Shimano GRX Di2 // Roval // Hunt // Marin // XPEDO // Swytch & more!

New Shimano GRX Di2 RX825 12-speed gravel group shown on a purple bike.

Shimano updates GRX with wireless shifting and some other clever updates, Roval unveils ridiculously light XC wheels, Ritchey goes “super” light with their gravel bar, TRP makes better brake rotors, and Kona makes a comeback! There’s also two cool new e-MTBs, modular powermeter pedals and more! Here’s the best new stuff this week:

  • Shimano GRX Di2 12-speed
  • GRX pedals
  • Ritchey Superlogic SL Venturemax
  • Roval Control SL Team XC wheels
  • Hunt 4-Season Pro
  • XPEDO Omni powermeter pedals
  • Marin Alpine-E
  • TRP Race Rotors
  • Swytch GO
  • Ride1Up Revv 1 DRT
  • Kona is BACK!!!!

Shimano GRX Di2 goes 12 speed…

As expected, the new Shimano GRX Di2 RX825 group upgrades to 12 speeds and wireless controllers, with the same gravel-specific brake hood and lever shapes for improved ergonomics and control as the mechanical group got last year.

Like their electronic road groups, it gets the third Di2 button, but it’s moved to the inside of the hoods for easier reach on rough surfaces. Use those, or optional satellite shifters, as a shift button or control your cycling computer, lights, etc.

It also gets the new MicroSpline cassette (11-34 & 11-36) and 12-speed 2x chainring (48/31 or 46/30) options as the recently updated mechanical GRX group, and uses the same crankset. It charges through the rear derailleur, which means you can run it as a 1x group, too.

…and gets new gravel-themed pedals, too.

They’re XT pedals, but with fun United By Gravel graphics and GRX branding. Which is cool.

Ritchey Superlogic SL Venturemax wide flare gravel handlebar

Ritchey Superlogic SL VentureMax takes their most popular super-wide gravel handlebar and gives it the ultra-light treatment. It combines aero shaping on the tops with ergonomic drops that both splay and a wide 24º flare, plus their Bio-Bend bump in the drops to support your palm. It’s compatible with internal, stealth, and standard cable routing and comes in at just 235g for 44cm, MSRP $299.

Roval Control SL Team 1,190g XC race wheels

The new Roval Control SL Team are the lightest production XC mountain bike wheels on the market at 1,190g including rim tape & valve stems!

They use the same carbon rim as Control SL, with a 4mm wide bead shelf to prevent pinch flats, but get all-new custom carbon fiber spokes that are 29% lighter than steel spokes. The spokes also strong and tough enough that they only need 20 per wheel, and you can ride out a lap with two broken, too.

Heavily machined hubs drop more weight. Altogether, they’re not just light, but also very laterally stiff while offering better radial compliance for more traction and comfort. MSRP $3,300 for a kit that includes Fast Trak / Renegade S-Works 29×2.35tires, Dynaplug, titanium rotor bolts, water bottle, and more. Only 400 sets available, ever. (video here).

Hunt 4-Season alloy all-road wheels

If you’re looking for a tough, affordable alloy wheelset that isn’t heavy as crap, the new Hunt 4-Season Pro wheels offer wider 22mm internal rim widths (optimized for 25-40mm tires) and weigh just 1,535g for $649.

They’re built with 24/24 triple-butted J-bend spokes and brass nipples on new double-sealed HUNT H_Ratchet DBL 40-tooth ratchet hub system that can handle high torque with 9º engagement. Rims are shot-peened 6069-T6 heat treated alloy, which they say have 69% higher tensile strength than the more common 6061-T6 alloy often used in performance road rims.

XPEDO Omni powermeter works on any of their pedals

XPEDO’s clever Omni power meter pedal system puts everything inside the spindle, letting you add it to whichever of their performance road, gravel, or mountain bike pedals you like (which are mostly SPD or Look cleat compatible).

They add just 50g to a pair of pedals, don’t affect stack height, and have a 155mm Q-Factor. Complete pedal systems range from $739 to $889, powered by CR2032 coin cell batteries. The only downside? They don’t come out until later this year.

BTD presents their Memorial Day Deal Hub — where you’ll find doorbusters with savings up to 60%, plus dozens of limited time offers from the best brands in cycling. New deals are added daily, so bookmark the hub and check back often!

Intend Bandit single-dual crown suspension fork

This isn’t new, but I just found it and it’s super interesting. The Intend Bandit takes a single-crown enduro mountain bike fork but gives it the much larger volume air spring of their Infinity EN dual-crown fork, making it more supple but at a lighter weight.

