Rotwild // Bianchi // Merlin // Aper // Leatt // Insta360 & more!!!

rotwild RR275X ultra gravel e-bike with integrated supernova headlight and taillight

This week we have three cool new gravel bikes, a wild enduro bike with rising linkage, waterproof MTB shows, a non-slip enduro saddle, some cool tools, and an extremely powerful AI action camera. Plus, now you can get a discount on Zwift! Here’s the best new stuff this week:

  • Rotwild RR275X Ultra
  • Bianchi Impulso RC
  • Merlin Sandstone XLG
  • Aper KOMpace
  • State Trail+ Fat Bike
  • Tumbleweed Big Dipper Bar
  • Prologo Proxim Nembo
  • Leatt HydraDri MTB shoes
  • Zwift Annual Plans
  • Insta360 Ace Pro
  • Enduro Linear Bearing Press
  • PNW Pebble mini tool

Rotwild RR275X-Ultra fully integrated e-Gravel Bike

Click on any photo to enlarge.

You’d never know this was an e-bike from a glance. The Rotwild RR275X uses the tiny TQ50 motor with a slim 250Wh battery in the downtube to conceal its electric assist. Fidlock downtube mounts let you add a 160Wh range extender and still fit a water bottle.

The frame is hi-mod carbon with race geometry, has 700x50mm tire clearance, and comes with Xentis wheels, including the full carbon 5-spoke High X-Monocoque model on the Ultra version (shown, €11,999, there’s also a Pro model).

Integrated Supernova head and taillights are with a 1000-lumen high beam activated by a button on the right shifter hood. A “Boost” button on the left hood provides an extra 300W of motor power for up to 30 seconds.

Bianchi Impulso RC aero gravel race bike

bianchi impulso rc lightweight aerodynamic gravel race bike

Bianchi’s Reparto Corse lineup is their top-level race bikes, with full stealth cable integration, aero shaping, and lightweight carbon layups. Now, the Bianchi Impulso RC takes those advantages to the dirt with a lean, aerodynamic gravel race bike.

The RC model comes in under 18lbs for €5,578 (+VAT) with 2x SRAM Force AXS and house-brand aero wheels. A slammed one-piece 340g carbon bar/stem and 70mm BB drop keeps the rider in a low, aggressive riding position. It only fits 700×42 tires, confirming its race day purpose.

Merlin Sandstone XLG comes in allroad & gravel varieties

2024 merlin sandstone XLG extralight gravel bike with optional allroad geometry

The new Merlin Sandstone XLG (Extralight Gravel) uses custom butted Reynolds 3/2.5 titanium tubing with 3D-printed chainstay yokes and rear brake mount to create two models – Sandstone 40 for allroad, and Sandstone 50 for gravel.

They have bottom bracket and yoke layouts optimized for road or gravel 2x drivetrains, respectively, with 40mm or 50mm tire clearance. The gravel version has slightly longer chainstays & wheelbase and a taller fork with altered offset to create a more stable ride on rougher surfaces. Frames come in 8 sizes, all made to order in CO. MSRP from $4,700, add custom geo for $500. Complete bikes from $8,000.

Aper KOMpace rising-pivot enduro mountain bike

aper KOMpace high pivot mountain bike suspension with rising upper pivot for dynamic kinematics

The Aper KOMpace takes the high-pivot suspension concept, which allows for a more momentum-saving rearward axle path, and goes a step further. The main pivot sits on an angled slider that lets it move up and back as the suspension compresses, giving the axle up to 45mm rearward travel.

The frame uses CNC’d 7075 monocoque halves welded together for both the front and rear triangles, and they’ll anodize it any color you want. It has 160mm travel paired with 160-170mm forks, a flip-chip for switching rear wheel size (27.5 or 29), and max 29×2.5″ tire clearance.

State Trail+ Fat Bike is just $999

affordable state trail+ fat bike with lightweight 6061 alloy frame is under 1000 dollars

The new State Trail+ Fat bike has a lightweight 6061 alloy frame, alloy fork, mechanical disc brakes, Kenda Juggernaut 26×4.5″ tires, and Shimano 1×9 drivetrain w/ 11-42 cassette. All for just $999, in two colors.

