What’s new at Interbike: part five

Interbike’s indoor show is truly overwhelming; getting lost and being late and forgetting to eat are par for the course, as is the feeling that you can’t possibly cover everything. Here we bring you the most interesting things our editors saw from each day of the indoor show.

Thule/YEPP child seats

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Thule has long made child carriers for bikes but this year it now has YEPP of the Netherlands in its wheelhouse and the two companies are beginning to collaborate. YEPP borrowed helmet technology for this bike seat that actually looks a lot like a helmet, indeed.

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Notable is the magnetic closure system that’s quick and easy to engage, but required a two-point maneuver to open–something your kiddo probably won’t be able to figure out. This particular model has adjustable foot rests, attaches to almost any rear rack and can accommodate up to 48 pounds (it weighs 6.6 pounds empty) and will sell for $220.

Primal Wear urban clothing

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Primal was one of the many companies at Interbike broadly expanding the types of products it has on offer. Long a company focused on custom cycling clothing and mostly oriented toward more serious road riders (if you go even farther back you might remember Primal being known for wacky jersey designs), it seems to be trying to re-orient its brand reputation. Primal still sells tribal ink, Pink Floyd and military-themed jerseys, but has jumped into the urban cycling market with a rather ambitious collection.

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“Collection” is the word for it. The clothes, part of the new “Happy Trails / HTA” line, were designed by Rok Jung. Jung took design cues from high fashion and worked to create hybrid cycling pieces that are useful and technical without being obvious. The pieces clearly won’t appeal to everyone but after inspecting them up close, I came away impressed with the details and impeccable quality of each garment.

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Almost every piece is packed with features like seamless double stitching, mesh panels, reflective detailing, deep pockets and classic style. The HTA line is being described as “active casual” with several pieces that will work just fine beyond cycling. Expect to see this line grow significantly in the future.

Ritchey Logic bikes

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This is the new Ritchey Ascent BreakAway. The steel Ascent has been out for a while as a commuting, touring, adventuring or whatever-ing bike, but the travel ease of the two-piece BreakAway frame is new. The Ascent has mounts for lots of cages, racks and fenders and can run up to 700×40 mm tires or 27.5×2.1 mountain tires. It takes quick release wheels, 160 mm disc rotors and will cost you $1,700 for the frameset. Leopard-print bag not included.

Tires from Schwalbe and Panaracer

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Tires aren’t always the most exciting show items becasue they all start to look alike. But these G-One AllRound Schwalbes caught our eye immediately both for the tread pattern and the size: 27×2.8. Turn your 27plus bike into a commuter or gravel grinder.

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Also notable, and in a similar vein, are the new G-One Speed tires that come in 29×2.35. These tires have existed for the 700c gravel set, but will now likely work on your 29plus rims. The options for bike and tire combos are literally approaching endlessness.

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This one is simply a public service announcement: The excellent Panaracer Gravel King tires are now offered with tan walls. YES. (Pictured are 700x32c tires.)

Co-Motion Cycles

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The Co-Motion Cycles Siskiyou Pinion is a bike for exploring, touring and traveling. It features 650b wheels, thru axles, room for 50 mm tires, Reynolds 725 steel tubing and plenty of rack/fender mounts.

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What’s new with the Siskiyou is an 18-speed Pinion gearbox with Gates Carbon Belt Drive for clean, quiet, low maintenance shifting. The shifting is accomplished by a grip-style shifter machined by Co-Motion. If you don’t want to spend $6,400 on this one, there is also a standard 2×10 available. Or, go with a Rohloff hub.

 

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What’s new at Interbike: part three

Interbike’s indoor show is truly overwhelming; getting lost and being late and forgetting to eat are par for the course, as is the feeling that you can’t possibly cover everything. Here we bring you the most interesting things our editors saw from each day of the indoor show.

Brompton

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While the basic Brompton shape hasn’t changed, that doesn’t mean the brand isn’t continuously refining its products. New this year is a revised cockpit with a new handlebar shape with new shifters tucked underneath it.

The new handlebar shape makes space for the shifters, while also allowing room for full-size grips. Many riders want to equip their Brompton with off-the-shelf lock-on grips, and now they can. The shifters themselves are integrated into the brake levers, as is the bell.

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Another new accessory is the USB powered taillight, developed in partnership with Cay Eye, that attaches to the specially designed port in the Brompton saddle. The saddles are now available in standard (147 mm) and wide (167 mm), too.

Pearl Izumi

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I don’t know about you, but I’m over the super stiff, duck-walking cycling shoes of the past. Pearl Izumi must agree with me, because all of its shoes are designed for both cycling, and standing/walking comfort.

Shoes like the new X-Alp Elite have a super grippy sole, a stiff shank for pedaling and a super flexible toe box for comfort. The BOA closure system is ideal for getting a perfect fit dialed in and can adjust on the fly. This is the kind of shoe you can wear for road, touring, commuting or just cruising with your riding buddies.

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The X-Alp Drift shoe is something you don’t think you need until you try it. The super ventilated, mesh upper sheds heat and water for those tropical, summer rides. Wear them without socks to get some of the cooling benefit of riding with SPD sandals without the beard and fanny pack required.

Tern Bicycles

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We spotted these new, non-folding bikes in the Tern booth. The concept was to develop a series of smaller stature bikes for Asia built around 650c wheels, and they looked so good they are bringing them to the U.S. The smallest sizes go all the way down to 42 cm and top out at 54 cm. There are four models starting at just $500 too.

Schwinn

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Schwinn is doing its best to shake the big box store reputation with new models available only at your local bike shop. The Sivica is a brand-new city cruiser available in either singlespeed or seven speed versions at less than $500. The best part is the candy colored rainbow of paint choices you get. The geometry is relaxed as you might expect, with a super slack seat tube that puts the rider in an almost reclining position.

