Author Archives: gravelbike

2016 Saddle Roundup

With bicycle technology changing so rapidly, it’s sometimes easy to forget the importance of our bikes’ contact points–especially saddles. The lightest, most advanced bike in the world is all but useless if it’s equipped with an uncomfortable saddle. Since launching GRAVELBIKE in 2011, I’ve tried more saddles than I can remember. Over the past several months, I’ve tested different five saddles that each attempt to balance comfort, support, and performance in their own unique ways.

Model Width
Ergon SMC3 Comp (large) 160 285 248 $99.95
Fabric Cell 155 282 358 $99.99
Rivet Pearl 170 280 586 $150.00
Specialized Power Expert (155) 160 240 247 $130.00
Specialized Power Expert (168) 171 240 253 $130.00
Tioga Spyder Stratum 135 292 186 $125.00

Weights are actual, courtesy of my Feedback Sports digital scale. Measurements were taken at the saddles’ widest and longest sections.

Continue reading

One-Year Review: DUALCO Lubricants

Although DUALCO may be new to the bicycle lubricant market, the Texas-based company has more than 50 years of experience producing lubrication products for light and heavy industry, recreational, and military applications. Additionally, DUALCO’s grease guns have been a staple among professional and home bike mechanics for years (I own several; including one that’s been in service for nearly twenty years).


Continue reading

First Impressions: absoluteBLACK Oval Chainring (Part-I)

Despite a recent resurgence in popularity, oval chainrings are not new technology. Dating as far back as 1890, non-round chainrings have made numerous appearances in the marketplace, with the most in/famous being Shimano’s Biopace. More recently, oval rings enjoyed a boost in popularity when professional road racers Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins used non-round rings in their quests for Tour de France victories. And now, oval chainrings such as those offered by absoluteBLACK are seeing more use among off-road riders.

Continue reading