Santa Cruz // Trek // BMC // Strider // Canyon // Zwift & more!

2023 BMC Kaius race gravel bike

It’s another big week, with huge brands like Trek, BMC, Santa Cruz, and Canyon all launching completely new road, gravel, and mountain bikes. Zwift drops into the hardware game, Insta360 launches a 5.7k 360º action cam, Strider’s making bikes for kids with special physical needs, and lots more!

BMC Kaius race gravel bike is light, aero, and narrow

Built for racing, the new BMC Kaius optimizes for speed with aero shaping (including semi-integrated bottle cages), light weight (910g frame, 400g fork, 160g seatpost, 315g ICS bar/stem), and fully internal cable routing.

It’s still compatible with a dropper post, their MTT suspension stem, and a bolt-on bento box if you want them, and is reinforced against rock strikes on its belly, but max tire width is 700×44…so, you know, racing.

2023 BMC Kaius race gravel bike shown from various angles

The geometry is also race focused, with a longer reach & wheelbase to add high-speed stability but a shorter stem to maintain sharp handling. The top model’s ICS handlebars use a narrow 360mm width at the hoods (to reduce your frontal area and make you more aerodynamic) then flare 12.5º to 420mm at the drops for better control.

A bit of compliance is built in for comfort, but the emphasis is on power transfer. Three models are offered in six sizes, ranging from $5,999 to $11,999 (€5,499 to €11,499). For a more playful bike, their Urs LT has front and rear suspension.

Canyon Ultimate road bike gets SwissSide aero optimizations

The Canyon Ultimate is their top level road race bike, now with a SwissSide-designed aerodynamic profile that saves up to 10 watts of drag from the frameset. Tire clearance increases to 32mm, but bikes will ship with 25-28mm tires, some with mixed front-to-rear combos. Despite a fully integrated frame, the cockpit claims easy adjustments to improve comfort.

It’s lighter, too, even with more carbon in key areas to stiffen and reinforce it. The top Di2 model comes in at 6.3kg (13.89lb). It’s their first road bike with size-specific chainstay lengths (longer on L/XL/2XL), otherwise geo carries over unchanged. Available in 8 sizes, the 3XS/2XS get 650B wheels.

New Trek Domane is lighter, more aero, and won Women’s Roubaix

2022 trek madone endurance road bike with on-bike storage

The new Trek Domane is their lightest Domane Disc ever, saving ~300g from the prior model thanks to a simplified rear IsoSpeed flex coupler that removes the (often unused) adjustable slider…and the complete removal of the front IsoSpeed.

The SL and SLR frames both save that weight, but the SLR gets upgraded OCLV 800 carbon (versus OCLV 500). SL models get a fixed compliance across all frame sizes, about where the prior model’s softest setting was. The SLR models get frame-size-specific IsoSpeed compliance. Geometry is unchanged.

A slimmer, more compliant seatpost saves more weight and improves comfort. Updated Kamm Tail tube shapes, including on the seatpost, plus a fully integrated routing, reduces drag across the entire frame.

It comes with 700×32 tires but fits up to 38mm. Fender mounts and downtube frame storage remain, and new top tube bag mounts add more storage. A T47 threaded BB makes maintenance simple.

An even lighter Domane RSL version is what their team races and is available only as a frameset. It has a shorter headtube for a more aggressive position, loses the top tube mounts & integrated storage, and maxes out at 35mm tires.

2023 Trek Fuel EX says it’s a better “ultimate trail bike”

2023 trek fuel ex trail mountain bike with adjustable geometry and integrated tool storage

Now in its 6th generation, the new Trek Fuel EX is longer, lower, slacker and bumps rear travel up to 140mm. It also gains coil shock compatibility and fits longer, stouter 34.9mm dropper seatposts.

Reach increases ~20mm, seat angles get ~2º steeper, and stock head is 64.5º. But you can customize those angles.

closeup detail of 2023 trek fuel ex trail mountain bike's adjustable geometry and integrated tool storage features

The rocker arm’s Mino Link adjusts head angle by 0.5º and BB height by ~8mm. An adjustable headset gives you +/-1º more head angle adjustment, parts sold separately. A lower shock mount flip chip adjusts the shock’s leverage rate, letting you fine tune for rough terrain or big jumps.

Both carbon and alloy models get all features, including an integrated storage compartment with bag. Bikes come with 150mm forks & 2.5″ tire clearance. XS & Small frames are 27.5″, others are 29ers that can run a 27.5″ rear wheel with a 160mm fork. Eight models offered from $2,700 to $10,750. Claimed weights from 31.1 to 34.62 pounds.

