Posts in the category Cyclocross

Ritte Unveils Updated 2015 Crossberg Cyclocross Machine

Ritte Crossberg cyclocross bike cx (5)

While most of the country’s cross inclined are gearing up for a big weekend of racing, Ritte just sent over this chocolate morsel. Stepping in to replace the current Crossberg, the 2015 model sees slight changes to help you reach the podium without going broke.

The 2015 Crossberg continues Ritte’s quest to design a frame that has neutral manners and will fit a wide range of riders. Combining a shorter top tube, 425mm chainstays, and a “tighter than average” front center, the Crossberg claims to be agile yet stable through the entire size range. Still born from aluminum, the frame does make a departure from 6061 for the stiffer 7005 alloy which should handle all the punishment you can dish out.

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New Narrow Wide Oval Chainrings from B-Labs, plus updated C.Guide Eco

B-Labs_B-Ring_OVAL_elliptical_narrow-wide_mtb_chainring_detail

Just before Eurobike we had a chance to visit the team behind new component company B|Labs in their headquarters at the base of the Bavarian Alps. One of the first things they were excited to show off was their new non-round/elliptical, narrow-wide single ring mountain bike chainring that they are calling B-ring OVAL. It wasn’t quite ready to ship then, so we’ve been keeping it under wraps, but now they have both 4-bolt and SRAM direct mount spider-less options available.

Hop past the fold for more details on the rings, sizing, pricing, and crankset compatibility, plus their upgraded chain retention device….

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Beautiful Vandeyk x Crema Cycles VDX Collabo Dives into Cyclocross

VanDeyk VDX Rear

German builder Vandeyk has once again created a masterpiece of rolling art. The newest VDX is built in a partnership with Crema Cycles, and made out of a mix of Columbus Spirit and True Temper OX Platinum tubing. Paired with an ENVE fork, the VDX is the painted in the notable Vandeyk style, using high-grade liquid paints. They’re well known for creating absolutely stunning rides, such as the Machine for Riding and the Rapha Continental team bikes, that could hold their place in a museum.

But they’re are also meant to be ridden, with the VDX taking design input from former pro-crosser Ken Bloomer. If you’re not afraid to get something so pretty dirty, look past the break for pricing and more glamour shots…

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IB14: Morgan Blue Adds Matte Carbon Specific Cleaner, Electric Contact Spray, More

Morgan Blue new products (2)

Perhaps not as well known in the U.S. as some other cleaner and lubricant brands, Morgan Blue is extremely well known around the world – especially in the pro peloton. Said to have been on 60% of the chains and 20% of the legs of the World Tour riders, Morgan Blue has an extensive line of bike oils, protectants, and cleaners as well as a full line of massage products.

Originally selling lubricants for the automotive and farm industries in Belgium, Morgan Oils as it was then called was asked to produce bicycle lubricants by former Lotto team mechanic Nick Vandecauter. As so many stories go, the products were a hit and the company began sponsoring pro tour teams without selling anything to consumers. It wasn’t until the company was working on developing a chain cleaner that Morgan “Blue” got their name after their degreaser turned blue as they were developing it.

Twenty years later and Morgan Blue had a catalog of 53 maintenance products and 15 skin care products in 2014. And that selection is still growing. Check out some of the more interesting new products next…

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Bombtrack Builds their Hub Into a Bike, Arise Single Speed CX Ready for SSCXWC15

Arise Orange 90

SSCXWC14KY may have come and gone, but it’s never too early to start planning for next year. If you’re planning on heading North to Victoria Island, British Columbia (that’s in Canada, eh?), Bombtrack’s newest bike should fit the bill. Built around their newly updated version of their Arise SS CX rear hub, the Arise complete bike also features their own fork with and investment cast crown, Arise drop bars, and versatility to run gears. If you had to.

