Specialized // Rockshox // Mosaic // Revel // Ari // Silca & more!

2024 specialized epic 8 S-works xc race bike with flight attendant

Specialized and Rockshox debut their latest new XC race weapons, Revel and Ari update two popular MTBs, and Dangerholm makes the cleanest bike ever. Plus, I found killer new bikes from boutique builders Pegoretti, Scarab, Mosaic, and Onguza, too!

There’s also ultra-quick new Industry Nine gravel hubs, a cycling video game trainer app, Silca bags, a colorful XC shoe, and more killer gear & bikes! Here’s the best new stuff this week:

  • Specialized Epic 8
  • Rockshox Flight Attendant
  • Ari Wire Peak 2.0
  • Revel Rail 29
  • Dangerholm concept bike
  • MMR Adrenaline SL
  • Mosaic GT1 Artist Series
  • Scarab Paramo
  • Pegoretti Duende
  • Onguza Rooster
  • Smith Payroll
  • Industry Nine Solix
  • Wolf Tooth Integrated Headset
  • Specialized Turbo Porto
  • Fizik Proxy XC shoes
  • Silca bags
  • Startona Speed Circuit
  • Raspberry Pi Smart Taillight

Specialized Epic 8 S-Works & EVO are the fastest XC bikes ever

Or, at least, that’s Specialized’s claim, but having ridden them, it’s hard to argue. The new Epic 8 is the first to share a frame between XC and EVO models, both with 120mm rear travel and no “Brain” shock. New kinematics combine with a higher volume air shock using wide-open high-speed compression damping to provide plush big-hit performance, but with a firmer low-speed compression damping to create an effective pedaling platform (20% less pedal bob) that doesn’t hinder suspension performance.

They call it the “Magic Middle” setting between Open & Pedal modes, and it’s very effective. The XC models are led by a Flight Attendant-equipped S-Works model with an its own exceptionally lightweight layup – 76g lighter than prior model, sub-4lb frame w/ hardware and shock!

The XC models have 120mm forks with 29×2.35″ XC tires. The EVO models get 130mm forks, wider trail tires, and more aggressive spec to hit that fast-but-capable light trail/downcountry sweet spot that’ll serve most riders very well.

Non S-Works frames have internal cable sleeves and a slightly lower-level carbon fiber, but are still reasonably light. All models get a new molded upper shock mount and leaner dropouts to save weight; S-Works models upgrade to a carbon shock yoke. All models also get a geometry adjust flip chip at the lower shock mount, plus a new lighter/better SWAT door for internal downtube storage. (videos here and here)

Rockshox Flight Attendant takes the brain out of suspension control

As in, your brain, leaving you free to concentrate the ride and now fiddling with lockouts and modes. The latest Rockshox Flight Attendant electronic suspension controls keep the same fork and shock hardware as before, but with new algorithms & AXS compatibility give it extremely good XC performance on SID products. Four main things separate it from Fox’s Live Valve:

  • It’s fully wireless
  • Split State capability lets it independently control fork and shock compression damping
  • It cycles through Open/Trail/Pedal modes not just Open/Pedal
  • It now pulls data from a Transmission rear derailleur and (finally!) Quarq power meters

That last point is key, as it adapts the suspension based terrain, how hard and fast your pedaling, and gear selection. And it learns from each ride, fine tuning its performance based on your output and riding style, too. Override functions let you manually cycle through Open/Trail/Pedal modes, too.

Ari Wire Peak 2.0 eMTB gets more power & travel

Now packing a swappable 635Wh battery pack and the latest Shimano EP700 and EP801 motors, the latest Ari Wire Peak trail e-mountain bike also bumps travel to 145mm in the rear with 160mm forks. The alloy frame is updated with a slacker front end for better descending, and a steeper seat angle for better climbing.

Low standover allows for longer dropper posts and better fit. Choose from Fox, Rockshox, and DVO suspension kits. Available in three models starting at just $3,499, the prices are lower than before, too. Looking for something lighter with a carbon frame? They dropped the Nebo Peak eMTB last week. (video here)

Revel Rail 29 gets more fork travel, new colors

This one’s easy: The Revel Rail29 gets new colors and longer travel forks now. Based on their own employees’ builds, they’ve increased fork travel from 160mm to 170mm. The frame stays the same, with its 155mm rear travel and CBF suspension design. It’s a ripper of an enduro bike, I’ve ridden it in Sedona, definitely worth a look.

Dangerholm’s Scott Genius ST Concept trail bike

If you think integration has already gone too far, look away now. This Scott Genius ST concept trail bike by Dangerholm takes it to extremes with an impeccably clean bike. The Syncros Hixon SL bar/stem was modified to hide the brake hoses inside, feeding directly into the frame. Zirbel twist shifter connects to a hidden SRAM Blip Box to control the Transmission derailleur, which is has a CeramicSpeed OSPW X cage/pulleys and Hopp Carbon Parts tuning.

