Moots // Santa Cruz // Allied // Rose // Challenge // Merlin & more!

2023 moots route CRD titanium gravel race bike

If you haven’t heard, we’re giving away $2,500+ worth of stuff, details below. This week Moots & Santa Cruz dropped new gravel bikes, Allied tops off its road lineup, Merlin and Rose show off slick flat bar rippers, Pivot & Olympia have sick new e-MTBs, plus a lot more interesting tech and tidbits from some cool brands…like a 95g carbon saddle! Here’s the best new stuff this week:

  • Moots CRD Gravel
  • Santa Cruz Stigmata
  • Allied ALFA
  • Canyon Speedmax Track
  • Merlin Newsboy reboot
  • Rose Flat Bar Steel Bike
  • Summer Rollout
  • Pivot Shuttle AM
  • Olympia Karbo
  • Forge + Bond wheels
  • F3 90g saddle
  • Feedback Torque Ratchet
  • Challenge 38mm CX tires
  • Velocio MTB kits
  • DJI Action 4
  • QuietKat Pivot Rack
  • Sherpa Map finds gravel

Moots shows all-new Route CRD gravel bike & carbon cockpit

closeup details of moots route CRD titanium gravel race bike
Click any image to enlarge.

The Moots Route CRD (Complete Race Design) gravel bike is their first completely new model in many years, and it gets an updated Moots carbon gravel fork plus all-new Moots carbon stem & handlebar that hide all cables and wires inside. It’s designed as a pure race bike, optimized for 40-42mm wide tires.

The bottom half is stiffer for max power transfer, but RSL (Race Super Light) seat stays and top tube use thinner walls for more compliance. UDH compatibility and 3D-printed dropouts keep the rear end perfectly aligned. Framesets from $8,888, complete bikes from $11,999 to $15,549.

Santa Cruz Stigmata goes full gravel

2023 santa cruz stigmata gravel bike with suspension correct geometry and glovebox internal frame storage

This latest Santa Cruz Stigmata sheds any remnants of its cyclocross past, getting a stretched out, aggressively slack, suspension-corrected front end, and their Glovebox downtube storage compartment w/ tool wallet & tube pouch.

It fits up to 700×50 tires, comes in one color, and five builds – three 1x and two 2x, one with a Rockshox Rudy & Reverb AXS dropper post. Prices from $3,999 to $7,699; frameset is $2,699 with a claimed weight of 3.04lb (1.38kg, presumably that’s with fork & hardware).

Allied Alfa road bike wants to be your one & only

allied alfa lightweight climbers aero road bike

The 2nd gen Allied ALFA road bike gets updated tube profiles with a mild NACA aero profile, but keeps diameters small for lighter weight and better ride quality, offering all-around performance that they say makes it the only road bike you need.

It keeps a slim head tube, too, using their proprietary stem on top of a standard headset to hide brake hoses inside, running them thru the steerer (instead of next to it and thru an oversized upper headset cup like most others brands are doing). Max tire clearance is 700×32, framesets start at $5,500 and complete bikes just shy of $8k.

Canyon’s $20k Speedmax CFR Track bike

2023 canyon speedmax CFR track bike

The new Canyon Speedmax CFR Track is purpose built for riding in circles, but can swap forks, handlebars & front wheels to go from individual time trials to team pursuits and back.

The 18.2lb (8.24kg) bike is not intended to be ridden outside the velodrome. Its aerodynamics were developed with Swiss Side, with fork blades sitting extremely close to the front disc wheel and shaped to smooth airflow over the combined surface. MSRP is $19,999, but the extra fork, drop bar & front wheel for team events are sold separately. At least it comes w/ reflectors and a bell.

Merlin Newsboy MTB gets a modern reboot

2023 merlin bikes newsboy classic curvy titanium mountain bike

The 4th edition of the Merlin Newsboy maintains its classic curvy look, but introduces 3D-printed titanium parts to increase tire clearance to 29×2.6″. The split top tube still transitions past the seat tube to become the seatstays, but it does so through an additive-manufactured part that let them get the shapes they needed to make more room for rubber.

The chainstay yoke is 3D-printed, too, and all 5 frame sizes are individually designed to maintain a consistent look despite fitting a wide range of rider heights. Framesets run $6,380 and are made to order by framebuilder Pete Olivetti.

Rose HOBO flat bar gravel bike

rose hobo steel flat bar gravel bike with modular front rack

Starting at just €1,599, the new Rose HOBO is a chromoly steel, flat bar gravel bike / urban assault ripper with a killer modular front rack option that converts from a mini to a grocery getter. The full-size outer rack slides onto the mini rack that bolts to the head tube, giving you plenty of rock solid ways to carry whatever.

