Chris King // 3T // Thesis // Ari // Rene Herse // Vittoria & more!

cutaway view of chris king 4th generation bicycle hubs for road, gravel, and mountain bikes.

This week we’ve got a cool mix of new hubs, road & gravel bikes, tires, aero chainrings, OSPWs and a triathlon saddle that might appeal to anyone who likes to get aero. Here’s the best new stuff this week!

  • Chris King 4th-gen hubs
  • 3T Strada Italia
  • Thesis Project N1
  • Ari Cascade Peak
  • Wolf Tooth Aero Chainrings
  • Kogel Kolossos T-Type OSPW
  • Vittoria Mostro
  • Rene Herse 85th Anniversary
  • Conti TPU tubes
  • Ergon Tri Saddle
  • Bikepacking Fix-It Kits

Chris King reinvents, simplifies their hubs

The new 4th generation Chris King hubs get universal axles and drivers, making it easier to swap between HG, HG+, XD, XD-R, and Micro Spline, and move those driver bodies across their Boost MTB hubs and R45 road hubs (disc & rim brake models).

Prior versions used needle bearings or double-row bearings (shown in photos…the new G4 design is on the left), which didn’t fit all driver standards, which meant different axle designs to fit the different driver bodies. Now, standardized bearing setups mean a standardized axle, which means economies of scale. That means upgrade kits are ~$100 less, ranging from $250-$275. End caps and bearing preloads are all easy to use now, too!

3T Strada Italia aero road bike

The new 3T Strada Italia gives their aero road bike the woven carbon fiber frame construction that’s made in-house in Italy. It joins their top-end “Italia” family of bikes that use filament-wound tubes manufactured with RTM rather than standard pre-preg carbon sheets. You can get it painted, but this Project X finish shows off the gorgeous carbon structure (and saves weight).

This construction let them fine tune seat tube compliance, using that rounded lower section to add comfort. Geometry is now optimized for wider 30-35mm tires, and updated aerodynamics (deeper head tube, wider downtube to hide bottles from the wind) make you faster.

It’s available in four 2×12 builds, but the front derailleur hanger is removable for 1x setups (Fun Fact: The 3T Strada was one of the first road bikes to be offered for sale with a 1x build). Framesets from $6,599, bikes from $8,699 to $11,599.

Thesis Project N1 goes from Land Cruiser to Lamborghini

Thesis’ Project N1 aims to eliminate the +1 part of your need for more bikes and just be the 1. A sliding rear dropout adapts the geometry for everything from road to adventure gravel, fitting up to 700×51 (29×2.1) or 650×57 (27.5×2.25) tires.

The fork will have a flip-chip dropout that moves the front axle 10mm out, so all you need to do is swap from 160mm to 180mm front brake rotors as you’re switching wheels or tires. Combined, the head angle changes from 73º (road) to 71.5º (gravel), and wheelbase, chainstay length grow accordingly.

It has UDH, T47, 1x/2x mechanical & electric group compatibility, and fits racks, fenders, dynamos, droppers, and more. Titanium frame coming first, then steel. Price TBA. Of course, you’ll still need a mountain bike or three…

New Ari Cascade Peak elevates bargain trail bikes

The new Ari Cascade Peak consolidates their various entry-level full suspension bikes into a fully modern alloy trail bike. Travel is 135mm rear travel and 140mm forks. Geo is aggressive, with a 78º seat angle and 65º head angle, and an angle-adjust flip chip that lets you run it full 29er or MX.

The air/hydro-formed frame is shaped to increase stiffness and save weight. A rounded bulge on the seat tube makes more room for a second water bottle. Low standover keeps it nimble and increases max dropper post travel.

Three models range from just $1,999 up to $2,999, the latter coming with DVO fork and shock. Get them for $100-$200 off MSRP at launch.

Wolf Tooth Aero Chainrings are lighter & half the price

Want an aero 1x chainring for your SRAM crankset? Wolf Tooth’s Aero Chainrings have new, larger 46-48-50-52T options for SRAM AXS 8-bolt powermeter and 107 BCD road & gravel cranks, all with an updated profile that cleanly matches the crankarm.

Compatible with most 12-speed chains and optimized for SRAM Eagle, Flattop & Transmission chains. They’re also compatible with most wallets at $125 (versus $265 for SRAM chainrings), and lighter at 152g (vs 212g).

Kogel Kolossos now available for SRAM T-Type derailleurs

Kogel’s latest Kolossos OSPW uses an offset, angled lower pulley wheel that matches the design of the stock SRAM Transmission derailleurs. They have a massive 20-tooth lower pulley, and 14-tooth upper.

You’ll need to detach the stock cage whole leaving the clutch installed, and probably add a couple links to your chain, but you gain ceramic bearings and lower friction. MSRP is $475 in black, raw, and gold, or go custom or Cerakote for a bit more. Get 20% off with code NEWLOOK for a limited time.

