Trek trickles down their wildly aero Madone styling, Moots & WTB introduce a new wheel standard (maybe), Sage and Polygon launch new gravel bikes, MMR makes their lightest road bike ever, Santa Cruz electrifies their gravel bike, and Albatross shows off a wild suspension design, plus lots of clever gadgets, hacks, tools, and parts from big and small brands alike.
Heads up, if you like K-Edge mounts, you should check out the Parting Thoughts at the bottom of this issue. Here’s the best new stuff this week:
- Trek Madone SL 7
- Sage Storm King v2
- MMR Adrenaline SL
- Polygon Bend
- Santa Cruz Skitch
- WTB’s new wheel size
- Albatross Apogee
- Trek Wahoo 24
- Cane Creek x SRM
- Everflow Airlink
- K-Edge Blood Moon
- Crank Bros Tools
- Chris King Splatter
- Whisky Scully
- Veemo VeloMobile
Trek Madone SL gets lighter & faster, just like SLR
Last summer’s Trek Madone SLR introduced this radical split-seat tube design for their top level, and now it trickles down to SL level. This 7th gen Madone SL gets the cantilevered seatmast, IsoFlow aero portal, and a 300g lighter frame than before. They claim 54 second savings per hour (at 45km/h) and a smoother ride. Frame weight is 1200g (painted, 56) w/ 476g fork.
The streamlined cockpit uses a separate bar and stem for maximum adjustability, but the new flared bar’s aero shaping and mostly hidden cables further improve aerodynamics…partially because the tops are narrower (a 42cm bar is 39cm at the controls). Electronic drivetrains only, bikes from $5,499 to $9,699.
Sage Storm King ti gravel bike gets monster-crossy
Boasting massive 700×50 tire clearance with the standard version of their new 3D-printed titanium chainstay yoke, the new Sage Storm King v2 can bump that to 650b x 2.4″ with the “Gravel+” yoke option. Both keep the same geometry, but the fatter tires mean you’re limited to 1x drivetrains only.
Sleek 3D-printed dropouts are T-Type (SRAM Transmission) compatible, not just UDH, making it very future proof. Full stealth internal routing includes dropper posts and works with both electronic and mechanical groups! Frames from $6k, bikes from $7,500 to $14,000 (or more w/ custom Cerakote finishes like this one). A suspension-corrected Storm King GP model also available.
MMR Adrenaline SL hits 800g
The new MMR Adrenaline 5.0 gets trimmed down tube profiles and upgraded the carbon fiber, with the lighter/stiffer SL model weighing in at a pre-paint 800g. It’s not just their lightest frame ever, it’s their first bike to race the Vuelta a España (under Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).
Prefer more comfort? The standard models use a more compliant mid-modulus layup. Both fit 32mm tires, get a UDH rear dropout, and run all cables and wires through the cockpit & headset for full stealth routing. Reach gets a bit longer to put the rider in a slightly lower, more aero position. It goes on sale in early 2024 with 4 builds, 5 sizes & 2 colors.
Polygon Bend is a ripper alloy gravel bike at a great price
Ranging from $1,499 to $3,699, all three with dropper seat posts and carbon or suspension forks, the Polygon Bend gets a triple-butted 6061 alloy frame with tons of bottle & accessory mounts and 700×50 tire clearance.
They have low standover, a low BB, and slack head angle to get you down “in” the bike for stable, planted handling. All three get SRAM drivetrains, from Apex 1×11 to Rival XPLR AXS to Eagle GX AXS, one with a Fox AX 32 fork.
Santa Cruz Skitch is an urban assault e-gravel bike
Based off the Stigmata, the new Santa Cruz Skitch aims to be your N+ (One Less Car), which is a great tagline. Available in flat and drop bar versions, the 30lb bikes are light enough to carry upstairs thanks to a top-level carbon frame and compact 60Nm Fazua motor with 430Wh battery good for up to 60 miles w/ 28mph max assist (in US, Canada is slower).
It comes with 700×45 tires, fits 50mm tires, is suspension ready, UDH dropouts, and either Apex mechanical or GX AXS w/ Reverb AXS dropper. MSRP $5,999 to $7,299. It looks rad, tons more details in their video.
Moots & WTB invent a new wheel size
Raced at SBT GRVL by Moots’ Jon Cariveau, this prototype Routt CRDD rolled on 750d (as in, >700c) custom wheels and tires from WTB. He told me it was definitely faster, and felt more stable, but mainly described the ride as “interesting”.
