2018 Flat Pedal Roundup (Part-II)

In Part-I of GRAVELBIKE’s flat pedal round-up, we covered the basics of platform design and profile, materials and bearings, pin types, and installation. Now, in Part-II, we dive into the nitty gritty details of the nine pedals I’ve been testing for the past six months. My seat-of-the-pants test methodology was pretty straightforward: ride each pedal on a variety of terrain including pavement, gravel, and technical off-road trails. The test rigs included several different drop-bar gravel/adventure bikes, as well as my Jeff Jones rigid MTB. When it came to footwear, I relied on Five Ten’s Freerider Pro shoes for the majority of my testing. Weather conditions during the six-month test period included rain, snow, and countless miles of dry, dusty roads and trails. Continue Reading “2018 Flat Pedal Roundup (Part-II)”

First Impressions: Blackburn Core Mini-Pumps

Between tubeless tires and advances in puncture protection, cyclists generally suffer fewer flats these days. Nonetheless, if you ride long or far enough, you’re bound to experience a puncture eventually. While some riders favor CO2 cartridges for their compactness and convenience, there’s always the risk that you’ll run out of cartridges. Pumps, on the other hand, can be used over and over, which is must if you ride in remote areas (or have a tendency to forget to replace spent cartridges).

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2018 Flat Pedal Roundup (Part-I)

Not so long ago, being a cycling enthusiast meant that your bike absolutely had to be equipped with clipless pedals. Whether you rode pavement, dirt, or gravel, those clipless pedals (and shoes) were a sign that you had made the transition from newbie to serious cyclist. But then, a few years ago, flat pedals began to enjoy a resurgence in popularity. Riders of all disciplines rediscovered the benefits–and freedom–of flat pedals.

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First Impressions: Wolf Tooth B-RAD Double Bottle Adapter

Before hydration packs became the preferred method of carrying water and supplies, bikes had fittings for attaching water bottles. While bottle cages worked well on traditional diamond frames, cages became less practical as bicycle designs evolved over the years. When bikepacking and adventure riding became more popular, bottle cage fittings began reappearing on frames and even forks. Cool, right? Yup, until you wanted to use a frame bag and a bottle cage, or your frame was too small for high-capacity bottles. Thanks to Wolf Tooth Components’ B-RAD Double Bottle Adapter, you can satisfy your hydration and storage desires without resorting to hose clamps and duct tape.

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First Impressions: LOOK X-Track Pedals

I must admit that I have a soft spot for LOOK‘s off-road pedals. In the mid-nineties, I chose the French company’s big red S2R Moab model over Shimano’s more popular SPD. Why? More float for one. But to be completely honest, the Moabs’ glossy red finish just looked cooler than the matte-black SPDs. So when I was invited to preview LOOK’s re-entry into the MTB clipless space at last year’s Interbike trade show, I was very curious to see which direction the company would take.

GRAVELBIKE gravel grinder LOOK SPD clipless pedal 5.10
LOOK’s X-Track is also available in a dark grey finish.

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