January 10, 2018

By Brandon A

Photos: Chris Gaeta

With the unpredictable weather patterns in Colorado a packable jacket can be a lifesaver, especially when riding at higher elevations in the fall and winter months. There is a vast selection of lightweight, packable jackets on the market but if you are looking for the perfect piece to provide superior wind protection, water-proofing and breathability look no further than long time innovators GORE and their amazing line of products featuring proprietary GORE TEX® wind and waterproof fabric.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

 

GORE boasts a complete line up of active lifestyle products from gloves to undergarments, providing unbeatable coverage in a wide range of weather conditions. For our test we decided to go for the gusto and try out the much talked about and highly sought after GORE One 1985 Shake Dry jacket. This is GORE’s flagship piece as well as the most packable, breathable, lightweight jacket on the market. It also looks damn cool!

FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES

 

·         Shake Dry surface: water beads on the surface so a few quick shakes renders the garment dry.

·         Micro thin GORE-TEX membrane configured to optimize fit and in-ride performance.

·         Taped and sealed waterproof seams to keep you 100% dry even in torrential downpours.

·         Anatomically placed reflective panels.

·         Two- way front zipper with zip rear storage pocket

·         Weight: 116gr (Size L)

 

According to GORE:

 

" GORE products feature durable waterproof and windproof breathable performance backed by the GORE promise to keep you warm and dry. The Shake dry jacket was uniquely designed to eliminate the face fabric, ultimately eliminating absorption of water. Runners and cyclists will not experience the chilling effect that can result from wet or damp fabric in cold temperatures.”

CONCLUSION

 

We spent three consecutive days testing the Shake Dry jacket, taking it to task through multiple types of weather conditions ranging from a typical dry and cold winter day to a mix of face-numbing sleet and snow. The Shake Dry provided ample coverage in the harsher weather and actually worked amazingly well as a shell, holding in warmth but not creating internal humidity which can put an immediate stop to a ride in the cold. The claimed benefits of the Shake Dry jacket are most immediately evident when riding in heavy cold winds, with the GORE TEX® membrane fabric providing the perfect barrier to any chilling effects of a winter headwind. We are pleased with the results of our test and have found that the Shake Dry has become a go-to standard item to be included on all of our rides.

 

 

Click here to shop our entire collection of GORE® cycling products

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