But the new Santa Cruz 5010 says “hold my beer”

The 5th gen Santa Cruz 5010 switches to a 29er front, but keeps the 27.5″ rear with 130mm travel and 140mm forks. Subtle tweaks to the geometry aim to give the bike the same playful handling as before, just with better rollover.

And better small bump compliance thanks to reduced anti-squat and a more linear shock rate. They also get a new Glovebox downtube storage with Tool Wallet and Tube Purse. 5010 C (base) and CC (better) carbon frames keep their size-specific layups and chainstays. MSRP is TBD, and women’s Juliana Furtado models join them at launch.

Zwift HUB indoor trainer has big specs, little price

new zwift hub indoor trainer with direct drive design includes your choice of cassette with purchase

Zwift has officially entered the hardware game with their new HUB indoor trainer. It’s a direct-drive model with +/-2.5% accuracy that can handle up to 1800W from your legs and simulate up to a 16% grade. A generous 4.7kg (~10lb) flywheel should offer good road feel.

It’s ANT+ FE-C/Bluetooh FTMS controllable, is approved for all those upcoming races, and transmits speed/power/cadence. Heart rate strap bridging and OTA updates run through the Zwift companion app to keep it current.

Perhaps most impressive is that, for just $499 (£449/€499) it comes with your choice of 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12-speed cassette preinstalled and QR/142+148 thru axle adapters for ultimate compatibility. On sale October 3rd, sold direct.

Strider Adaptive Bikes get custom parts to fit more kids

strider adaptive balance bikes help kids with limb differences and special physical needs to learn to ride a bike

Strider Bike’s new adaptive fit program will create custom handlebars, grips and other parts to help fit kids with limb imbalances or special physical needs. In addition to the custom parts made in-house, they’ve partnered with RAM Mounts to add more ways to steer and control the bike. The best part? There’s no additional charge if your kid needs these mods.

Tour of Luxembourg will award team with lowest CO2 footprint

2022 skoda tour of luxembourg stage route map

In an effort to see just how big of a carbon footprint a major cycling event has, nZero will track the entire CO2 output of the 2022 Tour of Luxembourg.

They’ll gather data from vendors, teams and others involved in the event to learn how they can improve in the future. And the team with the lowest calculated CO2 output will win a special award.

Specialized Hillbilly mountain bike tires get more aggressive

2022 specialized hillbilly gravity mountain bike tires for wet muddy steep conditions and downhill park riding

Available in GRID Trail and Gravity casings, the updated Specialized Hillbilly T9 MTB tires get their stickiest compound and more grabby knobs. The revised tread blocks are deeper in the center and use a “block in block” side knob design to reduce squirm in hard cornering. Designed for descending in loose, slippery, wet conditions. Available in 27.5″ & 29″ sizes and 2.4″ widths for $75.

Insta360 X3 action cam upgrades to 5.7K 360º footage

new insta360 X3 action cam with 360-degree footage and 1/2 image sensors

With an incredibly slim profile designed to stick on the end of a pole, the new Insta360 X3 captures incredibly hi-res footage of everything, then makes it easy to edit the POV through their app before exporting.

Bigger dual 1/2-inch sensors capture more light, and you can shoot through a single lens with Horizon lock for traditional 4K footage. An oversize 2.29″ touchscreen makes it easy to control, and it’s waterproof to 10m/33ft. Retail is $449.99, available direct and on Amazon.

iPhone 14, Apple Watch Ultra get big safety & tracking upgrades

For cyclists who like to get way out there, the new Apple iPhone 14 will not only document those adventures better thanks to a massive new main camera sensor, better low-light performance, and image stabilization during videos…it’ll also talk to satellites. A new app helps you locate and connect to satellites so you can send SOS messages…or just share your location to prove you’re awesome.

The new Apple Watch Ultra is a bigger, tougher version with stronger sport straps to keep it on your wrist during high-impact activities. The 49mm titanium case packs dual GPS sensors, cellular hardware, and a 36-hour battery life. That’s still not as long-lasting as Suunto or Garmin watches, but if you can’t leave Apple, this is your new watch.

On Stage

Above, Handy MacAskill shows his skills with the new Santa Cruz 5010. Below, could Facebook’s Meta be partnering with Zwift to create a VR cycling metaverse?

Small Bites

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