Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cycling News — Trek Domane Disc 6.9 Long-Term Review

Better than the standard Domane in every way

-Article and Photos from

Road disc fans were rightfully excited about Trek's recent release of the new Domane Disc. After nearly two months of testing, however, we can now say that this latest version isn't just a standard Domane with disc brakes tacked on; it's better than the original in nearly every way.

If your ideal day in the saddle is several hours long across a variety of road surfaces and with lots of elevation changes, you'd have a tough time finding something better suited than this.

That the Domane Disc offers better braking performance than the standard Domane comes as no surprise, especially given Trek's decision to go with Shimano's superb (and highly refined) R785 hydraulic setup. As we've experienced in the past, there's fantastic power on tap with minimal hand effort along with a positive initial bite that's far from grabby or overly abrupt.

Even better, that power is exceptionally easy to control with excellent lever feel and no discernable fade even on long descents, plus the performance is unflappably consistent with rain, heat, and mud having minimal effect. We did experience a bit of noise when the rotors got hot along with a bit of lever rattle (more on that later) but otherwise, there's little to complain about.

Quite tellingly, at one point during testing we climbed back aboard another test bike with broken-in Mavic Exalith 2-treated wheels – arguably the benchmark for rim brake performance – and the difference was akin to driving a car with disc brakes versus drums.

Even so, it's the ancillary changes that go along with the move to disc brakes that have us so excited about the Domane Disc – namely, the switch to thru-axles at both ends and the increased tyre clearance.

The standard Domane with its quick-release dropouts is no slouch in terms of frame stiffness – and in fact, Trek confirmed that it's nearly on par with the edgier Madone for drivetrain efficiency and actually even better in terms of front-end stiffness. Not surprisingly, then, we couldn't detect any difference in rear-end stiffness as a result of the stouter connection.

We did, however, notice a slight boost in handling precision up front, particularly on bumpier surfaces such as crushed gravel and washboarded dirt roads. Moreover, the more precise fit of the thru-axles relative to open dropouts meant that we could repeatedly remove and reinstall both wheels without inducing any pad rub on the rotor.

Given the company's global market and various national safety guidelines, Trek officially can only officially approve the Domane Disc worldwide for use with tyres no wider than the included 25mm Bontrager treads. However, we found ample room for 30mm-wide Challenge Strada Bianca open tubulars and their effect on the bike's ride was revelatory.

As expected, the bigger tyres produced immense cornering grip along with improved drive and braking traction on looser country roads. While they of course added some weight, they also tempered the one major criticism we have on the otherwise excellent Domane platform: the disparate ride quality between the front and rear ends (and at an actual complete weight of just 7.52kg/16.58lb in stock form without pedals, it's a highly capable climber with some leeway on the scale).

Trek's novel IsoSpeed seat cluster pivot is just as fantastic as on the standard Domane, turning standard pavement into glass and flattening even washboarded dirt roads into something that's far more tolerable. Combined with the well tuned carbon frame, the Domane Disc's rear end is exceptionally good at squelching vibration while also devouring bigger bumps – a trait no endurance bike from other companies has managed to achieve to this degree.

However, the front end rides notably rougher because there's no IsoSpeed-like mechanical device up there to even things out. The higher-volume tyres go a long way toward accomplishing that, and it's a pity Trek doesn't include them as stock equipment. If you're careful about which wide-profile tyres you choose, the bike actually even rolls across the road faster than before, even at substantially lower inflation pressures.

Otherwise, the standard Domane traits carry over, including the awesome stability at speed, surefooted cornering characteristics, and comfortable riding position. The front end can admittedly feel a bit floppy when moving more slowly, though, and tighter corners require a bit more conviction to rip through given the long wheelbase and slack angles.

We're willing to accept those quirks in trade for the incredibly confident high-speed manners, however, and even the super-tall front end can be largely tempered by swapping to a shorter headset cover and a more aggressively angled stem.

Frame: Progressive design, slick aesthetics

While the front triangle of the Domane Disc differs little from the standard OCLV 600-Series carbon Domane save for the altered internal cable routing setup, the rear end and fork are totally new.

Trek mounts the rear brake caliper to the chainstay so the seatstays now reach further rearward to make room before arcing back down to meet the dropouts. Those dropouts are also far meatier than before in order to make room for the bulkier thru-axle hardware and since there's no conventional rear brake mount required, the seatstays go bridge-free.

