Friday, August 30, 2013

2014 Specialized FSR Stumpjumper EVO 29er!

It's Everything You've Ever Dreamed About

Content and Graphics Posted by Rob Weaver of

Ride and handling: Confident and stable without loss of agility

Propelling the 12.1kg (26.6lb) Stumpy EVO 29 up climbs is a surprisingly sprightly affair considering the amount of travel you’re sitting on (140mm front, 135mm rear). With a decent length cockpit, things feel roomy enough without feeling overstretched.

While you’re seated, power delivery is efficient, thanks in part to the bulbous bottom bracket junction and meaty PF30 bottom bracket. Stand up out of the saddle and there’s a tiny bit of suspension bob that can easily be tamed courtesy of the CTD lever on the Fox rear shock. That said, we rarely found the need to use it, and were impressed with the controlled fashion and traction the Stumpjumper climbed with.

As the trail begins to flatten, the Stumpy EVO 29 really begins to come alive. The well-balanced suspension and more aggressive geometry help sit you in a great trail-attacking position, allowing you to react to terrain changes confidently and rapidly.

It’s this more neutral position that really bolsters confidence in tricky flat turns where grip is limited, allowing more intricate weight shifts in a bid to maximise traction.

Unlike the xx1 group, x01 uses a common 104mm bolt circle diameter. the stumpjumper fsr expert carbon evo 29 comes with a 32t x01 chainring:

Unlike the XX1 group, SRAM X01 uses a common 104mm bolt circle diameter

While we’re on the subject of flat turns, this was the bit we were most concerned about with regards to the height of the front end and the ability to weight the front wheel and maintain grip, especially considering the 29in wheel and lengthy, 140mm travel Pike fork. Although we dropped the stem down 10mm things never felt too lofty up front, even for our 5ft 8in (1.73m) test pilot.

When speeds pick up and the trails get rougher, the composure of the Stumpy EVO 29’s suspension, coupled with the big wheel rollover capabilities, lets you take riskier lines with an element of ease that leaves you thinking you should have gone even quicker.

There’s plenty of stability on faster, looser trails without things feeling cumbersome or the handling slow or sluggish. In fact, the Stumpjumper EVO 29 remains massively agile and playful, and can be picked up and planted on just about any line without hesitation. In tighter, slower sections we never had a problem flicking the from turn to turn or picking our way over stump-riddled paths.

We were massively impressed with the RockShox Pike fork, which smoothed the trail out effortlessly while providing stiff, accurate steering. The Pike, coupled with SRAM’s new X01 11-speed transmission, really sets the bike off, making for a fantastically capable machine that would be at home on lengthy all-day epics or more aggressive all-mountain hammering.

Frame and equipment: Similar geometry, new kit highlights

For 2014, nothing changes dramatically in terms of geometry for the Stumpjumper FSR EVO 29. Compared to the standard Stumpjumper FSR 29, the head angle remains one degree slacker and measures in at 68 degrees, while the wheelbase is stretched to 1,155mm compared to 1,147mm. The EVO also sits 3mm lower, sinking the bottom bracket to 335mm, which helps bolster cornering confidence.

The stealth 9M carbon front triangle gets new internal dropper post cable routing that, when paired with a Specialized Command Post IR (Internal Routing), makes for a clean, uninterrupted finish.

The rear M5 alloy triangle continues to use a 12x142mm axle to improve overall stiffness, and the FSR layout remains unchanged. A concentric link and shock shuttle is used to drive the Fox Float CTD Kashima-coated rear shock that controls the 135mm (5.3in) of rear wheel travel. Specialized say this configuration reduces weight and that, because the shock pivots on bearings rather than DU bushes, the suspension is more sensitive and durability is improved.

Other notable features include the PF30 bottom bracket, which is surrounded by ISCG 05 tabs, a tapered head tube and full cartridge bearing pivots.

The new rockshox pike fork is a solid performer and a good match for an aggressive trail bike such as the stumpjumper fsr expert carbon evo. the 29in evo shown here gets a 140mm travel pike, while the 26in version bumps the travel up to 150mm:

The RockShox Pike fork is a good match for an aggressive trail bike

Interestingly, Specialized have gone for a new take on how tools and water can be transported on the bike, integrating storage into the frame and component design. They’ve named the concept SWAT (Storage, Water, Air, Tools). The Stumpjumper gets stage two SWAT, meaning there’s a compact multi-tool under the bottle cage as well as a headset top cap with integrated chain tool.

