09 January 2018

Using the Tout Terrain Bike Configurator


Tout Terrain offers a wide variety of touring, commuting, bike packing, and ebikes to fit just about any need.  Unlike most companies, which offer a single model with a fixed build kit or maybe 2-3 models/build kits at different price points with colors and component spec tied to the given model, Tout Terrain offers a flexible bike configuration program that falls somewhere between the standard stock models approach and full custom bike builds.

The approach is similar to configuring a car on a manufacturer's website.  You cannot pick every single component on the bike, but they offer options that cover the just about everything we get questions about:
  • Frame type (various wheel sizes, some step through options, various intended uses)
  • Frame color (4 colors included, 6 at small upcharge, you choose for a larger upcharge)
  • Frame size (3-4 options depending on model)
  • Drivetrain type (derailleur, various internal gear hubs, various gearboxes)
  • Contact points (saddles, grips, handlebars, pedals, stem length)
  • Sprocket sizes/gear ratios
  • Brake setup (left front vs right front)
  • Steerer tube length/number of spacers
  • Shifter options (twist vs thumb shifters)
  • Brakes, headset, bottom bracket upgrades
  • Steering lock option
  • Dynamo hubs
  • Lights
  • USB chargers
  • Pitlock security skewers
  • Racks
  • Tires
  • Fenders
  • Bell
  • Locks
  • Reflective frame decals

Getting Started

Bikes are configured through Tout Terrain's online configuration tool.  When you first visit the configurator, you will be greeted by this screen:

03 January 2018

LONG-TERM TEST: Xan Reviews the Zerode Taniwha

The Zerode Taniwha has been creating plenty of buzz in internet mountain bike circles for a while now, and for good reason. It’s a sleek, slack, carbon enduro bike that checks off all the boxes of modern mountain bike design. But one thing sets the Taniwha apart from the competition: at its heart is a completely internal shifting system, in the form of a Pinion 12-speed gearbox.

This April, our first Taniwhas landed at Cycle Monkey headquarters and we excitedly built them up. Since then, we’ve been putting the bike through the wringer on some of the most aggressive trails in the country for months on end.

Fresh out of New Zealand - The Zerode Taniwha!

Rather than simply providing a brief overview of the bike, this review seeks to fully assess the Taniwha in terms of its strengths and weaknesses, capability, user experience, and durability.

Why is This Bike Special?

Over the last few years, I’ve ridden a lot of the most popular trail/enduro offerings from mainstream manufacturers -- the Specialized Enduro, Santa Cruz Nomad, Santa Cruz Bronson, YT Capra, and Scott Genius LT all spring to mind.

The merits of these bikes are clear to anyone who has ever ridden one. Stiff carbon frames paired with progressive geometry make for some of the most capable descenders out there. What’s more, most modern long travel bikes can get you to the top of the hill for your next lap without any fuss.

But while I’ve had plenty of good times aboard these bikes, I’ve also had plenty of rides that involved smashing my derailleur on rocks, dealing with impaired shifting, and having to replace expensive drivetrain parts.

The holy grail of trail riding? - Crested Butte, CO