I’m into riding…
Hello. I’m Steve and I write the posts and manage the activity you see on this site. I’m probably a lot like you and most other riders you know – a committed and enthusiastic cyclist with a job, a family, a few other passions and generally a pretty full life.
If it works within the budget, I’m always open to replacing, upgrading or adding a piece of gear that will help improve my riding performance and experience. But, there’s always new stuff coming out, features I’m not sure I understand or need, product jargon to learn that’s often hard to distinguish from marketing BS, and riders opening my eyes and filling my ears with ideas of what they think is making a difference for them.
It’s really hard for any of us to find the hours to do the research that will get us to a confident choice about what and where to buy that next thing that will make our riding better – to track down, read through and analyze all the information from so many sources and then hunt down the best places to buy the product, in inventory, with a good price and good service.
No shop, site, magazine, reviewer, online forum, riding buddy, or other sources I know of is doing this in an independent, comprehensive, comparative, disciplined, or rider-friendly way.
Doing the work for you…
I’m doing the work to solve that problem. I initially set up this site for my friends and anyone in the cycling community who couldn’t easily spend a lot of time trying to pick what may end up being the wrong piece of gear or pay more than they need to and who would prefer to spend their time riding their bike confident that they just made a great decision on something that boosts their cycling experience.
My goal is to put you (and me) in the know about what cycling gear to get next and where to get it. It’s become a passion for me and I’m making the time to do it.
I and my fellow testers spend countless hours riding, evaluating, and comparing products for each review.
We do this for products across an entire category, condense down what we’ve found into something that is both comprehensive and easy for almost anyone to read and understand, and make recommendations that will be right for most cycling enthusiasts.
This is the way you would do it for yourself if you had the time, discipline, and experience to make smart, objective, and confident choices. We make the time to do it for you (and it’s a heck of a lot of fun too).
The experience we bring…
I’m the stereotypical aging cycling enthusiast always looking to spend money wisely on gear that can help me get beyond the limits of my God-given 18-20mph, 3.25 w/kg endurance riding talent.
Off the bike, I’m an engineer by training but have spent most of my career as a business advisor. My clients ask me to help them come up with solutions to tough issues and recommend answers to complex questions that take a lot of research, analysis, and judgment.
I’ve tried to combine this professional training with my enthusiasm for and knowledge of cycling to put you in the know.
On the bike, I’ve been riding 5 or 6 days a week, about 5 to 6,000 miles a year for many years. I ride road centuries, gravel riding events, and really enjoy group rides. During the winter I do a mix of indoor cycling and weight lifting, and my first love, downhill skiing.
I have “just” 3 bikes – a Parlee Altum disc brake bike for the road, a Giant Revolt Advanced for gravel, and a Specialized Roubaix with Dura-Ace components that cost about $3K new back in the day that graces my trainer.
My friends and fellow testers Nate, Miles, Aiyana, Conor, and Adam add perspectives and talents that complement or go beyond and, in some cases, well beyond mine.
We ride at different speeds; range from 120 to 250lbs (54 to 115kg); some of us race while others live for the group ride; we ride different terrain, distances, etc.
We ride mostly in the New England region of the United States where we live and work and where there’s a great range of road and off-road terrain and events to test gear and ourselves.
Typically, two or three of us will test the same piece of gear so we can bring different perspectives to the review – faster and slower riders; lighter and heavier riders; racers and group riders, different terrain, riding situations, etc.
Nate is a biomedical engineer and bike tester that sets the pace. Literally. He leads the fast group rides in our 300+ person cycling club including the Tuesday morning “Bullet Train” that moves along at 25-26 mph (40-42kph).
He finishes on masters podiums for his busy-working-guy-with-spouse-and-young-kids masters age group on some of the toughest hill climbs in the northeast. Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, for example where he’s come in top 10 overall on several occasions.
In addition to road, he also does serious mountain, cyclocross, gravel, and fat biking. He’s got more bikes than I can list without getting him in trouble but they include Specialized S-Works Venge road disc and S-Works Tarmac rim brake bikes, a Cannondale cross bike, a Giant Revolt Advanced gravel bike, a fat bike, a commuter bike, and who knows what else.
Miles teaches history and is a Masters and P/1/2 racer. He does 35-40 races a year including regional crits, road races, stage races, CX, and gravel grinders. He wins a bunch of them and is in the first group of finishers most of the time.
He’s been on the podium in his age group crit at the USA road and MTB nationals, PanAm cyclocross, Longsjo, and Killington Stage Race, and was 10th overall in the Vermont Overland. A fast dude. If you can ever catch him, or more likely get passed by him, you’ll see that he rides a Giant Propel Advanced SL Disc and a Cervelo R3.
several many, many more for each discipline but before he showed me all of them one day in his special clean-room bike lair that used to be a basement, I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Aiyana has raced around the world, has a career in finance, is raising a family, and still does 1-3hr rides 5-6 times a week because “my legs and lungs allow me to explore.”
