Chris King // Kask // Kogel // Parc // Strava & more!

chris king R45D disc brake road bike hubs with shimano micro spline freehub body for gravel bike mullet builds

We’re gradually warming up the new year with new and prototype bits from Chris King, Kogel, and Kask, plus some indy goods for bike storage, clothing transport, and gear organization. We wrap with Strava’s 2023 trends report. Here’s the best new stuff this week:

  • Chris King Micro Spline
  • Kask Ear Fairing Helmet
  • Kogel x Transmission Pulleys
  • Portineer bike caddy
  • Parc’s The Bag
  • Zwift’s bike you can’t have
  • Strava 2023 Trends

Chris King road hubs get Micro Spline

Chris King Micro Spline freehub body and axle assembly for road and gravel bike hubs and wheels

Chris King has added a Micro Spline freehub body option for their R45D road hubs. This lets you use Shimano 12-speed MTB cassettes for mullet drivetrains on your gravel bike.

It fits all Center Lock versions and some Gen2 6-bolt versions. Available on their gravel wheels and standalone hubs as well as an upgrade kit for existing hub owners. Choose from black or silver, kit includes the 12×142 thru axle with stainless steel ($250) or ceramic ($310) bearings inside the freehub body.

Kask shields riders’ ears for truly marginal gains

prototype kask aero road bike helmet for 2024 ineos grenadiers pro cycling team

The Ineos Grenadiers team is rocking unreleased aero helmets from Kask with deeper sides that cover the top of the ear. Compared to their current Utopia helmet, this one has smaller front vents and loses the air scoops on the side, too. Smaller rear vents give it an overall much more streamlined appearance.

Not sure how I’d feel about the helmet pushing the top of my ears in, but not all photos show that happening to all riders. Details TBA, but hopefully it vents well so they won’t lose any more time to helmet swaps. (photo: Ineos Grenadiers; h/t to Jacob L. for the race intel)

Kogel ceramic bearing pulleys for SRAM Transmission derailleurs

kogel ceramic bearing derailleur pulleys for SRAM T-Type Transmission group

Kogel’s alloy derailleur pulleys with ceramic bearings are now available for SRAM Transmission T-Type mountain bike derailleurs. Available in six colors, they have 14 and 18 teeth (versus SRAM’s 14/16 tooth stock design). MSRP $199.99.

FOLD+RºLL clothes organizer for commuters

fold n roll clothing organizer for commuters and travel

The FOLD+RºLL clothing organizer was designed by an avid cyclist, commuter, and transportation consultant after taking to many rides and trips with her clothes crammed into a messenger bag. The sheet lets you layer an entire outfit for the gym, work, or aprés, and roll it up and tuck it into its own pocket to keep it tidy and compact. Then just throw it in your pack, bag, or pannier.

It’s 100% organic cotton with no straps, Velcro, buttons or loops. And no plastic, even for the packaging. MSRP is £30, available for pre-order now.

Portineer eases in-car bicycle transit…

bike portineer bicycle transport stand for use inside cars and suvs

If you’ve ever had to cram your bicycle into the back of a wagon or SUV, then you know it’s awkward. The Portineer Bike Transposer makes it easy by attaching the frame and front wheel to a stand that has a small roller on the end. This keeps the bar and front wheel stationary while you tip the bike on its side, then wheel it into your car.

Getting it back out is even easier, and it keeps your hands clean and the chain off your upholstery. Pricing is TBA, it should launch this year. Get on their email list to know when.

…and Parc Bike Gear Bag carries the rest

parc bike bag travel backpack for cyclists

Parc’s The Bag is a new gear storage backpack that keeps all of your small riding accoutrements at the ready and easily seen. 20+ pockets with clear covers make contents visible, and the clamshell design lets you hang it wide open. There’s even a headrest hood so you can hang it on the back of your car seat!

Big pockets fit shoes and a helmet, and smaller ones fit snacks, tools, CO2s, etc. It’s water resistant with YKK zippers and 32L of capacity. Stealth reflective stripes add nighttime visibility. MSRP is $179.97.

Zwift’s custom Pinarello Dogma F is gorgeous (and unavailable)

custom painted Zwift Pinarello Dogma F road bike

Zwift has had a friendly relationship with Pinarello since they started, offering the Italian brand’s bikes as in-game upgrades. Over the years they’ve done a few custom bikes for shows, too.

For 2024, they commissioned these custom-painted Pinarello Dogma F8 road bikes, but they’re not for sale. Co-founder Eric Min told me they’re very limited and only for employees, investors, and influencers. Shame, because they’re beautiful!

Strava’s 2023 Year in Sport trends recap

strava year in sport 2023 trends report

Each year, Strava analyzes all of the rides, runs & other activities uploaded and runs the data through demographic and geographic filters, and interviewed 6,990 active people, to discern trends. Here’s a few fun findings from 2023:

  • Social connection is the #1 reason people exercise
  • Gen Z is most motivated by community & performance (vs health)
  • Gen Z was most likely to say they’re fitter than last year
  • Celebrities & influencers are the least likely to motivate people
  • Lack of time due to work is most common excuse
  • Men were 13% more likely to cite household duties as a barrier
  • Women were 9% more likely to cite a lack of safe exercise places
  • 10+ billion activities shared in 190+ countries
  • 40 million activities uploaded per week

Read the full 2023 Strava Year in Sport recap here, and the 2023 Award Winners here.

On Stage

Here’s how Lachlan Morton (unofficially) destroyed the Great Divide route record.

Small Bites

Hot Deals

Parting Thoughts

It’s a new year, and almost every site has prognostications for what’s to come, trends we’ll see rise and fall, and products likely to hit the market.

That last bit is tricky to write sometimes, because many of the best journalists already know what’s coming months, sometimes years, before the official launch.

We promise silence in exchange for early information and opportunities to test the bikes and gear in secret.

So when we share our thoughts about what’s to come, it’s often intentionally vague or superficial or merely stating the obvious even if it’s written as though the author is a brilliant seer.

The real trick is being first. Once one major media outlet has their predictions out, it’s hard to follow without looking or sounding like a copycat.

I’m not bagging on anyone, it’s just an observation from someone who’s admittedly a little jealous.

Some of the articles and posts are quite smart. And I wonder, would I have thought of that?

I wonder because it takes time to sit back, turn off email and Twitter and Insta and everything else and just… think.

Making time for deep thought is hard, but important. I find myself running from idea to idea, chasing shiny things and quick fixes, and filling what little time I have between with a quick check of my 15 email addresses that I have set up to (try to) help me manage all these little projects and ideas.

This frenzy leads nowhere even if I feel like I’m “busy” and “accomplishing things”.

My goal for this year is to ignore more of that noise, focus on a few big things, and mostly to make time to… think.

My hope is that if I step back from all the little stuff, I’ll figure out what those few big things should be.

My fear is that it might not be the things I’m currently working on. It’s a scary to think I might be wasting my time, and time is my (and your) most precious commodity.

Here’s hoping we can all step back for a moment and prioritize. Lemme know how it goes for you, and I’ll keep you posted on my progress, too.


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PS – Of all the year-end think pieces on the bike industry, this one is my favorite. It’s ruthless!

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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.

Disclosure: Some links are affiliate links for which we may receive a small commission if you buy something. All photos are copyrighted by and used courtesy of their respective brands unless otherwise noted.