Vittoria Mostro Enduro Race tires

The new Vittoria Mostro joins their Mazza, Martello and Mota gravity/enduro tire lineup as the new loose conditions leader. Unlike its siblings, it has a widely-spaced V-shaped tread pattern with lots of sipes and biting edges to help it dig into the ground. Despite all that, they say it also rolls fast and accelerates quickly.

It comes in two casings, Enduro (2x120tpi casing w/ quad-compound rubber, $89.99) and Enduro Race (Graphene+Silica rubber plus extra cut and puncture protection layers, $99.99). Both have anti-pinch flat protection at the bead, 29×2.4″ only.

Rene Herse 85th Anniversary black sidewall tires

Rene Herse is celebrating 85 years (!!!) of making lightweight touring and all-road tires with limited edition black sidewall road and gravel tires. They’re offered in 12 models, are tubeless ready with their Endurance Casing, and are priced the same as the standard versions.

Continental 7-layer lightweight TPU tubes

Until someone comes up with an 8-layer tube, the new ContiTPU inner tubes are staking claim as the best lightweight tube for road, gravel & most MTB. Seven layers of “micrometer thick” TPU make it tough, and the lack of dyes make it more durably airtight.

Valve stems have reinforced rounded conical bases to fit any Presta hole well, and threaded inner sleeves let you add valve extenders or replace the valve core. Available in 700×25/35 (35g), 700×40/60 (45g, also for 29er MTB), and 27.5×40/60 (43g). FYI, 60mm = 2.4″. Repair kit included.

Ergon SR Tri saddle is for aggressively aero riders

The new Ergon SR Tri saddles take the short and wide saddle to a reasonable extreme, designed to comfortably keep riders in an aggressive aero position. They come in men’s and women’s specific versions with two seating styles.

The “Front” (shown) is for riders with good pelvic rotation/hamstring flexibility who tend to stay on the nose in a deeper tuck. A raised tail is easy to push against, and a flat, wide (53-54mm!) nose is well-padded and flat, making it easy to move around a bit to stay fresh.

The “Mid” is for riders who round their backs more to achieve their aero tuck and put more weight on the middle of the saddle, so it’s a bit narrower and longer in the nose, also to encourage occasional movement. It has a less-pronounced tail. Both have the aero shell off the back. Weights from 205-230g, $250 each.

Exploring Wild’s bikepacking & tubeless repair kits

I always look at these kits and think I could piece it together myself, but then I don’t, so I appreciate that others have. The Bikepacker’s Repair Kit ($25) has various tapes, bolts, and other things for fixing what comes loose on the road, plus a small LED backup light, water purification tabs, and more.

The Tubeless Tire Repair Kit ($36) has more than just a tire patch and plugger. With a sturdy braided fishing line and curved hooks for sewing big tears, super glue, Gorilla tape, spare valve stems and cores, and more, it should have everything you need to fix any flat. BYO pump.

Small Bites

Hot Deals

Parting Thoughts

Phew! Seems like the “let’s all launch everything at once” mayhem of Sea Otter is over!

There are definitely some MAJOR launches coming in the next two weeks, so you won’t want to miss those updates…I’ll have a couple of deep dives in them to fully explain some new tech.

If you’ve been paying attention to the top-end spec on recent road bike launches and wondering why something seems amiss, you probably know what one of those big launches is going to be.

What’s interesting to me is how small changes can make big improvements in something that’s already really good.

But, as you’ll see later this month, sometimes you don’t need to change much precisely because things have gotten so good.

I’ll use the somewhat-recent GRX 12-speed mechanical group as an example. Yes, I have a bike with the 12-speed group. I also have a bike with the original 11-speed group, which is still perfectly fantastic. The extra cog is nice, and the ergonomics are a bit better, but not quite enough reason to upgrade.

I’ve also been riding that new Ari Cascade and it’s incredibly good. It has a Shimano CUES drivetrain, entry level suspension, and basic alloy wheels & cockpit, but it’s still a ripper. Honestly, I’m blown away by how good the CUES shifts…especially considering the old Alivio and Acera groups that came on my early mountain bikes! This is a bike that’s perfectly satisfactory and worthy of upgrading as you progress.

Which is my way of (hopefully) alleviating any FOMO you have by not immediately upgrading.

Or, as Merckx would say, “don’t buy upgrades, ride up grades.”

Which is what I’m about to go do…

Have a great weekend, and if you can, please take a sec to forward this along to your riding buddies.

Cheers,

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The Lunch Ride is a weekly TL;DR recap of the best new cycling products and tech, written for Riders, not Algorithms. SUBSCRIBE HERE to get it in your inbox every Friday.

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