Trek // FREE Unbound Entry // Litespeed // Cannondale // Growtac and…Walmart?

2023 trek emonda alr with aero tube shaping and integrated cockpit hidden cable routing

This week you can win a FREE entry to the Garmin Unbound gravel race, there are two very sleek metal bikes from Trek & Litespeed, Buell’s founder launches an e-bike brand, Intend and Hayes drop new brakes, Trek has amazing new road helmets, plus friction shifters for modern 12-speed drivetrains, an internally-geared 2x MTB hub, new MTBs from Cannondale & GG, a surprising MTB launch from Walmart and more! Here’s the best new stuff this week:

  • Win an Unbound entry!
  • Trek Emonda ALR
  • Lightspeed Spezia
  • Focus Atlas bikepacking bike
  • FUELL e-bike launch
  • Panaracer GK colors!
  • Trek Velocis, Ballista helmets
  • Growtac friction shifters
  • Classified MTB Hub
  • Cannondale Habit
  • Guerrilla Gravity Smash V2
  • Intend Trinity Brakes
  • Purple Hayes Brakes
  • Feedback Pro Repair Stand
  • Lifestraw Peak Series
  • Walmart Ozark Trail 29er

Want a $12k Gravel Prize Pack + FREE entry to Unbound?

here's how to get a free entry into Unbound gravel race and win a frameset gear and components

Here’s your chance to win one of THREE mega prize packs in our Unbound Gravel Ticket + $12K Gear Giveaway! Grand prize is a paid entry to the 2023 Garmin Unbound, a Thomson titanium gravel frame w/ cockpit, and gear from Kogel Bearings, K-Edge, Rolf Prima, Lezyne, Skratch Labs, Lead Out, Rush Cycling, Kryptonite, Waterbodl & more!

Enter to win here, full terms and conditions here. Presented by Kogel Bearings, not affiliated with Unbound or its sponsors.

Trek Emonda ALR’s shapely alloy tubes look like carbon

2023 trek emonda alr lightweight alloy road racing bike with internal cable routing and aerodynamic tube shapes
Click on any image to enlarge.

With fully integrated cable routing, Kammtail tube shapes, a sculpted head tube, and their “invisible welds”, the new aluminum Trek Emonda ALR looks like a modern carbon fiber race bike, with similar aero benefits, but priced like alloy.

Aggressive geometry and a max 700×28 tire size make this a race bike. Currently only in the UK market, complete bikes run £2,325 to £3,150 with 105 mech & Di2 groups respectively. Available in 8 sizes, both models are under 20lb in size 56!

Litespeed Spezia road race bike gets ultra light

2023 litespeed spezia titanium road racing bike with heavily shaped top tube and lightweight frame

With most “lightweight” titanium frames hovering around 1,500g, the new Litespeed Spezia’s 1,120g claimed weight puts it in a class of its own. Custom drawn, shaped, and butted 3/2.5 tubes are paired with a sheet-formed 6/4 ti top tube to save weight and keep it torsionally stiff.

A sleek rear brake hose port and electronic drivetrains keep it clean. Complete bikes from $7,999 to $12,489 before customization options.

Focus Atlas bikepacking-ready gravel bike

The new Focus Atlas 8 Carbon gravel bike stretches the front end for a smoother ride, with short stems, tight chainstays & lower stack height to keep handling fun. Completely hidden cables and hoses make it easy to strap bags anywhere on the frame.

It comes with their top-tube bag, and fits their Adventure Rack to make it easier to securely mount dry bags in the back. Fork and frame mounts add extra storage, and the frame and fork use Boost axle spacing, the latter being 12×110 “Road Boost”, fitting tires up to 700×45. (video here & here)

FUELL’s ultra-long range e-bikes

While I’m a bit more excited about the upcoming FLLOW e-moto, the new FUELL FLLUID 2 & 3 e-bikes from Eric Buell (of moto fame) is an impressive sophomore effort. Shown on right, they use Valeo mid-drive motors paired with a Gates belt drive and auto-shifting gearbox, so all you have to do is pedal. Or not, there’s also a throttle. No muss, no fuss, and…

…no range anxiety. The FLLUID 2 has two 1000Wh batteries for up to 225mi (350km) of range. The step-thru FLLUID 3 only fits one battery for 110mi (180km). Class 1 & 3 versions available depending on region, from $3,699 to $3,999.

