Rockshox // Specialized // Obed // Gore // Insta360 // Finish Line & more!

new 2025 rockshox mountain bike forks shown being ridden on a trail in the woods.

This week’s chock full of interesting new tech, from Rockshox’s squishy new dampers to Specialized’s “world’s lightest” alloy gravel bike, Gore’s 3D-printed chamois pad to Insta360’s “world’s smallest” 4K action camera. Plus a couple of titanium hardtail trail MTBs, Finish Line’s new premium chain wax, a rant about how some bike brands are horrible at PR, and lots more! Here’s the best new stuff this week:

  • 2025 Rockshox forks & shocks
  • DVO Prime
  • Specialized Crux DSW
  • Otso Hoot
  • Esker Smokey Ti
  • Obed RVR
  • Liv Faith kid’s MTBs
  • DT Swiss GRC gravel wheels
  • Gore 3D printed bibshorts
  • Ornot cargo bibs
  • Finish Line HALO Wax Lubes
  • Insta360 GO3S
  • Wahoo GoPro control
  • Zwift bike

2025 Rockshox forks & shocks show their softer side

A couple months ago, Fox unveiled all-new GRIP damper tech in their forks meant to give riders better traction with less harshness and a more usable range of compression damping tuning. Now Rockshox is after those same goals, but they’re doing it differently.

Their 2025 Pike, Lyrik & ZEB Ultimate forks all get a new Charger 3.1 damper, which dramatically less low-speed compression damping for a much softer, more supple feel. Its high-speed compression circuit gets a taller shim stack that lets you crank it down for much more compression damping at the pointy end of pro racing performance.

To control all that, the adjustability range on the external knobs is increased. Then they added swappable valves in the mid-valve so you can further tune it internally. Basically, the open is way more open, the closed is way more closed, and you have more tuning options.

Out back, the Super Deluxe air shock gets similar updates to match the forks thanks to much larger ports in the low-speed compression valve. This lets more oil flow, and the controls are updated to let you adjust it to your liking.

There’s also a new DebonAir+ Linear XL air can that adds more positive air volume for easier travel initiation. They say it makes it feel more coil-like, and it fits up to 8 Bottomless Tokens for maximum air volume adjustments.

The Vivid Coil gets a new position-sensitive TouchDown damper that bypasses all compression damping for the first 10% of travel, letting a coil be a coil for the smoothest, softest performance near top out. The next 70% of travel is controlled with normal compression damping, and the last 20% adds their adjustable hydraulic bottom out so you can fine tune bottom-out support based on your bike’s kinematics.

DVO Prime adds more adjustments & better air IFP

DVO Prime topaz shock shown with cutaway of new damper and adjustable air bladder IFP.

The new DVO Prime series Topaz (air) and Jade X (coil) shocks get a more advanced compression damping circuit with external high- and low-speed adjustments for more tunability.

What makes them really interesting is their air bladder IFP. Most IFPs have a coil spring or high-pressure nitrogen charge behind them to push back against damping fluid, preventing air bubbles from forming (cavitation) that can ruin performance. DVO uses an adjustable air bladder, so you can change the pressure to suit your weight, riding style, and terrain by making the shock more reactive or supportive. Very cool.

Specialized Crux DSW is “world’s lightest” alloy gravel bike

2025 specialized crux dsw smart weld is the lightest alloy gravel bike.

I rode the new Specialized Crux DSW (D’Aluisio Smartweld) alloy gravel bike before Sea Otter and it is fantastic. Even with a full alloy cockpit, it felt smooth, not what I expected from a bike with no carbon parts except the fork.

They claim the 1,399g frame is the lightest alloy gravel bike in the world, complete bike is just 9.37kg (20.65lb, size 56). Hydroformed tubes create a unique one-piece downtube and bottom bracket unit that’s lighter and stiffer. Geometry is the same as the carbon Crux, but with Diverge-level 700×47 tire clearance (or 650B x 2.1″). MSRP $2,600, one build only. (video here)

Otso Hoot Ti hardtail ready for hard trails

The new Otso Hoot Ti is a trail hardtail mountain bike meant to be…a hoot to ride. Short 425mm chainstays, a slack 65º head tube and upright 76º seat tube angles put the rider in a powerful position but when plenty of room between them and the front wheel when things point steeply downhill.

