From a wild new Diverge STR gravel bike with rear suspension to another ultralight eMTB to Bianchi’s “Hyperbike” with front air scoops, there’s some interesting new bikes this week! Plus a $2k custom road shoe, where to watch Red Bull Rampage, vanlife power tools, and more! Here’s this week’s menu:
- Specialized’s wild new Diverge STR
- BMC Fourstroke AMP LT eMTB
- Bianchi Oltre RC gets air vents
- Spoon full custom bikes under $5k
- Chris King Midnight colorway
- Velo’s nitrogen-infused Angel saddle
- Lore One’s $2,000 road shoes
- Shimano “Rally” gravel shoes
- DVO custom suspension tuning
- Red Bull Rampage streams live today
- Makita’s overland-ready 18v range
- Free “beer” from Athletic Brewing
2023 Specialized Diverge STR gets front & rear Future Shocks
Designed to suspend the rider, not the bike, the new Diverge STR gravel bike turns the entire seat tube into a carbon leaf spring, then puts a hydraulic damper in the top tube to refine its motion. The result is a bike you can sit and hammer over the roughest gravel roads. (video here)
It provides 30mm of very tunable travel, with a 3-mode switch on the damper and 18 possible carbon seat tube stiffnesses to choose from. Simply swap or rotate the inner seat tube to change the spring rate. Each bike ships with two different tubes, providing four tunes out of the box.
The geometry is almost identical to the standard Diverge, and it keeps the 20mm front Future Shock in the steerer tube, too. A SWAT downtube compartment plus fork and top tube mounts and front-only rack and fender mounts add storage.
The Future Shock hardware adds ~400g, but the S-Works model comes in at a respectable 8.5kg (18.75lb). Three builds range from $7,500 to $14,000, plus an S-Works frameset for $6,500. I’ve been riding one and, yes, it’s expensive and polarizing, but it’s also amazing.
BMC Fourstroke AMP LT ultralight, ultra-quiet e-mountain bike
The lightweight BMC Fourstroke AMP LT eMTB rides just like the analog version, but provides 50Nm of silent assist from the minimalist TQ HPR50 motor. It’s powered by a 360Wh battery that’ll recharge to 80% in 90 minutes. A 160Wh range extender battery pack is coming soon.
The 120mm suspension soaks up impacts it shouldn’t and pedals very efficiently. The complete bike weighs just 15.9kg (~35lbs), making it easy to pedal should you turn the assist off (or the battery dies). U.S. models assist up to 20mph, EU/Global models up to 25km/h (~15.5mph). Prices from $7,300 to $15,000.
Bianchi Oltre XR “Hyperbike” shapes the air with vents
With scoops on the head tube and shaped venting in a split, one-piece handlebar/stem, the new Bianchi Oltre XR is designed to move air more quickly and smoothly over the tubes and your legs to minimize drag. They say it knocks 45 seconds off a 40km effort at 250 watts and even cuts drag in crosswinds.
It’s the first effort out of their renewed Reparto Corse (Race Division), and includes new RC aero wheels, saddle, and cockpit on this bike. The top model starts at €13,750 with your choice of Red AXS, Dura-Ace Di2, or Super Record EPS. (video here)
Spoon Sestriere is a full custom road bike for under $5k
Many full custom frames can cost almost $5k, but Spoon is offering their lightweight scandium alloy Sestriere as a complete bike with full custom geometry and colors for under $5k (<£5k), including an in-person 3-hour fit session!
The bike comes with Zipp 303S wheels, SRAM Rival AXS, Pirelli tires, Prologo saddle, Deda Superzero stem, and PRO carbon bar and post…not bad at all!
Chris King Midnight blue
This year’s Chris King Open House revealed their new Midnight blue color, which will replace Navy and Matte Slate. Sales start in November, and you’ll find a few partner products from RAL bags and DynaPlug getting the new color on limited edition products.
