What's Cool In Road Cycling

Gear Break Gravel Edition: DMT, Arundel, XPEDO, Castelli, Moots, Rapha & Zipp

Special Gravel Edition

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Gravel Special Gear Break: Just for all the ‘gravellers’ out there: DMT KM1 XC/Marathon shoe, Arundel Czar and Tycoon handlebar and top-tube bags, XPEDO CXR Pro pedals, Castelli Unlimited jersey, Moots Routt 45 gravel bike, Rapha men’s Explore long sleeve pullover and Zipp Service Course SL handlebar, stem & seatpost.


DMT KM1 XC/Marathon Shoe (US$439.90)
The DMT KM1 XC/Marathon shoe now uses the same upper design for an mtb /all-road/gravel shoe to deliver a shoe with a sock-like feel with enough structure and durability for cross-country riding of any kind.  It’s also features a number of other design elements that put this squarely on the top shelf.

With gravel / adventure riding now firmly established, many of us are adding another hook to the storage rack and finding new ways to justify a new bike to our own “Ministers of Internal Spending”.  One thing that hasn’t changed is the need for solid shoes.

Enter the KM1 from Italian shoe brand DMT.  I reviewed my first pair of DMT shoes over a decade ago, and was most impressed with the fit.  I know this is personal, but since then I’ve slipped into a great run of models from DMT that have consistently fit my foot when other brands have not.

In 2018, DMT revealed their “3D Engineered Knit” – a one piece woven fabric upper that is soft, durable and flexible, and took comfort to new levels.  (It has been applied to the entire DMT line of shoes for 2021.)

The new KM1 off-road shoe now uses the same upper design for an mtb / all-road/ gravel shoe to deliver a shoe that really does have a sock-like feel, but with enough structure and durability for cross-country riding of any kind.  It’s also features a number of other design elements that pulls this up to the top shelf.

The entire upper is a 3mm thick woven technical fabric made with two different types of yarn, knitted to shape as a single piece that is wrapped to fit the sole, then closed with a signal seam that runs vertically at the heel. The fabric weave changes at the ankle cuff to provide a snug sock-like closure, eliminating or at least reducing gaps between sock and shoe.  That means fewer bits of dirt and grit getting inside.

Strength is added in the weaving process by using “Variable thickness and knit structures” at specific points on the shoe tuned for performance and comfort.  For example – in the area of the tongue, and comfort where the BOA laces criss-cross the foot, the knit weave is created for all-way stretch to form over the top of the foot. And since feet are shaped so differently, this all way stretch makes a ton of sense to fit many different shapes.

Power transfer through the shoe is aided by extra strong woven ribs that look like a web wrapping the foot at key stress points.  So while other shoes (and earlier models of DMT shoes) have used cords or cables to encircle the foot and connect it to the shoe sole, DMT’s 3D Engineered Knit uses a different weave pattern to create an extra strong  skeleton structure around the foot.

The outer part of the last is coated with a durable polymer that adds structure and durability, and is printable so colors & designs are virtually limitless.  It repels water and is surprisingly strong.  I’ve been riding the KR1 road shoes for a full season now and the material has proven very durable.  The weave includes open holes above the toe-box to make em breathable – and water can get in here, but the material itself does not absorb water.

The profile is streamlined with a  BOA® Fit System with a single IP1 dial placed on the side.  This also adds comfort by moving the dial away from the top of the foot, where some riders experience sensitivity due to bone shape and the presence of key nerves.

Underneath, they use a stiff Dual Compound Carbon outsole – I could not detectable any flex.  Rubber lugs in the toe, developed with the Michelin tire brand are functional, and offer a nice billboard for a rubber company to show off its expertise in grippiness.

Michelin Rubber extends to the toe bumper and the toe box is covered with an abrasion resistant coating for added protection.

Of course they come with a set of lightweight aluminum lugs for ‘Cross riders, and tools to swap out the 4mm hex bolts for the lugs.

