Vitus aero gravel bike, Look pedals and suspension magic from TruTune
We have another Five Cool Things to show you this week, including a brand new aero gravel bike from Vitus. Along with that, we've got some pedals from Look, some suspension wizardry from TruTune and a rear luggage rack from SKS. To top things off, there's also a pump from Zefal.
- Which disc brake pads are best for mountain bikes? Sintered or organic?
- The best 700c gravel tyres you can buy - tried and tested adventure rubber for all conditions
- Your complete guide to Shimano MTB drivetrains, from Tourney to XTR 12-speed
But first, let's talk about the most interesting stories from this week. It's been a massive week for Canyon as the German brand released three e-mountain bikes, with the Grand Canyon:ON receiving ABS and the Torque:ON getting a full carbon frame. However, what's really exciting is that Canyon has added the Strive:ON enduro race bike to the range. We've got first-ride impressions on each of these bikes.
In terms of reviews, we took a look at the mega comfy Crankbrothers Mallet E Lace shoes, as well as Hunt's XC Wide MTB wheelset.
On the feature front, we covered Christoph Sauser's story in our weekly MTB Icons series and we carried on the Canyon theme with a bike check of Fabien Barel's Canyon Strive:ON CFR LTD. Lance also shared his opinion on gravel bike suspension and dropper posts.
TruTune MTB Air Fork Insert
This interesting contraption from TruTune uses proper science to make your air fork's progression more linear, thus more like a coil fork. This is done by employing activated carbon to do the very opposite of volume spacers by increasing the effective positive chamber air volume inside of a fork.
TruTune says that this happens thanks to the high porosity and internal surface area of the activated carbon, which traps and releases air molecules as the fork cycles, reducing changes in air pressure.
Snake oil or true suspension upgrade? We'll put this to the test to find out but this smart bit of tech is offered in two sizes, with the smaller one offering space for a single-volume spacer and more tuneability.
Vitus Venon Evo-GR Rival AXS
Released just hours ago, we've got our grubby mitts on the all-new aero gravel bike from Vitus. Dubbed the Venon Evo GR, it shares the very same frame as the road-going Venon Evo RS (also launched today) but dons fatter rubber and a 1x drivetrain. Vitus says that this bike is for those who want to go fast but thanks to its massive tyre clearance (for up to 45mm tyres) it can run both road and gravel wheelsets, making it somewhat of a potential quiver killer.
This particular model boasts fancy wireless AXS Rival shifting from SRAM complete with 700c Prime Primavera 44 Carbon Disc wheels and Michelin Power Gravel 40c tyres. It then benefits from full mudguard mounds with a removable seat stay bridge.
SKS Infinity Universal luggage rack
SKS's Infinity Universal luggage rack is built from aluminium and offers unlimited options for fitting on almost any bike. That's thanks to an adjustable mechanism that shifts the rack's shape to a range of bike geometries with the tilt and height of the mechanism being individually adjustable.
On the rack's large platform, there's a MIK (Mounting Is Key) adaptor plate, which is said to make fitting bags and other accessories super easy but they will have to be kitted with the correct adapter. As for weight limits, this can carry up to 12kg but it is not suitable for carbon frames.
Look Trail Roc+ pedals
Look has launched the Roc+ pedals. These have been designed with input from Look's athletes and will allow riders to push the very limits of grip and control. They're built with a wide, concave platform which features 10 replaceable pins on each side. All of the components are replaceable, too, ensuring a long lifespan and the forged aluminium construction promises a lightweight pedal.
Zefal Mt. Mini pump
Finally, we've got a mini pump from Zefal. The brand reckons that this small but mighty bit of kit is ideal for inflating all types of mountain bike tyres from 2in to 3in in width all credit to its chamber that's been optimised for such rubber. This pump gets a direct connection hose that'll help protect your valves and it is compatible with both Presta and Shrader valves.