Blackburn

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Blackburn knows a thing or three about racks and touring, but now it’s bringing its #basketpacking game with the new Outpost basket. Built with many of the same adjustment features as the Outpost touring racks, it’s a great mid-step between a wire mesh basket and some of the super pricey versions on the market. It has a built-in U-lock holder and includes a mesh cargo net. Look for it to sell for $70.

Ortlieb

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We tested Ortlieb’s new bikepacking bags and featured our review in the current issue. Next up is the frame bag, which will be available in two sizes: 4 liters and 6 liters. It has all the same heavy-duty, waterproof construction you’d expect from Ortlieb’s classic, indestructible bags.

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There’s also a new truck rack bag with a roll-top closure that uses a similar attachments system as the classic panniers. A series of four, adjustable feet grab onto any rack, and the system is opened with a “key” of sorts, that you can remove and take with you. It’s not theft-proof, but it prevents a quick grab-and-run.

Calfee Bikes

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We’ve reported on these bamboo frame kits before, but they are super cool, so I cam going to talk about them again. This seems like a great winter project. For $200 you get a full materials kit (Bamboo, headtube, bottom bracket, dropouts, pre-preg fiberglass tape).

Obviously you’ll need tooling to get it all together, so you can rent a set from Calfee, It is free to rent, but you will need to leave a deposit of $600. Or just buy the materials and tooling for $800.

We hope to get one of these in for review. It seems like a perfect winter time project, and a good way to introduce my kids to building things that doesn’t involve welding torches and grinders.

Wheels Manufacturing

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There seem to be a lot of tools at the show this year, including a few from Wheels Manufacturing. The bottom bracket tools are $22 a piece and come in sizes to fit all of the company’s extensive range of bottom brackets. The universal bottom bracket bearing press comes in home and shop versions for $35 or $75.

King Cage

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These might be the most labor-intensive set of chopsticks ever made. I got the lowdown on the many steps it tool to weld and shape these things, I knew they weren’t ever going to be something King Cage would sell. Although who knows? Maybe Ti Chopsticks will be the next hot accessory to hang next to your Ti camping mug on your bikepacking rig.

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Speaking of bikepacking, if your bike is in need of some more mounting points, these little doodads might be your huckleberry. A small threaded stud is welded onto a pipe clamp, and that clamp goes almost anywhere on a bike. Sold in 1 ½, 1 ¾ and 2 inch sizes for $6 each. Pipe clamps might not be the most pleasing thing to look at, but they are about a secure an attachment as you’ll find.

 

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New: Co-Motion touring bikes

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Co-Motion Cycles is well-known for its tandems, but it also has an impressive range of single-rider bikes, all made right in its own factory in Oregon. Co-Motion also makes all it own steel forks, and the majority of the dropouts, brake mounts and other small frame building bits.

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The new Ochoco touring bike is built for shorter-than-average people. While it could easily be called a women’s bike, it is available from sizes 42 to 58, all with 650b wheels. This means people of many heights that are in need of a shorter top tube and an upright position might be in luck here.

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The stock tires are 650bx35, but the frameset can fit up to a 40 mm tire. The drivetrain uses a Tanpan pully to allow for proper cable pull between the Shimano STI road shifter and SLX mountain rear derailleur. Combined with the FSA 46/36 crankset, the 11-40 cassette offers at least as much range as the average triple crank setup. You also get Rever’s  high-quality, easily serviceable mechanical disc brakes.

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Moving from a taller 700c tire to the 650b size helps to keep the geometry sorted, but Co-Motion takes it a step further. To improve steering geometry, Co-Motion makes its own 60 mm offset fork for this bike. Combining that with a 70 degree head angle should make for stable handling with and without a touring load.

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The Ochoco is like most of Co-Motion bikes: there are both stock and custom options for paint and sizing. Frame price is yet to be determined, but complete bikes start at $3,595 and go up to $4,295.

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There is also a new entry-level touring bike coming out–the Deschutes. This one comes in at $2,495. It has a single color, no custom geometry and less expensive frame tubing, but the same great touring geometry that Co-Motion is famous for. The parts kit is still quite nice, including Shimano 105 shifters, SLX derailleur, a 44 mm headtube and Alex/Formula wheels.

The stock color is called “lusty red” but, in person, it is more wine-colored. Size range is 46-60 cm, and these should be ready for sale soon.

 

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What’s new at Interbike: part two

Interbike’s indoor show is truly overwhelming; getting lost and being late and forgetting to eat are par for the course, as is the feeling that you can’t possibly cover everything. Here we bring you the most interesting things our editors saw from each day of the indoor show.

Altor Locks 560G

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If you’ve invested some hard earned cash in a new dream bike, you deserve a new dreamy lock to go with it. At $180 the Altor lock isn’t cheap, but it’s built from Grade 5 titanium and anodized in a soft blue. The patented folding design pivots on flexible joints that can adjust in any direction and it weighs just 584 grams.

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The lock is assembled in the USA and comes with a bike attachment to take it with you. I think it would be cool to find someone to make a custom leather pouch for it or something.

DT Swiss

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Need new wheels? The DT Swiss PR 1400 DICUT OXiC is a new lightweight clincher all murdered out. The hubs are die cut to save weight and use a 36 tooth ratchet. The brake track is coated in ceramic oxide to be extra durable and provide even more stopping power. Yes, special brake pads are required, but they are made by Swiss Stop and you can easily find replacements (your first ones come with the wheels). The PR 1400s come prepped to go tubeless, and those rims are 18 mm wide. The set weighs 1,435 grams and rings the cash register at $1,286.

Rocky Mounts

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Rocky Mounts launched a swing-away platform hitch rack that would be perfect on the back of your truck + truck bed camper shell. The MonoRail Swing fits a 2-inch receiver and holds bike wheel sizes from 20-29 inches. It provides clearance for fat bikes (including those with 197 mm rear spacing) and eliminates frame contact. The rack will sell for $530 (for two bikes–add a third bike tray for an extra $150) and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Kryptonite

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The mainstay Kryptolok line gets an update this year with double locking shackles for even more security. The squared-off shackle ends prevent the lock from twisting, even if one end of the “U” is cut. Plus the protrude all the way through the body, so it can’t fill up with snow or ice. Yes Floridians, that happens.