It has a carbon fork with Anything Cage mounts, and an optional Rack Bag nests perfectly into the rack, which also has a light mount underneath it. The frame has four bottle cage mounts and fits fenders over the 650×47 WTB ByWay tires. Good gawd I want this bike. (pointless video here)

Win $2,500 worth of new gear!

the lunch ride summer sweepstakes banner

OK, technically you could win one of 14 prizes and the total prize pool is worth more than $2,500, but…semantics. ENTER to WIN tons of killer stuff from RAB Equipment, Sweet Protection, BikeTiresDirect, Dispatch Bike, mountainFLOW, Old Man Mountain, and Gnarly Nutrition! Full prize list at link.

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Pivot Shuttle AM shifts to Bosch w/ ltd Race editions

2024 pivot shuttle AM e-mountain bike with DW link suspension

Sitting right between the 132mm SL and 160mm LT models, the new Pivot Shuttle AM gets 148mm DW Link rear travel with 160mm forks. A flip chip lets you adjust BB height by 5mm & head/seat angles by 0.4º, and a custom Topeak tool kit mounts under the top tube. Comes as a 29er, mullet-able if you wish.

The top Team build gets Bosch’s Performance CX Race motor, others use the standard CX Line. Pro/Team models get a 750Wh battery, and Ride model gets 625Wh battery, all three can add a 250Wh range extender. A custom app lets you choose mode settings, shows range & maintenance intervals, and find a local Pivot dealer. MSRP $8,999 to $13,999. (video here)

Olympia Karbo eMTB is totally OP

olympia karbo edge e-mountain bike with high power 90Nm motor and 900Wh battery

With a monstrous 900Wh battery powering a 90Nm Edge Oli motor, the new Olympia Karbo Edge e-mountain bike is gloriously OverPowered. (For comparison, most other eMTBs typically max out at 85Nm and ~630Wh batteries)

It has a stiff carbon front triangle with the shock captured between a split top tube that gives it a very low standover height (and center of gravity). It has 160mm travel front and rear, mixed 29/27.5 wheels with massive 2.6″/2.8″ tires on it, EXT ERA forks, and Rockshox Super Deluxe rear shocks. Giddy up!

Forge & Bond adds XC & AM Fusion Fiber MTB wheels

forge and bond fusion fiber thermoplastic carbon fiber XC and Trail all mountain bike wheels

Forge & Bond’s new 25 XC and 30 AM mountain bike wheels use their fully recyclable nylon-infused carbon fiber rims, which have a flatter, thinner shape between spokes to save weight (click image to enlarge).

The XC wheels have 380g rims w/ 25mm internal width to fit 2.1-2.4″ tires, with wheelset weights from 1,455g to 1,564g depending on hub. The AM wheels use front (480g) and rear (530g) specific rims w/ 30mm internal widths to fit 2.3-2.6″ tires. Complete wheelset weights from 1,702g to 1,816g. Both are 29er only, hookless, offer i9 & DT Swiss hub options, and start at $1,899.

F3 x Berk Composites 90g saddle

F3 Berk Composites Lupina 90g ultralight carbon fiber road bike saddle

F3 Cycling partnered with Slovenia’s Berk Composites to create this ultralight, leather-covered carbon fiber saddle that weighs just 90g for the short version (247×150). A standard version (275×150) is just 95g, and both retail for $329.95.

The shell includes Innegra aramid fibers to add a bit of flex. It’s the same as Berk’s Lupina model, which you can get without the leather cover or in a wide variety of colors, but F3 has this black version in stock for quicker US shipping.

Feedback mini torque wrench

feedback sports mini adjustable torque wrench kit with 13 bits for bicycle repairs

I’m as lazy as the next person, often using my mentally calibrated, meat-based “torque wrench” appendage to tighten bolts, but the new Feedback Range Click Torque Wrench is compact enough to sit in my tool tray (conveniently located on a Feedback work stand), keeping it in easy reach and eliminating excuses.

It’s $120, comes with 13 S2 Steel bits and a compact folding case. Torque setting adjusts from 2-14 Nm in 0.17Nm increments (although the scale shows 1Nm splits), measures in both directions, and the gauge is visible on both sides of the tool for ambidextrous use.

Challenges adds 38mm cyclocross tires for US races

Challenge Grifo and Limus PRO TLR tubeless cyclocross tires with 700x38 size

Now that USA Cycling allows larger 38mm tires for US cyclocross races, Challenge has added the wider size to two of their most popular CX treads, the Grifo (left) and Limus (right), available in PRO TLR tubeless ($84.99) and PRO Tubular ($89.99) versions. The UCI’s limit is still 33mm, though. Both are available through BikeTiresDirect.