Otherwise, the standard Domane features carry over, such as the tapered 1 1/8-to-1 1/2in front end, the 90mm-wide BB90 bottom bracket shell with directly pressed-in bearings, an integrated chain catcher, keenly hidden mudguard mounts, and a pocket in the non-driveside chain stay for Bontrager's DuoTrap wireless speed and cadence sensor.

Up front, Trek retains the standard Domane's radically curved fork, which the maker claims offers more bump absorption than a more conventional setup (and we'd agree, at least to a point). As with the frame, the dropouts are substantially bigger than on the rim brake variant in order to accommodate the bulky convertible thru-axle dropouts although some of that visual mass is concealed by the integrated post mount brake caliper tabs.

Equipment: Fantastic Shimano hydraulic/Di2 group and solid Bontrager gear

Our top-end Domane Disc 6.9 model came loaded to the gills with premium equipment that included a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic transmission mated to R785 hydraulic levers and brake calipers, new Bontrager Affinity TLR Disc aluminium clincher wheels, and a variety of carbon and aluminium Bontrager finishing kit.

As we've noted on previous occasions, there's little negative that can be said about the unflappable Dura-Ace Di2 transmission – push the buttons and the chain moved across the various cogs and chainrings with remarkable speed and precision, all with but the slightest wiggle of your finger. And as we've already mentioned above, the associated R785 brakes are exactly what fans would want out of a high-end hydraulic road disc system.

Our complaints are fairly minor and limited to insufficient tactile feedback on the shift buttons and some persistent rattling from the levers on rough roads. We were able to eliminate most of the latter with a couple of tiny bits of thick tape applied just inside the lever body but we'd obviously prefer that Shimano iron out this bug from the factory.

Otherwise, we were already quite familiar with most of the excellent Bontrager finishing kit, such as the cushy Race X Lite IsoZone carbon bar, the reliably sturdy Race X Lite forged aluminium stem, and the light-yet-comfortable Paradigm RXL saddle.

We were pleasantly surprised, however, by the Affinity Elite TLR Disc wheelset. Though not especially light at just over 1,600g per set, the 17.5mm-wide (internal width) aluminium rims provide a reasonably spacious foundation for wider tyres and they've proven impressively solid with no truing required despite repeated bashing on less-than-ideal roads. Time will tell if the latest incarnation of Bontrager's house-brand hubs will hold up (the company has once again moved away from DT Swiss).

Potential buyers should make note that the Domane Disc's front and rear thru-axle dimensions are shared with mountain bikes so you'll also be able to swap in many 29er wheels, too.

Bottom line: Awesome long-distance cruiser
All in all, we found the Domane Disc 6.9 to just one component away from being a wickedly capable platform for eating up long stretches of road – any road, as it turns out. We love it as is but upgrading to high-performance, higher-volume tyres makes the bike truly exceptional.

Complete bike specifications:
Frame: Trek Domane Disc
Fork: Trek Domane IsoSpeed full carbon disc
Headset: Integrated, 1 1/8-to-1 1/2in tapered
Stem: Bontrager Race X Lite
Handlebar: Bontrager Race X Lite IsoZone
Tape: Bontrager gel cork
Front brake: Shimano BR-R785 w/ 160mm rotor
Rear brake: Shimano BR-R785 w/ 160mm rotor
Brake levers: Shimano ST-R785
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-9070
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 RD-9070
Shift levers: Shimano ST-R785
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-9000, 11-28T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-9000
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-9000, 50/34T
Bottom bracket: Trek BB90
Wheelset: Bontrager Affinity Elite Disc TLR
Front tyre: Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite, 700x25c
Rear tyre: Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite, 700x25c
Saddle: Bontrager Paradigm RXL
Seatpost: Bontrager Ride-Tuned Carbon seatmast

Come to Bumstead's Bicycles for all your cycling needs.
We are located at 1038 W. 4th St in Ontario, CA.
You can reach us by phone at (909) 984-9067

Monday, June 16, 2014

2015 Trek 27.5 EX and Lush Announced

Trek Unveils Fuel EX 27.5, Partners with Fox and Penske for RE:aktiv ShockFor 2015, Trek will offer the EX with 27.5in wheels in three alloy-frame builds, as well as carbon versions at the 9.8 and 9.8 levels.

The Fuel EX 9, 9.8 and 9.8 will also come equipped with Trek’s new RE:aktiv suspension technology co-developed with Fox and Penske Racing Shocks.

This new shock uses Trek’s proprietary DRCV air spring and adds damper technology that boosts low-speed compression to improve pedaling performance while allowing the shock to handle larger, high-velocity impacts without feeling harsh.

