This week we have some odd items, from a retro GT cargo bike concept to bleeding edge new aero bikes and a list of the new UCI rules that allow them, plus an updated Look all-road bike, Giant enduro bike, and a gorgeous Kafka-esque art bike from Festka. Zwift updates and Strava recaps, too, plus a ton of fun stuff in the Small Bites links and our weekly Pro Tip at bottom! Here’s the best new stuff this week:
- Rockshox Flight Attendant
- Look 765 Optimum
- 3T Strada cleans up
- wen lambo?
- Festka x Kafka bike
- Giant Reign MTB
- GT cargo bike prototype
- Deda SuperBox stem
- UCI rule changes
- Zwift updates
- Strava 2022 recap
Rockshox Flight Attendant forks, shocks now available aftermarket
With no external sensors to mount on your bike, you’ve probably wondered “can I just add Flight Attendant suspension to my bike?” The answer, now, is yes, but only on certain bikes. Offered on the Pike, Lyrik, ZEB, and Super Deluxe, it’s aimed at bikes with 140-170mm travel.
The upgrades replace the entire fork and shock, and add a pedal sensor in your crank’s spindle – you can’t just add the FA sensors to your existing fork and shock. They’re only sold as a complete set – you can’t just buy the fork or the shock. Each set is tuned specifically for the bike it’s going on, which is why it’s only offered for certain Trek, Specialized, YT & Canyon bikes for now. MSRP from $2,799 to $2,899.
Wait, what’s Flight Attendant? It’s Rockshox’s answer to Fox Live Valve, but completely self-contained. Powered by AXS batteries, sensors in the fork, shock & cranks measure inputs every 5ms and continually adjust the suspension’s compression damping to maximize efficiency in any terrain. The pedal sensor makes it “predictive” rather than just reactive, using rider inputs to adjust before an impact occurs. I’ve ridden it, and it’s very effective.
2023 Look 765 Optimum all-road bike
The Look 765 Optimum has been their go-to, in-and-out-of-existence endurance road bike for years, and now it’s back with modernized spec and features. It combines their 3D Wave-shaped seatstays with a blend of carbon and glass fibers in the BB junction to damp vibration and minor bumps.
700×34 tire clearance and sporty-but-upright geometry mean it’s designed for long-distance comfort. A lean, sculpted design w/ internal cable routing, full fender capability, and a T47 threaded bottom bracket bring it up to date, with a reasonably light ~1,400g frame-and-fork weight. Bikes from $4,300 to $7,300.
3T Strada gets more aero, stays narrow
The original was the first-ever aero road bike designed around wider 30mm tires and 1x drivetrains, and the new 3T Strada road bike intentionally looks very similar despite several important improvements. First, it loses the top-tube cable port, instead running brake hoses through the bar, stem and headset, but…
Most brands have switched to 1.5″ upper bearings to make room for cables to pass through, which creates a wider headtube. 3T wanted to maintain their extremely narrow headtube, which uses a 1-1/8″ to 1-1/4″ headset. So they created a custom, ultra-slim upper bearing to make room for cables to pass by.
And with the new UCI rules (listed below), that head tube got deeper and added a nose cone to reduce drag. It’s also more user-friendly thanks to increased tire clearance (now 32mm) and better saddle and seatpost clamps. It’s still offered in dedicated 1x and 2x frames and is available now with Force AXS 2×12 (starts at $6,199 before upgrades), more builds coming soon.
3T x Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato gravel bike
Meanwhile, at Miami Art Basel last week, they debuted the 3T Exploro Racemax gravel bike tribute to the off-road Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato. Starting at $15,000, it’s painted to match and gets extra carbon fiber and titanium bits. Separately, and entirely Lamborghini’s fault, here’s the cheesiest promo video for a very expensive Italian sportscar. Ever.
Festka x Franz Kafka art bike
Inspired by Franz Kafka’s books, this is the third Festka bicycle collaboration with illustrator Michal Bačák. Requested by a client, as a brand based in Prague (Kafka’s birthplace), it was a special project for them. Bačák read all of Kafka’s work, including his short stories, and reinterpreted the words as drawings. The result is stunning, check out more sketches and photos in their journal.
Giant Reign enduro bike adds more adjustability
Adding 14mm more travel to hit 160mm in the rear, the completely redesigned Giant Reign mountain bikes now come with 170mm forks and enduro racing in mind. It comes as a 29er, but gets more playful if want to swap in a 27.5″ rear. A unique three-position flip chip gives you more geometry adjustments than most.
Available in carbon and alloy models, plus an SX version that comes stock with mixed wheels, 165mm rear travel, and a massive 190mm dual crown fork for very aggressive gravity and bike park riding.
