Fulcrum // Rapha // Rule 28 // DeFeet // Dynaplug // Easton & More!

fulcrum sharq wavy carbon all-road bike wheels shown on a gravel bike riding away.

This week we have three killer new wheels, led by those wild looking Fulcrum SHARQ aero wheels up top! Plus, Rapha & Rule 28 debut skin suits with hydration inserts, Dynaplug goes ultralight, SRAM gets modded, Moots goes full XC, and I found a cool overland camper to share. There are also plenty of cool Small Bites this week, and some Father’s Day deals to be had! Here’s the best new stuff this week:

  • Fulcrum SHARQ
  • Easton EC90 ALX
  • Industry Nine Grade 300 V2
  • Moots MXC
  • Bianchi Arcadex
  • Rapha Blaerosuit
  • Rule 28 gravel suit
  • Branwyn merino racerback bra
  • DeFeet Evo Jet
  • Dynaplug Micro Racer
  • 5DEV ti pulleys
  • SRAM Pod Rocker
  • AbsoluteBLACK GraphenPADS
  • iKamper X-Cover 3.0

Fulcrum SHARQ aero wheels slip past fast on rough terrain

Whether you’re riding road, gravel, or anything in between, the new Fulcrum SHARQ wheels fin, er, find themselves equally fast with rims varying from 42-47mm deep using a dual-curve wave pattern. A symmetric arc at the spoke holes gives way to an asymmetric curve on the edges.

They say that improves crosswind drag by 21-30% depending on yaw angle. The 25mm internal rim width and aerodynamics are optimized for 700×30, but they’re approved up to 700×65 (29×2.5″)!

It keeps Fulcrum’s signature hole-free rim bed for tape-free tubeless, with mini bead hooks for secure tube-type tire retention, too. Custom bladed spokes interface with oblong hub holes to prevent twisting for perfect aero alignment, and it all rolls on ceramic bearings. Weight is just 1,440g, MSRP is $2,807.

Easton EC90 ALX carbon gravel bike wheels

More specifically targeting gravel, the new Easton EC90 ALX wheels are aerodynamically optimized for 35-45mm tires, with a 36mm deep rim that’s got a bit of radial compliance so they don’t beat you up over a 100 (or 200!) mile race. The 24mm internal width fits 30-53mm tires if you need something different.

They’re built with Sapim CX-Ray spokes on Easton’s excellent Vault hubs w/ 6º engagement, have a lifetime warranty including crashes, and weigh 1,495g. MSRP $1,398.

Industry Nine Hydra Grade 300 V2 is their strongest wheelset ever

Strongest alloy-rim wheels, anyway. Using their new hollow bead wall rim design, The new Grade 300 v2 wheelset has the highest deformation resistance of any alloy rim they’ve ever offered. They’re wide, 30mm internal, for 2.3-2.6″ tires, and overbuilt for DH, eMTB, and enduro abuse. Broad, rounded edges help prevent pinch flats, and mini bead hooks help keep tires in place.

They’re built with I9’s signature alloy spokes on Hydra hubs with 0.52º engagement, available in all of their color options. Weights are 1990g (27.5), 2,090g (29er), and 2,040g (MX). MSRP from $1,430. (video here)

Moots MXC titanium hardtail is pure XC… maybe too pure.

Downcountry? Nope. Light Trail? No way. The new Moots MXC is for buff singletrack, hours-long climbs, and hard, fast XC/marathon racing. The oversized double-butted front triangle has an unapologetically steep 69º head angle with 100mm forks for razor sharp cornering.

It fits a bit 38T ring, uses external brake hose routing, and thankfully adds modern touches like 29×2.4” tire clearance, T47BB, UDH, stealth dropper routing, and 3 water bottles mounts. Complete bikes from $9,999.

Bianchi Arcadex bikepacking-ready gravel bike

This one was a surprise. The new Bianchi Arcadex bikepacking gravel bike gets relaxed, suspension-corrected geometry, internal downtube frame storage, wide-range 1x gearing with mechanical and electronic options from both Shimano & SRAM, plus optional frame, saddle, top-tube, and handlebar bags.

Varying levels of internal routing are available, from full stealth to partial, and it fits up to 700×50 tires (45mm with fenders). Complete bikes from €2,999 to €5,099, with 30mm Rudy XPLR upgrade available on all. (video here)

Rapha Blaerosuit prototype gravel skinsuit w/ hydration bladder

Debuting at Unbound alongside another such wardrobe option (see below), the new Rapha Blaerosuit (aka “Project Blaero”) takes advantage of the proven aerodynamics of a small hump on your back to provide extra hydration with minimal rest stops, but with better breathability than a vest or pack.

It’s an aero skinsuit with integrated 2L hydration bladder that’s easily self-swappable, plus gel pockets on the sleeves. The hose can be routed to either side, with dual hooks to keep it from dangling. Internal straps and pocket structure hold the bladder right in the middle with no bouncing. Lachlan Morton wore it to victory in the 200-miler, and a production version is planned “in the near future.”

Rule 28 hydration gravel racing skinsuit

Also coming soon is the Rule 28 Gravel Suit, which has a sleeve built for the a 1.5L bladder on the back. It uses their long, aerodynamically textured sleeves and lightweight mesh rear pockets. Join their email list for early access.

