Under Test: Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch Shoes

Whether you use flat pedals to shred the gnar or for urban/utility riding, having more flat-pedal shoe choices is always a good thing. Pearl Izumi’s first flat pedal shoe–the X-Alp Launch–features an ultrasonic welded upper and Vibram®Megagrip rubber outsoles. Available in men’s and women’s versions, the $150 shoe hits the shelves in January, 2018. Pearl Izumi will also offer a clipless version.

Stay tuned…

First Impressions: Terrene Honali Tires

Tire manufacturers often seem to fall into one of two camps–either they offer a dizzying array of models and variations, or they concentrate on a small number of core designs for specific use cases. With just six models in its current lineup, Terrene Tires finds itself ensconced in the latter camp. While initially making a name for themselves with knobby and mixed-terrain designs, Terrene recently added a dedicated touring model–the Honali–to its collection.

What differentiates Terrene’s Honali ($60.00 MSRP) from other touring tires? Tubeless compatibility, for one. While tubeless technology is a given in the MTB universe, true tubeless-compatible touring tires are relatively rare. And unlike most of Terrene’s other tires, the Honali forgoes the company’s Light (120 TPI casing) option in favor of Tough (60 TPI, TekShield) and DuraTough versions (60 TPI, TekShield+). Available in 700 x 40 and 700 x 50 (tested) sizes, both versions feature black sidewalls with reflective strips for added visibility.

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Under Test: Advocate Cycles Seldom Seen Frameset

Named for one of the characters in Edward Abbey’s Monkey Wrench Gang, Advocate Cycles’ Seldom Seen is purpose-built for bikepacking and off-road touring. Available in both flat- and drop-bar (pictured) versions, the SS can be configured with either 27.5-plus or 29er wheels. With its relaxed geometry, ample tire clearance. and extensive array of braze-ons, could this be the foundation for the ultimate gravel-plus rig?

Stay tuned…