We started “The Debrief” on our YouTube channel last year as a way of highlighting the week’s news and things that caught our attention on the website, in the conversation, and elsewhere around the community. To take this a step further, we’re posting a weekly Debrief here on the site to highlight all of those things and more, including upcoming events and interesting things our readers shared in the comments. Check out this week’s findings below.
Bits & Bobs
New products that are worth highlighting but didn’t make the Dispatch…
Camp And Go Slow Special Grease Mugs
Dropping on the Camp and Go Slow webstore today at 5 p.m. PST, the new Special Grease Mug is an enameled steel 12oz camp mug, inspired by the 1950s-era campy grease tins. They are 100% food-safe, dishwasher-safe, campfire-safe, and dangle-safe. Made in the sovereign and independent nation of Ukraine by Olga at Gifty Yard.
$20 (US shipping only) / Details
Agave Pack 2-in-1 Hip Pack + Backpack
The Agave Pack is a clever 2-in-1 hip pack and backpack that converts from a simple 2L hip pack to a lightweight 18L backpack in seconds. Plus, the hip strap is removable, so it can be attached to your bike as a simple handlebar bag. The Agave Pack is made from recycled materials and comes in a variety of colors.
$79.99 / Details
iPhone 14 Pro Comes with Satellite Connectivity
Apple was clearly focused on adventure with two of its new product launches this week, as implied by the title of their launch event Far Out. A lot of folks will be excited to learn that the new iPhone 14 Pro and Watch Ultra will both come with built-in (and free for now) satellite communication capability, to some degree. The iPhone 14 Pro has what Apple calls “Emergency SOS via satellite,” which allows it to send emergency SOS messages when to of cell range, as well as share your location with friends and family via the “Find My” app over a satellite connection. It’s unclear exactly what this functionality will entail, other than basic SOS messaging to emergency relay centers. It’s also not 100% evident when and how much this service will cost. Apple claims it will be available come November with the first two years being free with the purchase of the iPhone 14 Pro or iWatch Ultra. Either way, being able to ditch the Spot Tracker device is an interesting proposition. Learn more over at Apple.com.
PNW Loam Lever in Fruit Snacks Purple
Back for a limited time, the Fruit Snacks PNW Loam Lever pays homage to some of the best trailside snacks and matches up nicely with some of their other purple components. The Loam Lever is compatible with any mechanically actuated dropper post, has a large rubber thumb pad, spins on an oversized sealed cartridge bearing, and is CNC machined for precise detailing and weight savings. We’ve been using one for several years now, and it has proven to be one of the smoothest levers available.
$69 / Details
Wolf Tooth Pumpkin Spice Morse Cage Ti
The latest in Wolf Tooth Components’ series of limited edition titanium Morse Cages matches up perfectly with fall weather, cozy sweaters, and lattes. Each Limited Edition Morse Cage has an adjustable position thanks to their dot-dash-dot-dash mounting pattern, is made in Minneapolis, and is finished with a durable Cerakote paint job.
$84.95 / Made in USA / Details
Hammerhead Karoo 2 USB-C Cover Kit
All new Hammerhead Karoo 2 units will now ship with a USB-C cover that adds resistance to mud, rain, salt, and more. Riders who purchased a new Karoo 2 within the last 45 days will receive a kit free of charge, and they’re also available for existing owners.
$10 / Details
New Landyachtz AB-ST GRX Builds
Just this week, British Columbia-based Landyachtz Bikes added new AB-ST complete build kits featuring a Shimano GRX drivetrain, a selection of Easton components, and 29 x 2.25″ WTB Nine Line tires. When the AB-ST was launched in earlier this year, it was only available as a frameset or complete custom build, so having the option for a well-rounded complete build is great to see. Make sure to check out Miles’ review here.
$3,899 CAD / Made in Taiwan / Details
Soma New Albion Cranks Restock
The Soma New Albion Cranks are classy, compatible with JIS square taper bottom brackets, and are available in three different configurations: triple, double, and single chainring. The triple has been updated to 46-36-26T, the double is still 42-26T, and there’s a new 44T with an integrated chain guard. All models are available in polished silver or black.
$119-140 USD / Details
Exchanges and ideas that caught our attention in the site’s conversation section…
Convex, Concave, or Flat?
This was actually inspired by a real-life conversation in our local bike shop during a show-and-tell featuring the Tectonic Altar pedal we just reviewed. The discussion was what flat pedal profile was preferred: fully flat, concave, or convex. I feel sold on concave after spending some time with the Altar pedal, but we’re curious to hear what others think.
Around the Community
News from around the bikepacking world…
Geyaabi Nimbakade: I’m Still Hungry
Alexandera Houchin put together a personal reflection on her fifth journey along the Colorado Trail. At the 2022 CTR, she was the first woman to finish, and the sixth finisher overall, setting a new southbound/westbound women’s course record of 6 days, 2 hours, and 33 minutes. Head over to TheTownBicycle.com to check it out.
Patagonia Announces New Ownership
If you haven’t heard, Patagonia announced some big news this week that has further solidified its position as a planet-first business. Effective immediately, the Chouinard family has transferred all ownership to two new entities: Patagonia Purpose Trust and the Holdfast Collective. Most significantly, every dollar that is not reinvested back into Patagonia will be distributed as dividends to protect the planet. Learn more here.
Sage Storm King GP: The Son of Meteorite
Sage Titanium just put together a wild custom Storm King GP as an ode to the meteorite that helped to create Lake Lappajärvi in Finland, where this particular bike will live. It features a custom Cerakote finish from Titanium Finishing Company in Pennsylvania, a 40mm RockShox Rudy fork, SRAM XPLR AXS 1x drivetrain, and a custom-painted Silca Imperio pump. Find more photos and an interview with the owner at SageTitanium.com.
Events Starting Soon
What to watch this weekend and bikepacking events starting soon…
2022 Black Hills Expedition
The Black Hills Expedition is a 460-mile singletrack-heavy race through the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. There is no support, no fees, and no registration. There is a group start this Monday at 6 a.m. from City Park in Spearfish, South Dakota. Follow along live here.
Randy Windle Doom ITT
According to the Doom organizer Andrew Onermaa, there have only been 14 riders to successfully complete the challenging 375-mile route. It’s described as “a beautifully evil bikepacking route in the south, consisting of soul-sucking climbs, rough roads, and a whopping 41,000 feet of elevation gain.” Randy Windle is setting off an individual time trial this morning to try and be the 15th, and you can follow his progress here.
Wish We Were Here
Shedding a little light on a route one of us is dreaming about riding at the moment…
Miles Arbour: Somewhere Warm with the Team!
Everyone here at BIKEPACKING.com works in different parts of the world. I’m up in Canada in the Pacific Northwest, Lucas jumps around between Berlin and the US, Neil is in Colorado, Logan is down in the Southeast, and Cass is busy playing around with cute dogs and RC cars in Mexico. I think it’s about time we gather up in one place and get out for a ride!
Some things we found around the ‘gram and elsewhere. This week, a new video from none other than Ronnie Romance himself, sharing the details on his Crust Romanceür…
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