Velocio drops into Mountain Bike clothing

velocio launches mountain bike clothing for men and women, shown on riders on the trail

With a full collection of men’s and women’s trail shorts, pants, tops & jackets, the new Velocio Mountain Bike collection takes their signature style and quality from road to dirt. Colors range from muted to bright-ish to tie-dyed, with short- and long-sleeve tops in tech materials and Merino wool.

DJI Osmo Action 4 delivers the low-light performance we wanted

DJI Osmo Action 4 action camera mounted to the front of a full face mountain bike helmet

The new DJI Action 4 gets a 1/1.3″ sensor, which is almost 50% bigger than the the competitions’ ~1/2″ sensors and should give it dramatically better low-light performance. It upgrades to 10-bit LOG-M color and has improved automatic color balance.

It shoots up to 4K120 (not quite GoPro’s 5.7K) with the expected stabilization and horizon leveling, and has an impressive 2.5 hour battery life, works from -20ºC (-4ºF) to 45ºC (114ºF), and charges to 80% in just 18 minutes. A native Vertical filming modes gives you social media-ready footage w/ no editing, and the app quickly moves the video to your phone for sharing. Base package is $399, an Adventure package adds 2 more batteries & extra mounts for $499.

QuietKat pivoting hitch rack eases e-bike loading

quietkat tilting hitch bike rack with ramp is how to load an e-bike on a car rack easily

When you make heavy, fat-tired e-bikes, it helps if there’s a rack that makes them easy to transport, so that’s exactly what QuietKat did. Their new Pivot Pro Hitch Rack pivots in either direction, letting you easily roll your bike up the included flip-out ramps.

The overbuilt design supports up to 100lbs per bike, with 1-bike ($599) and 2-bike ($949) models available. A silent ratchet on the tire cradles let you get the bike on and off in silence, which is great for hunters (and ninjas). Works for most bikes, from kids’ to road to fat eMTBs. (video here)

Sherpa Map helps you find more gravel

Sherpa Map shows gravel roads overlaid on open street maps for easy gravel cycling route planning

Trying to find more gravel roads in your area? Sherpa-Map lets you highlight all known gravel roads (the brown paths in the image above), but that’s just the start. It uses OSM data, then also uses AI to parse satellite images and figure out what any unspecified roads are, too, helping you find “secret” gravel.

It also shows weather, wind conditions, and lets you create routes from 28 different criteria, including maximizing hills or keeping it flat. Create an account and you can save your favorite routes, export to Garmin or GPX files, and more. Oh, and it’s all absolutely free, built by three friends just for fun. Super cool!

Kit of the Week

green monkey creo stanley road cycling jersey

Sporting some retro Martini Racing vibes, the Green Monkey x Creo Stanley Road Jersey ($105) has a race cut with lighter weight mesh sleeves and back panel.

Their Speed Bib Shorts ($131) have a muted logo on the leg gripper, so they’ll work with almost any jersey, have gender-specific EI chamois pads, and they’re ultralight at just 150g. Green Monkey also does custom kits with no minimums if you wanna design your own.

On Stage

Give this one a few seconds to warm up and you’ll wanna get extra shreddy this weekend.

Small Bites

Big Deals

Parting Thoughts

I have a friend that won’t go e-mountain biking with me.

He’ll admit it’s probably fun, but it’s “not the same”.

Try as a might, he’s not interested enough to give up a regular ride for an assisted ride.

I agree, it’s a different sport, except it’s also kinda the same. We still have to pedal, but it makes the uphills fun. I literally shred the climbs. It’s an F’ing good time, and I’m worked after a few hours of riding despite getting up the climbs in 1/3 of the time.

My persistence in asking my friend to go isn’t because I want to prove my point. I don’t want to prove that he’s wrong for not trying it.

It’s because I know how much fun it is, and I want him to experience it. It’s because I care. As a friend, I want to share that joy with him. I even have a bike he can borrow to ride with me.

I don’t actually care if he tries it or not. I mean, I do a little, because it’d be one more friend to ride eMTB with, and I mostly like riding with friends.

But really, I don’t care.

It’s his loss, not mine. I’m not missing out, he is.

Assuming you’ve also partaken of the electrified Kool-Aid, I’m betting that you have also asked your friends to try it. Because it’s F’ing awesome, why wouldn’t you?

But, eMTBs aren’t the point here.

The point is, if one of your friends is stoked to get you to try something they love, it’s probably the same. They just really want you to experience some joy they’ve found, so don’t be afraid to skip your normal routine to join them on a new adventure.

It’s (almost) always worth it.

PS – Don’t forget to enter the Summer Rollout Sweepstakes!

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the lunch ride logo cycling cap

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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