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April 1st Product Roundup: Hike a Bike Backpack, Oval Pulleys, Skriracha Electrolytes, More

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Depending on your tastes, April Fools’ Day is either a fun day of playful creativity or an annoying day of questionable jokes. Regardless, it’s April 1st, and here are some of the newest products to come across our desk this morning, in no particular order.

Old Man Mountain x North St. Bags Hike-a-Bike Backpack

Old Man Mountain is at it again, expanding their offerings even further and showing they are a serious adventure brand dedicated to tackling the most extreme bikepacking routes.

This newest cargo carrying accessory, developed in collaboration with North St. Bags, is for the most rugged routes; the ATB rides, the unmarked goat paths, the rides where no matter what bike you take you’ll be underbiking. This is for the hike-a-bike sections of trail.

Old Man Mountain has been developing and refining the Hike-a-Bike™ for three years now. The idea was inspired during an attempt at the Arizona Trail Bikepacking Route, a 739 mile route connecting Mexico to Utah.

For those not familiar with the route, it traverses a section of the Grand Canyon that is prohibited to bikes. Instead of riding, bikes must be disassembled and carried through this 21.8 mile section from South Kaibab Trailhead to North Kaibab Trailhead.

Old Man Mountain was determined to find a more comfortable and efficient way to Hike-a-Bike™. Luckily they had an excellent framework of products to borrow from. Their panniers, racks, and thru axle mounting Fit Kits provided them with nearly everything they needed while also being dual use throughout the rest of the route where hiking isn’t necessary.

Comfortable and sleek with an airy back panel to prevent a sweaty back on hot days.

Their DIvide rack created a rugged and stable foundation to mount their perfectly paired Ponderosa Panniers but moving it from riding to hiking took many iterations and countless hours of development. It was when they mentioned the idea to Portland bag maker North St Bags that the idea took some massive steps forward.

Pairing the OMM rack and panniers with North Street Bags’ backpack straps and back panel was a perfect match. Lightweight, dual purpose, and easy to fit in a pannier for the riding sections. 

“The Hike-a-Bike™ shaved hours off that segment of the route for me. It’s comfortable, convenient, and my favorite new fastpacking accessory.” Cynthia Carson, Winner of the 2024 Atlas Mountain Race (Women’s category) and 15th overall!

The Hike-a-Bike™ set up in towing mode!

In addition to moving one of the racks from your bike to your back, the thru axle mount allows users to tow their bike behind them in sections too difficult to ride. Simply, remove the rack and remount it to the Hike-a-Bike™. Then remove the front wheel and strap it onto your bike. Then mount your fork to the Hike-a-Bike™ fork mount. Then carefully position the bike to swing the straps over your shoulders and walk away as free as can be. Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6!

“Why put the entire bike on your back and carry all that weight when you can tow it behind you? Sure there are rules about the wheels not being allowed to touch the ground, but if those rules didn’t exist this would work great!” – Erik Fenner, Old Man Mountain Marketing Director

The Hike-a-Bike™ is ready to tackle ANY terrain!

Pulling the bike with the rear wheel still on the ground allows the bike to still support the bulk of the bike and gear weight. OMM said they just can’t find a fault with this design as it goes beyond bikepacking into a whole new genre the two brands are calling “backracking”… or “bikebacking”…. or “backpacking!

Yep!, that’s the one. Say hello to the Hike-a-Bike™, the first piece of backpacking bike gear.

Ratio Oversized Oval Pulleys

Ovalsized derailleur pulleys Ratio

 Here at Ratio, we prioritise three aspects in every product: efficiency, efficiency, and efficiency. Would it have been more efficient to say that once? Not when it comes to our latest product, the Ovalsized™ Jockey Wheels. Using the latest biomimicry techniques, we’ve taken inspiration from dinosaur eggs to optimise the local curvature at a continuum of points around the circumference of each of our Ovalsized™ jockeys. Maximum efficiency is achieved twice in each jockey’s rotation cycle, when the reduced articulation angle of each engaged chain link decreases fatigue and induces psych by up to 37%. Each 20 tooth jockey wheel is designed specifically for use with a 40 tooth chainring; not only does peak efficiency occur four times per cycle – helping you over top dead centre – but the variable chain take-up preloads the derailleur’s cage spring, increasing chain tension to propel you forwards. Please note: As the Ovalsized™ jockeys induce cyclic variations in B gap, we recommend only shifting when the upper jockey wheel is at 67 degrees rotation relative to datum for peak shift performance. It’ll be a total arse at first but don’t worry – you’ll get used to it. The Ratio Ovalsized™ Jockey Wheel system is ovalailable (see what we did there?) now at ratiotechnology.com for £1,234/€3,421/$3,142 Coming soon: Ceramic Ovalsized™ Jockey Wheels. Choose from porcelain, terracotta and bone china. Note that we are unable to warranty terracotta, and do not recommend dropping any of them.

