Canfield Intros First New Bike in Years, Liv Cycling Forms First All-Women EWS Team, Cola-Flavored Gu [MTB News Mix]

Liv forms a womens-only EWS team, Canfield introduces their first new mountain bike in years, Chris Akrigg and Cody Kelley find new homes, plus bike news from Outdoor Retailer.

MTB News Mix is a weekly update of all things mountain biking where we cover new products, pro race results, trail news, and more.

Outdoor Retailer

photo: Matt Miller

Emerald Expositions has had somewhat of a bike-tradeshow identity crisis since the collapse of Interbike. When the news broke that Interbike was done, Emerald said they might invite bike brands to join other tradeshows, like Outdoor Retailer. A bike component was added to the November 2019 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, but then that was cancelled. Emerald moved everything to the January Outdoor Retailer and Snow Show, inviting any bike brands that wanted to join, which was odd, because it’s January. In Colorado.

There were a very small number of bike-specific brands at the show, and the multi-sport brands were really only showing their winter lines. However, there were a couple items worth checking out.

Kavu’s new lumbar pack

Surfy, lifestyle brand Kavu has been making solid outdoor gear since 1993, specializing in apparel, accessories, and bags. Slowly, but surely, mountain biking is luring Kavu into its realm. The brand is sponsoring mountain bike influencer Mark Matthews, who’s known for his dreamy Instagram POV videos and riding all over the world.

Kavu had these new lumbar packs on display at its booth. The design is simple, and straight to the point, with easily digestible, earthy patterns and colorways. The main compartment is roomy and there is an outer, slimmer, zippered pocket, and a water bottle pouch on the side. The best part about the subtle lumbar pack is the retail price: $40.

Have a Cola Gu during the ride

Soda has a really bad rap these days, and that’s probably well deserved. However, there is a time and a place for a sugary, flavor-first drink. One of the first times I rode with Singletracks co-founder Jeff, he popped open a cooler after we put the bikes down at a hot, humid Alabaman trailhead, and I don’t think anything could come close to the relief that an ice cold Coke provided.

And, at many aid stations in endurance events, they know Coke’s place as well and how important it can be in an athlete’s recovery. Gu picked up on this too. For this year, they’re pouring the unique, bubbly cola taste into their tiny pouches for a little flavor on the trail. It probably won’t be ice cold, but the gel should provide a nice, familiar taste on the trail. I tried it at the show, and it tastes like a very close match to cola.

Maybe the most interesting thing I picked up on at the show from Gu though, is their sustainability efforts. Gu is working with TerraCycle to make sure those little wrappers end up in something other than a landfill someday. Join the TerraCycle program, and riders can ship back all their used Gu wrappers with a free shipping label. TerraCycle processes the wrappers and turns them into something like a park bench, using the materials pictured above.

Canfield makes first bike under new direction

At the end of 2019, Canfield announced that the brothers were not going to be making bikes together anymore and that Lance Canfield would take the reigns of Canfield Bikes, with new models available in early 2020.

They weren’t lying. Canfield has a new bike out, the 2020 Balance. The Balance is a 169mm travel, 27.5-inch monster bike, with a 64° head angle, 420mm chainstays, and a 75.7° seat tube angle. The Balance is available in a Limited Edition model with a chrome frame and oil slick accents, and there are two other colors to choose from. The surprising thing is that Canfield sells a complete Balance for $3,300 if it’s pre-ordered. If not, the price goes up $300, but for a boutique brand, that’s still a steal.

Check out the Canfield site to get a full look at the new Balance.

YT makes the Decoy eMTB in a big-wheeled package

Photo: Ale Di Lullo

YT has had the Decoy eMTB out for some time, but it’s only been available in 27.5-inch wheels. Now, the German D2C brand will have a 29er for riders who want go that much farther on their e-bike.

The Decoy has 150mm of travel, and YT changed the geometry from the 27.5-inch eMTB. The seat tube and the head tube angle are both a degree steeper and the reach is longer on the 29er.

YT offers a Base 29, Shimano SLX-specced model retailing for $4,400 and the 50lb. Pro 29, with a Shimano XT kit, will retail for $6,600. In typical YT fashion, the brand offers one hell of a deal, though some of the sizes aren’t available until April 2020. See more at the YT website.

Team moves

Liv Cycling goes all-in on womens’ racing

Rae Morrison during the third round of the Enduro World Series in Olargues, Mont Caroux.

Just after Liv announced it was signing Rebecca Rusch, the brand has unvelied its 2020 team roster, made up of endurance and gravity athletes alike. Three athletes have joined Liv for 2020: Savilia Blunk, Riley Miller, and Lisa Tertsch.

Blunk is a U23 XC athlete who took first in the 2016 and 2017 National Championships. Miller is a fourteen-year-old who already has some serious enduro highlights under her belt including first at the East Coast Junior Mountain Bike Championships, second place at EWS80 Crankworx Whistler, and a second place finish in the Eastern States Cup Enduro World Series Qualifier. Tertsch is a Sprint and Olympic distance triathlete who has taken third in the U23 World Triathlon Championships.

Liv Racing now has 17 women from seven countries, four of which make up the only sanctioned all-womens’ team in the Enduro World Series.

Chris Akrigg joins GT

Legendary trials rider Chris Akrigg has switched frame brands and will now be riding with GT. Akrigg was formerly riding for Mongoose, and is known for his self-produced edits, showcasing his technical skills. Akrigg hasn’t shed a lot of light yet on his upcoming projects with GT, but says that he has a few plans in the works.

Cody Kelley joins Specialized

In maybe the last of the 2020 team announcements, EWS rider Cody Kelley is now on Specialized. Kelley started his career riding with Specialized then moved on to Marin, Yeti, and then Alchemy.