Lauf // Repete // Merida // Ichnu // Intense // Fox & more!

lauf uthald lightweight aero endurance road bike with slack geometry

This week we have six very cool road and gravel bikes, with some really unique designs and component spec. There are also two really lightweight new wheelsets, including what might be the world’s lightest production gravel wheels! Throw in a few mountain bikes and a bikepacking tent and it’s a solid roundup. Here’s the best new stuff this week:

  • Lauf Úthald
  • Repete R3
  • Merida Silex
  • Ichnu Era
  • Festka Bodies
  • Priority Apollo Ti
  • Berd’s 1065g gravel wheels
  • Prologo Nago R4
  • Fox Crossframe
  • Intense M1 returns
  • Lapierre Overvolt eMTB
  • Singularis P1 MTB wheels
  • State Big 29″ BMX
  • Sierra Designs bikepacking tent
  • Veer Belt Drive Derailleur
  • Winter cycling kit upgrades

Lauf Úthald road bike makes you faster

2024 lauf uthald aero endurance road bike with stable geometry and rear compliance
Click any image to enlarge.

Leave it to Lauf to make the new Úthald a very different kind of road bike. They skipped all the fancy aero talk and just make a reasonably aero road bike, with standard internal cables, a narrow headtube with deep trailing section, and well-shaped downtube that kinda-sorta hides the water bottle.

Where it really shines is the geo, by slackening the head angle out to 71.5º for 64mm trail on all five frame sizes. That gives it incredibly stable handling at speed -It’s the most stable road bike I’ve ever ridden- which gives you the confidence to go faster.

The low seatstays allow the seat tube to pivot, which curves back and lets the saddle flex downward up to 15mm, making it very compliant and comfortable, too. Pre-order now for January delivery, all models include powermeter cranks.

Repete R3: Reason steel road bike

repete r3 custom steel road bike with stealth cable routing and wide tire clearance

Built with Columbus Spirit HSS steel tubing, the Repete R3: New Reason takes the Czech brand’s top road bike to the next level with stealth brake hose routing and bigger 700×35 tire clearance.

A split in the seat tube hides between the seatstays to create an invisible post clamp, and electronic drivetrains finish off the ultra-clean looks. Framesets from €5,600.

Merida Silex becomes their go-to gravel bike

2024 merida silex gravel bikes with bikepacking mounts and suspension-corrected geometry

With the recent Scultera GR focusing on race day, the Merida Silex has evolved to handle all roads and rougher gravel. Tire clearance grows to 700×45, the head angle is slacker, and the headtube is shorter with taller forks to make it suspension-ready.

Available in carbon and alloy frames, all have fender mounts and handle up to 180mm brake rotors for extra stopping power during loaded bikepacking. They also have fork, top-tube, and under-the-top-tube accessory mounts, and alloy models add rear rack mounts. It has semi-integrated routing, UDH dropouts, and top builds get SRAM Eagle Drivetrain mullet builds.

Ichnu Era road bike blends carbon, Dyneema, Kevlar & Titanium

ichnu era custom carbon fiber road bike with Dymeema and Kevlar on 3D-printed titanium lugs

From the founder of Fabike, which closed during COVID, comes Ichnu. Their first road bike, the Era, combines carbon fiber tubes reinforced with Kevlar and Dyneema, joined with 3D-printed titanium lugs.

The BB shell is 90mm wide for maximum crank stiffness, and the dropouts have swappable derailleur hangers that provide two different axle placements to change chainstay length, changing tire clearance from 33mm to 42mm. Materials are sourced from Europe and it’s made in Italy.

Festka Bodies limited artist edition road bike

festka bodies limited artist edition custom painted road bike

Festka’s latest artist collab is called Bodies, and it’s worth checking out the detail pics on their site. The graphics are hand drawn by Polish artist Jakub Kois for a customer who had to rebuild his body after a bad accident. The result was so good, they’re offering it as a limited edition of 10, each hand painted on their Spectre road bike. On sale starting October 31. (video here)

Priority Apollo Ti belt-drive gravel bike

priority apollo titanium gravel bike with gates belt drive and shimano alfine 11-speed internally geared hub

The Priority Apollo gravel bike has a new titanium version, and the complete bike with Gates Belt Drive and Shimano Alfine 11-speed internally geared hub is just $3,999. It has rack and fender mounts and fits up to 700×45 tires.

BERD Sparrow tubeless gravel wheels are just 1065g

berd sparrow wheels are the lightest gravel bike wheelset on the market

Claiming to be the lightest clincher gravel wheelset with 25mm internal width rims, the BERD Sparrow is just 1,065g. Add tubeless tape and valve stems and they’re still only 1,108g. Pair them with tires from 28mm to 50mm wide.

Weight savings come from their 2.5g polymer string spokes hooked around their Talon road/gravel hubs, which have HG, Micro Spline, XD and XDR freehub options to fit any cassette except Campy. MSRP $2,195.

Prologo Nago R4 road saddle

prologo nago R4 lightweight road bike saddle

Designed to be their most comfortable high-performance road bike saddle ever, the new Prologo Nago R4 gets the traditional “T” shape but with the latest multi-density foam padding, anatomical shaping, and compact 245mm length.

