Previews

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Intro: Review of 2014 Raleigh RX 1.0 Women’s Cyclocross Bike

This past summer Raleigh Bikes released photos and spec of their 2014 cyclocross line, including the RX 1.0 Women’s bike. The bike didn’t change too much other than paint and some small part upgrades. I was excited about the bike (mainly due to the paint job and price) for women and thought it would be a perfect do-all bike for my better half. So here we are doing a second review of the women’s RX 1.0!

This second review of the Raleigh RX 1.0, in the 2014 model, is to look at it as an all purpose bike. This is how most women are looking to purchase a cross bike in this price range as a do all, fun finder.  There could be road rides, green-ways, Rail to Trails,  commuting, baby hauling and maybe a cyclocross race thrown in there to say you did it.

A refresher of spec and pricing can be found here. The original review over here.

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Review Giant Anthem X 29er 4
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Preview: 2013 Giant Anthem X 29Er 4 Women’s Bike

A long time ago I wrote an opinion article on why I didn’t believe women’s designed 29ers worked. Designers were being pushed so hard to get things to market that the result was lack luster, and in my opinion these bikes often handled like crap compared to their non-women’s designed brothers. The front end was flip-floppy, unless you had a crazy short stem and wide handlebar. While this works well for the true mountains, it doesn’t work well for women just learning how to mountain bike. Fast forward a few years, more experienced designers, brands with patience and maybe some more knowledge. Now you have women’s bikes that don’t have crazy head tube angles and carry well in switchbacks up or down. Thus, inspiring confidence and excitement to carry momentum through the trails.

Meet the 2013 Giant Anthem X 29er 4 Women’s

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Knog Blinder Road Lights
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Preview: Knog Blinder Road Lights

As my hunt continues for amazing bike lights to keep me from being run over, I was sent a set of the new Knog Blinder Road Lights. These rechargeable beauties are part of the hi power series that Knog released earlier this year.

Knog Blinder Road 2 MSRP $79.95

Knog Blinder Road Lights

  • 200 Lumens
  • Light Dimensions: W53mm x H30mm x D63mm
  • Weight: 75g
  • Materials: UV-Resistant, industrial-grade Silicone Rubber Body and Straps. Polycarbonate Housing. PMMA Lens. Anodised Aluminium Heat sink. Anodised Aluminium Fascia and solid Stainless Steel MIMLatch
  • Rechargeable Lithium Polymer (USB). This saves using about 600 AAA Alkaline batteries during the lights lifetime.
  • Waterproof: 100% Waterproof and Dust Proof.
  • Light Modes: Total of 8 light modes: 1. Narrow Low Beam, 2. Narrow High Beam, 3. Wide Low Beam,4. Wide High Beam, 5. Dual Low Beam, 6. Dual High Beam, 7. Flashing Alternate, 8. Flashing-1 LED Steady/1 LED flashing.
  • Burn time: Low-beam modes: Steady 2hr, Flash mode 6hr. High-beam modes:Steady 1hr / Flash mode: 4hr.
  • Charge time: 5 hour charge time.
  • Bike Attachment: Two removable silicone straps for bars 22-28mm / 29-35mm. Helmet mount included

Knog Blinder Road R MSRP $59.95

Knog Blinder Road Lights

  • 70 lumens in strobe mode (peak)
  • Dimensions: W27mm x H76mm x D52mm
  • Weight: 52g
  • Materials: UV-Resistant, industrial-grade Silicone Rubber Body and Straps. Polycarbonate Housing. PMMA Lens. Anodised Aluminium Heat sink. Anodised Aluminium Fascia and solid Stainless Steel MIMLatch.
  • Rechargeable Lithium Polymer (USB). This saves using about 600 AAA Alkaline batteries during the lights lifetime.
  • Light Modes: 5 light modes: 1.Steady, 2.Fast, 3.Chaser, 4.Peleton, 5. Eco-Flash.
  • Burn time: lasting up to 3.5 hours in Steady mode, 4 hours in Fast, 5 hours in Chaser, 13 hours in Peloton Mode and 20 hours in Eco-Flash.
  • Bike Attachment: Tool-less attachment for standard rear posts measuring 22-32mm. Not suitable for aero post design

Out of the Box Thoughts

The look of Knog lights have always been a clean, catchy, subtle design. The question has always been the quality and longetivity of the light. These new Blinder Road Lights seem to have a bit more to them, first in the band which is much thicker than their other lights, and then second are the cords they are finally shipping with their USB charging lights. You struggle any longer trying to plug one of their lights into the back of your computer or keyboard thanks to this long USB extender.

