Whoa, there’s a lot of stuff this week! Which actually leads nicely into my Parting Thoughts at the bottom, so I hope you’ll check that out. I broke this one out into sections, hit reply and let me know what you think.
The biggest news is SRAM’s entry into e-bike motors. For drop bar, there’s three new bikes, a cheap gravel fork, and boutique aero wheels. For MTB, there are four new bikes and some cool parts. Plus three killer winter cycling shoes, a new drone, easy-load bike rack, and more! Here’s the best new stuff this week:
- ROAD & GRAVEL
- Specialized Creo 2
- Canyon Inflite cyclocross bike
- Litespeed Toscano
- Pacenti x BERD SLR wheels
- State All-Road gravel fork
- MOUNTAIN BIKE
- Yeti SB120 LR
- Merida One-Twenty
- REI DRT e3.1
- Vitus Kid’s Mythique
- OneUp Inline mounts
- adidas Velosamba
- Fizik Ergolace GTX
- 45NRTH Ragnarok
- Ride1Up Prodigy V2
- CyclingCeramic bearing lube
- DJI Mini 4 Pro
- Stunt Double RatKing
SRAM Eagle Powertrain e-bike motor
SRAM’s new Eagle Powertrain e-bike motor system uses a Brose motor with up to 90Nm torque and 680W peak power, with 630-720Wh batteries and a 250Wh range extender available.
It’s only compatible with their AXS wireless products, but it lets you shift while coasting. Or, let it shift for you automatically to keep you in your desired cadence range.
An AXS Bridge Display on the top tube shows stats/settings and lets you switch between Range and Rally modes, which are the only two modes – Range for less assist and more run time, Rally when you want more power. Both modes’ output can be customized with the AXS app.
It requires AXS Pods to control it, their original AXS trigger/paddles won’t work here. Short presses will shift gears, pop your dropper back up, and switch modes. Long press-and-holds activate walk/push mode, turn auto-shift on/off, and drop your AXS seatpost. (video here)
ROAD & GRAVEL
Specialized Creo 2 e-road/gravel bike boosts power, drops weight
Specialized’s Creo 2 drop bar e-bike gets gravel-ready with up to 700x55mm tires and Future Shock 3.0 micro-suspension, but also sheds weight and reverts to standard road thru-axle hub spacing (no more “Road Boost”), so you can put 700x38s on there with lightweight wheels for powered pavement pounding.
The S-Works model is under 29lbs, and even the base Comp model is under 32lbs. All get the same FACT 11r carbon frame and new, more powerful Turbo SL 2.2 motor with 320W / 50Nm torque, ~33% more than the original. The 320Wh battery is good for up to 120 miles, the 160Wh range extender adds more.
Geo is a little longer and lower, with shorter stems. It adds rear rack and fork cargo mounts, keeps the fender mounts, and spec’s wide-range MTB cassettes & derailleurs. Bikes from $6,000 to $14,000.
Canyon Inflite CFR cyclocross bike
A completely new cyclocross bike is rare nowadays, and the “new” Canyon Inflite CFR ‘cross bike is a good example. It keeps the same design as before (it’s won 5 World Championship titles), but gets full internal stealth routing, CeramicSpeed BBs, and their adjustable aero cockpit.
That handlebar lets you adjust width up to 40mm and height 15mm without any parts swaps. Bikes from €3,999 to €7,499, all with power meters, but not available in all markets. SLX/SL models keep last year’s non-stealth internal routing & standard cockpits.
Litespeed Toscano ultralight titanium gravel bike
The new Litespeed Toscano gravel bike is their lightest ever, borrowing the 6/4 sheet-made top tube from their Spezia road bike. Tri-axially ovalized downtube shaping tucks the bottle cage behind a semi-aero shape, and the frame is just 1,240g (claimed, size M).
Dropped stays and wide-set seat stays add lateral stiffness and big 700x48mm tire clearance with 1x or 2x drivetrains. Stealth routing on the “FI” (Fully Integrated) version includes an FSA ACR cockpit, or upgrade to the ENVE InRoute fork, bar & stem. A standard internal routing option is also available.
Pacenti’s 1260g aero road wheels get BERD string spokes
The new Pacenti Picco SLR is their fastest, lightest road bike wheelset ever, using an upgraded version of their Picco carbon rim. It’s still 46mm deep, hookless, and has a 24mm internal width, perfect for modern road tubeless tires. But the layup is lighter and stiffer, and the SLR wheelset is 1,460g with DT Swiss hubs and bladed spokes.
The Picco SLR Pro swaps in custom DT Swiss 240 hubs with BERD’s polymer “string” spokes that have 12x the strength-to-weight of steel spokes. They drop the wheelset weight to just 1,260g, and claim to have better compliance and ride quality, too. Pre-order now for £500 off MSRP of either.
State adds an affordable gravel suspension fork
To make their bikes as affordable as possible, State Bicycle Co. already has their own wide-range drivetrain. Now they have their own All-Road suspension fork, too, for just $450 (or $350 with a bike).
