This week there are killer new bikes from Colnago, Battaglin, Wilier, and Wilde, plus a new Scott Scale with some fascinating weight-saving tricks. I also found a few really cool items (one’s pretty weird), some big news from EWS, and DJI’s new Mini 3 stays small enough for a jersey pocket, but just keeps getting better. Here are the best new things from this week…
- Colnago V4Rs race bike
- Scott Scale breaks norms
- Wilde Dream Engine
- Battaglin Portofino R
- Wilier Granturismo SLR
- Canfield ONE.2 Super Enduro
- Wheels Mfr nested spacers
- Gravel Adventure Guides
- A fancy cycling whistle
- DJI Mini 3 drone
- UCI takes over EWS
- Pro Tip from Jack Haig
Colnago V4Rs race bike is faster for all roads, all riders
A new frame, upgraded hardware, refined geometry, and custom cockpits all add up to a bike that’s faster on any road surface under any type of rider. The Colnago V4Rs gets shorter chainstays for snappier output, aerodynamic tweaks to save watts, and a tougher layup to improve durability.
The frame module, which includes a one-piece handlebar/stem unit and CeramicSpeed headset, saves 47g over the V3R. That isn’t much, but they say the ride quality and sizing/fit options have improved dramatically, helping riders of all sizes and riding styles feel more balanced, comfortable, and faster. Tire clearance increases to 700×32, too. The V4Rs Team Edition comes first at €15,260 (in 5 colors), with a frame module for €5,250.
2023 Scott Scale RC HMX SL drops grams in the most interesting ways
The new Scott Scale RC HMX SL leads a 24-bike lineup of new race hardtails, and uses some very neat design tricks to hit an 847g claimed frame-kit weight. The frame is made in just three pieces, with a full monocoque lower half to reduce material while increasing stiffness. The top half can then be made lighter, but it’s the hardware that steals the show.
A hollow rear dropout threads the axle past the outer face to press directly against the inner wall, saving 7.5g there and 20g in that area (and looking rather stealth!). Minimal post-mount brake mounts save more grams.
Traditional threaded metal bottle bosses are replaced with removable polymer inserts that snap into place. They’re lighter, and can be replaced if damaged, or swapped for even lighter caps when not in use. The chain guide uses a similar mount. In all, hardware weight is reduced to 45g, from 82g on prior model.
An adjustable headset changes head angle by 0.6º to fit 100mm-110mm forks, without having to remove any internally run cables. The complete SL bike runs $13,999, but there are many more affordable non SL models under it, including four Contessa women’s models and some very shapely alloy versions starting at $1,999. (Tech video here)
Wilde Dream Engine drop-bar adventure bike
With massive 29×2.6″ tire clearance, simple cable routing, tons of mounts, and geometry designed for stable-yet-nimble loaded off-road riding, the new Wilde Dream Engine adventure gravel bikes are ready for anything, even the Tour Divide!
The US-made framesets with a Salsa Cutthroat carbon fork are available in steel ($2,600, painted) and titanium ($4,900 w/ Cerakote) and can be built any way you like.
Battaglin Portofino R oversized lugged steel road bike is race ready
The original Portofino was the first lugged steel road bike with oversized tubing, blending steel’s legendary ride quality with modern geometry, components, tapered forks, and internal routing.
The new Battaglin Portofino R (for “Race”) gets even better looking with lowered seatstays, flatter chainstays, new dropouts, and a seat tube lug with integrated clamping mechanism.
Those, plus even larger diameter tubes, improve stiffness and power transfer, while keeping the “steel is real” comfort. The cockpit, seatpost, and even the saddle and brake levers can be paint-matched with their gorgeous Cromovelato finishes. Framesets from €8,000 with full custom geometry, made in Italy.
Wilier Granturismo SLR endurance road bike adds micro-shock
An updated Actiflex 2.0 micro-shock gives the new Wilier Granturismo SLR road bike a vibration damping elastomer at the top of the seatstays, which push into the top tube rather than the seat tube to further isolate bumps from your butt. They claim up to 5mm vertical axle travel. High end models get a 3D-printed version of the elastomer that’s 20g lighter.
