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.

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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Mullet drivetrains are quite awesome these days. Whether you’re looking for simplicity, reliability or have a frame that is 1x only, the latest SRAM Rival and GX AXS components can be grouped together for the perfect wireless mullet build for your road or gravel bike. SRAM Rival/GX AXS Mullet Kit Features: Mixed Rival AXS mullet groupset with GX AXS rear derailleur Choose any Eagle cassette (10-50t tested) Available Quarq single-sided power meter Smaller-profile Rival shifters than Force or Red Easily pair and manage preferences and updates with AXS mobile app Price: ~$1600 (depends on exact configuration) Rival and GX AXS…

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Elite and pro-level kits have all the right details. Laser-cut cuffs with modern materials, a comfortable chamois and the proper sleeve/leg lengths are all required here — no exceptions. Upstart, high-end kit maker, MAAP, is making waves with style, function and eco-friendly themes. But, how do they stack up against the likes of Assos, Castelli or Rapha? MAAP Evade Pro Base Jersey and Team Bib Evo Features: Ultra-soft knitted Italian fabrics with permanent moisture wicking Dyed honeycomb mesh sleeves Reflective print transfers on chest, back and sleeves Elastic hem with internal silicone logo print YKK Vislon Snap Lock Zip SPF…

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For quite some time, I’ve recommended Bontrager’s wheelsets. On a ride with a friend from SRAM, another rider asked my opinion on wheelsets. I looked at my friend, then told him to take a look at Bontrager’s offerings. We had a good laugh about that, but it stands true to this day and the Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51’s are again a great example of just why Bontrager’s wheels are so easy to recommend. Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51 TLR Wheelset Features: Pro OCLV carbon layup Optimized rim profile for aerodynamics and stability Reliable hubs with DT Swiss 350 internals Versatile 51mm…

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Though many riders like to go gloveless, I appreciate a good pair of gloves for added comfort and protection (just in case). Specialized has long developed their Body Geometry products for the three key touch points on the bike (gloves, saddles and shoes). The Specialized BG Grail gloves are available in both long and short-finger and I’ve been testing them all season. Specialized BG Grail Gloves Features: Uses a proprietary pad system designed by Dr. Kyle Bickel M.D. Clarino synthetic leather palm Body Geometry Equalizer™ gel pad to distribute pressure Pad system designed by Dr. Kyle Bickel MD to enhance blood…

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Oh yeah. Big, bold and brash is the order of the day and POC certainly has figured out that game. One of the top sunglasses in their line is the oversize Aspire Sunglasses. With these, you will enjoy supreme protection, a comfortable fit and superb optical clarity on even the longest rides. POC Aspire Clarity Sunglasses Features: Large-shape sun protection for cycling Rubberized, adjustable temple tips Zeiss Clarity lens for supreme optical clarity and definition A wide variety of lens tints available (violet/silver mirror 25% tested) Anti-fog treatment Lightweight Grilamid frame Hydrophilic nose and temples Base Curve: 5 MSRP: $219.95…

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A nice-fitting pair of pants is something to celebrate. You know, the kind that stays put when squatting, stretching, hiking or just lounging. The multi-purpose Patagonia Altvia Trail Pants are just that and more. They have become my go-to from hiking to office duty. Patagonia Altvia Trail Pants Features: Made from recycled polyester/spandex dobby Features 4-way stretch with a light DWR Partially elasticized waistband Moderate leg articulation Zippered cuffs to cover boots or for easy removal Zippered pockets with drainage MSRP: $119 Altvia = Trail, travel or even around town As the cut and fit of pants has gone from…

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With two SBT GTVL Blue Course finishes (2019 and 2021) under my belt, I thought I’d share some tips and tricks on setup and general guidance for those preparing to tackle the 100-mile course in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Without question, tackling this course takes preparation and, likely, some additional investment in bikes, components or various spare items. Not to mention, travel costs, lodging, food, etc. It’s a commitment, but a little prep goes a long way. For starters, Steamboat Springs sits at 6700 ft. and the course tops out around 8200 ft. We’re not talking extreme elevation, but for anyone…

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Simple, comfortable, affordable and stylish — that’s how I would classify the Specialized RBX Fern Jersey. It looks great, hides dirt well, has a generous fit and generally feels great for road, gravel or mountain biking. Specialized RBX Fern Jersey Features: Soft knit VaporRize™ fabric throughout Breathable mesh on back and sides Three standard rear pockets Full-length front zipper UPF 30+ rating for sun protection Generous, regular fit MSRP: $75 The RBX jersey is comfortable above all else If you are in search of a comfortable jersey for everyday riding that doesn’t have a tight, race fit and won’t break…

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