Radar Roundup: Ultradistance Scholarship Winners, Merlin Sandstone XLG, Cotic BFe, Granite/Snow Ritchey Outback, Enduro BRT-060, Barbarian Hoodies are Back, and A Taste of Freedom with Ronnie Romance


Radar Roundup: Ultradistance Scholarship Winners, Merlin Sandstone XLG, Cotic BFe, Granite/Snow Ritchey Outback, Enduro BRT-060, Barbarian Hoodies are Back, and A Taste of Freedom with Ronnie Romance

Our Radar Roundup compiles products and videos from the ‘net in an easy-to-digest format. Read on below for today’s findings…

The Ultra Distance Scholarship 2023/24 Winners Announced

The Ultra Distance Scholarship is thrilled to announce the selection of three more exceptional scholars for its unique initiative. Through a competitive application process, these individuals have been chosen for their potential as ultra distance cycling athletes, as well as their ability to inspire communities, make a positive impact and carry the message of the Ultra Distance Scholarship.

The Ultra Distance Scholarship is an initiative aimed at increasing diversity and representation within ultra distance cycling and racing. With the aid of its many sponsors and supporters, it provides training and equipment to its scholars in a journey towards a prominent ultra cycling race. With its commitment to fostering inclusivity and empowering athletes from all backgrounds, the Ultra Distance Scholarship has already had 3 successful years, supporting 9 riders throughout a myriad of events.

Musa Akinosho @coachedbymusa : Musa is a dad to 3 girls and a self-labelled seasoned commuter cyclist who has only just scratched the surface of his cycling journey. His personal mantra, “Being comfortable being uncomfortable,” reflects his mindset of embracing challenges and personal growth. He is currently working through his coaching qualifications and is striving to promote diversity and inclusivity in his communities.

Cai Wang @caiotter : An outdoors loving doctor by day, Cai started cycling in 2020 as a means of commuting. Her relationship with cycling has taken her progressively further afield in the name of exploration and freedom. She is fully committed to increasing diversity in the sport and plans to spread the joy of cycling and her story in the hope that one day we will close the gaps in representation.

Fatima Ahmed @cycleliciouslondon : Fatima is a London-based 51-year-old mother of 3. Her story begins as a commuting cyclist who then discovered social cycling during lockdown. Joining ‘Cycle Sisters’ and the group ‘Together We Ride’ encouraged her to get her first road bike at the age of 50 and she hasn’t looked back since! She is an active travel advocate and is committed to benefitting her community and spreading positive impact.

The Ultra Distance Scholarship is committed to supporting these scholars throughout their journeys toward their first ultra distance cycling race in July 2024. Follow @ultradistancescholarship for more information and to support these 3 incredible humans on their adventures to becoming ultra distance cyclists.

Merlin Metalworks XLG Sandstone Models

Boulder, Colorado-based Merlin Metalworks has been busy, working with Yang Manufacturing and Silca on a new XLG lineup, or Extralight Gravel, with two versions of its flagship gravel model, the Santstone. New today are the Sandstone 40 for the All-Road gravel and Sandstone 50 for the Adventure gravel.

All the XLGs use a custom-selected Reynolds 3/2.5 front triangle that is customer size, weight and performance specific. The design specific 3D printed parts allow both models to easily run 1x but alternatively run a 2x drivetrain. The flat mount 160 3D printed weldments address the general move to 160mm native rotor acceptance for 700c bikes as well as maximizes rear triangle alignment, and lets Merlin use the best quality chain and seat stay materials available. The bikes will be offered in 8 sizes with custom fit available at an extra charge to customers that would like that extra customization.

Two Different bikes for two different Riders and Specs:

  • 142mm x 12 Thru axle rear. (same on both models)
  • Tire clearance 700 x 40c for Sandstone 40. 700 x 50c for Sandstone 50.
  • Two different chainlines standards: Sandstone 40 = road Sandstone 50 = gravel.
  • Two different geometry specs: Wheel base, fork spec and tire create two unique riding styles
  • Sandstone 40 sporty handling, shorter wheelbase and tighter trail numbers
  • Sandstone 50 relaxed handling, longer wheelbase and more trail stability
  • T47 bottom bracket shell.
  • 44mm headtube standard
  • Routing configurations: external, internal or integrated depending on drivetrain selection.