Find a dealer here and get more info at www.alebikewear.com 


Arundel Bags – Handlebar Czar ($79.95) & Top Tube Tycoon ($59.95)
The Top Tube Tycoon and Handlebar Czar are storage bags for your adventurous side. Riding long days in remote places on a variety of terrain requires more preparation and more gear – additional layers, food, tools, phone, gloves, and let’s not forget the occasional flask. The Tycoon and Czar step to the throne with water resistant, welded seam construction, streamlined form, and unmatched function for long days in the saddle. As some tend to say, it’s all in the details.

“Rural dirt roads. Fulfilling adventure experiences. Flannels, tees, baggies, hoodies, whatever. Food, tools, bandana, phone, keys, cash, wind jacket. You do you, I’ll carry your sh*t”. – Handlebar Czar

Model: Handlebar Czar – $79.95

arundel“Let’s go on an adventure.” – Handlebar Czar

arundel

● Big capacity, 120 cubic in
● Secured with Velcro straps + a twisty around the cables
● Optional shock cord included for super bumpy conditions
● Front netting pocket for easy-to-grab goodies
● Bright orange lining so you can see your stuff

Model: Top Tube Tycoon – $54.95

arundel

● Roomy 40 cubic in of storage
● Affixes with either straps or braze-ons
● Bright orange lining so you can see your stuff
● Sleek tapered shape with sonic welded seams

arundel

arundel

Roaming dirt roads with no names. Where will the next gas station be? Doesn’t matter, your bar bag is full of everything you need. Go ahead, skip that gas station stop. You filled up on snacks at the last one.

arundel

● More info & buy Arundel bags at: www.arundelbike.com


XPEDO CXR Pro Pedals – US$169.00
PEZ SEz: Prepping for my first real gravel ride at the Pater Sagan Gravel Fondo in Truckee CA a couple years back, I asked my longtime colleague Steve Chapin (one of the first guys I knew to get serious about riding gravel) what kind of shoes I should bring – to which he advised “bring your mtb shoes”.  Naturally I packed an old set of mtb pedals as well, but I wish I’d had these CXR Pros from Xpedo.

If you’re not familiar with the brand – XPEDO have been making quality cycling gear for years – smart designs, solid builds, (we’ve reviewed em on PEZ here) and prices often below other brands who spend more on advertising.

For starters –  the anodized blue body looks cool.  For a piece of gear that’s pretty small compared to the rest of the bike, and considering it resides underneath a shoe, who ever notices pedals?  Answer: Anyone whose eye responds to the color blue.  Yup.

Also they come in black.

But these are more than just a cleverly colored cleat clipper.

My test set weighed in at 246 grams, without cleats (which is normally considered part of the shoe mass anyway).  That’s more than 50 grams lighter than Shimano’s lightest XC pedal, and lighter than anything else I saw researching this post.  Say thank you to Xpedo’s titanium spindle for saving those grams, which, by the way, spin on three cartridge bearings per pedal to disperse load and ensure smooth rotation.

Cleats (…and shoes and power) are secured by Xpedo’s Posi-Lock retention system, whose  large opening of the front retention claw makes for easier access in all conditions.  They grab onto an SPD style cleat that come with the pedals (but these will work with Shimano cleats too.)  The CXR’s have a 6 degree float, and tension is adjustable via the 4mm hex bolt at the spring.

Now, if you weigh more than 187 lbs, Xpedo recommends you go with their chromoly spindled CXR version – which are still lighter than most other chromo spindled pedals – just to be safe.

And the other big reason to take these seriously is price – at US$169.00, Xpedo has even managed to shave a few bucks to go back in your wallet.

● Buy em at Xpedo.com here


CASTELLI UNLIMITED Jersey – $139.99
The Castelli “Unlimited” collection of jersey, bibshorts, gloves and other kit, is designed for riders who love both adventure, and road cycling.  Here’s a close look at the Castelli Unlimited jersey’s features and performance.

Dr. Cheung SEz: I’ve been racing cyclocross since 2008 and have been a long-time regular at the Paris-Ancaster off-road race. It’s been a bit over three years since I jumped on the gravel bandwagon and started switching away from road racing towards gravel events. Frankly, I love it.