It’s the componentry that really helps the latest Stumpjumper FSR EVO standout. Up front sits the impressive new 140mm (5.5in) travel Pike fork from RockShox. This, for many, has already helped re-establish RockShox as top contenders in the longer travel, single crown fork market.

Now internally routed, the Specialized Command Post IR has three fixed positions and uses a new single bolt head that Specialized claim offers a far more secure saddle fixture than before.

Helping to reduce weight without compromising on gearing is the new 11-speed SRAM X01 transmission. No guide is needed to keep the chain in place, and you get options to take you up or down the steepest climbs or fastest descents. Specialized have included a custom SRAM S-2200 crankset, though, rather than the alloy X01 offering.

Stopping is taken care of by powerful Avid Elixir 7 Trail brakes, while tyre grip is impressively dished out via the 2Bliss Ready 2.3in Butcher Control and Purgatory Control, both from the Specialized stable.

We know you want to see these brand new 2014 Specialized Bikes. Come on down to the Spoke Shop, and let us take care of you.

The Spoke Shop
1910 Broadwater Ave., Billings MT.
(406) 656-8342

Thursday, August 29, 2013

[Photos] 2014 Surly Straggler and Instigator Coming Soon....

Here's a quick rundown of two of Surly's newest models, with more to come over the next few weeks!

Starting with the Straggler, Surly's long overdue disc brake equipped cross brike. The first thing you'll probably notice is that it's got disc brakes. The rear dropouts have been totally redesigned with a couple things in mind — Disc brakes, rear derailleur, single speed, and ease of wheel removal. The straggler frame and fork is also ED coated to help to improve the life of your frame. The Straggler fork is using the Long Haul Trucker dropouts, mid blade & crown eyelets to accommodate a wide variety of fenders and racks. A complete build spec will be available on our website soonish.

The Surly Instigator: this is not your older brother/sisters Instigator. The frame has been totally redesigned, refined and ED coated. This bike wants to go big, hard and fast and it accomplishes this with a set of Surly 26 x 2.7" tires on Rabbit Hole rims and a squishy fork. The complete bike will be coming with a suspension fork as well.

Straggler ETA: September 2013

Instigator ETA: March 2014

Friday, August 23, 2013

2014 Trek 3500 Disc: Trail Ready, Versatile, Value

The 3500 Disc is the first of Trek's 3 Series "Trail Ready" Bikes to be updated for 2014.

When it comes to functionality, Trek knows both what you want and what you need. What you need is a bike that will take you back and forth from work, allow you to carry some groceries home from the market, and to help you stay in shape.

What you want is a mean-looking, trail-ready, durable machine with quality components and a nice paint job. Right?

That's exactly what you'll find in the 2014 Trek 3500 Disc. The frame is made of Trek's Alpha Silver aluminum, which is lightweight and features smooth-welds at the joints.

The front fork is an SR Suntour M-3030 w/ coil spring, and 75mm of travel. This little bit of suspension will help take you over some otherwise undesirable patches of road and trail without killing your hands.

The all-Shimano drivetrain is a plus, allowing you to easily use the Altus EZ-Fire 51 7-Speed shifters to send the chain through the Shimano Tourney Front and Rear (TX35) Derailleurs, on a Shimano M131 48/38/28 Crank and over the SRAM PG-730 12-32 cassette. If for some awful reason you have to slow down on your ride, you can do so using the HL 280 mechanical disc brakes (Shimano Altus levers).

The 3500 Disc is outfitted with Bontrager's standard (which is a pretty high standard!) Saddle, Handlebar, and grips — from it's SSR family of products.

We can only talk about this bike so much — we'd love to let you take one on a test ride! Come by the store and see if this is the bike for you. If not, we've got a large selection of Trek bikes for you to choose from. We look forward to seeing you soon!

The Spoke Shop
1910 Broadwater Ave. Billings, MT
(406) 656-8342  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Specialized S-Works Evade Helmet Is About More Than Protecting Your Head

S-Works Evade: Wind Tunnel Tested, Ultra-Light Construction. The Ultimate Aerodynamic racing Helmet.

Typically, says Specialized, riders are forced to choose between well ventilated helmets and those that are aerodynamically efficient. Time trial helmets are fast but have limited application because of their size, weight, and lack of ventilation. Road helmets, on the other hand, are extremely lightweight and well ventilated but not terribly aerodynamic. Specialized has collected the brightest minds and used some of the most advanced research and development tools to help riders bridge the gap and stop compromising.

