Posts in the category Cyclocross

Factory Tour: Aerospace Composite Engineer Matt Appleman’s Carbon Fiber Workshop


Custom frame builder Matt Appleman has a degree in composites engineering. Although the bike industry uses a lot of composite materials, an actual composite engineer is usually a resource only the largest of companies has available. We have seen Matt’s final products at NAHBS 2014, and his attention to detail is obvious.

Matt spent years after college working in California on larger scale wind turbine blades, and on composite raw materials for large corporations. Growing tired of that, he moved back home to Minnesota to start his own bike company.

Building bikes full time for more than four years now, Appleman takes a much more scientific approach than most custom frame builders. We visited and got to take a look at his South Minneapolis shop, find out what makes his frames different after the jump…


IB14: KHS Shows New Gravel, Cyclocross Range, Zinn-Designed Tall Bike & Budget Enduro MTB


The new KHS Grit 4400 leads their charge into the gravel bike category with a hi-mod carbon frame and fork for just $2,200. For that, you’re getting a basic Tiagra 10-speed drivetrain with Avid BB5 mechanical brakes with inline brake levers on the flats. The frame’s ready for racks and fenders, too, making it a pretty solid entry that’s very much worth upgrading in the future.

There’s also new disc ‘cross bikes, race road and a very, very tall Flite designed by none other than Lennard Zinn…


Rotor Adds Second Single-Sided Power Meter Crankset, Makes it Right

rotor power lt-r right sided single-arm power meter crankset

This summer, Rotor introduced their Power LT (as in “power light”) single sided crankarm power meter placed on the non-drive side. It is essentially the same apparatus used on the full, two-sided Rotor Power crankset, except that it calculates total power output from a single side by doubling the number and sending that to your cycling computer.

Apparently, some pros and sponsored teams wanted it to be on drive side, where the chainrings could protect the battery/transmitter protrusion from damage (think barrier bunny hops, errant tree stumps, etc.). It’s built on their 3D+ hollow machined alloy crank arms and keeps all the high resolution data transfer of the original. Things like torque effectiveness, pedal smoothness and total power are all provided, just averaged to give a total number from one arm, er, leg. Available now in 130BCD and 110BCD (shown after the break), and the left sided LT model will remain in the line, too.


Hands On: SRAM Rival 22 Hydraulic Disc Brake Groupset

SRAM Rival 22 Hydro group reviewroad bike disc brake  (4) copy

This group was a long time coming. After having the wind swiftly removed from their sails after a complete and total recall of their previous road hydraulic rim and disc brake options, SRAM has come out on the other side and is ready to prove their worth. Nearly everyone involved should have their replacement parts by now, and SRAM is shipping new product to dealers.

With the rough patch behind them, SRAM has put forth an impressive looking group in both price and performance. Whether you’re looking for a group for your road, cyclocross, or gravel bike, the new Rival 22 group has you covered. Find actual weights, install notes, and initial impressions next….


IB14: Roundup – Pretty Custom Paint & Purple Ano on Niner, Pegoretti Bikes

niner bsb cyclocross bike test colors

When brands are launching a new model or updating a current one for the next model year, they often deliberate color choices quite a bit. Sometimes they’ll go so far as getting fully painted frame samples. That’s what you’re seeing here with this gorgeous green-on-blue colorway that unfortunately didn’t make the cut for the BSB’s debut. Fingers crossed something like this comes along someday.

This bike belongs to a Niner employee and team racer and took a little finagling to get it in front of the camera…


Review: Superleggero Leggera Silk Scarf – On and Off the Bike


Over the summer we received a few silk scarves from a small company based out of the Swiss Alps called Superleggero, that touted them as both a versatile transition season neck warmer and all-season fashion accessory. We liked their look and soft feel against the skin, but didn’t think we would really change our wardrobe to benefit from their luxury, fashion side. However, when the weather turned first wetter, then cooler they started to join us on almost every ride, as we tried to see what fine silk really had to offer. Follow past the break to see what our tests revealed…


Cross Conversation with Jeremy Powers and Tom Hopper

Ever wonder about the racer/mechanic relationship of some of the top cross racers in the world? SRAM Road Diaries provides some insight into that exact partnership with Jeremy Powers and his mechanic Tom Hopper through this new film put together by Sam Smith.


Just In: Zipp 202 Firecrest Clincher Disc Brake Wheelset

Zipp 202 Clincher firecrest carbon wheels (6)

According to Zipp, it was the need for better braking in cyclocross that inspired the creation of their first disc brake wheel. After introducing the disc brake 303 to the world in 2013, Zipp started working on a new creation that would appeal to the growing road disc segment. Slotting in underneath the 45mm 303 Firecrest rim, Zipp’s 32mm 202 Firecrest wheelset adds the ability to run disc brakes while keeping things as light as possible.

Just as you would expect from any carbon wheelset coming out of Indianapolis, the 202 Firecrest Disc Brake wheels offer an extremely high end level of fit and finish as well as an impressive weight – for a price.

Details plus actual weights next…


PBE14: Paragon Machine Works Adding Syntace X12 Dropouts and 10mm Axle Toggle Drops

Paragon Machine Works Syntace x12 dropouts for handmade bicycle builders

For those considering a custom bike in their near future, Paragon Machine Works has two new dropout options to consider when discussing the bike with your favorite handmade builder.

Above are the new Syntace X12 dropouts. They marry that axle standard with a Shimano Direct Mount rear derailleur standard. If you want a regular derailleur mount, you (or your frame builder) will have to order that piece directly from Syntace or a stocking dealer.

The dropout is machined from chromoly so it can be welded like normal onto any steel frame. Paragon’s Mark Norstad says they’re making it in response to demand from several builders, namely Curtis Inglis. Until this, the main option was one from 2souls, but it’s a cast piece and so needs to be brazed onto a frame. That, and it had to be ordered from Europe, so PMW’s option should make things much easier on North American frame builders all around.