Friday, July 07, 2023

Friday News And Views

Pirelli's newest gravel tire. (Image courtesy of Pirelli.)
 Pirelli Announces Cinturato Gravel RC X Tires:

Pirelli announced a new gravel tire this week called the RC X. It's a better sidewall protected tire than the current RC version which has the same tread pattern as this new tire. 

Available in 700 X 35 and 700 X 45 in the "Classic" sidewall, which is a brownish-tan color, or 700 X 40mm in black. No prices were listed in the press release but I would expect them to be in line with other Pirelli offerings which run between 70 and 80 bucks each. 

Comments: I like Pirelli tires, but I did have a sidewall cut on the 700 X 45 Cinturato Gravel M that I tested so this maybe a better tire for me. That said, when do I ever have issues with side walls in Iowa? Never. So, besides that bizarre incident with the Gravel M tire, I really am not too worried about sidewall protected tires here. But maybe you'd like that? 

I like the tread pattern. It looks pretty fast and grippy where you need that. I'd worry about the RC X having a stiffer ride because the sidewall is where the tire gets its ride quality from and I have enjoyed how Pirelli tires ride so far. Maybe the RC X would be okay? Don't know. It's kind of an expensive gamble to try it out, so I doubt that I'll be finding out about these unless Pirelli's marketing decides to send a set over. 

PSA: Disclosure Policies:

So, recently the Federal Trade Commission announced more stringent policies concerning disclosures for bloggers, influencers, affiliates, etc, where prominent and easily understood disclosure policies and statements needed to be displayed. 

Out of an abundance of caution I started to push my relationship with products out front more in recent posts. Now my understanding is that unless I am, or someone else is, making money off the posts or links I post in articles here, then I need not be concerned.

That said, I am still going to disclose when you are seeing me post prominently about an item I was originally provided to review. Such as a tire, or a bike part, or whatever, if I am reviewing it long term, or advising for or against it. I won't be going nuts over this, because look, It's pretty clear to me that no one is making money here. At least, that's what my bank account tells me. 

The FTC says that you, as a reader, shouldn't have to take action to understand that there is a connection to a company when I post something here. (From a money-making perspective, that is) I guess reading isn't "taking an action"? But whatever.... The bottom line is that I will still link to the Standard Disclaimer page, (which the FTC says is no bueno), AND tell you how I got whatever it is I am talking about IF that part/bit/apparel item/bike is something being prominently featured here.

Gravel Jura Promises "Experience" Over Competition:

I received an interesting press release the other day for an event which will take place in 2024 in Switzerland. It's called "Gravel Trans Jura", and it boasts a "no competition" atmosphere where riders can experience bikepacking the Swiss Jura in the Summer.

Comments: First of all, the site for this event has no prominent dates, times, or place where you are to go. Big fail there, but that's not why I want to discuss this event. There are a couple of things being said here by this event which I find extremely interesting. 

Most obvious of these is the "no competition" element, which makes me think "tour", or "group ride", or in European parlance, "trekking". How this will be perceived by the intended audience will be interesting. 

Secondly, in the press release, the organization behind this speaks of a "gravelboom" in Europe. here's what they said:

"In Europe, at the latest during the Corona pandemic, a real gravel boom was triggered. The Gravel sector is enjoying enormous growth and this has created a great demand in the bicycle industry.
Gravel is very versatile and is booming in all areas: As an everyday bike, as a leisure activity, as a competitive sport or even as a bikepacking and adventure bike.

Truth? Marketing hype? I cannot say as I am not in touch with how the European market is going with regard to "gravel" bikes and that sort of riding. But something said here resonates with me. The part where they say "As an everyday bike...". An everyday "drop bar" bike, is what I would add here, but - YES! They get it. And now you might understand why "gravel" is completely the wrong name for THAT bike. 

Image courtesy of Singular's Instagram
Singular Cycles Swifts Ready To Order:

You probably have seen my Singular Cycles Gryphon Mk3 here before, and maybe you've thought it would be great if Sam from Singular offered something similar only for flat bars. Well, if that's you - here ya go! Sam just announced pre-orders for these.

The Swift is the "OG" of Singular's model line up. The bike has been tweaked out to accept modern standard components like through axles, dropper posts, and tapered steer tubes. 

It even fits 3" tires in 29"er diameter. A "Krampus Killer", you might say. Probably perfect for bikepacking, long days in the saddle, or just goofing off. I can say that if this is anything like my Gryphon Mk3, and why wouldn't it be, then it should ride really well. 

So, if you are so inclined, you can check out the pre-order page here. Sam doesn't bring in a ton of product, so there likely won't be many of these around. That means you shouldn't wait, and that you likely will have the only one in your area. (Unless there are a lot of Singular freaks where you live, that is.) 

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Singular or financial gain in posting this information. I just know that these bikes are smartly designed, unique in the marketplace, and that I really like my Gryphon Mk3. That is all.

Ritchey "Ultra" frame. (Image courtesy of Ritchey Design)

New "Mustard" Color For Ritchey Ultra:

I don't know exactly why I have this "thing" for Ritchey Design frames, but, well.....I do. There. I said it.

I don't own one, and I never have, so I guess maybe it is because I like steel frames and I remember the old Ritchey red, white, and blue racing bikes from the 1990's. 

Anyway, here we have a Ritchey Ultra. It's their hard tail adventure MTB frame. It is meant for a 120mm fork, it has 148 Boost rear spacing, and it can fit either 27.5 X 2.8" tires or it can accept 29" X 2.6" rubber. 

Oh! And it now comes in this lovely Mustard color. Well, I like it. You may not. These aren't ridiculously priced either at a thousand bucks, which is about what the going rate is now for steel frames. That and upward. But....I don't often mountain bike, so this would be a sort of extravagance for me. Nice, but not necessary.

That's it for this week! Have a fantastic weekend and ride some bikes!

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