New: Moots Baxter

moots baxter

Moots unveiled a new, drop-bar 29er adventure bike. Named after Moots’ resident banana-eating Chocolate Labrador, the Baxter frame is built in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, from Moots’ proprietary titanium tubing. It will accept a rigid fork or 100 mm of suspension.

Features:

  • 44 mm head tube
  • 73 mm English threaded bottom bracket
  • 30.9 mm seatpost for greater dropper post compatibility
  • 142 x 12 thru-axle rear end spacing
  • Disc 160 rotor post mount brake
  • 29×2.25 max tire clearance (2.0-inch tires suggested)
  • 3 water bottle locations
  • Replaceable derailleur hanger
  • 38/28 maximum chain rings
  • Open frame for maximum size frame pack

The Baxter is available in five stock sizes: XS, S, M, L, and XL, or you can go the custom route. Orders may be placed now for October 1, 2016 delivery. MSRP for complete bike as pictured: $8,700. The one complete build kit features an Enve rigid mountain fork, Chris King headset, Shimano XT Di2 groupset, 38/28 crankset, Shimano XT brakes, Salsa Woodchipper drop bars, Fizik Gobi saddle and Mavic Crossmax wheels.

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Jamis announces 2017 adventure and cyclocross bikes

Jamis announced its early-release 2017 bicycle—the Nova Cyclocross Series and Renegade Adventure Series—due to be available in stores as early as late July, with the rest of the Jamis bike line revealed in September.

Renegade

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Jamis Renegade Elite

The Jamis Renegade line of adventure/gravel/all-road bikes was refreshed with two carbon, two steel (Reynolds 631 and 520) and one aluminum frames. Complete bikes range in price from $3,900 (full carbon, Shimano Ultegra, 19 pounds) to $800 (full aluminum, Shimano Claris, 24 pounds).

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Jamis Renegade Exploit

The Renegades feature disc brakes, front and rear thru axles (on most models), room for 700×40 mm tires and carbon forks on all but the base aluminum model. The wheels feature tubeless-ready mountain rims that are 23-24 mm wide. The full-carbon bikes have internal cable routing and are ready to accept an internally-routed dropper post (seat post size is still 27.2 mm, but there are more and more options now available in that size).

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Jamis Renegade Exile

The Renegade frame geometry is “long and tall,” with three different fork offsets, bottom bracket drops and rear-center measurements available so that bike fits are consistent and appropriate across sizes 48 to 61 cm.

With a wide collection of fork and frame mounts, you can mount fenders, a rear rack, a low-rider front rack (or two fork cages for water bottles/storage) and three front triangle bottle cages.

Nova Cyclocross

Supernova Team

Supernova Team

The Jamis Nova Cyclocross Series features two carbon models and one aluminum, ranging in price from $4,000 down to $1,900.

Nova Pro aluminum

Nova Pro aluminum

All three models of the Nova have been updated to includes 142×12 mm thru axles in the rear. A unique carbon molding process for the top two models purports to be lighter and stiffer while being less harsh. The frames use size-specific tubing, in which top and down tubes get smaller as the frame size gets smaller, which is intended to keep performance characteristics consistent across the line. The carbon models also get a 15 mm thru-axle fork, internal cable routing and Di2 compatibility.

 

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Review: Cannondale Slate Ultegra

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What the heck is this thing?

It seems completely out of left field. It’s a mountain bike with drop bars, right? Not even close. So it’s an adventuremobile gravel grinder? Wrong again. Cannondale labels the new Slate as a “new road” bike, and I’d say it leans heavily toward just that: roads. Dirt roads sure, but if you were expecting an all-terrain monstercross machine, this isn’t it.

At its introduction the engineers explained that the very reason the bike was built with 650b wheels was that the smaller wheels with larger tires kept the overall circumference of a 700c race tire. Despite the added height of the suspension fork they were able to maintain the stack height they wanted and the 405 mm chainstays. The bike’s fit falls somewhere between the Supersix EVO race bike and the Synapse endurance bike. The Slate does have a longer front center and slacker head tube, though.

