. I will pay good money for something, but it must be convincingly better than the norm.

I say this because when the topic of Spurcycle’s bell comes up, half of the people indignantly complain about the $50 price for a bell. And that’s a legitimate objection…if to you a bell is but a bell. But make no mistake. This bell is objectively better than others when the criteria calls for small, loud, and physically unobtrusive. Spurcycle achieves this by carefully crafting each component of the bell with the goal of producing a commanding sound from a tiny metal device. The bell has a loud, bright tone with an amazingly long sustain, and the firm action of the bell’s striker allows for rapid ringing if you need to communicate greater urgency. There are other bells on the market for less money, but none are quite as competent the Spurcycle, or at least not without being at least three times larger. And as much as I love the nostalgic looks and joyous sound of a Crane Riten bell, I’m never going to bolt such a big brass bulk onto a 15-lb carbon road bike.

Fat Bike Snow Edits


Only a matter of time with Fat bikes before an edit would hit YouTube and while our production values weren’t even close or rad, can confirm Fatbikes are that much fun in the snow.

Sony G Master Lens Sample Images

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Editor’s note: Parts of the article originally appeared on our content partner Digital Photo Pro and Sony Mirrorless Pro.

Yesterday in New York, Sony launched the new a6300 camera and a trio of lenses in the company’s brand new G Master lens line. These lenses are designed, according to Sony, to provide the highest possible resolution from today’s sensors and are designed to keep pace with technological advances in the years to come. The company uses their own glass production facilities to craft these lenses, and include super-high quality topics, they report.   The company gave journalists the opportunity to sample the new lenses. We have posted a gallery of these images on the Flickr site of Sony Mirrorless Pro, who I was also writing for. The new 85mm f/1.4 GM and the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM were made available, and will ship in March.   The closest comparison for the 85mm f/1.4 is the current Zeiss Batis lens, which has, as far as we’ve seen today, a very similar look.   We will have these lenses in for review in a few weeks, and will be doing more extensive testing, but in initial testing these lenses performed excellently, living up to Sony’s claims of smooth “bokeh” and impressive sharpness. Of course, we’ll take photos of bikes with those lenses. When the a6300 and the lenses start shipping, you can order them online from Amazon, like the rest of Sony’s popular Alpha Series.

3D Printed Stainless Steel Bike


Despite looking like a vintage dress form attached to wheels or what Alien would ride to work if Alien wanted to get a workout in and was tired of sitting in traffic, it is an interesting video for the process. Also, credit for actually getting made instead of a design-school student’s CAD. Remember that companies like Pacific have used high-resolution 3D printers for decades and Airbus made a plastic bike recently too.

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