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.

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

No stranger to the demands of road cycling, Castelli has long been regarded as one of the premiere kit makers on the market. With roots going all the way back to 1876, Castelli has been tailoring fine clothing for hundreds of years and cycling apparel since the 1910’s. No joke. That red scorpion has quite a lot of stories to tell and the reasonably-priced Castelli Competizione Bib Shorts just might be the ideal gateway to the brand. Castelli Competizione Bib Shorts Features: Vortex panels on top/front for breathability Affinity Pro Lycra on backside for compression and rebound Features the KISS…

Read More

If you’ve spent much time on the socials, you’ve likely seen NeoPro’s cheeky ads, poking fun at the cost of cycling kits. Admittedly, they have a point. Why do good cycling kits have to cost so much? My favorite kits right now are $250 or more, so spending $115 for a full NeoPro kit was something I had to try. NeoPro Krypton Jersey and Onyx Bib Shorts Features: Traditional collar height and sleeve length Textured aero dimple fabric on arm and front panels Ultra-soft lightweight back panels and pockets Breathable mesh underarms YKK zipper 40+ UPF Sun protection Hi-viz accents…

Read More

HOKA One One has long been known for their maximalist running shoes. But, over the past few years, they have been reducing that stack height while maintaining the same legendary ride quality for a faster-feeling and more nimble trail feel. Released in June 2021, the Zinal trail runners are wicked-light, comfortable and capable — in spite of minimalist outsoles and full mesh uppers. HOKA One One Zinal Features: Mesh upper derived from recycled content Gusseted tongue Toe bumper for protection Molded EVA sockliner PROFLY™ construction early stage Meta-Rocker Vibram® Megagrip with Litebase construction outsole with 4mm lugs 5mm drop Weight:…

Read More

If there’s one thing that Kask has dialed, it’s comfort. After testing the Mojito 3 and now the Valegro, I’m convinced that if comfort is what you seek in a road helmet, you’ll likely find it in a Kask. Add in a healthy dose of ventilation on this featherweight lid and it remains an excellent choice for summer heat. Kask Valegro Helmet Features: 37 vents for maximum cooling Wind tunnel tested for maximum cooling Fast wicking padding Octo Fit system Removable brow pad for additional ventilation (NEW) Fixed side yokes Adjustable, eco-leather chin strap WG11 rotational-impact tested Weight: 250 grams…

Read More

For 25 years, Fizik has focused on the most important rider touch points — saddles, bars, tape and shoes. With Italian design and passion, Fizik saddles have quietly gained fans worldwide. I’ve used a handful of them over the years and each one has offered excellent comfort. Expanding into dirt and gravel for 2021, the Terra Argo X5 Saddle is a great option for dirt adventures with curly bars. Fizik Terra Argo X5 Features: Argo shape provides a versatile short-nose saddle the encourages stability and relieves pressure on sensitive areas X5 model incorporates a ride-compliant carbon fiber reinforced nylon shell…

Read More

There’s something about race-cut jerseys that makes you just feel fast. With the Specialized HyprViz SL Air Jersey, you can feel fast, look fast and actually be fast — all while being seen on the road. I’m always keen on added visibility and the HyprViz SL Air Jersey is a hard one to miss. Specialized HyprViz SL Air Jersey Features: HyprViz 360-degree visibility day or night VaporRize™ lightweight, soft mesh fabric Classy looks with minimalist branding Three rear pockets Race fit for ultimate performance Low-cut collar Locking full zipper Silicone grip at rear hem Long, modern-length sleeves UPF 30+ rating…

Read More

Yes, you can spend hundreds of dollars on a set of pedals. With the extra money, you get lighter weight and sexier materials, but the ultra-affordable LOOK X-Track Pedals have a lot to offer in their mere $50 package. LOOK X-Track Pedals Features: Increased pedal body size for added power transfer Standard SPD compatibility (LOOK cleats included) LOOK cleats offer 6-degrees of float (more than Shimano) Adjustable release tension Chromoly spindle Stack height: 16.8mm Weight: 195 grams (each, actual) MSRP: $55 Affordable, reliable SPD pedals First off, spending $55 on these pedals feels like highway robbery. I haven’t had such…

