Journal

Updated: Introducing Otso Cycles

Updated: Introducing Otso Cycles

Written by Alvin Holbrook, on Aug 15, 2021

Update 9/15/2021: After the success of the Otso Voytek, Otso has introduced the Waheela C and Waheela S gravel/bikepacking bikes sharing the same Tuning Chip the Voytek has. This makes the Waheela gravel bike super versatile, giving it the ability to use 650b and 700c wheels with up to 50mm tires on...
Contender Takes On the 2021 ENVE Grodeo Gravel Ride

Contender Takes On the 2021 ENVE Grodeo Gravel Ride

Written by Alvin Holbrook, on Jul 13, 2021

Interested in our takes on the bikes at the ENVE Builder Round-Up? See our photos and words HERE. ENVE takes a lot of pride in their manufacturing prowess, but they work hard to maintain that all of their work comes from their love of riding bikes. While the ENVE Builder’s Showcase celebrated...
In For Review: Rapha Cargo Bib Shorts, Explore T-Shirt, and Explore Hooded Pullover

In For Review: Rapha Cargo Bib Shorts, Explore T-Shirt, and Explore Hooded Pullover

Written by Alvin Holbrook, on Jun 30, 2021

The brand you've associated with austere black-and-white and suffering is changing. Rapha now has a line of lifestyle apparel and accessories with lots of colors that are concerned with more than just the purity of road cycling. While there is still an air of serious business in what they do,...
The New 2022 Juliana Wilder Fills an XC-Sized Gap

The New 2022 Juliana Wilder Fills an XC-Sized Gap

Written by Alvin Holbrook, on Jun 01, 2021

Juliana has had a massive XC bike-sized hole in their lineup for years. The Joplin has worked for many people, but as the analog and its sibling, the Santa Cruz Tallboy has grown into dedicated trail bikes, riders wanting something zippier were left lacking. Not so anymore. Starting today, the...
The New Santa Cruz Blur and Blur TR Review: The Perfect Wasatch Bike?

The New Santa Cruz Blur and Blur TR Review: The Perfect Wasatch Bike?

Written by Contender Staff, on Jun 01, 2021

The cross country mountain bike world is changing, and fast. Over a short period of time, courses have become sloppier, steeper, and rockier. As a result, XC mountain bikes have become longer and lower, with geometry better optimized toward stability. In short, the lines between XC race and XC marathon...
VIDEO - 3T Exploro Racemax Review - A Numbers Game

VIDEO - 3T Exploro Racemax Review - A Numbers Game

Written by Contender Staff, on May 21, 2021

The 3T Exploro Racemax divides opinions around these parts more than just about any bike on the market. It also happens to be the bike that straddles road and gravel better than most, all without compromising its quick-witted handling and acceleration characteristics unique among gravel bikes.What do we think of...
Orbea Gain M20i Review + Video: A Look Into the Future

Orbea Gain M20i Review + Video: A Look Into the Future

Written by Contender Staff, on May 13, 2021

First impressions are everything. They inform how you look at someone or something now and into the future. As much as we might discuss their value in the context of interpersonal relationships, they matter with bikes too. The original Orbea Gain was our first experience with the now-burgeoning e-road bike market, showing...
Rapha Pro Team vs Rapha Core Review: One Dynamic Duel

Rapha Pro Team vs Rapha Core Review: One Dynamic Duel

Written by Alvin Holbrook, on Mar 03, 2021

One of the most common questions we get is “is the upgrade worth it?” Clothing is particularly difficult, and it can be hard to discern where the additional cost difference goes between one piece and another. As a result, we’ve taken the two most asked-about pieces of Rapha kit in...
Ultradynamico Cava Tire Review: Stewart's Take

Ultradynamico Cava Tire Review: Stewart's Take

Written by Alvin Holbrook, on Mar 03, 2021

Stewart has been on the Ultradynamico Cava tires for the last two months. He has been gracious enough to share his thoughts in this Ultradynamico Cava review below. - AH For many of you, Cava elicits fancies of fine wines tasted on a veranda in Spain. As a Utah boy...
Rapha Core Jersey and Core Bib Shorts Review

Rapha Core Jersey and Core Bib Shorts Review

Written by Alvin Holbrook, on Mar 03, 2021

Most premium cycling brands do their best kit exceptionally well. Rapha is no exception, delivering attention to detail, high material quality, and performance to boot. Doing the basics is a bit more complicated, and arguably more difficult. Do the Rapha Core Sleeve Jersey and Core Bib Shorts deliver on the...
A First Look at the New 2021 Pinarello Prince

A First Look at the New 2021 Pinarello Prince

Written by Alvin Holbrook, on Mar 03, 2021

For as much praise as Pinarello receives for their top-spec Pinarello Dogma F12, most don’t realize that the same capability is largely present in the Pinarello Prince. Updated and revised for 2021, the new Pinarello Prince road bike receives an overhaul that Pinarello claims make for a faster yet more...
Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey and Pro Team Bib Shorts II Review

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey and Pro Team Bib Shorts II Review

Written by Alvin Holbrook, on Mar 03, 2021

If you're reading our review of the Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey and Pro Team II Bib Shorts, you'll be pleased to know that this kit is not just hype, but objectively some of the best stuff you can find in cycling apparel at any pricepoint. Just about anyone could...
Ezra's Review of His SCOTT Ransom

Ezra's Review of His SCOTT Ransom

Written by Alvin Holbrook, on Mar 03, 2021

170mm suspension travel is a ton of suspension travel, regardless of how much you want to be like Sam Pilgrim. Despite that, the long travel 29er mountain bike scene is more competitive than ever, with more riders than ever looking for unflappability on descents and the confidence to go bigger...
Introducing the All-New OPEN MIN.D

Introducing the All-New OPEN MIN.D

Written by Alvin Holbrook, on Mar 03, 2021

See our custom builds of the OPEN MIND road bike HERE. In a lot of ways the road bike has become old news to cyclists drawn to the do-it-all attitude of a gravel bike. I’ve had people call gravel bikes less fussy than a road bike. I’ve also had people...
PRO Stealth Saddle Review: a Jack of Most Trades

PRO Stealth Saddle Review: a Jack of Most Trades

Written by Alvin Holbrook, on Mar 03, 2021

Pro has quietly become one of our favorite saddle brands in recent years. They’ve found their way on road bikes, mountain bikes, gravel bikes, and everything in between. Part of this is thanks to the 30-day fit guarantee each Pro saddle comes with, allowing riders to try new shapes and...