It's a simple rule: the more aerodynamic you are, the faster you can go. The S-Works Evade helmet helps you find those extra seconds that can help you win the race! Specialized wanted to incorporate the benefits of a TT helmet with the benefits of a traditional road helmet into a package that makes sense. Rather than adapt a TT helmet for the road, they decided to start from scratch to make something that is the best of both worlds. The Evade helmet is super lightweight; so it's comfortable, and is just as efficient at air cooling and ventilation as their road helmets.

Specialized included a list of the features and technologies of the Evade helmet:

•Advanced aerodynamics saves 46 seconds over 40km*
•Patented Kevlar-reinforced Inner Matrix for ultra-light construction and energy management
•4th Dimension Cooling System with deep internal channels, massive vents and aligned exhaust ports
•Ultra-light, Mindset micro-dial fit system with height adjustability for perfect fit and comfort
•Tri-Fix web splitter for improved comfort and ease of strap adjustments
•Thin, soft and lightweight 4X DryLite webbing won’t stretch out with sweat or water
•Instrap webbing system for ultra-light construction and security
•Complies with one or more of the following safety standards for bicycle helmets: CPSC, SNELL B90A, CE and AS/NZS

Come by today and check out the S-Works Evade Helmet!

The Spoke Shop
1910 Broadwater Ave. Billings MT
(406) 656-8342   

Friday, August 16, 2013

2014 Trek Crockett: Aluminum Race Bike & World Cup Champion under KFC

Trek Introduces Crockett, the CX Race Rocket


Crockett is for racing. Developed with direct input from Katie Freakin Compton, the Crockett is all about earning your cowbells and handups all while crossing the line first. Already raced to an overall
World Cup Championship under KFC, the Crockett will be offered in aluminum only along side of the carbon Cronus CX which returns for 2014 in two models.

Available now, the Crockett might just show up on some cross courses near you this Fall.


Since the Crockett is race bred, there is still the disc or canti debate to contend with – though Crockett will be available in both so you can take your pick. The frames do appear to be one or the other
though, so you won’t be able to change your mind down the road.

Each frame is constructed from Trek’s 200 series Alpha Aluminum which is their premium alloy, heavily shaped into the smooth lines of the Crockett. The geometry was chosen based on Katie’s input for race specific handling.

Crocket_Media_Kit_ChainKeep_2048x1500 Crocket_Media_Kit_Rear_Disk_2048x1500

The frame features a built in 3S chainkeeper to prevent derailments in the worst conditions, and post mount disc brakes on both front and rear for the non canti frame. The frame also includes improved internal cable routing to keep things operating smoother, longer in cross conditions.


At the front of the bike is Trek’s IsoSpeed full carbon fork borrowed from the Domane and tuned for CX, smoothing the ride while still remaining laterally stiff.

Complete bikes will be offered in the Crockett 9 Canti shown above, the Crockett 7 Canti and Disc, and the Crockett 5 Canti and Disc, as well as framesets for both Canti and Disc models.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

2014 Specialized Epic Gets Tweaks to Boost Performance

2014 Specialized Epic: Fast, Firm, Aggressive 29er Geometry and Exceptional Components

The big change is a frame that's laterally stiffer and about .5 lbs lighter. The new carbon frame has lighter, more optimized materials yet thick chain stays to provide lateral stiffness. The seat post is now 27.2mm in diameter to save weight and make room for the brain shock cable that is fed in between the seat tube and the moving seat stays.

The cable routing is now internal. This is a big diversion for Specialized as they've stayed the course with their neatly organized external cable routing. Their old system tucked the cables under the down tube in a very organized manner and it worked well when set up properly. Specialized has designed a big port hole for the now internally routed cables and seals them off with big caps that guide the cable out of the frame. Inside, they house the cables in a foam 'noodle' material that prevents any kind of rattling noise inside the frame.

The latest Brain Shock still strives to lock out during pedaling and activate during trail bumps, but it is now smoother than ever during this transition.

The Epic World Cup is exclusively available with 1x drivetrains. In the case of the top shelf S-Works version, that means SRAM's XX1 group. The shifts are smooth and crisp, it is practically silent, and the unique 10-42T cassette provides more than enough range for the intended purpose.

