In 2015, I was able to partake in the launch of the Cutthroat, Salsa’s Tour Divide Race Bike, a unique drop bar 29er and since then, I’ve had zero contact with it. That is until I unboxed the brand new 2020 Cutthroat, which is full of new updates and boy is it a long list. While I plan on reviewing this bike in more detail further down the road, I wanted to give you a look at the new model on its launch day. Read on below for a first look at the new Cutty.
Our friends down in Fairfield, Australia at Bastion Cycles pulled together a real treat for us. This “Fall Forest” themed Crossroad frame has been hand-painted to resemble an autumn forest, filled with leaves, flashing colors across the carbon and titanium frame. Read on for all the details and 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.
ENVE has been supporting frame builders, both in the US and internationally for years now and has developed a symbiotic relationship with these artisans, who choose to put their forks, bars, and wheels on customer’s build kit lists. With this catalog of talent at their fingertips, they decided to have an Open House to celebrate not only their factory and offices in Ogden, Utah but the frame builders who choose ENVE to build out their complete bikes.
Over the next two mornings, we’ll look at a list of 20 frame builders’ bikes, in galleries filled with so many Beautiful Bicycles it’ll leave your mouth watering. Up first is Prova, Holland, Alchemy, Salt Air, Mosaic, Pursuit, English, Speedvagen, Bingham, and Allied.
Gorilla Gravity sent waves through the MTB industry with their made in the USA aluminum frames. Now, with their new Revved™ Carbon Technology mountain bike, they’re sending even more shockwaves. Watch as they pull a frame from the Frame Maker 3000 and then put it through the wringer, the Frame Breaker.
After much speculation, Salsa has announced their complete fat bike lineup for 2020, redefining their three flagship models and fine-tuning their performances. With the Beargrease you can expect a race-ready geometry, a Mukluk is for winter exploration, and the Blackborow is a long-range tourer. Head on over to Salsa for the minutiae and your local dealer to see these paint jobs in person.
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.
Perhaps you wanted a set of the G-Series wheels but were squeamish about spending a lot of money on a carbon wheelset?
Carbon fiber wheel warranties have come a long, long way. ENVE recently stepped up to the plate with a new, very impressive coverage plan. Offering a Lifetime Incident coverage package. This new warranty replaces a rim no matter what happens to it. As long as you’re the original owner. Say you break an ENVE rim and they replace it, what happens to that replacement rim? Is it warrantied? Yes! ENVE has always covered “rock strike” failure under their 5-Year Limited Warranty, now it’s just extended to the life of that rim.
Under the new Lifetime Incident, that rim will be covered for life. Even if your wheel breaks while shipping your bike, or you run over your bike with your car, or you hit a moose, anything is covered under their new Lifetime Incident warranty. There’s now second-hand coverage as well. If you break a used rim, that you bought second-hand, you’re now entitled to 30% off a new rim. Then, that replacement rim will be covered for life.
The new 5-Year Limited Warranty covers any manufacturing defects, so you can now confidently invest in carbon fiber, made in the USA rims. Head to ENVE to read all about it.
Last week, we looked at the new Juliana Quincy, through the eyes and words of Amy Jurries and today, I’ll be taking you through the new Stigmata, as someone who rallied and loved the last model. How does it compare? Read on below.
The Santa Cruz Stigmata was truly one of the first disc all-road bikes that opened my eyes to not only what an off-road bike could be, but what it should be. I loved it so much that it influenced the geometry of my Firefly, yet that initial Stigmata review was over four years ago. A lot has changed in that time and the Stiggy was long overdue for an overhaul, mainly in one specific area, the tire clearance!
Salsa hasn’t had a true road bike in their lineup for some time now. Sure, they have the Warbird, which is a gravel racing road bike, but with that, comes a more stable geometry with a longer wheelbase. The Warroad is a straight up endurance road bike, with two wheel sizes and multiple build kit options. Warroad is a new platform for Salsa, designed to take on chunky, imperfect asphalt, with what Salsa is calling their “Endurance Road Geometry.”
The GR2 is the latest bike from Bend, Oregon’s Argonaut Cycles. After years of design, development, and testing, Ben and his team are finally rolling these capable models out the door. With a racing geometry, lightweight layup, and in-house paint, the GR2 is a veritable dream bike.
For Grinduro this year, Argonaut displayed this beautiful build with SRAM Red eTap, Zipp, and WTB 38mm tires.
The beauty of a capable all-road bike is it can transport you from the inner city to more rural areas with ease and depending on the bike’s capabilities, you can ride everything from dirt roads to rugged Forest Service roads and even singletrack. In a city like Los Angeles, we’ve got a good mix of everything, and it wasn’t until I moved here that I realized this importance in a bike. For me and the kind of riding I enjoy, I prefer to be able to pedal out to the dirt from my front door.
Over the years, bikes that had only previously been available as a special order from a custom frame builder are slowly making their way into mainstream bike company’s catalogs. In that time, I’ve noticed a rather acute phenomenon, and most companies aren’t listening.
They’re not listening to what real, everyday cyclists are asking for. Who are they designing for? Who do they expect to buy their bikes? I’m not sure because I’ve seen a number of well-designed frames leave out crucial details that would make the bike from Brand X be the ultimate all-road bike, turned bikepacking bike, turned quiver killer.