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Kryptonite has a folding lock of its own too. The Keeper line is available with either 6 mm links or 8 mm links, and is wrapped in a soft canvas cover to prevent scratches. Unlike some folding locks, the Keeper can pivot in any direction, making it easier to reach around awkward bike racks. They both come with a carrying case that attaches to the bike and will retail for $57 or $67.

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Kryptonite has been keeping your bike safe for years, but now it’s branching out to keeping riders safe with its new light lineup. The range covers small, be-seen lights to powerful 250 lumen headlights. The naming convention is wonderfully simple: “F” for front, “R” for rear, and a number for the corresponding lumen count. The small Boulevard lights pack an F-14 with an R-3 for $30, the Avenue chip-on-board series (above) has a F-35 and a R-20 for $35 and the Alley headlamp (below) pumps out 275 lumens for just $35.

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Shimano Shoes

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Shimano makes a ton of high performance road and mountain bike shoes, but there are a lot of riders out there (we’re picturing you, Bicycle Times readers) who don’t need or want the stiffest, flashiest SPD shoe on the market. The latest kicks from Shimano’s growing apparel lineup are perfect for commuting, touring, sportif riding or just cruising around town.

The sleek R4 shoe has a soft, synthetic leather upper with full laces for a timeless look and mates to a nylon sole with a two-bolt SPD cleat. It rates a 5 on Shimano’s 1-12 stiffness scale, so you can actually walk around in it.

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Another cool option for touring or commuting is the SH-MT3, which is in the “mountain touring” line, but looks pretty much just like any other lace-up shoe. If you ride SPDs on your commuter or around-town bike, these would be a perfect choice to go with it.

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Finally the RT5 is designed for road riding, but has a 2-bolt SPD cleat instead of a traditional 3-bolt road cleat. The extra tread means you won’t have to walk like a duck in it either, plus it too measures a 5 on the stiffness scale. I don’t know about you but I hardly ever ride road shoes with 3-hole cleats any more, so this type of road shoe is perfect for me.

Rolf Prima

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There aren’t many Made-In-USA wheels these days, but Rolf Prima is now building almost all its rims in its Eugene, Oregon, factory and pairing them with California-built White Industries hubs. The new Hyalite wheels feature the brand’s trademark paired-spoke design with 20 spokes front and rear. It comes in all the usual axle and freehub styles, and prices start at $899.

Rolf Prima also offers this really cool “ballistic armor coating” on select wheel models that let’s you choose from various colors for the rims and hubs. Add in some colored decals and you can really dial in a look to match your frame.

Osprey

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The 2017 line of commuter backpacks from Osprey is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, but we have to give special shoutout to this Radial model and its integrated “kickstand” that keeps it upright when you set it down. If you’re used to working out of a backpack with a computer, you know how annoying the floppy bag is.

Light & Motion

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The American-made lights from Light & Motion are finding new homes on e-bikes, where the new Nip and Tuck models are designed to wire directly into the battery. Since they have minimal draw they don’t dramatically affect battery life, and keeping them on all the day definitely improves visibility.

Gebla Rohbox

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One of the coolest things I saw isn’t even new but it seems like a solution many folks have been looking for. The Rohbox is designed specifically to allow SRAM road shifters to operate a Rohloff hub. If you’ve seen the less-than-elegant ways Rohloff hubs have been fitted to drop-bar bikes over the years, you can appreciate how nice this is. Like the hub itself, the Rohbox ain’t cheap ($243) but if you’re putting together your dream build, this is the ticket.

Link Bicycles

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Envisioned as a “gateway drug” to the wonderful world of internal geared hubs, Link Bicycles is a new brand that brings Gates Carbon belt drive to the masses. Starting at $900 for a singlespeed, the line includes cyclocross, road and mixte models with various drivetrain setups: Go 2×1 with a Schlumpf crankset that you shift with your heel. Build a 1×8 with a Shimano Alfine hub. And if you can’t decide on how many gears you need, spec a Nuvinci 360 continuously variable transmission hub.

This ‘cross bike can fit up to a 45 mm tire and has the usual rack and fender mounts, but no derailleur hanger. The eccentric bottom bracket is used to tension the belt for trouble-free wheel removal. The production version will also have three-pack eyelets on the downtube and both fork legs.

Topeak Bikamper

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Topeak’s tent is unique in that it uses no poles, one side secures to your bike’s handlebars using a fork mount staked to the ground and the other his held up by the front wheel (27.5 0r 29er) and then it’s all tethered down by straps to make a long, light and comfy one person tent. Retail price is $260. Also, Topeak’s vast collection of bike camping pack’s stand out feature is that they don’t rely on racks so you can outfit pretty much any bike.

 

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New: Yuba Supermarché and Sweet Curry

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Yuba is jumping into the frontloader market with the new Supermaché model. Built from aluminum, its two-piece frame can come apart for storage or shipping, and it keeps the weight of the full bike under 60 pounds.

The steering operates by a double redundant cable system that relies on a double-ended brake cable. The tab you see on the fork is from an early linkage-driven steering prototype. When it goes on sale next summer it will be available with a modular box system build from marine-grade plywood or a set of soft-sided carriers. Naturally kids seats will be available both front and back.

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While Yuba said an e-bike version will probably eventually happen, for now it is equipped with a simple 1×8 drivetrain, though you can add a front derailleur if you’d like. Look for it to sell for $2,599.

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The Sweet Curry is a spinoff of the Spicy Curry e-bike model we sampled last year. Essentially the same bike, it eschews the motor for a 2×9 drivetrain to keep the price down to $2,199. Unlike Yuba’s other longtail bikes, it shares the 20-inch rear wheel with the Spicy Curry to keep the payload weight down as low as possible.

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Look for the Sweet Curry to go on sale in the spring.

