The weekly Debrief highlights small but important bits of news, products, and things that caught our attention on the website, in the conversation, and elsewhere around the community. These include upcoming events and interesting items 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…
Brother Kepler Pre-Orders Now Open
The Kepler from UK-based Brother Cycles is back for its eighth year running and is available in Gold or Gunmetal Grey. As always, it’s made from double-butted 4130 chromoly steel, has clearance for 650b x 48 or 700c x 45 tires, and has provisions for front/rear racks, fenders, three bottles, and Anything-style cages on the fork.
Made in Taiwan / £699 (including VAT) at BrotherCycles.com
Velo Orange Randonneur Handlebar Bags Return
Made in collaboration with Road Runner Bags in Los Angeles, Velo Orange’s Randonneur Handlebar Bags are back in four colors, including a new Lime Green and Purple. For folks running a front rack, boxy rando bags are a great option for hauling gear for tours and brevets in a well-organized and easy-to-access manner.
Rille Camera Strap for Cyclists
Released earlier this year, the Rille Strap attaches to your existing camera strap to prevent your camera from swinging around off of your back while riding. It’s handmade in Germany and features an adjustable slider with a FIDLOCK buckle that fits any standard camera strap and can be attached in just seconds.
Made in Germany / €40 at Ride-Rille.com
Clever Standard Adaptool 2.0
The Clever Standard Adaptool 2.0 is a two—in-one Presta/Schrader adapter and Presta valve core removal tool. The valve core tool lets you easily remove Presta valve cores for better airflow while setting up tubeless, and the adapter makes it easier to use certain floor pumps when seating tires. There’s not much information online about price or availability, but you can follow along on Clever Standard’s Facebook.
Clipless and Platform Redshift Arclight Pro Pedals
Redshift updated their safety-focused Arclight Pedals this week, introducing Clipless and Platform versions models alongside the original City version. The Arclight Pro Clipless can be run as a clipless or flat (or both at the same time), and the Arclight Pro Platform features removable traction pins. The pedals are USB rechargeable and have up to a 35-hour battery life in flash mode.
$160+ at RedshiftSports.com
The Fred Bar
One of our Bikepacking Collective members is the owner of a small company that makes a useful product that’s worth a mention this week. The Fred Bar mounts to the steerer tube and allows you to bolt on aero bars in that position. It differs from other aero bar mounts by positioning the aero bars so your back isn’t stretched like a typical road bike or triathlon setup. As seen in our rig roundups, it’s a popular product among Tour Divider riders. Give it a look at the link below.
Made in USA / $129 at FredBars.com
Exchanges and ideas that caught our attention in the site’s conversation section…
Our SRAM Eagle Transmission review took center stage in the comments department this week. Much of the conversation was focused around new standards, like the new cassette spacing and UDH, which introduce more compatibility issues with previous Eagle drivetrains (namely, the cassette won’t work with older derailleurs and the new derailleur only works with UDH-equipped frames).
The reality is, as components are developed with e-bikes in mind, they’re evolving to be suited to more high-torque use. The benefits that come from these new drivetrain components include extended wear life/durability and shifting under load. Shimano Cues is another example that brought about a new pull ratio/cog spacing standard for the sake of high-torque durability and under load shifting. Longer life is better, right? The question remains, though: how much will these companies commit to these new standards, or will something new be developed in a couple of years around that will make what’s new now obsolete?
Around the Community
News from around the bikepacking world…
How to Ride Gravel (Video)
The Bikepack Shop (BPS) over in Australia just released a fun video showcasing two different ways to ride gravel. Check it out above.
Bikes, Bees & Trees Rally
The Racing Collective, creators of the GBduro, are putting on a new event called the Bikes, Bees & Trees Rally in central Scotland on the weekend of April 14th. The event is comprised of a long weekend loaded with tree planting and biodiversity conservation and a pretty long gravel ride in the middle. Find more details at TheRacingCollective.com.
Radical Adventure Riders Chapters Fundraiser
Building on years of creating successful programs to uplift people throughout their community, our friends at Radical Adventure Riders (RAR) are in need of financial help to grow local RAR chapters to 20 locations around the United States. They’ve raised just 20% of the money they need to make this happen, and they’re seeking donations of any amount via their fundraising page here.
Boundaries: Bikepacking Oman’s Al Hajar Mountains
When we posted Amy’s western Hajar traverse writeup earlier this week, we were reminded that Jenny Tough set out on s similar adventure back in October. Watch her trip video above.
Events Starting Soon
What to watch this weekend and bikepacking events starting soon…
The legendary Stagecoach 400 kicks off today with nearly 80 riders participating. The challenging route takes in some of SoCal’s finest sandy doubletrack and challenging riding in a big loop stretching from Idyllwild in the west to San Diego on the Pacific coast. Follow along on the live tracking map here.
Fried Clay 200k
The Fried Clay is a self-supported endurance gravel event that takes you through Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia. There’s no tracker for this event, but it’s gained in popularity over the years. You can learn more here.
The Florida Divide is the ultimate self-supported bikepacking event Florida, stretching the entire length of the state and utilizing the same route used in the Eastern Divide Trail. There’s no tracker for the event this year, but you can find details and learn more here.
Wish We Were Here
Shedding a little light on a route one of us is dreaming about riding at the moment…
Logan Watts: Stagecoach 400
Seeing the Rigs of the Stagecoach 400 yesterday got me dreaming about the washes of the Anza-Borrego Desert, burritos in Borrego Springs, and all the lovely prickly things along the route. It’s been eight years since I rode the route, but it’s great to see the SC400 event live on!
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