Think that’s a deal? Check out their site-wide Black Friday Warehouse Deals for up to 25% off all other in-stock bikes and 30% off accessories!

Tumbleweed Big Dipper bar is 57cm wide…before flare!

tumbleweed big dipper alloy gravel handlebar with 57cm width

The Tumbleweed Big Dipper is a triple-butted, heat-treated 7000-series alloy drop bar rated to MTB standards, and it goes really wide. Three sizes offered are 51/54/57cm, center to center at the hoods.

Then they flare 20º down the 109mm drop, adding 85mm to the total width per size – center to center at the drops is 595/625/655mm, respectively! Reach is 50mm, Backsweep is 5º, and average weight is 385g. MSRP $115.

Prologo Proxim Nembo non-slip gravity saddle

Prologo’s Proxim saddle line is aimed at eMTB and gravity riders, and the new Proxim Nembo starts with a compact 245×135 shape, thicker nylon+carbon base with covered cutout (relieves center pressure, but won’t let mud sling through), and multi-density foam.

The flat shape with rounded rear makes it comfy yet easy to get on/off it on the downhills. Opt for the “Slide Control” version and you’ll get raised, grippy ridges to help keep you planted on the climbs and power sections, but not so grippy that you can’t get off the back on descents. A wider 145mm version with 5mm more padding is offered for e-MTB riders, who tend to stay seated more.

Leatt HydraDri waterproof mountain bike shoes

Leatt HydraDri waterproof mountain bike shoes

Offered in a 5.0 low-top shoe and 7.0 boot with zippered cover, Leatt’s new HydraDri MTB shoes promise to keep your feet dry. Both are clipless with a sticky RideGrip outsole and 10K 3-layer waterproof/breathable membrane. The 7.0 ($199.99) uses an outer sock with waterproof zipper and snap ankle cuff for really wet riding, with a speed lace underneath for quick adjustments even with gloves on. Also available in a non-clipless version for flat pedals.

The 5.0 ($179.99) has a MOZ Cable / Slide Lock lacing system for easy adjustments without pressure points, tough Dyneema upper with stretch knit tongue and collar, and molded semi-rigid TPU toe cover for protection. Both have extended cleat channels and come with shims for maximum adjustment range and pedal compatibility.

Zwift Annual Plans now save you $30

zwift annual plans are discounted compared to monthly payments

Now you can sign up for an annual plan ($149 / £129 / €149) on Zwift and save about $30 compared to monthly installments. That’s like paying for 10 months and getting two free, but you have to pay it all up front. Or, buy a Wahoo KICKR Core ($100 off for Black Friday, just $599) and get a free year of Zwift with it.

Insta360 Ace Pro brings 8K action cam w/ AI effects

insta360 Ace Pro 8K action camera with large sensor and leica lens for the best low light night video shooting

The new Insta360 Ace Pro is their first “normal” non-360º action camera, and it packs a punch. It does all the stabilization things the others do, but has a Zeiss lens and nearly 50% larger sensor (1/1.3″) than the GoPro HERO 12 Black and AI enhancements for much better low-light/night capture. A flip-up 2.4″ screen lets you easily frame shots.

It also boasts 8K/24fps resolution, 10-bit color, and up (down?) to 1080p/240fps slow motion. The wildest feature is a dedicated AI chip that lets you use text prompts to create new backgrounds and effects in your videos! Pair it with Apple Watch, Garmin cycling computers, or their GPS-enabled remote to add location/speed/grade/etc. data to your video, too. Starts at $449.99. (video here)

Enduro Linear Bearing Press is over the top

enduro linear bearing press professional shop tool for bicycle bottom bracket and headset bearings

If you thought you knew bearing presses, think again. The new Enduro Linear Bearing Press uses 29º angled Acme threads, which are wider, broader, and stronger than typical V-shaped threads. This means the presses slide perfectly linearly and sit flush against the bearing cups at a perfect 90º. Which is good because it’s designed to install hub and suspension linkage bearings, which definitely need to be straight.