3D-printed dropouts and chainstay yoke, extra bottle cage mounts, 29×2.6″ tire clearance, and external routing finish off the 3/2.5 titanium frame. It’s built around a custom-tuned 140mm Fox 36 Performance Elite fork with a stock GX AXS build for $7,200, plus frameset and custom builds. Want it bigger? Add a 150mm fork.

Esker Smokey Ti goes bigger

Want something even bigger? The Esker Smokey Ti is an all-mountain hardtail built around 160mm forks. It has their Portage dropouts, so you can adjust chainstay length and run it geared or singlespeed.

It’s their longer, lowest, slackest hardtail ever with 64.5º head angle and short-ish 440mm chainstays. Framesets are $2,500, complete bikes from $4,200 to $4,500 and up. It also fits 29×2.6″ tires, mix it up with 150-170mm forks.

Obed RVR is a modern endurance road bike

The new Obed RVR looks like an aero bike, but it’s really an endurance all-road bike, with clearance for 700×35 tires and a stealthily upright riding position. They achieved this with a taller than normal fork, giving the crown a bit more room to blend into the headtube, plus a taller headtube. This means you can slam the stem and still be comfortable.

The fork also has a bit more trail for more stability at speed, and the downtube is aero shaped to hide the water bottle from the wind, too. Standard (1,020g average) and SLi (as light as 880g) frames are available, all with custom builds to suit your budget and delivered direct.

Liv/Giant Faith youth full-suspension mountain bikes

Liv Faith kids full suspension mountain bike being jumped off a rock ledge.

From Giant (and Liv) comes new youth-sized Faith full suspension mountain bikes using their Flexpoint suspension. It’s a single-pivot, linkage-driven design that relies on flex in the stays for lightweight, adult-bike performance, but in two frame sizes to fit kids. The Liv Faith 24 has 24″ wheels front and rear with 130mm rear travel, 140mm forks.

The larger one has a 27.5″ front and 26″ rear, with 135mm rear / 140mm front travel. Both bikes are spec’s with Giant’s Crest fork and shock, house-brand wheels, dropper, and cockpit. Prices TBA.

DT Swiss GRC gravel wheels deliver aero options

The new DT Swiss GRC gravel wheels come in 30mm and 50mm depths, both with a new 24mm internal hooked rim profile that they say offers better aerodynamics and tire security than prior hookless designs.

Both rim depths have wide rim edges for solid pinch flat protection. They’re built with either 1100 or 1400 DICUT hub, the former yielding ~70g lighter wheelsets. The GRC 30 (1,350g to 1,421g) has a more compliant, shallower design, great for all-around adventure riding. The GRC 50 (1,567g to 1,631g) is aerodynamically optimized around 40mm tires and saves 2.6 watts compared to the 30s.

Gore pads their bibshorts with 3D-printed chamois

The new Gore Ultimate Bibshorts get a 3D-printed chamois pad, printed in multiple layers to achieve more controlled cushioning. The printed pad material has lots of gaps so it breathes well and dries quick. It’s covered with an eco-friendly, bio-based hydrophobic material topped with a recycled face fabric.

The rest of the bib is also rad, with their stretchy, wide, highly breathable straps, plus with zonal compression and body-mapped panels. Reflective details add visibility. MSRP $300, black only, and only in men’s cut for now.

Ornot Cargo Bibshorts get more premium

Ornot’s Cargo Bibshorts were already some of my favorites, and now they’re even better with a more luxurious fabric with wider leg grippers. They’re still ultra-soft, with wide, highly stretchy shoulder straps, dual pockets on the legs and the back, and the new fabric is also made from recycled content and is Oeko-Tex-certified.

Available in Men’s and Women’s (with drop tail design) versions for $218. Multiple colors for both.

Finish Line HALO ceramic-infused wax chain lubes

Finish Line has expanded into high-performance chain waxing with their new HALO line. The Hot Wax and Liquid Wax use a mix of natural paraffin wax, spherical tungsten, and ceramic platelets. The liquid wax comes with a mess-free applicator that slides around your chain and can be used on its own or as a top-off for the hot-melt wax.