2023 Panaracer GravelKing limited edition colors

This year’s Panaracer GravelKing special colors are Sunset Orange and Turquoise (pretty sure it’s pronounced “tur-kwah“). Available while they last on the original, SS (Semi-Slick) and SK (Semi-Knob) models, all with tan or black sidewall options.

Trek’s amazing new Velocis and Ballista helmets

new trek velocis mips is the most comfortable lightweight road bike helmet, plus new ballista aero road helmet

Hands down, the new Trek Velocis MIPS is the most comfortable, best-fitting road helmet I’ve ever worn and my new favorite. The deep cradle is adjustable to fit under the base of the skull with a BOA dial pulling it snug, and the part folds into the helmet for easier packing. MIPS Air, OCLV carbon inlay, massive vents, and slim profile keep it light (260g), aero & breezy. (video here)

The new Ballista MIPS gets the same BOA cradle and MIPS Air, but reshapes into a proper aero road helmet that saves 10.1 watts compared to the Velocis. Both have 5/5 Star safety ratings from VA Tech and retail for $299.

Growtac’s friction shift levers & adjustable pedals

growtac friction shifter lever for modern 12-speed road and mountain derailleurs plus adjustable angle clipless pedals

If you like your modern 11-12-13 speed drivetrain but miss the days of friction shifting, the Growtac EQUAL Free Control Lever gives you stepless, un-indexed control over anything from 2 to 13 gears. It works with any mechanical derailleur, even internally geared hubs. Combine levers to have left/right up/down shifts (like AXS), or shift both directions from a single side. Tons of details at the link, check the videos here and here.

The Growtac EQUAL Adjustable Road Pedal lets you customize everything, from cleat rotation angle to stack height and cant angle to fore-aft and center position over the spindle. Both are still in development, I’ll keep an eye on ’em.

Classified 2x geared hub now for mountain bikes, too

The new Classified Powershift Boost MTB hub adds wireless 2x gearing inside the hub. Paired with a new 12-speed 11-40 cassette, it provides 16 unique gears with smaller gear steps and a massive 530% gear range.

The tiny 24g wireless ring shifter is good for 10k shifts before needing a recharge. Shifts happen in just 150ms and under full load, letting you move the equivalent of 2-3 gears at once. This lets you run a larger, more efficient chainring up front while still having an ultra-low bailout gear.

Cannondale Habit grows into Trail-to-Enduro MTB platform

2023 cannondale habit lt mountain bikes shown in carbon and alloy

The new Cannondale Habit gets a slightly slacker 65.5º head angle and steeper effective 77.5º seat angle, but more importantly pushes the rocker link out in front of the seat tube to keep that post moving up and down in a more vertical path. It keeps the 29″ wheels and 130mm rear travel with 140mm forks.

The new Habit LT increases travel to 140mm/150mm fork, which they say is enduro, but, I dunno…maybe Enduro Lite. It gets more aggressive tires, piggyback shocks, tougher spec, and slacker geo (64.7º HA, 77º SA). Both offer 3 carbon and 3 alloy models, with size-specific geometry and suspension kinematics. Bikes from $2,500 to $5,650. (videos here and here)

Guerrilla Gravity Smash V2 modular MTB

guerrilla gravity smash v2 all-mountain bike with 150mm travel and swappable rear triangle

Guerrilla Gravity’s US-made carbon fiber front triangles are designed to work with a variety of rear triangles, allowing you to have 130, 150, 160 & 165mm bikes simply by swapping the rear end and shock.

