Riding is Life


Podcast: The road drivetrain market is starting to get very crowded

More competition is always good.

Who said road riding was dead? Clearly a lot of industry folks haven’t gotten the message, as we discuss in this week’s episode of the Geek Warning podcast.

Icelandic brand Lauf has just launched its first road bike, the Úthald, and it sounds super intriguing with its strong emphasis on rider comfort, durability, approachable handling, and – maybe best of all – phenomenal value. We’ve requested a review sample, but check it out here in the meantime, and let us know what questions you’d like answered once we receive our loaner.

Belgian brand Classified sure has something interesting going with its slick two-speed internally geared rear hub – namely, a possible collaboration with TRP for a complete – and clean integrated – wireless electronic road groupset. A 2×12 drivetrain with no front derailleur, you say? Intriguing.

As if that wasn’t enough, Italian boutique component brand Ingrid Components showed off a couple of prototype shifter designs at the Bespoked show in Dresden, Germany: one for mountain bikes, and one for road, although the road lever borrows some inspiration from Shimano’s old flippy shifters of yesteryear, and it might even have integrated headlights (for real). 

Specialized has never been afraid of going out on a limb, and it certainly did so with the Epic World Cup, easily one of the most polarizing mountain bikes any of us have ever ridden. But is it a case of it being so unique that you need to re-think your riding style to get the most out of it, or is just too narrowly focused for its own good?

There may only be three of us on the Escape Collective tech team, but we still manage to review a decent number of bikes. Ever wonder what our process is for reviewing bikes, and getting them set up? Consider those questions answered.

And finally, part of the joy of escaping into parts unknown on a bike is being out in the middle of nowhere, far away from the stresses of the world. But have you ever thought about what you’d do if you – or someone in your group – got seriously hurt and you couldn’t call for help? James has unfortunately been thinking about that a lot lately, and maybe you should, too.

You can listen on iTunesSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Or click play below.

Of course, we have more over on the whole Escape Collective podcast network.


3:35 – Lauf is getting into road bikes with a big emphasis on rider comfort and value
11:58 – It sure sounds like a new SRAM Red is coming in summer 2024
13:21 – TRP and Classified have got something cooking for a novel wireless electronic road drivetrain
23:22 – Ingrid Components now has complete drivetrains for road and MTB
29:45 – Should you need to adjust your riding style to suit a particular bike, or should it be the other way around?
43:26 – What’s our process for setting up test bikes for review?
57:44 – Heading into the backcountry? Safety first

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