MicroSHIFT, SRAM, and now Shimano all offer gravel brake levers with built-in dropper post remotes. And there are ways to hack most left shifters to work great as dropper remotes. But if you aren’t currently in the market for a new drivetrain, or if you run a front derailleur, there aren’t many good plug-and-play options that work from both the hoods and the drops. Travis Engel found just four of them, from ENVE, Crankbrothers, PRO, and Easton/Fox. It turns out they’re all very special in their own little ways.
If you weren’t already familiar with Schön Studio, you may have just seen some of their stellar work in our recent MADE bike show coverage. Tucked into a corner of a quiet neighborhood in Squamish BC, Danielle Schön has been building bikes, teaching classes, and doing a variety of other metalwork and art out of her hand-built, backyard workshop. Read on below for Pat Valade‘s shop visit and in-depth profile…
A faint kiss of cool air blows across the Southern Rockies here in Santa Fe. That means summer is almost over. This season shift has led me to reflect upon my ERC, or Every Ride Carry, that I’ve been using all summer here on MTB and gravel rides in the foothills and deep into our Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Let’s check it out below…
MicroSHIFT’s new Sword group came into Travis Engel’s life at the perfect moment. He had been noticing that his Ratio-12-speed-converted SRAM Force shift quality would degrade quickly, as the cable housing wore and friction increased. It’s a sad side-effect of the Ratio conversion’s decreased cable pull per-shift. Also, the hydraulic brakes had too much dead stroke for Travis’ discerning index fingers. He was looking for something new. That’s when, like the sexy stranger disrupting a rom-com protagonist’s unhappy European vacation, microSHIFT Sword bumped into Travis with a very timely meet-cute.
In this installment of The Dust-Up, Hailey Moore writes about the clichés of cycling fashion, the paradox of self-expression, why riding in cut-offs and flannel has perhaps jumped the shark, and the liberation found in embracing performance apparel. Read on for a thorough reflection on why we wear what we wear when we ride…
While the 2023 Enve Grodeo was chock-full of some of the snazziest bespoke all-road bikes from around the world, Spencer Harding’s eye was caught by an eccentric build noticeably absent from the show floor. Fortunately, he was able to get the bike’s owner, Clint, to stop throwing skids long enough to snag a closeup. Pulling influence from some strange corners of the bike world and outfitting the frame with some amazing and unique parts, Clint’s SaltAir stood out for more reasons than its single rear cog. Clint rode this pink dream on all 92 miles of the Enve Grodeo, a feat in itself regardless of it being a fixed gear 26-er. Let’s have a closer look!
In a strip mall on the north side of Tucson, a small business space houses Moon Dust Apparel (formerly Handlebar Mustache) and Cycle Monkey. One of these you have heard of if you like sweet socks, the other if you are an internally geared hub nerd. Today we highlight these two neighboring businesses you may not have known are now down in Tucson.
The Arna Westfjords Way Challenge is an ultra-endurance cycling race that traverses the seaside perimeter of Iceland’s Westfjords region in four stages over five days with 600 miles of mixed surface riding and 37,000+ feet of elevation gain. The route was originally established by accomplished endurance cyclists Lael Wilcox, Chris Burkard, Payson McElveen, Nichole Baker, and Rugile Kaladyte and formatted into a stage race by the team at Cycling Westfjords in 2021. Now in its second year, the event features a variety of innovative aspects that make it unique in the world of ultra cycling, which benefits the local communities and also the riders’ experiences. Josh Weinberg was on the ground covering this year’s event and, below, shares an insightful event recap and massive image gallery from this strikingly beautiful part of the world.
Last August, four friends set out to explore the high mountain gravel roads around Hagerman Pass, Colorado, staging each day out of the newly renovated retreat center called “Beyul.” The Hagerman Pass area is an under-appreciated gravel-riding gem in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. The pass connects Basalt- a small town just outside Aspen – to Leadville, which needs no introduction to the cycling world. Continue reading below for a sampling of the primo Hagerman gravel riding the friends found during their stay and for info about the Beyul gravel camp kicking off later this summer with Aspen Expedition Gravel Bike Guides.
Today we are back with part two of Spencer Harding‘s ENVE Grodeo and Builder Round-up coverage. If you missed the builds featured in yesterday’s post, we’d recommend going back and giving them a gander—3D-printed parts (most ti but some steel, too!) seems to be the unofficial theme for the year but there’s plenty to see across the creative spectrum! Today, we finish up with the remaining frame builders in the showcase—with a few more overseas features—then we head out on the weekend’s main event, a 92-mile gravel ride on some of the best dirt in the northern Wasatch Mountains. Let’s dive in!
Petor Georgallou steals his sister away as a (reluctant) partner in crime to check out the Brother in the Wild Dorset, hosted by Brother Cycles. He’s pleased to find a “field full of weirdos” and a plethora of equally unique and odd bikes and, it turns out, everyone’s nice. Stick around near the end for a lengthy discussion on the merits and cost of silver brazing, and a sampling of the bikes that made an appearance.
Wild horses, high mountains, glaciers, and nomads—Ana Zamorano first heard stories of adventure and misadventure from bike touring in Kyrgyzstan while riding in The Andes. The allure of adventure was too enticing and she made a pact to experience the vast valleys and high passes of the Tian Shan Mountains herself. Read on for her retelling of a trip that included loaded high-altitude touring, a glimpse into the region’s nomadic culture, and endless mountains in the distance.
Coinciding with the release of REI’s documentary film “The Right To Joy,” Co-Director Jay Melena describes why representation of marginalized groups is important not just in front of, but behind the lens, in cycling and outdoor media. Continue reading below for Jay’s behind-the-scenes look at the new film and its contextualization within the current media landscape…
Dennis Lastochkin walks, or rather rides, us through his win at the East Texas Showdown. Brainchild of Patrick Farnsworth from the Bikes or Death podcast, the early March event feels like a season opener of sorts for the multi-day endurance crowd and traverses 400 miles through southeastern Texas. Check out this from-the-saddle tale of bikepacking’s “Super Bowl.”
Argonaut’s GR3 gravel bike combines the trademarked GravelFirst geometry with a custom rider-specific carbon layup to create what the Bend, Oregon-based frame and component builder claim to be a “rip-capable gravel bike unlike any other.” So, what does Petor Georgallou‘s time as a high schooler working at a video rental shop have to do with the Argonaut GR3? And, if he tells you he likes the bike, will you even believe him? Read on to find out…
The Mid South has offered a non-binary competitive category since their socially-distanced event in 2022. This year’s race saw a new course record, along with highlights in the Mid South double and singlespeed categories! Sally Turner, former journalist and current Event Manager for the Stillwater gravel season opener, shares a recap of how the day shook out for the non-binary field!
The Mid South is infamous for its weather, which is banned from conversation by the staff in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Instead, the good people at The Mid South put all of their energy into providing an incredible experience for every single type of cyclist and person. Arguably the most welcoming and inclusive event on the calendar, it has cultivated a special community in the increasingly corporate world of gravel. Oh, and as for this year’s race the unmentionable weather was perfect.
Featuring their innovative Suspend the Rider (STR) rear Future Shock system, Specialized’s Diverge STR has achieved a new echelon of comfort and efficiency in the gravel world. Spencer Harding dives into the nuance of the system and all that it entails and offers. Is the juice worth the squeeze? He thinks so, even if that fruit is pretty pricey.