Only time will tell how the lights hold up, and how long they really do keep their charge. Give me a couple weeks to push the test of these little lights! Learn more over at Knog.

Support Bike Shop Girl

If you are in the market for new lights, click through this link to JensonUSA where I receive a commission off anything you buy (as long as you do so after clicking the link!)

Disclaimer: These Knog lights were provided at no charge for review. 

raleigh cyclocross
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Intro: 2014 Raleigh Cyclocross Bikes

Hot on the heels of my review of the 2013 Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0Raleigh USA has released information on their 2014 line up. Over the next week I’ll be breaking down the line up by category. Keep up to date by checking out the search keyword “Raleigh USA 2014“.

While the cyclocross category is specific to women, Raleigh does have the RX1.0 in women but I can’t help but mention the other bikes in their line up as they are pretty stellar.

Raleigh RXC Pro Disc

2014 Raleigh RXC Pro Disc MSRP: $5,000

Spec: Carbon frameset with Shimano Ultegra Di2 (6770) with FSA SL-K cockpit
Weight: 18.9lbs for 55cm
Sizes: 50, 53, 55, 57, 59cm
Thoughts: Disc brake and electronic shifting will be seen more and more this season on the cyclocross courses. Less to gunk up and less to go wrong (in theory.) I’m surprised with the price tag of $5k that this bike is weighing in at 18.9 pounds, but I can only assume most of that is in the wheels. It looks like a great training wheel set that may be adding some rotational weight to the other wise race spec’d bike.

Raleigh RXC Disc

2014 Raleigh RXC Disc MSRP: $2,700

Spec: Carbon frameset with Shimano 105 10 speed
Weight: 19.5lbs for 55cm
Sizes: 50, 53, 55, 57, 59cm
Thoughts: A more reasonably priced cross racing bike that is coming with mechanical shifting and less racy parts. A great build and price for a carbon bike for the racer in you.

Raleigh RX 2.0 Disc

2014 Raleigh RX 2.0 Disc MSRP: $1,750

Spec: Aluminum frame with carbon fork and Shimano 105 10 speed
Weight: 22.3lbs for 56cm
Sizes: 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62cm
Thoughts: I’m a bit biased to this fabulous color, but the bike is a strong competitor for killer disc brake cyclocross race bike. Swap out the wheels and drop off a couple pounds easy.

Raleigh RX 1.0

2014 Raleigh RX 1.0 MSRP: $1,500

Spec: Aluminum frame with carbon fork and SRAM Apex 10 speed
Weight: 21.5lbs for 56cm
Sizes: 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62cm
Thoughts: The only cantilever option in Raleigh’s “unisex” line up this year.

Raleigh RX 1.0 womens

2014 Raleigh RX 1.0 MSRP: $1,500

Spec: Aluminum frame with carbon fork and SRAM Apex 10 speed
Weight: 21.3lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: Previewed right here on Bike Shop Girl back in June – I’m happy to see this women’s geometry cross racing bike updated for 2014.

Raleigh Capri Header
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Intro: 2014 Raleigh Capri Women’s Aluminum Road Line

Hot on the heels of my review of the 2013 Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0, Raleigh USA has released information on their 2014 line up. Over the next week I’ll be breaking down the line up by category. Keep up to date by checking out the search keyword “Raleigh USA 2014“.

Overall Upgrades to the Raleigh Carpi Series

  • Updated geometry (I’ll personally be looking hard into this as the Raleigh women’s bikes have always fit me out of the box perfectly, hopefully it’s made better!)
  • All Capri models are lighter
  • All Aluminum and Carbon frames feature upgrades seat stays, top and down tubes, and increased stiffness
  • Wheels have been upgraded to be stiffer and lighter
  • New sizing system (will be in a post of itself and linked here when posted)

Raleigh Capri 3.0

2014 Raleigh Capri 3.0 MSRP: $1,300

Spec: Shimano 105 10 Speed with FSA Gossamer Compact
Weight: 20.4 lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: It’s hard to believe that high end Aluminum frames are gone with the do-do bird, I wish Raleigh’s highest tier of aluminum would be a bit lighter. This is a well spec’d bike, and if weight isn’t a worry safe yourself the cost of upgrading the $450 upgrade to the carbon version with the same parts.