The new Wet Lube isn’t wax, but also contains the spherical tungsten and ceramic platelets in a synthetic oil base derived from gas lubricant that’s petroleum-free. All HALO products are free from fluorinated and PFAS chemicals, inherently biodegradable, non-toxic to humans and plant life, non-flammable, and non-hazardous, making them safe for air transportation.

Insta360 GO3S is a tiny 4K action camera

The new Insta360 GO3S ups the resolution of their micro action camera to 4K30 and up to 200fps slow-motion in 1080p. It also adds gesture control for hands-free use (plus voice commands), quick switch between vertical and horizontal filming, and Apple Find My in case you misplace it.

The camera also has a wider FOV, 10m waterproof-ness, and FlowState stabilization and Horizon Lock for shake-free videos, even when mountain biking. The included Action Pod charging base doubles as a remote control/monitor with flip-up screen. Weight is just 39g (camera only), MSRP is $399, various bundles available…Action Bundle recommended. Available direct and on Amazon. (video here)

Wahoo adds GoPro controls

The Wahoo ROAM and ELEMNT can now control your GoPro action camera. Pair the camera as a sensor and the computer will add a page with controls, letting you switch between modes, start/stop the camera, and see remaining capacity and battery life.

Zwift Ride is a bike that’s only for smart trainers

As a bike journalist, here’s my mini hell: Zwift announces a stationary bike frame that pairs with smart trainers. The link in the press release doesn’t go anywhere, and it’s not actually for sale yet. You can register for a heads up from Wahoo, who would love it if you buy it from them along with their KICKR trainer. But you can’t actually buy it from Zwift’s website, and they don’t mention it on their blog, and there’s barely any info about it there. smh rn, fr.

But, it’s a thing if you want an indoor bike frame that’s highly adjustable and purpose built for riding Zwift. It’s $1,299 with a KICKR Core, plus $50 for a tablet holder.

Small Bites

Hot Deals

Parting Thoughts

That last item may clue you in to how I feel about bad press releases.

It was the same for finding the info about Zwift’s Grade route…Go ahead, try to find some info about it on their website without using that link in Small Bites. Even the video is unlisted on their YouTube channel. WTF?

Last week I said I might have some interesting intel about a unique rim molding technique for hooked carbon rims.

Unfortunately, it’s a similar story.

I asked a lot of technical (yet seemingly simple for a brand to answer about their own technology) questions about how they do what they’re claiming to do. But I got no good answer, only a link to technical info on their website that didn’t actually explain anything about their hooked carbon rims’ manufacturing method. And they said I should do more research elsewhere.

Are you kidding me?!?

I actually delayed posting about these wheels for weeks while I waited for answers.

Usually, I just won’t post about such things, but you’ll find these particular wheels above with some basic specs. I wanted to share more, but when a brand isn’t willing or able to explain the features and technology that sets them apart, then I mostly find no reason to write about them.

That’s why you won’t see everything here on The Lunch Ride.

This is curated. I only write about the best, most interesting products and brands.

Because those are the things I find interesting, and the things I think are worth my time and yours.

There’s another wheelset that came out this week. At least I think it did. They sent me a press release, images, and info.

But it’s not on their website.

So I have nowhere to point you to. So I didn’t.

I write all this for two reasons:

First, to vent. And hopefully to let brands know they need to up their game with PR. Or, at least do the bare minimum to make sure you can justify your PR by having something worth talking about and make sure it’s live on your website so I can link to something FFS.

Second, because as AI takes over as the source of “commodity content”, if you enjoy having a real, deeply experienced human cyclist curate what’s relevant and important and also provide context for why it’s worth knowing about, then I hope you will remain a subscriber here and also tell your friends to subscribe to this newsletter. I don’t charge for this, and I hate paywalls, so your referrals are how you can pay it forward. Thanks!

Cheers,

who is behind the lunch ride newsletter

PS – If you’re a brand and aren’t sure your PR is up to snuff, or people like me keep ignoring it, hit reply and let’s talk.

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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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