This week has been busy on the tech front, and we have quite an exciting array of news and features compiled for you. Starting off with perhaps the most exciting of them - because we all love a sneak peek of prototype cycling tech - what we reckon is the new Canyon Grail. This creation was spotted at last weekend’s UCI World Series Gravel Race, the Gralloch, which also provided us with a bunch of eye candy in the form of pro bike checks.
In the mountain bike world, new products have also seen daylight: Manitou dropped not only one, but two new forks, Pivot has launched a brand new XC race machine, and Ragley overhauled its bike range. And of course, we’ve also been busy putting together some helpful feature content covering Canyon’s full e-mtb and gravel range, Fox rear shocks, benefits of flat pedals and tubeless sealant. Now, let's dive into all of the stories!
Canyon’s new Grail gravel bike spotted at the Gralloch
2023 Gralloch - Tiffany Cromwell-2.jpg, by Suvi loponen
Raced by Tiffany Cromwell last weekend, this taped-up gravel bike looks very much like Canyon’s Grail, but without the double-decker handlebar. The Grail hasn’t got a massive update for a while, so we can speculate that this new model will be dropping relatively soon and will be quite a race-focused machine - despite the addition of some more eyelets.
And if Tiffany Cromwell’s race-winning performance is anything to go by, this bike will be fast.
Gravel bike checks - from WorldTour pros and the up-and-coming gravel racers
2023 Gralloch - Connor Swift.jpg hero, by Suvi loponen
The Gralloch - UK's first-ever UCI gravel race - was one buzzing beehive of beautiful gravel bikes and Tiffany Cromwell was not the only pro rider participating in it. Lining up next to her were professional off-road riders such as Isla Short, Maddy Nutt and Heidi Franz.
The men’s race was dominated by Connor Swift, who casually rocked up to the race in the middle of his WorldTour training block, riding his Pinarello Grevil F and taking an impressive solo victory. He left the likes of Nathan Haas, Cameron Mason and Alex Dowsett swallowing dust behind him, but don’t worry - we caught them all at the race to check over their bikes.
There was a rather special racer - more often seen on four wheels - visiting the Gralloch, as well. F1 star Valtteri Bottas decided to join his partner Cromwell after his own race in Imola got cancelled due to flood risks. So we took the opportunity to chat about the Flying Finn’s bike setup and race ambitions. Check out all the cool bikes below.
Manitou’s two new forks cater for everyone
This week, Manitou launched two new forks: the Mattoc and the Junit. Mattoc is dubbed as 'the people's fork' - a solid fork for everything from XC right up to light enduro, coming with a range of features seen on the Mezzer enduro fork. The Junit, on the other hand, is one for the smaller riders - whether they’re juniors or adults - and fits the gap in the brand's offering. The Junit is around a 34mm chassis and comes in two sizes to fit 24in and 26in wheels, and a specific small-rider tune.
Pivot introduces Mach 4SL - a cross-country racing weapon
It’s been an exciting time for cross-country mountain bikes, as new models are dropping nearly every week now. Pivot has jumped on the train with its brand new Mach 4SL - a super lightweight cross-country racing bike with a position-sensitive anti-squat dw-link for better responsiveness and a 400g lighter frame.
The bike comes with an XC-adapted travel-adjust flip-chip that allows between 95mm and 115mm of travel at the rear, while the front enjoys 100mm or 120mm of squish depending on the model.
There are multiple builds available with both Shimano and Sram component options, and prices start at £ 4,100 and go up to £12,000 for the World Cup build.
Ragley overhauls its MTB range with fresh geometries for 2023
British brand Ragley has decided to update nearly its whole mountain bike range with fresh geometries for this year (which scarily, is already nearly halfway done).
The key changes mean that the overall Ragley range has become much more defined, and added a couple of models. It now includes Marley 29, which sits alongside the much loved Marley 275, and both of these bikes have got a more trail-focused geometry.
Elsewhere, Ragley's 27.5in Mmmbop and Blue Pig frames, as well as the 28in Big Al and Big Wig frames have got a more aggressive geometry that's best suited to enduro riding.
Fox rear shock range 2023
The Pivot smoothly brings us to the feature we’ve put together on Fox’s rear shock range. We’ve gone through everything there is to know about the suspension giant’s current rear shock range, covering all of the Float and DHX models.
Canyon's e-MTB and e-gravel bike range 2023
2023 Canyon TorqueON CF 9 riding climbing 2.jpg, by Liam Mercer
With the number of e-MTB updates Canyon has treated to us lately, it’s safe to say that the brand’s offerings have gone through a thorough overhaul.
We’ve compiled the details of all of the brand’s off-road e-bikes into one feature, making it easy for you to compare what each model offers, and perhaps make a decision on what your next e-bike is.
Getting to grips with tubeless tyre sealant
Tubeless tyres are a must for comfort off-road, but there is a lot to learn about how tubeless technology actually works.
This feature gives you a thorough understanding of setting up your tubeless tyres, and maintaining them, and explains the differences between different sealants.
Are flat pedals worth it?
Bar very few riders, you rarely see flat pedal shoes on the podium at a mountain bike race, but that doesn’t mean they are not worth having. Pedal choice is nearly as personal as saddle choice, but in this feature, Lance lays out the case for the firm place that flat pedals have in mountain biking.
To give away some of the key points, flats can help you teach the correct technique better, and offer a much bigger contact point for your feet, inspiring more confidence.
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