7 of the Best Trail-Ready Mountain Bike Rides under $1,500

best mountain bike under 1500

Mountain bikes in the $1,500 price range can vary greatly. You can find cross-country machines, focused on going up hills fast and zooming around less technical trails, as well as all-mountain rigs with 27+ wheels and tires with tons of traction, especially when the single track points down. There are many wheel-size choices, 27.5” and 29”, as well as 27+ bikes.

The other nice thing about this price point is that while the frames are usually alloy, they’re high quality. Also, the suspension forks are often brand name items, which tends to lend themselves to better performance and durability. 

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Aerodynamic Meets Comfy and Cool: Kask Protone Review

 

kask protone review

 

Next to buying a pair of cycling shoes, buying a helmet is one of the hardest bike gear choices to make. With such a wide selection of cycling helmets in the marketplace, where does one begin? Factors like safety, number of vents, weight, comfort, and price definitely come into play.

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The Best Direct-Drive Trainer? Elite Drivo Long-Term Review

Elite Drivo Review

When you think of high end, direct drive trainers, two names instantly come to mind: Tacx Neo and Wahoo KICKR. As a record number of riders do battle on Zwift, the big players in the smart trainer market have finally stepped up to answer the call with some heavy hitters.

While Tacx touted their near-silent Neo and Wahoo claimed a true-to-life ride experience, Elite released the Drivo, a behemoth — built like a tank — with near perfect power accuracy. But is the Elite Drivo a third party contender or a worthy candidate for the best direct drive trainer?

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The Most Comfortable Bike Saddle? Selle SMP Drakon Review

 

selle smp review

In the middle of the summer, my saddle started going south. There’s no worse feeling than slaughtering yourself on climbs all day only to come home to a saddle sore. I had been straddling a Specialized Toupe for years. Sure we weren’t great friends, but we had an arrangement that appeared to be working…until now. I decided to give the Selle SMP Drakon a try for a few reasons. Mainly, as a manual muscle therapist and movement geek, I was drawn to the way the saddle perfectly positions the pelvis. However, there are a few tricks to getting it set up in the perfect position, which I’ll cover in my full Selle SMP review.

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Top 10 Best Bike Lights: How to Choose the Right Light

best bike lights

Updated 3/19/17

Whether you’re a commuter or a cyclist looking to add some fun and fitness after work, bike lights are essential accessories. Their use doesn’t have to be reserved for after dark. Since 80% of cycling accidents occur during the day, adding lights to your daytime use is also a bright idea.

Fortunately the latest LED light are non obtrusive, fairly inexpensive and easy to use and recharge. Here are the best bike lights to see and be seen. 

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Some Like it Hot: A Cyclist’s Guide to Embrocation

embrocation

 

Fair-weather riders, listen up! Cyclists have long relied on a secret salve to help adapt to the changing seasons. Embrocation is the answer to those cool fall mornings when leg warmers are too toasty, but the thought of bare skin is goose bump inducing. Want to keep your legs happy as old man winter nips at your heels? Here’s the lowdown on embrocation and reviews of a few of my favorites. 

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How to Choose the Best Bike Trainer: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

best bike trainer

Updated 2/8/17

If you want to turn cycling into a year-round activity, but don’t live in a warm locale, chances are you’ll need an indoor bike trainer. For years cyclists equated training indoors with a cycling death sentence, but then apps like TrainerRoad, The Sufferfest and Zwift transformed these mind numbing indoor miles into an opportunity to ride the world’s best courses and compete against our virtual and real-life cycling friends.

With so many apps and trainers flooding the market, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. What trainers are compatible with which apps and do you need a smart trainer to use Zwift? And what exactly is a smart trainer? From magnetic to direct drive, here’s everything you need to know to get started with an indoor bike trainer.

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Lazer Z1 Review: The Swiss Army Knife of Helmets

lazer z1 review

Updated 2/8/17

Helmet hair. Helmet head. Forgoing a helmet altogether.

It’s rare for cyclists to display much love for their lids. And for good reason. There’s nothing worse than an uncomfortable or ill-fitting helmet rattling your skull for hours. The best helmet is one you forget about until you actually need it.

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How to Find the Best Bike Pump: The Ultimate Guide to This Key Bike Tool

best bike pump

 

Updated 12/26/16

A good floor pump is the one tool every cyclist should own. Running tires at their optimal pressure not only improves performance, but reduces the risk of pinch flats. The goal is to spend less time wrestling with a pump and more time in the saddle.  Here are our top picks. 

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Essential Bike Tools: Buyer’s Guide for the Beginner Mechanic

essential bike tools

Updated 11/20/16

DIY bicycle wrenching might sound intimidating, but consider this: Having a few essential bike tools and the skills to perform basic maintenance will not only save you significant cash in the long run, but could also save you from a long walk home if you snap a chain or pop a spoke in the middle of nowhere.

There are a few basic bike tools that every cyclist should own, some aren’t even bike specific (ie: they can be found cheaply at a hardware store). Every cyclist should know how to lube a chain, fix a flat and properly clean a bike. In fact, a cleaned and degreased bike should be first on the list before a tool ever touches it.

The right tools will help you replace a chain, cables and housing, as well as adjust brakes, remove a cassette or straighten misaligned wheels. I suggest pairing this guide with a bicycle maintenance book such as The Big Blue Book of Bicycle Maintenance or the recently updated Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance and, if in doubt, always consult your local bike shop before attempting a hero move that could compromise your bike or result in more repairs.

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