Bikes, Bags, and Shades, the Latest and Greatest From Summer PressCamp


Midweek editor's ride led by all-around good guy Eric Porter. Photo: Stephen Lam/


The behind of scene of every bike beauty shot. Photo: Stephen Lam/


Product demonstration area at White Lighting. Photo: Stephen Lam/


Koroyd engineering cores in various shapes and forms. Photo: Stephen Lam/


Gerard Vroomen of OPEN showing his ONE+ superlight hardtail (with plenty of room for 3" tires) Photo: Stephen Lam/


Would love to see more company doing subtle paint details like OPEN. Photo: Stephen Lam/


Custom Pinarello logo on this Mavic spoke. Photo: Stephen Lam/


Filed under "cool stuff you cannot have" aka dual-sided Stages powermeter made for the US Olympic track pursuit team. Photo: Stephen Lam/


The gravel crew in the afternoon. Photo: Stephen Lam/


Start 'em young! Photo: Stephen Lam/


Love them Alpinestar gloves. Photo: Stephen Lam/


For 2017 GT is also bringing back that Performer BMX you wanted back in 1986. You know you want one. Photo: Stephen Lam/

PressCamp in Park City is still one of my favorite events of the year. The laidback atmosphere, killer rides, that ride party at Eric Porter’s House, the daily doses of epic breakfast bacon, and of course plenty of fun new gear to talk about. Here are a few of the highlights from the week-long meetings. We will have more individual highlights/reviews in the pipeline.


The vaulted SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod will be available this fall with disc brakes. While the bike looks almost identical to the caliper brake version sans the brakes, the frame is brand new given that you just can’t slap a brake caliper mount to the frame mold and call it a day. The geometry is the same but the disc frame will have a different layup to accommodate different loads generated by disc brakes.

photo: Stephen Lam/
Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod disc with Ultegra Di2. Photo: Stephen Lam/

Even then, the weight penalty is minimal. Otherwise, the most noticeable differences are the utilization of the Flat Mount standard for the brake calipers, improved tire clearance up to 28C tires (the bike we were shown had 25C Schwalbe one tubeless clincher mounted to the Cannondale Hollogram carbon clinchers with a 19mm inner diameter), and the 12×100 thru-axle for the fork. What’s interesting, though, is that Cannondale kept the traditional 135×9 quick release for the rear wheel. The model we were shown, a SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Carbon Disc with Ultegra, will retail for $6,200 and I expect more disc models at different price points will be available as well.


Better known for their cockpit components such as stem, handlebar and seaports, the storied Italian component maker 3T carried a truck full of their new Exploro gravel road bikes and they did not disappoint. In fact, they were so good they would have easily won the best of camp if there was one.

3T Exlploro. Photo: Stephen Lam/
3T Exlploro. Photo: Stephen Lam/

The loaner I rode was mounted with 2.1×27.5 WTB Nano mountain bike knobbies (and it’s compatible with 700c for road and cross) and it blew me away in terms of how playful the bike was over the rocky dry terrain at Park City. Oh, and it’s an aero gravel bike designed with bottles, fat tires and mud in mind that 3T went as far as 3D printed mud for testing.

THM Calavicula SE crankset. Bling. Photo: Stephen Lam/
THM Calavicula SE crankset. Bling. Photo: Stephen Lam/
3T. Photo: Stephen Lam/

Now, at $4,200 for the top of the line LTD frameset, the Exploro will definitely take up a good amount of your hard-earned moola but it’s one hell of a super gravel bike if you can only have one to do it all.


It’s only been a short time since Fabric came to the US market and they have yet to disappoint with their ingenuity. New for 2017 are their lineup lights. In particular, the $39 R30 rear light.

New Illumination offerings from Fabric. Photo: Stephen Lam/
New Illumination offerings from Fabric. Photo: Stephen Lam/

Thirty lumens LED strip capable of running in 4 different modes off a USB rechargeable lithium battery rated for 8-9 hours depending on running mode, all housed inside a IPX5 water resistant outer case. Beneath the hood, Fabric added an accelerometer so the light will automatically glow brighter when the user brakes to slow down, just like the taillights on a car.

