On a Monday, when the weather is nice, it’s not raining….this view of the Gorge Roubaix. That’s one of those gravel rides you’ve been hearing us and other media talk about, and what bikes like the Trek Boone and the triple 3 fab are about. Lovely as the aerial photos are, they don’t share what it’s like on the ground, where the rubber hits the road. For a few words about that, on a ride just east of Seattle, read this article on Medium and in Issue 32.
As I said last week, this bike is road disc thru and thru. Here’s another at the Wilier Triestina GTR Team Disc in B/W and what I’m riding this weekend with a report, review, and my take on it in the next issue of our magazine, number 34. A little bit about the bike now is it’s their endurance model and will fit 28 tires, which will suffice for the less gravely, gravel rides…..
SRAM officially revealed their new 1x12 XX1 group, named Eagle.
In a nutshell, Eagle XX1 is not so much of a revolution as it is a maturation of the 1x concept. Imagine a 50T bailout gear added to the 10-42T cassette of the original XX1 and a lighter crankset optimized for XC combined with a very sophisticated chain construction. It is a flagship race gruppo that has gearing flexible enough for any sporting rider, not just professionals or people who ride less vertical trails. The direct-mount chainring takes 1x rings to the next level, addressing user complaints about noise and wear with the widely-copied 1st-gen X-Sync narrow-wide rings.
It is easy to say that SRAM is pushing 1x because they can’t make front derailleurs, but it is more accurate to say that rather than being inept at front shifting, they’ve just always been one step behind Shimano in that arena. With 1x, SRAM is making front derailleurs irrelevant. Sure, we can say that Shimano 2x10 and 2x11 drivetrains work great, and tell ourselves that SRAM is painting themselves in a corner by abandoning MTB front derailleurs. But 1x is the natural corollary to saturating the rear cluster with 12 cogs. Why would drivetrain designers add another cog if they weren’t going to ditch the front derailleur? Don’t try to say we consumers don’t need an additional cog. We probably don’t, but history predicts that we will buy it regardless.
If anything, the real reason for SRAM Eagle is that bike designers don’t want to build bikes with front derailleurs. Without accommodation for front derailleurs, bike manufacturers have a lot more freedom to design fatbikes, plus-size tyre bikes, and rear suspension. Consumers will buy 1x drivetrains because that’s what is going to hang on the new generation of bikes that have more tyre clearance, more travel, and are lighter. You can argue all you want about the virtues of front derailleurs, but that’s a conversation that only lives at bike shop water coolers and online forums, not bike companies.
That ship has already sailed.
XX1 Eagle groupset has a claimed weight of 1456gr and will retail for $1417. X01 Eagle (1502gr) will cost $1193. Expected availability for both groups is this June.
An incredibly fun two-week run of Belgian cobbled classics started today with Dwars door Vlaanderen, a semi-flat but challenging warm up to the hellish Ronde van Vlaanderen. However, the race almost didn’t happen after terrorist attacks ripped through the Brussels airport yesterday. Race officials considered cancelling the race, but it went on, albeit short a few riders. Giant-Alpecin couldn’t get their team into Belgium to start the race, Movistar had to field a stunted eight-man lineup, and Fabian Cancellara had to drive to the race from Switzerland.
Affinity Cycles, New York’s premiere track specific bicycle company introduced their new Anthem track bike today. The Anthem is welded using lightweight, aerospace grade air hardened True TemperOX Platinum steel. A distinct detail of the Anthem is a thin sleek integrated seat mast, and a proprietary seat post wedge codesigned with famed bicycle industry design engineer Aaron Panone of 44rn. Additional features include classic campy style dropouts, oversized downtube and a tapered head tube paired with an Enve fork. Shown in Bubble gum Blue, the frameset reatils for $1750.00 and complete builds start at $2750.00.
While track of fixed isn’t our thing, happy to share with you another USA-made and sourced bikes, like the Detroit Bikes and Shinola we’ve shared. On Medium Bicycles, we just posted about a practical bike too.