I have a closet full of road kit for all seasons, including great Pez kit from Castelli. Of course, any of it can be used for long days out on gravel or on the mountain bike.  But the new Castelli Unlimited range  has been designed with materials and features for specific use in the growing discipline of gravel riding.


The Unlimited jersey carries on the theme of durability. The fabric throughout is thicker than a lightweight summer jersey, and there are no airy mesh side or back panels. This is not one of those jerseys where you still need to apply sunscreen underneath.

The main body of the jersey is Castelli’s “ProSecco” fabric, a bit thicker and more snag-resistant than lighter-weight fabric. It seems to do a good job in moisture management on even the hot and humid days.

The sleeves and shoulders are reinforced with a thicker and more  abrasion resistant fabric to protect against snagging on branches and shrubbery on trails. Despite this additional durability, the sleeve fabric didn’t feel constrictive, and the arms are cut long and flat, with no silicone grippers but holding its position well.

castelli unlimited jersey rear pocketsOut back, there are the standard 3-jersey design with an 4th zippered pocket. The right and left jersey pocket opening are slightly slanted to help ease reaching into them while riding. I’ve stuffed my phone, rain jacket, tools and such into them and they didn’t sway annoyingly while standing up.

The fit overall is good and the sizing runs relatively true, with Medium fitting me well (176 cm, 67 kg) and striking a nice compromise between form-fitting and a super-conforming race fit. It’s snug enough that there’s not a lot of excess fabric either when standing upright or tucked into a riding position, so there’s no annoying flapping. It’s also not the race cut where the front waist is cut much higher than the back, so you won’t be exposing your belly button to the world when you walk into the local shop for resupply.

• Buy the Unlimited jersey here.


Moots Routt 45 Gravel Bike
The new ROUTT 45 is a workhorse gravel machine aimed at adventure and versatility.

moots

Shortened stays give the ROUTT 45 increased snappiness for climbing and cornering agility, while retaining the stable handling and comfort of the original Routt 45.

moots

The ROUTT 45 is packed with multiple performance-oriented features.  Perfect rear wheel and brake alignment come courtesy of our proprietary 6/4 titanium 3D-printed flat-mount disc mount. To provide the greatest range of tire and wheel combination compatibility, the frame and fork are designed to accommodate up to 50mm tires with a geometry optimized for 700c wheels. Standard builds come equipped with Moots full-carbon gravel/cross forks that conveniently feature hidden fender eyelets for foul weather riding, and a 3rd water bottle location as stock, so you can go farther between watering holes. Built with gravel wide drive trains, the ROUTT 45 offers clearance for compact double chain rings, or up to a 42 tooth single ring.

moots

And of course, the Routt 45 is made of US-made, seamless 3/2.5 titanium and comes in seven sizes, with custom geometry available to ensure a perfect fit for every rider.

moots

● More information at: moots.com


Rapha Men’s Explore Long Sleeve Pullover – $165
A quick-drying, insulating mid-layer with windproof panels for cold-weather adventures.

WINDPROOF PANELS on sleeves & shoulders – Snag-resistant overlaid panels guard against damage from foliage.

While winter might be the hardest time to ride, it’s also the most rewarding. Cold, crisp starts into the low sun are worth getting out for, but challenging weather, short days, and seasonal merriment can mean the bike is easily neglected. Layering is key to temperature management for these chilly rides and the new Explore Long Sleeve Pullover is the perfect mid-layer.


ESSENTIALS POCKET – Subtle storage for cards on the sleeve.

It’s made for exploring in milder conditions or, when paired with a jacket, in cold winter conditions. Made with a grid fleece fabric that’s insulating yet highly breathable, the top helps to maintain body temperature and features the same relaxed fit as our long-sleeved Technical T-Shirts for complete freedom of movement. Windproof panels on the shoulders and arms further aid temperature regulation and guard against damage. A zipped pocket on the upper arm keeps essentials close to hand while the integrated hanger loop makes drying the top easier after the ride.

INSULATION – Warm, gridded fleece fabric insulates against the cold and breathes well for optimal temperature regulation.