See more at Merlin.

Cotic’s BFe 27.5 Hardtail is Back £2993

Maintaining an unbroken line right back to its introduction in 2005, the BFe has always been the tearaway of the Cotic family. You know the one – loads of fun, but a bit on the wild side? That’s the BFe. Burly Iron!

The BFe is Cotic’s rowdiest hardtail. It will take everything you can throw at it, from BMX track laps to the steepest downhill lines. A BFe has been ridden everywhere, from the Megavalanche to Whistler. 27.5″ wheels keep thing lively and fun.

Want a pump track lapping, slalom winning berm railer? Plug in a 120mm fork for pin point accuracy. Looking for a singletrack slaying trail shredder? Go for 140mm. For downhill and enduro sending the BFe works with up to a 160mm fork. The BFe is a great value steel hardtail hooligan; enduro winning speed, dual slalom sharp handling and hard hitting capabilities.

See more at Cotic.

Ritchey Outback in Granite/Snow $1,599

The veritable swiss army knife of bikes, the Ritchey Outback, got a new paint job this year and the inclusion of flat-mount brakes.

For the uninitiated, the Ritchey Outback sports several practical and adaptable features that offer riders the ability to chase epic ride experiences beyond the end of the road and the end of the day. If you want to ride it all week and do an overnighter on it on the weekend, rack mounts make that possible. While clearance for 700c x 48mm or 650b x 2.0in tires opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Doubling down on the Outback’s practical performance, an all-carbon fiber Ritchey Adventure Fork with multi-purpose mounts on the legs gives you more places to stow the supplies you gather at the last café.

Check out more at Ritchey.

See Morgan’s review of the Outback in our archives:
A Ritchey Outback Hands-On Review: An Instant Classic (2022 Update)

Enduro BRT-060 – Linear-Press Bearing Service Toolset $299

Y’all like tools. Travis’ recent roundup of Seven Tools every home mechanic should have included a bearing press. When it comes to bearings, few know them as well as Enduro Bearings. So it should come as no surprise that its latest tool is a blingly bit of bearing tech! This spiffy kit includes two length press rods sized specifically for hub or suspension applications, a pair of interchangeable Liner Quick Handles along with a full complement of bearing guides and receiver cups to ensure efficient and accurate bearing removal and installation.

The Linear Bearing Press utilizes the same 29 degree angle Acme thread design found in high precision applications such lead screw drives for CNC machines. This design results in wider and broader thread bases which have greater strength and overall durability. Most importantly, this thread design is much more accurate than standard V shaped threads providing exact 90 degree force for perfect bearing seating and installation alignment.

Unlike other bearing press products available which specify a plain bushing or no bearing at all, each Linear Press rod features a static nut fitted with a precision needle bearing set with ground surfaces to provide smooth and accurate, bind-free action.

See more at Enduro Bearings.

Paul Component Engineering Barbarian Hoodies Return $62

In our world, there are two barbarian references worth repeating. One: Electric Wizard’s “Barbarian.” Two: Paul Component Engineering’s Barbarian hoodies.

Seriously. Look at that artwork. Vibe with the typeface. All on a bike nerd’s staple: a black hoodie! Made in the USA and shipping today.

Roll on over to Paul Component Engineering for the scoop!




A Taste of Freedom – Ronnie Romance aka UltraRomance

Amundsen makes great apparel and for the brand’s latest profile, they linked up with Ronnie for a special bio!



Stuff we see on the ‘net that causes pause…

London, Stockholm, and Boulder, mark your calendars for Lachlan’s Tour Divide Film Tour!

Mark your calendars – Lachlan and Angus Morton are on tour with our new film chronicling Lachlan’s Tour Divide Route ride.

Screenings in:
London – December 11
Stockholm – December 12, hosted by POC
Boulder – December 15

Lachlan dreamed of riding the Divide since his introduction into ultra-cycling years ago. The route is as beautiful as it is rugged, as ambitious as it is empty. During his two weeks on the trail, Lachlan felt more scared, more cold, more capable and more alive than ever.

And we can’t wait to share the adventure. Our latest Explore film, “The Divide,” presented by Wahoo, will go live on YouTube December 16.

Tickets for the screenings with Lachlan and Gus go on sale this Friday. Stay tuned!

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