Top 10 reviews of 2023

top 10 most read articles of 2022

We recap the 10 most-read reviews from the year, so far.

10. Giant Anthem Advanced Pro

A race-ready XC whip with electronic suspension

At the heart of this model I’m testing is the Fox Live Valve electronic damping. Think of it as a traditional suspension damper with sensors that switch from firm to open settings as the terrain demands. Fox says that in a single second, the Live Valve can adjust the compression by up to 1000 times. That’s 100 times faster than the blink of an eye, which is just nuts! So then, what are the shortcomings of electronic suspension, what’s it like to live with and what of all the innovation in the new Anthem? Let’s get into it. FULL ARTICLE here

9. Explainer: XC Vs. Trail Tyres

What’s the difference?

Tyre shopping ain’t easy. There are a lot of brands, sizes, tread patterns, weights, casings and compounds to choose from. You’ll also need to factor in things like your riding style, your bike and the terrain you ride. Then there’s your intended use – is it racing, training or just riding for the thrill of it all… Exhausted already? Don’t be. We reached out to Bontrager who sent us their range of XC and Trail tyres to ride, rate, compare and most importantly explain the subtle differences between a lightweight XC race tyre and a beefier trail tyre. Full article HERE

8. Evoc Hydro Pro Hydration Pack

A comfortable, cool and lightweight hydration backpack that Gravel, XC and Enduro racers will love.

While a lot of riders are choosing to carry spares, tools and hydration off their bodies and on the bike, there are many times when it’s simply not possible or practical to do so. The solution for many riders could be this lightweight hydration backpack by Evoc, known as the Hydro Pro. Full article HERE

7. Vertorack 6-bike tow bar mounted rack

Vertorack carries as many as six bikes on the back of virtually any vehicle.

Based in Paarl just outside of Cape Town, Vertorack was designed and developed by veteran mountain bike rider, Pieter Rossouw. From his home-based workshop that trades as Bike Solutions – a business that will fix anything bike related – Pieter makes and retails the two, four or six bike Vertoracks. Full article HERE

6. SRAM Force AXS groupset

First ride impressions

A photo recap of the trip to Portugal, followed by a long-format tech video of the new SRAM Force AXS. Full article HERE

5. Trail Gear Show

21 Hot Upgrades for Trail and eMTB riding

From socks to helmets, hubs, wheels, bike racks and more… we’ve got the lowdown on some great upgrades available now. Full article HERE

4. Leatt Endurance Gear

2024 Endurance range of men’s and women’s specific gear.

For a first foray into the endurance space, the launch lineup is pretty extensive which makes one think the crew at Leatt is taking this category seriously. The range has multiple colorways, up to nine size curves in some of the items, and chunks of functional tech for XC and Gravel riding. Full article HERE

3. Specialized Levo SL

Lightweight, mid-power eMTB magic

It’s a completely new package and the redesign is intentionally almost identical to the award-winning Stumpjumper Evo. Specialized says that a lot of the technology seen here has trickled down from their World Cup Gravity Team. The learnings from that program, which includes riders like Loic Bruni and Finn Iles, have had a direct influence on the Stumpjumper Evo, full-power Levo and this new Levo SL. Full article HERE

2. Trek Rail 9.9 XX1 AXS

The crème de la crème of eMTB?

Trek’s eBike lineup includes a mix of XC and Trail bikes, in mid-power and full-power models. Their Rail is a full-power, Bosch-assisted trail eBike that is known for its versatility and is likely one of the best-selling eBikes in the country. The price tag on this top-of-the-range boykie, the 9.9 AXS model, is a little north of R200k and as you’d expect, there’s a ton of tech in this rig. We asked Trek to send us this, their crème de la crème eMTB, so we can experience it, maybe race it and report on it. On my mind: is all the techy bling a complete necessity? Or just a nice to have. Full article HERE

1. Titan Racing Cypher 120

Cape Epic on a budget?

Titan Racing got in early with 120mm XC bikes and their Cypher quickly became a best-seller. This Limited Edition model is blinged-up courtesy of the sassy DT Swiss wheels and dampers. Adding to its ‘raceability’ is a clever three-stage lockout that squeezes every possible marginal gain, into your game. After clocking more than 200km of Cape Towns’ rowdiest XC trails, I’m very impressed with its hooliganism and outright speed. So much so I’m convinced it’s ready for big races, like the Epic. It does, however, need one small tweak. Full article HERE

Feel free to reach out and tell us what locally produced reviews, racing, interviews or how-to articles you’d like to see more of in 2024. –

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