Under Test: Smoove Chain Lube

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Image courtesy of Smoove.

If you’ve never heard of Smoove chain lube, don’t feel too bad, as the product didn’t show up on my radar until recently. Developed by a South African company, the lube was designed to withstand the brutal conditions faced by racers competing in that country’s Cape Epic off-road race. What makes Smoove different than conventional chain lubes? For starters, it’s 100% biodegradable and solvent-free. And according to the company, Smoove is also self-cleaning and extends chain life by 124%.

Does Smoove deliver a smooth, long-lasting ride? Stay tuned…

First Impressions: Clement X’Plor USH Tires

In this age of hyper-specialized bicycles and components, do-it-all products sometimes get overlooked–or downright ignored–by gearheads. While it’s fun searching for the lightest or fastest gear, most of us are better served by equipment that performs well under a variety of conditions. For gravel and mixed-terrain riding, having the right tire can mean the difference between a great ride or drudgery. Drawing on the company’s deep cyclo-cross and gravel roots, Clement Cycling designed their X’Plor USH tire to excel in mixed conditions.

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Under Test: Xpedo Spry Platform Pedals

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Bicycle components are all about compromises, and pedals are certainly no exception. Balancing weight, construction, and price is no small feat (bad pun intended), but Xpedo manages to deliver plenty of high-end features in their sub-$80 Spry platform pedal. Can the lightweight Spry hold up to Colorado’s rocky trails and unpredictable spring and summer weather?

Stay tuned…

First Impressions: SRAM Apex 1 Components

Two years ago, SRAM caused quite a stir when the Chicago-based company announced their dedicated 1x Force and Rival drivetrains. While some traditionalists scoffed at the idea of a single chainring for road use, SRAM’s 1x setups quickly gained acceptance in the gravel and adventure bike spaces. But between the two groups’ top-of-the-food-chain positioning and XD hub/driver requirements, some riders were priced out of the 1x experience. Thanks to trickle-down and crossover tech, SRAM brings road 1x to the masses with their affordable Apex 1 group.

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