Welcome to the February 5th, Mid-Week Report!
BIKE OF THE WEEK: SALSA WARBIRD
While we were huge fans of the previous Salsa Warbird, a fork recall put the brakes on sales in 2019. Well, the new and hopefully improved version is now available with everything we loved. Gravel race geometry with a Vibration Reduction System (VRS) to reduce rider fatigue. Dual wheel compatibility, 650×51 or 700×45 as well as 1x and 2x compatibility. Room for three water bottles and enough mounting eyelets to leave any accessory nerd’s mind spinning. Best yet, three of the five new models come with Shimano GRX. Prices range from $2000 to $5700 and there are plenty of colors to choose from.
FIRST RIDE: FELT AR ADVANCED
Felt has revamped their drop-bar catalog over the last few years by adding disc brakes to their VR road bike and by releasing big tire, gravel options in the form of the Breed and Broam.
For 2020, Felt upgraded their AR, the aero road frame many manufacturers like Trek, Cannondale and Specialized often established as a reference point, and cited as a target to beat when designing their own frames.
Felt unveiled two models of the AR Advanced, available in either a Shimano Ultegra or a Shimano Ultegra Di2 build. They have two color options for the build, white or blue. A frameset only option is available in a gray shade as well. The new AR will begin shipping on March 31st. We expect the higher-end Felt Racing Design models that accompany the Advanced tier frames, to be announced around the same time.
CORONAVIRUS SCARE CANCELS YOUR OF HAINAN
The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced that the Tour of Hainan, scheduled to take place in China’s southernmost province from February 23 to March 1 had been cancelled due to the country’s coronavirus outbreak.
Created in 2006, the race, on the island of Hainan, was being promoted to the UCI ProSeries, the second tier of international cycling.
The UCI said the race might be rescheduled in 2020, “depending on the availability of the calendar”.
The body’s next event due to be held in China is women’s Tour of Chongqing Island near Shanghai, from 7 to 9 May.
The UCI said it is “in regular contact with the Chinese authorities.”
FIRST RIDE: FIZIK ARGO
Popular Italian saddle manufacturer Fizik jumped into the short saddle game with their latest release dubbed the Argo. It looks to address the numbness and discomfort many riders face, with its center channel and snub nose.
The Argo is available at two different models, the Tempo and the Vento. Both have the option to specify the saddle’s rails which affects the price point, the R3 setup has 7×7 alloy rails that allow flex, while the R1 has stiff, braided 9×7 carbon rails. Expect to pay a premium for carbon, an Argo R1 runs $149 while the R3 tops out at $225.
The Tempo is better suited for endurance riding. It’s 260mm long and is available in two widths 150mm and 160mm. The wider platform disperses more weight throughout the saddle. Fizik designed the Tempo’s carbon-reinforced nylon shell for added flex with their Wingflex technology. It gives the rider a wide rear platform to increase compliance while pedaling.
The Vento is performance-oriented. It’s 265mm long and available in 140mm and 150mm widths. The narrower widths are stiffer and of course lightweight.
Both models feature a distinct center relief channel. Positioned to allow more blood flow through the riders perineum while riding, Fizik has nailed ergonomic design with their latest releases, whether it be saddles or shoes.
NOVA EROICA CALIFORNIA – APRIL 4th 2020
Want to experience the most challenging and spectacular gravel roads of the Central Coast of California? Join NOVA Eroica California! A group ride event with fun, timed segments open only to ROAD and GRAVEL bicycles. Starting separately from the Eroica classic event, NOVA Eroica take a step beyond vintage to celebrate the beauty of fatigue and the thrill of conquest also on modern bikes.
GRAN FONDO HINCAPIE 2020: MARCH 28 AND MAY 2
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.
2020 DIRTY KANZA REGISTRATION OVER
2020, is here! Mark you calendars for the 15th annual Garmin Dirty Kanza on May 30, 2020. Lottery selection have been made and the lucky few that were chosen will have a chance to prove themselves on Kanza’s flint roads.
THE RIFT ICELAND JULY 25, 2020
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.