Raleigh Capri 2.0

2014 Raleigh Capri 2.0 MSRP: $950

Spec: Shimano Sora 9 speed
Weight: 21.1 lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: If you are on a budget but want a bike that will last a couple seasons until you are sure you like this road bike thing, take this bike for a spin. The upgrade to a carbon fork and 9 speed drivetrain is worth the $250 over the 1.0!

Raleigh Capri 1.0

2014 Raleigh Capri 1.0 MSRP: $700

Spec: Shimano Claria 8 speed
Weight: 23.3 lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: I wish this model came in a 46 for smaller ladies or kids getting in to road biking. Overall though, if you are on a budget you can’t really beat a $700 road bike with a warranty and bike shop to stand behind it.

 

Raleigh Capri Header
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Intro: 2014 Raleigh Capri Carbon Women’s Road Line

Hot on the heels of my review of the 2013 Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0Raleigh USA has released information on their 2014 line up. Over the next week I’ll be breaking down the line up by category. Keep up to date by checking out the search keyword “Raleigh USA 2014“.

Overall Upgrades to the Raleigh Carpi Series

  • Updated geometry (I’ll personally be looking hard into this as the Raleigh women’s bikes have always fit me out of the box perfectly, hopefully it’s made better!)
  • All Capri models are lighter
  • All Aluminum and Carbon frames feature upgrades seat stays, top and down tubes, and increased stiffness
  • Wheels have been upgraded to be stiffer and lighter
  • New sizing system (will be in a post of itself and linked here when posted)

2014 Raleigh Capri Carbon

2014 Raleigh Capri Carbon 4 MSRP: $3,800

Spec: Shimano Ultegra Di2 11 speed w/ FSA SL-K compact crank
Weight: 16.3 lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: Keeping the Di2 as their top tier model, this bike comes with better drivetrain (electronic) and a lighter crank.

2014 Raleigh Capri Carbon

2014 Raleigh Capri Carbon 3 MSRP: $2,700

Spec: Shimano Ultegra 11 speed w/ FSA Team Issue crank
Weight: 16.2 lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: Putting two models so close together in weight and spec, but betting that a woman will want to pay $1k more for electronic shifting is an interesting move for Raleigh USA. They are either selling a lot of women’s bikes or have had a lot of request from dealers/consumers to have these two options. I would be interested to see at the end of the model year which sells more!

Raleigh Capri Carbon 2.0

2014 Raleigh Capri Carbon 2 MSRP: $2,200

Spec: Shimano 105 10 speed with FSA Energy Compact crank
Weight: 18.4 lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: I’m not sold on the color, but right above $2k for carbon and a workhorse of a drivetrain this bike will sell on shop floors. Especially to the women that are tired of having a “girly looking bike.”

Raleigh Capri Carbon

2014 Raleigh Capri Carbon 1 MSRP: $1,750

Spec: Shimano Tiagra 10 speed with FSA Gossamer Compact crank
Weight: 19 lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: This is one of the models I was hoping to see a 46cm in for shorter women that want a carbon frame. Yet, a 10 speed equipped carbon bike under $1,800 is a welcomed package.

Learn more and find your local dealer to test ride over at Raleigh USA

Chekhov Rolltop Utility Belt
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Spotted: Chrome Bags Chekhov Rolltop Utility Belt

Chekhov Rolltop Utility Belt

Is it a murse, purse, sling or belt? The answer is: yes.
MSRP: $110
Details:
• 12″ wide, 8 1/2″ high, 2.5″ deep
• 2-4L Volume • Waterproof rolltop closure accommodates a range of load sizes
• Dual waterproof compartments separate wet/dry cargo
• Iconic quick release buckle with integrated bottle opener
• External phone pocket for quick access while riding
• Daisy chain mounting loops for attaching carabineer clips or bike lights
• Rear sleeve holds most u-locks

100% Welded-Waterproof Rolltop Utility Belt with iconic seatbelt buckle keeps phone, wallet, keys and windbreaker dry. Made to be worn on the hip or across the chest.

Made in USA. Guaranteed for Life.