Trickstuff Piccola HD brakes, Intend Corona seatpost clamp, DUKE Bad Boy/Fury wheels, Damof valvestems, RadoxX top cap & chainring, and an Intend Hero fork with METI ti thru axle round out the parts. But the cherry on top is a modified friction shifter mounted to a bottle cage bolt to switch rear shock modes! Complete bike weight is 13.6kg (29.98lbs).

Mosaic GT1 i-45 introduces Scale Artist Series paint

The new Mosaic GT-1 i45 gravel bike keeps the double-butted, customer-specific titanium tubing and made-to-order geo, but boosts tire clearance slightly (easily clears 700×45) and adds a fully-integrated front end. Built with the ENVE In-Route gravel fork and bar/stem cockpit, it keeps all brake lines inside, running thru the Chris King InSet headset. You can still opt for standard internal routing if you prefer.

It’ll be on display at Mid South, showing off their 6th Artist Series paint scheme. Called Scale, it uses a variety of background color combos overlaid with a triangular hexagonal pattern that resembles snake scales. Framesets are $8,300, and the limited time artist series paint scheme runs $1,300.

Scarab Paramo Integrated steel gravel bike goes stealth

The Scarab Cycle’s Paramo Integrated gives their steel gravel bike a clean new look. It feeds all brake lines through an ENVE In-Route one-piece bar-and-stem, then through the new Wolf Tooth Integrated Headset (keep reading), and into the frame and ENVE In-Route Gravel Fork.

Frame is a mix of Columbus Spirit & Life steel tubing with T47 BB & UDH dropouts. Framesets start at $3,600. The brand is based and builds in Colombia, South America, and this model is named for the region above tree line but below snow line, where roads are rugged and the air is thin.

Pegoretti Duende Rock & Roll stainless steel all-road bike

Fitting 700×40 tires and the ability to add fenders, the Pegoretti Duende Rock & Roll all-road bike is as versatile as they make them. It uses a custom Columbus XCR stainless steel tubeset with their Piron carbon fork. The BSA bottom bracket shell is oversized with a secondary sleeve inside.

Available with standard or custom geometry, with or without rack and fender mounts, and your choice of electronic or mechanical shift accommodations, it includes a handmade seatpost collar and front derailleur clamp. Available with their Spaghetti graphic, inquire directly for pricing.

Onguza Rooster hardtail MTB, made in Namibia

Onguza is a Namibian brand making steel road, gravel, and now mountain bikes 100% by hand. Meaning, they cut, miter, and file the Columbus steel tubes by hand, then fillet braze them, one by one. Founded in 2020 by two-time Namibian Olympic Road Cyclist and professional rider Dan Craven and co-owned by their two frame builders, the brand has already proven itself at major races.

Now, they’ve updated the road and gravel frames, launched the Rooster hardtail, and are rebooting the brand with an excellent promotional video that captures their spirit. Made-to-measure custom frames start at $4,100.

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Specialized Porto Turbo e-cargo bike

Available only in European markets for now, the new Specialized Porto Turbo is their first full-size e-cargo bike. It uses a Gates Belt Drive with a powerful motor pumping 90Nm of torque with 710Wh battery. That, along with a strong alloy frame, helps it haul up to 200kg (440lbs!).

The long-tail design fits a wide range of accessories to carry cargo or passengers, and the included front and rear racks get you off to a good start. It also includes a front wheel lock and integrated Garmin Radar paired to their head unit. An included frame bag inserts from the non-drive side for a repair kit, jacket, etc. From €6,500. (video here)

Industry Nine SOLiX road & gravel wheels get micro engagement

The all-new Industry Nine SOLiX hubs take their wicked-fast Hydra mountain bike hubs and applies it to road and gravel. With an industry-leading 0.59º of engagement from a staggered five-pawl system with 121-tooth drive ring. But thanks to a revised design with lighter pawl springs and seals, it has less drag and quieter performance.

It uses the same size bearings on both sides of the hub, with an improved preload system, keeping them strong and smooth. Available as complete wheels with Industry Nine’s alloy spokes, classic flanged hubs with bladed spokes, or sold separately for building your own wheels, they come in all 11 anodized color options. Multiple alloy and carbon rim depths and shapes available for road, aero, or gravel wheelsets. (video here)

Wolf Tooth Components Premium Integrated Headset

Wolf Tooth has entered the integrated headset market, with a new 44mm upper cup designed for bikes using straight head tubes (meaning, non-tapered head tubes, which allow for room between the upper headset bearing and tapered fork steerer for the brake hoses).

As of this edition going live, it’s not listed on their website yet, but it’s designed to fit most modern stems and bar/stems that use the now generally-accepted-as-standard routing format that ENVE, FSA, Deda, and Token all use, too. The difference here is it’s made in the USA and comes in lots of colors.

