First Impressions: microSHIFT ADVENT X Components

In the race for drivetrain domination, more = better.¬†More cogs, more standards, more complexity. Bucking those trends, however, is microSHIFT’s ADVENT X group. Opting for only ten gears, ADVENT X takes on the competition not with more cogs, but with lighter weight, improved simplicity, and one very unexpected quality–availability.

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First Impressions: Specialized Rime Flat Shoes

Ask five people to define adventure riding, and you’re likely to get five different answers. Most riders, however, will agree that it usually includes a healthy dose of two-footed exploration (planned or otherwise). Finding a shoe that’s suited to biking and hiking can be tricky. Thanks to Specialized, adventure riders get the best of both worlds with the company’s Rime Flat shoe.

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First Impressions: Deity Deftrap Pedals

If you’ve spent the past decade designing industry-leading flat pedals, what do you do for an encore? Well, if you’re Deity Components, you up the ante by developing a nylon composite pedal loaded with features typically reserved for pricier, metal-bodied models. Dubbed the Deftrap, Deity’s latest pedal aims to blend world cup performance with a wallet-friendly $49.99 pricetag.

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First Impressions: Spurcycle Compact Bell

When Spurcycle introduced their original bell in 2013, the tiny company permanently raised the bar for sonic warning devices. The bell’s distinctive tone and no-expense-spared construction earned it several best-of awards and countless recommendations. So how do you improve on what many consider to be the finest bicycle bell? If you’re Spurcycle, you design a completely new model–the Compact bell–and make it smaller, lighter, and less costly than the $49 (and up) Original bell.

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First Impressions: Silca Bar Tape (Guest Review)

I never thought of bar tape in terms other than thicker, plusher, fatter or maybe more or less likely to tear when I dump a bike and the handlebars–along with various body parts–get dragged through crushed rock. Since I never plan to crash, I honestly thought the point was to get tape as cushy as possible, and I certainly never encountered tape that performed differently based on the direction it’s wrapped.

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