Posts in the category Cyclocross

SRAM RED eTAP Wireless – First Rides, testing protocols & predictions for the future

SRAM RED eTAP wireless shifting group first ride review

To celebrate the SRAM RED eTAP wireless shifting launch, they brought us to their drivetrain development office in Schweinfurt, Germany, for technical presentations and the very first public test rides anywhere.

We’ve covered the product tech, weights & setup here, now we’ll cover the lengthy testing procedure they underwent to ensure that the most anticipated launch in the company’s history is bombproof. And we’ll share thoughts after riding 145 miles (233km) over three days through the rolling hills surrounding their office.

The testing process started in the lab, progressed to employee and “super testers”, then smaller and regional teams, then finally to AG2R in the Tour Down Under and Tour de France. Here’s how it went…

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SRAM RED eTAP unveiled – F1 inspired wireless paddle shifting is here!

SRAM Red eTAP wireless electronic shifting road bike group

What if you could throw everything out and build the perfect drivetrain from scratch? What would you change? What would you be forced to change to get around other’s patents? And did it have to follow convention, or could they do away with things that simply weren’t needed…like wires and cables?

That was both the challenge and the opportunity SRAM had when it began developing an electronic shifting system. The starting point was asking “what else shifts?” Their answer, at the most impressive level, was Formula One race cars, the fastest shifting machines in the world.

Now, after five long years of development, we know their answers: The SRAM Red eTAP electronic groupset is here…

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EB15: Hey, Hey Hey! Schwalbe shuffles in new front & rear specific Fat Albert MTB tires with all-new tread philosophy

2016 Schwalbe Fat Albert enduro mountain bike tires in front and rear specific treat patterns

For enduro riders, things continue to provide new opportunities to rip down the mountain faster and harder than ever. For Schwalbe’s part, the all-new Fat Albert front and rear tire combo ushers in a new tread block design philosophy for the company in wide 29er and 27.5 options.

The tires’ tread blocks are rounded at the corners with a softer overall look, unlike anything they’ve done before on the mountain bike side. The underlying structure is a bit different, too, creating a tire they say is more flexible and maintains a better contact patch on the ground. They also hinted this could be a growing theme on future tire designs.

More Fat Albert and a close up look at the expanded tubeless-ready road/cyclocross/gravel tire line below…

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Review: Paul Component Engineering SRAM Shifter Adapter

Soma Wolverine with Paul Component SRAM Shifter Adapter

Every now and then, a relatively simple product comes along and solves a massive headache. In my case, being able to fit gears onto my singlespeed Soma Wolverine was providing harder than first anticipated. That was, until I came across a neat little item from Californian-based manufacturer Paul Component Engineering.

Late last year, we reported on the new trigger shifter adapter which would allow one to fit a SRAM trigger shifter to their drop bars. After receiving and installing Paul’s SRAM shifter adapter earlier this year, I’ve found it to be the perfect solution for my woes. Head on through for the full scoop!

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EB15: PRO adds to their PLT road line, and updates Missile and Aero Wheel Looks – updated availability

Shimano_PRO_PLT_aluminum-road-cockpit

In addition to a broader new range mountain bike stems and bars, Pro also adds more to the road with new bars and wheels. The great performing, high-value PLT alloy cockpit group gets an update with new seatpost, bar, and stem designs. Pro also updates their aero carbon bar, stem, and wheels mostly with much more subtle graphics treatments. Slide on past the fold for more details and availability…

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Review: Suplest SupZero Entry-level Cross Country Bike Shoes

Suplest_CrossCountry_SupZero_02-023_nylon-soled_mountain-bike-shoes_dusty

Having seen some of the high-end carbon-soled road and XC shoes from Suplest last year, we wanted to look a bit deeper into their line-up. The young Swiss-designed shoe company spreads most of the features of their top shoes all the way down, with differentiation primarily an issue of different sole constructions (and a bit with upper materials.) With a lot of cyclocross racing here in Europe, we wanted to look at something with a bit more flex for all of the running; so we passed on the full carbon soles, for a pair of good old fashioned reinforced nylon soles. Suplest does a pretty solid job with even this mid-level SupZero mountain bike shoe, and I was never really left wanting for a stiffer shoe during a wide mix of cross, road, and mountain riding and racing.

Follow me past the break for a look at how the shoes help up to 4-season riding, some of their details, and pricing…

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Easton Embraces Tubeless Ready Road with Wider, Lighter EA90SL

EA90SL_Closeup_720x480_72_RGB

Easton is no stranger to tubeless, but up to this point their tubeless wheels have required proprietary parts to allow for a solid rim bed. While solid rim beds are more airtight for better tubeless performance, they required proprietary dual threaded nipples which resulted in a wheel that was not consumer serviceable in most cases. Of course, the design also required specific parts which could be harder to come by in case of a failure.

Deciding to ditch the previous tubeless design, Easton is introducing their first tubeless ready wheel set with the EA90SL. Available in rim or disc brake models, the tubeless ready nature of the rim allows for Easton to also offer the rims separately. If that wasn’t enough to catch your attention, the EA90SLs are also wider and lighter to check as many boxes as possible…

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Rotor pumps out new Uno hydraulic shifting road group w/ Magura brakes

rotor uno hydraulic shifting road bike group with magura brakes

Just days after we found the patent drawings and a mere week before Eurobike starts, Rotor has provided the first look at their all-new Uno road group.

Using a full hydraulic system for both brakes and shifting, the components should offer fluidly smooth gear changes and powerful braking. The hydraulic tech comes from Magura, whose been making hydraulic brakes for a long, long time and will provide the brakes for the complete group set.

All the tech details will come next week, and we’ve got the first appointment of the show booked to see it. In the meantime, more pics below…

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Review: Revisiting Praxis Road and Cyclocross Chainrings, Long-Term

Praxis-Works_cold-forged-chainrings_Cyclocross-CX-Compact_46-36_muddy-on-Clark

It’s been more than four and a half years since we last did a proper review of a set of chainrings from Praxis. While they do get pretty rave reviews from everyone who rides them, we thought it was time to revisit a few sets that we have put several thousand kms on to let you know how they have worked out and how they’ve held up over the long haul. The sets we’ll talk about in detail are the Standard Road 53/39 Clover rings, the all black Compact Road 50/34 rings, and the Cyclocross 46/36 rings.

Come past the break for our thoughts, detailed wear photos, and actual weights…

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