Specialized pairs that awesome drivetrain with Magura MT8 hydraulic disc brakes, complete with their trick molded carbon composite brake lever bodies and calipers. The lightweight, 22mm-wide carbon fiber rims are quick to accelerate and reasonably stiff under hard cornering, lending a secure feel even when aggressively attacking smaller berms - helped further by the new 15-mm front thru-axle.

Specialized has used the Epic to roll out its new SWAT line of product, which will have benefits for both mountain and road cyclist. The acronym stands for "Storage, Water, Air, Tools," and refers to several on-bike storage options.

On the carbon frames, there's a sleeve that holds a specially shaped multi tool. On aluminum frames, the tool fits into a holder under the downtube-mounted bottle cage. There's also an 11-speed compatible chain tool, and storage for a spare link, which hides under the headset's pre-load cap.

SWAT also includes a removable flat repair pod that sits below the water bottle on the downtube. The small plastic box has enough room for a spare tube, tire lever, C02 inflator, and a cartridge. The whole thing bolts to a Specialized Zee water bottle cage and is secured by a third riv-nut on the down tube.

All new Epic models are compatible with the SWAT system, but only the highest end bikes come with the kit stock.

For 2014 Specialized has updated the bike's suspension by slightly reducing the leverage ratio, flattening the shock rate a bit, and revising the dampers shim stack. These changes make the locked-to-open transition smoother, the end of a stroke a bit more progressive, and the ride a bit more sensitive when open.

Beyond the suspension tune, Specialized made the shock's reservoir about 25 percent smaller to save weight. They have also revised the hose (it is more durable) and reduced the number of settings in the BRAIN threshold adjuster to five, to make it easier to balance the front to rear feel of the suspension.

There is so much more to be said about the 2014 Specialized Epic, and many more reviews to come. Why don't you come by The Spoke Shop and check out the great Specialized 2014 model year bikes!

The Spoke Shop
1910 Broadwater Ave. Billings, MT

Monday, August 5, 2013

[Part 2] Bontrager Updates Saddle, Clothing, New Light and Pump!

Bontrager has more great products that have just been released. 

Check out Part 1 HERE: Velocis Helmet & Team Sky Shoes

Photos and Content Originally Posted on

New Serano saddle

Another 2014 product which debuted at the Tour de France but which has now officially broken cover is the new Serano saddle.

Bontrager say the shape of the saddle is based on the Fizik Arione, a popular choice in the peloton, but uses two of the key technologies found on other Bontrager saddles: Zone Density Foam and an inForm BioDynamic design, giving the saddle a high tail to provide a power-friendly profile for riders who adopt an aggressive position.

There are two versions of the saddle: the carbon-railed RXL, which has a claimed weight of 185g, and the RL, which has titanium rails and a marginally heavier claimed weight (TBC).


Updated clothing line
Bontrager’s clothing line has been updated with new colours across the range. They’re also now using their own proprietary fabric called Profila. They say it does everything you’d expect a premium fabric to do – it’s lightweight, breathable and fast-wicking – but by using their own fabric Bontrager say they’re able to tweak its properties according to the type of garment.
Bontrager RXXXL jersey

So, for the 2014 spring/summer range, there’s Profila Cool, for maximum breathability, Profila UV, for block out UV rays, Profila Power, a compressive fabric designed to offer support and Profila Dry, designed to wick moisture rapidly and dry quickly.

The RXXXL jersey, for example, uses Profila Dry, while the corresponding bib shorts are made from Profila Power. The RXL Summer jersey, meanwhile, is designed for the hottest of days and is therefore made from Profila Cool with Profila Dry inserts.


New ‘see by’ light

The Ion 700 USB is Bontrager’s first ‘see by’ light. As the name suggest, it has a claimed output of 700 Lumens, which is venturing into serious light territory and should be plenty in principle for serious commuting and some training on unlit roads.

The light, which is USB rechargeable, has five modes (three solid and two flashing) and can be rotated 360 degrees on the quick-release mount. It’s a compact unit, which also has side illumination by way or two small, yellow windows.

Finally, this Travel Charger pump is also new from Bontrager. It’s a travel version of the existing Charger track pump, designed as a high-volume pump for when space is at a premium, so to chuck in the back of your car ahead of a sportive, or in a bike bag if taking your bike abroad.

It folds down into a neat package which is far less obtrusive than a traditional track pump and has a folding foot platform to help get your tyres pumped up in double-quick time.

Love Bontrager Componentry? 
We've got it all here at The Spoke Shop.
1910 Broadwater Ave. Billings, MT