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Bike Gear We’re Stoked About This Week

By: Robert Annis - August 18, 2017

Heller Barghest 1

Salsa released their 2018 fat bikes ( last week, and we can’t wait to test them out ourselves. The Mukluk comes standard with 5-inch wide tires on 26-inch rims, while the Beargrease goes skinnier and longer, 4-inch wide tires on 27.5-inch rims. Salsa claims the 27.5 wheels offer all the advantages we’ve come to expect from larger diameter wheels—increased rollover ability and larger contact patch—while offering the floatation of a 5-inch tire. For added versatility, both bikes will handle up to a 3-inch 29er wheel as well. If you’re interested in going single speed or using a Rohloff hub, the Mukluk’s Alternator dropouts make it relatively painless.

Beargrease Carbon GX Eagle 27.5-01

The top-end, Eagle-equipped Beargrease retails for $4,600, but the carbon NX1 model is an absolute steal at $2,000, and includes rack mounts on the front fork, unlike the two more expensive models. The Mukluk starts out at around $1,800 for the basic aluminum model and maxes out at $5,400 for the carbon model with SRAM Eagle drivetrain.

Also New This Week

Heller Barghest 2

The Barghest of myth was a monstrous black dog with massive teeth and claws; Heller hopes to channel that aggressive nature with their new full-suspension carbon trail bike ( The build is a mix of under-appreciated and overlooked components. Suspension is handled by Manitou’s entry-level 140mm Machete fork and 130mm McLeod King Can rear shock. SRAM NX1 propels the 27.5-inch wheels with Boost spacing, topped with Maxxis Rekon+ rubber. An internally routed TranzX dropper post completes the package. Added up, the bike weighs in at somewhat beefy 32 pounds. MSRP is $3,000.


Julbo Aero glasses

Sunglasses can be frustrating for people like me who wear prescription eyewear. Case in point—Julbo’s Aero frames ( The one-piece lens means I can’t get them in a prescription, but riders with better vision or who wear contacts will find a lot to like. They’re exceptionally lightweight—so much so that I wondered momentarily if a strong gust of wind could knock them off my face—but the arms comfortably hugged the frame to my head. The split nosepiece looked a little odd when initially examining it, but worked well. The anti-fog photochromic lenses darkened almost immediately when walking into the sunshine. You can pick up a pair for about $190.

You’re Going To Want It

Roam Wheels

SRAM’s newest Roam 60 29er wheelset ( boosted the spoke count and changed the lacing pattern from a two cross to a four cross, making this iteration stiffer and stronger than previous models. Buyers can choose between thru-axle or quick release endcaps. Weighing in at less than 1800 grams and costing $1,900 for the set, the Roam 60s should be an option for serious cross-country riders looking for an upgrade.

Under the Radar


Wolf Tooth recently relaunched its elliptical chain rings under the PowerTrac name (, and cyclocross racers will definitely be interested in the claimed advantages. The PowerTrac rings have asymmetrical, drop-stop teeth—the right side of the tooth is wider to maximize the amount of contact, while the left side guides the chain with little-to-no load. That allowed Wolf Tooth to remove enough material on the left side to create a channel for mud and dirt to flow away. Wolf Tooth says those changes means a more efficient pedal stroke for the rider, as well as fewer dropped chains during races. Buyers can choose between aluminum and stainless steel. Expect to pay between $45 and $80 per ring.

What’s New on Kickstarter


The back of my Subaru is a free-floating mess of helmets, shoes, pumps and more (the perils of being a gear reviewer). If your trunk is similarly disorganized, Terra Gear Solutions may have the answer. Their Bulldog bag ( features an easy-adjust divider wall system inside a ballistic nylon-wrapped corrugated polycarbonate skeleton. The top cover is breathable for ventilation. There’s a vinyl pouch designed to store liquids, as well as two mesh pockets. There’s no size given for the bag, but judging by the photos, I’d estimate there’s enough room a couple of days worth of riding gear. While there’s a rubber-grip handle, there doesn’t appear to be rollers or a shoulder strap to improve the portability. The Kickstarter runs until the end of August, and early backers can get the bag for $149.

Industry News

I wouldn’t expect to see Rapha on Walmart racks any time soon, but two heirs to the Sam Walton fortune bought the British clothing brand for about $260 million … about the equivalent of five Rapha jerseys.

About the Author

Robert Annis

Robert Annis

When Robert Annis isn't hunched over a keyboard, you’ll likely find him either pedaling the backroads and trails of the Midwest on his bike or asking about the craft beer selection in a far-flung airport bar.


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