Blueprint was a collaboration between Dan Barham, Vernon Felton and Seb Kemp to try and get behind the marketing story that bike companies love to tell and ask some of the obvious, yet less often heard questions.

Bike Magazine’s Seb Kemp has been the only person outside of Santa Cruz Bicycle’s inner circle to have extensively ridden the Bronson. Since last September Kemp was riding one of the raw metal, raw design mules and since December he has spent time on a pre-production, carbon fiber version. Somewhere between those two bikes a radical change was made to the Bronson.

The story behind the Bronson is more interesting than that of most bikes because during the early stages of prototype testing, 650b wheels reared their head and made Santa Cruz Bicycles take a long, hard look at the actual benefits of the middle wheel size.

One thing that this behind-the-scenes look has given Bike Magazine is an intimate look at how a bike goes from raw, rideable concept to full-blown finished product. This is the personal account of one rider’s struggle to accept the new wheels and the story of an entire company trying to make the right choice.

Specialized kept a tight lid on this story.

A 29er Enduro?

It’s a bike that no one predicted would ever be built. And why should it when the 26er Enduro is already so capable and well-loved? We went into the heart of Specialized Bicycles to find out how and most importantly, why, the company decided to squeeze those big wheels into their Enduro model. Here’s the new Specialzied Enduro 29.

In 2013, Kona debuted their Process all-mountain model, which earned rave reviews. For 2014, it’s gone. Tossed out. Replaced. Which begs the question: Why? We went to Kona looking for answers. What we learned was surprising. Kona replaced that model with three new lines of Process bikes–some in 29er and some in 650b–all of them bearing a very different frame than last year’s model. Here’s they story of why that’s the case. More importantly, this is a look inside the mindset of this iconoclastic brand from the Pacific Northwest.

We’ve also logged more than 600 miles of riding and 150,000 feet of descending on three early-issue Process bikes. What do we think of the new bike?

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