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2012 Trek Lexa Women’s Road Bikes

11 2012 Trek Bikes Lexa S

Looking for a review of the Trek Lexa? Check it out here.

The 2011 Trek Lexa bikes were an amazing hit for Trek Bikes corporation.

It’s one of the top selling women’s road bikes. Many women asked for Lexa by name at demos, and dealers also told us they had many women coming in asking about them. Women love the comfortable fit, race-inspired performance, and the fact that we have so many color and graphics options. It was fantastic to see so many of them at the many triathlons that we sponsored this year. - Trek Women Brand Manager

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First Impressions: 2012 Raleigh RX 1.0 Women’s Cyclocross Bike

1 Raleigh Women's Cyclocross Bikes

A beautiful brown box with a huge Raleigh logo on the side showed up this past week for review. Inside, a 2012 Raleigh RX 1.0 women’s cyclocross bike in for review. I previewed the line back in August and received a good amount of tweets and comments about the line. At $1,650 this bike could be a break through road/cross/commuter/do all women’s bike. Allowing more options and ways to get women on one well spec’d bike. I have high hopes, and the bike will be abused to see if they meet the hopes.

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Introducing Giant’s WheelSystems

0 WheelSystem_P-SLR1_Aero

No lie, wheels matter. Wheels are some of the most important pieces of a well riding, quickly responding, bicycle. Giant and other bike manufactures are focusing more efforts on their own components. I’m interested to see how these ride and compare to wheel specific manufactures.

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New for 2012, Giant WheelSystems are the result of a holistic approach to creating the best-performing wheels for every type of rider in any condition. The design philosophy behind Giant WheelSystems is called System Engineered Performance. In creating them, product developers and engineers analyzed the ways the individual parts of a particular wheel affect each other. Every rim, spoke and hub is designed to optimally serve the system.

System Engineered Performance considers four key performance factors—stiffness, aerodynamics, weight and comfort—and seeks to perfectly tailor these factors to the appropriate user, bike and WheelSystem.

Currently there are four road models available: P-SLR1 Aero, P-SLR1, P-SL0 and P-SL1. These WheelSystems can be found on 2012 Giant road bikes and are also available to purchase as aftermarket components.

P-SLR1 Aero
A lightweight, deep-dish aerodynamic WheelSystem designed for high-performance riding and racing. Maximum stiffness and aerodynamics at the lowest possible weight.
• 50mm deep, 21mm wide scandium-composite tubeless-compatible rims
• Durable precision Swiss hub internals
• Aerolite bladed stainless steel spokes (16 front radial; 20 rear radial/2-cross)
• Individual wheel bags included
• 1575g

P-SLR1
Superlight high-performance race wheels engineered for a stiff, comfortable ride. Hand-built with the highest-quality components and materials.
• Tubeless Ready Scandium 21mm wide rims with CNC-machined alloy braking surface
• Asymmetric rear rim design for more uniform spoke tension and additional wheel stiffness
• Durable precision Swiss hub internals
• Aerolite bladed stainless steel spokes (16 front radial; 20 rear radial/2-cross)
• 1390g

P-SL0
A versatile performance WheelSystem for road riding and racing. Light enough to race yet tough enough for everyday training and riding.
• Tubeless Compatible rims with CNC-machined alloy braking surface
• Asymmetric rear rim design for more uniform spoke tension and additional wheel stiffness
• Durable precision Swiss hub internals
• DT Aero Competition bladed stainless steel spokes (16 front radial; 20 rear radial/2-cross)
• 1595g

P-SL1
Designed for performance road riding, aimed at enthusiasts or beginner racers seeking a stiff, durable WheelSystem.
• Light, durable 21mm deep 6061 alloy rims, sleeved joint
• Durable precision Swiss hub internals
• DT Champion stainless steel spokes (18 front radial; 24 rear 2-cross)
• 1775g

Review: Lizard Skins DSP 2.5 Bar Tape

4 Lizard Skins DPS Bar Tape Review

Lizard Skins DSP Handlebar Tape Review

Details from Lizard Skins:
2.5 mm thick for that extra bit of comfort. At 82” of lengththere is ample length for any bar & 50 grams per set
MSRP: $38

Initial Thoughts

When I first saw the Lizard Skins handlebar tape popping up in the local bike shops I was intrigued. Anytime a company comes out with a product that is twice the price of their competitors they are either idiots or they have some amazing technology worth the cost.