The longer air spring lets them spread the bushings further apart for smoother, stiffer action, too. Travel range from 160-190mm, weight is 2,330g, price €2,049.

Marin Alpine Trail-E enduro e-mountain bike

Hot on the heels of the new analog Alpine trail bike comes the new Marin Alpine Trail E Bosch eMTB. It gets the same new MultiTrac 2 LT suspension layout (basically a horst link design now), with 160mm travel paired with 170mm forks and mixed wheel sizes.

It also keeps the adjustable geometry points, including rear pivot & rocker flip chips and adjustable headset cups. They’ve switched from Shimano to Bosch motors, packing the 85Nm Performance CX series w/ 750Wh batteries. Two models, $5,699 to $6,599, and the extra $900 gets you much better drivetrain & brake spec.

TRP Race brake rotors have 10% more stopping power

Swap in the new TRP S05E Race rotors and gain 10% better deceleration rates and enhanced temperature stability – meaning, it gets up to a good heat faster, then maintains that more consistently throughout the descent thanks to increased braking surface area.

It’s designed for their World Cup DH racers who need to brake hard at the last possible second, so they only come in 203mm & 220mm sizes, but should be great for full-power eMTBs, too.

Swytch GO converts any bike into an e-bike

The Swytch GO improves their modular e-bike kit by moving the battery pack off the handlebar and onto the frame, taking all of that weight off your steering. It uses their 250W front wheel motor which is built into a complete wheel – you simply swap your front wheel for theirs, various sizes and options available to fit most bikes.

A pedal sensor tells it when you’re pedaling and activates a selectable assist level. It’s IPX6 waterproof and complies with UL battery safety certification, with three battery options providing up to 60 miles range. I’ve ridden a Swytch equipped bike and it’s surprisingly good, especially for the low £599 (get it half off by joining their list) price.

Ride1Up Revv 1 DRT cafe racer-style offroad e-bike

Ride1Up has given their mini moto-style e-bike an offroad variant with the Revv 1 DRT. It has knobbier 20×4″ tires, 76mm of rear suspension, 150mm travel double-crown fork, and a monstrous 1000W / 95Nm Bafang hub motor.

Integrated lights with high/low beam headlight, digital dashboard, and moto-style fenders come standard, and a MOLLE board in the center lets you easily attach cargo. MSRP $2,495, and you can convert to a Class 2 (throttle) or 3 with a little tinkering.

Kona is back, new bikes on the way!

If you missed the drama, Kona was bought by Kent Outdoors a few years back, who pulled the plug on the brand the day before Sea Otter this year. Now it’s “rider owned” again as Dan Gerhard and Jake Heilbron have purchased the brand back from Kent Outdoors and are promising a hardcore effort to reinvigorate both brand and dealer network.

As such, direct-to-consumer sales are paused, and they say killer new bikes are coming soon to join the recently introduced Ouroboros gravel bike. That means BOGO deals are over, but they say their bikes will be more competitively priced. Rock on, Kona, glad you’re back!

Small Bites

Big Memorial Day Sales!

Parting Thoughts

Man, I’m glad Kona’s back. It’s nice to see such a legacy brand come out of a bad situation on the sunny side.

I won’t lie, it’s harder than people think to make money in the bike industry.

It’s even harder to make money as bike media.

I found it really interesting that The Radavist was bought by Pro’s Closet, and then when they realized bike media barely makes commercial sense, put back in the hands of its founder.

It seems like the right thing to do, no?

It’s the lifestyle and fringe benefits that keep us all here, definitely not the cash.

There are definitely ways to make it happen (like selling your blog to Pro’s Closet for a boatload of cash), but when outside companies come in and think that efficiencies of scale will make the difference, things get weird.

I think it’s largely because this is such a passion industry. When a bike brand is driven by the numbers, and numbers alone, it doesn’t usually work out well. The people who are most passionate about the brand and the products are often the first to go, replaced with bean counters and outside consultants.

There are very few industries that have so many brands competing for the same consumer dollars. There are literally hundreds of bike brands…can you name another industry like that?

Maybe fashion, but those are low ticket items.

Bikes, however, are a relatively high ticket recreational item, which means each brand has to really stand out and connect on an emotional level. When that connection disappears, I’d argue that their competitive advantage (and reason for anyone to care) does, too.

So, it’ll be interesting to watch Kona’s rebound. My fingers are crossed. I have their Libre gravel bike and it’s awesome. I love it. I hope I’m talking about their comeback story this time next year.

Here’s to second chances,

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