Velosport Imports is well-versed in cyclocross equipment distributing such brands as Alan Bikes and Challenge Tires. The company had an array of new product offerings from other brands we’ve covered before, some of which we saw at NAHBS this year, and all of which are likely to appeal to the gravel riding and racing crowd.
Aside from the RaceOne adjustable bottle cage we showed you earlier in our NAHBS coverage, Velosport Imports displayed Brake Force One’s latest hydraulic offerings at the show.
The German-made Brake Force One calipers are said to double the braking-to-hand force ratio while greatly increasing pad clearance, without a fluid reservoir. There is a version that uses mineral oil, which retails for $650 USD. But the company also has a water-based brake as well that is said to have higher heat resistance and still doesn’t freeze (with a glycol additive). That model sells for $600 USD.
The levers have a dial that allow you to adjust pad clearance, just you can on like mechanical brakes. Other promising features include better pad clearance and the aforementioned low lever effort. If only Brake Force One had drop bar levers, or could team up with someone like TRP to make one.
The Brake Force One set up was displayed on a new fork offering from German:A called the Kilo.
Now that Cannondale’s second attempt at a drop bar suspension bike has gotten a lot of attention, Velosport Imports believes their German:A line of suspension forks are great candidates for high-end, lightweight gravel or adventure bike builds.
Reminiscent of the AMP linkage forks of the 90s, the German:A forks start at just 1100 grams, can be built to take disc brakes, canti/V-brakes, or both and have a handful of shock options.
The linkages pivot on eight sealed bearings, offer straight aluminum or carbon steerers and feature an axle-to-crown that’s longer than the average cyclocross fork by about a centimeter, meaning it’d change your bike’s steering or you’d want a frame designed around such a fork. The Kilo no. 1 model retails for $1,500 USD. Stay tuned for ride impressions of the Kilo fork as we should be testing one of these in the near future.
Brakes and suspension forks have to roll on something, and the new X-Sense wheels and rims from Alchemist may be just the answer.
We previewed the excellent and unique, but pricey Alchemist CX Zirconium wheels, and reviewed them in issue 30, and found them to be a compelling counter to the “tubulars are always lighter” argument. They were also some of the best we’ve ridden for burp-free tubeless use except when we tried WTB TCS tires, which were just too tight to mount.
The new X-Sense rim features a completely sealed rim so those running them tubeless need not worry about tape. And if you are going tubeless, the “narrowest” rim offering is a wide 26mm internal, which will add some volume to your cyclocross or gravel tires and may well put you past UCI width restrictions for ‘cross racing. But hey, most paying customers aren’t worried about UCI rules.
The Italian-molded rims feature external nipples, which allow easy truing and maintenance, and they are supposed to be shock absorbing. But we’re curious if mud will collect on the rim cavities.
The new X-Sense rims start at $2,700 and come in a range of sizes from 26mm to 85mm for adventure and fat bike use.
Stay tuned for another new offering from Velosports Imports.
More info: velosportimports.com/alan-gravel.html