The way I ride road bikes has evolved with the way the bikes are being built. As I have moved away from pack racing over the past 10 years, I have desired more variety in my daily rides. Most of my rides involve sections of steep LA county fire roads or linking hilly neighborhood climbs together by zigging and zagging through hidden dirt paths.
When the Salsa Warroad launched, it was marketed as an endurance road bike, to be ridden all day on various surfaces, both paved and dirt, yet I wouldn’t characterize it wholly as a gravel bike. Not by today’s standards. These days, bikes like the Ibis Hakka, the Santa Cruz Stigmata, and the Trek Checkpoint – just naming bikes we’ve reviewed here in the past year or so – fly that banner with their massive tire clearances. Yet, the Warroad has carved a niche in this ever-expanding marketplace where companies are making moves to make you use your wallet. Well, I’d like to think that we offer no-bull reviews here on the Radavist and after spending a considerable amount of time on this bike, I’m ready to do just that…
Products like this intrigue me. They pique my interest and pull at my heartstrings. Oftentimes, I find the cycling industry’s apparel offerings to be too wrapped up in the supergraphic, the superhero, the loud, obnoxious, and ostentatiously-designed garb most of us are forced to wear due to brand simply one-upping, building off of and straight biting-off of other’s designs. Personally, I want my cycling gear to emulate my outdoor gear. I want my cycling shoes to look like boots and honestly, most of the time while I tour and bikepack, I wear just that.
Fizik’s Terra lineup – their dirt-focused shoes – has trapesed about the tundra that is earth tones and laces for some time now but it wasn’t until their Ergolace X2 model dropped earlier this year that I was intrigued enough to reach out to the brand to review a pair. So, aside from a rugged aesthetic, how do they really feel in person?
Bombtrack announced the Hook EXT C model last year. It was the flagship lightweight carbon gravel bike with a bit more versatility added in for the long haul, with the needed bosses for fenders, racks, and other touring essentials. The 2020 Hook EXT C now features a T47 bottom bracket, SRAM Rival, and 650b Hunt Adventure Sport wheels with 2.0″ gumwall WTB Venture tires.
3T continues to roll out pricing tier build kit options with their popular Exploro model. The latest news from the Italian manufacturers features options with Rival1, GRX, and the AXS Mullet kit, starting at $3599. Check out all the builds below.
The Old Growth Classic took place this past weekend – 500 riders took to a grueling 55-mile course through coastal redwoods and old-growth groves. At the end of the day over 8,000′ of elevation gain would be throbbing through the legs of every person that crossed the start and finish lines. I had planned on bringing my Sklar with me to ride and photograph the course, but Ibis reached out and asked if I’d like to ride their Hakka MX with Shimano’s GRX drivetrain and a new ENVE spec build. Here’s what I thought about the build kit on this bike, specifically GRX…
While PEdAL ED might be best known for its luxurious, form-fitting lycra attire, the brand has just released a more relaxed line of cycling apparel dubbed the Jary collection. This includes a short-sleeve merino t-shirt, a long-sleeve merino t, jacket, and riding shorts. The entire kit looks great with vibrant colors and a fit more in-tune with casual dirt rides to bikepacking. If I do say so myself, this is the best looking launch from the brand and I can’t wait to see some of it in person. Head to PEdAL ED now to check it out and see more photos below.
I absolutely loved the aluminum Cannondale Topstone for what it was: a nicely spec’d, well-riding, off-the-shelf all-road bike that has Cannondale’s DNA with build options ranging from $1,050 to $2,100. It was a great bike at a solid price that didn’t skimp on the build kit or frame design. So when Cannondale launched the Carbon Topstone, with new passive suspension design, I was interested in seeing how the bike would ride. To come out with such an evolved design from the original Topstone, it had to be worth it, right? Well… it’s complicated.