The women's counterpart to the Fuel EX, the Lush, will also be available with 27.5in wheels. 

Are you confused about wheel sizes? Click Here.

From Bike Rumor:

The biggest difference that sets the RE:aktiv shock apart from the pack is the inclusion of what Trek and Penske refer to as regressive damping. Most mountain bike suspension is either progressive or digressive, while regressive damping is supposedly true F1 technology that has trickled down to Indy car, NASCAR, and now, well mountain bikes. On the track, regressive damping provides firm support on the straights and corners but as soon as it encounters a bump, the shock instantly opens up to plush, smooth progression. This all happens extremely fast and as Trek points out, “delivers on the unrealized potential of an inertia valve.”

Once Trek and Penske had worked out the damping they wanted to incorporate into the RE:aktiv shock, Fox was brought in to package it into a patent-pending exclusive design only for Trek bikes.
“The thing about Penske is they’re completely focused on being a racing company. So what we’re doing is leveraging their R&D resources and turning that into almost an extension of our own capabilities,” said Trek Director of Suspension Development Jose Gonzalez. “The combined effort with Fox providing the production expertise has produced just an outstanding shock.”

Of course, the bike is fitted with amazing characteristics all around.

 Other full suspension systems firm up under braking, reducing your control when you need it most. Trek’s patented Active Braking Pivot solves that by keeping your suspension active whether you're on the brakes or off.

Most suspension systems attach the bottom of the shock to a fixed frame mount. That fixed mount can contribute to a harsh ride. We solved that with Full Floater, attaching the shock to two moving linkage points so it can better respond to bumps across a wide variety of terrain. It feels like more travel, but it's not. It's smarter travel.

E2 is the evolution of the traditional 1-1/8" headset to a tapered head tube, fork, and headset system. E2 tapers from a 1.5" lower to a 1-1/8" upper headset to provide more material where it matters most, resulting in a stronger, lighter frame with point-and-shoot control.

EVO Link is Trek’s evolution of the rocker link from the plate-and-bolt style used on most suspension bikes to a one-piece rocker link. This lighter link provides a stronger connection point between the front and rear triangles, creating a stiffer frame for greater control with minimal weight.

Dropper posts are great for while-you-ride seat height adjustments, but cable routing has always been an issue. RockShox Reverb Stealth routes the hydraulic housing directly through the frame for the sleekest setup you've seen.

Our robust and confidence-inspiring rear thru axle is about 35% stiffer than an open dropout design. And now, a thru axle wheel change is actually quick and easy, thanks to a tabbed guide in the frame's dropout.

No official release date yet, but keep up with us on our blog and on facebook to find out when they will be available!

Here are the rest of the specs:

Frame — Alpha Platinum Aluminum, ABP Convert, Full Floater, E2 tapered head tube, press fit BB, internal derailleur & dropper post routing, ISCG 05 mount, magnesium EVO link, down tube guard, 120mm travel

Front suspension — Fox Evolution Series 32 Float, CTD (climb-trail-descend) damper, rebound, E2 tapered steerer, 15QR thru axle, 120mm travel

Rear suspension — Fox Evolution Series Float, DRCV, CTD (climb-trail-descend) damper, rebound, tuned by Trek in California, 7.25x1.875"

Sizes —15.5, 17.5, 18.5, 19.5, 21.5"

Wheels — Bontrager Duster Elite Tubeless Ready, 15mm front hub, 142x12 rear hub

Tires — Bontrager XR3 Expert, aramid bead, 27.5x2.35" front, 27.5x2.20" rear

Shifters — Shimano Deore, 10 speed

Front derailleur — SRAM X5, high direct mount

Rear derailleur — Shimano SLX, Shadow Plus

Crank — SRAM S1010, 36/22

Cassette — Shimano HG50 11-36, 10 speed

Chain — KMC X10

Saddle — Bontrager Evoke 2, chromoly rails

Seatpost — Bontrager SSR, 31.6mm, 12mm offset

Handlebar — Bontrager Riser, 31.8mm, 15mm rise

Stem — Bontrager Race Lite, 31.8mm, 7 degree

Headset — FSA IS-2, E2, alloy cartridge

Brakeset — Shimano M615 hydraulic disc

Grips — Bontrager Race Lite, lock-on

Come to Bumstead's Bicycles for all your cycling needs.
We are located at 1038 W. 4th St in Ontario, CA.
You can reach us by phone at (909) 984-9067

Friday, June 13, 2014

3 Top Safety Tips for Cyclists on the Road

Being A Move (or Five) Ahead of Motorists

Anyone who has ridden a bike for an extended period of time has probably had some close calls when cycling in heavy — sometimes even light traffic. While some of those times may be a result of carelessness or multitasking on the part of the rider, we are all too well aware of how distracted and careless drivers can be.

