MTB News Mix is a weekly update of all things mountain biking where we cover new products, pro race results, trail news, and more.
Grinduro California plans to race in Sept., sells out gender-inclusive event in hours
It’s been a tough year for race organizers, but Grinduro California is planning to hold their event in September as scheduled, and this year they are adding a new Open Gender category with 210 spots. If you’re interested, you might have to save the excitement for next year. Grinduro actually sold out the event in four hours. They are adding interested names to a waitlist though.
Scheduled for September 12 in Mt. Shasta, California, the Grinduro is more than just a gravel race. “Grinduro is all about showing just how rowdy drop bars can get because there’s more to gravel than grinding,” said Jason Moeschler, Evil Bikes COO. Evil recently added a new take on the gravel bike, the Chamois Hagar, and are signed on as a host sponsor.
Organizers are working closely with local officials to make sure that the event will meet safety and health guidelines, and the organization is issuing refunds in the event of a cancellation. Stay tuned, or hop on a waitlist here.
Cotic will no longer have a Soul
Cotic will still have a soul as a brand, but will no longer be producing its Soul hardtail. After five generations and 17 years, they are ceasing production. Cotic says they still have frames available, but will not produce any more after the stock is gone. Demand has slowed to a crawl for the Soul frame, says Cotic, and it’s not viable to keep it alive anymore, as the 27.5 hardtail has been overshadowed by their SolarisMAX 29er hardtail.
Currently, they have XS, medium, and large frames in stock in orange or blue. Check out the Cotic website for a piece of history.
Spurcycle Compact Bell is here just in time for crowded trails
Spurcycle has a new Compact Bell out, and it’s the perfect time to don one. With more folks gathering on the trails, bells can alert hikers and equestrians to avoid surprises. The Compact Bell is optimized for flat bars and is 50% slimmer, for better integration with cockpit controls. The Compact Bell has a brass alloy dome with black DLC coating, a composite nylon lever and mount, and a fixed 22.2mm diameter clamp. Retail on the Compact Bell is $39 and it is available online at Competitive Cyclist.
SDG update the long-lasting Bel-Air
The Bel-Air saddle has been around a long time, and SDG now has a third version available. The Bel-Air V3 takes the comfort the original Bel-Air was known for, and puts it through a few modern updates. The slightly risen rear of the Bel-Air provides extra support, comfort, and power from a seated position, but it has been slimmed down to reflect more modern MTB geometry. The wings of the saddle have a little flex through the rails for more forgiveness, and new ATMOS shaping eliminates the need for bumpers, staples, or glue.
The Bel-Air V3 comes in four variations, ranging in price from $60 for a steel-railed model, to $190 for a saddle with carbon rails. Available for purchase now at JensonUSA.
Panaracer Gravelking SS and SS+ are made for blazing dirt roads
Panaracer has a new tire out made for blazing dirt roads, the Gravelking SS and SS+. Both feature an all-new tread pattern with a smoother, diamond pattern center and more aggressive side lugs. Panaracer says that this helps riders maintain speed going into corners and transitioning across varying terrain that riders might encounter on a gravel ride.
The Gravelking SS has a 126 TPI casing with a nylon, puncture-resistant belt and the proprietary Panaracer compound, Zero Slip Grip. The SS+ adds a ProTite puncture material to guard against tread and sidewall cuts, for extra rocky routes. Both models will be available in either a black or brown sidewall, and in sizes 700 x 28, 32, 35, 43c, or 27.5 x 1.9″.
Pivot Phoenix Dock makes tools easily deployable
Pivot Cycles has a new on-bike tool system called the Phoenix Dock, and it can be used with any bike that has water bottle bosses. The Phoenix Dock isn’t a cleverly hidden tool system, says Pivot. Instead, it’s meant to allow the rider a faster way to get to a tool, and fix a bike.
The tool kit was made in collaboration with Topeak and comes in three different models. The Ninja CO2 has two threaded 16g CO2 cartridges and a Topeak Micro AirBooster for the fastest of trailside tire re-pumps. The Phoenix Dock Ninja Tool Box T16+ has a small, foldable 16 function tool that fits in a small case, and the Ninja Tool Box T20 Pro has a 23 function tool. The three are priced at $47, $53, and $57.
Shimano update the ME700 pedals
Shimano has updated one of their more affordable pedal offerings, the ME700, with a wider platform for more surface area. The PD-ME700 has a 7.7mm wider platform and elevated rear portion, that brings a total of 12% more surface area to a rider’s shoe. The pedal is made from an aluminum body and a chromoly steel axle, and has cartridge bearings that are easily serviceable. The pedals weigh 540g and come with a set of Shimano cleats. MSRP is $65.
Skip the airport, and #vanlife your next trip
With more travel restrictions being imposed by states, countries, airlines, and airports, summer mountain bike trips are going to look a little different this year. A-Lodge (Adventure Lodge) Hotel, based in Boulder, Colorado has a new fleet of adventure vans geared toward mountain bikers who are ready for a trip.
The A-Lodge Adventure Vans are modified Mercedes Benz Sprinter vans with features galore. They have a few different versions, but The Cyclist edition includes an induction stove, mini-fridge, 20-gallon water tank with a sink and outdoor shower, a queen size foldable bed, heat, and two racks that can stow mountain bikes inside the van.
A-Lodge also has a BYO package, which allows travelers to design their configuration with anything available in their inventory. Pricing on the vans starts at $200 a night, but there is a promo code (RoamFree), which gets customers 15% off from May through the end of the year. Check out more info at the Adventure Lodge website.
ENVE makes a carbon fork for rigid enthusiasts
Rigid forks aren’t for everyone, but there are some masochists out there still, and ENVE has a new carbon option for them. The Mountain Fork takes bikes back to basics, taking the place of a 120mm fork, and it’s available in Boost or non-Boost spacing. There is a removable mini carbon fender, reversible drop-out chips for either a 44mm or 52mm rake, 29×3″ clearance, and it will fit a max rotor size of 180mm. The Mountain Fork retails for $625 at Enve.com.
Honey Stinger Plus+ Performance Chews are made for intensity
Honey Stinger has a new line of energy chews out, PLUS+ Performance, and they are caffeinated, with electrolytes for long-distance efforts. Each pack has 75mg of caffiene, 160mg of sodium, 50mg of potassium, and 20mg of calcium. The total amount of caffeine in a pack is equivalent to a six-ounce cup of coffee, and they say it helps sustain energy levels and improve cognitive functions, as well as reducing the perception of pain, fatigue, and exertion. The PLUS+ Performance Chews will come in Stingerita Lime, Mango Melon, and Lemon Ginger flavors. A box will sell for $30 for 12, or $2.69 for a single packet.