Recent News & Reviews
The Gravel Grinder News is back with items from Shimano, Ritchey, and a set of lights from Sweden. Let’s get started
The evolution of the ‘gravel bike’ has been impressive of late, and one of the companies pushing the envelope is Lauf Cycling. First known for their distinctive leaf-spring short travel suspension forks and Icelandic origin, today Lauf is based in the U.S., and their new Seigla is redefining the capabilities of the gravel race bike.
If I am on the right track, we play with returning to the ancestral scheme when riding and racing gravel over long distances. Our bodies do what they do best. We improve the odds of living healthier, longer lives.
Since it is well below freezing most days now and since we’ve moved into our Winter attire for the time being, we thought we’d mention that we haven’t forgotten about this review, but we also are not done with the shoes yet.
What if you could take the personal touch up a couple of levels? What if you could actually visit the folks making your bike, meet them face to face, sit down over coffee, get a proper fit done, and work it all out?
Now here is a thought. Let’s say you have a real need or desire for either one of these lights. But the shortcomings are an issue.
State Bicycle Co. did a good job making the 6061 Black Label All Road look more expensive than it is. I frequently got asked about it when I’d roll up to group rides, and almost universally, folks were shocked when I told them it was a $1,400 bike. I’d have to agree. I frequently caught myself staring into the depths of the woodland green paint.
The functions I’ve accessed have all worked well so far, but the real value here will be if this device can provide turn-by-turn navigation reliably.
Cooler weather seems like it’s quite a long ways off, but maybe not. It’s getting a bit chilly at night already and the days are getting shorter, so the tipping point is likely just around the corner. Or the next corner. But soon, anyway.
At one time many of us in the gravel cycling community felt that the UCI would “ruin” gravel cycling. I don’t think that is the case. The UCI has just made gravel cycling a joke, and it isn’t very funny at all.
Gravel Grinder News comes at you today loaded with news from tires to tools and bikes.
Today BMC, the Swiss based bicycle company, launches a new bicycle specifically for gravel racing called “Kaius”.
This tire seems to me to be the “mountain biker’s gravel tire”. A tire for rougher adventures, dirt roads, mountains, and even light single track.
THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY BIKE RAGS Dave Pryor is the most frequent guest on the podcast and he joins Guitar Ted to discuss a…
Recently Riding Gravel was sent a box from Topeak containing a varied array of products. This post is intended to introduce to you what we have. Individual and group posts will follow with reviews. Let’s dig in now and see what was in that box!
Time for some news here and Gravel Grinder News has three bits from Salsa Cycles, Showers Pass, and SILCA to share today.
Today news comes from a company called Logos Components regarding new wheels in carbon fiber featuring a recent open standard technology many of you might be familiar with.
Now with several more rides in on these tires, my impressions have only been solidified and so, it is time for a final verdict on the Kimberlite tires.
And here is a thing to consider and debate over a flask of whiskey around a campfire: “When it comes to gravel bikes, smoother is faster.” True or?
I found the Speedmax to be stable on loose gravel, and capable in a bikepacking situation on deeper gravel as well.
As for the Fernflow Shorts, these are the best so far for gravel bike rides and I think they would be quite good for adventure and bikepacking outings. Now, the Lupra is a viable garment for me, as I am not so interested in wet weather protection.
I remember when this Warbird was my only gravel bike. It was very nice to ride and I recall thinking that it would make a quite decent road bike…..
So what is the dealio with all my road bike dissatisfaction? Not sure. I know my wife just shakes her head and smiles. She is a patient woman and I am determined to find that ‘just right’ bike.
It (the Kimberlite) felt less wooden and stiff than the previous versions of American Classic tires and more akin to a tire costing much more.
I am spoiled, I think, and now a floor pump seems like a hand crank telephone in comparison.
I had a sneaking suspicion that I was going to find this to be a firm riding set-up, and once I got into the dirt, I was right.
This week, Eurobike is happening after being muted or cancelled due to the pandemic the last two years. That means a lot of news is coming out this week.
