Author: Jason Mitchell

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

Insulated water bottles are a tricky prospect. On paper, they seem awesome, but in practice they just aren’t. Trek aims to change that with their new Voda Ice Bottles. The Voda bottle is a new design that’s available in both standard and insulated flavors. I’ve been testing the Voda Ice 20 oz and 28 oz bottles and I love the overall design, but it’s not without flaws. Trek Voda Ice Insulated Bottle Features Available in 20 oz and 28 oz sizes Leak-free closure Claims to keep water colder twice as long as a standard botle Flow Top cap offers easy…

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Italian sports cars are notoriously fast, beautiful and pricey. Well, Italian components are also fast, beautiful and pricey. With the new Campagnolo Ekar 1×13 groupset, Campagnolo aims to get more Italian goodness into the hands of more riders and as OEM spec on many bikes at retail.  Campagnolo Ekar 1×13 Groupset Features The only production 13-speed drivetrain 1x crankset only with narrow 145.5mm Q-factor Three cassette options (outlined below) 38, 40, 42 and 44T chainring options UD carbon fiber crankset Utilizes Campagnolo’s classic lever shape Extended thumb paddle for easier shifting Requires wheelset with N3W driver body MSRP: $1785 Italian…

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It’s time to dance that fine line between having hands that are too warm or too cold and the Pearl Izumi Cyclone Gel Gloves are built to strategically navigate the fringes of rideable temperatures. With gel inserts and excellent tactility, the Cyclone Gel Gloves have enabled cold rides without being overly bulky. Pearl Izumi Cyclone Gel Gloves Features: BioViz® reflective elements for low light visibility Hook and loop closure for perfect fit 3D shaped gel pads for comfort Ax Suede Uno synthetic leather palm with 4-way stretch offers improved fit, breathability, and bar feel Three-layer softshell back of hand Touchscreen…

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The original Fezzari Shafer gravel bike admittedly wasn’t too much to get excited about. However, the all-new Fezzari Shafer 2.0 has taken that bike and burned it to the ground in favor of a modern, fun and relevant gravel bomber. Since its introduction, the new Shafer 2.0 (as I call it) has gained praises from media and riders alike and — spoiler alert — I’m going to lump a bit more praise onto that growing pile. 2022 Fezzari Shafer 2.0 Elite Ekar 1×13 Features: MonoForm™ CleanCast™ Carbon Campagnolo Ekar 1×13 gravel groupset 10-44t 13-speed cassette with 40T chainring Fulcrum Rapid…

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Time for a rally cap in cycling? Well, it’s hard to wear one backwards or inside out, but the Bontrager Rally WaveCel Helmet is a good one to keep the singletrack vibes going well past the 9th inning. Rally WaveCel Helmet Features: WaveCel, a collapsible cellular structure reduces rotational motion to the brain during impact Awarded 5 stars by Virginia Tech for safety standards Extended back-of-helmet shell offers additional rear protection BOA® Fit System to dial in your fit Washable helmet pads LockDown yoke dividers provide added fit adjustments Adjustable visor Complies with U.S. CPSC Safety Standards 1-year Crash Replacement…

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Lightweight, breathable softshell jackets come in a variety of forms. When softshells were introduced, they were stretchy, for sure, but still needed some kinks to be worked out. Now, in 2021, the diverse types of materials offered in softshell jackets creates an opportunity for each jacket to find a home. With that, I bring you to the Jack Wolfskin Hydro III Softshell Jacket and it’s time to share how it has fared over the past 6 months of testing. Jack Wolfskin Hydro III Jacket Features: Features Nanuk Dynamic Terry fabric with Super DWR Includes 2 hand pockets Fixed hood Dual-sided…

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Last year, Zipp introduced their all-new 303 Firecrest and 303 S wheelsets with wider widths and somewhat controversial “tubeless-only” compatibility. Going on five months, I’ve been flogging the Zipp 303 S Carbon wheelset with tons of gravel and road miles and these affordable Zipp’s have a little something up their sleeve. Zipp 303 S Carbon Tubeless Wheelset Features: Hookless rim design 27 mm outer, 23 mm inner and 45mm depth Baked-on graphics (no more Zipp stickers!) Fastest aerodynamically with 28mm tires 76 / 176 DB center lock hubs Shimano or XDR driver body options Requires use of tubeless tires Lifetime…

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The POC MTB Pure LS Jersey covers the trifecta of weather uses. You can wear it in the summer for extra sun protection. Or, you can wear it on cool morning rides or shoulder season days when it’s just a touch chilly. And, you can wear it as a base layer for colder rides. However you choose to wear it, the Pure LS Jersey is comfortable, stylish and versatile. POC MTB Pure LS Jersey Features: Quick drying and breathable mesh fabric Zipped side pocket for small items Cut to fit over VPD body armor Drop tail hem for added coverage…

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Italians are known for their injection molding, fast cars and style. With the Kask Wasabi helmet, you get a little taste of their manufacturing skills, style and speed. Launched this spring as an all-weather aerodynamic helmet, the Wasabi has been a willing partner for cold and wet-weather riding. Kask Wasabi WG11 Helmet Features: Active ventilation system easily slides open/closed 100% Merino wool lining Octo Fit retention system Superior aerodynamics Eco leather chinstrap WG11 crash-tested and certified Made in Italy Weight: 315 grams (medium, actual) MSRP: $350 Aerodynamics and all-weather comfort? Indeed. Introduced ahead of the Spring Classics where weather is…

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The Gore Wear brand, with obvious access to some of the finest materials available, remains a sleeper brand to most people. With a wide range of year-round kits, the heritage of Gore remains cold and wet weather gear (although their summer range is quite nice). The Gore Wear C5 Thermo Jersey has been a great option for cold weather road, gravel and mountain biking this fall. Gore Wear C5 Thermo Jersey Features: Thermal stretch Gore Selected Fabric Mesh insert in back panel for optimized ventilation Added sleeve length for proper coverage and dropped tail Ergonomic collar shape (shorter in the…

