The New Years’ hangover has ended, this week’s recap is mega! A ton of new road and gravel bikes launched this week, plus new wheels, a really light dropper seatpost, and this gorgeous one-off Colnago C68 that’s headed to auction! Merckx is back, Marin makes a few updates, Ritchey drops a new saddle, and more. I also found some cool lights, the world’s tiniest musette bag, and other goodies. Here’s the best new stuff this week:
- Colnago x Motoki Yoshio
- Tomorrowland x Ridley
- ENVE SES bar/stem
- Alchemy Amorak
- Marin Four Corners updated
- Blackheart Gravel AL
- Merckx Retrosonic road bikes
- Fulcrum Speed 25+
- Classified’s new carbon wheels
- Stromer ST5 Pinion
- OneUp V3 dropper
- Hope XCR & Pro 5 upgrades
- Michelin e-Wild Race tires
- Ritchey Cabrillo saddle
- Diamondback El Nino 20
- Fenix headlight
- Knog “heart” taillight
- Ornot Micro Musette
Colnago x Motoki Yoshio C68 custom matte road bike
Last fall, Colnago commissioned artist Motoki Yoshio to design a bike with the them of respect and harmony, and the result was painted in gloss and matte to see which one they liked better. The glossy version won and became a 150-bike limited edition for sale to the public. This single matte version test bike was reserved for a Colnago higher up, but now they’re putting it up for action.
This one-of-one is available through silent auction at Sotheby’s (ends 1/26) and comes with Campagnolo Super Record, Bora Ultra WTO 45 db wheels with gold fleck logos, Pirelli tires and Selle Italia saddle. Size 51, estimated selling price is $25,000-$30,000.
Tomorrowland x Ridley Invenio custom Kanzo gravel bikes
Tomorrowland is a Belgian entertainment company that hosts themed music festivals (that look amazing!), and Ridley is a Belgian bike brand. They’ve partnered to create this custom painted Kanzo Fast (carbon) and Kanzo A (alloy) Invenio gravel bike collection in satin black with gold accents. Matching kit, bottle, and cycling cap will also be available.
The Kanzo Fast combines an aero frame with big tire clearance for a racy gravel bike. It comes with a GRX Di2 (11-speed) group with Rotor cranks and Aero MAS chainring spider w/ 42-tooth ring, one-piece bar/stem, and Vittoria 700×37 tires for €4,999. (build video here & promo video here)
The wildly expensive ENVE SES AR IN-Route Bar-Stem
First seen under Pogačar last season, the ENVE SES AR IN-Route One-Piece Bar-Stem is not only the most hyphenated combo cockpits, but also one of the most expensive. For $1,200 you can choose your stem length (90-130mm) and handlebar width (38-46cm), all handmade in Ogden, UT. Brake (and shift) lines can be routed internally through the stem and headset for full stealth routing, and the design works with the Chris King AeroSet 3 (and, likely, other similar front-routing headsets).
They have 76mm reach, 129mm drop, and -7º stem angle. The 18º flare starts halfway down the curve, then straightens out to send the drops straight back, but sitting 2.5cm wider than hoods (total bar width at the drops is 5cm wider than at the hoods). Weights from ~330-400g.
A special UAE Team Emirates/Pogačar edition will be available later with narrower widths & straighter (but still flared) drops, which are safer when racing in a peloton.
Alchemy Amorak titanium gravel bike
Based on the same geometry and massive tire clearance (700×50 or 650×2.2″) as their super-fun carbon Lycos model, the new Alchemy Amorak gravel bike is made from titanium instead. Featuring dropped seatstays and a 27.2 seatpost for comfort, plus rear rack and fork mounts for gear, it’s ready for rough roads and big adventures.
It comes in six sizes with custom geometry and paint options, too. Framesets are $5,499, complete bikes with gravel or mixed MTB rear end drivetrains are $7,499 to $10,499.
Marin Four Corners “adventure touring” bike finally updated
Dubbed a “Utilitour” adventure bike, the updated Marin Four Corners sees its first update since its 2016 relaunch. It’s a minor refresh for 2024, with a 0.5º slacker head angle and 10mm shorter head tubes (they’re still tall), wider handlebars (40-44cm), and seattube routing for dropper posts.
Tire clearance is increased to 700×45 (comes with 40s). It keeps the butted chromoly tubing (incl. fork), size-specific wheel sizing (650b & 700c) and tons of accessory mounts. Fortunately, it adds top-tube bag mounts on top and bottom of the tube. Unfortunately, it’s still QR dropout, not thru axle. MSRP is just $999 with Shimano Sora, Tektro Spyre brakes & Vee tires.
Blackheart Gravel AL gets aero nods
The new Blackheart Gravel AL gets a double-butted 7005 alloy frame with dropped seatstays, Kammtail downtube profile, and sloping flared top tube to improve both aerodynamics and ride quality. It has a T47 BB, UDH dropout, fits 700×47 tires and 1x or 2x electronic and 1x mechanical drivetrains.
