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Road & Gravel Bike Roundup: Simplon, Hilite, CKT x Virenque, and that darn string bike

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Austrian brand Simplon’s bikes have a simple yet unique aesthetic, and clever features abound as you explore them close up. We covered a couple of their mountain bikes here, and you can see some of the same lines on their 2017 gravel/cyclocross/gran fondo bikes. This Pavo Gran Fondo Disc uses offset fork dropouts and thin, low set seatstays to add comfort. Check out the clean lines and tons more bikes below…

The seatpost binder bolt hides under that little rubber cap on the top tube.

The bottom bracket/seat tube section wraps around the tire slightly to create a large, stiff structure for pedaling efficiency that leads into more compliant chainstays.

Their Inisio Crosser uses a bulkier head tube to take the pounding CX dishes out and drops the rear end while raising the bottom bracket height slightly.

Note the even lower seatstay placement, and the non-drive chainstay drops asymmetrically to make room for the brake caliper.

The Inisio Gran Fondo endurance uses the same frame layout but switches to normal road tires.

Alligator Cables made a little room in their booth for String Bike to show off their cord-driven transmission. A bike with a very similar setup finished the 3,500 mile Race Across America in 11 days 10 hours.

CKT by Virenque takes CKT’s carbon frame and fork building experience (all bikes come with a lifetime warranty) and combines it with former pro cyclist Richard Virenque’s knowledge.

They make a range of road bikes, but this Prankster took their existing shapes and turned it into a very pretty gravel bike with brown leather saddle and almost color matched bar tape and sidewalls.

Swiss made Hilite makes titanium bikes, and their latest is the Titan sRACE road bike. It’s a streamlined version of their standard road bike with straight seatstays and a sleeker head tube to shave grams here and there.

Average frame weight is 1,350g, which they say easily allows for a complete bike weight of 6kg (13.22lb).

They also had their new disc brake cross/gravel bike with rack mounts and thru axles. This one’s not up on their website yet, but you can check out the rest of their collection at Hilite-Bikes.com.

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7 years ago

Are all of these round-ups coming from a particular bike show? I don’t think any shows are going on right now, so are these stuff that didn’t make the first cut of coverage from Euro/Interbike?

7 years ago

Hilite Titanium Frames are manufactured in Taiwan. Just the assembly is taking place in the Swiss. There is nothing wrong with that, just to point it out.

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