Ergon has done a smashing job of providing gravel/allroad riders with a tape that has grip, looks great, (as long as you are in to the earthy color palette), and provides some vibration damping.
According to Garmin Gravel Worlds co-promoter, Jason Strohbehn, the movement started from conversations with sponsors, who said 28% women’s participation at Gravel Worlds 2021 was nearly double the industry average.
Now when I was first approached for reviewing this item I immediately thought of Mrs. Grannygear. She does struggle a bit with some floor pumps
The Ritchey Speedmax WCS 700 X 40mm tires have an iconic look, an aggressive looking tread pattern, and seem pretty stout with their Stronghold casing.
Opening the box and looking at a 25mm internal rim, they sure look wide, especially with the hookless rim design.
During my talks with Sportful, they asked if there was anything else I wanted to try. And I thought of the times I went into my closet and reached for a lightweight jacket, not a rain piece…no, just a simple piece, almost like a vest with arms.
The Kimberlite is a tire that American Classic says is meant for pavement and mixed-surface rides. However; here at Riding Gravel’s home, we have found that a minimal amount of tread works fine on deeper, loose gravel.
The unique and long awaited gravel road capable version of the Ergon seat post is here and it looks pretty unique.
Gravel Grinder News: Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame Installs Inaugural Class – by Guitar Ted Emporia, Kansas: Last Wednesday evening in Emporia, Kansas’ Grenada Theater,…
Shimano has chosen this week to announce new GRX level components in conjunction with the lead-up to this coming weekend’s Unbound Gravel event.
Salsa Cycles released information today on new colors and specifications for their Warbird, Warroad, and Cutthroat drop bar bikes. These represent the core of Salsa’s road, gravel, and bikepacking segments. there are no design changes nor any news on a new model in this category.
At the end of the day, I have mixed feelings about this seat post.
Located roughly between the farmlands of Bakersfield and the Central Coast of California is an area that I had heard of but never been to. It is not a place one would just drive by on the way to somewhere because it is pretty much in the middle of the proverbial nowhere.
Salsa Cycles announces an all-new model today dubbed the Journeyer. This new model builds on the legacy of the Journeyman, which debuted in 2018 and was a big success for the brand.
The season for gravel events is getting started now, and we’ve got a review of something useful for you from Craft Cadence in their new Top Tube Bag that might make those events a bit more pleasant.
Sea Otter Classic, I did miss you! It had been a long time since I had trod the gravel paths and grassy patches, passing all those vendors in pop up tents, each one hoping for good return on their investment. It was, based on what I saw, a good show.
Lauf decided that they wanted to be able to fit a wider tire. (700 X 57mm) So they went with a few choices to get there which are, as a group, quite a bit different than typical gravel bikes out there.
The Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame, announced just this past January, has now unveiled the inaugural class of people associated with gravel cycling’s modern era, pioneering days. The first class of inductees are as follows:
Then, last year, I was watching a YouTube video from The Move with Lance Armstrong and his merry men commenting on the Tour de France. One of the sponsors was a company called LMNT, an electrolyte additive to a water bottle.
News breaks today of updates to that range of tires. The company has a new puncture protection system and has lowered weights across the range as well as engineering in a lower rolling resistance for their tires across the range.
So, right up front I have to address the weather. Yes- the weather. We Mid-Westerners always seem to start out conversations with chatter about the recent weather, but in this case, it really has some bearing on how the ShockStop Pro Seat Post worked for me.
Today in Gravel Grinder News we have a new commemorative PCL event from Nebraska and news from Spinergy Wheels. Let’s jump in.
While bottles for your bicycle are not one of those things you might think about as being important – They are ‘just water bottles’, after all- These utilitarian devices for cyclists are a detail that could be a key part of a successful run at your next event.
Want a geared Stormchaser? Well, your wait is now over as Salsa Cycles announced today that they have a new STORMCHASER GRX 810 1X SUS model.
In today’s Gravel Grinder News we’ve got upcoming reviews to talk about on products from Showers Pass, Craft Cadence, and Polar Bottle.