Second thing I saw was that the Lizard Skins company doing a great job with merchandising. They give shops that order a certain amount of minimum product a great eye catching point of purchase. It is a handlebar that allows a consumer to try out the tape, some even have pieces of all the colors and styles available, this is the seller. The tape is different and Lizard Skins knows this – allowing you to try it. It reminds me of the really nice tape you can buy for fancy tennis rackets. It is a bit tacky to touch and only becomes more tacky if it becomes wet. It really hits on the name of the company “Lizard Skins.

There are many colors to chose from, along with the thickness of tape. 2.5mm is the one I went with for better shock absorption, but there is also a 1.8mm for those that like to “feel their bars.” The color, pink of course!

Long Term Review of the Lizard Skins Handlebar Tape

While my review package of tape showed up in early summer, I wanted to put the tape through its paces. As the tape is almost $40 to wrap a handlebar I wanted to make sure it was worth the cost and continued to feel tacky, padded and pink.

Every time I get on my cyclocross bike with this handlebar tape installed, I am impressed. 600 miles on the handlebars, and the pink is still going strong. A bit dirty, but still pink and tacky.

Lizard Skins DPS Bar Tape Review

Overall Thoughts

Not everyone needs to spend this much to wrap their handlebars. If you have a problem with sweaty hands, slippery handlebar tape, maybe have to wear gloves for grip, or you wear through tape a couple times a season.

This tapes for you. 

I’ll leave you with this. While at my local cyclocross practice a friend and gear whore, George, saw my tape, felt my tape, asked me about my tape then quickly went out and bought his own tape (not in pink). We both realized quickly that it is durable and perfect for cyclocross.

Disclaimer: Lizards Skins provided this tape free for review, I wasn’t paid or bribed. 

Preview: Specialized Cycloross Tires

0 crosstires

As cyclocross season is getting rolling, cyclocross product is rolling in the door for test riding and abusing in the name of reviews! One of the most sensitive subjects for cyclocross racers (other than bike geometry) is tire choice and pressure.

2012 Specialized Cyclocross Tires

Three new cyclocross tires focused on from the big S, Specialized Bicycles. One for each terrain, hard packed, mixed conditions, and wet or muddy conditions.

Specialized Trigger Tire

Specialized Trigger

This is the tire for the hard pack conditions, and developed with the help of Todd Wells.

Details: Sharp but shallow diamond tread pattern in the center. Increased and more stable blacks in the shoulder for cornering in hard surfaces.

Trigger Tubular TPI: 290 Weight: 420g MSRP: $100
Trigger Pro TPI: 120 Weight: 275g MSRP: $55
Trigger Sport TPI: 60 Weight: 405g MSRP: $35

Specialized Tracer Tire

Specialized Tracer

Details: One tread that covers all courses, a center knob providing good traction, shoulder knobs to adapt on hard or loose grounds.

Tracer Tubular TPI: 290 Weight: 420g MSRP: $100
Tracer Pro TPI: 120 Weight: 285g MSRP: $55
Tracer Sport TPI: 60 Weight: 405g MSRP: $35 

Specialized Terra Tire

Specialized Tracer

Details: Sharp edged tread that clears well in mud and muddy

Terra Tubular TPI: 290 Weight: 425g MSRP: $100
Terra Pro
TPI: 120 Weight: 305g MSRP: $55 

Tires in for Review

One set of each of the Terra and Trigger tires showed up and are being mounted to give you a full review! For now go check out Specialized full run of cyclocross tires on their website.

The FTC makes me tell you that I receive these tires for free for review. I was not paid or bribed, but I wouldn’t mind making a dollar on this.

