November 1, 2017

By Brandon A


Trek has long been known for innovative and ground breaking design, ushering in many market trends over the years and cementing their place as industry leaders. One of their most innovative and consistently evolving products is the Domane line of endurance road bikes. Originally designed with input from world and Olympic champion Fabian Cancellara as a bike for dominating the classics, the Domane has created a unique place for itself at the top of the endurance heap, undoubtedly assisted by the current climate of road cyclists gearing up for long gravel rides and extended periods in the saddle over varying road terrain.

THE DETAILS

Trek 500 Series OCLV Carbon Frame and Fork
71.3 degree head angle (54cm size)
BB90 bottom bracket
Front and rear IsoSpeed decouplers
Front Hub: Bontrager alloy sealed bearing, 12mm thru axle
Rear Hub: Bontrager alloy centerlock, 142mm x 12mm thru axle
Shimano 105 11 speed drivetrain w/ 11-32 cassette
Bontrager TLR Disc 700c w/ Bontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite 700x32c tires (tubeless ready)
Sizes (cm): 47, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62
Weight: 20.22 lbs (54cm size)

THE BIKE

For our test we chose the 2018 Trek Domane SL 5 Disc. The SL 5 builds off of Trek’s 500 series OCLV carbon frame and fork and has been outfitted with components from in-house brand Bontrager along with Shimano’s workhorse 105 groupset, thus enabling Trek to keep production cost low and pass subsequent savings on to the consumer with the SL 5 coming in at a relatively low MSRP of just $2,499.99. All of this allows Trek to provide an extremely capable bike that comes in at a more affordable price than most of its competitors’ similarly equipped endurance offerings.

THE RIDE

We wanted to do Spartacus proud and we knew that any proper test of the Domane must include dirt and cobbles, so our test began at Harriman Lake Park, which features a 1.5 mile loop over loose gravel, smooth groomed dirt, rolling hills and chunky rock. The Domane handled all of these conditions with ease and shows very little discrepancy in performance and handling even when transitioning between surface types from smooth to rough (We even snagged the Strava KOM for fastest lap around Harriman if that is any indicator of performance). Another area that the Domane performs well in but may be slightly less publicized is climbing. Don’t be confused, It doesn’t get up and accelerate like its sibling the Emonda but it definitely holds its own in providing a stiff platform for laying down power when things go uphill, almost making punchier short climbs something to look forward to. The 32c Bontrager Hard-Case Lite TLR tires keep the contact between bike and road constant and inspire confidence when cornering and accelerating on loose surfaces.

CONCLUSION

All in all, we love the Domane! Trek has continuously improved on the design and ride characteristics of the Domane line over the years, resulting in dialed in performance on the road and uncompromised comfort in the saddle that is uncommon in most performance road machines but definitely a welcomed change. If you are looking for a versatile all-in-one road bike that can tackle a weekend fondo, crush your favorite gravel trail, and then be outfitted for your weekday commuting during the week, then the Domane is the obvious choice. Come take a peek at the new Domane today at Wheat Ridge Cyclery or shop online.

Seen in this article

Domane SL 5 Disc

$2,499.99
Domane has created a unique place for itself at the top of the endurance raod bike category.

November 1, 2017

By Brandon A

TEST RIDING THE 2018 SANTA CRUZ HIGHTOWER C S 27.5+

At WRC it isn’t uncommon to hear sales floor conversations about Santa Cruz’s reputation for seeking out new methods to make bikes for the average rider while not making you feel like the average rider.

Well, being a staunch roadie, I may even be considered a below average rider when it comes to mountain biking. But Santa Cruz held true to its convictions and created a bike in the new Hightower C S 27.5+ that had me bombing down rocks, roots, and boulder sections of trail like I was an old hand.

THE DETAILS

150mm travel front/rear
67 degree head angle
73mm threaded bottom bracket
High/low adjustable upper link
Boost 110/148 hub spacing
Wheel size: 27.5”+ or 29er
Sizes: S, M, L, XL

THE BIKE

The mountain bike industry is awash in a sea of varying options these days. If you are familiar with the sport and stay current on industry trends then this can be exciting and inspiring. But if you are stepping up to the plate for the first time this can also prove to be rather daunting or intimidating; do you ride alloy or carbon, 29er or 27.5, plus size or regular size tires? Thankfully,

Santa Cruz has taken out the guess work and addressed this issue by creating a new line of bikes that allow for multiple wheel sizes and frame adjustments, making those tough decisions a little less daunting and providing a bike that will change with the times and provide a platform for some flexibility and future customization.

THE WHEELS

Santa Cruz recently introduced its line of Reserve wheels, which have slowly made their way onto various models in the SC line up and created a buzz in the industry largely in part to a video segment featuring Danny MacAskill trying his best to destroy a set of by riding them sans tires down a concrete stair case numerous times, proving just how durable the Reserves actually are – watch here.

