Pivot // Specialized // Fraezen // Rogue Panda // Trek // Challenge & more!

2023 specialized allez alloy road race bike with rack and fender mounts

This week we have two new lightweight premium alloy bikes, an Italian road race bike with the best specs ever, lots of new tech and tires, a top-level helmet with carbon plates, shiny gold carbon wheels, the stiffest road cranks, and a gorgeously unique CNC’d derailleur cage. Here’s the best new stuff this week:

  • Specialized Allez
  • Officine Mattio OM 1 RT
  • Pivot Mach 4 SL
  • Trek Marlin
  • Fraezen derailleur cage
  • Manitou Mattoc
  • Vittoria Enduro Race tires
  • Challenge Getaway XP
  • Shimano’s Unbound shoes
  • Kask Elemento
  • Fizik Vento Antares
  • Parcours x Hypetex
  • DT Revolite spokes
  • Fair Wheel crank test
  • Rogue Panda Ripsey

Specialized Allez now lighter than ever & disc brake only

Click on any image to enlarge.

At just 1,375g for the frame and full carbon fork, the new Specialized Allez alloy road bike is light enough to race, but comes with rack and fender mounts, too. It clears 700×35 tires (32mm w/ fenders) and gets wide-range Shimano drivetrains, sleek internal cable routing ports, and light gravel capability.

Rim brakes are gone, it’s now disc brake only with the Allez Sport ($1,800, 2×10) getting hydraulic brakes, and the Allez ($1,200, 2×8) using Tektro’s excellent dual pull mechanical brakes. It borrows the Roubaix’s endurance geometry, and both models come in three colors. (video here)

Officine Mattio OM 1 RT has the Best. Specs. Ever.

Starting from their OM 1 S model, the new Officine Mattio OM 1 RT becomes more of a race bike with a different fork, 15% lighter 890g frame, and integrated one-piece cockpit.

It’s unabashedly Italian, and, the best part about its specs are its KOM Performance (95/100), Driving Pleasure (95/100), and Elegance (90/100).

Pivot Mach 4SL stays fast, gets rowdy

new pivot mach 4 sl leaning against a wall

I attended the Pivot Mach 4SL launch last week and have a full tech write up and first impressions review, click here to read that. The short of it is this: It improves on the capable XC racer introduced four years ago by dropping almost a pound out of the frame and adding new, adjustable travel options.

The rear suspension has four distinct travel modes from two shocks, delivering anywhere from 95mm to 115mm travel, with “trail” and “race” modes providing a very different feel, all while maintaining the same geometry no matter how you set it up. It’s very cool, and worth checking out.

Trek Marlin alloy hardtail gets more capable, still affordable

With well-spec’d complete bikes from just $899 to $1,299, and eight frame sizes with 26″, 27.5″ and 29″ wheels, the latest Trek Marlin is a killer way to get anyone into mountain biking.

The 3rd gen bike gets longer, lower and slacker, now fits 2.4″ tires, adds internal dropper routing, has rear rack & kickstand mounts, and gets a “Thru Skewer” that removes the open dropout at the rear for more secure wheel retention. It’s all on a sweet alloy frame that’s very upgrade worthy…at least, until it’s time to go Boost.

Fraezen one-piece CNC’d derailleur cage

Other aftermarket derailleur cage upgrades use two pieces, bolted together to sandwich the pulley wheels. The Fraezen one-piece cage is fully CNC’d as a single piece, requiring the lower pulley to be slide into place then bolted in.

They say it’s a much stiffer design leading to more precise shifts, and they say the non-oversized 12/14 tooth counts help with that, too. Hybrid ceramic bearings with custom grease keep them spinning fast and long. Available for SRAM AXS & Mechanical and Shimano SLX/XT/XTR 12-speed. 79-85g, €379.

Manitou Mattoc trail fork revived & revised

2023 manitou mattoc trail mountain bike fork being ridden

The new Manitou Mattoc becomes a jack of all trades, with a 30% stiffer chassis, 34mm stanchions, and adjustable travel from 110-150mm with no extra parts, letting you run it from XC to light enduro. Included volume spacers keep initial travel feeling the same no matter how it’s set up.

The Pro 29er model comes in at 1750g and lets you individually tune beginning and end stroke air pressures, and Expert and Comp models can be upgraded with almost all the same internals as Pro. Available in 27.5″ and 29er, from $600 to $1,050.

Not shown, their new Junit 34 Pro & Expert bring similar tech to smaller bikes, fitting 20″ to 26″ youth bikes with 120-140mm travel.

Vittoria Mazza, Mota & Martello Enduro Race MTB tires

vitttoria enduro race tires get a softer compound and more compliant casing

Based on the same tread pattern as their standard 4C versions, the new Vittoria Martella, Mazza, and Mota Enduro Race models get a softer, grippier (but less durable) single-compound rubber with Graphene & Silica plus an added puncture protection strip underneath the tread.

