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The New Santa Cruz Stigmata Got Chubbier… and Lighter

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The New Santa Cruz Stigmata Got Chubbier… and Lighter

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!

Imperfect Asphalt: Riding the New Salsa Warroad in Los Angeles

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Imperfect Asphalt: Riding the New Salsa Warroad in Los Angeles

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.”

2018 Grinduro: Argonaut GR2 Disc All Road

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2018 Grinduro: Argonaut GR2 Disc All Road

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.

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Follow Argonaut Cycles on Instagram and Grinduro on Instagram.

The Trek Checkpoint All Road Checks All the Boxes

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The Trek Checkpoint All Road Checks All the Boxes

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.

Carbon Artistry and the Allied Alfa Disc All-Road Bike

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Carbon Artistry and the Allied Alfa Disc All-Road 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!

Gettin’ Dirty with the New Ibis Hakka MX

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Gettin’ Dirty with the New Ibis Hakka MX

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.

ENVE’s New Ultralight Made in the USA Carbon Road Hubs

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ENVE’s New Ultralight Made in the USA Carbon Road Hubs

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.

Velo News: Not All Frames are Created Equal

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Velo News: Not All Frames are Created Equal

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…

2015 NAHBS: Alchemy Oros Carbon 29’r Hardtail

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2015 NAHBS: Alchemy Oros Carbon 29’r Hardtail

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.

Long Term Review: SRAM Roam 60 29r Wheels

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Long Term Review: SRAM Roam 60 29r Wheels

I’m pretty adamant in believing that out of any bike you own, your MTB deserves carbon wheels more than the rest. Now, my point that I’m trying to make – without getting too far off-topic – is out of all your bikes, your MTB gets abused the most and is required to do the most. With road and even cross wheels, you’re rarely taking big hits off-axis and you’re certainly not charging rock gardens. Regardless of tire size, a MTB benefits from a carbon wheel, both in durability and performance. Just ride a set and you’ll see what I mean.

That said, I’ve never been convinced that a set of proprietary wheels is a worth while investment, when compared to a set of hand laced wheels. The problem is, those hand-built wheels get expensive when you’re talking carbon fiber rims, laced to a DT, King, White Industries or the like hubset.

If you do decide to pull the trigger on a set of carbon hoops, there are so many options out there. Do you want XC race-light or “trail” wheels? Well, SRAM made it easy with the Roam 60. They’re nearing the weight of an XC wheelset (1650 grams for a 29r) with the durability of a legit trail wheel. I tend to over compensate my inability to connect what I see myself doing in my head, to what actually happens on the bike, with products that are engineered for even gnarlier undertakings. In short: I like riding beefy products on my XC rig, because it’s not just a XC rig.

Eurobike 2013: Argonaut Cycles Road

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Eurobike 2013: Argonaut Cycles Road

It’s been a long two years for Ben from Argonaut Cycles but if he’s learned anything along the way it’s this: hard work and dedication pay off. In a lot of ways, the Argonaut Cycles road bike embodies the height of carbon fiber manufacturing. While this bike in particular might look like others that have been on the site, countless, minute changes have gone into making it unique. The design process and the final product are always improving.

Manufacturing in the USA allows Ben to tweak the layup process and continuously offer his clients the best carbon fiber road frame. Ben’s a good friend and personally, I’m very partial to Argonaut, so I took this bike out of the Eurobike tradeshow to photograph it. See more in the Gallery!

James’ Ibis Hakkalügi Disc Cross

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James’ Ibis Hakkalügi Disc Cross

James Adamson from Adventure Refugee has a long-time relationship with Ibis Cycles, so when the time came to prep for the Mission Workshop trip to China, he contacted them about a bike. Their Hakkalügi Disc Cross made the most sense for this tour.

Shown here, completely stock with cross tires or as it appeared in my post photos with Fyxation tires. The Hakkalügi retails with an Ultegra kit for $3699. Unfortunately, these are the last photos this bike will ever have taken of it because China Airlines crushed it in transport. Bummer! Check out more in the Gallery.

Mad Fiber’s High Tech Wheels are Made in the USA

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Mad Fiber’s High Tech Wheels are Made in the USA

A wise man once said “Don’t buy upgrades, ride up grades” and those words still hold true today but for those who are looking for cutting edge wheel technology to aid in their performance, the name Mad Fiber might come to mind. Now, I am the last person on the face of the Earth that wants or needs carbon wheels like this but they’re not even mine. So technically, “Don’t buy upgrades, borrow them from the rep” fits here.

Check out more below.

Unveiling the Argonaut Cycles Process Part 02

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Unveiling the Argonaut Cycles Process Part 02

Last week I introduced you to the process Argonaut Cycles uses in fabricating their 100% custom carbon fiber bicycle frames. Through working with ICE, or Innovative Composite Engineering, in White Salmon, Washington, Ben has developed a new process that sets Argonaut apart from other manufacturers. When we left off earlier, we had fresh parts for a frame, straight from the molds. From there, Ben takes the frame parts to Portland where he joins the tubes with a Hysol specialty aerospace epoxy and then bakes the frame to cure the adhesive.

Once the frame is cured, it’s off to the painter for a clear coat or graphics treatment. Frames can be either custom painted, or with stock logos. For my frame, Keith Anderson painted a scheme I mocked up. Once coated, Ben can either build the bike up with the parts kit a client orders through him and ship it out, or just send the frame out to his client. For me, picking the bike up and going on a ride was the best experience I could have wanted.

I am far from a carbon fiber expert, but I’ve been enthralled in this whole process. It’s hard to not be enthusiastic over this whole project but as my bike keeps racking up miles, I’m a believer. This is the first carbon frame that I’ve felt any sort of attachment to, but that’s because I’ve never had one tailored to my specific riding style. The Argonaut process made that easy.

Now, there were a ton of comments and questions in last week’s post, so if you missed Ben’s replies, I updated Part 01 here.