CDale Slate details-1

So, it’s a road bike with suspension? It’s not a new idea. RockShox was building a road bike fork in the early 1990s and it had success in pro races across the brutal Belgian cobblestones. Cannondale was also making versions of its road and cyclocross bikes with a Headshok a decade ago.

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This time around the Slate uses a completely new version of Cannondale’s unique Lefty suspension fork that has a dedicated following in the mountain bike world. (Nerd alert: It’s technically not a fork at all, but a strut.) Known as Oliver, it has 30 mm of travel controlled through an air spring and has adjustable rebound damping via a knob on the top and a lockout button labeled “Push to climb.” With a completely new damper designed just for the Slate, it has a high compression threshold and limited sag so it doesn’t bob into the mid-stroke while you’re riding.

What you’re really buying here is a very high-end fork with a frame attached to it. In this case it uses Cannondale’s classic aluminum construction with more compliance built in than any previous model. The seatstays and chainstays use radically shaped tubing to allow the frame to match the comfort of the fork. Err, strut. Cannondale could have used the 25.4 mm seatpost of its Synapse line for even more compliance, but instead it opted for 27.2 mm so it can accommodate a dropper seatpost. Drop bars and dropper posts will be the story of 2016. You read it here first.

The Slate we tested was the middle of three build kit offerings, with an 11-speed Shimano Ultegra drivetrain running through Cannondale’s own Hollowgram Si crankset with 52/36 chainrings and an 11-28 cassette. The shifting works well, but the feel of the cable release lever is still a bit vague for my liking.

The frame has eyelets at the rear dropouts to attach fenders or a minimal rack, but without eyelets at the top you’re going to have to get creative. A front fender is a DIY-only affair at this point. I learned the hard way that because there is no fork crown, if you ride on wet roads a plume of water shoots directly up in the air off the front wheel, subsequently spraying you in the face.

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All in all, the Slate rides like, well, a road bike. The posture is classic skinny-tire aggressive, but unless you look down you might not even notice the larger rubber. The 42 mm tires themselves, made by Panaracer for Cannondale, are amazingly light and supple with a faint file tread. Both the wheels and the tires are tubeless compatible, but the Slate doesn’t ship with them set up as such.

I’ll admit, when I first caught wind of this bike I expected something more akin to a “gravel” bike or monstercross. Now that I’ve met the design team and ridden the bike, I can say that isn’t what we have here. There isn’t much room in the frame for more rubber or a knobby tread, so forget about putting mountain bike tires on it. I think it falls much closer to the “road” end of the spectrum than it might seem at first glance. As such, it has absolutely no problems holding its own in a paceline or in a group ride. It has all the responsiveness of a traditional road bike, albeit an outrageously comfortable one.

CDale-Slate-Trio

Here in Oregon, we have endless dirt roads through the misty coastal mountains, and this is where I had the most fun on the Slate. The fat tires neutralize high speed vibrations from the ground while the Lefty Oliver eats potholes for breakfast. While the lockout button is within easy reach, I felt fine leaving the compression open all the time, and the Oliver was only absorbing bumps and not watts. I took the Slate through all kinds of pavement, gravel, dirt, mud, roots and rocks and it really is a versatile machine.

Yes, a more aggressive tire would have been appreciated when I started venturing into some singletrack, but that’s really at the very edge of this bike’s intended use. What is the intended use? The Slate is for anyone who wants a really, really comfortable road bike. With the current state of American roads and infrastructure, perhaps that isn’t a bad idea. Here at Bicycle Times, we’re big fans of pushing boundaries in terms of where you can take your bike. Maybe it’s a new road, after all.

  • Price: $3,520
  • Weight: 20.9 pounds
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL (tested)
  • More info: Cannondale Slate

 

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Review: Bianchi Volpe Disc and Zurigo Disc

Testers: Eric Mckeegan and Jon Pratt shared this back-to-back review in Bicycle Times Issue #38

Bianchi has been at the bike game for a long, long time. One hundred thirty years to be exact. Almost as old is Bianchi’s signature celeste green, perhaps the most recognizable color in cycling. While much of Bianchi’s history revolves around road racing, it has also had much success in the urban market and with a line of now extinct singlespeed mountain bikes.