It switches from a double 120tpi casing to a tougher yet more flexible single 60tpi casing with a bead-to-bead protection layer. Meant for softer, looser terrain, it comes in 27.5 & 29er with 2.4″ & 2.6″ widths. Weights from 1,130g to 1,410g. MSRP $90.

Challenge Getaway XP gravel tire

challenge getaway xp gravel bike tire with extra flat and puncture protection

The standard Getaway has a sidewall layer to protect against cuts. The new Challenge Getaway XP (for Extra Protection) gravel tire adds a full bead-to-bead puncture protection layer to their most popular racing tread.

It’s designed for things like Unbound where rough terrain could end a big race and the ~85g extra weight is worth it. It keeps the natural rubber and ultra-supple 260tpi cotton casing, comes in 700×40 and 45mm sizes for $95. Claimed weight is ~550g (40mm; 45mm is TBD), available for pre-order now.

Limited edition Shimano gravel shoes celebrate Unbound

2023 shimano rx8 rx6 gravel shoes with sunrise and sunset inspired colors

Not technically affiliated with Unbound, these special edition Shimano RX8 & RX6 gravel shoes are inspired by the sunrise and sunsets over Flint Hills, home of the world’s most famous gravel race.

Left to right, the RX8 Twilight (BOA Li2 dial, 268g, $275), and RX6W Sunrise (women’s) & RX6 Moonlight (Wider fit, BOA L6 dial, 274g, $180). Both have carbon soles and come in limited sizes & quantities.

Kask Elemento is the one helmet for every drop bar rider

kask elemento aero road bike helmet

The new Kask Elemento uses broad carbon polymer plates to connect the EPS foam and distribute forces across more surface area in an impact, which allows them to create bigger vents and channels for better airflow.

Inside, 3D-printed elastomer pads double as rotational impact protection. It’s slim, and it’s aero, and it has a 5-Star safety rating from Virginia Tech. Claimed weight is just 260g, retail is $400. (video here)

Fizik Vento Antares racing saddle

2023 fizik antares racing saddle for road bikes with slimmer foam and carbon shell

The Fizik Vento Antares has been completely revised, with a wider nose for better support on climbs and aero tucks, with a long recessed channel and cutout for pressure relief. Thinner foam and flexible edges give you a more direct connection with the bike.

It’s available in four models with Kium and S-alloy rails, plus the full carbon shell-and-rail 00 model at the top, in 140mm-150mm widths. Weights from 118g-217g.

Parcours Hypetex gold carbon wheels… it’s not paint!

parcours hypetex limited edition gold carbon fiber road bike wheels

If monkey like shiny, the new and extremely limited edition Parcours Hypetex wheels should satisfy. Made using raw carbon fiber fabric that’s infused by Hypetex with gold color, this is not paint.

The fibers themselves are gold, and the fabric is given a custom resin and applied as the functional outer layer of the rims before curing, yielding a unique (and bright) finish. Only 10 sets are made, and only a couple are left as of this post. Choose from five models, including a full rear disc.

DT Revolite mountain bike spokes

Spokes are rarely exciting, but the new DT Swiss Revolite MTB spokes use a unique round center with bladed wings, with a forged shaping process that makes the material denser and stronger without adding weight.

A patented transition from the round ends prevents any stress points. Available in J-bend and straight pull in all common lengths, the double-butted (2.3-2.0) spokes weigh a claimed 4.45g each and retail for about $3.50/spoke.

Fair Wheel Bikes updates their road crank stiffness test

fair wheel bikes finds out what's the stiffest road bike crank

Fair Wheel Bikes has been testing road bike crank stiffness for a decade, and now they’ve added the latest models to the results. The two stiffest of the batch are Lightning and Easton EC90SL, but that’s a very small part of the overall story. Check the full report to dive deep.

Rogue Panda Ripsey bikepacking saddle bag

There are tons of soft-sided saddle bag shells that hold an even softer dry bag, but the Rogue Panda Ripsey uses a hardshell bottom to cradle a rugged roll-top bag, protecting it from debris…or tire rub on a full suspension MTB with a dropper post.

The bags come in 16 colors, use a tough, seam-sealed waterproof material with reinforcements where it rubs the bottom of the saddle. A custom aluminum saddle rail clamp keeps it securely attached and stable, with metal buckles cinching it tight. MSRP is $200.

Small Bites

Memorial Day Sales

Earlier this week I wrote a detailed story about the new Pivot Mach 4SL, and I’ve previously done a full comparison between the new SRAM & TRP drivetrains. I don’t usually send separate emails for those, but I do post them on social.

So if you’d like to see the occasional deep dive on something noteworthy, follow me on Twitter or Instagram. I bet you’ll like what’s coming up on the 30th…it’s big! As always, thanks for reading and please share this with a friend!

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