The 150mm travel GG Smash V2’s “revved” rear end gets a new one-piece carbon chainstay unit that drops 90g. With the new alloy seatstays it gets 50% stiffer overall, and revised pivot placements improve anti-squat and mid-stroke support so it climbs better.

EXT Aria shock gets 2 positive air chambers

EXT Aria air shock with dual positive air chambers for a coil-like feel with

The new EXT Aria is their first air rear shock, borrowing the sophisticated damping, bottom-out control, pedal platform switch, and slick, nearly friction-free coatings and seals as their coil shocks.

Then it borrows the dual positive air chamber design from their forks, letting you independently tune the initial stroke for supple small bump performance, and set mid- and end-stroke support based on trail conditions to get full travel with a coil-like feel and no volume spacers. Avg. weight is 650g, MSRP $1,150.

Intend Trinity MTB brakes finally debut

Almost 5 years in the making, the Intend Trinity brakes use fully CNC’d alloy construction with four 17mm pistons per caliper, but with tricks to make them feel better than others. A high leverage ratio and four cartridge bearings at the lever provide smooth, frictionless modulation, and rear-offset pad placement provides even brake pressure throughout the stroke.

The calipers have 15-20g more mass than others to keep more heat away from the fluid, and optional “refrigerator cooling fins” can be bolted on for more heat dissipation. Sets from €950, weights from 244g to 257g, minimum 180mm rotor recommended.

Purple Hayes brakes stop you from comin’ down

purple hayes dominion a4 limited edition mountain bike brakes with purple anodized lever and caliper

Originally found on the 2000 DH brakes, the Purple Hayes is all in my eyes again on their top-level Dominion A4 brakes. The master cylinder gets tool-free reach adjust, pad contact adjust, and sealed cartridge bearings at the lever pivot.

The four-piston calipers get large 17mm pistons and their brilliant Crosshair caliper alignment system. Weight is 310g/wheel, MSRP is $250 while they last.

Feedback Pro Mechanic workstand gets more Pro

new feedback sports pro mechanic bicycle workstand with better clamp and

The already-excellent Feedback Pro Mechanic Repair Stand gets better with upgraded quick-release clamp jaws with stronger clutch and a knobbed spinner handle to fine tune their grip on your bike. A larger rear knob makes it easier to adjust the clamp’s angle, and the mast tube’s collar is stronger & more durable.

It holds up to 75lbs (10-35lb recommended “working” range), weighs just 12lbs, and folds down for easy travel. MSRP is $395 and comes in zero-plastic packaging.

Lifestraw Peak Series look perfect for bikepacking

Lifestraw Peak Series personal water filtration for bikepacking, mountain biking and camping

Lifestraw’s new Peak Series reimagines their iconic personal water filter into a smaller, easier-to-hold size with improved filtration & flow rate, making it perfect for any pack on any ride.

New 650ml & 1L flasks let you capture a little water to take with you, and 3L & 8L pouches are great for camp. Prices from $25 to $80; each purchase provides a year’s worth of safe drinking water to a kid in need.

Walmart Ozark Trail 29er is OK for a beginner mountain bike

Walmart Ozark Trail 29er is an affordable beginner mountain bike with lightweight alloy frame

Surprisingly not completely sucky, Walmart’s house brand Ozark Trail 29er has an alloy frame, internal routing with ports for a dropper post, SR Suntour XCT30 100mm suspension fork, wide-range Shimano/MicroSHIFT 1x drivetrain, and disc brakes for just $398.

There’s also 27.5″ and 24″ “mountain bikes” that are more urban-oriented, but with similar spec ranging from $198 to $298. Not bad for big box bikes.

On Stage

You really do.

Small Bites


Don’t forget to enter our Unbound Gravel Giveaway now – Contest closes April 11, click on the image below to enter to win!!! 👇👇👇

how to get an entry to unbound gravel in 2023

Thanks for reading, have a great weekend. If you liked this one, please forward it to a riding buddy. Cheers!

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