Ryders Eyewear

I must admit I am not familiar with Canadian sunglasses maker
Ryders Eyewear despite seeing their products at different places over the years. Sales of sports sunglasses is one tough competitive market but Ryders seems to have a lot of good technology neatly integrated across the board from their entry level model all the way to the no holds barred models.

(L-R) Aero, Seventh and Incline by Ryders Eyewear. Photo: Stephen Lam/
(L-R) Aero, Seventh and Incline by Ryders Eyewear. Photo: Stephen Lam/

A few details that caught my attention: Grilamid TR90 materials on all their non-metal frames that is super flexible. We tried to pull apart a frame without success, yet it was able to retain its shape after our post-presentation abuse. Second, integrated anti-fog in the back of the lens and hydrophobic coating in front to shed water. No more aftermarket mods!


Typically better known in the time-trial/triathlon scene but at PressCamp, however, Blue showed up with a slew of new additions to their 2017 line up and the Prosecco EX Carbon gravel bike is possibly one of the best value bikes from PressCamp. For $2,699, you’ll get a full carbon frame, hydraulic brakes AND Shimano Ultegra Di2 electronic grouppo. Also cool is the slippery looking Leigh carbon track bike, race ready straight out of the box.

Blue Prosecco EX carbon Photo: Stephen Lam/
Blue Prosecco EX carbon Photo: Stephen Lam/
Blue Lehigh track bike. Photo: Stephen Lam/
Blue Lehigh track bike. Photo: Stephen Lam/


GT Pantera: Seems like brands are putting more focus on introductory/middle tier models this year at PressCamp and for that reason, GT reintroduced the Pantera back into their 2017 mountain bike lineup. Only this time with a sturdy new aluminum t6 frame, a competitive spec and most importantly 27.5+ wheels for comfort, maneuverability, and fun factor for the price ($1620 for the top of the line Expert model). It’s a very playful bike and I think it’ll be a hit next year.

GT Pantera Expert. Photo: Stephen Lam/


Pinarello is now in the gravel market with the addition of the GAN GR and GRs, with the latter equipped with a elastomer rear suspension delivering 10mm of travel similar to the absorber found on their Paris-Roubaix proven K8-S machine. Both models are disc only and heavily features design cues from their top of the line F8 road frame, but with ample tire clearance and fender mounts as well as a lower price point ($2850 with Shimano 105 and $5250 with Shimano Ultegra.)

Pinarello GAN GRS gravel bike. Photo: Stephen Lam/
Pinarello GAN GRS gravel bike disc with Shimano 105. Photo: Stephen Lam/
Elastomer suspension with 10mm of travel to soak up the road chatters. photo: Stephen Lam/
Elastomer suspension with 10mm of travel to soak up the road chatters. photo: Stephen Lam/


Many associate Thule with being the brand that makes racks and accessories for your car but the Swedish company is much much more than just a one trick pony. Thule has developed products such as rugged phone cases, and luggage bags. What caught my attention was the Covert Camera Bag: a rolltop-style backpack that’s been the rage lately but the dedicated camera compartment had some of the nicest inserts I’ve seen. We will be reviewing one very soon so stay tuned for updates!

Thule Covert camera backpack Photo: Stephen Lam/
Thule Covert camera backpack Photo: Stephen Lam/
Nicely padded inserts for the camera compartment. Photo: Stephen Lam/
Nicely padded inserts for the camera compartment. Photo: Stephen Lam/


Smith, being the first to incorporate the novelty Koroyd material into bicycle helmets, is back with two new affordable helmets (with Koroyd, of course) called the Rover (for MTB) and Route (for road.) While the original Overtake and Forefront helmets saw a full wrap of koroyd around the helmet, it drove the price of the helmet.

(L-R) Smith Route and Rover helmets. Photo: Stephen Lam/
(L-R) Smith Route and Rover helmets. Photo: Stephen Lam/

For the Rover and Route, Smith was able to strategically place Koroyd panels in the areas where it would likely see impact, thus lowering the price point. I know the last few sentences were full of Koroyd. I, in fact, was treated to an interesting presentation directly from Koroyd, 45 minutes on a single material backed by data, Surprisingly, though, it was also one of the more memorable, and convicing presentations during the week that would make you want to wear nothing but Koroyd gear. It’s that good.


