MID-WEEK REPORT: THE LATEST NEWS, PRODUCTS AND EVENTS

Take a look at the best of our trending stories from this week, May 18th, about the latest road bikes, tech, pro racing and more in the cycling industry.

SPECIALIZED LIED TO EVERYONE

By Troy Templin

It’s official, Roval is telling us they withheld information at the launches of the Tarmac SL7, Alpinist wheels and Rapide wheels two years ago. All so they could sell units without letting anyone know they messed up in the development of their then-new wheels. As I said in my original review of the SL7 and the follow-up Roval Rapide review, the Roval wheels were designed to be tubeless and the fact that Specialized delayed the launch and then pulled back on the tubeless compatibility spec just days before the launch was evidence that they made a mistake in development.

The Lie

Specialized reps originally told us that from their research, tube-type tires and wheels with wider internal profiles were the fastest. They gave us some numbers describing how much faster they were over tubular-type systems of the past. This came as a shock to many but something we had been hearing for a long time.

The Real Findings

Today, Specialized and Roval are telling us they didn’t lie, that information is correct. They just omitted the part of their research that showed that modern tubeless systems are another huge leap above tubes and tubulars. Why did they omit such striking information when their company says they live by the “Innovate or die” slogan? In this case, it was profit over performance, but why?

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HOW THE NAME GAME GEST PLAYED

By Zap

If it wasn’t for a handful of Felt Bicycle employees oddly showing up at a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony for KTM motorcycle’s newest SoCal ($50 million) headquarters, we wouldn’t have been the party responsible for breaking the news that Pierer Mobility (the Austria based company best known for their ownership of motorcycle brands KTM, Husqvarna and Gas Gas) had acquired Felt Bicycles from the French Rossignol Group.

Somewhat coincidentally (for old-school motocross fans at least), the purchase spoke as much to the modern age of big-dollar-business finagling as it did a sort of coming-home story. You see, long before the Felt name came to be known as a major bike brand, it was the stuff of one-off, handmade frames from one of the most respected mechanics on the American motocross circuit, Jim Felt. 

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MOURNING MORIAH WILSON

Photo: BWR

By Zap

In the short course of just a few months I had come to witness the winning power and competitiveness of 26 year-old Moriah “Mo” Wilson.  It was at the Rock Cobbler in March where I first witnessed her on the bike.  And then at the Belgian Waffle Ride a bunch of us stood trackside on the notorious Double Peak Climb as she rode away, alone, from all her competitors. Her victory at BWR was as impressive as it was inspiring. With Unbound Gravel right around the corner, I had every expectation that the gravel world would see her atop the podium one more time.

And then this week we heard the terrible news that Mo was killed in a shooting in Austin, Texas. Our condolences go out to Moriah’s family and the greater gravel community who, like us, are saddened at the loss, but fortunate to see her at her best.

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GIRMAY ABANDONS GIRO WITH EYE INJURY

Biniam Girmay (ERI – IntermarchŽ – Wanty – Gobert MatŽriaux)

Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay pulled out of the Giro d’Italia with a left eye injury he suffered after being hit by a prosecco cork while celebrating an historic stage victory. Girmay became the first black African to win a stage at any of cycling’s three grand tours after claiming the honors on Tuesday’s 10th stage of this year’s race. Intermarche’s team doctor Piet Daneels said tests showed “haemorrhage in the anterior chamber of the left eye”.

“In consultation with the medical and sport staff, the decision has been made that Biniam Girmay will not take part any longer in this Giro d’Italia, which he is leaving with a stage victory, a second place and three other top five finishes,” Intermarche said in a statement.

“The injury is moving in the right direction but in order not to aggravate it it has been strongly advised to avoid intense activities.”

The cyclist had placed the bottle on the floor and bent over it as he undid the binding before the cork flew off hitting him from close range. Girmay was treated at a hospital in Jesi before then heading to a party held by his team in the seaside resort of Riccione on Tuesday evening. He is due to have further tests on the eye and left the team hotel on Wednesday morning with his manager after bidding farewell to his teammates.

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WILD AND CRAZY FROM THE START: FESTKA BIKES

By Zap

I still recall the first time I ran into the lads from Festka bikes. It was during setup at the 2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Denver, Colorado. Their booth, as it was, consisted of a 10×10 carpeted patch with some travel bags and a few boxes lying about—nothing else. It seemed that all the bikes were lost somewhere in transit between their home base in Prague, Czech Republic, and the “Mile High” city. As the hours ticked away, still nothing. 

A few hours later, everything had changed. Where once there was an empty lot, save for a few scraggly, jet-lagged Czechs lying about, there was now a flurry of activity and a stainless steel bike with a pink chromed finish and disc wheel that was one of the most sensationally fabulous and extravagant show bikes I’d ever seen sitting center stage. 

In the many years since, Festka has continued to produce a varied array of visually stunning bikes. As we’ve continued to be recipients of press releases regarding a series of project bikes, I decided it was time to finally find out more about the creative brand. Following a handful of email exchanges with Festka co-founder Michael Mourecek, this is what we found out.

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INSIDE THE CUB HOUSE BIKE SHOW

The Cub House bike shop in San Marino has never resembled anything like your typical “local bike shop”. Billed as the America’s #1 Bike and Plant Shop, from the very distinctive kits they’ve produced for years to their newly created Beach Club bike brand, co-founders Sean and Danny have from the beginning pursued a very different  path to spreading bike love.  The following is just some of what we witnessed last weekend at their 5th annual bike/car show.

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BIKE OF THE WEEK: 3T EXPLORO RACEMAX

The 3T Exploro RaceMax isn’t new and we have had it on our shortlist of bikes that we love and recommend since it first launched in 2020, but the real news is that 3T has started production in their new Italian carbon factory, and we have received one of the first bikes with the “MADE IN ITALY” badges.

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