A $1000 bike is a hot commodity these days, especially one with disc brakes, clearances for bigger tires and a geometry tuned for riding dirt roads. Giant has taken their Revolt model and offered up an alloy version for 2020, with a Sora kit and an 11×34 cassette. Head to Giant to see more.
Building off this year’s launch of the Cache titanium all-road bike, Knolly has just announced a steel version for 2020. The steel Cache maintains the geometry of the titanium Cache, as well as many of the frame details.
ED coating has been added to ensure the lifespan of the bike, as well as a few pricepoint tiers: frame only for $999, frameset for $1399. While there are no details yet of the Cache steel coming as a complete, we can expect it’ll be an option in the future. See more information at Knolly.
It’s a busy week for bike companies to jettison their new and improved models into the consumer market. We reviewed the Trek Checkpoint last year and were amazed at how well this bike checked all the boxes. It really felt like Trek listened to its customers and made the most capable bike they could.
For 2020, the Checkpoint stays relatively the same, solidifying its place in the adventure/gravel/all-road space, yet the paint jobs are much flashier and now with AXS integration, the lines on the bike are even cleaner. Head to Trek to see more details!
With the popularity of the Exploro, 3T looked to make this all-road platform a little bit more affordable with a Rival build kit, bringing the price down to $3,599.00 for a complete, more than half off from the Exploro Ltd AXS build pricepoint of $9,990.00. Keep in mind that the Exploro Team frameset retails for $3,200.00. See all the Exploro models and build kit options at 3T.
To up the ante on their consumer-direct OB1 all road bike, Thesis is now offering two AXS build options. You can now order an OB1 with the “mullet” configuration, an Eagle rear mech and cassette mated with road shifters, or with AXS 2x setup. These bikes ship 90% built and ready to ride, with a variety of build options, direct to your door.
See more details at Thesis.
Photos and words by Sami Sauri
“Det Store Eventyret” is not like most events where more or less you know what you are getting into. The participants had no clue in advance of where they will be cycling to, on what kind of surface as well as where they will be spending the night! All they were promised in advance was awesome riding, food by the one and only Velochef Henrik Orre and a bed under a roof to spend the night. The organizers aim to surprise and excite the participants and judging by the mood before the start, it is apparent that everyone is eager to find out what the fuss is about!
With the launch of AXS, SRAM reached out to specific manufacturers and offered the ability to mix their Eagle rear MTB derailleur and cassette with the Force AXS shifters and brakes. This offers up the best of both worlds with a wide gear range and the ergonomics of road shifting. It took a while for this offering to hit the market for companies to spec complete bikes and 3T was finally able to implement the mixture, so they made an extra special limited edition Exploro. These limited edition completes will come with the 3T Torno crank, a full-carbon design, including the spider and axle, built to be tough and lightweight. Head on over to the 3T Exploro page to see pricing and your local dealer to order.
Nordest might be known for their mountain bikes but their latest model is the Albarda, a rugged all road bike, that comes built complete for $1,808.10 (1.610,74 €). The Albarda utilizes 420mm stays, which allows for either a 27.5 x 2.10″ or 700x50mm compatible wheels. Best of all, the medium/large size weighs just north of 20lbs.
Head to Nordest to see more information.
Remember that Horse Cycles Shop Visit that Ian and Kevin from ENVE worked on for the Radavist last year? It featured Kevin’s Horse Cycles all-road that was an homage to the late Ezra Caldwell – may he ride in peace! Well, Kevin was just in Bozeman for the Swift Campout – which unfortunately got snowed out – so he made the best of the 7-hour drive up from Salt Lake City and spent the extended weekend riding MTB trails on his newly converted Horse Cycles.
With either 700×45 or 650×47 compatibility, Pivot’s newly designed Vault all road gains extra tire clearance, extra bottle bosses, fender mounts, a frame weight of 998g, stealth dropper routing, and now, with their ISO Flex technology, the Vault fits 27.2 or 30.9mm diameter posts and isolates the seatpost from the frame for added comfort or frame stiffness. See more details on the new and improved Vault at Pivot.