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These days, hauling ride essentials can be done in a variety of ways. As of late, all the cool kids are opting for the handlebar bag. The Lead Out! Mini Handlebar Bag offers just the right amount of space for ride essentials and mounts up nicely for whatever you’re throwing at it. Lead Out! Mini Handlebar Bag Features: 1.3 L storage (8″x4″) Quick-release buckles on each strap Single bungee toggle to wrap around stem Water-resistant fabric and zippers (not waterproof) Mini pocket on one end Reflective stripe MSRP: $40 Stash a burrito or ride essentials — your choice Somewhere along…

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The original Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT was a revelation. It was small, connected to all sorts of devices and it just plain worked. I still have it and use it regularly, but once the new ELEMNT BOLT 2 arrived, the color screen has won me over. Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT V2 Features: High-contrast 64 color screen Smart navigation with millions of miles of onboard maps Aerodynamic design with semi-integrated out front mount Three easy-sense buttons Ambient light sensor adjusts brightness automatically Configurable Quicklook LED’s 16 GB of onboard storage Easy setup via ELEMNT app MSRP: $279.99 BOLT V2 shines in color Tops…

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When the fit, fabrics and style of a piece of kit all comes together as a cohesive, functional package, it’s a beautiful thing. After testing a summer kit from MAAP, shoulder season arrived and so did the MAAP Training Thermal LS Jersey. I’m a fan of thermal jerseys and this one is my new favorite (you’ll see why). MAAP Training Thermal LS Jersey Features: Signature team fit Reflective lettering throughout YKK Vislon locking zipper Raglan cut sleeves Low-profile collar than typical thermal jerseys Silicone logos around inside of hem Light DWR for weather resistance Colors: Navy, Flame, Black, or Light…

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When Specialized released their Aethos last year, so many riders loved the refined approach to frame building that prioritized ride quality and weight over aerodynamics, dropped stays and curved tubes. At 585 grams the S-Works Aethos is the lightest production disc road bike by a country mile. However, it comes with a hefty price tag. Now, Specialized has launched the 2022 S-Works CruX — a simple-looking gravel racer that’s anything but simple at heart. This 725 gram gravel racer still offers 47c tire clearance and, even with added material for durability, comes in lighter than just about every road disc…

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Wit their patented Z-shaped Ventum One triathlon bike and the UCI-legal NS1 all-rounder already turning heads, Ventum introduced the GS1 gravel bike. With aerodynamic touches and a tidy and efficient frame, the GS1 is made for gravel speed. Dressed up in a SRAM Rival/GX AXS 1x mullet kit, this GS1 has been happily racking up the miles this summer across Utah, Colorado and Oklahoma. Ventum GS1 Features: Carbon frame with aero shapes for added efficiency Internal routing through the head tube Optimized layup for durability and efficiency D-shaped carbon seatpost for added comfort Bottle mounts plus bento and underside mounts…

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The Fezzari team is onto something with the new Shafer gravel bike. It’s not built to be a race-optimized gravel bike, but instead aims for fun and versatility as the everyman’s gravel bike. Similar to the BMC URS, the new Shafer has clear MTB influences with a 74-degree seat angle and slack 68.9-degree head angle with an extra-long top tube and stubby stem. To combat wandering, the fork has a 50mm offset for stability and responsive slow-speed steering. For added confidence, the new Shafer has been tested to MTB standards and includes a lifetime warranty. Unique to Fezzari is their…

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Back in 2001, my first full-suspension mountain bike was the original Rocky Mountain Element. It was beautiful and checked all the right boxes. I’ve since ridden a few other incarnations of the Element, but this one is certainly the most radical departure from the mold. For 2022, the new Rocky Mountain Element takes over as the only XC platform in the lineup. Gone is the Thunderbolt and, instead, the Element grows to a 120/130mm trail-friendly XC bike. With that, it now goes head-on with the Santa Cruz Tallboy, Niner Jet 9 RDO and others as a near-XC bike. The goal…

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Cycling caps are great for cold weather riding, but they do look a little funny off the bike. The POC Transcend Cap is just the opposite, however. Billed as a cycling cap, this one is great for everything but cycling. POC Transcend Cap Features: Stretch material for a better fit Reflective POC logo makes it easier for others to see you Wicks moisture away from the head MSRP: $30 An “apres-cycling” cap Certainly, POC is best-known for their cycling helmets and apparel, so it makes sense to call the Transcend Cap a “cycling cap.” I feel you in spirit, really…

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More data can ofttimes feel like overload. Still, the more data you capture, there’s bound to be something that you care about. If it’s heart rate, cadence, running smoothness or calories burned, there’s bound to be a metric that matters to your fitness goals. To track that data, runners can now use the new Wahoo TICKR X V2, connected with their favorite device, or standalone. Wahoo TiCKR X V2 Features: More secure, comfortable strap design LED status lights on top for easy viewing Up to 3 simultaneous Bluetooth connections Running Dynamics when paired with Wahoo Fitness app or GPS watches…

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Summer-weight long sleeve jerseys are a great option to have on the shelf. You can wear them for added sun protection during the day or on cool mornings. And, for me, they are great as we head into shoulder season as part of a variety of layers at my disposal. The Bontrager Circuit Long Sleeve definitely splits the difference between a short-sleeve jersey and a thermal jersey by taking the edge off cool temps. Bontrager Circuit Long Sleeve Jersey Features: Lightweight polyester knit fabric Three rear pockets with single zippered sleeve Silicone grip on rear of hem only Reflective elements…

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