Posts in the category Cyclocross

IB14: Swobo Expands Bicycle Collection – New Gravel/Adventure, Mountain & Fat Bikes

2015 Swobo scofflaw steel cyclocross bike

Back in January, Swobo added step-through versions of their existing Fillmore and Novak city bikes. They followed up with the launch of an all new youth line called Farrier. Now, they’ve more than doubled the adult line with four new models covering a range of terrains.

If you’re looking for a do-it-all road bike that’s ready for gravel rides, cyclocross races and backroad adventures, the Scofflaw is the ticket. It’s built on a Reynolds 531 steel frame with tapered carbon fork and room for 700x42c tires. It comes complete as a singlespeed bike, making use of the Tange sliding dropouts, but will include extra dropouts with a derailleur mount if you wanna add gears later.

That drivetrain versatility is built into some of the other bikes, too, and all are worth a look…


IB14: Mercury Wheels Unveils 1,050g Disc Brake Carbon Tubulars & Alloy Disc Brake Clinchers


Mercury Wheels has upped their own upper end with the new M-Zero carbon tubular wheels. For climbers that want the added power of disc brakes on the descents, the new M-Zero’s use Extralite’s disc brake hubs and Sapim CX-Ray spokes to bring the wheelset weight all the way down to 1,050g.

That means a rider weight limit of just 75kg (165lbs), so they’re only for the little guys. Roll on for closeups and specs, plus a look at their very affordable new alloy disc brake wheels…


Friday Roundup – Bicycle Bits & Pieces

Lapierre, ultimate,

  • Lapierre Ultimate – Imagine It. Choose It. Create the Bike of Your Dreams, all on Lapierre’s new custom bike builder that lets you pic the spec you want and have it built and shipped.
  • Commencal also offers you the opportunity to personalize your next DH/Freeride, Enduro or Trail/XC mountain bike with their new “A la carte” building program.
  • For the next 24 hours get 20% off all Sufferfest T-Shirts & Polo. Use Promo Code ‘ELEMENTSOFSTYLE’ at the Aprés Vèlo website – Available in men’s & women’s sizes
  • If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area this weekend then be sure to check out the Oregon Handmade Bike & Beer Festival.
  • There’s a lot to see at the KMC Cyclo-Cross Festival. Watch LIVE streaming of the racing on line here. And if you can be there in person, be sure to also check out the KMC Cyclo-Cross Festival’s Dealer Day ahead of the main event.
  • A little further west and like to plan (way) ahead? Early bird pricing is in effect for the 2015 Breck Epic until October 15.
  • There are only 30 days until the RACE of the DEAD and you still haven’t registered! Are you scared? Sign up today.

IB14: TwinSix Standard Bicycle Collection Debuts – 29er, Cyclocross, Rando & Fat Bikes


After years of frame collaborations with Raleigh, Handsome and others, TwinSix let loose in early August that they were working on a collection of bicycles, giving us a detailed look at the Standard Fat titanium fat bike. That one’s shown at top, and hit that link for the full details.

Sitting in front of it is the Standard 29, their Reynolds 853 steel hardtail. It’s suspension corrected for a 100mm fork to have a 70.5º head angle. Chainstays are reasonably short (17.32″ / 440mm) while leaving room for a 29×2.35 tire. Ride the metal past the break for more details, pics and models…


IB14: Panaracer Debuts Gravel, Fat Bike, Cyclocross & New Mountain Bike Tires


Remember back when Panaracer’s Smoke and Dart were competing with the WTB Velociraptor set for your hard earned dollars and only IRC’s Mythos XC gave ‘em a run for your money? Yeah, it was a long time ago, but the brand used to be hot.

From the looks of their latest offerings, they could be again. The 2015 collection bringing options for all the hot categories, offering up gravel/dirt road tires, fat bike tires, cyclocross tires and an updated version of the FirePro that maybe, just maybe, could pass as an enduro tread.

