Trek and Giant Launch Home Delivery, REI Placing Employees on 90-day Furlough, Dirty Kanza Moves to September [MTB News Mix]

Mountain bike events continue to be rescheduled, Trek and Giant launch free home delivery this month, and the Dirty Kanza will be held this fall. Plus, Cotic Rocket updates, new Teravail tire, and a gravel shoe from Giro.

Events and industry news

REI employees soon to be on furlough, CEO forfeits salary

REI was one of the first businesses to announce that they would be closing their stores, ahead of many ‘stay at home’ orders from local governments.

Unfortunately, REI can’t pay employees indefinitely. They are placing most of their retail workers on a 90-day unpaid furlough, although employees will still have access to health and welfare benefits for those who are eligible.

Leading by example, REI CEO Eric Artz is forfeiting his base salary for the next six months, and the senior leadership team at REI is taking a 20% cut for the next six months as well.

In all, the company closed 162 locations and decided to pay their employees through April 14. Now that we’re a week away, they have a new plan. REI is hoping to gradually re-open stores over the coming months and would like to start with curbside pickup in the next 45 days.

Sea Otter Europe now in the fall

Event news is just about the same as it has been lately: meaning that almost all events are continuing to be cancelled or pushed to the fall.

Sea Otter Europe, set to take place at the end of May, has been postponed and will now take place during the weekend of September 25 – 27 in Girona, Spain.

The Dirty Kanza moves to September

The Dirty Kanza, the pinnacle in gravel racing, was also set to take place at the end of May, and organizers hung on for weeks, hoping that it could still be held. First, the Dirty Kanza said that they would make an official decision on May 1, just four weeks away from the race, but more and more athletes asked them to make a decision earlier.

On Sunday, April 5 after a virtual DK training camp, organizers announced that they will move the event to September 10-13. With the move, participants have three options. They can continue with the race in September, defer their entry to next year without a fee, or receive a refund.

Crankworx Innsbruck moves to September

The Innsbruck Crankworx stop has also been rescheduled. Rather than taking place June 10-14, the round will happen September 30-October 4.

As for now, Crankworx Whistler is still set to take place on its regularly scheduled dates, August 5-16.

Product news

Trek gives buyers a home delivery option for the next month

During the coronavirus pandemic and stay at home orders for most Americans, it’s been a great time for a lot of people to get out and ride a bike.

Trek wants to help minimize non-essential travel, and is offering free home delivery throughout the continental US for online bike orders through May 1. The standard $50 home delivery fee is waived, and Trek says that they are working with independent and Trek-owned bike shops on the logistics.

Customers go through the process of buying a bike online, and select a local shop, out of the 1,400 participating locations, that will get credit for the sale. For more info, see the Trek website.

Giant Bicycles is offering a similar deal with free home delivery right now.

Race Face Vault hubs now with MicroSpline options

Photo: Race Face

When Shimano first dropped their 12-speed XTR drivetrain, followed by XT and SLX, it was accompanied with the not-so-welcome news that they were introducing a new hub driver to make the cassette possible. Slowly, brands have been gaining licenses from Shimano, and Race Face is the latest to have a MicroSpline option on their popular Vault hubs.

Race Face made the new MicroSpline Vault cassette body with bigger ball bearings to increase the durability. The cassette bodies are available now for $95, and will be on Race Face wheel sets later this spring.

The new Teravail Kessel is their most aggressive tire

Photo: Teravail

Teravail, the tire brand under QBP, released a new tire called the Kessel, and it is made for traction in tricky situations.

“The tread pattern is inspired by the Teravail team’s collective experiences riding loose, rocky, and steep trails where traction is the top priority.”

The tread patten on the Kessel consists of tall and angular lugs, with plenty of spacing. Terravail incorporated a new Grip compound, with ramped center lugs to offer a balance between rolling efficiency and traction.

The Kessel will be available in black and tan sidewalls, with two casing options: durable or ultra durable. In a 29er, they will be available in a 2.4- or 2.6-inch width. As a 27.5-inch tire, it will only come in a 2.5-inch width. Prices vary from $85-$90.

Schwinn Axum hardtail ready to buy

Jeff had an early chance to try out a new hardtail from Schwinn that retails from $400 and is available at Wal-Mart. The Axum might be one of the most reputable mountain bikes to be sold at Wal-Mart. Although it only comes in one size, it gets a dose of modern geometry, a suspension fork with 100mm of travel, and 29-inch wheels with 2.6-inch wide tires. Now, there is a model that comes with a dropper post also, the Axum DP. Check out more on Wal-Mart, and see our review here.

Cotic Rocket now made in the UK

Cotic, a small brand out of the UK, has updated the Rocket, which is now in its fourth rendition, with a few exciting updates.

The boutique, steel Rocket is now hand-made and finished in the UK. Along with that, Cotic is using stiffer tubing. The Rocket is still a 27.5-inch bike, but geometry is of course revised with a steeper seat angle and a longer reach. Cotic also lowered the leverage ratio for a more plush suspension feel.

The Rocket will be available in four sizes — S, M, L, and XL — and will come in two colors. A frame costs around $2,235, depending on the rear shock choice, which doesn’t seem bad for a unique bike. Check out more info on the Cotic website.

Giro Sector made for gravel and XC

Photo: Giro

Giro has an all new lightweight, off-road shoe and it looks ready for long days in the saddle — or on the pedals.

“Whether riders are grinding out all-day gravel adventures, tackling their first 50-mile XC race, or just enjoying some quick laps on the trail after work, they need shoes that are comfortable, durable, and provide a powerful connection to the pedals,” says Giro Footwear Product Manager Peter Curran. “The Sector was specifically developed around the combination of Synchwire uppers, our new composite outsole and Boa’s most popular dial closure, to create a supportive fit with ease of adjustment on-the-fly.”

The Sector has a one-piece upper, with a reinforced heel and toe, and two Boa dials, with 1mm adjustments. The outsole is carbon composite, and it has a claimed weight of 342g, for a size 42.5 in men’s, and 323g in a size 39.5, women’s.

Velocio will give 100% of profits from Unity jersey to Covid-19 relief organizations

For those able to get out and pedal, who are still working and have a little extra money, the Unity jersey by Velocio is a colorful way to support relief organizations.

Velocio has had the Unity project around since 2017, and has donated profits to organizations like Save the Children / No Kid Hungry, and Project C.U.R.E. This time, they’ll donate profits to the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which assists in getting PPE to hospitals in need, helps feed children in need that usually rely on school meals, and more.

This year’s design is inspired by Dutch tulip fields. “Broad swaths of color so artful and impacting they inspire awe. Yet standing alone in each field, it’s impossible to see the effect of each individual tulip. There’s merely the flower or row of flowers in front of you.”

See the jersey here. Velocio encourages individuals to donate to the charity directly if they are not interested in the Jersey.