Available in both men’s (Green, Dark Navy) and women’s (Purple, Dark Navy).

● More info at the Rapha website here


Zipp Service Course SL – Handlebar, Stem & Seatpost

zipp

Servive Course SL-70 XPLR Handlebar HB-DBSC-SL7X-A2

zipp

This is Zipp’s innovative all-road handlebar, the Service Course SL-70 XPLR. The bar’s moniker, XPLR, exemplifies the desire to explore the world with an expanded definition of cycling on a drop bar bicycle… from paved roads onto gravel, mud, dirt, and even single track. The Service Course SL-70 XPLR help you go faster by placing your body, starting with your hands, in an optimal “comfort zone” position for hours of rough riding over mixed terrain.
Today’s riders demand a few things out of their cockpit, whether they are doing a two hour training ride from home or a 200 mile gravel adventure: comfort, control, and the ability to carry what they need. We met these needs by creating a bar with shallow and wide drops, specifically focusing on two crucial metrics—outsweep and flare. Outsweep is created by rotating the drop below the brake perch outward. Flare is created by rotating the entire drop above the brake perch outward.

FEATURES:
● Updated distinctive Zipp cosmetics
● 70mm reach and 115mm drop allow a comfortable hoods position and a shallow drops position
● 5° drop flare and 11° drop outsweep creates a drops position 6cm wider than hoods
● 40, 42, 44, 46cm widths
● Ergonomic top with 3° backsweep
● Matte Black nano blast aluminum
● Lifetime warranty
● MSRP: $ 110.00 | € 123.00* | £ 109.00*
*Includes VAT

 

Service Course SL Stem ST-SC-SL-B2

zipp

Zipp’s Service Course SL stem, crafted from 7075 aluminum, features a shape that’s strong and light weight, resulting in a best-in-class 1.85g per newton meter of stiffness. That results in no-flex sprints and accelerations.
To meet every rider’s fit needs, the stem is available in ±6° and ±17° angles and seven lengths from 70 to 130mm as well as a 140 and 150mm lengths for the ±6° stem only. This stem is a favorite of Zipp ambassadors and pro athletes.

FEATURES:
● Updated distinctive Zipp cosmetics
● Wide range of sizes and angles
● Service Course SL OS stem made for 1-1/4″ steerer tube bikes
● 17° available in 70, 80, 90, 110, 120, 130mm lengths
● 1-1/8″ 6° available in 70, 80, 90, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150mm lengths
● 1-1/4″ available in  6° with  70, 80, 90, 110, 120, 130mm lengths
● Matte Black nano blast aluminum
● Zipp QuickView integrated mount available separately
● Lifetime warranty
● MSRP: $ 112.00 | € 114.00* | £ 102.00*
*Includes VAT

 

Service Course SL Seatpost SP-SC-SL-C2

zipp

The carbon Service Course SL seatpost is specifically tuned to be more shock absorbing than the “comfort” seatposts on the market, while still passing our strict internal MTB strength test. Flex engineered into the light weight carbon tube keeps the rider comfortable over any terrain. Better fit means better performance, and if your saddle is out of position, you’ll waste energy with every pedal stroke.

The secure, two-bolt clamp makes for easy micro-adjustments of saddle position, and the head has been redesigned for maximum bolt head accessibility. With 0 and 20mm setback options, it’s possible for nearly any rider to achieve the perfect fit, and the clamp works with all saddle rail types.

FEATURES:
● Updated distinctive Zipp cosmetics
● Unidirectional carbon tube designed for optimal compliance on all road surfaces
● 25.4, 27.2, 31.6mm diameters
● 0 and 20mm setbacks
● Two bolt aluminum clamp for ease of adjustability and security
● Lifetime warranty
● MSRP: $ 160.00 | € 175.00* | £ 156.00*
*Includes VAT

More info at: www.sram.com/en/zipp


Note: PezCyclingNews ask that you contact the manufacturers before using any products you see here. Only the manufacturer can provide accurate and complete information on proper / safe use, handling, maintenance and or installation of products as well as any conditional information or product limitations.

 

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