Shown above are the Comet Hardpack (front) and Pacenti Pari Moto tires for adventure/gravel/dirt road bikes. The Comet has been available in 26″/27.5″/29er sizes ranging from 1.95 up to 2.25 widths, but now it gets a proper 700x38c size in both folding and wire beads. Claimed weights are TBA, but they have a rounded profile for predictable grip at any lean angle.

The Pacenti Pari Moto gets two versions of a 27.5″ slick. One’s for pavement, the other gets a puncture protection strip to guard against gravel and other off road pokey things. Width is 1.5″, and it’s available in all black or with gumwalls. Weight is 300g.


Absolute Black Adds Spiderless Oval Chainrings for SRAM Cranks; Cannondale & More Coming Soon


Absolute Black’s first ovalized chainring came out this summer and in a 32-tooth, 104BCD version. Now, he’s added a SRAM direct mount spiderless version with the same 32-tooth count.

Coming in at a claimed 59g, it’s only a few grams heavier than the round GXP or BB30 versions, and has the equivalent of a 30t profile in the dead zone and 34t in the power zone. The teeth use their proven narrow/wide profile, which we’ve had pretty good success with when used with a clutch rear derailleur (and even without one on a ‘cross bike). They’re available for preorder now in black, red or blue, and they deliver around October 20th.

Along with the pics, AB’s founder sent over a few pics and video to illustrate the chainrings in action and an explanation of why theirs are among the best out there…


IB14: White Industries Updates All Hubs w/ Titanium Freehubs & More 11-Speed Options


White Industries has updated virtually all of their hubs to have 11-speed ready freehub bodies, bringing things up to speed with modern standards. They’ve also switched to 100% titanium freehub bodies across all rear hubs. Sure, the material is a bit more expensive and wears the milling equipment a bit quicker, but overall it’s a savings for them because of the additional heat treating and processing their steel parts required. Time + Effort = Money, after all. The added bonus is they’re about 20g lighter!

Shown above is the Tandem rear hub with its new 11-speed freehub.

And there are a few other little tweaks, too…


EB14: Redesigned Arsis 10 speed Shifters from MicroShift, plus MTB thumb shifters and cassettes

Microshift_Arsis_10_speed_carbon_integrated_brake_shift_levers_brifters_shimano_compatible Microshift_Centos_10_speed_aluminum_integrated_brake_shift_levers_brifters_shimano_compatible_right Microshift_Centos_10_speed_aluminum_integrated_brake_shift_levers_brifters_shimano_compatible_left

The President and VP of Microshift were on hand from Taiwan at Eurobike to show a few new key pieces of tech they have recently developed. The 15 year old company isn’t really known to truly challenge the Big 3 component manufactures (Shimano, Campagnolo, and SRAM), but they do offer a good quality line of products at what are usually much more down to earth pricing. Although the bulk of road (and some mountain) drivetrains have moved on to 11 speed at the high-end, Microshift just introduced a new set of 10 speed levers at the show. The new shifters, which will be available in their top, carbon Arsis group, as well their third-tier Centos group, finally make the jump to cable routing beneath your bar tape.

The shape and function of the levers looks to borrow a bit from each of the Big 3, with a lever shape reminiscent of the previous generation of Campy, hoods that look a bit SRAM-ish and shifting that feels like a combo of Shimano and Campy. Take a look at the pics above, and if you like the looks of what they mash up, maybe they would make good replacements when you look to upgrade a lower-level group set.

Jump past the break for a look at their carbon road derailleurs and MTB thumbies…


EB14: Crank Brothers Launches Limited Edition Colors for Pedals

crank brothers limited edition colors for mountain bike pedals

Crank Brothers showed off the new entry level Cobalt 1 wheels, Y-tools and other products at Eurobike’s outdoor demo, covered here.

Inside the show, they showed us new, limited edition colors to their pedals that’ll be making their way to market this fall. The plan is an ongoing trickle of new colors, some entirely new, some just mixed-and-matched like the red/black Candies shown above. They’ll be produced in small batches, with limited amounts available to each distributor throughout the world. Your best bet for getting some? Keep on eye on this site for announcements, then hit up your dealer to order. For the U.S., distribution comes from Highway Two.

Closeups below…