Each press rotates on a static stainless steel nuts with needle bearings, so the press moves smoothly without trying to spin against the bearing cups. It comes with long & medium threaded rods, wide & narrow handles, and an assortment of bearing guides & cups to fit most popular sizes. MSRP $299.

Found: PNW Pebble Tool with Dynaplug tire plugger

PNW Pebble bicycle multi-tool with integrated Dynaplug tire plug

This isn’t new but I just found it and thought it was neat. The PNW Pebble Tool is a minimalist bicycle multi-tool that includes a Dynaplug tire repair plug kit. The plugger fits over the T25 Torx bit, and the remaining 3/4/5/6 Hex wrenches all tuck neatly into place. Just the essentials, and only $37.

On Stage

Shimano presents Transforming Cascadia, a video about the advocacy efforts that went into building the trails that make up the Trans Cascadia multi-day enduro event.

Small Bites

Hot Deals

biggest list of black friday deals on bikes, components, and cycling gear

Black Cyber November is still going on, and I keep updating the list of deals that look interesting. Check out this Black Friday/Cyber Monday roundup for all the best cycling discounts and sales.

Parting Thoughts

I had written something about how Black “Friday” is now a six-week sales extravaganza that’s really just an opportunity to stock up on the stuff we want, but this once sentence pretty much sums it up.

So I deleted that because I’m more excited to share why I updated this website’s homepage. You may not care, but I kinda geek out on this UI stuff, and I really enjoy figuring out the HTML/CSS to make it real. If you’re tuning out now, have a great holiday weekend and I’ll see ya next Friday.

If not, thanks, and here’s the what, why, and how:

  1. The prior homepage blog roll had huge images, and when you clicked through to read that week’s recap, visually, it looked like you were still on the homepage until you scrolled down.
    • It wasn’t obvious enough that you had moved to that week’s story.
    • Now, the layout shows multiple stories on screen, and it’s obvious when you’ve clicked through.
  2. The original was built on a basic WordPress theme, and I really liked the header (top of page). The new one is built on a more professional custom theme, and it took some work to match the original header layout, but I’m pretty pleased I could figure it out.
  3. CSS is equal parts super fun and super frustrating. Oddly, one of the hardest things to do is center an element (text, photo, content group, whatever) on a page. But seeing things change as I edit the code is extremely gratifying.
  4. Proud to say I did all of the site development, logo, graphics, and design for The Lunch Ride.

I share this not to brag, but to show the power of learning random stuff.

In college, just as WWW was becoming a thing, I took a one-day crash course on HTML and “the web”.

I didn’t know what I’d do with it, but it seemed new and important and worth knowing about.

I wanted to have a base-level understanding of what it was and how it worked.

And for the past ~30 years, I’ve been able to rapidly build websites and test ideas (like The Lunch Ride!) on my own, without paying developers. And I learned Illustrator and Photoshop during high school summer jobs, so I’ve been able to create the graphics, logos, and artwork for these projects, too.

Knowing this stuff has been the difference between being able to quickly try new ideas or just dreaming about them because I couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for someone else to build it for me.

Some of my projects have been wildly successful, others not so much, but it cost me nothing but a little time to experiment..

It’s similar to learning to fix things on your bike. You could always pay your local bike shop to do everything, but understanding the basics and having a few tools will save you a lot of time and money over the years. I still call in the experts when there’s something I can’t do, but I’m mostly self-sufficient and it’s empowering.

Today’s AI is yesterday’s “world wide web”, and I’m about to start diving deep on that because I believe having a foundational knowledge of how AI works and what it can (and can’t) do will pay dividends in the very near future.

No, I’m not going to use AI to write the recaps here, promise. But who knows what other doors it will open for me. And you.

Here’s to learning something new!

who is behind the lunch ride newsletter
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.

Disclosure: Some links are affiliate links for which we may receive a small commission if you buy something. All photos are copyrighted by and used courtesy of their respective brands unless otherwise noted.