The 137mm version is the slimmest and as light as 135g. The 147mm wide version adds 3mm more padding. Available with or without center cutout, and carbon or hollow chromoly rails. (video here)

Fox Crossframe gravel/XC helmet

fox crossframe gravel xc helmet

The Fox Crossframe gravel helmet has all the features that make it easy to use. Fixed strap Y-splits on the side, a magnetic Fidlock buckle, and BOA retention dial. The top center section is wide and flat, perfect for stick-on GoPro or light mounts.

The visorless design has big, reinforced vents and dual density EPS foam to both spread and absorb impacts better. Interior channels vent air over your head, even with the MIPS liner, and rubberized vent inserts hold your shades. Rear coverage is a deeper than road helmets, making it a great XC lid, too. Medium is 346g, MSRP $220.

Intense M1 downhill bike is back

2024 intense M1 DH MTB with six bar linkage and adjustable shock leverage ratio

The legendary Intense M1 is returning to the start gate with a first-for-them high-pivot, six-bar linkage rather than a URT on two smaller links. In development for years with founder Jeff Steber, Aaron Gwin, designer Jason Chamberlain, and Ride Dynamic’s Devon Sullivan, they threw everything at it.

It gets a two-position shock mount to change the leverage ratio, idler pulley for chain management, integrated rear fender to keep the shock clean, and mixed wheel design. Full development story here, final spec TBA.

Orbea Laufey trail hardtail gets rowdier

Orbea laufey long travel hardtail mountain bike

The new Orbea Laufey hardtail gets a slacker head angle and longer 140mm fork, low standover with longer dropper seatposts, and an integrated LOCKR storage box in the downtube, something not often found on alloy frames.

It fits 29×2.6″ tires, has ISCG01 chainguide mounts, and full internal cable routing. Go nuts, cuz it also has a lifetime warranty. Three models from $1,899 to $2,499.

Lapierre Overvolt GLP III race e-MTB

2023 lapierre overvolt glp enduro e-mountain bike for racing

While most high-end brands have moved to integrated internal batteries, Lapierre sticks with Bosch’s external battery pack for their latest Overvolt GLP III e-mountain bike. This makes it easy to carry a spare in your pack and extend your range further than a smaller add-on battery could.

The lightweight carbon frame gets a mix of mid- and ultra-high-modulus UD fibers, 170mm of travel, and better air flow around the Bosch Performance CX Race motor (600W, 85Nm) with 725Wh battery. It’s a mixed wheel design fitting 2.8″ tires.

P1 Singularis mountain bike wheels are Pidcock-proven

P1 singular's lightweight carbon fiber mountain bike race wheels with alternating rim depth

From the folks behind Princeton Carbon road wheels comes P1 Race Tech MTB wheels. The Singularis is their first model and are Tom Pidcock and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot’s race wheels. Available in two widths, they use alternating spoke angles and staggered rim depths for better alignment and bracing angles.

The M24 (24mm internal, 376g rim) and M30 (30mm internal, 418g rim) both have non-drilled rim beds for easy tubeless setup and a stiffer design. Their ultralight NonPlus hubs to deliver 1296g and 1360g wheelset weights, respectively, for $2,200. Industry Nine hubs bring the price down to $1,800 but add 170g.

State x Anwar Carrots Big BMX

state bicycles big 29-inch bmx bike with design by anwar carrots

The new State Bicycles Big 29″ BMX bike is a collab with designer Anwar Carrots and rapper Freddie Gibbs. The chromoly steel frame and fork has a flip-flop rear hub to run fixed or freewheel, and it has a custom printed saddle and blue cranks. Just add pegs.

Sierra Designs High Side 1-person bikepacking tent

sierra designs high side 1-person lightweight bikepacking tent

The Sierra Designs High Side 1-person tent weighs as little as 1kg (2lb 2oz) and uses just two poles The floor and rainfly are silicone-coated to repel water, and the max height is a sit-up-straight-friendly 32″.

The included burrito bag adds a few ounces, but at 13.5″ x 5.25″ (34.3 x 13.3cm), it easily fits on many handlebars and rear racks. Just make sure the ground is soft enough to get the stakes in place. MSRP $299.

Veer Shift Drive is a 2-speed belt drive system

veer belt drive shifting rear cog and derailleur prototype

Because internally geared hubs with up to 14 speeds aren’t good enough for some reason, Veer Belt Drives is pitching an external 2-speed system for their chain-free drivetrain.

The Shift Drive uses a “cassette” with rotating sections of teeth that move the belt between two different “cogs”. It’s controlled with a wireless remote and uses a “derailleur” to help it work and maintain tension on the belt. Check their StartEngine page to see it in action (and invest, if you want).

Fresh winter kit from Mission Workshop, Pactimo, & Ornot

new winter cycling kit and base layers from mission workshop, pactimo, and ornot

Left to right, these three new pieces look toasty for winter riding. Mission Workshop’s cargo bibshorts are some of my favorite, and now they come in Radius cargo tights, too. They’re water-repellant, block wind, and have a fleecy inside and small rear pockets above the waist, too.

Pactimo’s Polartec Alpha Core SL baselayer creates a fluffy, ultralight air insulation layer that stays breathable. Available in Men’s and Women’s versions.

Ornot’s Alpha Daily vest uses the same poofy insulation but gives it a window Also in Men’s and Women’s versions.

On Stage

Here’s what it’s like to be a spectator at Red Bull Rampage.

Small Bites

Hot Deals

Parting Thoughts

Nothing major on my mind this week, just trying to get out for more rides and enjoy this cooler weather.

Enjoy, and stay safe, and as always, if you found something interesting in this issue, please forward it along to your riding buddies!


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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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