Yep, wireless brakes, but be sure to scroll down after you watch that because there’s lots of other cool stuff this week. Like a hitch rack that lowers and lifts your bikes for you, sweet new road shoes, an affordable e-road bike, pre-waxed chains, universal fork mounts, and more random drops. Oh, and Kona’s is blowing out their bikes at 50% off. Here’s the best new stuff this week:
- Unno IKKI lightweight eMTB
- Wireless MTB brakes
- Floating flat pedal
- OMM Axle Pack
- Shimano S-Phyre shoes
- UDOG Cento road shoes
- Kogel waxed chains
- Ride1UP CF gravel racer
- Ergon GDH grips
- Tacx Neo 3.0
- Zwift updates
- Suweeka bike-lifting hitch rack
- Kona BOGO
Unno IKKI is a lightweight, long travel enduro e-MTB
Wanna go big, but light? The new Unno IKKI has 160mm travel w/ 170mm forks on their signature ultra-low frame design, but this one’s packing a 360Wh battery and TQ HPR50 (50Nm) motor. The frame is carbon fiber monocoque, fits 2.6″ tires with MX wheel setup, and uses Oceanworks recycled plastic bits and rubber protectors.
Available in Factory and Race builds, both with Fox suspension, SRAM Transmission, Formula Cura 4 brakes, and Maxxis tires. Add a range extender to boost output. MSRP $9,795 to $12,295. Complete bike weights from 18.5-18.9kg (40.7-41.6lbs).
World’s first wireless mountain bike brakes!
Kudos to GMBN’s Blake Samson for the ingenuity (and courage!) to combine R/C car parts with TRP’s HyRD brake calipers. If you’ve never driven a remote control car, the remote’s trigger is position sensitive, telling a servo on the car to move in relation to how far you pull the trigger. That then tells the system how much juice to send to the motor, allowing you to control its speed.
For this project, Samson used the trigger and servo to wirelessly control the cable pull going into TRP’s hybrid mechanical-to-hydraulic brake calipers, giving him control over braking force. While this is scary AF, it’s also really freakin’ cool.
8 Degree floating flat pedal
The 8 Degree Pedal is a new flat pedal design that integrates eight degrees (+/-4º) of float directly into the pedal body. If you’ve ever planted your foot on a pinned MTB pedal only to feel a bit “stuck” because you’re used to the float of a clipless pedal, then this should fix that.
It’s in development, they’re working on passing international safety standards, so technical details are sparse. They’ll work for any type of riding, from MTB to road to indoor to commuter, and will come in black, red and blue. Pricing TBA.
Old Man Mountain Axle Pack adds mounts to any fork
Old Man Mountain’s new Axle Pack is a pair of CNC’d aluminum mounts that attach to a custom Robert Axle Project thru axle at the bottom of any fork, then bolt to attachment points zip-tied to the legs. They add standard three-bolt “anything cage” mounts to any fork – road, gravel, even suspension forks. Price is TBA, they’ll be available for pre-order in January 2024.
2024 Shimano S-Phyre road, XC/CX & triathlon shoes
Shimano’s top-tier S-Phyre cycling shoe lineup get updated. Left to right, the RC903PWR road shoe drops to a single metal BOA dial with a stiffer design for sprints, time trials & track. The XC903 gets a streamlined one-piece upper with spiky-er treads, making it great for XC and cyclocross.
The TR903 is their first S-Phyre level triathlon shoe and uses a modified upper with wide Velcro strap that’s easier to get into (compared to the wrap-around design of the others, which is comfy, but snug enough that you’ve gotta really hold it to slip your foot in…not ideal for triathlon transitions). It adds a mesh panel to help get more air onto your wet feet, too. Pricing TBA, available in early 2024.
UDOG Cento road bike shoes dial it in big time
The new UDOG Cento road bike shoes are their first with dials, getting custom oversize 30mm diameter dials that are easier to twist while on the bike. The side dial pulls around the ankle to lock your heel into place, and the top dial pulls their Tensor strips evenly from both sides to wrap the foot in the shoe without pressure points.
Laser perf’d microfiber upper allows some flex for comfort, but TPU coated sections provide stiffness where needed. The ultra-stiff carbon sole has a vented channel plus rubber heel and toe pads. Titanium cleat nuts can be rotated 180º to provide a wider range of fore-aft cleat adjustment. They keep the signature wide toe box and deep heel cup. Preorder now for March delivery. MSRP $325 (295€ / 260£).