Ahh, the slippery fast Noah SL, now better with disc. We tested a caliper brake version of the Noah SL a while back and had a great time with it. For the Noah SL Disc, Ridley designers went back to added thru-axle front and rear for security and stiffness. Ridley’s split aero fork remains and we expect the bike to be even more capable than its caliper brake brethren.

Ridley Noah SL Disc. Photo: Stephen Lam/


Six month is a long time in the bike biz and Ellsworth is back at Summer PressCamp with a new owner and a spiffy looking Rogue Sixty enduro machine with 160mm of rear travel. The iconic ICT suspension remains but founder Tony Ellsworth incorporated a 420mm short chain-stay, mil-spec dual row bearings, slack geometry, and hex taper-axles that should translate this carbon-framed bike into one sweet tight berm riding machine.

Ellsworth Rogue Sixty in orange and black Photo: Stephen Lam/

Best Bike Shop Spotlight: Bike Haus in Scottsdale

Bike Haus in Scottsdale, AZ
Photo: Jim Merithew/

So it’s a little before 6 a.m. and I am pulling into the parking lot of Bicycle Haus in Scottsdale.

The Arizona heat has already started its upwardly projection. It won’t be long before you will be able to bake cookies on the dashboard of your car.

It’s going to be in the neighborhood of 116 degrees today and thus an early morning group ride is organizing in the shop. A small, but dedicated group of riders, hoping to get some miles in before the neighborhood starts to feel like the surface of the sun.

The collection of riders in stylin’ shop kit is only outdone by the whips being ridden.

John Benson, Bike Haus shop employee, is aboard a brand new sunset orange Santa Cruz Stigmata with some of the biggest, most beautiful tires I have ever seen on a road group ride. And there are Pinarellos and Colnagos and S-Works Tarmacs.

Bike Haus in Scottsdale, AZ
Photo: Jim Merithew/

Also amongst the riders is Bike Haus shop owner Kale Keltz. Kale is an unassuming, witty, sharp-tongued gentlemen who, from what I witnessed and has been confirmed by multiple sources, can rail a bike with grace, speed and power.

The morning ride is pretty civilized, except a brief bike path sprint shootout, which is both a little bit nuts and a little bit fun. Like a scene from Bullet, but on bikes. Almost 30 miles later the morning ride ends up back where it started.

A shop where they serve freshly pulled espresso shots in Assos cups.

A shop which could easily be a set for a Hollywood movie.

Bike Haus is that shop.

Bike Haus in Scottsdale, AZ
Photo: Jim Merithew/

The shop with all the cool kit and all the high flute bikes and all the cool t-shirts and all the cool shop employees and all the cool customers and all the cool everything. The sock collection alone sends me into a shopping overload.

It is the shop you always wished you lived down the street from, so you could roll in and ogle the new two-wheeled goodness.

And you wish, every morning, you could join the staff for a pre-work ride and have them pull you an espresso afterwards, while you stand around bullshitting about your exploits.

And you wish you could bring a friend in from out-of-town and have your shop mechanic pull out an F8 from the collection for him to ride.

And you want to sit on the bar stools and jabber about disc brakes—or bourbon.

The owner of Bike Haus, Kale Keltz, in Scottsdale, AZ. Photo: Jim Merithew/
The owner of Bike Haus, Kale Keltz, in Scottsdale, AZ. Photo: Jim Merithew/

Kale has built the shop. And he’s done it in Ol’ Town Scottsdale. The shop of your dreams. Filled with all the toys and all the coolness you always dreamed about.

And we wanted to find out what makes him tick, so we subjected him to our rapid-fire questions and this is what he had to say.

Stemware up or down: Up

Boxers or briefs: Briefs

Which is your favorite movie: Shawshank

Which is the one job in the world that you would love to do: I’m doing it. But what I’d love to do is probably something in the automotive industry.

Where do you see yourself in five years time: Still at the shop hoping working a little less, having weekends off.

What is your spirit animal: I don’t go to Sedona enough to know that.

If you won the lottery, how would you spend your millions: I wouldn’t change much. I would have a nicer car and a nicer house, but I’d still be doing what I’m doing right now.

