Friday, May 17, 2024

Friday News And Views

Image courtesy of Eddy Merckx Bikes.
Eddy Merckx Bikes Announces Steel Gravel Model:

It isn't often that we see steel as a frame material get a new lease on life as a gravel bike. Today is unusual in that there is news out from Eddy Merckx Bikes that their Strasbourg model is now available in triple butted Columbus steel. 

The bike is welded by one man in Belgium and built up with components of your choosing from SRAM or Shimano. (What?! No Campy Ekar option?) The paint can even be customized per the "Configurator" on the Eddy Merckx site. 

Prices aren't too bad for all of this and there is even a frame set option. Tire clearances are limited, compared to more progressive gravel bikes, at 45mm in 1X and 42mm in 2X set ups. Three sets of bottle bosses are on the main triangle and there are fork mounts as well. The frame features semi-internal routing. The geometry is conservative, but should work for racing or general purpose gravel riding. 

Comments: I wonder if people much younger than I even know who Eddy Merckx is and are aware of his accomplishments. It's been a while since the "Cannibal" has won an event. Perhaps the attacking riding style of Tadej Pogańćar in the Giro now and the comparisons of him with Eddy will bring some folks that awareness of Eddy's dominating past. 

That said, it is interesting to note that this gravel bike is named "Strasbourg" because that is the place where Eddy famously won a sprint on a dirt road. So the name for this model seems fitting, yes? 

Image courtesy of SRAM

SRAM Unvieils New Red AXS:

We all knew it was coming, the spy shots have been on the internet for months now. SRAM finally pulled back the curtains to reveal what it claims is the lightest road group set ever, SRAM Red AXS. 

New ergonomics and brake design are said to be more comfortable. The pivot point and mechanics of the brake have been redesigned to yield a brake requiring a claimed 80% less effort to actuate from the hoods and 33% less effort to actuate from the drops. The rotors have also been updated to be lighter weight (aluminum carrier redesign) and have a new design for the brake track which is said to aid in giving the rider more stopping power than the previous generation of SRAM rotors. 

The rear derailleur has a new, larger lower jockey wheel and the maximum allowed cassette low gear is 36T. Several gearing ratios are possible via the different options for crank sets which are 46/33, 48/35, 50/37, 52/39, 54/41, and 56/43. Several crank arm lengths are available ranging from 160mm - 175mm. Power metered cranks are also available. 

New to this group is the integration of the Hammerhead Karoo computer which can be used to control derailleur parameters, shifter functions, and more. SRAM purchased the Hammerhead computer company earlier and the deeper integration of the GPS unit was expected. The Hammerhead Karoo will come with aftermarket purchases of the Red AXS group and on some OEM builds that use SRAM AXS Red. 

Comments: Noting a move to silver polish accents and calipers. Nice! Interestingly in SRAMS's own marketing for this group, they state the reason for the larger jockey wheel in the rear derailleur is, "To match current aesthetic preferences..." Hilarious! 

The integration of the Hammerhead computer is interesting. Hopefully they got those things to work better than the two failures of two separate Karoo 2 GPS navigation units that I experienced. Of course, this assuming that many people will buy into that ecosystem. I look for several Karoo units to be on the "used" marketplaces in the future. 

Look between the cage and the frame. (Image courtesy of Knog)

Knog Introduces Scout Bike Alarm:

A new bike alarm from Knog looks promising for those who need an alert if their bicycle gets moved by anyone including people with ill intentions. 

The Scout Bike Alarm is a rechargeable unit that mounts on any two-bolt water cage mount using Knog's tamper-proof screws. The alarm can be armed with a button or via Knog's iOS app. (Sorry! No Android app at this time) 

If the bike gets moved a loud 80db alarm will sound. The unit will also work with Apple's "Find My" app. LED's show the alarm's status and battery level. The battery is claimed to last 2 - 6 months depending upon frequency of use. The battery is rechargeable via USB-C cable (not included). 

There is a cover for the device if it is used without a bottle cage, or you can mount a bottle cage on top of it for stealth usage. 

The price for the Knog Scout Alarm is @59.95 USD. The unit weighs 25 grams. 

Comments: Ever get the worries when running in for a resupply of water at a convenience store stop? This device could be good for things like that. The fact that you can use a "Find My" app on Apple products also goes a ways in making this device seem worthwhile. 

Perhaps we will all find out together. Supposedly one is on its way to me for testing. Stay tuned.....

Image courtesy of Wheels Manufacturing

Wheels Manufacturing Offering Anodized UDH Hangars:

More anodized bits for your matchy-matchy pleasure. Wheels Manufacturing has UDH rear derailleur hangars which feature any of their current anodized color choices. 

UDH is coming sooner than later for all bicycles and I've noted that gravel bikes being introduced of late feature this sort of hangar now. 

I've got no particular beef with the idea, it is fine, and I suppose stronger as well. Anything to eliminate the umpteen number of puzzle-piece rear hangars that proliferated over the course of the last 30 years. 

But that's another story! The point is, now you have another point where you can accessorize your bike with a bit of color and be "oh-so fashionable". 

That's a wrap for this week. Have a great weekend and ride those bikes! Special shout-out to the Heywood Ride happening tomorrow in Northfield Minnesota. Wish I could be there!


Noel Ederw said...

The cage on the Knog image is turned upside down. Way to go marketing team

Guitar Ted said...

@Noel Ederw - Congrats on the spot. I'm surprised it took so long for anyone to comment on that.