Posts in the category Cyclocross

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…

READ MORE ->

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…

READ MORE ->

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…

READ MORE ->

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…

READ MORE ->

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…

READ MORE ->

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…

READ MORE ->

IB14: Wheels Manufacturing Eccentric Bottom Bracket Gets Official

We spotted the new Wheels Manufacturing eccentric bottom bracket in prototype form this summer, and now it’s official. The precision milled part will fit BB30 and PFBB30 frames, converting any into a singlespeed bike.

The Enduro ABEC5 angular contact bearings fit a 24mm spindle, with versions for Shimano definitely and SRAM GXP. The outer pieces are machined from aluminum and use steel bolts to snug it into the frame and hold position. It’ll fit both 68mm and 73mm BB shells.

Around $125 retail, price will be finalized and production started for November delivery. More pics below…

READ MORE ->

Lizard Skins Announces New Colors of DSP Bar Tape

Lizard_Skins_Bar_Tape

Lizard Skins has announced 5 new colors in their DSP handlebar tape line.  DSP, standing for “Durasoft Polymer”, is a grippy, yet soft bar tape that we reviewed in the 2.5mm thickness. The company had one of the most unique marketing approaches I have seen, wrapping all of the door handles of the Eurobike venue for the past several years, so I can attest, it feels pretty grippy.

The tape is available in 2 thicknesses, 2.5mm and 3.2mm, and one pretty cool feature is that in the 2.5mm thickness, you can select a dual-color transition that has one color below the hoods, and a different color above the hoods. In the 2.5mm thickness, the new colors are Neon Yellow, Brown and Cobalt Blue, in 3,2mm the new color is Green, and in dual-color, there is Black and Neon Yellow.

First Impressions: SRAM Force CX1 Cyclocross Group

2015 SRAM Force CX1 first impressions ride review

After weighing and installing the SRAM Force CX1 group, I put it through a couple “get to know ya” rides before heading to Asheville for the final race in the AVLCX series at Pisgah Brewing.

With a good bit of rain the day before and a little sprinkling during the race, the course went from a little damp to downright slip-n-slide like during our 45 minute race. Fortunately, the CX1 group held up to the mud, grass and a few slips and spills with zero problems. The bike even sat outside, unwashed and unloved for a few days after the race before getting a bath, but things still worked just fine.

UPDATED: Additional notes on bleed procedure added below.

Here’s how things worked out during my first race week with CX1 and the Force Hydro-RD disc brakes…

READ MORE ->