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Ratio’s New 1×12 Road Upgrade Kit Converts 10 or 11 Speed to 12 Speed

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Ratio’s New 1×12 Road Upgrade Kit Converts 10 or 11 Speed to 12 Speed

We recently featured Ratio’s 11-speed to 12-speed conversion kit on John’s Crust Dreamer using Apex shifters and an Eagle GX rear derailleur. But what if you have 10-speed shifters and you want to convert them to 12? Well, that’s where the new Ratio Upgrade kit comes into play! This upgrade kit allows you to pair 10 or 11 speed mechanical SRAM shifters and a 1x-specific Exact Actuation™ derailleur with a 12 speed eTap™ AXS™ cassette and chain. This delivers a greater gear range and closer gear ratios without the expense or weight of electronic shifting…

See more at Ratio and YES, these kits really do work great!

Starling Cycles Introduce the Stainless (Front Triangle) Murmur 29er

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Starling Cycles Introduce the Stainless (Front Triangle) Murmur 29er

Starling Cycles, the maker of the steel Murmur 29er full suspension, just announced a limited edition Murmur with a stainless steel front triangle, made by Ora in Taiwan. Only available in size Large or XLarge, these limited edition frames can be bought as a frameset (£2330.00) or as a complete build through Starling direct. These bikes offer a completely different ride quality from their carbon fiber counterparts and remain to this day one of my personal favorites on the market. Check out my initial review of the Murmur and my personal Murmur build in the Related articles below…

Cotic’s Tonic Titanium Gravel Bike

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Cotic’s Tonic Titanium Gravel Bike

Cotic, the makers of steel mountain frames, just announced their new Tonic, a titanium gravel bike, compatible with 650bx50 or 700cx44 wheels, built with multiple cable management options, and in a variety of build kits (GRX shown). With pricing starting at £3449 for SRAM Apex 1, the Tonic’s pricing is competitive with similarly-specced carbon frames. Each Tonic comes with a 5 year warranty for the original owner and if you don’t like it when you receive it, Cotic will take it back, no questions. See more at Cotic.

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Freitag and Brompton’s New Spin on Backpacks

Freitag began making bags in 1993 from used truck tarpaulins, discarded bicycle inner tubes and car seat belts, resulting in beautiful, graphically unique backpacks. Brompton began building folding bike for urban transport and more in 1976. These two brands worked together recently on a backpack that attaches to the Brompton and we think it’s pretty dang slick. See the full drop and all the info at Brompton.

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Albion’s Ultralight Insulated Jacket + Backpack

Weighing just 99 grams in size small, the newest piece of apparel in Albion’s kit is an ultralight, insulated jacket that combines warmth, breathability and packability. This new jacket uses Clo’s Eco Vivo recycled insulation and utilizes 100% recycled nylon ultralight ripstop face fabric with a C0 DWR coating to provide some shower resistance. Made in Italy.

Pricing: Jacket – £145, Bag – £35, Bundle – £170

See more at Albion.

Workbench Review: Ratio’s 11-Speed Road to 12-Speed Eagle Drop Bar Conversion Kit

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Workbench Review: Ratio’s 11-Speed Road to 12-Speed Eagle Drop Bar Conversion Kit

I’ve got this bike. It’s a touring bike. So when it’s loaded down with gear, it can get quite heavy. To remedy this, I built it up with an Eagle GX rear derailleur and cassette, giving me a whopping 10-50t range (the new GX goes to 52t even). To shift this range, I used a barcon shifter from Microshift because as you are well aware, SRAM doesn’t make a cable-actuated road shifter that’s compatible with their MTB mech lineup.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with the Microshift barcon. I was and have been more than pleased with this option but then Ratio, a small startup out of the UK announced a 11-speed road to 12-speed mountain upgrade kit.

I think this is one time when we can ignore that old Eddy Merckx adage “Don’t buy upgrades, ride up grades…” Sorry Eddy, Johnnie’s bike needs this.

We posted about Ratio’s kit back in October. I ordered a kit the day the post went up but didn’t get motivated to do the install until I felt like I had a reason to. A few friends here in Santa Fe are taking on an all-road tour in April, and I wanted to get this bike dialed in before that trip, so last week, I swung by Sincere Cycles with the Dreamer and Ratio’s kit with hopes of rolling around on an 11-speed road shifter working with a 12-speed mountain…

People Have to Learn Bicycles: Inside / Out at Ted James Design

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People Have to Learn Bicycles: Inside / Out at Ted James Design

As though they’d joined a cult and made some kind of suicide pact, having seen none during the five hours of driving previous, perhaps thirty pheasants lay dead in the road over a quarter-mile3 stretch. What had happened on this quarter-mile stretch? Why here? It made me regret buying the rabbit, but without screeching to a halt on a frozen dual carriageway it wouldn’t have been practical to stop and collect them. Even at 70mph I could tell some were past their best and it’s rude to turn up empty-handed. I was on my way to visit Ted, so turning up with roadkill seemed to make sense. I was running late though and didn’t want to rely on road gifts so I picked up a wild rabbit wrapped in paper from our local butchers. It was a relief they had it because plan B was the pet shop.

