Muscles Not Motors Gear Review – June 2009

Ryan James Leclerc
Posted June 3rd, 2009

Whether you’re a snowboarder or snowshoer, mountain hiker or mountain biker, Nordic skier or Nordic walker, you need gear. Each month, I review, right here, three items that I personally feel are especially cool. Here are my picks for this month.
Most folks, when asked what kind of bike they’re looking for, say something like, “I’m looking for a bike that is durable and stable on dirt roads but fast and smooth on pavement. I want to do long road rides in the country and short commutes in the city. I want a bike that can also handle a little single track here or there. And maybe a trans-America tour now and then. And maybe a cyclocross race or two…” Hearing this a few years ago, I would’ve replied, “With all due respect, you are clearly mad. Such a bike does not exist.” These days I say, “You need the Specialized TriCross.” Aside from lift-served downhill and deep sea exploration, this bike can do it all. With a slack head tube, long wheel base, and Zertz vibration-killing technology, the TriCross is stable and comfortable on pavement, dirt, and pavement that is rougher than dirt, even when the bike is loaded down with overstuffed panniers. Slap on 23c race tires or 38c knobbies, and the 48 x 34-tooth rings and 12 to 27-tooth 10-speed cassette will deliver the gearing you need, more or less, for wherever it is you’re going. If you don’t have the means to afford a quiver of bikes, join the club, and check out the Specialized TriCross Comp. $2,200. If you do have the means, go get yourself a Specialized TriCross Carbon. $5,800.
You want a mountain bike that is lightweight and efficient when you’re grinding uphill, but one that is burly and stable with plenty of travel to suck up big hits when you’re rolling downhill. Sadly, you don’t possess a magic wand that will transform your bike at the top of the climb like a pumpkin into a carriage. Until then, check out the seriously advanced all-mountain Trek Remedy 7. To achieve all-terrain excellence, the Remedy 7 features key technologies, premium materials, and dialed geometry. The Rock Shox Lyrik IS U-Turn fork adjusts from 115 to 160 mm of travel, and Trek’s Full Floater Technology places the Fox RP2 XV Air Can shock between two floating attachment points for unmatched suspension tuning and seemingly bottomless travel. For optimum control in all conditions, the Remedy utilizes an Advanced Braking Pivot (ABP), which places the rear suspension pivot point through the center of the rear axle, keeping your suspension fully active at all times, even under heavy braking. The Remedy is comfortable, strong, and light, and it achieves the perfect balance between precise steering, pedaling efficiency, and plush suspension. Who needs a magic wand, anyway? $3,299.
Described as the “Everyman” or “Everywoman” bike, the Cannondale Quick 2 is ideal for commutes, fitness rides, and just getting around. The straight handlebar offers exceptional control when weaving in and out of traffic, and places you in a more upright riding position for optimum comfort and visibility. The 700c wheels and road tires deliver zippy efficiency on the street; plenty of frame and fork clearance means they can be mounted with knobbies for grippy traction on the dirt. The Slice Ultra X carbon fork eats up vibrations and the BBQ black paint job eats up any doubts that you are nothing short of totally cool. $1,279.

Ryan James Leclerc

Ryan James Leclerc used to be single and used to work on the sales floor of Onion River Sports. He is now married and works in the office of Onion River Sports. The creative license he procured in a back alley allows him to occasionally narrate from the past as though it were the present.