Mid-Week Report: The Latest News, Products and Events

Welcome to the December 18th, Mid-Week Report! 

Welcome to the December 18th, Mid-Week Report!


While we were the first to ride the Niner MCR before Sea Otter 2019, it was still not finalized. Now that it’s available and we have a production bike in hand the real testing has started. The Niner has performed very well on our local terrain that has been hammered with rain leaving the soil unstable and rain ruts crossing the roads everywhere.

Niner is offering seven build options with prices ranging from $4700 to $8200. Our test bike is the MCR 9 RDO 4-STAR SHIMANO GRX 800 2X for $5900.



The Hagar with a Shimano GRX build.

The mountain bike focused crew at Evil just tapped into the gravel game with the release of their carbon Chamois Hagar, the first drop-bar offering from the brand. With all the musings of a modern mtb, like a  50mm stem and of course, a Bike Yoke Revive 160mm dropper seat post, the Haggar is spec’d to handle the most aggressive types of gravel riding.

A size medium has a claimed 112.6cm wheelbase, massive!! The 66.67 degree head tube angle is a number we’d expect to read in Mountain Bike Action, it’s more slack than any other gravel bike we’ve seen this year.

Also setting the Hagar apart from road oriented frames, is its claimed 700x50mm maximum tire clearance.

Shimano GRX buildsstart at $4799 with SRAM AXS Force options available for an additional $985.





By Zap

I’m probably stepping into a landmine with this one, but as defensive as I get about bicycles, the bike industry and the sport of cycling, I couldn’t resist harboring some ill-feelings about what I recently saw as a completely overblown and fabricated attack on the Christmas ad for the Peloton indoor bike.

The ad featured a husband giving his wife a Peloton bike for Christmas and though nervous at first to use it, she eventually gets into it and is portrayed enjoying life by working out on it. Oh, the horror!
The result was a torrent of hyper-reaction with accusations about body shaming, sexism, elitism and all the rest.

As usual, cycling only gets mainstream attention if there is some scandal associated with it…and as much as this “scandal” was blowing up across all major mainstream media as both a sexist miscue and one that cost the brand millions of dollars all just seemed sooo far-fetched to me. And really, people are upset about a $2000 bike that will help make someone improve their health?! How many ads do we see with attractive women jumping into high-priced exotic cars and SUVs and no one says a thing?

Despite  the torrent of criticism, the I was happy to see the actress portrayed in the ad  (Monica Ruiz defended herself) doing her best to stifle the exasperated response from so many outsiders.

Still, (as usual) I was a tad unsure of my own reasoning so I reached out to former pro racer and current cycling coach Janel Spilker for her take on the ad…here’s what she had to say…

“I watched the commercial and while it seems fine on the surface, I think they missed it in a few details which led to the backlash. They probably could have made it more about this woman’s drive to be healthy and  get into a good routine, etc. but the key is that her drive to do so needed to be portrayed as self-motivated.  It would be a subtle difference, but different enough   because the folks making a stink think the add portrayed it as her husband saying, “time to lose weight!”

“If the writers had her reaction to the gift be, “Yes! This is what I’ve been asking for!” and if they focused on her pride in her improvement, the way she developed a community of like-minded friends, healthy lifestyle, commitment etc. then I think it would have been more meaningful. The fact that they had her making a video to document the journey but it turned out to be a thank you gift to her husband was a bit of a stretch too. Rather than her being proud of her efforts and improvement, she’s “gifting” her achievements to him? Maybe a bunch of the ridicule comes from the fact that Peloton is a luxury product and status symbol? Not sure.”

More than anything, I think the “outside world” just can’t grasp the elements that make-up cycling and fitness, namely; suffering. That America has an obesity problem is not news, so how can being enthusiastic about getting some exercise be such a terrible thing. Look, it was a Christmas present and even though Monica was skinny to begin with, that doesn’t mean riding an indoor couldn’t help her in a variety of other ways. Hey, my biggest grievance is that the ad didn’t show her selling the bike in a garage sale so she could go to her local dealer and buy a new bike to actually ride out on the open road!



Photo: Nils Langner

Press release: Registration opens Friday, November 15 at high noon (PST)! The most unique cycling event in the country, the Canyon Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR), returns dirtier than ever for its ninth consecutive edition of pedaling perversity with an unexpected boost by way of the absence of the Amgen Tour of California. Created as an extremely challenging race in the spirit of the great European one-day Spring Classics, the BWR returns to North County San Diego on May 3, 2019 with a Belgique theme unlike anything the cycling world has ever tasted is sure to test World Tour and Continental Pros in untold ways. This year the event will offer a larger prize purse than ever before for the deepest PRO field ever assembled for an event of its kind. As expected with the explosive growth of the BWR, there will be an expanded Canyon Pure Cycling Expo at the Lost Abbey Brewery in San Marcos, California, where the race is held each year.

The Canyon BWR will be offering a prize purse to the top ten riders, both female and male, in support of what will be the most exciting and competitive professional field ever assembled for the ‘Hell of the North (County).’ Once again, the women will receive a larger prize purse than the men. Racers and event patrons will again be treated to Belgian waffles, moules-frites, cheese, bread, Lost Abbey Belgian ale, more waffles and more Lost Abbey ale on race day. The Waffle race itself promises masochistic punishment of entrants along a 221-kilometer course, which features more than 12,000 feet of undulating climbs and over 50-miles of off-road terrain that harken to the teeth-rattling cobblestones of Europe’s most grueling race routes.


After two successful fondos earlier this year in Greenville South Carolina and Boise, Idaho Gran Fondo Hicapie has two more events lined up for 2020. Join a host of current and former pro riders on the roads of Fort Worth, Texas and Chattanooga, Tennessee on March 28 and May 2 2020.

Website: www.hincapie.com/granfondo


2020, here we come! Mark you calendars for the 15th annual Garmin Dirty Kanza on May 30, 2020. Thank you for making this year’s race one of the best ever.

The random selection process for the 2020 race will open on January 6 through January 19. Selections will then be made on or before January 27.



The Rift is a gravel race through the dark lava fields in the highlands of Iceland – taking place on the tectonic split between North America and Eurasia. An ever-growing battlefield that grows an inch every year.

The battlefield sculpted by volcanic eruptions is vast, rugged and unpredictable – making the Rift a challenge of endurance, mental fortitude and most likely the bare elements. And in the end – a gravel battle between the continents!

The course starts out of a small town along the southern coast called Hvolsvöllur. This incredible shoreline stretches from the greater Reykjavík area in the west to the magnificent Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in the east. It is lined with countless natural wonders such as cascading waterfalls, black sand beaches, glaciers and volcanos – circumnavigating one of the most active volcanos on the island, Hekla.

Website: www.therift.bike


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