I’d debated not going to visit Ted of Ted James Design and just compiling the stories people tell about him. The chronicles of SuperTed! The stories people tell can seem fairly fantastic, however, worryingly most of the time they’re true. I sometimes wonder how Ted is even alive? If I were more superstitious, I’d say his spirit was too big for his body and so it spends all of its time trying to get out. There’s something in his eyes like the sort of superintelligence and frustration a sheepdog has about being domesticated, as though any room that he’s in is somehow too small, so his eyes dance about searching for exits.

Wizard Works is Taking Orders for Custom Alakazam and Shazam Bags

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Wizard Works is Taking Orders for Custom Alakazam and Shazam Bags

UK-based Wizard Works’ custom bags are in high demand and the good news is, today at 3pm GMT they’re opening up their custom orders again. These custom spots are extremely limited to just 5 orders per bag.

The will be 5 of each of these bags available:
Alakazam 137
-Alakazam 139
Shazam
Mini Shazam

The bags will be made to order and will ship by the end of March. Check the individual items for more specific lead times.

From Coil Back to Air: John’s Pumpkin Spice Starling Murmur 29er

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From Coil Back to Air: John’s Pumpkin Spice Starling Murmur 29er

Since moving to Santa Fe, I’ve ridden my mountain bikes almost exclusively, which is a stark contrast to how much time I would spend on my drop bar bikes in Los Angeles. It’s not that there isn’t gravel in our area, it’s just that mountain biking is so accessible, so remote, and so sheltered from the wind and the sun, it’s a no-brainer.

Another major difference is whereas I’d drive to the trailhead in LA, I find myself riding to the trails here 99.9% of the time, even on my Starling Cycles Murmur, which is a really big bike to pedal across town, up the foothills, and into the mountains.

These miles spent on my full suspension had me spending a lot of time adjusting the coil system this bike was built on. Some days, I’d pedal with only a hip bag, while others, I’d lug a heavy camera bag around. This 10+ pound differential made it somewhat awkward to adjust the coil shocks as I found myself smack dab in the middle of the two coil weight zones. While the ride quality of the coil system is undeniably noticeable, it felt like I needed something less finicky.

So, when Fox reached out, asking if I wanted to try out their new fork and rear shock, I jumped on the opportunity. Little did I know I’d gravitate back towards air after vibing so hard on the coil shocks’ ride quality…

Halo Wheels Designs Gravel Tires: RXR, GXR, GXC

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Halo Wheels Designs Gravel Tires: RXR, GXR, GXC

Halo, makers of various wheels and components, have entered the gravel market with three new models of tires. Their RXR (650b x 47mm) is an all-road/hardpack tire, GXR (650b x 47mm) is an all-surface tire, and the GXC (650b x 47mm or 700 x 38mm) is a gravel tire with lots of grip for the roughest days out on backcountry roads. Each tire comes in black or gumwall and you can find out more at Halo Wheels.

Mason Cycles InSearchOf Redux Features the Condensor Rack and Load-Bearing Fender

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Mason Cycles InSearchOf Redux Features the Condensor Rack and Load-Bearing Fender

Many framebuilders and bike companies approach cargo capacity by relying on third-party racks, which is fine and all but when a company designs specific cargo solutions, it causes pause. Trek did it with their 1120+ touring bike and now Mason Cycles turns it up a notch with their new InSearchOf steel touring bike model, featuring the Condensor Rack. Yet the most clever innovation here is this beautiful load-bearing front mudguard/fender. Not every ride requires cargo bags but plenty of rides, especially this time of year, require the constant shedding and switching of layers. This fender can hold a jacket (or a hoagie, burrito, muffin, etc), with the addition of ski straps.

You can read all about the Condensor Rack at Mason Cycles and see the new ISO models there too!

Adidas Returns to Cycling With “the Road” Shoes and More

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Adidas Returns to Cycling With “the Road” Shoes and More

While Adidas’ entire cycling lineup looks exceptionally well, the real standout from the brand’s full-fledged return to cycling apparel is ‘the Road’ shoes. Those fans of the ’70s and ’80s Adidas cycling shoes will remember how sleek and minimal those shoes were. The Road shoes feature three reflective stripes, lace closure, a seamless upper, and use three-bolt cleats patterns. These shoes will retail for £130 when they’re in stock and unfortunately, they’re only available in the UK…

See more at Adidas.

Sturdy Progress: Inside / Out at Sturdy Cycles

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Sturdy Progress: Inside / Out at Sturdy Cycles

Andrew stops mid-sentence, pauses, “ooooooh!…….. Oooooh…. oooooh!” his pitch rises to a maniacal school child giggle of surprise and wild childlike delight, like a two-year-olds first taste of cake. Visceral and uncontrollable joy. “Tom!?! Is this a prototype or is this a FUCKING!…. ok…. That’ll do it!” a long pause of wild-eyed observation glancing desperately around the room, eyes hungry for an affirming reaction but forced to settle for Tom’s grinning but nonchalant response of “yea, they’ve gotten lighter as well”. Another longer pause as dust from Tom’s stoic “yogi bear” response settles, a mumbled and affectionate “asshole.” The recording tapers off into minor expletives, mumblings, and the low noises people make to indicate affection for bits of metal when they’re together in sheds.