Bern Allston Helmet
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Intro: Bern Allston Helmet

Bern Helmets are a pretty standard helmet line these days that you’ll find urban shops, as well as snowboard shops! This proven helmet brand brought their snowboard molds to the bike market a few years ago and have been selling pretty hot in the shops that stock them well (and in the right commuting/urban market!) The biggest complaint in the original models was the lack of ventilation.  This made sense as they were originally designed for snowboarding, having huge vents to let in snow and cold air wasn’t really ideal.

Meet the Bern Allston

The Allston has 16 vents, weighs in at a claimed 13 ounces and comes in 4 colors. With the classic Bern visor style, lighter weight and a decent amount of ventilation this is going to turn some fixie riding heads!

Key Details

MSRP: $89.99
Colors: Matte Black, Matte Grey, Matte Neon Green, Satin White
Features: 16 vents, 13 ounces, Available in 3 sizes (M, L, XL), Snap in liners to make this an all season helmet

Looking for a Bern helmet? Check out JensonUSA as they have some deals going on!

 

Liv Brava SLR 0
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Liv/giant Releases 2014 Women’s Cyclocross Line

The press release I received last night from Liv/giant was a long one (two pages long without photos.) As I started reading it, every paragraph was making me more giddy than the last. Why?

Liv/giant is about to rock the women’s cyclocross world

Meet the Liv/giant Brava SLR women’s cyclocross line! Two models, the Brava SLR O and Brava SLR 2 both equally stunning in their own category. Light weight, disc brakes, women’s geometry and colors that I personally find attractive.

Liv/giant Brava SLR 2 MSRP: $1600

 

Liv/Giant Brava SLR 2

 

The lightest women’s-specific cyclocross bike—and the only one with disc brakes—is all about performance and versatility. You can race it during cyclocross season, commute with it in all kinds of conditions, or use it for long rides on mixed terrain. The lightweight, responsive ALUXX SLR alloy frame features an OverDrive 2 steerer tube for stiff, responsive steering and a toptube that’s shaped for shouldering comfort. A D-Fuse SL composite seatpost provides compliance over rough terrain. Additional performance-minded features include disc brakes, a 15mm thru-axle for enhanced handling precision, and smooth, clean internal cable routing. – Liv/Giant

Liv/giant Brava SLR 0 MSRP: $4800

 

Liv Brava SLR 0

 

The lightest women’s-specific cyclocross bike—and the only one with disc brakes—is all about performance and versatility. The lightweight, responsive ALUXX SLR alloy frame features an OverDrive 2 steerer tube for stiff, responsive steering and a toptube that’s shaped for shouldering comfort. A D-Fuse SL composite seatpost provides compliance over rough terrain. Additional performance-minded features include disc brakes, a 15mm thru-axle for enhanced handling precision, and smooth, clean internal cable routing. -Liv/giant

Sizing/Geometry of the Brava SLR Women’s Cyclocross Bikes

Brava SLR Geo

I suggest to be familiar with the geometry of these bikes before test riding. Traditionally I ride a 55/56cm which normally equals a Large in women’s bikes, but looking at top tube lengths I will fit a medium. Everything else in the geometry looks straight forward, and should fit many short torso’d women very well. This part (other than pricing and spec) was one of the main reasons I was so giddy reading the press release! Hopefully I’ll be able to swing a leg over one of these bikes to give you a full report on handling and sizing.

Giro Manta Women's Mountain Bike Shoes
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Preview: Giro Manta Women’s Mountain Bike Shoes

As I’m reviewing the road shoe from Giro called the Solara, I’ve also been able to plant my feet in the mountain bike version called the Manta. The  shoe, fit and features are mirrored between the two models, but the only difference is the mountain bike sole for better traction and two hole cleats.

Giro Manta Women’s Mountain Bike Shoes

MSRP: $150
Colors: Black/Silver (reviewed), White/Silver/Plum
Weight: 305 grams (size 39)
Details: Three straps, two velcro and one ratchet for easy on trail adjustments.

Out of the Box Thoughts

If you read my preview of the Giro Solara Women’s Road Shoe than there isn’t much more to say other than this is a mountain bike shoe with more scuff guards. The proof will be in the pudding if the shoe last over heavy abuse and trail testing. They are now suited up with Crank Brothers cleats and I’ll be ready to provide a full review after a few hundred miles! Until then, check them out on Giro.com.

Disclaimer: This product was provided for no charge for review

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