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…
DirtySixer Teases some Massive Pedals
If you thought Pedaling Innovations’ Catalyst pedals were big, check out these forthcoming giants from DirtySixer, maker of the 36″ wheeled bicycles. There aren’t many details around these yet, but as mentioned on Instagram, they measure 120mm x 160mm and are for riders with feet larger than size 13 US or 47 Euro. They will come standard on DirtySixer’s AllRoad Mark II, and will be available to purchase separately later.
Nocs Provisions Pro Issue Waterproof Binoculars
The new NOCS Provisions Pro Issue Waterproof Binoculars are offered in 8×42 and 10×42 models, featuring a wide field of view and a durable/waterproof construction. The new Pro Issue models take the build and feel of their Standard Issue version but add pro-class optics that are normally only found in binoculars two to three times the price. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty and ships in plastic-free packaging that doesn’t use any dyes or glue.
$295 / Made in China / Details
Fizik Vento Ferox Carbon Shoes
Released yesterday, Fizik’s latest piece of footwear is the Vento Ferox Carbon, a stiff and responsive shoe built with an X1 Carbon outsole and a lightweight, breathable upper. It’s aimed at performance-minded riders, whether they’re taking on all-day gravel rides, XC races, or laps around the cyclocross course. It features an Li2 BOA system and has a stiffness index of 10. The Vento Ferox Carbon weighs in at 297 grams and is available in two colors, Lilac/White and Black/Black, and in sizes 36 to 48 (with half sizes available from 37-47).
$299 / Made in China / Details
Expanded Outdoor Research Plus Sized Collection
Outdoor Research just expanded its men’s and women’s plus-sized apparel lineup, which now includes sizes XXS-XXXL and 16W-24W in select styles. The launch includes waterproof jackets/pants, hiking apparel, insulation, and one of our personal favourites, the Helium Rain Jacket. Find the full lineup here.
Andrew The Maker 2/3 Zipper Option
Missouri-based Andrew The Maker is offering a new custom frame bag option with a zipper that extends two-thirds the way around the bag. As Andrew explains, “The large opening makes it super easy to secure items inside the bag to daisy chains of webbing. So, when you’re getting sendy there’s nothing flying around inside the bag.” There is also an option for a new industrial-grade velcro attachment that requires no bosses or straps for a clean, scuff-free setup.
~$200 / Made in USA / Details
Crankbrothers Highline 11 Dropper Post
Crankbrothers just released their lightest dropper post yet, the Highline 11. It’s built around a carbon quill, carbon head, and titanium hardware, shedding over 100 grams off the Highline 7. It’s available in six travel lengths, from 60mm to 170mm, in both 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters.
$399 / Made in Taiwan / Details
Surly Mushroom Socks and Patch
We’re digging the new swag from Surly. Find links to check out their new mushroom socks and patch below.
Exchanges and ideas that caught our attention in the site’s conversation section…
Ortlieb Seat-Pack QR Saddle Compatibility
Someone left a comment on the Ortlieb Seat-Pack QR Review we published yesterday asking about the compatibility with Brooks saddles. At that point, we hadn’t checked, to be honest. Following that up, Logan mounted a C17 and gave it a shot. “The short answer is yes and no. I had to slide the saddle all the way bag to get it to engage, but it was still very challenging… certainly not “quick release” or attachment. Also, the nose of the saddle was jammed up against the seatpost, so I’d say it would be a definite no-go with a dropper involved and the added space for the collar.” Neil had better luck using a set back seatpost (above-right photo), however, it’s worth noting that it’s challenging with the low-profile design, odd saddle rail profile, and deep saddle “wings” that get in the way. Later, someone asked about the bag’s compatibility with a Selle Anatomica saddle. We tried that too, and fortunately, that seemed to work fine, although you will likely have to move the seat a little rearward if you want to achieve an angle.
A Helmet Headlamp Hack
A number of readers commented on the clever method Henning Bommel used to attach his Petzl headlamp to his helmet, as spotted in photographer Stefan Haehnel’s fantastic images from the 2022 GranGuanche Audax Gravel event earlier this week. Dive into the comments to find a couple of tips and tricks for safely securing a headlamp to your helmet, plus a few reference photos scattered throughout the story.
Around the Community
News from around the bikepacking world…
Just 6.9% of Bike Mechanics are Women
Scotti Lechuga, one of the fastest finishers in this year’s Stagecoach 400, shared this on Instagram, and we thought it was worth repeating. From Scotti: “Chain snap! In 12 years of riding and racing bikes, this has never happened to me until night 1 of the Stagecoach 400 this year. I’ve fully accepted wrenching isn’t my calling. But I’ve seen first hand I must embrace how my bike works in order to ride solo confidently. Thanks to Ernie, I knew how to break the damaged link and to put the chain back together. It may sound super simple to you bike gurus 🧘 who grew up working on equipment, but had I not spent time at home operating my mini chain breaker (hand cramps!!) I wouldn’t have known what to do. Practice. Repeat. Build confidence. It’s empowering to be able to fix broken things. Today I researched the percentage of female mechanics in the industry. Seriously… 6.9%?!” Photo by Evan Christenson from his excellent coverage of the race/ride.
Events Starting Soon
What to watch this weekend and bikepacking events starting soon…
Monaro Cloudride 1000
The Monaro Cloudride 1000 is Australia’s premier bikepacking race traversing the SE Monaro region of Australia and up through the Australian Alps in a 1,000-kilometer circuit starting and finishing in Canberra. There is a grand depart on April 15th at 8 a.m., and you can follow the race live here.
Dales Divide 2022
Now in its fourth year, the 600-kilometer Dales Divide route has become a favourite for riders and racers alike. The route follows gravel tracks, bridleways, and some quiet roads to cross from the west coast to east coast and back of England through the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors national parks. It offers a shorter course for riders who are just starting to try bikepacking and is specifically set to encourage and help newcomers as well as a platform for racers at the pointy end of the course. There is a grand depart on April 15th at 8 a.m, and you follow along live here.
Wish We Were Here
Shedding a little light on a route one of us is dreaming about riding at the moment…
Miles Arbour: Eastern Divide Trail
Ever since we announced the Eastern Divide Trail, I’ve been enamoured by the idea of scouting some of the northern segments. It seems fitting, being BIKEPACKING.com’s token Canadian. It’s been exciting to play a part in designing/scouting such a massive project, and I’m really looking forward to exploring the East Coast by bike. I’ve only visited that part of Canada once by car, so a bikepacking trip would be extra special.
Some things we found around the ‘gram and elsewhere. This week, we’re seeing a lot of posts that make us wish we were at Sea Otter. But instead of burning jet and auto fuel to make the trek from the East Coast and beyond, we hired Californian contributor Evan Christenson to cover it in his signature style. He made it to Sea Otter via train and bike and will be posting reports over the next few days. Stay tuned…
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