It has fender mounts, fork cage mounts (ENVE fork), and comes with your choice of 137 Cerakote paint colors for $1,999 (frameset w/ seatpost, collar, headset, fork & thru axles), plus $200 for color-matched fork. Complete bikes from $3,199. Eight sizes, claimed frame weight 1,660g painted (54cm). Get $300 off Hunt wheels w/ pre-order.
Eddy Merckx returns with Retrosonic Ltd. Ed. bikes & more
Merckx is back with a new road, all-road, and gravel bike range, with a limited Retrosonic edition of them to celebrate the Panasonic cycling team from the ’80s, shown on the Corsa road bike above, top right.
The 525 race bike and Mendrisio endurance bike cover road, both available only in carbon fiber.The Strasbourg gravel bike and Pévèle all-road bikes are available in carbon, steel, and aluminum. They’re designed, painted, and assembled in Belgium, which lets them customize the bikes for each customer, which they’ll do at no extra charge this year. Order online, collect at your favorite bike shop.
Fulcrum Speed 25+ are 1,270g climber’s wheels
The new Fulcrum Speed 25+ road bike wheels get more advanced rims with a woke-up-this-way matte finish straight out of the molds. Inside are CULT ceramic bearings supporting the axles and a new, lighter freehub body with USB ceramic bearings inside that.
Rims are 26mm deep, with a 21mm internal width. The rim bed is solid (no spoke holes), so you won’t add anything to its 1,270g claimed weight to go tubeless. Well, maybe valve stems. They’re the lightest (clincher) climbing wheelset Fulcrum has ever made, and they’ll set you back ~$2,960.
Classified updates climbing, aero & gravel carbon wheels
Built around their internally geared 2-speed hub, Classified’s new carbon wheels come in three versions. The R36 has an impressive 22.5mm internal rim width for cushy tubeless setup and comes in at 1,315g. The R50 goes deeper (50mm, hence the model name), gets an updated aerodynamic profile for better crosswind stability than prior model, and weighs 1,415g
The G42 gravel wheels bump up to 25mm internal rim widths with light 410g rims and 1,350g wheelset weight. All wheel weights are with the front hub and rear hub shell, but without the geared POWERSHIFT internals, which are inserted separately.
Stromer ST5 Pinion high-speed commuter e-bike
Stromer makes high-end e-bikes with custom rear hub motors and advanced features (some models even have “cruise control”). The latest to hit the US market is the Stromer ST5 Pinion, which gets Pinion’s new electronic shifting 9-speed gearbox at the cranks combed with a Gates Belt Drive.
Top assisted speed is 28mph (20mph for Canada, soorry, eh), and it comes with an extra long front fender to keep your feet dry and ABS antilock brakes to keep you from endo’ing. It has a huge battery good for up to 180km (112mi) of range. MSRP from $11,990.
OneUp V3 Dropper Seatpost gets lots lighter
OneUp Components V3 dropper seatpost drops 60-70g to come in lighter than even the Fox Transfer SL, is fully rebuildable, and its already-low stack height is now 10mm shorter. This lets you fit a longer travel post on more bikes, and with 27.2/30.9/31.6/34.9 diameters and 90/120/150/180/210/240mm travel, there’s something to fit every bike.
Plus, 20mm of travel adjust lets you get it right where you want it. A new sealed cartridge doesn’t need to be inflated or topped off, and it’s 100% recyclable. Internal upgrades double the number of keys to prevent saddle rotation. Increased bushing overlap with an extra set on longer travel posts and IGUS bushings keep it smooth. A new SKF wiper seal helps reduce breakaway stiction by 75% over the V2. MSRP $269.99, weights from 304g to 765g. Ti bolt kit drops another 10g.
Hope upgrades XCR brakes & PRO5 DH hub
Hope’s excellent XCR brakes now come in all six of their anodized colors (red, blue, orange, purple, black, and raw). Originally only available as a 2-piston (X2) ultralight XC brake, now you can also order them with E4 four-piston calipers, making them a great option for downcountry and lightweight trail bikes. They have ti hardware and carbon levers and weigh as little as 199g/wheel.
Their new PRO5 DH hub gives downhillers using 7-speed cassettes a specific hub shell with wider flanges. The drive side flange is moved outboard, giving both flanges equal spacing from the hub’s centerline so you can build a wheel with zero dish. The freehub body is steel, and 54-point engagement with 6 pawls delivers quick acceleration. A new step-down axle design makes it stiffer, and new labyrinth seals keep gunk out without adding any drag.
Michelin launches E-Wild Racing Line tires for eMTB
Featuring their MotoGP-inspired Magi-X rubber compound for extra grip in temps down to 3ºC (37.4ºF), a robust double-layer casing with two extra puncture protection layers, and apex pinch flat protection, the new Michelin E-Wild Racing Line series comes in front and rear tread patterns for eMTB competition.