Skratch Labs Skriracha Electrolyte Sauce

Cyclists love electrolytes, and they love sriracha. So Skratch Labs thought, why not both? According to the website, the sauce complements a wide range of aid station cuisines and is calibrated to meet the needs of the average athlete’s spice tolerance. And while it may not actually be a real product, every order placed at Skratch Labs today will get a Limited Edition Skriracha sticker added for free.

Hope Addes Smart App and Hub Connectivity

Hope Technology smart hub and app

Hope Tech, leading bicycle manufacturer delves into the tech world with new app.

Users of the new Smart Freehub* and Hope smartHub app can easily tune & customize their hub. The new integration removes the need to swap freehub bodies and gives the user the opportunity to bring back hub sounds from the past.

Now, riders select the hub model of their choice, and the freehub type at the press of a button meaning no more time spent switching freehub bodies and more time riding. The pièce de resistance the Hub sound selector. Scroll through the back catalog of Hope Hub sounds and choose your favorite. Enjoy the buzz of a Bulb or remind yourselves of the days of the Pro 2 evo.

“We’ve seen the revival of vinyl and analog film, so why not use tech to bring back the Hope sounds of old. Customers tell us all the time how they miss the noise of Pro 2 or the buzz of an older hub, so we thought why not give them the option.”

Selecting the soundtrack to your ride has never been easier.

Boyd Adds New High Pressure Hookless Tubeless System (actually a new line of tubular track wheels and Centerlock track hubs!)

Boyd Cycling is announcing two new hookless carbon wheels that can safely be ridden with no tire pressure limitations.

This revolutionary system utilizes a state-of-the-art hookless rim design and tube-shaped tire that is glued directly to the rim. Riders can rest assured their tires will very often finish rides the same way they started – attached to the wheel. “Beyond eliminating tire pressure restrictions, this new ‘tubular hookless’ style of rim has other features that wheel companies look for when they release hookless models – namely that the rims are lighter and cost less to manufacture,” says company retrogrouch Boyd Johnson.

In addition to the new rim profiles, an elegantly-simple hub design accompanies the new models. Sporting a single cog fixed to the hub, this ”pawl-less” design offers an unmatched 0º degrees of engagement with 1 continuous point of contact. Prototypes have been in development since the early 1900s and have been tested for millions of kilometers under the strongest of sprinters.

Yes, as you can probably tell by now, Boyd Cycling is releasing three track wheels, along with a radical new approach to mounting the track cog. Two Podium Carbon competition models lead the way, with a Prologue alloy training set rounding out the family.

60mm Track Tubular

The 60mm is a do-it-all racing wheelset, perfect for outdoor velodromes where the wind can pick up and intuitive handling in a pack is more important than full aero gains.

  • Spoke Count: 24 F/28 R
  • Lacing: 2X both sides F/R
  • Spokes: Pillar Wing 20 with Brass Nipples
  • Hub Weight: 285g F/310g R with chromoly axles and track nuts
  • Axle Sizes: ⅜” or M9/M10 F/R
  • Rim: Carbon Tubular
  • Rim Width: 25mm Rim Bed/28mm Widest
  • Rim Weight: 400g
  • Wheel Weight: 805g F/850g R
  • Retail: $1400 USD

80mm Track Tubular

The 80mm is a wheelset for those craving speed and a larger aero advantage. For racing against the clock and indoor venues, the 80mm is your weapon.