 

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New: Merckx Strasbourg71 Carbon

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There aren’t many names in cycling as recognizable as Merckx. Undoubtedly the greatest male bike racer of all time, Eddy’s namesake bicycle brand naturally offers up some performance-oriented models.

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According to the Merckx Cycles website, at the 1971 Tour de France, Eddy Merckx won the first stage in Strasbourg that ended on a gravel track where Merckx narrowly beat Roger De Vlaeminck in a sprint. This new bike is an homage to that win with ample tire clearance and high performance disc brakes.

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We saw the aluminum Strasbourg71 last year, and checked out the new carbon version at Interbike. It’s not just for racers, either, it has full fender and rack mounts as well as some unusual extra bottle cage mounts along the downtube to mount whatever you’d like. Under the down tube is another bottle cage, as well as a protective barrier just like many carbon mountain bikes have.

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The carbon frame allows Merckx to use a BB86 bottom bracket that is truly massive, and the tire clearance fits a big 40mm tire as well. The build kits include SRAM Rival, Shimano 105 and Shimano Ultegra.

The Strasbourg71 Carbon will start at $3,999.

 

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What’s new at Interbike: part one

Whereas Interbike was once the king of American bicycle industry trade shows, it now signals that the season of new product launches is winding down. The first two days of the event take place in Boulder City, Nevada, (Outdoor Demo) and are a little quieter this year than in years past. That said, we still found some shiny bits calling to us through the waves of heat gripping this dusty desert. Here are some of the new bikes and components that we checked out on the first day of Interbike 2016.

Van Dessel

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We couldn’t help but notice this updated WTF model in the Van Dessel booth. A true monstercross design, it’s built for drop bars and big tires, a popular theme this year at Interbike. With 29er wheels it can fit a 2.1 mountain bike tire plus any racks and fenders you might want to add.

The 4130 steel frame features a distinctive split top tube and replaceable dropouts that come in versions for quick release or thru axles.

Customers can configure the bike on the new Van Dessel website or order a frame/fork/headset for $699. Complete builds start at about $1,799.

SKS

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Our friends from Germany had some cool accessories in their booth. First up are these smart strap-on bottle cage adapters. It’s not a new idea but it’s well executed. They can also daisy chain together to attach larger items like Nalgene bottles, locks, pumps, etc. They sell for $25 a pair.

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The Ride Air is an air can cylinder that helps you seat tubeless tires. Getting the bead to seat is tough with just a floor pump, so instead you can fill this $69 canister with air, up to 200 psi, and then release it all at once to set the bead. It’s about the size of a water bottle so you can keep it in your gear bag or the trunk of your car. Look for it to go on sale in January.

Otso Cycles

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Otso is a new venture from the engineering team behind Wolf Tooth Components. The company, whose name means “spirit of the bear” in Finnish, launched this year with two bikes. One of them is the Warakin, a stainless steel frame paired with a carbon fork in the familiar and currently popular category of gravel/road/cyclocross/adventure/do-it-all bike.

Unique to this one is the use of Wolf Tooth’s flip-chip adjustable dropouts. We haven’t had a chance to fiddle with the mechanism yet, but it supposedly takes 2-5 minutes to adjust your chainstay length from 420 mm to 440 mm, with subtle changes to head tube angle and bottom bracket height, as well–all of which will affect how the bike handles. And because the rear disc brake mount is attached to the flip chip, its alignment self-adjusts.

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Numerous braze-ons will accommodate various rack/fender setups and three bottle cages. The Warakin frame will take up to a 29×2.0 tire and has “traditional” rear hub spacing, meaning you can install your “old” 29-inch wheels on the bike, if you wish.

The Warakin will sell for $3,199 with a Shimano 105 build. You can customize the build online or also just order the frameset for $1,799. We took one for a brief test ride and will bring you that first impression story soon.

SQLab

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We’ve been fans of SQLab’s ergonomic designs for a while now, and it keeps rolling out new products that help keep you comfortable on the bike. These InnerBarEnds are… well, you can probably guess. They go inside your grips for an extra hand position. You’ll have to maneuver them around your shifters, brakes and other controls, but if you find yourself wanting some more hand positions to stay comfortable, this is one option. They sell for $45.

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The SQLab saddle line continues to grow as well. The 611 is an all-purpose line of saddles with a flat top, relief zone and wide nose. Between the rails and the shell is a damping material that reduces vibrations and allows for a tiny amount of natural side-to-side motion. If you measure your sit bones with the SQLab device, or have a good idea already, you can choose from one of four sizes and in various trim levels starting at $140.

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The 604 line is built for city, commuter or comfort bikes with a more upright riding posture. It has thicker padding and a massive damping bumper for comfort. It allows a bit more of the natural rocking motion as you pedal too. It retails for $100.

Masi

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Masi has been offering some of the coolest bikes on the road recently, and we’ve been waiting to see the production version of the new Randonneur. Constructed for 4130 butted chromoly it has 650×47 WTB Horizon tires for a plush ride, and though the bike will ship with tubes, the rims are tubeless compatible for easy setup. The metallic paint is accented with steel fender and triple bottle cages.

The handlebars have a 12 degree drop for a bit more comfort and sport a full 10 speed Shimano Tiagra drivetrain with… wait for it… a threaded bottom bracket. Look for the Randonneur to sell for $1,300.

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The Giromondo is a beefed up version of the modern touring bike, and is available in both on-road and off-road flavors. The road going version has 700×40 Clement MSO tires while the off-road version pictured here has 27.5×2.1 knobbies.

The drivetrain is classic mountain bike, with 3×10 Shimano Deore gearing operated by Microshift bar-end shifters. We especially like the addition of a pump peg, spoke holders and the shifter bosses on the down tube. Look for the off-road version to sell for $1,200 and the on-road version is $1,100.

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We also spied a new dirt drop handlebar from WTB, though curiously it has a 26.0 mm clamp.

