Wilier // Polygon // Crank Bros // Neutron // Onza // e13 & more!

wilier urta max slr full suspension xc race mountain bike

This week we’ve got a more aggressive full suspension XC race bike than last week’s Pinarello & Cervelo models, two affordable “trail” e-mountain bikes, an ultra-aero track bike, and a lot of very interesting upgrades, add-ons, and hacks for gravel and mountain bikes. Here’s the best new stuff this week:

  • Wilier Urta Max XC
  • Canyon Spectral:ON
  • Polygon Siskiu TE
  • Stromm track frame
  • State 4130
  • Crank Brothers Gravel Wheels
  • Ohlins Factory Race upgrades
  • Onza Svelt & Canis
  • e13 Narrow Range cassette
  • Wheels Mfg Shimano DM Mount
  • Neutron Emergency Bleed Kit
  • Restrap Frame Strap
  • Smith Momentum + Shift

Wilier Urta Max SLR full suspension XC race bike

closeup details and racing action on wilier urta max SLR full suspension world cup XC race bike

The new Wilier Urta Max SLR goes big (for a Factory Team-level XC race bike) with a full 120mm travel front and rear, but keeps the rider’s center of gravity low with a deep 40mm BB drop, a one-piece bar/stem with zero-stack and -27º rise, and slack 67.5º head angle.

The rear suspension not only gains 20mm travel, it loses the shock yoke and mounts the rear shock directly on the linkage’s lower pivot point. It fits 29×2.4″ tires and comes in a whopping 16 builds from €6,200 – €11,200. (video here)

Canyon Spectral:ON eMTB gets longer forks, better motors

2023 canyon spectral-on e-mountain bike with 160mm travel fork and shimano ep801 motor

With a completely new Canyon Spectral:ON launched last year, the 2023 edition gets two important updates while keeping the same two carbon fiber frames (a CF, and a lighter CFR). Up front, fork travel jumps from 150mm to 160mm on all but the Flight Attendant-equipped model, slackening the head angle by 0.5º.

The motor is upgraded to the latest Shimano EP801, which boosts power to 600 watts, is ~300g lighter, quieter, and has better heat management. Availalbe with 720-900Wh batteries, depending on model.

Polygon Siskiu TE simplifies their very affordable eMTB range

2023 polygon siskiu TE is a very affordable e-mountain bike with Shimano EP800 motor

The Collosus eMTB is great but has a complicated linkage, but the new Polygon Siskiu TE borrows their analog trail bike’s single pivot design and pairs it with Shimano EP600 (TE6, $3,649) and EP800 (TE7, $4,149) motors.

The alloy frames have 140mm rear travel with 150mm forks, and fit 630Wh batteries (though the TE6 gets a 504Wh), and massive 29×2.6 tires. A flip chip lets you downsize to a 27.5″ rear. Available now

Stromm goes ultra aero for Olympic track cycling

stromm aero track bike with longer, narrower tubes for olympic track racing

With the UCI’s old 3:1 tube profile ratio no longer in effect, Stromm got to work making the fastest, most aerodynamic track bike frame they could. The tubes are ultra slim and long to help it slice through the air.

The fork’s legs are just as thin and set wide, very far from the wheel to reduce turbulence and help shape the wind around the legs to reduce drag. The project started as a passion project for something they wanted, and now it’s on Kickstarter so you can get one, too.

State 4130 All Road steel bike gets upgraded brakes, drivetrain

chromoly steel state all-road flat bar bike for urban commuting and mountain biking

For just $899, the State 4130 All-Road Flat Bar gives you a Chromoly steel frame with wide-range 1x group and solid spec. Now, it upgrades to hydraulic disc brakes and an improved version of their own rear derailleur that adds a clutch for more secure chain management off road.

Thru axles, front and rear rack/fender mounts, your choice of 650B wheels with MTB tires or 700c with gravel tires, and tons of upgrade options make it a compellingly affordable “anything” bike.

Crank Brothers Synthesis front-rear specific gravel bike wheels

crank brothers synthesis front and rear specific carbon gravel bike wheels

Using the same front-and-rear specific concept as their mountain bike wheels, the new Crank Brothers Synthesis Gravel delivers distinct rim layups and profiles for each end of the bike, tuned and optimized for their unique needs.

Both have 28 spokes with a wide 26.5mm internal width (31mm ext, 21mm deep) for maximum tire contact patch and grip, but the front ($599) is more compliant to enhance traction, while the rear ($899) is laterally stiffer so you can rally the corners. Carbon wheelset weights are 1517g (650B) and 1544g (700c) and have Industry Nine hubs.

An alloy version ($599, 1917g) will also be available with standard hubs but gets a rim designed to resist impact dents and maintain its beed shape to hold air even if you do manage to smash it good.

3T Exploro Crank Brothers Edition gets them

limited edition 3T Exploro Crank Brothers gravel bike with carbon wheels and cropper post

Officially, the new wheels are “soft launched” with more technical info coming later, but 3T has already spec’d them and the Highline dropper post on a special Exploro Ultra Crank Brothers Edition gravel bike that starts shipping in June.