Toilet paper, under or over: Under. I like it to come up from underneath. Someone keeps changing it in the damn bathroom. And someone is folding the toilet paper in a little fancy V. Who the hell is doing that? We don’t have time for that.

Are you a morning person or a night person: I would say both. I am probably morning person than night. I can listen John Denver anytime though. Morning or night.

What is your favorite cocktail: Spritz. Or Moscow Mule.

What three words would a close friend use to describe you: I don’t know. OCD. Meticulous. Observant. Frank.

Would you like to climb a mountain or trek across a desert: Climb a mountain.

If people were thrown into jail for bad habits, what would you be thrown in jail for: Speeding. I don’t really do anything else I would be thrown in jail for.

What would be your chosen superpower: I think flying, but if I could fly I wouldn’t need to drive, so I don’t know.

If you were a stalker, would you be really good at it: Yes.

What is your favorite food: Ice cream. Chocolate.

What is your idea of the perfect vacation: Riding my bike somewhere in the mountains.

What is the one thing that annoys you above all else: I’m very clean, so I don’t like disorder.

If you were an automobile, what kind of automobile would you be: Something German.

The Bike Shop Is a Midwest Oasis of Weird

The flagship Shinola store in downtown Detroit.

No matter where you are in the Midwest, it feels like The Heart of the Midwest. No town proclaims itself the “Fist of the Midwest,” “The Brains” or “The Pancreas.” In contrast to the Northwest, where people want to “Keep Portland Weird,” in this part of the country folk yearn for consistency, common sense, a purity of plainness. And so, we are all “The Heart.”

This truth says a lot about who we are as a place, and it helps explain how difficult it can be, when traveling within the Midwest, to experience difference. Apart from struggling independent bookstores and curry shops, I usually seek difference and weirdness in bike shops, and thank goodness for them.

Recent excursions have introduced me to two shops in particular that seem to represent extremes in the genre: from glossy and ethereal on the one hand, to an earthy sincerity on the other.

The first of these recent visits was to the flagship Shinola store in downtown Detroit (above). And boy is it something. The place is so immaculate and refined and atmospheric that it feels like something projected into your mind rather than something you walk into with your feet. The retail staff each sports a persona that ranges all the way from well-coiffed lumberjack to well-coiffed thoughtful-outdoorsy-type to someone who might date either of those two.

The flagship Shinola store in downtown Detroit.

And they’re nice. One taught me what I do wrong when I tamp my espresso shots. The rest at least looked friendly. Absent was any sense that customers were valued according to the profile of their calf muscles. Indeed, at no time was I even given the impression that any of these employees had ever actually ridden a bike.

The customers milled about more than they shopped, like at a gallery opening. Shinola seems to be using the idea of bicycles in order to sell the idea of Detroit. But it could be the other way around. Or maybe those two ideas combine to help sell the idea of watches and leather-goods. It is all very confusing and beautiful and I want everything I saw there.

Bike Courier Bike Shop in Louisville, Kentucky

And then, far away on the other side of the bike shop universe, is Bike Courier Bike Shop in Louisville, Kentucky. Where the Shinola visit was itself a destination, planned for weeks, this one was a surprise hidden among a stretch of workmanlike 19th century storefronts, preceded by a rushed parallel-parking job rather than a Siri-guided tour.

And you can probably imagine the place. This is the shop with all of the bikes. But it’s even better than that one because this is also the shop with more bikes crammed in its underlit crumbling-brick-floor basement full of spiders. It’s the one with the workbench built with 2×4 lumber, where you have to walk around the repair stand to get to the counter, where the owner, the only one there, streams the local soccer club’s first game of the season while relating to you the store’s curious backstory. You forget the details but remember that it was a good story, or at least kind of interesting, or at least definitely not a finely-honed marketing strategy.

These two spots feel like extremes, the bike shop version of Apollo and Dionysus: one a controlled pursuit of selling the “bicycle” as an abstract, high-value idea, the other a jumble of actual bikes, parts and people that has grown organically from the ground up, originating in a desire to ride. And the beautiful thing is that both of these stores invest their little corners of the Midwest with a sense of local identity and strangeness that is increasingly hard to find these days.

The flagship Shinola store in downtown Detroit.