The Scoutset Bag Brace is a unique, titanium device which stabilizes and carries bags (or maybe even other light loads) well with a simple clamp which takes the place of a steer tube spacer on a threadless steer tube set up. It makes a bicycle with no front rack mount capabilities into a front load carrying bike, or it could be that perfect stabilization device for the bike packer using a large handle bar roll.
Much like the sacred battles on Olympus, The Theoi is designed to challenge participants both physically and mentally. There are three parts to this event: an intermediate-distance triathlon, a near-vertical gravel time trial (bike) up the mountain, and a demanding off-road/gravel bike race.
The news keeps coming and first up we have event news from Grinder Nationals. Plus Gravel Worlds gets a title sponsor, doping controls make their debut in the gravel scene, and more.
Redshift Sports could have kept on doing what they were doing and could have considered the ShockStop Seat Post a success, but they didn’t. They went straight away in to finding ways to improve upon the idea ….
Today Moots announces a new titanium gravel/adventure bike dubbed the Routt ESC. This new model is a 700c wheeled rig set for those riders which like to go from the gravel to a bit of single track and back again.
Today it has been announced that a “Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame” organization, and in the future, a physical home for the hall, will operate out of Emporia, Kansas
Okay, so FiberLink seems to have an impressive lifespan, it seems to have a pretty good ability to clog a sealant injector nozzle, so I assume a good performance in the field, and it seals up tire casings quite nicely. But, is it a better choice than the most popular brands?
Folks looking for a better saddle in 2022 and beyond really need to make an effort to try out these Allroad saddles from Ergon. They are not like the old Ergon saddles, (which is good), and they deliver on the promise of great fit and comfort on gravel.
In 2020, State launched the bike we have in for review – the 6061 Black Label All-Road. Designed as a lighter, faster, yet still affordable option, the 6061 Black Label All-Road features a heat-treated alloy frame, full carbon fork and unique State-branded 1×11-speed drivetrain.
Oddly, the Vulpine isn’t as fast a rolling tire on gravel which is loose, chunky, and deep as other tires with similar width. However; once you get out of situations where the terrain is loose and deep, the Vulpine begins to show up as a fast, controllable tire.
Just what the heck is this thing? It has straps like a frame bag, but it isn’t really a frame bag, or a bag at all. It has elements of a tool roll, but it doesn’t go under your saddle. It is shaped like an overgrown wallet, but the permanently attached front strap kind of takes it out of that category.
Maybe what we want is a wheel to cross a county on. Or a continent on. Or a world. And so flash is second to longevity, value, and solid, long days in the saddle. And I do think that the Wanderlusts hit that mark.
The recycled fabric seems tough, stretchy, and washes well in the laundry. I have no issues with the fabric and the recycled element to it makes me feel good about my impact on the environment.
It is the bar for those who don’t like the weird, laid-out levers look, and for those who don’t want a lot of flare to the drops. It’s the flared drop bar that looks ‘normal’. It’s the drop bar that takes advantage of what carbon fiber can bring to the table where other carbon handle bars have not. It’s got great ergonomic features, and it rides really well. What more could you ask for in a drop handle bar for gravel riding?
Moving on with our light review round-up, we have the light from Bontrager. As we mentioned in the intro post, what I received from Trek was the Ion Elite R which is one step down from the top of the line light.
Remembering that these are $35.00 tires (each) means that we probably should not be looking at the American Classic offerings as being equal to, or better than tires costing more, despite what “direct-to-consumer” marketing may seem to indicate here.
Every time I did this I felt like I could not feel as much- or any- vibrations coming through the saddle like I was through my hands and my feet. It did not seem to matter if I had a chamois on or if I was in my street clothes, this seemed to me to be the case. That Infinergy® stuff really seems to knock down the higher frequency stuff really well.
The VIS Trail Pro is my choice of the test for a light that is mostly used in the dirt and at speeds under 30mph. The warm color tint and the useful UI; the quality build with high levels of water resistance…it’s a very nice light.
THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY BIKE RAGS Get 10% off from Andy’s Bike Shop – Use code RidingGravel Guitar Ted is flying solo in this…
The unPAved of the Susquehanna River Valley happened again on October 10th and by all accounts, it was a rousing success, with a big turnout and lots of happy faces.
I give the CZR wheels a ‘highly recommended’ score here. While certain singular features on competitor’s products may seem more appealing, the CZR wheels have a complete feature set, are a part of a systemic tubeless range, which not many other choices in wheels can lay claim to, and a wheel set which performs at a very high level in very demanding conditions.
ealant is a lot like tires are when it comes to opinions. What is legend and what is fact gets lost in the passionate takes some folks have concerning which one is ‘best’. So, as far as this opening introduction goes for this new sealant from WTB, many of you may, no doubt, dismiss it out of hand because of your choices. That’s fine. This review is not being done to evangelize anyone. But those who have a more open mind to new ideas should read on.
The most recent news for the gravel and back road rider is here. Sea Otter has come and gone, the first to be held since the pandemic struck in 2020, and a few things came out of that show/festival. We also have a couple of news items from recent press releases. Let’s check it out!
Lizard Skins was kind enough to supply a couple of the new offerings for 2021 in their cycling glove line. One pair is long fingered and one pair is short fingered and both are what I would call a light weight glove as far as warmth/fabric. I have used them for a bit now, one pair much more than the others…see below about that…and here are my thoughts.
The Craft Cadence Recycled Performance Jersey comes to us with a responsibly sourced material used to make a racy-snug fitting jersey which promises to have a performance to match its cut.
Thank you for joining me for Part 2 of this Round-Up. Hit that link above if you need to read Part 1 yet. Now then, let’s get back to the lights at hand. I am just doing a quick overview for now. When I look at these one at a time I will fill in more details.
It’s almost Fall. Of course in So Cal that does not mean much except that the days get shorter and it is not 105 degrees. No leaves will fall as they have all died of drought and have already fallen or they have burned up in some forest fire.
Today Fezzari Bikes, the direct to rider company, announces their take on a gravel bike, the Shafer. It is a carbon fiber frame and fork gravel bike with a lot of nice details and a forward-thinking geometry which pushes the boundaries of what gravel bike geometry can be going forward.
The Grepp tape is based on a synthetically produced, plant based fiber called TENCEL™ which comes from trees. The wood pulp is made into a base from which the fibers are then woven into threads. This is what faces your hands with the Grepp tape.
One of my longest rides this year was done on the SR Allroad Core. It was a 112 mile gravel ride with a little pavement mixed in here and there with towns passed through. The ride was 10.5 hours long and I experienced no saddle discomfort at all…
You just knew this was going to happen one day, didn’t you? The UCI- that big, evil, fun-ruining organization was going to come in and destroy everything you loved about the gravel event scene.
The bars were easy to set up and no more difficult to wrap than a standard handle bar, in my opinion. Once everything was set, I set my hands into the drops and pushed down. Whoa! These bars have some noticeable give.
The over-all shape of this bag is unusual, being that it sets on the bike flatter against the head tube and reaches downward toward the front wheel, rather than setting outward, or lengthwise, as many other bar bags do. It is more like a handbag in that way than anything I’ve seen for a bicycle.
THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY BIKE RAGS Get 10% off from Andy’s Bike Shop – Use code RidingGravel Guitar Ted and Andy chat about some…
THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY BIKE RAGS Get 10% off from Andy’s Bike Shop – Use code RidingGravel The guys are joined by Dan Roberts…
In today’s Gravel Grinder News we have a new Ride With GPS feature debuting and news about review items from Craft cadence. Plus we have information regarding a new gravel grinder to be held in Southwestern Texas in November. Let’s jump in!
There have been a lot of recent reports and discussions on how much of a difference ‘better’ wheels make on a bicycle and if they are worth the cost of the upgrade. Do lighter wheels actually matter? Is aero everything? Are red hubs really faster?
Our look at the new Dura-Ace and Ultegra 12 speed and what- if any- implications it may have for a future GRX offering, and gravel tech in general.