Velo adds sneaker-like nitrogen foam to their saddles
Mimicking running shoes, Velo (which makes ~95% of all bike saddles in the world…no exaggeration) has created an eco-friendly, nitrogen-infused AtmosFoam. The production reduces CO2 and chemicals, and results in a lighter, more responsive foam that also stays cooler in hot weather.
The shell is made with a non-petroleum based bio-plastic, and the cover is a recycled knit, too. Available now on the new Angel Revo with ti rails in three colors for $125.
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LoreOne’s custom 3D-printed road shoes are $2k
Wild looking and wildly expensive, the LoreOne uses a proprietary “scan to print” tech (using your iPhone!) to fit any foot size and shape. They’re 3D printed with continuous carbon fiber, creating a monocoque shoe that aligns your foot from the top, eliminating the need for orthotic inserts.
The CarbonAirFrame is just as efficient on the upstroke as the downstroke, which they say yields 4-9% more power output and a ~30% more efficient pedal stroke. Even the cleat hole placement is custom for your anatomy.
Shimano RX8 gravel shoes get a “Rally” edition
The updated (and still extremely lightweight at 268g/shoe) Shimano RX801 gravel shoes get a more breathable design thanks to larger perforations, and a lower-profile BOA Li2 dial with rubber surround makes on-bike adjustments easier. More half sizes and a refined toe box improve fit for more riders. $275 (€229/£230)
But the new RX801R (for “Rally”) version with a snug, stretchy ankle cuff to keep rocks and sand out are the ones we want. Same shoe, just with an integrated gaiter that only adds 22g. $300 (€275/£270).
DVO will now custom tune any new fork or shock for $150
For $150, DVO will do a full custom tune on any new fork or shock, just add that option during checkout. It’s a bargain compared to aftermarket custom tunes, and was previously only offered to their elite athletes. The tune includes custom high-performance shim stacks, race oil, and hand bleeding the damper.
How to watch the 2022 Red Bull Rampage
Tune into ESPN+ on Friday, October 21 for live coverage of the 2022 Red Bull Rampage starting a 1p EST (10a PST). This 16th edition returns to the original Virgin, UT, course. Here are full details and links to streaming and replays on ESPN & Red Bull TV if you miss it live.
Makita Outdoor Adventure 18v range perfect for Vanlife
As an occasional vanlifer, the new 18v battery-powered Makita Outdoor Adventure collection makes a lot of sense. From a drip coffee maker to a cooler/warmer to a vacuum, chainsaw, lights, inflator, boombox & more, powering everything with the same rechargeable batteries simplifies a well-prepared camp (and vehicle).
Athletic Brewing Co. will give you a 6-pack for using their app
Non-alcoholic (but still delicious) brand Athletic Brewing Co. has a new iOS app that makes it easy to find retailers carrying their brews and sparkling waters and even feature app-exclusive brews, like the new Tucker’s Tropical Triple IPA. Use it to order two 6-packs before November 1, 2022, and they’ll give you a free 6-pack.
- SRAM is sponsoring an America’s Cup yacht team
- Pacenti wants to license its P-Dent handlebar design
- Wahoo sues Zwift over trainer patents, but it’s friendly-ish
- Mario Cipollini is going to jail for domestic abuse
- New bio-based Polartec membrane is most waterproof ever
- Shimano matched $2k for every 2022 Dig In IMBA project
- Enter to win a custom Stumpjumper from Freehub Mag
- Here’s a killer roundup of handmade full-suspension MTBs
- Pactimo’s lightweight Summit bibshorts are 60% off
- Club Ride’s Men’s & Women’s summer apparel is on sale
- Get 25% off all Keen shoes & boots at REI thru 11/1
- BikesOnline has Marin & Polygon bikes up to 50% off
- EVO’s anniversary sale has bike, ski & more up to 60% off
- Buy a $50 gift card, get $550 off ZeroBreeze portable AC
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