Terrene

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A new brand from the folks who brought you Advocate Cycles, Terrene is all about making no-nonsense tires for people looking for another option. In addition to some mountain bike and fat bike tires, the Elwood is a touring/commuting tire available in both a Tough casing and a Light casing. Many folks will like the 700×40 version but there’s also a 650×47 version for “road plus” experimentation.

Look for it to go on sale around Christmas for $65.

 

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New: Bike Friday announces pakiT ultralight folding bike

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Bike Friday recently announced the launch of the pakiT, a folding bike that weighs between 15 and 22 pounds and fits in a backpack for easy transport and travel. The pakiT debuted on Kickstarter and surpassed its fundraising goal within seven hours.

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When folded, the pakiT measures 38 x 24 x 10 inches, giving users the ability to store the bike in a closet, under a desk, in a car trunk, in the overhead bin on a train or in a storage locker. It also allows the rider to take their bike inside instead of leaving it vulnerable to theft or the outside elements. Bike Friday claims it only takes three minutes to break the bike down into a standard suitcase for airline travel.

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The pakiT comes in three frame sizes and uses standard bike components, with gearing options from 1-11 speeds, including a Gates belt drive option to eliminate the potential for chain grease stains on clothing and skin. Retail pricing is estimated to be between $1,500 (singlespeed belt drive) and $2,300 (11-speed belt drive).

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Salsa Cycles introduces EXP Series bike bag line

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Continuing its march toward capturing every corner of the bike touring market, Salsa Cycles is now making its own bikepacking bags, just like Specialized started doing. Yes, there are a lot of bike bags out there and some hard feelings toward major companies taking on what once was strictly a mom-n-pop-shop type operation.

We love small companies, too, but it does make sense from a company’s sales point of view and a design control perspective. Not everyone knows about the small companies or is willing to hunt those products down. These bags are designed in-house and specifically tailored to Salsa’s bikes for the best fit possible. However you feel about it, here they are, and they look and feel pretty nice. Long-term construction quality will have to be tested, so we’ll see if we can get our hands on some.

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The classy-looking grey bags are made of fully welded construction and PU-coated fabric that is “weatherproof” and uses welded zippers. The Cutthroat frame bag is specific to Salsa’s Cutthroat bike and offered in all sizes. The bag has a map pocket on one side and a large storage compartment with a Velcro divider and hydration bladder mount on the other. Retail is $120.

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The top-tube bag will work on any bike but was designed to attach to the bottle bosses now appearing on the top tubes of many Salsa bikes. Retail is $50.

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The large seat pack is PU-coated to keep your gear dry. A roll-top closure keeps the rain out with bungee cords on the top providing extra storage. A slick, 1000D material on the bottom and front sides keeps grime off your bag and easily wipes clean. Retail is $120.

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Completely new is Salsa’s new Anything Cradle handlebar bag mount with aluminum arms and an injection-molded plastic cage. Designed to hold up to eight pounds and mount to even narrow drop bars, its long arms should clear most cable clusters. We’ll see if we can get our hands on one to check out its durability and stability. The cradle sells for $75.

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Salsa also designed a super-lightweight dry bag and extra storage pouch to work with the cradle. The dry bag and front pouch aren’t sold separately, but as a package deal with the cradle. Pricing is $100 for the cradle and dry bag, and $150 for all three.

 

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Salsa debuts updated Mukluk fat bike

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The Salsa Mukluk is all-new for 2017. We admittedly almost overlooked this beast. One does not really think about five-inch fatties when it’s 80 degrees and sunny on the site of a mountain bike park. Well, maybe you do.

The all-new Mukluk is available in both carbon (pictured) and aluminum. The stiffness of the carbon version was adjusted, but in the direction often not taken. Because the Salsa Beargrease is the company’s speed-focused fatty, the new Mukluk frame was actually tuned to be more comfortable and more compliant for longer days in the saddle. The chainstays shrunk to 430 mm, making them the shortest on the market on a fat bike. So you end up with something rather playful, but look at all that room inside the frame! Plenty of space for a frame bag.

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Both frames have the Alternator Dropouts 2.0, allowing room for up to 4.7-inch tires (paired with 70 mm rims) on the carbon version with a chainstay length of 432 mm. You can still use Salsa’s Alternator 190 Rack with this setup. The aluminum version gets Alternator Dropouts 1.0 for 440 mm chainstays. By moving the wheel back for bigger tires, the chainstay lengthens to 450 mm.

Set this bike up with a 1x or 2x drivetrain—it will indeed take a front derailleur. The top tube got a bit longer to play well with 60/70 mm stems alongside the 69-degree headtube angle, 73-degree seat tube angle, 63 mm bottom bracket height and 100 mm threaded bottom bracket. The rear dropout grew to 197 x 12 mm.

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The routing for derailleurs and rear brake housing are internal through the toptube, and external down the inside of the seatstays. Customizable rubber grommets for the cable ports allow different drivetrain and brake setups. Stealth routing for dropper posts is also provided. Finally, the bike will also accept a 100 or 120 mm fork.

The Salsa Mukluk will be offered in five builds. Expect to see it in your local shop in October/November.

  • Mukluk Carbon XO1 – $4,500
  • Mukluk Carbon X1 – $3,500
  • Mukluk Carbon GX1 – $2,700
  • Mukluk ALU NX1 SUS – $2,500
  • Mukluk ALU NX1 – $1,800

Salsa Beargrease

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The go-fast-oriented Beargrease remains unchanged for 2017, but did get some rad new paint jobs across the four different models (three carbon and one aluminum). Beargrease photos courtesy of Salsa Cycles.

 

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Salsa updates Cutthroat, Fargo, Warbird

Salsa’s all-road/touring line received minor tweaks and updates for 2017. The most recent big news in this cycling realm was the previous launch of the Marrakesh flat/drop bar steel road touring bike, which became available this year. So while Salsa had no new drop-bar bikes to show the Bicycle Times audience at this year’s Saddle Drive, three staple models of the line have notable updates (and color changes).

