Ibis // Liv // Cane Creek // Strava // Cafe du Cycliste // Trek & more!

closeup of cafe du cycliste gravel bike shoes showing textured rubber coating on leather upper

New, affordable mountain bikes from Ibis and Liv, a GX Eagle upgrade kit that makes it as light as XO1, Strava updates (and apologies), Zwift’s killer bundle deal with Stages Cycling, a special Helm fork finish, Trek’s bargain commuter bike, and three very stylish new shoes for road, gravel, and, um, hike-a-bikes? All that and more in this week’s roundup! Here’s the best new stuff from this week…

  • Ibis Exie for All
  • Liv Intrigue LT mullet
  • Cane Creek Helm Chameleon
  • Ratio x Eagle AXS upgrade kit
  • Strava acquires FATMAP
  • Stages indoor bike blowout
  • Trek Dual Sport
  • Garmont launches cycling shoe
  • NCL venues announced
  • Year of the Rabbit saddle
  • Cafe du Cycliste shoes

Ibis Exie MTB drops $3K with new made-in-Vietnam frame

Ibis Exie XC full suspension mountain bike now with a more affordable frame that's made in Vietnam

The 120/100mm travel Ibis Exie XC mountain bike now has a less expensive option. There’s still the premium made-in-USA (in their own factory) with a sub-2000g frame weight, but now they have Vietnamese frames coming in just ~250g heavier with complete bikes starting at $4,999 (versus $7,999).

The geometry, shapes, DW-Link suspension, and everything else are the same, it’s just a bit heavier and gets more affordable spec. Two models with Deore or NX/GX groups, plus a $5,499 SLX build, are offered.

Liv Intrigue LT women’s enduro MTB gets mixed wheels, more travel

2023 Liv Intrique LT women's enduro mountain bike with mullet mixed wheel sizes

The standard Liv Intrigue women’s trail bike has 140mm forks and 125mm rear travel. This new alloy Intrigue LT bumps that to 160mm forks with 150mm rear travel and gets the 3-position geometry-adjusting flip chip from the recent Giant Reign.

XS and Small frames come stock with a mullet build – 29″ front wheel and 27.5″ rear. Medium and Large come with 29ers on both ends but can run a 27.5″ rear if you want. Two builds available globally, but the US only gets the low-end LT2 for $2,800.

Limited Edition Cane Creek Helm MKII Chameleon

cane creek helm MKII chameleon limited edition mountain bike suspension fork

It’s no skink, but the limited edition Chameleon finish for the Cane Creek Helm suspension fork will feel just as much at home in the Pisgah Forest as their company mascot.

The earth-tone base gets prismatic color-changing stickers on top of the 160mm travel (adjustable down to 100mm for air springs, 130mm for coil – spring type is your choice). It’s available in 29er only, with 44mm offset and boost spacing. MSRP is $1,099.

Ratio SRAM Eagle AXS kit makes GX as light as XO1

ratio sram eagle axs derailleur cage upgrade kit is lightweight with machined alloy cage and Enduro bearings

And it saves you about $65 versus just buying an XO1 Eagle AXS derailleur, too. The Ratio SR52AXS pulley cage is a machined alloy upgrade that is 67g lighter than the stock GX AXS cage. It also gets better performing sealed-cartridge Enduro bearings in the house-made Delrin pulley wheels.

It fits any of the Eagle AXS derailleurs, making it a very affordable (£89.50) replacement part, too. The all-black hardware is a nice touch, too.

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Strava will (eventually) add FATMAP’s 3D mapping, route planning

strava acquires FATMAP and shows 3D satellite trail imagery and route creation

You can already view your past rides in on Strava in 3D maps, but soon you’ll also be able to create them in 3D, helping you visualize a route’s true elevation and terrain.

The upgrade comes from their acquisition of FATMAP, which is mostly used for hiking and snow sports now. Strava says Premium members will soon have access to all of FATMAP’s features, and there’s no reason they can’t be used for cycling, too. (FWIW, Komoot has offered this for some time)

Unrelated, Strava has officially apologized for confusing everyone with their increased subscription prices.

Get almost $2,000 off a Stages Indoor Cycle w/ Zwift bundle

Normally $3,149, the Stages SB20 indoor cycle with a one-year Zwift subscription is just $1,399 right now. And that’s $500 less than the currently discounted option withOUT the Zwift sub.

My hunch is this level of discounting indicates a new model must be coming soon. But this one does everything you need it to, so, um, now’s the time?

Trek Dual Sport hybrid bike gets lighter, more versatile

Trek Dual Sport hybrid commuter bike with bag, fender, and rack mounts

The 2023 Trek Dual Sport (Gen5) switches to 27.5″ wheels, but with larger 2″ tires for more comfort and grip on mixed surfaces. For commuters, all the rack and fender mounts remain, but new top tube and frame bag mounts add more storage options.

A new lightweight carbon fork replaces a suspension fork, helping the bike come in almost 2kg lighter. Three models are available from $749 to $1,049.

New Garmont HiRide shoe is literally for Hike-A-Bikes

Garmont 981 HiRide hiking shoe made for cycling and e-bike riding too

Garmont’s hiking shoes are amazing, so I’m excited for the new Garmont 9.81 HiRide (presumably for “Hike / Ride”) shoes. They look like a sneaker but have a semi-rigid insole and softer mini-treaded section for efficient pedaling and flat pedal grip.

The rest of the tread is designed to grip hiking trails, and the upper and cushioning to be comfy walking around a new city. Lace garage, recycled materials, and a washable footbed are bonus. For travelers who rent bikes some days, walk and hike others, it gets us closer to that one perfect pair that keeps us traveling light. Available in March for €140.

National Cycling League announces 2023 venues

national cycling league logo

Upstart NCL, which pits ten teams of male and female cyclists against each other in crit racing formats, has announced four (surprisingly East-coast focused) events:

  • NCL Miami Beach – April 8, 2023
  • NCL Atlanta – May 14, 2023
  • NCL Denver – August 13, 2023
  • NCL Washington – September 10, 2023

Teams race for a share of $1 million dollars. A unique points system rewards lap leaders and other accomplishments rather than just the overall win, so it should be far more exciting to watch. (video here)

Velo Angel Revo “Year of the Rabbit” limited edition saddle

velo year of the rabbit saddle with custom rabbit graphics and gold base

I’ve been riding Velo’s Angel Revo saddle for a while and it’s Atmos (nitrogen-infused) cushioning and shorter length is great on the road. This special edition celebrates the start of the Chinese Lunar Calendar’s Year of the Rabbit with custom graphics and a gold base.

In particular, 2023 is the year of the Water Rabbit and should bring hope, prosperity, and a pretty chill year. (Here’s a fun-ish video on the Rabbit’s origin story in Chinese folklore)

Cafe du Cycliste adds stylish road & gravel shoes

cafe du cyclist road and gravel bike shoes with laces and solestar insoles

New road and gravel shoes complete the look for Cafe du Cycliste fans, offering their distinct style with solid functional and design elements. The Gravel/MTB shoes (€300) get full carbon outsoles with SUPrubber treads featuring micro-textures to improve grip on wet surfaces. Leather uppers have an abrasion-resistant coating on the lower half, and metal eyelets add durability at the laces.

The Road shoes (€290) have a lighter microfiber upper with standard lace holes, a UD carbon sole for maximum stiffness, and micro-textured heel pad. Both models come with Solestar insoles and start shipping in mid-February.

Pro Tip

If you’re going to go out and do a big gravel ride or event, do it with a friend. Bikes are more fun together, and more than road, gravel makes it easy to share the experience. Lean into that!

On Stage

Small Bites


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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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