UPDATE FROM WTB: The rim designation for 750d is 660, which is 38mm larger than 622 (700c/29″), which is 38mm larger than 584 (650b/27.5″). It makes the effective tire diameter similar to that of a 29er MTB tire, giving it better “roll over” and increased tire contact patch.
The combo was purely for testing and to gauge interest. WTB says without OEM bulk orders, it’s not something they plan to produce. Not for shorties, but extra tall riders could benefit without having to go all the way to a 36er.
Albatross Apogee floating single pivot suspension
The Albatross Apogee’s suspension system uses a multi-linkage-driven rear shock that floats between front and rear rockers. As the rear triangle moves up, it drives the rear of the shock forward and pulls the front rocker rearward, compressing the shock from both ends.
Their plan is to CNC custom linkages and inserts for every customer, tuning the kinematics to their riding style and local trails. The modular frame design lets you swap front and rear triangles to change wheel sizes, travel, and geometry. Prototype for now, planned release is summer 2024.
Trek Wahoo 24 gives kids a better shredder
With a sleek new lightweight, hydroformed alloy frame, carbon fiber fork, stealth dropper routing, and clearance for 24×2.4″ tires, the new Trek Wahoo 24 is a legit kids mountain bike.
It comes with 2.2″ tires and 1×9 wide range drivetrains with trigger shifters, oil slick rims, front fender, and is also offered in a 20″ wheel size. MSRP is $699.
SRM adds power meter spider for Cane Creek ti crankset
SRM now offers their 9th Gen PowerMeter spider to fit Cane Creeks’s eeWings titanium mountain bike crankset. MSRP for the spider is $1,299, or bundle it with cranks for $2,100. Chainrings (104bcd) sold separately for $75.
The power meter has +/-1% accuracy, 100 hours per charge, and weighs just 103g. It uses the SRAM 3-bolt mounting pattern, but the orientation is 180º from the SRAM model, so they’re not interchangeable because the charging port would get blocked by the crank arm. The crankset weighs just 400g, claims to be 20-30% stiffer than carbon cranks, and has a 10-year warranty.
Everflow Airlink increases fork body air volume
If you’ve removed all the spacers from your positive air spring but still can’t eke out the last bit of travel because your fork ramps up too hard, it could be because the air trapped inside the lowers is compressing as the fork compresses, too, which can affect performance.
The Everflow Airlink attaches to Fox & Rockshox fork bleed ports and adds a bit of volume to the lowers to soften things up at the end of stroke, which could help lighter riders use all of the travel, or more aggressive riders add a bit more positive pressure for better support without creating a severe ramp up. Available with or w/o a bleed button.
K-Edge Blood Moon Limited Edition mount
K-Edge’s latest limited edition Blood Red XL Combo Mount gets a black and maroon blend of anodizing, finished with laser etching to outline the edges. MSRP is $102.98 and includes Wahoo & Garmin pucks and the GoPro adapter on the bottom for lights or action cameras. (Wanna win one? Read the Parting Thoughts at bottom.)
Crank Brothers F11 / F16 tools
Crank Bros’ new F11 and F16 mini tools pack a tire plugger repair kit in its backpack, giving you a really good tool with the option of adding a chain breaker and spoke wrenches, too. Their names indicate the number of tools included, plus a bonus valve core remover and bottle opener built in. The F11 is 136g and $49.99, the F16 is 182g and $59.99.
Chris King Splash limited edition splatter finish
Celebrating the fact that the MADE Bike Show kicks off this weekend in their hometown of Portland, OR, Chris King has introduced a special Splash anodized finish, splattering Matte Turquoise over their Matte Bourbon bronze base color.
It’s available only in kits with headset, bottom bracket and complete wheels. Only 50 kits are offered, with options for all-road/gravel ($3,450) and mountain bikes ($3,275). Camp cup, bottles, tees, and matching Brooks Cambium saddle also available.
Whisky Scully adventure ergo handlebar
The new Whisky Scully Bar is an ergonomic handlebar that starts with a forward bend and finishes with a 23º backsweep & 5º upsweep to match your wrist’s natural angle. Available in carbon (233-237g, $180) or alloy (400-413g, $65), with 780mm & 820mm (trimmable to 750mm), 20mm rise, and enough room to clamp lights, bags or computer mounts in the middle.