  • Spoke Count: 20F/24R
  • Lacing: 2X both sides F/R
  • Spokes: Pillar Wing 20 with Brass Nipples
  • Hub Weight: 285g F/310g R with chromoly axles and track nuts
  • Axle Sizes: ⅜” or M9/M10 F/R
  • Rim: Carbon Tubular
  • Rim Width: 25mm Rim Bed/28mm Widest
  • Rim Weight: 530g
  • Wheel Weight: 915g F/960g R
  • Retail: $1400 USD

Rouleur Track

The Rouleur is a great option for workouts or riding the trainer between races – perfect for an inexpensive intro to riding velodromes but also designed to handle roads and even package delivery.

  • Spoke Count: 28 F/32 R
  • Lacing: 2X both sides F/3x both sides R
  • Spokes: Pillar TB2018 with Brass Nipples
  • Hub Weight: 285g F/310g R with chromoly axles and track nuts
  • Axle Sizes: ⅜” or M9/M10 F/R
  • Rim: Tubeless Ready Alloy Clincher
  • Rim Width: 21mm INT/ 26mm EXT
  • Rim Weight: 475g
  • Wheel Weight: 928g F/977g R
  • Retail: $425 USD

Centerlock Track Cogs

At the heart of these wheels is a clever new hub design – the CL-TK hub uses a centerlock spline and cog for a much simpler and extremely secure interface. Simply slide the cog on the hub, tighten the disc rotor lock ring and you are good to go. Cog changes between events have never been simpler. The flip-flop hubs are also threaded for a standard cog and lockring so you can use your existing collection of cogs.

“We feel the centerlock track cog is a much faster and easier method for a track cog interface. Almost every track rider we have spoken to has accidentally cross-threaded a track hub once resulting in needing a new hub.” In fact, the first wheel Boyd ever built was a track wheel when he was a 16-year-old track racer and accidentally cross-threaded hub. “The last thing we need as a company is a 16-year-old kid cross-threading his track hub, learning to build wheels, and becoming a new competitor!”

Axle specs

Track bikes have had it simple over the years, they don’t have to worry about derailleur hangers or brake compatibility. However, not to be outdone by the rapidly changing specs of road and mountain bike counterparts, track bikes finally found a way to add a new “standard”… axle thickness. For decades, all axle specs were ⅜” for both front and rear axles. Confused as to why every other measurement on the bike was metric except the axle size, modern bikes have adopted an M9 front and M10 rear axle standard. How can you tell if your bike has metric or imperial measurements? A simple way to tell is if your existing wheel axle nuts fit perfectly on both the front and rear axles, then you have ⅜”. If your front axle nuts can not fit on the back then you more than likely have M9 and M10.

It’s important to note that if you are running a ⅜” bike and fork, an M9 front wheel will be loose in your front fork and an M10 rear wheel will not fit in the rear of your fork.

If you are running an M9 / M10 bike and fork, a ⅜” front wheel will not fit in your fork and a ⅜” rear wheel will be loose in the rear of your bike frame.

When you order your wheel or hub configuration you can choose your axle spec (based on your bike) and it will come with the correct size axles and nuts. If you accidentally order the wrong-sized axles, it is a fairly simple process to swap out the axles, you do not need to completely rebuild the wheel.

Yakima’s New StageTwo+2+2² Will Carry 8 Bikes!

yakima 8 bike rack April Fools

Never leave a friend behind again. We’ve all been there, having to leave a friend at home because there’s not enough space on the bike rack. That’s where Yakima said NEVER AGAIN. The all-new StageTwo +2+2^2 allows you to bring not one, not two, not three, not four, nope not even 5, or 6, nor 7, but eight, that’s right eight bikes.  

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King County
King County
18 days ago

The best day in the industry, but without reading, (too lazy today), I dont know if the feasible items are real or not. Sadly, a few times a year other items are shown that really do seem like April Fools jokes.

Capsaicycle
Capsaicycle
18 days ago

A hot sauce would be neat. As much as it might be an A1 joke, hot sauce is delicious and so good on so many things and even a goofiness of adding electrolytes could be neat. Heck having a super flavorful hot sauce with electrolytes in a gel format for cramps and muscle aches or post ride ‘ritos and stuff would be neat.

Billyshoo
Billyshoo
17 days ago

These had me laughing out loud. Thanks, Zach!!

Arjuna
Arjuna
17 days ago
Reply to  Billyshoo

Reading about the oversized ovalized jockey wheels had me laughing so hard i was crying. So funny!!!

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