Take a look at the best of our trending stories from this week about the latest road bikes, tech, pro racing and more in the cycling industry.
As we sat around reminiscing about our favorite 7-Eleven team moment, it suddenly dawned on us that no one had ever heard much about the bikes they rode. What about the hearsay regarding the team bikes being built by someone other than what the downtube sticker read? Who actually made the bikes? Did the riders actually like them? In order to get the inside story on the bikes that helped define American cycling, we chased down five people who not only had an intimate knowledge of the bikes, but a personal history with them.
So, what exactly is a gravel bike? Like we’ve said, it’s basically just a road bike with room to run bigger tires. You can also expect to find different frame geometries (longer wheelbase and slacker angles), added bottle mounts, fender and rack mounts, and much lower gearing to allow for efficient pedaling for slow-speed sections and climbing. In fact, suspension can now also be added to the list.
Take a look at the latest gravel bike drivetrain options that are built to handle the road less traveled.
Although the Osaka-based company has only been producing shoes for about a third of their 100 years in business, their extensive experience in cycling has put them at the forefront of innovation across nearly every aspect of cycling gear. Shimano leaked the third iteration of their high-performance racing shoe in September, with riders from Jumbo Visma, Team Sunweb and Arkea-Samsic spotted using them during the late-season Tour de France. Dubbed the S-Phyre SH-RC902 (more simply referred to as the RC9), the S-Phyre category designates Shimano’s top-shelf performance apparel. Shimano offers the RC9s in four colorways: blue, white, red and black.
Built around an updated sole design, using data from their in-house pedaling analyzer at BikeFitting.com, Shimano developed the RC9’s upper microfiber material that wraps around the middle of the sole. Shimano designed this part of the sole to be slightly flexible, but improved the stiffness at the cleat interface. Shimano claims it’s the most efficient mix of sole rigidity and weight they have developed to date.
Annemiek van Vleuten became the first women to win the Tour of Flanders twice when she crossed the the line solo on Sunday. Ten years since her first victory, Van Vleuten earned her new Movistar team their first win in the event.
Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome says he believes he can recapture his best form after a difficult start to the year with his new team Israel Start-Up Nation. Froome finished 81st at the Tour of Catalonia last week, almost an hour behind winner Adam Yates in a race dominated by his old team Ineos Grenadiers. The 35-year-old British rider is still working his way back after being seriously injured in a high-speed crash in 2019 that threatened to end his career.
“From the outside, I can imagine people are writing me off, but that’s fine. I know where I’ve come from,” Froome said in his latest YouTube vlog.
“I had to teach myself how to walk again and I just need to keep that in perspective – how far I’ve come in the past year.”
Take a look at the latest and greatest cycling shoes currently available from brands across the cycling industry. From performance-oriented race shoes Shimano to lightweight gravel slippers from DMT here are some clogs to consider.
In the August 2020 issue of RBA we tested Cannondale’s latest gravel bike, the Topstone Carbon Lefty 3, that featured 2019’s Kingpin rear suspension, with the addition of a Lefty suspension fork. The bike cost $3750 and weighed 23.31 pounds. Mid-way through our testing, Cannondale called and asked if we’d be interested in testing another Topstone, but it weighs over twice as much and costs an extra $3000. Oh, yeah, it also has a motor.
An e-gravel bike?! Could any bike be more divisive or cause more of an uproar among the traditionalists than to test a bike that would represent such an affront to their dedication to all things rigid, skinny-tired and non-motorized?! Probably not. But, on the other hand, we also figured the bike might speak to a generation of riders not held back by historical norms and ready to embrace the latest in drop-bar bike technology.
SO, WHAT’S NEW?
While the Lefty fork has been a proprietary mainstay on Cannondale’s mountain bikes for decades, along with their equally proprietary HeadShok fork, it wasn’t until just a few years ago that they began testing the shorter-travel version on a cyclocross bike. Soon thereafter, this crazy thing called the gravel market blew sky high, and suddenly Cannondale saw new potential for the fork as a value-added component for the drop-bar crowd.
Tubeless tires have been a part of the cycling industry for over a decade. While they have been used primarily in the off-road market the application to drop-bar bikes is beginning to come around as gravel and adventure riding become more mainstream. Vittoria is pushing the market with a road specific tubeless liner designed for 25-30mm tires. The inserts will allow riders to utilize lower pressure on the road to increase compliance and add the ability to run a flat tire for up to 30 miles in the worst case scenario. Check out what we had to say about the recent gravel version.
Deceuninck Quick Step earned their fourteenth win of the season when Kasper Asgreen outsprinted Mathieu van der Poel in the final meters of the Tour of Flanders. 26-year-old Danish national champ Asgreen and world champ Julian Alaphilipped were in the select lead group with 20 miles to go when Asgreen responded to an attack from Van der Poel that held to the line.
Go behind the scenes with the Deceuninck Wolf Pack as Asgreen and Alaphilippe discuss their surprise Easter Sunday success.
From carbon road race bikes to titanium gravel, Masi has been soft-launching the Incanto titanium bike into 2021. We were lucky enough to get a Campy Ekar built test bike early. The new 3/2.5 butted titanium Incanto frame with a dropped-yoke chainstay, internally routed front triangle and dropper compatibility is 1x or 2x compatible. There is room for 700x45mm tires, and the frame is 700c- or 650b-compatible. They offer a Shimano GRX 1x build as well as the Campagnolo Ekar option.