Veemo VeloMobile might just make it
ENVO Drive Systems has acquired Canadian brand Veemo, which had designed this VeloMobile but couldn’t quite bring it to market. ENVO already makes e-bikes and electric vehicles for snow and water, and will use their expertise to pedal this covered trike across the finish line.
It’s small enough for bike lanes, can carry one adult plus cargo or small child, and is a Class 1 (20mph in US, 16mph in EU) pedal assist bike with ~40 mile range. It even has a roll cage, so please, pleeeease, someone start a racing league.
Kit of the Week
They’re donating $60 from the sale of each jersey, with 50% going to the Hawai’i Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund & the remaining 50% to two local bike shops that were destroyed by the fire. Men’s & Women’s versions available in both colorways and versions.
- These kids on scoot bikes are faster (and more fearless) than you
- Watch Semenuk take on Red Bull Rampage & rally racing
- GU is building a nutrition system into the Axiom spacesuit
- Here’s some cool 3D-printed SRAM AXS shifter paddles
- Search & State has a new Frog Camo jersey
- Bikepacking Roots released their 2nd batch of community routes
- Check this Esker Japhy x MRP hardtail with purple ShredKote finish
- All of a sudden I want to go mountain bike the Tetons
- Ass Savers x Squid Bike fenders look sick & are super limited
- Sherpa Map just added live(ish) weather overlays, still free
- Hollywood Racks celebrates 50 years with a sale
- Wolf Tooth makes Olive an official color across their lineup
- Club Ride has a new lightweight wind jacket
- Suplest now has aprés ride casual shoes
- Bike Lane Uprising turns 6 and they’re having a party
- HotSalad is the best bike brand name in a while
- REI’s Labor Day Sale has huge deals:
- 20% off Thule & Yakima racks, cargo boxes, etc.
- 25% off Niterider Lights & Garmin Varia radar
- 25% off WTB saddles, tires & components
- 25% off Bontrager helmets & Pearl Izumi gear
- 25% off Osprey, Ortlieb, Camelbak & Revelate bags/packs
- 40% off select Co-op commuter e-bikes, and more!
- Pactimo’s Summer Clothes Out Sale has kits up to 70% off
- Thule’s Tepui Low-Pro rooftop tents are just $1,099 at Bass Pro Shops
- And the Tepui Explorer Kukenam rooftop tent is $1,299 at Cabela’s
- Roofnest has all rooftop tents on sale for Labor Day
- Fezzari’s Labor Day Sale has huge MTB/eMTB deals
- Aventon e-bikes are $100-$400 off for Back to School
- Use code SUMMERSALE23 for 30% off select Velocio kits
- Sea to Summit has all camp cookware 20% off
- Pearl Izumi has everything 25% off site wide
This week, I wanted to share a little behind-the-scenes thinking, with a bonus for you.
I started The Lunch Ride because I like keeping up with the latest cycling tech, but found that taking (making?) the time to peruse 20 different websites every day is a bit much. It also requires effort…I have to go to them.
Conversely, email is delivered to me. It’s why I subscribe to various newsletters on topics I’m interested in. It’s easy. I don’t have to go anywhere. But I’ve also found that daily updates are too much. They pile up as I tell myself “I’ll get to them later”.
Once a week is just right, so that’s what I’m doing here. None of this is urgently time sensitive. It’s bikes. They’re cool, and I (we) love them, but mostly a once-a-week recap of the coolest stuff is plenty.
Some weeks have more than others. On lean weeks, there’s no need to pack the pages with fluff just to fill space, and I don’t have to write SEO drivel because Google’s not searching email. (I mean, they are if you’re using Gmail, but it’s not for SEO reasons…)
So I can keep it short ‘n’ sweet. It’s a fun challenge to keep (almost) everything to one or two short paragraphs.
The lifeblood of any newsletter is subscribers. The lack of being able to use SEO to drive traffic means referrals are what drive subscriber growth. Promotions work for quick boosts, but quickly follow with a lot of unsubscribes from peeps who just wanted to win something.
So, if you’re liking this, I’ve got something for you.
Forward this issue to five of your riding buddies and bcc “email@example.com” and I’ll enter you and your friends’ emails to win a K-Edge Max XL Combo mount of your choice, including Limited Edition finishes! The only rules are (a) the winner must be subscribed to this newsletter at time of drawing on September 7, noon EST, and (b) the email addresses must be legit.
Thanks for sharing, and good luck!
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.
Disclosure: Some links are affiliate links for which we may receive a small commission if you buy something.