They’re available in 29″ front (2.4″ & 2.6″ widths) and 29″ & 27.5″ rear (2.6″ only) sizes. Also, I have some thoughts on this brand at the bottom…
Ritchey Cabrillo short-nosed road & gravel saddle
Ritchey gets into the short & wide saddle game with their new Cabrillo saddle. It has a shorter nose and wider body, with a flatter shape that makes it easy to move around on technical terrain or shift weight on the climbs. A thin, shallow center groove gives your bits some room to breathe. Measures 146mm x 260mm.
It uses their Vector Wing shell, which mounts the rear of the rails on a plastic leaf spring, adding micro suspension without adding weight or complexity. The lightweight foam sits under a one-piece cover that’s molded into the shell with no glue, staples or stitching. The WCS Cabrillo ($99.95, 222g) gets stainless steel rails and nylon/carbon fiber shell, and the Comp Cabrillo ($59.95, 266g) gets Chromoly rails and a nylon/glass fiber shell.
Diamondback El Oso Nino 20″ youth fat bike
Wanna get your kids out on the snow this winter? I just found the Diamondback El Nino Oso, which comes with a winter glove-friendly twist shifter, 20×4.0 tires, and disc brakes. Nothing else about the spec is fancy, but it’ll get them crushing snow with you for cheap, and the bright green means you won’t lose them in a drift. It’s on sale now at Moosejaw, too.
Fenix BC15R headlight is simple & affordable
The affordable new Fenix BC15R headlight pumps out 400 lumens and uses a cut-off beam pattern so it won’t blind oncoming riders & traffic, plus side marker lights to make you more visible from more directions.
It has four modes (3 solid, 1 flashing) and lasts up to 31.5 hours. A single button keeps it simple, and it slides off the bar mount for easy charging and to use it as a flashlight. MSRP is $47, but it’s usually on sale.
Knog Blinder Mini “Love” taillight
Need a cute Valentines gift that’s also practical and helps keep your favorite cyclist safe? The Knog Blinder Mini is a $30, 30-lumen taillight with a heart-shaped LED pattern. It’s visible from 1000 feet, lasts up to 30 hours, and has four flash patterns to get drivers’ attention.
Ornot Micro Musette
Ornot’s Micro Musette packs into itself to become small enough to stow anywhere, weighs just 35g, but unfolds to fit six Banh Mi sandwiches (presumably that means six burritos?). It’s made from recycled ripstop nylon and comes in three colors. MSRP $38.
They also have a limited supply of Polartec NeoShell waterproof musette bags ($30, two colors) made from deadstock leftover from their Magic Shell jackets.
- Bentonville Bike Fest has a free beer garden from PBR
- And Mobil1’s sponsorship means free entry for all!
- The MADE handmade bike show adds an Australia event
- Registration is open for Labor Day’s Durango Derby MTB race
- Life Time’s 2024 event calendar is live
- The Salsa Fargo now comes in orange
- Yamaha awarded e-bike trail grants in GA & SoCal
- Hövding airbag helmet going bankrupt after recall
- Silca’s Super Secret Sale is back, deals up to 50% off
- PNW has Range MTB bars & stems 40% off
- BTD has winter gloves, beanies, socks & shoe covers on sale
- A new V3 dropper means OneUp’s V2 is on sale
- REI’s Co-op e-Cargo bike is just $898 right now!
I went bigger than usual this week and threw in a few bonus items that weren’t brand-spanking new, but I thought they were interesting. Or timely, like the Knog light.
Personally, I like to scroll through quick bits of cool stuff. I’m not alone, which is why it’s so hard to break away from Instagram’s endless scroll sometimes. OK, fine, all the times.
That said, I had second thoughts about including Michelin’s new tires. Here’s why:
First, they have almost zero North American presence anymore.
Second, they make no effort to reach out to media, at least not outside of Europe.
Third, you really can’t even buy these tires anywhere, and their website kinda sucks. It makes no real effort to “sell the sizzle” and explain the tech features.
It gives the impression that they still make bike tires, but kinda don’t care that much. It’s probably more accurate to say they don’t care about this (US) market right now, but still.
The only reason I knew about them is I saw a headline from an EU pub, so I went and found them.
Michelin used to be the s#!t. Their mint green ultra grippy tires from the early ’00s were every XC racer’s dream. And their road tires from the late 2010s were pretty good, too. They even had a US PR firm and launch event for them!
And then they just kinda disappeared. Even their Eurobike booths, which were tacked onto the corner of their distributors, were unmanned and underwhelming.
But I included them here because I get excited about anything new, and I wanna share it. But, also, I’m thinking if they don’t seem to care, why should we?
There are a lot of other brands that really do care and support our efforts and reach out. I included Michelin on a whim, but mostly I focus on brands that are really making some noise or doing something really cool.
Hit reply and lemme know what you think. Too long? Are other weeks too short? Just the right mix?
Thanks for reading, and stay warm!
PS – As always, if you liked this issue, please forward and share with your riding buddies!
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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