First Impressions: 2011 Specialized Myka Expert Women’s 29er

2 Women's 29er MTB

For the past month the women behind Bike Shop Girl have been test riding the 2011 Specialized Myka Expert 29er. Getting our own first hand impressions of how Specialized does women’s 29ers. Along the way this has also allowed us to try out the Specialized 29er tires, Specialized Riva saddle and Rock Shox “Specialized Womens Tuned” fork.

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First Look: 2012 Trek Lush Women’s Full Suspension Mountain Bike

11 2012 Trek Lush Womens MTB

Back in July I revealed a new women’s designed full suspension 26″ mountain bike from Trek. The Trek Lush has been one of the top searched items to Bike Shop Girl since that day in July. Fast forward a few months, while hitting up Facebook last night an angel came knocking in the fork of my regional Trek Women’s Demo rep. Ross Rushin dropped a 2012 Trek Lush Carbon in 17.5 into my grubby and greasy hands today. I’ll have her to crush the dirt for a couple weeks. Give you all a good review of riding, tech features and my overall feel.

Rain pushed aside I hope to swap the stem and get pushing dirt tomorrow

Preview: Garmin Edge 200 Cycling Computer for Budgets

0 Garmin 200 Bicycle Computer

A Garmin for those on a shoe string budget but wanting the GPS functions and advantages, meet the Garmin Edge 200. MSRP of $149.99 and the function list reminds me that of the old Edge 205 but with a cleaner and smaller look. Add to it 14 hours of run time with a rechargeable battery, I’ll be putting this on my Christmas list instead of the 800!

“The Edge 200 was designed for those budget conscious cyclists looking for the basics — speed, distance, time and calories,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “With no set-up or sensors required, simply switch on, press start and go. The Edge 200 adds so much to your ride that no ride will ever be the same again.”

Review: Bontrager RXL Mountain WSD Shoes

1 Bontrager RXL WSD Mountain Bike Shoes

If you can recall I have been using a pair of Bontrager RL shoes for a couple years, I wrote a review about them a couple months ago. After using and abusing my RL’s for a couple years I have taken a step up to the RXL shoes. Hopefully the carbon isn’t too stiff and I’ll be able to rock the gold and black.

What Bontrager has to say

Updated for 2011 with Bontrager’s new proprietary Micro-Fit buckle, the RXL MTB WSD gives hardcore cross country racers a distinct performance advantage. Using top-notch materials to cradle the foot in comfort and an efficient Silver-series carbon outsole to transfer power to the pedals, the lightweight and durable RXL WSD stands ready for all-out efforts on the most rugged World Cup circuits.

MSRP: $229.99

Details: Silver Series Carbon, Micro-fit buckle, women’s specific fit, eSoles insole system.

Initial Thoughts of the RXL Shoes

A few key things (other than the price) of the RXL to the RL that were quickly apparent to me.
#1 The buckle upgrade from 2010
#2 The insole was a lower arch support than the one that came in the 2010 RL
#3 the shoes were the same size (42 euro) but feel smaller than the RL. This could because my RL’s are so worn out they have “flattened” and “stretched.”
#4 The RXL and my 2010 RL shoes are within 3 grams of each other

Details that Matter

 

Bontrager RXL WSD Mountain Bike Shoes

The bottom lugs of the soles are much softer and gummier than the RL.

Bontrager RXL WSD Mountain Bike Shoes
Micro-fit buckle clicks at 1.5 increments

Bontrager RXL WSD Mountain Bike Shoes
The shoes have decent airflow but the “anti slip” fabric on the back of the shoe can rub when you don’t have socks on.

After Two Months Review of the RXL Shoes

These shoes are everything I wanted them to be. Stiff, breathable outer, amazing colors and can do well on the road and longer distance mtb rides. I’m not convinced these will be my goto cyclocross shoes because they are so stiff but I can certainly tell my power to the pedals with these shoes.

After a couple more months I’ll check in with these shoes, give you feedback about cyclocross and how the outer of the shoes last.

 This product was given to me at no charge for reviewing.  I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out.