Salsa Cutthroat

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The Cutthroat is Salsa’s top-of-the-line, drop-bar mountain touring bike that has been under the butt of many a Tour Divide racer and the like. When the bike was launched, it utilized an existing carbon fork in Salsa’s lineup and looked a bit funky. For 2017, it gets its own fork that mates better to the beefy headtube, plus internal dynamo front hub wiring.

Cutthroat forks

Otherwise, the only notable changes are the colors. The bike will now be offered in silver/blue and dark red. Cutthroat with SRAM Force and hydraulic brakes retails for $4,000. The SRAM Rival 22 model with hydraulic brakes goes for $3,000. The new colors with the new fork should hit bike shops in October/November.

Salsa Fargo

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The other significant update to a Salsa bike is the ability of the Fargo touring bike to now run 27plus, 29er or 29plus tires.

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The bike got Salsa’s new Cobra Kai tubing which is made stronger to meet newer, more stringent testing standards. A slightly tweaked headtube angle accommodates a 51 mm offset fork and will still happily accept a suspension fork.

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The rear end gets Salsa’s splitting Alternator Dropout so you can run this bike with a belt drive. New 2017 colors are matte warm gray (which has a unique, color-changing shine to it) and the currently super-trendy Forest Service green. Look for the updated Fargo models in bike shops by November. You can get a 27plus SRAM Rival build for $2,300 or a 29er SRAM GX build for $1,700.

Salsa Warbird

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Only two things will change for the 2017 Warbird: its color options and your ability to now run fenders on the bike via hidden eyelets. New colors include purple, white, teal, raw carbon (black) and red orange.

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The new colors should arrive in bike shops August/September (depending on build kit). Model pricing is as follows:

  • Warbird Carbon Ultegra – $4,000
  • Warbird Carbon Rival 22 Hydro – $3,000
  • Warbird Aluminum 105 – $2,300

 

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Surly updates the Cross-Check, Troll

We’re at Saddle Drive near Lake Tahoe this week checking out new bikes from Quality Bicycle Products (QBP), the parent company of Surly, All-City, Foundry, Heller and Salsa. Because of the proliferation of cycling events across the country, these companies aren’t launching all of their new stuff right away, but we did get a look at two updates from Surly: the flat-bar Cross-Check and the re-designed Troll.

Surly Troll

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The Troll was once a mountain bike with a few extras for touring. It has evolved significantly into a dedicated workhorse and has gone through a complete frame re-design for 2017.

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The fork is no longer suspension corrected, which lengthened the head tube a bit, providing more room for a frame bag even on smaller frames. The frame is now Boost compatible, but you can use any mountain bike hub that strikes your fancy. New chainstays allow the frame to accept up to a 26×3-inch tire. Still available are post mounts for old-school brakes, which Surly says remains popular with overseas tourers.

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The dropouts still allow you to run disc brakes, fenders, a Rohloff hub and racks simultaneously. It also comes with more braze-ons, including four triple bottle mounts on the fork and two more triple bottle mounts on the down tube. The complete bike will come shipped with a Jones bar, thumb shifters and Surly’s improved 26×2.5 Extraterrestrial touring tires.

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When compared to Surly’s other bikes, such as the Karate Monkey, the Troll stands out as the tool for someone living on their bike doing off-road touring rather than just a handful of bikepacking trips. The new Troll will retail for $1,650 and be available in November/December. Load it up and get out there!

Surly Cross-Check

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The Cross-Check frame and fork remain unchanged, but for 2017 Surly will offer a lower-cost, flat-bar model stocked with a MSW Pork Chop rear rack. The SRAM X5 1×9 drivetrain gets the price down to $875. This new Cross-Check build will be available in December.

 

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All-City releases disc brake Space Horse, smaller sizes

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The steel Space Horse has long been All-City’s most popular and versatile model, ridden by commuters, tourers and gravel grinders alike. It features the geometry of a road-meets-touring bike, room for wider tires, a bottom bracket that’s lower than a standard road bike and stability when loaded down. Now it features disc brakes, a new parts spec and a wider size range.

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The Space Horse Disc will be offered in seven sizes: 43, 46, 49, 52, 55, 58 and 61 cm. The 49-61 cm fit a 700c x 42 tire while the 43 and 46 cm bikes will take a 650b x 45. The 43 cm bike has a 495 mm top tube length to fit riders in the five-foot range and the 46 cm has a top tube length of 515 mm, which is a half centimeter shorter than the cantilever Space Horse version.

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Other updates include a new vertical dropout with a replaceable derailleur hanger and a 2×11 Shimano 105 parts spec. You still get an E.D. coated frame (protects against rust), internal cable routing, a lugged crown fork and hidden fender mounts.  The Space Horse Disc will be priced at $1800 and will hit dealers in mid-August.

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Photos from All-City don’t accurately reflect the stock build that will be offered. See the Space Horse Disc page for complete information. 

 

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Advocate Cycles previews two new touring bikes

Advocate Cycles is attending the Montana Bicycle Celebration this week previewing two, brand-new and custom-painted models that will be auctioned at a later date to support the Adventure Cycling Association.

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The Sand County is a pavement-based touring bike, ready to take a full load of racks and panniers. The triple crankset assuages one of our minor complaints about the Advocate Lorax: its 2×10 road gearing is too steep for most loaded touring. Decent wheels and fork mounts also make this an appealing ride.

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The Seldom Seen is a bikepacking and off-road touring specific model that departs from the Hayduke by having an integrated frame bag, load-bearing specific geometries, full rack and fender mounts and proprietary tubing that Advocate designed specifically for this model.

The two, touring-specific bikes will slot into the lineup alongside the all-road Lorax (which we will have a review of in our next print issue) and the Hayduke, a 27plus hardtail. Naturally, people have been using both of those bikes for on- and off-road touring, so it makes sense to see Advocate step up and offer bikes specifically for that purpose.

 

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New from Shimano: soft goods with urban styling

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Shimano is launching its new Explorer Collection of clothing, shoes, packs, bags and accessories that should appeal to you non-Spandex, non-neon types.