The Volpe (silver) and Zurigo (green) represent the road bike market’s move from racing to more general riding pursuits. In years past these bikes would have been categorized as cyclocross bikes, but now fall under the banner of “all-road” bikes, a much better term to describe sturdy, versatile drop-bar bikes that can commute, tour and maybe even see the start line of a dirt road race or cyclocross course.

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It isn’t often we get to ride two such similarly equipped bikes from the same manufacturer at the same time, so we assigned a pair of riders to ride them both and report back. Both bikes have Shimano 10-speed Tiagra drivetrains with compact cranks, Hayes CX 1 disc brakes and nearly identical geometry. Both bikes have rack and fender mounts, too.

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Of the two, the Volpe is probably the more familiar—the rim-brake version has been a favorite of utility cyclists for years. This steel-frame stalwart has low-rider rack mounts on the fork, downtube cable adjusters and a well-padded WTB Speed V saddle. The Zurigo has an expensive looking celeste paint job adorning its aluminum frame and carbon fork, a racy Selle San Marco saddle, and tubeless-ready rims. The Zurigo pictured here is the 2015 model, but will be updated for 2016 with a SRAM Apex drivetrain and a price increase to $1,700.

First Impressions

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Eric: The Zurigo is perhaps the most expensive-looking $1,600 bike I’ve ever ridden. All that green should look tacky but this bike manages to be understated, classy and attract attention. It also looks and feels racy. The Volpe looked and rode like an old friend, although after a few rides I installed a more sporty saddle to try to get the fit and feel more similar between bikes.

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Jon: I couldn’t agree with Eric more. The Zurigo looks and feels the racier of the two bikes. A bit too over-the-top with the colors for my taste, but it is classic Bianchi. Immediately, I felt like the Volpe was “my bike.” Understated and comfortable.

Ride

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Eric: My first long ride on the Zurigo was a doozy. A road spin to watch a Red Bull mountain bike event, followed by a group mountain bike ride, and then ride back home. Even with the street tires the Zurigo was game for some dry trails. The drivetrain wasn’t very happy be bounced around off-road, and it paid me back by bouncing between gears, but all in all, it was a willing companion for this type of riding.

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The Volpe struck me as a much more laid back ride, and where the cyclocross racing heritage of the Zurigo had me attacking climbs, the Volpe took a kinder and gentler approach. Easier gears, sit down, relax, we’ll get there. One of the main things that stood out to me was how much of the ride feel was about things other than frame material. I noticed the saddle, the handlebar height and the tire pressure much more so than any perceived diff erences between the frame and fork. That said, the Zurigo felt lighter and stiffer, but less forgiving than the Volpe.

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Jon: To sum up my riding experiences with both bikes, I’ll harken back to the day Eric and I met up at a coffee shop downtown to swap bikes. I had ridden down on the Volpe, feeling at ease. It lazily darted in and out of alleyways and felt compliant as I navigated the sometimes broken streets of Pittsburgh. The Volpe wanted me to keep exploring. The combination of the saddle and handlebar height made my experience on the Volpe a very pleasant, relaxed one.

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After a relaxing, tasty espresso, I headed home on the Zurigo. It felt like it was begging me to stand up and mash. Find the quickest route home and go. The bike felt snappier, more rigid and not as friendly to the errant pothole or crack in the street. As Eric pointed out, a lot of that feeling is directly related to the seat, tires and handlebars.

Which Would You Choose?

Eric: Normally, I’m a steel guy. But something about the Zurigo clicked with me. I could use a racier bike in my stable, and my mountain bike background is very attracted to the tubeless rims. While I don’t plan to mix it up on a cyclocross course anytime soon, this would make a fine race bike for dirt roads, although it does lose a few points to purpose-built, all-road bikes with its cyclocross racing genealogy. And those rack and fender mounts would make this a great winter commuter in areas that salt the hellout of the roads, such as my home city of Pittsburgh, no worries about rust.