“Racing Comfort” geometry & 32mm tire clearance make it an all-day performance bike. Other features include hidden cables, an integrated cockpit, subtle aerodynamic shaping, and a removable front derailleur mount for clean 1x setups. (video here)
Canfield ONE.2 Super Enduro is a DH bike you can pedal uphill
Paired with a 190mm Rockshox ZEB fork, the new Canfield ONE.2 Super Enduro build gets a short-stroked Super Deluxe Ultimate coil shock to match front and rear travel.
They say the CBF suspension linkage pedals very efficiently, so if that sick line has no shuttle option, you can now pedal a 7.5″ travel 29er downhill bike up the mountain, too. But, also, this is why long-travel eMTBs exist.
Wheels Mfr. headset spacer kit locks in w/ 8 color options
Available in eight colors (including black, not shown), the new Wheels Manufacturing 1-1/8″ headset spacer kit uses a stepped design to lock each spacer into alignment with the one below it. Choose from spacers only, a standard top cap kit, or a Pro kit that hides the top cap bolt under a flat cover. Each kit comes with one 5mm and two each of 1.5mm, 2.5mm and 10mm spacers. Kits from $21.95 to $36.90.
Gravel Adventure Field Guides add Roanoke, VA
I just found the Gravel Adventure Field Guide in my local shop. The Roanoke, VA, edition is the eighth in a series of beautifully illustrated, fun little mini-guides (and even funner videos) to gravel riding in different spots around the US. They’re free if you can find them at a bike shop, or you can order online ($11 each), and they have posters of the covers that I now want real bad.
Chater-Lea “Cyclists Road Clearer” whistle
Another interesting find is this £49 Cyclists Road Clearer whistle. It’s based on an 1880’s Acme Whistle design (and sound! Hear it on their website!), but with a modern brass case machined in the UK by Chater-Lea. The case directs the sound forward, alerting those in your path to clear the way.
Ultralight DJI Mini 3 bumps camera features & battery life
DJI’s smallest drone stays under 250g, so you won’t need any license in most of the world, but now packs a larger 1/1.3″ sensor, 4k video/12MP HDR camera that can switch to vertical shooting for easier social media posts. Larger pixels improve low-light capture, too.
Preprogrammed flight patterns make it easier to get cool video, and 38 minute flight time (upgradable to 51 minutes) means you’ll have plenty of time to nail the shot. Then, use the app to edit from your phone without having to download the footage, saving time (and storage space). Available with multiple remote and packages now.
UCI takes over EWS, renames it EDR & tweaks the format
The UCI has adopted the EWS as an official World Championship series, renaming it the “UCI Mountain Bike Enduro World Cup (EDR)” for 2023. They’re adding a points system for each stage, and the rider with the most points will take off last on the final stage of the day, similar to DH races.
This is different than everyone sticking to their pre-assigned start schedule and should make for more exciting watching…except it remains to be seen if WB/Discovery can match Red Bull’s excellent coverage. Separately, a new e-Enduro series will have timed technical uphill sections.
“Consistency is the key to improving in cycling, both in training and nutrition. Generally, just riding more will make you fitter/faster, don’t worry so much about the small details. Nutrition is the same, just focus on consistently good eating habits and less on the latest fad or trend.”
– Jack Haig, Pro Cyclist for Team Bahrain-Victorious
- Pivot Trail 429s get a sweet new Willow Green color
- KMC’s excellent X-Series 12-speed chains get an “oil slick” finish
- Chromag unveiled their first-ever full-suspension mountain bikes
- Some interesting Shimano, SRAM drivetrain and brake patents
- Your gut biome may help motivate you to ride more
- LAB’s Bike Friendly Communities list now has 501 cities
- U.S. Nat’l Mountain Bike Team now calls Bentonville home
- Tern’s 2022 Give Back Program has donated $50k to charity
- Get 25% off Gulo’s fiber-spoked GMX25 wheels w/code GULO25
- Get 30% off all Pactimo + free priority shipping w/code HOLIDAY
- State Bicycle has a different holiday deal every day until 12/25
- You can help IMBA push a few last-minute trail access bills through
- The Life Time Grand Prix has published their 2023 racer list
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