It should suffice to say that defensive riding is the number one way to prevent accidents when out there in the cold street. One reason for that comes from this road proverb: You can drive a truck between what motorists ought to do - what they're legally obliged to do - versus what they actually do. Just because I have the right of way does not mean I can proceed in the comfort that my rights, life and limb will not be violated.

So let's examine a few of the most common places to be aware of danger so that you may avoid nasty collisions or falls.

Cars Turning Right

When passing a motorist (or when one passes you) take a quick second to look through the window of the car. You will be amazed at how much you can divine of a motorist's knowledge and intentions.

Did he see you? Is he looking in his rear or side view mirror? Is he slowing down to make the right turn? Is he concentrated on the flow of incoming traffic— without looking back at you?

Remember - no matter how much it doesn't seem like it - motorists don't want to hit you either. Give them the benefit of the doubt and slow down a bit when you are in a place that you can tell it could be dangerous if motorists are distracted.

Cars Turning Left

Typically, seeing a car that is turning left is not too difficult to do. However, if you are riding in dense traffic, sometimes the traffic going in your same direction can hide a left-turning motorist from your view. If you have to ride in traffic like that, look for an opening in the traffic in front of you. The likeliest reason for this space is to allow a vehicle to cross the road, right in front of you.

Attentive Posture

Many of us who have ridden for a long time know fellow riders who tend to crash more than others. Typically, these are the inattentive riders. This might be excused, but for the consequences. At some point inattentiveness, and the disinclination to practice defensive riding, shifts the blame onto the cyclist. When you decide to engage in the sport of cycling, you're the one who'll pay the steepest price in an accident, regardless of whom is at fault.

The safest posture is to assume the worst from those on the other side. Then, you'll be pleasantly surprised when these drivers do the right thing and, more to the point, you're more likely to arrive home safe and sound and able to ride another day.

Come to Bumstead's Bicycles today. We can help you pick out different accessories and safety equipment like helmets, lights, mirrors and more! Plus, we have great road bikes from Trek including BRAND NEW 2014 Bikes from Trek!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

2014 Trek Crossrip Review — Plenty of Bang for Your Buck

Road bike? Cross bike? Commuter? Yes. Whatever you need to get done, the Trek Crossrip can do it.

Photo and article originally posted on

 "Trek’s CrossRip is part of the Urban Utility line. Two models are offered, the basic Crossrip and the upgraded Elite. Both are spec’d with a drop bar for versatility and comfort, and differ only in the parts package.

Alpha Gold Aluminum

The frame is made from Trek’s 100 series Alpha aluminum, with a Bontrager Satellite carbon fork. The tubes are shaped to create a stiff front end and bottom bracket that doesn’t flex when standing and pedaling, but also to keep frame weight to a minimum.

The shift and brake cables are internally routed, and the non-driveside chainstay has a pair of holes for mounting a proprietary kickstand that will be available in the U.S. mid-spring. (The Euros already have it.) There are mounts for full-coverage fenders and front and rear racks for all-weather commuting, grocery shopping, or light-duty touring. The bike accommodates a 35mm-wide road tire with the fenders, or a small 29×1.8 mountain bike tire without fenders.

Geometry for the CrossRip Elite reflects its all-purpose demeanor. Its long 17.10-inch chainstays create a 41.29-inch wheelbase for stability, which is especially important when carrying a load. The semi-sloping top tube has decent standover clearance, and the front triangle is spacious enough to shoulder the bike. The 72-degree head tube angle is similar to other bikes of this nature and delivers steering that is quick enough to dodge car doors, but not twitchy.
Frame sizing throughout the lineup runs large or at least long; my 56cm frame has a rangy 58.4cm top tube. Trek designed the long top tubes to provide clearance for toes when using large tires and fenders, and spec’d the bike with a shorter stem than what a typical road bike would have to keep the handlebar reasonably close.

The bike’s handling is simply trustworthy. Flex from the frame or wheelset was unnoticeable when the bike was under stress on climbs. With a grocery load on a rear rack, the rear triangle flexes slightly, but still provides an acceptable ride. It’s just a comfortable, straightforward bike.

The Shimano Sora shifters’ hoods are wide and flat, a great fit for my hands, and shifted the 9-speed drivetrain without a problem. The FSA Vero compact double crankset and 11-32-tooth cassette were perfect for the hilly terrain and gravel trails I rode on.

