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

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

TOP 28 GRAVEL BIKES OF 2021

Knobby tires and built-in compliance never looked so good. Check out this collection of our favorite 2021 gravel bikes.

BASSO PALTA

The concept of building a gravel bike for this legacy Italian brand pitted the (modernist) son versus his (traditionalist) father, and in the end, the Italian-made bike became a best seller. 

$3495 (frameset)
www.bassobikes.com

 

BIANCHI ARCADEX

Bianchi has introduced two versions of a brand-new gravel bike platform that starts at $3400, and both run with Shimano GRX 1x drivetrains. There’s tire clearance for up to a 42mm tire, and there are five
sizes available.

Price: $3800
www.bianchi.com

 

BLUE COMPETITION CYCLES BLUE HOGBACK Di2 LTD 

Blue Competition Cycles has two versions of the Hogback—this standard model and the Hogback Race, which is an aero-optimized frame. A Hogback frame starts at $1995, but by utilizing Blue’s “Build Your Own” program, you can build the bike of your dreams. Five sizes available that fit up to 42mm tires.

Price: $5495
www.rideblue.com

SEE THEM ALL

 

HOW TO USE TWO SETS OF WHEELS ON ONE BIKE

I have two sets of wheels for my bike, but every time I swap them, I have to adjust my derailleur to shift properly on the cassette. Is there a way to make them the same?

Wheels and hub spacing can be a bit different between brands and even with different models of the same brand. To start, if you are looking for a second set of wheels, I would always recommend trying to pick some that have the same hub if possible. This increases your chances of them having the same spacing, but even better, it will essentially double your small parts selection in case something like a hub body fails.

If you already have both wheels, and the difference is enough that you need to make adjustments to your limit screws and tension, then there is an option. First, you need to ensure the issue is the hub and not the cassette. For example, one wheelset will have a Shimano Ultegra cassette, while the other has a 105. Check and see if swapping the cassette fixes the problem. If it does, just buy a matching cassette and save the other as a backup. 

MEASURE NEXT

If that doesn’t fix the problem, then install each wheel and measure the distance between the smallest cog and a fixed point on the frame and compare. Make sure the wheel is tensioned into place as if you are going to ride it before taking the measurement. The one that sits the widest or has the smallest distance is going to be the one you want to match. Calculate the difference between the two; it should be under 2mm. Next, find a spacer that is about the thickness of the difference, and install it between the hub body and cassette to move the cassette away from the center point and match the other wheel. You don’t want to go too far, because you won’t be able to get the smallest cog to seat, but normally it’s a small-enough difference that things will still work. If you can’t find a spacer or shim in the exact size, it’s also okay to combine very thin shims together. This is normally better because you can fine-tune by adding and subtracting the thin shims until things are matching.

This same technique can be used on disc brake rotors as well. It works on center-lock and six-bolt versions. If you have a six-bolt rotor that you need to space out, make sure that each shim on the six bolts is the same; otherwise, it will make the rotor seem warped and result in a godawful noise, making the problem worse.

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BIKE TEST: BULLS DESERT FALCON EVO

Given that RBA is a kissing cousin to the battery-powered loons over at Electric Bike Action, we often spy on their stable of bikes to see what’s new in the pedal-assist world. And while it doesn’t happen frequently, every once in a while we spot an e-bike with drop bars that perks us right up. And that’s how we discovered the new Bulls Desert Falcon EVO (yeah, quite a name isn’t it?). 

Bring a menu of both pedal- and battery-assist bikes for a few years now. And with the arrival of the Bulls with drop bars, we jumped in with an extension cord to get the bike powered up. 

CONTINUE READING

 

MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN GRAN FONDO PREVIEW

For anyone looking for a scenic, high altitude road ride with hundreds of new and old friends, the Mammoth Mountain Gran Fondo is fast approaching. With a choice of three distances to ride, 42, 70 and 102 miles, there are enough paved moments for riders of every fitness level. Of course, being the scenic Sierra hamlet that is is, there is no shortage of non-cycling activities to engage in as well.

To register: Mammoth Gran Fondo 

MORE INFO

 

LA VUELTA STAGE FIVE PHOTOS GALLERY 

Mikel Nieve (ESP – Team Bikeexchange)

Belgian sprinter Jasper Philipsen won stage five of the Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday, edging a mass dash for the line after a flat 114 mile run from Tarancon to Albacete. Frenchman Kenny Elissonde is the new overall leader after red jersey wearer Rein Taaramae was caught in a mass fall, with race favorite Primoz Roglic in second place just five seconds adrift. After two days in the lead, Taaramae, who almost avoided the crash, was downhearted to lose the jersey through bad luck.

“Riders behind ran into me. I changed bikes and started to chase the peloton. It was impossible to close the one minute gap. It is a pity to lose the jersey in this way,” said the Estonian. Elissonde was close to taking the overall lead on stage three, and admitted he felt for Taaramae.

“It’s still incredible to wear the jersey. After the Tour de France and Olympics I took it easy. My team said ‘Kenny, go to the Vuelta and see day by day’, and look. It’s incredible. It’s super cool,” the Frenchman said.

CONTINUE READING

 

MARTHA GILL SHREDS

PNW loves that gravel bikes land at the cross-section of mountain and road, taking the best of both worlds, and allowing the freedom to explore new terrain in different ways. PNW Ambassador, Martha Gill, outfitted her gravel rig with a full suite of products and put it through its paces in the UK Lake District to show just how capable gravel bikes can be when you have the right components to unlock their full potential. While not for everyone, we all wish we could shred like Martha.

CONTINUE READING

 

BIKE OF THE WEEK: LAUF TRUE GRIT RUDY

As it turns out one of our favorite gravel bikes is the perfect mate for a suspension fork, the Lauf True Grit. This week SRAM launched the new Rockshox Rudy as well as their new 1x XPLR drivetrain. While Lauf will likely not sell the True Grit stock with a Rudy since they also ake their own unique suspension fork, the Grit, It sure does look like a fun alternative. Did we mention it also has the new AXS wireless dropper post too?

Check out our First Look of the new SRAM XPLR.

MORE BIKE OF THE WEEK

 

EROICA CALIFORNIA 2021

Press Release

The 6th Edition of Eroica California will be back in Cambria on the 18th and 19th of September 2021. Under the warm Central Coast sunshine, the team has been building new and nurturing old relationships with our surrounding communities to ensure Eroica California 2021 will be the best edition yet.

We are now open registration at $150, so register now for the best-value Coastal California Eroica Experience. The crashing waves and ocean breeze off the Cambria coast are cooling things off as we ride into the fall season. We wish you all happy and safe riding!

Register here

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