Unlike the Rapha one, the external hydration sleeve covers the jersey logos, so probably easier to load and a better option for privateers who don’t care about logos. For folks like Felt UN1TD’s Dylan Johnson who raced it at Unbound, though, maybe it’s still a WIP.

Branwyn Essential Racerback merino sports bra

Looking for a smooth, comfortable, lightweight, and natural sports bra to go under your new hydration skinsuit (or regular jersey)? The new Branwyn Essential Racerback sports bra is made with 76% extra fine merino wool, plus 14% nylon & 10% Spandex for structure and support.

It’s underwire-free with seamless construction, has side sleeves for adding padding, and takes advantage of merino’s natural anti-odor qualities. Going on a multi-day adventure and packing light? Trust me, merino is your friend for undergarments. And overgarments. And definitely socks. MSRP $75.

DeFeet EvoJet aero socks save 24 watts of drag!!!

Not content with 8 watts savings from the original Evo Disruptor socks developed with QuickStep in 2017, the new DeFeet Evo Jet aero socks claim up to 24 watts saved versus bare shaved legs.

And that’s not just in a a straight line – they say they tested with live cyclists pedaling in a wind tunnel at multiple yaw angles because your lower leg and foot move around in circles creating nasty vortexes. Over two years they tested different material, cut, and texture combos to deliver the best real world results by smoothing the wake coming off the sock.

Victor Campenaerts wore early versions in last year’s TdF, and now you can wear them, too. Black or White, $55/pair.

Dynaplug Micro Racer dual tire plugger is just 15g

The new Dynaplug Micro Racer is their smallest, lightest tire plug tool yet. It holds two tire plugs at the ready with their twin tube design (unthread and flip around after using the plug that’s visible). It weighs just 15g with plugs loaded, measures 2.86″ long (72.6mm), and snaps into the same holster as the Racer/Racer Pro. MSRP $49.99, silver only, holster sold separately.

5DEV titanium SRAM Red AXS derailleur pulleys

For the cyclist who has everything including the brand new SRAM Red AXS E1 group, 5DEV’s new pulley wheels are machined from 6A14V titanium and come with Enduro ceramic bearings and custom dust covers. MSRP is $500, perfect for one-upping any other friends on the bleeding edge of road groups.

SRAM Pod Rocker is the MTB paddle shifter I’ve been waiting for

I saw a prototype of these at the Specialized Epic Launch last year and was blown away. The new SRAM Pod Rocker fixes all of the ergonomic issues I’ve have with the AXS Pod buttons by creating a MUCH larger, more intuitive contact area, plus add a front paddle that can be pushed or pulled to actuate a shift, too.

Even better, they’re compatible with ALL Pod controllers, not just the Ultimate ones with swappable pads, which also means they work for Reverb AXS, shifting, Powertrain (their e-bike system), and Flight Attendant. They’re left- and right-specific, so you can swap one side or both, and the Rocker paddle is available separately ($22) or as a complete shifter unit ($150).

absoluteBLACK GRAPHENpads add more MTB sizes, still copper-free

absoluteBLACK’s graphene-infused and honeycomb-finned GRAPHENpads launched with a few options for road, gravel and mountain bike disc brakes. Now, they’ve added options for 2018+ SRAM Code (and Guide RE) and Magura MT5/7 calipers, for $42.90/wheel.

They’re a ceramic-organic compound with added graphene, then placed on a finned backing that’s also coated with graphene. Combined, the pads have more friction yet pull more heat out to the fins. The graphene also replaces copper, which is typically used in sintered/metallic pads but can be toxic for marine life when the dust gets washed into waterways.

iKamper X-Cover 3.0 is a hard soft-shell rooftop tent

Soft-cover rooftop tents are a PITA, but hardshell models cost most and are typically heavier. The new iKamper X-Cover 3.0 combines the best of both to make it reasonably light, easier to use, and very spacious.

A rigid aluminum top with soft, waterproof poly-cotton sides folds up and zips shut far faster than pulling a PVC cover over your tent. Open it up and it has 360º views with room for It’s only 128lbs w/ mattress, blackout window covers, integrated rainfly, etc., so it’s good for most small SUVs, wagons, and trucks. MSRP $2,995.

Small Bites

Hot Deals

Parting Thoughts

There’s a new set of gravel wheels out that I was going to include in this week’s newsletter, but I’m waiting to hear back about their molding tech. If it’s as interesting as it appears, I’ll report back next week.

In the meantime, I do love the look of those Fulcrum SHARQ wheels. I’m also a fan of Princeton Carbonworks and Zipp NSW (if I may be so bold as to mention those two in the same sentence…).

Not only is that finned aesthetic pleasing to me, but it also seems to work.

I’ve ridden the Princeton Carbonworks wheels and they’re darn good.

Not sure if you remember some of the wild Alchemist rim designs, which are super interesting and maybe very good. I’ve never ridden them.

But I think when you design something a little past the edge of what’s “normal” (looking at you, Cybertruck), there will be a few folks who jump at the chance to ride (or drive) something different, but most of us want to stand out maybe a little.

That’s probably why some of us rock oversize derailleur pulleys. Or purple hubs.

They’re different, probably a little better, but also safe.

The wavy rim design is safe, but also pretty good looking, and also very functional.

And that last bit is why more brands seem to be looking at them…they actually work, and in this era of marginal gains, everyone needs every gain they can get to try to catch Pogacar.

Have a great weekend, and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

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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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