Then there’s the Trek Checkpoint, which checks all the boxes, and I must say I was surprised when I saw it. After riding it on and off over the past few months, I’m finally ready to talk about this unique bike.
The Allied story is one that has been touched on briefly here on the Radavist. A brand that was formed through the foresight of one man; Tony Karklins and his ability to acquire a Canadian brand Guru’s assets at auction. This included the machinery, technology, everything; down to the paint booth. Upon winning the bid, Tony then moved this equipment to Arkansas, hired a few key players and began cranking on this new brand, dubbed Allied Cycle Works, which operates under the umbrella of HIA Velo. I could go more into this story, but people like Patrick at Red Kite Prayer have done an exceptional job covering the beginnings of Allied, so if the story of the brand is what you’re here for, head to RKP for an exceptional write up.
Now, when Patrick wrote his piece about Allied, they had but one model; the Alfa road bike. Later, the brand developed this beauty, the Alfa All-Road. While the Alfa road has all the lines and functionality of a proper carbon, rim brake road bike, the Alfa All-Road opens up the door a little wider to the sorts of rides we really enjoy over here at the Radavist; dirty and dusty fun!
Is it one’s riding that evolves first? Or is it the bike that is the catalyst for evolution? Bicycle design, much like one’s riding style, evolves over time, triggered by a series of environmental or equipment changes. Perhaps your everyday singletrack just gets tiresome and you’re looking for a way to change it up, or maybe your road bike gathers dust during ‘cross season. At some point, riders look for excuses to shake things up, as a break from the painful monotony of riding bikes by the rules and luckily for us, the offerings from companies follow suit, evolving their lineup in the same sequence.
A number of brands have taken a look at their ‘cross bikes and asked what the next step in evolution would be, or perhaps, what it should be. What seems like ages ago, we were all riding singletrack and fire roads on 32mm tires, burnin’ brake pads as our cantilever or v-brakes smoked our sidewalls. Then came disc brakes, which offered more control, options for larger tires and other benefits. All the while, frame builders were experimenting with multiple wheel size options, brought along by the popularity of disc brakes. Soon 27.5″ (650b) wheels began popping up on drop bar ‘cross bikes, yet these weren’t really “cross” bikes anymore. They had evolved past that.
Ibis recently took a long hard look at their classic ‘cross frame, the Hakkalügi. These frames started out as steel, cantilever bikes, marked by classic Ibis stylings and most notably, the Mike Cherney fabricated “hand job” cable hanger. Like Ibis’ mountain bikes, once carbon fiber became the preferred material, the Hakkalügi went through the motions, too. Carbon canti, then carbon disc but the whole time, these bikes stayed true to classic ‘cross frame tire clearances and geometries, always feeling like outliers in the brand’s catalog. Ibis knew it was time for a change.
Coming in at 232g Hub Set (74g Front Hub + 158g Rear Hub), ENVE‘s new made / assembled in the USA 20/24 hubset caused quite the stir at Eurobike, winning a Eurobike Award and grabbing the attention of weight weenies everywhere. Even if shaving grams isn’t your thing (it’s not mine, personally), you can still appreciate these hubs’ beauty.
As with all lightweight, USA-made products, they’re not cheap, coming in at $1350 for a hubset. They are however one of the sleekest looking designs I’ve seen in the road hub market. Interested in a set? ENVE is taking orders now and will be shipping mid to late October.
For those wanting to know more, check out the full specs below.
No, that $700 S-Works frame is not from the same overseas factory as the $3,500 original. Not even close. To partially prove a point and also educate internet consumers, Velo News took a look at a bootleg frame by comparing it to an actual frame in their laboratory. The results are interesting to say the least. Head over to Velo News to check it out…
A 2015 NAHBS favorite has finally landed online. The No 22 Bicycles Reactor road bike caught my attention this year at the show and still to this day makes me feel all adulterated with lust. Clean, minimal lines, custom hardware and a stance unmatched in the current production frame world. That’s my opinion anyway… Form your own opinion at No 22 and see more photos below.
For Alchemy Bicycles developing a new frame takes time. With a busy production schedule, an in-house paint department and juggling the day to day operations, there isn’t much time for R&D. So you can imagine how long this bike has been in the works. As their first carbon MTB frame, the Oros translates to mountain in Greek. Naming it was easy, developing it was not. The Denver based brand had to completely rethink construction.
Because Alchemy is using a unique tube-to-tube technique, they’re able to visualize the frame as a whole, while engineering and developing each section of the frame individually. The stays are shaped and continue to flow with the top tube, ending in a beefy head tube. While I can’t go into to much detail about their technology, I am eager to take it for a spin. Moves like this aren’t easy for small frame builders, but it’s evident this bike has a promising future ahead of it.
Fit with Shimano’s Di2 XTR, Fox suspension, ENVE carbon and Maxxis tires, this bike is a trail ready machine. While I don’t have a scale, the Oros feels well balanced and yeah, pretty damn light. The geometry is still in the prototyping phase, so we’ll omit those details. Once the Oros is ready for production, I’ll post updates. For now, see it in person at NAHBS, booth 501.