At nearly 5′ 4″ (162cm) and around 120 pounds (54kg), she’s a Superwoman and a damn good cyclist too. Tons of energy and enthusiasm and a whole lot of fun to ride with.
And the socks and jerseys she wears are special.
Aiyana seems to have a bike for every season and activity. She rides a Storck Aerfast on the road, a retired BMC Timemachine on the trainer, and a classic Triumph townie for getting around the neighborhood.
Off-road, you’ll see her on a Velocity XC racing bike, a metal Specialized Stump Jumper for mountain biking, and a Motobecane fat bike for winter riding in the New England snow.
Conor started racing mountain bikes in high school and rode with the Team Fat Chance junior development team–he still has his Yo Eddy! Hardtail in his basement! Later, he got into road riding, then cyclocross racing during the heyday of the Gloucester/Providence “holy week” in New England, earning some podium finishes along the way.
These days, he does most of his cycling in rural Vermont where he’s a tax attorney and rides as much of that state’s spectacularly beautiful network of dirt roads as he can.
He’s embraced and had some respectably fast results in most of the marque gravel events in New England (Overland, Rooted Vermont, The Ranger, Guilford Gravel Grinder, etc.) and has had some respectably fast results in many of them. Conor thinks any gravel-loving cyclist should ride the 180K route of D2R2 at least once in their gravel lifetime. He currently puts most of his miles on a Giant Revolt Advanced gravel bike.
Adam is a multi-sport, multi-talented, mountain of a man. He’s 6’4″ (193cm), 250lbs (115kg), and a former Ironman distance triathlete, road cyclist, mountain biker, and occasional gravel rider. He’ll test the durability, strength, and weight limits of almost any cycling product.
He’s also been known to hop in a boat and race in the Head of the Charles. He trains 10+ hours a week motivated by his desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle, stay active, and enjoy ice cream.
Adam doesn’t do much racing these days with two little kids at home and a busy job developing medicines, but he is out the door by 5:30 am most days riding and running. He can be found in the Bullet Train B group or hammering a flat fast road in front of the peloton on his OPEN MIN.D.
His smooth cadence, huge draft, and steady wheel make him a magnet others attach to on a group ride. Off-road, he rides a Trek SuperCaliber and a Cannondale FAT CAAD on the single track and a Giant TCX on gravel.
A rider’s perspective, not an industry bias or paid mouthpiece…
I and my fellow testers represent the rider’s perspective – yours and ours. We’re curious about new gear and enjoy riding it and sharing our experience with it.
But we aren’t journalists or members of the cycling media. None of us have ever worked for a bike company or in a bike shop or for a PR or advertising agency.
These are not bad things. I appreciate and respect what people who work in the industry do.
It’s just not where we and I’ll guess most of you come from. It allows us to share whatever we experience with a product we test without hesitation or potential conflict.
I buy or demo and return or donate the gear we test. When we receive kit that I don’t buy or can’t return or donate, like apparel, I will make a donation for its value to a cycling non-profit organization.
I don’t go on any company- or personally-expensed product review trips or go to industry meetings. You will not see any advertising for cycling products or anything else on this site. None of our content or the work that goes into creating it is sponsored, paid for, or guest or ghost-written by those at or associated with cycling companies, stores, PR firms, or individuals. I also don’t engage in influencer marketing.
We represent only the interests of fellow cyclists.
Join me, help yourself…
I hope you’ll join me in using this site by sharing your perspective with me and other readers in the comments sections under the reviews and posts, let me know what category of cycling gear you want to see reviewed, spread the word about what we are doing here, and buy your gear through the links provided on the site.
Doing that will help support the costs of buying gear to test, cranking out reviews, and running the site. Your support will increase what I can do for you, and allow us to get better at enjoying our passion for cycling together.
Thanks for reading and supporting the site,
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If you have a question or comment about gear or kit, please ask it in the comment section at the bottom of a review. I’ll see it and respond to it much quicker there and all our fellow roadies can learn from it.
If you are looking for a bike, wheelset, or other recommendation for your specific situation, please read this review for bikes or this review for wheels to help you make a decision that’s best for your unique budget, goals, and rider profile.
While I get that you are about to make an important decision and want as much input as possible before you do, I just don’t have enough time for the site, my riding, family, and job to also make individual recommendations. I wrote the posts I linked you to and all the others on the site to help you and your fellow enthusiasts as best I can. Thanks for understanding.
Please note that I don’t accept guest posts, engage in influencer marketing or publish articles, announcements or any content paid for or submitted by companies, stores, PR firms, guest authors, individuals, non-profits or any other organization or person (except maybe my mother).
If it is about something else, you can contact me at [email protected]