We can’t lie, they definitely feel like they are the stuff of legends when rolling beneath you, effortlessly crushing large obstacles and rough trail with no problem whatsoever. Santa Cruz has long touted the nearly indestructible nature of its carbon products and the Reserve wheels definitely fall into line with, if not redefine, what we have come to expect from Santa Cruz’s carbon offerings. For our money, look no further.

THE RIDE 

For our test of the 2018 Hightower we headed up to Three Sisters/Alderfer Park in Evergreen, CO, which is a popular spot in the local MTB community.  Three Sisters provides a good amount of singletrack terrain with varying conditions including water bars, rock gardens and some fast, chunky descents, which would provide the perfect testing ground for a rider of “questionable ability”.

On the initial climb out of the parking lot I was instantly surprised at how well the bike climbs and corners up tight switchbacks. Coming from a road background I am used to slightly wider areas under the bike but the Hightower made climbing up the tight turns a breeze and when things went downhill I finally learned the true meaning of “confidence inspiring”. The Hightower descends like a rocket, smoothing out any inconsistencies in the trail and making a mockery of obstacles that attempt to get in its way.

CONCLUSION

For being a novice MTBer I truly felt like an old hand on the Hightower and if I was in the market for a new bike this would be the obvious choice for me. Climbers may prefer the 29 inch wheel version of the Hightower but for me (and my limited skill set) the 27.5+ wheel size seems perfect for all around riding, providing an ample footprint to keep things firmly planted whether on slick rock or loose gravel and the carbon frame and high/low adjustable link allow you to dial in the geometry and tailor things to your specific style of riding.  Santa Cruz does not hide the fact that their carbon frames are some of the most well-built and durable in the business, and after a few fast runs down some seriously chunky boulder sections they have me sold and enjoying every sip of the Kool-Aid.

 

Shop our complete line up of Santa Cruz bikes in store or online here.

HIGHTOWER LT C S

$4,899.99
HIGHTOWER LT C S

October 17, 2017

By Brandon A

IT'S IN THE BAG

With all of the different bike options and riding styles popping up these days, you may be itching to take your road riding slightly off-road in the spirit of getting lost in adventure. We can help!

People are redefining what road riding is, ditching the skinny tires for larger volume, dirt-ready versions and opting to strap on a frame bag and hit the road less traveled. Car on cyclist collisions are increasing and cities are becoming more and more hampered by the effects of heavy traffic congestion, allowing this new segment of “adventure cycling” and gravel road or “groad” riding (as self-described “groadies” affectionately refer to it) to fast become the safer and less stressful alternative to traditional methods of road cycling. We know to a lot of you bikepacking and adventure enthusiasts will argue that adventure and gravel riding is nothing new (didn’t we use to call it touring?) but the technology and gear available to modern riders is definitely worth taking notice of, especially when it comes to bags and on-bike storage options.

One of the companies that consistently deliver when it comes to the “adventure by bike” segment is industry leader Salsa Cycles. They not only produce the right bikes for the job but they also provide any parts and accessories you may end up needing along the way - including bags with multiple mounting options specific to their proprietary frame geometries.

OUR TAKE

Recently, we outfitted the new Salsa Cutthroat Rival 1 with an array of Salsa’s house brand EXP Series bags and not only did it manage to look even cooler but it was begging to be taken off of the floor and onto the Colorado Trail for an extended ride. At the center of things is Salsa’s EXP Cutthroat Frame pack, which provides ample room to pack for trips spanning multiple hours or multiple days, especially when combined with Salsa’s expandable EXP seat pack and EXP Cradle Mount handlebar bag. Seriously, you may feel as if you will never have to return home for supplies with all of the stowage space present in the entire line of EXP bags. Another storage option that pairs seamlessly with the EXP line is Salsa’s Anything frame and fork mount bag. This bag is designed to be used in conjunction with Salsa’s anything cages and provides an added water proof storage option that can be easily attached to any one of the plethora of frame and fork mount bosses present on bikes in the Salsa lineup.

MATERIALS

Features: Weather-resistant welded in seam design, pre-cut holes for mounting bolts/hardware, Close cell foam internal structure for stability and protection, internal mesh pockets, 2 way zippers for easy access.

Materials:  500D Nylon with TPU lamination and PU coating, 1000D Polyester with dual sided TPU lamination, #10 weather-resistent YKK zippers, Duraflex Hardware  

Construction method: Hand-cut and sewn waterproof fabric with welded-in zipper construction, alloy hardware, taped/waterproof seam construction.

Dimensions: Varies between styles.

CONCLUSION

Not only do Salsa’s line of bags serve the hardcore adventure cyclist but they also make for the perfect addition to commuter setups allowing those who ride all year long in varying seasons and weather conditions to arrive at their destination with a dry, clean set of clothes or shoes to change into. Whether you are riding the Colorado Trail or just looking to get from point A to point B Salsa has the bag to suit our needs. 

 

Shop our entire range of Salsa bags and accessories