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The styling is subtle with plenty of grey and brown colors. Clothing fabrics are moisture-wicking, quick-drying and feature an anti-bacterial treatment for less funk plus reflective accents. Many garments also feature UPF+ and UV protection. Bottoms are stretchy and water-repellant with deep pockets and reflectivity. Gloves are touch-screen compatible.

Shimano Shoes

Two new shoes (RT5/RT5W and RT4/RT4W; above left) feature classic styling with perforated synthetic leather uppers designed for walking comfort and SPD-compatibility. The RT5 has Velcro straps while the RT4 is laced; each retails for $120 and is available for both men and women.

On the utility side, the MT series of off-road shoes for men and women have SPD compatibility and a more rugged sole still designed for walking comfort. MT shoes range from $100-$120 (above right).

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Pair these new shoes with Shimano’s new PD-T8000 dual-sided pedal. Flip over the SPD clip side to find an improved platform with protruding pins for extra grip. The pedal set retails for $120.

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And, yes indeed, the Shimano SPD sandal still lives! It has been updated for 2017 with a two-strap closure. The sandal features unisex sizing and retails for $120.

Shimano Tokyo

Shimano also has new and updated backpacks. The Tokyo packs come in 23 liters or (new for 2017) 17 liters. Bag features include padded laptop pocket, document organizers, tons of accessory pockets, high-viz rain cover, reflective details, water-resistant bottom, helmet/lock straps and a roll-top closure. Get the 17 for $140 or the 23 for $160.

Shimano packs

The new Hotaka is a serious adventure pack designed to ergonomically distribute gear loads for big rides or multi-day tours. It features a sculpted mesh back panel, ventilated straps and included rain cover. Get a 20 liter for $120 or a 26 liter for $130.

 

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Tern teases electric folding bicycle

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Tern Bicycles, in honor of its fifth birthday, teased an upcoming project to be released at Eurobike at the end of August: a Bosch-powered electric folding bicycle.

“Riders around the world are increasingly turning to bicycles as their full-service solution to transportation. And that means cargo bikes, dependable daily riders, and electric bikes that can easily tackle 25 km commutes are needed,” said Josh Hon, Tern Bicycles’ founder. “With our expertise in urban cycling, we’re excited to bring fresh design and inspiration to the market.”

Stay tuned for more next month!

 

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New 2017 bikes previewed at Press Camp

We just returned from a week at Press Camp in Park City, Utah, where several companies announced new stuff for model year 2017. Cannondale, GT, Blue, Ridley and component maker 3T all trotted out fresh bikes at the event for industry journalists to check out.

Full disclosure, Press Camp is not a standard bike industry event, which often involves camping or at least staying in a sub-par hotel with questionable sheets and discolored bath water. Press Camp is held at a swanky ski resort with very crisp white sheets and fabulous meals. But that won’t stop me from saying I think some of these bikes are more technical exercise and designer fantasy than anything else. Some are very practical while others are just plain neat-o.

Stay tuned for coverage of new soft goods, gear and gadgets that we also saw at Press Camp.

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3T Exploro Aero Gravel

The 3T Exploro Aero Gravel bike was one of the most talked-about bikes at Press Camp, partly because it’s 3T’s first foray into frame design and partly because it looks wild with square carbon tubes and mountain tires. In a nutshell, it’s a bike with road-ish geometry and clearance for 27.5 knobbies. Or, as I kept thinking, a hardcore roadie’s gravel grinder. Or a serious gravel racer for contenders. Or an n+1 for people with equal (significant) amounts of money and curiosity.

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3T emphasized that the geometry of this bike means it will ride almost the same with 700 x 28 mm tires as it will with 27.5 x 2.1-inch tires. It has a 415 mm chainstay, 50 mm rake, 70 mm bottom bracket drop, 72.5 mm seatube angle and, depending on size (small through extra-large) a headtube angle of 69.5 mm to 72.5 mm and a headtube length of 100.6 mm to 180 mm.

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The company actually put this thing in a wind tunnel with two water bottles and a coating of fake, 3D-printed mud. The fan was set to 20 mph for more realistic conditions (rather than the standard 30 mph), and what resulted was a frame claimed to go faster with 40 mm knobby tires than will a round-tubed frame with 28 mm road slicks. And that’s why it’s called an “aero gravel bike.”

The Exploro will be sold at two levels as a frameset, only. The Limited (pictured) frame weighs 950 grams and retails for a whopping $4,200, while a white and red “Team” frame will sell for $3,000. Does this bike solve a non-existent problem, or is it the natural evolution of frame technology and the ever-expansion of bicycle versatility? That’s up to you, consumer.

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Cannondale Quick

On the other end of the spectrum we have the far-less-expensive Cannondale Quick, a line of practical commuter bikes that will be updated for 2017. With its Quick, the company is seeking to target a younger demographic of riders that is mostly focused on fitness and outings such as weekend bike path rides.

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The new Quick bikes will each feature a 55 mm fork offset, more upright position and a slacker head angle than previous models for a more stable ride. Quicks will come with rack and fender mounts, reflective graphics, the same road vibration-absorbing rear triangle design as Cannondale’s high-end road bikes, puncture-resistant tires and the option for an integrated kickstand ($30).

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Eight Quick models for women and eight for men will be available, including three in each line with disc brakes. Prices will range from $400-$1,300.

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Cannondale Slate

Cannondale is adding a new Slate to its lineup of quirky 650b gravel bikes: two models with rigid forks and Apex one-by build kits (one for men and one for women; women’s model is pictured). The Solo Rigid fork allows the price of this Slate to drop below $2,000 while keeping the same geometry and road-chatter-absorbing rear triangle design.

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The rigid Lefty-like fork makes this much more of a traditional gravel bike, just one that is designed around 650b x 42 mm tires. This women’s version is no different other than a brown-and-pink paint job and different “touch points” more specific to some women—saddle, bar width and the like. It will come in two sizes (small and medium).

