A week of new releases, from bikes to clothing to Ritchey's new Swiss Cross to celebrate the brand's 50th year, and Scott's lightweight E-mtb launch. Other news is that Rapha has added to its Performance Trail range, and Giant's long-standing Reign has been updated.
Ritchey celebrates 50 years
At just 15 years old, young Tom Ritchey stepped into the world of bike building and, from then on, has been an important part of mountain biking's history and the development you see today. It's impressive to think from his first frame build, his passion only grew from then on. That one frame turned into 250 a year, and from there, it's turned into a full-blown production company that is still going strong five decades later.
50 years deserves some celebration, right? Perfect time to grab the attention of Ritchey fans far and wide with its new beautiful, elegant and classicly red 50th Anniversary Swiss Cross gravel bike. The steel chassis's geometry offers ride characteristics of a proper cross bike and has a carbon fork to save some weight, with the frame alone weighing 1,950g.
Wide tyre clearance, a 68mm threaded bottom bracket, a 27.2mm seat tube with flex and plenty of disc brake options are just some of the finer details showcasing on the new frame. The Swiss Cross is available as a frame only, so you can pop your favourite bits and bobs onto it for the build of your dreams.
Rapha adds merino to its Performance Trail collection
Exciting news this week for Rapha fans, as the brand has added four more products to its range, specifically aimed at trail riding. The new merino clothing features warm and snuggly merino wool uniquely blended with nylon for durability and defence against the biting cold we are battling with every ride. Merino has impressive ingredients that are clever at keeping moisture under control and temperature regulated. It also keeps fresh for days, if not weeks, of sweaty riding. Rapha also ensures each product provides excellent airflow to stop you from overheating, and the sleeve design gives freedom of movement for even the most flamboyant rider.
Rapha is known for high-quality design and materials with every garment, and there's no exception with these pieces. There are even added patches with each product for self-repair in case of any rips. The range includes men's short-sleeved and long-sleeved trail tops featuring the uniform Rapha stripe on the sleeve, and the women's selection consists of a sleeveless tank top and a three-quarter sleeved jersey. Prices range from £65-£95 and are found at Rapha.cc. We have a review in the pipeline, so keep braced for this.
Giant's enduro Reign gets an update
Giant's long-standing Reign has been part of the brand's line-up since 2005, and it's fascinating to see the bike grow simultaneously with the sport. There's been subtle tweaking of geometry, upgraded technology, and suspension advancement. But one piece of engineering that has stayed with the Reign and on other models, too, is the Maestro suspension platform - something that has become such a significant staple for Giant. The system has seen some important changes with more length allowing more travel, 160mm in fact, and to promote stiffness and strength while lowering weight, the upper rocker is now constructed using Advanced Forged Composite.
Three models are available in the new range, from the Reign 1 to the SX and the Advanced Pro 1, all featuring different components and alternative suspension setups. The SX model is unique, with even more bounce than the others, with 165mm at the rear and 190mm at the front. Also, this model is a mullet set-up only. Like other brands, the Reign now uses a flip chip to offer three settings that change the bike's geometry.
Light and fast, Scott's all-new e-MTB
LUMEN_2023_SCOTT_Ebike_photo_by_Michal Cerveny_60.JPG, by Suvi Loponen
E-bikes are getting lighter with every update. Bike manufacturers are looking at ways to shave off the grams in any way possible, whether it's a more lightweight carbon construction, premium componentry or a more powerful and compact battery and motor - which we all know is where the main weight congregates on an electric bike. This is where Scott's new Lumen e-mtb excels, and could it be one of the world's fastest e-bikes, as Scott claims? Well, let's have a look.
From the first look, the bike looks like a Spark, but with discreetly added tech associated with an e-bike. The motor is TQ's HPR50, offering 50Nm of punch to power up those climbs, and the 360Wh battery is very neatly integrated into the frame with the option of adding an external 160Wh battery for more range potential. The 130mm rear shock is also cleverly integrated into the frame's rear to save weight and protect the delicate parts. When you think the integration stops there, the handlebars and stem are, of course, integrated on the Lumen 900 SL and 900 models with cables feeding under the stem out of the way. The Lumen is all packaged in a total weight of less than 15.5kg and can be yours from £6,499.
Olympia's F1-X gets a semi-integrated suspension design
On the subject of bikes with unusual suspension designs, check out Olympia's new F1-X which comes with an unusual semi-integrated shock. While that alone is pretty unique, the lower shock mount uses the same bolt that joins the chainstay to the front triangle. The brand says that this sheds a bit of weight while making for a stiffer and stronger connection between the front and rear.
£450+ Cube kit could be all yours!
Christmas is peeping its elf ear around the corner, and you may be hoping someone gets you all things bike related. Do you wish you had a new helmet, pedals and a backpack, I hear you say? Crimbo could come early for you as there is an impressive over £450 worth of Cube kit up for grabs. Even Scrooge wouldn't miss this.
The trio of trail riding treats include:
Cube Strover X Actionteam Helmet is packed with a list of features that make your Santa list look small. The helmet has 14 large vents, a height-adjustable visor, a magnetic Fidlock closure and MIPS safety technology.
For carrying all of your tools, sandwiches and hydration, the Cube's Edge Trail X Actionteam backpack has your name on it. Pockets, a tool compartment and the Natural Fit back system mean it's comfy all day and protects your back simultaneously.
Cube's Slasher TM Pedals are low profile, engineered from aluminium, and have chamfered edges for improved clearance. There are 10 replaceable pins on each side and sealed bushing and cartridge bearings.
To enter, all you need to do is comment on the news piece here before midday on Monday, 5th December 2022, and we will pick a random winner to take home this awesome prize.
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