In case you missed it, the past weekend was a big one in the gravel biking world. The sport's most iconic event, Unbound Gravel, came back strong. The Flint Hills of Emporia, Kansas were thick with a colorful crowd of bikes and riders — 2,800 cyclists ranging in age from 11 to 88 representing 48 states and 28 countries.
In the end, a couple of hard-charging 30-year-olds — Ian Boswell and Lauren De Crescenzo — claimed the signature 200-mile race's highest honors, but the big winner was the sport itself, which has a bright future as the world opens back up.
The industry itself has a promising outlook too, not only on gravel but on roads and mountains. The latest product drops provide plenty of inspiration to get out and pedal just about anywhere.
Allied Cycle Works Echo
This new bike perfectly represents the drive to ride anywhere. As we noted last week, the Echo features flip chips and a corresponding dropout design that lets you shift its geometry. In 15 minutes, you can adjust the chainstay length and fork length to transform from a speedy road bike to a nimble gravel bike. Considering Allied's history of high-performance gravel bikes, that's super exciting.
Santa Cruz Blur
If you’re looking to fly on slightly rockier terrain, Santa’s Cruz’s latest Blur might be your beast. The brand poured all its experience into making a carbon-framed full-suspension bike that’s light AF. This one tips the scales at 23 pounds, more than half a pound lighter than the previous edition, yet still boasts four inches or more of travel to keep you bouncing along the trails.
North America’s biggest ebike operator brought loads of know-how to its first ground-up ride. The sleek-looking machine features a connected screen that’s both a dashboard and a speaker, retroreflective paint, beacon lighting effects, a powerful 500-watt motor and 60 miles of range. Lyft is currently beta testing in the Bay Area, with a wider rollout beginning in Chicago expected later this year.
Civilized Cycles Model 1
If this ebike calls to mind a Vespa, there’s a reason: Civilized’s founder owned America's largest Vespa dealership. Launching later this month, the Model 1 boasts active suspension to accommodate two passengers and up to 50 pounds of cargo via expandable panniers. Oh and it can move: spin the pedals or twist the throttle and the 750-watt motor will hit 28 miles per hour with a 50-mile range.
Rapha Performance Trailwear Lightweight Jacket
Long celebrated for well considered road apparel, Rapha splashed into mountain biking last week with its smartly designed Performance Trailwear collection. A great example is this lightweight windbreaker, which cleverly packs into its own chest pocket and attaches to your bike frame with an included storage strap, so it's ready whenever you need it.
Pit Viper High Speed Off Road DH Pant
Hailing from a completely different root product — radical retro sunglasses — Pit Viper just launched a flashier but equally technical mountain biking line dubbed High Speed Off Road. Our favorite piece? These unisex nylon/spandex blend pants that feature handy pockets where you need them, laser-cut thigh ventilation, articulated knee panels and steeze for days.
USWE Raw 3
OK so technically, USWE’s new Raw hydration packs are for off-road motorcycling. But we’d happily combine the Raw 3 with the Blur, Rapha jacket and Pit Viper pants and hit some mountain bike trails. The No Dancing Monkey 1.2 harness system minimizes bounce while the 70-ounce bladder constantly quenches thirst and the clever detachable pocket stores gear and grub.
Gnarly Nutrition Fuel2O
The latest offering from Gnarly Nutrition just might be the perfect addition to the water in that USWE pack. Every 12-ounce serving features 100 calories of easy-to-digest, energy-boosting sucrose and dextrose, plus electrolytes and HMB, which helps to reduce muscle protein breakdown. Flavors include tropical, limeade and caffeine-loaded cherry cola.
CHPT3 Most Days
Designed by founder and pro racer David Millar, the premium brand’s first own-made collection promises sustainably made apparel that is elegant, high-performance and accessible to a wide range of riders. The line includes jerseys, shorts, base layers, a wind vest, socks, accessories and the first CHPT3 products specifically designed for women.