For those that don’t mind riding in rain and snow, and like to stop reliably and predictably, there’s a set of trouble-free Hayes CX5 mechanical disc brakes. I applaud the spec of a larger 160mm front rotor for more stopping power. I also like the Tektro top-mount auxiliary brake levers. Some folks dislike them, but I love having my fingers near the brake levers at all times, regardless of my riding position, and they didn’t create noticeable drag.

If you’re looking for one bike to use for road riding, city utility, light touring, rail-to-trails, and even an intro to cyclocross racing, the CrossRip delivers. It is a solid base for a beginning commuter or as an upgrade platform that you won’t likely outgrow. It’s perfect for adding accessories or making tweaks to fit your year-round riding needs."

Come to Bumstead's Bicycles for all your cycling needs.
We are located at 1038 W. 4th St in Ontario, CA.
You can reach us by phone at (909) 984-9067

Monday, June 2, 2014

Shimano Produces FIRST EVER Electronic Mountain Bike Drivetrain

Shimano Releases XTR Di2 M9050,  Allowing You To Swap Your Derailleur Cables For Electric Wiring

As with the road versions of the system, XTR Di2 electronically relays signals from the shifters to motors in the front and rear derailleurs. This means that shifts are consistently quick and smooth, as they aren't affected by the slackening of stretched steel cables or by contaminants within cable housings.

Photo By Irmo Keizer

Drawing on more than half a decade of past experience with Di2, Shimano has no qualms calling the 9050 the most advanced Di2 system yet. Many of the possibilities with XTR would not have been possible without the advancements of the E-Tube wiring system (which means the system isn't wireless yet).

Shimano's XTR M9050 Di2 front and rear derailleurs are exactly the same in operation and configuration as the mechanical M9000 items, with the exception of their servo-motor modules. The Di2 system is designed to sync with all of Shimano's new 11-speed components, including single, double and triple chainring cranksets.

As expected, M9050 requires the same Sil-Tech HG 11 chain that the mechanical XTR group uses, as well as the new 11 x 40 M9000 cassette. Basically then, the XTR M9050 Kit constitutes an electronic front and rear derailleur, a pair of Firebolt shifters, a handlebar-mount system display, a battery module, an E-tube wiring kit and a battery charger/computer interface device.

Because the thumb levers on the new Firebolt shifters don't have to be aligned with a mechanical
mechanism, they're free to be rotated around the shifter body in order to best suit the rider. Their default position is also said to be more ergonomic than that of regular shift levers, plus they require less effort to push.

Additionally, using the Shimano Synchronized Shift function, the system can shift both the front and rear derailleurs at once via a single shifter. The system coordinates the two derailleurs with one another, so that they shift together to attain the desired gear rations without "cross-chaining."

Shimano has built in two different customizable shift maps which allow you to change when the front derailleur shifts if the terrain or personal preference warrants it, and the Display Unit can be set to put out an audible alarm that will sound just before an upcoming front shift. Riders can choose to run two shifters and change back between Synchronized Shift modes and manual or ditch one of the shifters completely.

This also offers the ability to run a left or right shifter only, which could be very handy for adaptive bikes where a right shifter (or left for that matter) may not be an option.

Speaking of shifters, XTR 9050 ushers in the new Di2 Firebolt which is a complete new take on the way mountain bike shifters are designed. Since they are simply buttons, Shimano was able to design a shifter that they say is perfectly designed with ideal ergonomics. The rotary design places two buttons directly at the tip of your thumbs. Each lever position can be adjusted independently and the buttons offer what Shimano calls "short stroke, perfect click."

Like other Di2 shifters, the Firebolt shifters are fully programmable including multi shift, shift speed and control of Fox ICD suspension. Changes can be made by connecting your bike to your computer through the battery charging USB cable and Shimano points out that you can program the shifters to perform whatever function you need them to.

Di2 M9050 Component Weights:

• Front derailleur (D-type): 115 grams
• Rear derailleur (GS): 289 grams
• System display: 30 grams
• Shift switch: 64 grams
• Battery Module: 51 grams

How Di2 Components stack up against Mechanical M9000 XTR:

• Front derailleur: M9050 is 5 grams lighter
• Rear Derailleur: M9050 is 68 grams heavier
• Shift lever: M9050 is 36 grams lighter (if you just use one, it is 136 grams lighter)
• Battery Module: 51 grams (extra item)
• System display: 30 grams (extra item)

Pricing has yet to be announced, and availability is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year.