It has 30mm stanchions, 40mm travel, an air spring, simple damper with lockout switch, and weighs 1,600g. Fits flat mount brakes and 12mm thru axles, and clears 700×58 (or 650Bx2.3″) tires. Axle-to-crown is 440mm, rake is 52mm.
Yeti SB120 Lunch Ride edition
I’m flattered, but sadly this model has nothing to do with this newsletter and everything to do with shredding lunch laps. The Yeti SB120LR gets a Rockshox Super Deluxe Ultimate piggy-back shock and longer 140mm Pike Ultimate for more aggressive descending w/o giving up it’s climbing prowess.
Brakes are Code RSC with larger rotors, and tires are Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5″ & Aggressor 2.3″ for more grip. MSRP $8,600, four colors, six sizes.
Merida One-Twenty no longer has 120mm travel
When you want to keep a familiar model name but change up the travel, you end up with the 2024 Merida One-Twenty. It gets the same flex-stay, alloy-frame design as the longer travel models, but comes in a 110mm version for XC/Marathon, and a 130mm version for downcountry fun.
It has a new horizontal shock layout, 30mm longer reach, 1.3º slacker, 3º steeper seat angle, and lower standover. Two multi-position bottle cage mounts plus accessory mounts inside the front triangle. (video here)
REI Co-op Cycle DRT e3.1 full-suspension eMTB
REI’s first full-suspension eMTB has an alloy frame with 140mm travel, Rockshox Recon Silver RL fork and Deluxe Select Plus RT, Tektro brakes, SRAM SX Eagle group, and Bosch Performance Line CX motor with 625Wh battery for $4,999.
Sizes XS-M get 27.5″ wheels, L-XL get 29ers, all with Kenda Nevegal 2.6″ tires. Free in-store pickup, and Co-op members get free flat repairs and adjustments for two years. Word is they can’t keep these in stock.
Vitus Mythique kid’s full-suss MTB
Available in 24″ and 26″ wheel sizes, the kid-sized Vitus Kid’s Mythique has 120mm rear travel and 120-130mm forks from Manitou, X-Fusion, and SR Suntour. Dropper post routing, UDH, Boost hub spacing, and a lightweight alloy frame give your lil’ shredder everything they need to drop you. MSRP $1,499. (video here)
OneUp inline pump & tube mounts
OneUp has two new bolt-on mounts designed for those under-the-top-tube accessory mounts. One holds their excellent EDC pump, which can hide a mini-tool and tire-plugger inside it, and the other holds a spare tube. Both use a rigid plastic base with thick rubber strap, and both are $19.50.
adidas Velosamba COLD.RDY winter commuter shoe
The adidas Velosamba COLD.RDY is an insulated version of their casual clipless cycling shoes. They look like sneaks, but have two-bolt cleat holes on the grippy outsoles. A textile-and-mesh upper has a fleece liner for winter riding, and the stripes and base layer are reflective. $170 MSRP.
Fizik Ergolace GTD waterproof MTB shoes
The new Fizik Ergolace GTX adds a triple-layer waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex membrane to the tough ripstop woven upper to keep your feet warm and dry in cooler, wetter climes. PU-laminate toe caps and side reinforcements protect from bumps and pokes.
Clipless and flat pedal versions have distinct tread patterns, and speedlaces plus a grippy, walkable outsole keep them comfy. Two colors, sizes 36-48, MSRP $210.
45NRTH Ragnarök BOA Boot
With a style that’s more hiking-boot than its predecessor, the new 45NRTH Ragnarök BOA Boot keeps more heat in, has a flatter outsole that works better ith flat pedals, and broader wraps over the top of the foot to reduce pressure points.
It’s rated down to 25ºF (-4ºC), comes in Black and Gray, and is available at REI and BikeTiresDirect while they last (winter shoes usually sell through quick because they don’t make very many of them, just FYI). MSRP $215.
Ride1Up Prodigy eBike has Brose x Gates Belt Drive for under $3K
Most cheap e-bikes have hub motors and a lot of no-name parts, but the new Ride1Up Prodigy V2 offers a high-powered 90Nm German Brose mid-motor with a Gates Belt Drive and Enviolo CVT internally “geared” rear hub, all for just $2,695.
It also comes with Maxxis tires, front and rear lights (w/ brake lights), full coverage alloy fenders, and a rear rack that’ll hold 40lbs. It’s Class 3 (28mph assist) with a 504Wh battery good for 30-50 miles of range. Standard and Step-thru frames, two colors, one size fits most.
CyclingCeramic adds affordable bearing cleaner & lubes
For about $10 each, CyclingCeramic has a new range of grease, lubes, oil, and cleaner/degreaser for all the bearings on your bike, whether they’re metal or ceramic. A lightweigh pulley oil is just for your derailleur pulleys, and wheel/bottom brackets get a range of lubes from race day-only to long-distance durability.
DJI Mini 4 Pro gets all the features
DJI’s smallest drones used to be bare bones, the entire goal being to stay undero 249g to avoid requiring user licensing or registration. Somehow, they’ve kept adding features while sticking under that weight limit, and the latest Mini 4 Pro has a lot of advanced tech.
