Specialized // BMC // Bianchi // Spoon // Shimano // Chris King & more!

new 2023 specialized diverge str gravel bike with dual Future Shock suspension

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

closeup details of new Specialized Diverge STR with front and rear future shock to suspend the rider

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.

internal rear future shock details on new specialized diverge str gravel bike
Left: Future Shock damper cartridge next to a prototype frame. Right: Two different flex seat tubes showing multiple positions and different layups. Click any image to enlarge.

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

2023 bianchi oltre xr aero road bike with air scoops and 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

spoon sestriere is an affordable full custom scandium alloy road bike with a killer build spec for the price

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

new midnight blue chris king components

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

eco-friendly velo angel revo road bike saddle with nitrogen foam like running shoes

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

custom 3d printed carbon fiber road cycling shoes from LoreOne

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

new lightweight Shimano RX801 rally gravel cycling shoes include a stretchy cuff to keep rocks out

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

DVO custom suspension tuning option for new forks and shocks

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

how to watch red bull rampage 2022 on ESPN+ and Red Bull TV livestream

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

Makita outdoor adventure range of 18v battery powered tools, lights, coolers and equipment for vanlife, overlanding and car camping

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

how to get free non-alcoholic Athletic Brewing Co beer with their iOS 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.

Small Bites


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