Kogel Gain Chains come pre-waxed
Developed to boost efficiency for the NeXT eSports indoor cycling team, Kogel’s Gain Chains save a claimed 3% reduction in drag at any speed. That means 6-10 watts of free speed in a sprint!
They’ll work great for normal outdoor riding, too. The chains are ultrasonically cleaned and degreased, then waxed and brushed for you, saving you hours of prep. Available in in SRAM Flattop, Shimano 11 & 12 speed, and KMC 12-speed versions. MSRP $149.99 to $174.99.
Ride1UP CF Racer1 is a $2,300 carbon gravel & road e-bike
For just $2,295, the Ride1UP CF Racer1 provides a full carbon frame with stealth integrated wiring, brake hoses, and shift cable, a one-piece carbon bar/stem, and 250W Bafang hub motor. The 250Wh battery is small, range is only up to 40 miles, but it hides inside the downtube and doesn’t add much weight. You can add a second external 250Wh battery on the seat tube to double that range.
The bike comes in road or gravel builds, the only difference being tires (32mm Schwalbe vs 42mm Continental) and handlebar flare (3º vs 15º). Both get a SRAM Rival 1×11 mechanical group. Thankfully, the charger is UL-listed. Pre-order now for $2,195 ($100 off), delivery in January.
Ergon GDH Team grips are super squish
Built like their other downhill grips but with much softer German-made rubber, the new Ergon GDH Team grips absorb more vibration. Multi-textured patterns on top keep your palm in place, and nearly full-width ridges underneath give your fingers something to pull on. A small lip on the inside top edge helps situate your hand into position without limiting dexterity around your shifters. In EU now (€40), UK in late December (£35), and the USA in early spring ($40).
Tacx NEO 3M adds motion, dynamic resistance & surface mimicking
Trying harder than ever to make a trainer feel real, the new Tacx NEO 3M trainer has three standout features. Motion plates on the bottom let it move in all directions for a more natural feel, and they can be turned off. The flywheel can “stutter” to mimic riding on gravel or cobbles, and it’ll work on theirs and other popular apps to try to match what you’re virtually riding on.
Lastly, the dynamic flywheel reduces its ability to coast when you’re climbing, matching that loss of momentum that comes on IRL hills. Use it on ERG mode for progressive resistance w/o an app and you won’t even need to plug it in, you’re powering it. Claims 1% accuracy, 2200 watt max resistance, and 25% grade simulation. MSRP $1,999, cassette included. (video here)
Zwift adds faster leveling, ride queues, better avatars & more
Zwift just dropped a lot of big new updates, here are the highlights:
- They now have 100 levels (up from 60), and it’s easier to level up
- Amplify level ups w/ Streaks when you ride 1x per week for 2+ weeks
- Create ride & workout queues in the Companion App
- More levels will allow you to steer your bike with their Play controller
- Join the Fitness Jumpstart program w/ Kristen Armstrong 1/1 – 2/25
- New ZFondo rides are going on now
- Apple Watch can now be used as a heart rate monitor
- Climb Portal now lets you ride big climbs at 50%, 75%, 100% & 125%
- You can select any gender avatar you want, and faces look better
Suweeka Bike Lift hitch rack goes up & down
Upstart Suweeka’s Bike Lift hitch rack uses articulating arms with a small jack between them so you can raise and lower it, all the way to the ground on most vehicles. Then just roll your heavy e-bike (or e-moto) onto it and crank it back up. It’s a manual crank, but accepts an electric drill if you want to speed it up.
The modular design quickly connects and disconnects from the 2″ beam that slides into your receiver, making it easy to remove when not in use, and leaving the base plate for future hitch accessories they’re planning. MSRP is a whopping $2,600, reserve one now for $100 deposit.
KONA Process trail bikes are BOGO, others are 50% off
The Kona Process full-suspension mountain bikes are Buy One, Get One Free through Dec. 31. Seriously. Get a new one for you and your spouse, or kid, or split it with a friend and you each nab a brand new trail bike for half off.
Want a hardtail or commuter e-bike? Those are 50% off right now, too. Even if you’re not looking, if you’ve got friends or family in need of an upgrade, forward this to them now.
- Silca turns 10…again.