Still 249g, it has an upgraded 4K/60fps HDR camera that can shoot Horizontal or Vertical with active subject tracking, 10-bit D-Log M color, and non-HDR 100fps slo-mo. Six sensors give it 360º automatic obstacle avoidance. The standard battery has 34 minute flight times, a larger one gets 45 mins.
RatKing Cradle handlebar roll bag support
Stunt Doubles’ RatKing Cradle is a mini-frame to support large handlebar roll bags, and it can mount around your steerer tube or seatpost to give you more location options.
Not only does it keep your bag from bouncing everywhere, but it pushes it down and/or out for better cable clearance. Adjust the tilt and height to make it fit. 265g w/ hardware, intended for alloy steerers and posts only, not carbon. MSRP $175, pre-order for $155. Two colors.
This one has all the goosebumpy feels.
Hang onto those last days of summer (or just make it feel like one) with Best Day Brewing’s Electro-Lime Cerca de Cerveza NA beer. It’s exactly what you’d expect, and it’s the perfect crisp, sour finish to a ride, making an especially good post-gel-and-sports-drink-filled-ride palate cleanser.
- This guy tried to stop Zwift cheaters and got death threats instead
- The 281g Vertical Helium is the world’s lightest dropper seatpost
- Classified says theirs is the most efficient internally geared hub ever
- Wolf Tooth adds aero chainguides for Cervelo bikes
- K-Edge adds direct-mounts for Hammerhead Karoo 2 computers
- Saris added a more affordable hitch bike tray & cargo basket
- Tailwind has a seasonal Apple Cider sports drink
- Handup’s PBR collab (beer, not bulls) has fresh glove designs
- Wild Rye’s women’s MTB kits get updated fall styles
- Leatt has a new 40%-off Helmet Replacement Program
- Here’s a cool picture book about Major Taylor & The Six Day Race
- Kelly Starrett’s new book will improve your mobility
- Apply for a BeGood Scholarship to fund your next bike adventure
- Spoketober is a month-long celebration of cycling in Durango
- Last chanced to support Santa Cruz trails and maybe win a bike
- Whoop now has an AI coach that gives you custom workouts
- Kona’s Kyleigh Stewart’ll make you wanna shred hard this weekend
- REI’s Clearance Sale now has stuff more than 70% off
- Backcountry has fall gear up to 60% off
- Get an extra $150 off already-on-sale XL Alchemy Arktos MTBs
- Free Ornot Merino Tee with $150 purchase w/ code FREE-OVEJA
- Get 15% off SRM powermeter cranks w/ code Recall23
- Velocio’s “Final Sale” has new items and steeper discounts
Imagine you’ve just stopped mid-ride for a snack. There’s a farmer’s market, and they have fresh strawberries.
Bright, red, delicious, real strawberries.
You could pull that strawberry-flavored gel out of your sweaty jersey pocket. Or you could grab some real strawberries.
Which would you choose?
Personally, I’d rather have an actual strawberry. The flavor is deeper, more nuanced, and satisfying. It has all the sugars to fuel my ride, plus vitamins, flavonoids, fiber, and other good nature-y things. And it supports a local farmer.
You may have heard of this AI thing?
Perhaps you’ve read some AI-generated content? Probably have, because it’s everywhere now.
I liken AI content to an artificially flavored gel. It tastes similar to the real thing, but there’s something goo-ey and different about it. It sorta gets the job done, but it’s not very satisfying.
I think that’s especially true for a passion-driven industry like cycling.
If you just want a product’s spec list, AI will own that sort of commodity content. Heck, Google serves it up directly on the results page, no need to click through anywhere anymore.
But if you want context and curation, that’s where meat puppets like me come in.
You may not know who I am (yet), but I’ve been writing for more than two decades, covering cycling tech for most of that.
Each week I comb through 50-100 press releases and sites. There’s a lot of new stuff each week, most of it’s meh. In fact, I usually cull it down to 10-15 things worth sharing with your riding buddies, plus interesting tidbits in the Small Bites section.
AI can’t do that.
This isn’t a woe is me lament.
Nor is it a brag.
It’s just me thinking about how we journalists will be able to compete against the Terminator.
If you ask me to summarize a new product or technology, and do it in two paragraphs (which is basically what I’m doing here every week), I guarantee I can do it better than AI.
Why? Because I can add context where needed, and I know which features or specs actually matter. I’m also up to date. AI has to train on something, and thus far it’s training on older content. So if a new bike or component just launched, where will AI get the info it needs and how will it know which features truly matter? How will it even know which products or tech are worth mentioning?
So, if you like real things (strawberries, bike content, whatever) from an Actual Intelligence, please forward this to your friends. Every new subscriber really does mean a lot to me, and more humans reading this opens up more opportunities to do cool things for all of you, too.
Keep it real,
PS – I do not use AI to create any content on The Lunch Ride. If the robots take over, I’ll let you know.
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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