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Jon: While I feel the Zurigo is a fine bike, and both bikes are great deals at their price points, there’s no doubt I would buy the Volpe. It better fits my riding style, which tends to be a slow exploration of urban cityscapes or a short run the store. Where the Volpe felt like a bike I had been riding all along, the Zurigo’s racier touch made the bike feel like it was something I borrowed from one of my friends and could never really get comfortable on. I can see why so many people around town choose the Volpe as their go-to urban commuter.

  • Price: Volpe – $1,500; Zurgio – $1,600
  • Weight: Volpe – 26.3 pounds; Zurigo – 22.6 pounds
  • Sizes: Volpe: 46, 49, 51, 53, 55 (tested), 57, 59, 61; Zurigo: 49, 52, 55 (tested), 57, 59, 610
  • More info: bianchiusa.com

 

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First Impression: Jamis Renegade Elite

Jamis Renegade First Impression—WEB (3 of 23)

The Jamis Renegade was one of a handful of interesting adventure bikes that caught our attention at this year’s Interbike show. The Renegade brings a healthy dose of technology to Jamis’ line of adventure bikes, which had been anchored by classic steel touring bikes like the Aurora and Bosanova.

Two models of the Renegade will be offered; the $2,399 Expert and the $4,199 Elite. Both bike utilize the same frame geometry, but are constructed with different carbon fiber raw materials and spec’d with different components.

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On paper, one of the most interesting aspects of the Renegade is the attention Jamis paid to the frame’s geometry. Jamis’ goal is to provide consistent ride quality across all sizes of the Renegade. In order to do so, it is producing bikes with three different fork offsets, three different bottom bracket heights, and three different chainstay lengths.

Smaller sizes have shorter rear center lengths, lower bottom brackets, and slacker head tube angles with more fork offset to reduce toe overlap. As frame size increases, the chainstays lengthen, bottom bracket gets a little taller, and the headtube steepens while fork offset decreases. Since I’m unable to ride both a 48cm and 61cm frame in addition to my size 54cm, I can’t weigh in on the results first hand, but I will say all of these moves make perfect sense conceptually.

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But, as interesting as all that tech might be, I was excited to get my hands on the Renegade and see how this technological wonder felt on the road. It’s been a while since I’ve ridden a fancy carbon road-ish bike with components on the high-end of the spectrum, and I’m simply blown away by the Renegade’s performance. It’s fast and responsive and all the components work like a dream. I’m afraid I’ve become awfully spoiled by the Renegade’s Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. The power and modulation are simply incredible. The Ultegra-level, 11-speed drivetrain is equally impressive. Shifts are super quick regardless of the situation.

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Let’s delve into some of the interesting specifics of the Renegade…

Jamis Renegade First Impression—WEB (10 of 23)  Jamis Renegade First Impression—WEB (5 of 23)

Jamis’ Enhanced Compliance Offset (ECO) fork sweeps the fork blades forward a bit more than usual to increase vertical compliance, but rearward facing dropout maintains the desired offset. Just below the 12mm RockShox Maxle thru axle you can see the removable fender eyelets. Due to the forward location of the fender eyelet, the stays of some fenders will not be long enough. Only two of the four stays on my new Planet Bike Cascadia ALX fenders (sold separately) would reach, and even those are a stretch.

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The rear fender and rack eyelets’ location is more traditional, making fender fitment much easier. Note that burly mounting interface for the rear brake.

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These shiny aluminum fenders look awesome on the Renegade. Kudos to Jamis for producing a performance bike with practical details like rack and fender mounts.

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Speaking of burly, the Renegade’s EVO386 bottom bracket is massive. Fortunately it provides a very stiff pedaling platform.

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I swapped the stock 100mm stem for a 90mm to shorten up the reach just a little bit. The Ritchey Comp Logic Curve handlebar has a nice bend, but I can’t help but yearn for a handlebar with a little bit of flair on a bike like the Renegade.

Jamis Renegade First Impression—WEB (23 of 23)

Internal cable routing keeps things tidy and clean.

Keep reading

So far, so good on this test, but I’ve only been on the bike for a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for the in-depth review in an upcoming issue of Bicycle Times Magazine. Support us by subscribing to the magazine or our weekly email newsletter. Either way, you’ll have all our best content delivered conveniently.

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