Smith Payroll MTB helmet w/ ALECK crash sensor

The new Smith Payroll MIPS w/ ALECK Crash Sensor is a half-shell mountain bike helmet with all the protection options. It starts with their Koroyd multi-direction impact material, which can crush better at angles than typical EPS foam. Then they add MIPS rotational protection, and meets NTA8776 and EN 1078 E-Bike certifications.

Lastly, it has the ALECK crash detection sensor that pairs with your smartphone to alert friends or family if you wreck. It fits with all Smith sunglasses and goggles, with an eyewear dock to keep them nearby when not in use and ventilation designed to prevent fogging. The visor is adjustable, too. Claimed weight is 400g (size M), MSRP is $220.

Fizik Vento Proxy off-road racing shoes

Whether it’s XC, CX, or gravel that’s got you training, the new Fizik Vento Proxy race shoes will get you flying. A single BOA Li2 closure pulls the microfiber upper around your foot, and a unique translucent PU-laminated mesh keeps it breathable. They say it’s also tear-proof and extremely durable.

A redesigned carbon outsole is stiff, but still lets you run up hillsides and stope. A thick rubber tread cover provides grip and swappable toe-spikes are there for ‘cross. Weight is 326g, oddly that’s without the 20g footbed included. MSRP $249, also in black and white.

Silca Grinta handlebar & saddle bags

Silca has expanded their on-bike storage with the new Grinta Handlebar Bag and Rollmop Saddle Bag. The bar bag measures 23cm wide x 11cm round, enough to fit a jacket, small pump, and snacks. It has a water-resistant coating with YKK Aquaguard zipper and runs $95.

The Grinta Roll Top Bag uses dual BOA closures to secure itself to your saddle rails and seatpost. The roll-top design lets you expand capacity from 2L up to 5L, and an internal frame structure keeps it stable. An air bleed valve lets it compress as you close it. MSRP $160.

Startona Speed Circuit indoor trainer video game!

Startona Speed Circuit is a browser-based platform that combines structured workouts with arcade-style gamification of training sessions. From space shooters to drafting and strategy challenges, it pairs with your Bluetooth-equipped smart trainer to give you personalized workouts while competing in video games that looks super fun!

Levels and characters have a Japaneses Keirin theme, and it has Strava support, workout logs, and structured workouts to build speed, power, endurance, etc. Play solo or compete with friends, it’s free to try and offers monthly and annual subscriptions for access to the complete system.

Velo.AI Copilot is a smart, traffic-detecting bicycle tail light

The new Velo.ai Copilot taillight uses a low-powered Raspberry Pi circuitry with a camera and multiple LEDs to deliver AI-powered vehicle detection and alerts. Rather than use radar, the Copilot uses a camera with AI vehicle detection to alert you as cars approach from behind.

The light provides audible alerts, distinguishing between drivers passing safely and those who are too close or fast, so you can check and react. Pair it with their smartphone app for visual alerts showing where those vehicles are. Its light color and patterns change as vehicles approach, too, to alert drivers, and the camera also records them. MSRP $399. (video here)

Small Bites

Hot Deals

Parting Thoughts

This week, I learned that metal derailleur pulleys don’t really cause excess chain wear.

It came from a conversation with Ceramicspeed about their OSPW RS pulleys launched last week. They say the composite teeth are there to keep things quiet.

But, when it comes to chain wear, it doesn’t really matter if they’re made of metal or plastic or anything else.

That’s because there’s not much tension on them below the cassette. They’re just looping through the pulley wheels as casual passersby. It’s not until they latch onto the cassette that they’re under tension, and cassettes need to be metal to handle those forces.

What does matter, in Ceramicspeed’s opinion, is that you keep your drivetrain clean and well lubricated.

They say chain wear comes from two things: The movement, or articulation, of the plates, pins, and rollers as the chain loops around the pulleys and cassette, and from those plates latching onto and releasing from the cassette teeth.

By using larger diameter pulleys, there’s less articulation, and thus less chance for wear. Also less friction from the reduced movement, but if we’re being honest, it’s minimal…it takes a LOT of optimization across the entire drivetrain, from lube to bearings to hubs and freehubs to bottom brackets to save even a couple watts worth of drag.

The other part, how the chain comes on and off the cassette and pulley teeth, comes down to keeping things clean and well lubricated. Do that and even your stock drivetrain will feel amazing.

What surprises me is that more of these OSPW brands don’t volunteer this information more publicly.

I can’t be the only one that thought metal on metal would cause more chain wear, right?

Anyway, I’m happy to have these conversations with brands, so if there’s a stupid question you can’t seem to find the answer to, hit reply, lemme know, and I’ll see what I can find out.

In the meantime, keep that chain clean, mmmkay?

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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.

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