Details on the Arise complete, plus the new and improved (read much lighter) Arise CX SS hub next…

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IB14: Blue Competition Cycles Unveils All-New Axino Lightweight, Aero Road Bike – Plus New Wheels & More

2015 Blue Axino lightweight aero road bike

Blue Competition Cycles has seen turbulent times of late. They changed ownership in December 2012 when they were sold to a group of investors. In the middle of 2013, the main investor, um, well, let’s just say they had to close their doors at the end of last year. Then, on January 1, 2014, the factory that had been making their bikes bought out the remaining investors and took full ownership. Daniel Stallings, Blue’s Sales Manager, says that’s put them on the best financial footing they’ve ever had and they have now moved through virtually all of the 2014 inventory. That means it’s time to bring in the 2015 inventory and really kick things off again.

The bikes coming in now are all freshly spec’d even though most models carry over with existing frames. The Triad and AC1 carbon frames are unchanged, but spec is updated. The Axino (above) used to be their premium race bike but had left the line over the past few years. For 2015, it returns as their lightest bike they’ve ever made, and it gets extensive aero shaping and plenty of attention paid to comfort. In their words, it’s a “super fast, super comfortable all day race bike.”

The frames are exactly the same for both the SL and EX and come in at just 850g. The only difference is spec, with the SL getting a full Dura-Ace mechanical group and the EX is Ultegra mechanical with FSA cranks.

Their house brand Aerus component line has had cockpit parts for years, but their factory has made wheels for quite some time, too. So, it’s only natural they’d start making their own hoops to offer lighter, better wheels on all their bikes without jacking up the prices…

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Exclusive: Sneak Peek at the Pan American Continental CX Championship Course + Interview with Race Director Mitch Graham

Pan AM Jersey

If you need proof of the growing popularity of cyclocross on this side of the Atlantic, look no further than the upcoming Pan American Continental Cyclocross Championships. For the first time ever, cyclocross will will be included in the Pan Am Continental races and it’s all going down just two hours north of the 2013 Cyclocross World Championship venue.

Already established for road, track, and cross country racing, the Pan Am series is a competition between the 43 nations in the Pan American Cycling Confederation or COPACI. The confederation includes any country with a recognized cycling program from North or South America as well as any island nations.

The stage is set and the first ever Pan American Continental Cyclocross Championship looks like it will take place on one of the most challenging ‘cross courses we’ve seen. We got a sneak preview of the course and interviewed Race Director Mitch Graham next…

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EU CX Test: Campagnolo Shamal Ultra tubular wheels – Weighed & First Impressions

Campagnolo_Campy_Shamal_Ultra_Tubular_aluminum_race_wheelset_wheels_Tufo_Flexus_Primus_tires_Gunnar_Verca_sandy_dirt_road_riding

Our season long cyclocross test got underway a few weeks ago with a mix of bikes, components, and clothes. Over the next few weeks we will introduce the items that came in from the start with our first impressions from the first few races and last minute bits of preseason training.  As wheels and tires seem to have one of the biggest impacts on cross and offer great bang for your upgrade buck, we thought we would start there.

We wanted to build up a steel project bike with a lower cost groupset that our readers could actually afford, so we agreed with Campagnolo to test their Athena 11 speed gruppo. With that Campy sent us a set of Shamal Ultra aluminum tubular wheels to glue up some cyclocross tires. They were so nice and shiny looking when we pulled them out off the box, that even before we had the chance to build the bike up we quickly glued some of Tufo’s new Flexus Primus tubulars on and put the wheels to dirt on a couple of 10 speed Campagnolo-equipped bikes.

Roll on past the break for some more detail pics, specs, actual weights, and our first thoughts on the wheels…

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EB14: Konstructive Weaves A Brand from High End Carbon

konstructive  bikes carbon berlin (34)

While the big brands have mass produced carbon bikes on lock down, there is one area where the smaller brands will always have an edge – custom frames. If you’re spending big bucks on a carbon frame it should be to your liking, right? That’s where companies like Konstructive come in with the ability to offer extremely light carbon frames tailored to an individual rider.

Based out of Berlin, all of the Konstructive frames are designed in Germany and then produced inside of Europe. Utilizing a tube to tube construction method, the company is able to offer truly custom geometry with the expense of producing individual molds. Add to that a custom paint program on some extremely light frames and Konstructive’s edge begins to take shape.

Check out their impressive carbon construction plus a number of new frames next…

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