Read our review of the suspended Cannondale Slate Ultegra.

To answer the question some have asked: this bike does not have front fender/rack mounts.

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Blue Prosecco PRO EX and AL

Blue Bicycles, formerly based in Georgia and now in California, struggled for a few years despite the success of its triathlon and cyclocross bikes. Now, the company is spooling up again and significantly expanding its line, adding mountain bikes and gravel bikes for 2017.

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At the top of its new gravel line sits the Prosecco PRO EX, a $2,700 carbon bike with Shimano Ultegra Di2 and room for up to 700 x 42 mm tires. Yes, that sub-$3,000 MSRP is accurate.

The frame is Blue’s own design. The company was striving for comfort with an adventure/trekking perspective. The bike has seastays designed for damping, a tall headtube, bento box mounts, thru axles front and rear, house-built wheels and internal cable routing.

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The Prosecco AL aluminum version (pictured above) with a slightly less fancy frame design, Shimano 105 components and mechanical disc brakes will retail for $1,090. A carbon model with non-electronic Ultegra will be available between the two price points.

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Ridley Helium SLA

Ridley bikes is better known as a performance brand and, true to style, did not have a new gravel grinder or touring bike on display at Press Camp. I almost didn’t go check them out but was drawn in by its new road bike, the Helium SLA, the company’s first new aluminum frame in five years.

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The Helium SLA comes with a carbon fork and Shimano Ultegra for $1,900. The bike pictured is an extra-extra small and weighs about 17 pounds. A Shimano 105 model will weigh one pound more and retail for $1,500. All frames feature smoother, double-pass welding and internal cable routing. Sizes will range from XXS to XL.

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GT Performer

This bike has nothing to do with anything other than it’s rad. The GT Performer is a complete replica of a 1986 BMX bike, but with a long-enough seatpost and 26-inch wheels to facilitate cruising about town. It’s the bike you rode as a kid (or lusted after) now in an adult-friendly size. For $560, GT might just have your new bar bike.

 

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Sea Otter 2016: New bikes, part 1

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Masi

A far cry from the road-racing Masi bikes of the past, the latest models are all about exploring far outside the peloton. The Giramondo is a modern touring bike, built to explore roads that aren’t always smooth sailing. It has five sets of bottle cage mounts and 700×40 tires, though we’re told it can fit a 27.5 mountain bike wheel and tire as well. It is currently available for $1,089 but will climb to $1,199 for the 2017 spec version seen here.

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The Speciale Randonneur is a variation on the previous model, with a steel frame and beautiful painted-to-match fenders, though Masi says they haven’t decided on a color yet. While the previous version was a 700c bike, the next-generation version uses WTB’s new Horizon 27plus road tires. While they measure in at 47 mm wide, they have the same outside circumference that a 700x30c tire has and can likely be retrofitted to many bikes.

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Schwinn

Schwinn is a name that everyone recognizes as a bicycle, but only holds a fraction of the prestige that it used to. While it still sells bikes through big box stores, it is moving slowly up-market and selling through select bike shops. Looking good is a new road bike with some interesting features.

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The Schwinn Vantage RX1 has the “Smooth Ride Tech” design that Schwinn debuted last year. Essentially a rubberized elastomer goes between the seat tube and the seatstay junction, providing a small amount of vibration absorption.

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Even the stem has an elastomer to absorb harsh road vibrations. You can’t really feel it move while riding, though there will be two durometers that customers can pick from. It is also the most expensive bike in the Schwinn lineup at $1,599 with SRAM Rival 1. There is a also a Shimano Sora version that will sell for $999.

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Raleigh

Looking like more fun than an espresso-fueled puppy is the new Stuntman, with massive 29-inch mountain bike wheels for crushing the nastiest roads you can throw at it, especially when you activate the included dropper seatpost. Designed specifically for a single chainring, it will come equipped a SRAM wide-range drivetrain when it goes on sale this fall. While it is pictured here with a current model, the production version will also feature an all-new Clement tire spec. Let’s hope they are gumwalls! Raleigh says it will follow up with a whole series of bikes based on the Stuntman including sub-$1,000 versions with steel forks.

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Breezer

Joe Breeze may get a lot of (deserved) credit for his contribution to mountain bikes, but before he built his first clunker he was building custom road bikes. The new Inversion model is a thoroughly modern road bike with thru-axles, room for bigger tires and flat-mount disc brakes. It uses a special steel tubeset that is heat-treated after it has been welded together for better finish quality. The Shimano Ultegra version pictured here will sell for about $2,000 when it goes on sale this fall and a Shimano 105 version should be around $1,500.

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Slim Chance

Finally, if you know anything about mountain bikes you know the name Fat Chance. But what isn’t as widely known is that Mountain Bike Hall of Famer Chris Chance also built road bikes under the Slim Chance moniker. Now they’re back with a high-end steel frame that’s made in America and offers tons of custom options. Each is made-to-order and built to spec, starting at $2,295. And yes, there is a segmented steel fork option coming soon.

 

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OMATA’s analog GPS/speedometer for bikes

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OMATA—a new company created by former Nokia designers, engineers and brand specialists—has launched an analog cycling computer. It uses an internal GPS system to track speed, distance, ascent and time. The goal was to offer key metrics in a statement piece wrapped with modern design.

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Pre-order is now available on Kickstarter. The first products are estimated to arrive in February 2017. After that, you will be able to order one directly online from OMATA.

 

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Shimano now offering flat-mount Tiagra disc brakes

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Riders desiring hydraulic disc brakes on their road bikes can now get flat-mount discs from Shimano at a Tiagra price point. Previously, Shimano only offered this technology at Ultegra and 105 levels.

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The BR-RS405 system uses 140 or 160 mm rotors with Shimano’s heat-dissipating ICE technology. Shifters feature 10 mm of reach adjust and will accommodate 10-speed cassettes.

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Pricing has not yet been set. Aftermarket availability is predicted for July 2016.

 

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