- Restrap Solstice Century challenge is this weekend
- Team TotalEnergies will ride the ENVE Melee in 2024
- UCI likely to ban inward-angled brake hoods
- Today’s Plan coaching software closing, export your data by 3/24/24
- The miniature Insta360 GO3 action cam now comes in black
- Classified adds an app to update, customize their geared hub
- Tern has a complete list of e-bike safety certifications you should know
- Here’s a bicycle-powered backyard roller coaster you can buy
- Bivo has limited edition Seth Godin bottles. I love Seth, he’s brilliant.
- Specialized has a more affordable Aethos Comp, but not for the US
- The Last Best Ride gravel weekend is set for July 26-28, 2024
- Here’s a great podcast on building power & speed
- Buy Philly Bike Expo tickets by 12/31 & you could win an I9 wheelset
- Red Bull Hardline Tasmania announces 2024 rider invite list
- Prevelo joins Vail Valley RIDE to get under-privileged kids on bikes
- Here’s how to make your own flip-flop pedals
- Help get funding long-distance U.S. bike trails in just 20 seconds
- Helinox camp chairs are never on sale, but they are now & it ends today
- Get 3 free months of Ride with GPS Premium with annual plan
- Spend $200 at Velocio, get a $40 gift certificate
- All ENVE apparel & ride kit is 50% off
- Get a FREE Spurcycle Bell w/ $75 spend at PNW Components
- Check Silca’s Steals page for massive discounts
- The Fezzari Veyo road bike is $800 off right now
- Alchemy Bikes has big holiday deals on most models
- Um…BOGO Kona mountain bikes!
“Tell me the bike industry is hurting without saying the bike industry is hurting.”
“Kona bikes are half off.”
It’s impossible to ignore all of the sales and discounts and deals going on right now. Never been a better time to buy a bike, but a horrible time to try to sell a bike.
Behind the scenes, a lot of good people are getting canned. And some are preemptively looking around for other opportunities. Good time to be hiring, bad time to be looking.
Independent cycling media isn’t being supported by readers or the industry. Bad time to be reliant on endemic ad dollars and subscriptions, good time to…
Well, here we go.
There’s a reason why I created this newsletter. Because I didn’t want to play by traditional media’s rules or be beholden to algorithms and ad networks. Or paid subscriptions, because let’s be real…
All the crying about independent media hurting is mostly coming from the independent media. NGL, it sucks if you’re relying on endemic ad dollars right now. Actually, it’s sucked for many years. Bike ad sales is mostly beating your head against a wall. Sorry industry, I love you, but, again, let’s be real…
I could go on and on, but you probably don’t care… which is another thing independent media is crying about. No one cares that they’re hurting.
I don’t care, either, sorta.
News is a commodity. We can go to any bike website and read the same press releases. Hell, Pinkbike lets the brands upload their own press release, then publish it. Don’t believe me? Check the bylines.
I’m not complaining, it’s actually f’ing brilliant. Multiplies their output dramatically.
And readers don’t seem to care. Probably just reading the headlines anyway.
Why bother re-writing the PR if it’s good enough as-is? Sounds like work.
So if no one cares, why try to elevate the experience? Why not just throw as many pop-over ads, expanding videos, and other BS onto the site to milk every last penny from each pageview as possible? That seems to be the trend, so is it any wonder readers don’t care? The UX on most sites these days is f’ing horrible and offends my sensibilities.
But some people, like you, do care. Maybe not enough to scroll all the sites daily (ain’t nobody got time for that!), but enough to appreciate a curated weekly recap of the best new stuff that’s professionally summarized and adds context.
Which is perfect. You’re exactly who I’m writing for.
That’s my upside. And my point.
Doing nothing while bitchin’ & moaning isn’t going to make things better. It’s better to adapt to the environment and find new ways to (insert your preferred verb here).
I believe that if I make something that you like, you’ll use it and share it and opportunity will follow.
But opportunity only comes because I didn’t cry about the state of things, I did something about it. I built something different.
And early next year, this newsletter will get even better. Got some cool new stuff in mind.
As you’re thinking about your New Year’s resolutions, look for upside and opportunity, then do something. Preferably something different. Stop playing by others rules and create your own upside.
Get after it,
PS – If you could forward this to your friends who give a crap, that would be lovely.
PPS – I recently switched from Constant Contact to Beehiiv, so if you
accidentally recently hit unsubscribe from one of the older issues, it won’t work. You’ll need to do it on one that has Beehiiv stuff at the bottom. But you should definitely stay subscribed.
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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