Gravel Grinder News: Easton EC90 ALX Handlebar, Fox Shoes, & The Gravel Amplifier – by Guitar Ted
In the news today we have a new gravel handlebar from Easton for the racer out there and news concerning some gravel events. Let’s dig in and take a look….
Easton EC90 ALX Carbon Drop Bar: Easton has been receiving racer’s feedback from the likes of haley Hunter-Smith, winner of the 2022 Life Time Grand Prix, and other sponsored gravel racers which has resulted in this new offering. The new handlebar dubbed the EC90 ALX features a reduced amount of flare- that characteristic which makes the drop section angle outward and down on may gravel oriented handlebars. Easton landed on 10° of flare which has not been offered in any drop bar considered for the gravel category before.
Other features of this handlebar are a flattened, ergonomic top section which is optimized for length and ride feel for each size offered. Speaking of sizes, Easton also has now added a 38cm width, again acknowledging requests from elite athletes whom the company sponsors. Specs and features to follow..
10-degree Flare Angle, Ergonomic top section with sizing that varies proportionally to bar. EC90 material –best in market for: strength + weight + ride feel. 38cm size
205g – 42cm width
38/40/42/44/46cm c-c at the hoods
31.8mm Clamp Diameter
Size Specific ergo top section
Easton MCD drop (Max Contact Drop)
Intelligent Flex – TaperWall, Di2 Bar End Junction – Both Sides
MSRP: $299.99 USD/$389.99 CAD
For more on this and other Easton cycling products see their website: https://www.eastoncycling.com
Fox Enters Mountain Bike Shoe Market: While not purely a gravel cycling thing, Fox making shoes for cycling has clear cross-over appeal and may signal a future application for gravel cycling at some point. Fox has announced the Union range of shoes for off-road cycling. These are not your typical “road racing” based footwear options and may appeal to many of you who want to experience the gravel and backroads at a more leisurely pace, or maybe do some bikepacking/adventure type gravel riding.
The Union range tops out with the Union Boa, which as the name suggests, has BOA closures. The Union model is next which features lace-up design with a Velcro strap to keep the laces at bay. Finally, the Union Flat is, as the name suggests, for flat pedals while the other two do have SPD compatibility.
From the press release:
“All of the Union shoes feature a one-piece, welded upper construction for a consistent, precise fit and protection against the elements. A molded toe cap and reinforced toe box further protect against rock strikes while the Ultratac™ outsole balances grip and durability. The Union and Union BOA® clipless models have a lightweight glass-filled nylon shank for an efficient pedal platform. The Union uses a low-profile Velcro strap and lace system to optimize fit and comfort. The Union BOA features the Dual BOA Li2 system to provide on-the-fly micro-adjustability and improved power transfer to the pedals through a secure and formed fit. The Union Flat uses laces and extra attention was given to the outsole design with custom hex-shaped lugs to deliver control on flat pedals, while the toe and heel lug spacing is suited for hike-a-bike sections.“
Prices for the range: Union BOA @ $249.95 Union @ $179.95 and the Union Flat @ $149.95. All three models are available in Black, Grey, Mocha, or Red. See more on the new Fox shoe line here: www.foxracing.com
Gravel Amplifier: In this segment Riding Gravel will share gravel events deemed by Guitar ted as being worth knowing about, or that deserve “amplifying” to a wider audience. Today we have a couple of events to share with you. And as always, if you have any events on gravel you’d like to see here, just contact Guitar ted via his contact: email@example.com
The Flint Hills Ultra Gravel Tour & Flint Hills Ultra Gravel Route: Event organizer, and Discover Gravel’s chief Bobby Thompson, has crafted a 1000+ mile adventure in the Flint Hills region which can be done at any time. The route, which is laid out as a predominately North-South loop, crosses into Oklahoma from Kansas, where most of the loop resides, and has its start in Emporia, Kansas. Dubbed the Flint Hills Ultra Gravel Route, this stands as a “love letter” to the gravel community and is a creation which Mr. Thompson hopes will engender participation and discovery on the gravel roads of the Flint Hills for generations to come.
Now the “Tour” part is more of an event in that the idea is that people that desire to have a group experience, or that want to attempt a “Fastest Known Time” for the approximately 1050 mile loop, can all do that on Saturday May 27th and leave from in front of the Emporia Zoo to pursue the conquest of this rough, very rural route.
The event (Tour) is free to enter, but registration is requested so that logistical issues can be better attended to. For more information on the route, or details on the Tour, and for other gravel events by Discover Gravel see www.discovergravel.com
Red River Riot: I became aware of this event back in 2010 when The Spinistry cycling club first put the gravel grinder on the Texas racing calendar. For 2023, The Spinistry is offering the Red River Riot in five distances and all starting at the 4R Ranch Vineyards and Winery near Muenster, Texas on April 8th. 2023. Registration is open now here.
Distances are offered at 200k, 100k, 80-ish, 60-ish, or 35-sh miles. Costs are from $85.00 to $45.00 and there are special discounts on offer to Club Spinistry members. For more information please see the registration page here.
Note: Images and information in this post were provided to riding Gravel by Easton, Discover Gravel LLC, and The Spinistry.