2012 GT cargo bike prototype
A friend of mine recently posted this, made when he was GT’s GM. It’s a convertible cargo bike concept shown at Eurobike in 2012 with front-hub motors to assist when the cargo platform was attached, but could swap in a standard front wheel when you just wanted to rip.
It’s a fun reminder of the out-of-the-box thinking that brand had in the 90’s and early 2000’s, and proof that no one can rest on their laurels…or take things too far. Comebacks are hard, but their latest Force Carbon Pro does look pretty good…
Deda Superbox DCR integrated stem
Integrated, internal cable routing is becoming standard, but so far FSA has been the only option for a complete stem+headset integration. Now Deda Elementi is offering the Superbox DCR (Direct Cable Routing) stem that works with any setup.
For bars that run cables internally, you can feed them through the stem. For bars that don’t, a bolt-on cover hides the cables under the stem, which also makes bar swaps easier. Both arrangements funnel the cables thru any spacers, then thru a compatible headset cap and into the frame.
UCI Rule changes both allow & disallow more aero positions
Starting January 1, 2023, the UCI will have new rules for road racers and their bikes. Some relax prior rules, which will likely lead to more dramatic (and more aero) designs, and some set new restrictions (mainly in the interest of safety). Here’s the highlights:
- No more 3:1 depth-to-width rule means aero shapes on frames, forks & handlebars can go deeper, but handlebars will have 10mm minimum and 80mm maximum restrictions on thickness/depth.
- TT aero bars can extend farther forward for taller riders, but have new arm support-to-tip height difference limits.
- Road bars can now extend up to 100mm beyond the front axle.
- Road bars must be at least 350mm wide at the outside edges.
- Integrated water bottle designs must now be submitted for approval with the frame.
- Aero helmets have to be less than 410mm L x 300mm W x 210mm H.
- Juniors no longer have gearing restrictions.
Many of these are to curb attempts to bend the rules (and cheat the wind). Also, follow cars now have to stay 15m behind the rider (up from 10m) during individual TTs so that they’re not pushing the air and (infintessimally) reducing drag for the racer. (more at Bikeradar and CyclingNews)
Zwift adding Scotland map, Discord chat integration & more
Inspired by Glasgow and featuring a loop-able hill climb and new TT segments, the new Zwift Scotland map is designed for fast racing. It will be used for the 2023 UCI e-Sports World Championships, which features a three-race Battle Royale elimination format that’ll whittle it down from 100 riders to 3 for the final sprint!
The new map will open exclusively for events in January 2023, then for general riding in March. Other upcoming new features include:
- Personal leaderboards sort your performance by route, segment, month, etc. (February)
- HoloReplay ghosts can be used on any route (Late January)
- ‘For You’ carousel shows recommended rides & workouts based on prior activity (Rolling launch starting late December)
- Discord chat integration for Clubs let them add links to their page (Live Now)
- More sub-30 minute workouts added (Live Now)
- Join A Zwifter feature returns (Live Now)
- Zwift Fondo series is back and runs through April
Full details on all of these features are posted here.
Strava 2022 Year in Sport highlights
Strava compiled all of that free data (40 million activities and 10 million photos…per week) we keep giving them into year-end insights. It’s not as fun as a Spotify recap, but here are the highlights:
- E-bike riders are up 26% and they’re more likely to be commuters
- Commutes are up, too, but less likely to happen on Mondays
- Riders in pairs usually ride farther, and groups of three farther still
- International travel is back to pre-pandemic levels
- 9.9 billion kudos were given this past year
- There are now more than 30 million segments
“Consistency is the key to improving in cycling, both in training and nutrition. Generally, just riding more will make you fitter/faster, don’t worry so much about the small details. Nutrition is the same, just focus on consistently good eating habits and less on the latest fad or trend.”
– Jack Haig, Pro Cyclist for Team Bahrain-Victorious
Holiday Gift Guide for Cyclists
I made a list of some great gift ideas for your favorite cyclist (or to put on your own wish list). Feel free to pass it along as a hint.
- Brompton celebrates making 1 million bikes with a World Tour!
- ClifBar makes breakfast cereal now
- The Crypto Bro goes cycling… wen Lambo bike?
- Offroad Lambo not for you? Check the new Porsche Dakar
- Conti adds “chemical barcode” to track, verify rubber sourcing
- The Transition Sentinel Carbon gets new colors & spec
- So do the Orbea Orca & Avant road bikes
- EV automaker Polestar is working on electric bikes
- Di2 gear info (kinda) coming back to Hammerhead computers
- Small Monsters Project bike raffle supports TBI & mental health
- Check out the UK’s first traffic circle just for bicycles
- Would you custom fit your bicycle saddle with LEGOs?
- DeFeet will custom print arm warmers with your design
- Donate to charity & Serotta matches it as a discount on a new bike
- Gravel-specific shoe covers are now a thing
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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