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As full of ourselves as we are, this magazine can only be at its best when we make the effort to fill the pages with the bikes, products, places and people that reflect what the readers are interested in. To that end, we produce this “Reader Survey” annually, which helps provide your favorite cycling editors with a snapshot of who you are.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES
Yes, we know, given that the title of this site – Road Bike Action – and the magazine from which it is based might leave some you wondering why we would be presenting this multi-model gravel bike buying guide? Well, equally a given is that in this year of 2021 the gravel segment has exploded in popularity and has led the way in industry sales for drop bar bikes.
So in short, notwithstanding the narrower-vision of some cycling enthusiasts, in terms of popularity, and technical innovation, gravel bikes are now a quantifiable member of the “road bike” family. What we have here is a collection of some of the most reputable gravel bike entries on the market today. Be they steel. aluminum, carbon, or even electric assist, there is no shortage of options to choose for your next big dual-sport adventure.
What tires are the best for all-road and maybe a bit of gravel riding?
This is a frequent question that we get, and it’s far more complex than people think. We choose tires for a specific purpose, event or region. That might be for our local roads that have lots of broken tarmac and debris, but for your roads it might be perfectly maintained, or it might be for an event like the Belgian Waffle Ride or Unbound Gravel that has its own unique requirements.
Many of the events we do are not local to us, and that means that the tires offered at our local bike shop most likely will not be the perfect option. No matter the tread pattern, a key point to consider is what size tire will fit on your bike. Older bikes usually have clearance for up to a 28mm tread.
CADEX announced the launch of their new CADEX 36 Disc WheelSystem. At 1302 grams for the set, these superlight hookless carbon wheels feature a best-in-class stiffness-to-weight ratio and have been designed for riders demanding quick acceleration, exceptional efficiency, as well as reliable stability and control on a wide variety of roads. The CADEX 36 Disc WheelSystem will be available starting this Summer.
The Giro d’Italia peloton remains free of Covid-19 with the latest round of tests conducted on Tuesday’s rest day all negative for the virus, organizers the UCI reported. Since the May 8 start in Turin no riders or member of the Giro entourage has tested positive, in contrast to last year when two teams, Jumbo-Visma and Mitchelton-Scott, had to quit the race after positive results for coronavirus. The Giro resumeD on Wednesday with Egan Bernal leading ahead of the 17th stage, a 120 mile ride from Canazei to Sega di Ala.
The new Wahoo Bolt adds color display, light sensor and is really a mini Roam with this latest launch. The original Bolt was launched in 2017 and reduced the size of the original Wahoo Elemnt significantly as well as implementing an aerodynamic profile. The New Bolt maintains almost the same compact size with a slight increase in profile.
Wahoo has quickly moved into one of the top cycling brands when it comes to technology. From indoor trainers to cycling computers and now with the purchase of Speedplay, they are offering an even wider range of products.
THE NEW STUFF
As we said the new Bolt V2 is in reality a mini Wahoo Roam. Just like the Roam, the new Bolt has a 64 color display just smaller at 2.2”, an upgrade from the monochrome 2.2-inch display that is on the original Bolt. This display, like the rest of the Elemnt line, is not a touchscreen. There is now a light sensor that when set to auto will automatically illuminate the backlight. The screen is not as matte as the Roam but less reflective than the original Bolt.
There are now base maps just like the Roam so navigation is much improved when comparing to the original Bolt or Elemnt. The buttons are still layed out the same but have a new look and feel. The pressure needed to actuate any of them is much less and in our opinion an improvement. The buttons along the bottom are now convex is shape and the raised profile also makes them easier to use. Just like the original Bolt there is an led strip along the top but unlike the Roam there is not one along the left side.
Probably the biggest change is that the connection port used for charging and manual data transfer is now a USB-C type. This is the first Wahoo computer to get this upgrade and the rest use a USB Micro-B type. The new type C port is handy because it is not directional. Since the size has increased slightly the new Bolt out front mount has also been slightly enlarged. The new Bolt will fit on the old mount but the old unit will not fit on the new mount. If you are like us and use an aftermarket mount most of the time like K-edge then compatibility is not an issue.
One of our favorite drafts and local nice guy Ryan Steers just completed his custom gravel bike. At 6’ 6” with a 38” inseam he is the perfect candidate for the custom route and was going to be the only way to find a bike that truly fits. Ryan started working with Moots and CADEX in January to put together a build for the Routt RSL. Working with Moots, he was able to translate his proportions into a custom frame geometry with a head tube and seat tube that would accommodate his admittedly awkward body size.
Belgian rider Victor Campenaerts has pulled out of the Giro d’Italia with a knee problem before Wednesday’s 17th stage, two days after claiming his first win. The Team Qhubeka Assos rider won Sunday’s 15th stage, but a right knee tendon problem was exacerbated by the cold and wet conditions on the following stage to the ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomites.
“The pain first surfaced in the cold conditions on Monday and unfortunately hasn’t responded well to treatment,” explained the 29-year-old who did not start the 17th stage following Tuesday’s rest day.
Campenaerts’ withdrawal leaves the South African team down to five riders with the race to finish in Milan on Sunday after the withdrawals of Italians Domenico Pozzovivo and Giacomo Nizzolo.
When it comes to cycling everyone has different goals and prioritize. For some it’s leading out the local fast ride while others it’s the joy of getting off the couch and having the wind in their face. With that in mind, we present the Exploro RaceMax now with a little Boost. Yes, the same bike we reviewed and loved last year now is available with an Ebikemotion X35 pedal assist hub motor. Like the many other bikes we have reviewed with the same system, it’s not overly powerful or fast but does add a new sensation to the ride experience. The real win is it’s also not overly heavy like many e-bike systems. Our test bike hit the scales at just 27 pounds.
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