It’ll run €8,999 with SRAM Force AXS, 3T carbon cranks, and the 650B wheels with Vittoria Barzo mountain bike tires. (video here)

Öhlins Factory Racing suspension upgrades

ohlins factory racing mountain bike suspension upgrade kits

If you want to ride what the pros are riding, Öhlins Factory Racing kits let you update your forks and shocks. The Racing Crown fits their dual-crown DH fork and provides a different flex pattern for enhanced control & stability…at the World Cup Level.

The TTX22m.2 shock upgrade adds a hydraulic top-out function, removes stroke adjusters, and gives the shaft a Titanium Nitride (TiN) coating.

Sidebar: What the pros ride and what we mortals ride are often different for a reason. They’re pushing equipment much harder, and their tuning might (likely will) feel like crap for regular riders. Loic Bruni & Finn Iles ride really hard, but with the new Factory Yellow lowers, you can at least make your fork look like theirs.

Onza Canis & Svelt 2.0 XC tires get wider

new wider onza canis and svelt xc mountain bike tires

Onza has updated two of my favorite XC/marathon tires, giving both a bit wider 29×2.3″ size (up from 2.25″) with grippy 45a/60a dual compound rubber and a 60tpi casing. Mix and match, or run both front and rear, both come in black ($69.90) and tan ($74.90) sidewalls.

The Canis gets lower profile knobs for faster rolling, with added mini knobs in the transitional area and small tweaks to the side knobs for improved grip when leaning into a corner. Weights from 780-800g.

The Svelt keeps the same tread pattern as before with a tightly-spaced, fast rolling center section, but the rubber is softer for more grip. Weights from 780-820g.

e13 Helix “Narrow” range cassette for eMTB

e-thirteen close range mountain bike cassette for e-MTBs

The e13 Helix Close Ratio cassette has a narrower 13-52 range. Designed for eMTBS, they say it saves energy (yours and your batteries) by offering smaller gear jumps for improved cadence maintanence. The differences are subtle, mainly creating smaller jumps near the top of the cassette. Here’s how it compares:

Helix CR: 13-15-17-19-22-25-28-32-36-40-45-52
Eagle 12: 10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-38-44-52

It works on any XD freehub with Shimano, SRAM & TRP chains. For those seeking the widest possible range, they’ve added a 9-52 version, too, with 578% gear range.

Wheels Mfg. direct-mount Shimano derailleur hanger adapter

wheels mfg direct mount shimano derailleur hanger for road, gravel, and mountain bikes

Fitting any UDH-compatible frame, the new Wheels Mfg. direct-mount derailleur hanger replaces the B-link on Shimano road, gravel, and mountain bike derailleurs to give it a stronger, sturdier attachment to your bike.

MSRP is $60, with a road/gravel model for Dura-Ace, Ultregra & GRX, and an MTB model for XT, SLX, Saint, Deore, and even Altus! Black only, pre-production model shown.

Neutron Components Emergency MTB Brake Bleed Kit

neutron components emergency brake bleed kit for mountain bike brakes

Using a gravity-fed system, the CNC’d Neutron Components Emergency Bleed Kit fits Shimano and (most) SRAM mountain bike brake levers and holds enough fluid to fill two of them. It’s compatible with DOT fluid and Mineral Oil, and has adapters to fit other brand brakes, too.

Just fill it with the appropriate brake fluid and throw it in your pack, then if your brakes start feeling soft, just thread it on and flick the levers until all air bubbles go away.

Restrap Frame Strap

restrap velcro frame strap for holding tubes and stuff to your bicycle frame

Most frame straps are narrow, but the Restrap Frame Strap ($29.99, 40g) is 50mm wide, providing extra grip on your frame and inner tube (or whatever you slap it around).

The Hypalon body is light, tough, and grippy, and a secondary inner strap holds the tube snugly in place while you place or remove hte strap from your bike. Available in Orange or Black.

Smith Momentum, Shift sunglasses get new XL options

2023 smith shift and momentum mag xl cycling sunglasses with full coverage

Smith’s oversize cycling sunnies get three new options. On the left, the new Momentum is an open frame made of bio-based material with a full wrap, dual curvature lens and adjustable nose and temple. MSRP $209-$229, compatible with Rx inserts.

On the right, the Shift MAG glasses get a larger XL MAG model that keeps the full frame design (top), plus a Shift Split MAG that loses the bottom half. Both use the magnetic quick-attach arms for fast lens swaps and come in a wide range of frame and ChromaPop lens colors. MSRP $269-$289.

On Tap

athletic brewing run wild IPA non-alcoholic beer review

Keeping with my current low-alcohol efforts, the Athletic Brewing Run Wild IPA has been another favorite. It has a super subtle sweetness, both in flavor and aroma, reminiscent of wort during brewing. Refreshing, and a little lighter than their Trailblazer, but still more depth and flavor than most other NA beers.

Small Bites


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