Read More

Budget-friendly and Castelli don’t seem to go together much, but that idea is about to change as Castelli flexes their muscle and sharpens their pencils at the same time. The result is the $100 Castelli Avanti Jersey, which has a ton of high-end features at a more affordable price point. Castelli Avanti Jersey Features: Strada micro mesh ventilated stretch fabric on front and back for great fit and moisture management Tailwind dimpled stretch fabric on sleeves, side panels and pocket for perfect fit Full-length YKK® Vislon® zipper is easiest-sliding zipper available Silicone gripper elastic at waist prevents jersey from riding…

Read More

Ritchey has long hung their hat on their unique stem clamp designs. It all started with the C260 design, but the C220 is much easier to live with and the Ritchey Toyon C220 Stem is a great stem for road or gravel use. Ritchey WCS Toyon C220 Stem Features: 6° of positive or negative rise 1-1/8″ steerer diameter Matching top cap included M5 stainless hex bolts for easy servicing Made from 2014 alloy Stem body wraps 220° around bar clamping area Unique design holds the bar in place for easy installation Matte black color Weight: 130 grams (110mm, actual) MSRP: $99.95 C220…

Read More

Being the lightest helmet isn’t always desirable, but somehow Specialized has checked every box with the new S-Works Prevail II Vent helmet while still being among the lightest helmets I’ve ever tested. As the name suggests, the Prevail II Vent is made to breathe and it does that quite well. S-Works Prevail II Vent Helmet Features: Ultralight MIPS SL offers 10-15mm of unidirectional movement Aramid-reinforced skeleton Energy Optimized Multi-Density EPS construction Ultralight Mindset HairPort II micro-dial fit system ANGi Crash Sensor for added peace of mind Uses new 5th Dimension Cooling System Thin, soft, and lightweight 4X DryLite straps 5-star…

Read More

With all the gravels going on these days, you’ve got to have the right tires. Tops on that list is versatility. You have to be able to smoothly roll all the roads (pavement, gravel, singletrack). But, above all, you need to have control and confidence everywhere. WTB’s venerable Venture tire tread is just that with their new TCS Light casing that delivers plenty of punch when needed and added suppleness for improved ride feel. WTB Venture 700c x 40 TCS Light SG2 Gravel Tire Features: All-new TCS Light construction New 120 tpi casing for improved ride quality SG2 Puncture Protection…

Read More

Launching new products in the middle of global supply chain woes presents significant challenges, but Bontrager has been able to keep on rolling with new products galore. One of them is the all-new 2021 Bontrager Circuit Road Shoe — complete with the updated BOA L6 dial and a flexible road or mountain cleat system. These budget shoes have a lot to offer, so let’s dive in. 2021+ Bontrager Circuit Road Shoe Features: InForm race last for a roomier fit Perforated, synthetic uppers Single BOA L6 lacing system with velcro toe closure Nylon composite bronze-series sole Stiffness index 7 of 14…

Read More

With a myriad of recovery mixes on the market, there’s something for every taste, nutrition goals and recovery needs. Osmo Nutrition is a relatively recent player in the hydration space with targeted formulas that do things differently than others on the market. For Osmo Rapid Recovery, there’s a secret ingredient that aids delivery of proteins aimed at recovery. Osmo Rapid Recovery Mix Details: Proprietary protein blend with specific formulations for each flavor Uses two types of protein (whey +micellar casein) to accelerate glycogen restoration Green tea leaf extract for a touch of caffeine Available in Chocolate and Vanilla (formulation varies) Mix…

Read More

Merino-blend shirts tend to be my favorites for everyday use. I have a couple of old I/O Bio Merino shirts that have holes in them after 12 years of use, but I still wear them because they are so darn comfortable. Patagonia is no stranger to using Merino wool in its base layers and other items, and the new Capilene Cool Merino Shirt represents one of the best examples of Merino done right for trail running. Patagonia Capilene Cool Merino Shirt Features: Naturally odor-resistant 65% Merino wool 35% recycled polyester Wool certified by Responsible Wool Standard MSRP: $59 A woolly…

Read More

Bib shorts can be really, really expensive. Some of my favorites cost twice as much as the Specialized SL Bib Shorts, but after riding these, I’m going to say that you don’t need to spend that much money to get a high-quality pair of bibs. Specialized SL Bib Shorts Features: Comfortable for long days in the saddle Lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric blend with 4-way stretch Silicone-infused leg cuffs keep everything in place Triple-density Performance Body Geometry Contour 3D chamois UPF50+ protection Subtle reflective elements improve visibility Stretchy, but supportive, mesh straps Articulated design for on-bike fit 11″ inseam (medium) MSRP: $150…

Read More