First Impressions: Ortlieb Gravel-Pack Panniers

A staple among cyclo-tourists and commuters, Ortlieb’s products are famous for their durability and functionality. While the storied German brand might not be the first marque that comes to mind for bikepacking or gravel touring, the Ortlieb Gravel-Pack panniers ($180 MSRP) deliver added storage for the times when frame packs and handlebar rolls come up short on capacity.

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First Impressions: Spinergy GX Gravel Wheelset

If you were a bike nerd in the 90s, you probably remember Spinergy’s iconic Rev-X wheels. With their eight carbon spokes, the futuristic-looking hoops were all the rage in the pro peloton and domestic race scene. And while the Rev-X is no more, Spinergy’s current offerings are anything but low tech. Utilizing the company’s patented PBO composite spokes, Spinergy wheels are available for practically every discipline, including four gravel models. So when the California-based company asked if I’d like to test their new 650B GX gravel wheelset ($599 MSRP), I simply couldn’t say no.

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Second Look: microSHIFT ADVENT Components

Last year’s review of the 9-speed microSHIFT ADVENT drivetrain quickly became one of GRAVELBIKE’s most popular articles. With Shimano and SRAM dominating the market, many riders–myself included–were naturally curious to learn more about the budget-priced drivetrain that boasted improved reliability and durability. My initial impressions of the ADVENT components were certainly positive, but how would the microSHIFT drivetrain fare over the longer haul?

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First Impressions: Marque Cycling Tools

Founded by a team of avid riders working in the bicycle industry, newcomer Marque Cycling offers a practical selection of accessories, tools, and bar tape and grips. By working closely with the same factories that produce goods for the big brands, Marque can offer reliable products at affordable prices. We recently tested three of the company’s tools, putting them through the wringer in the workshop and on the trail.

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First Impressions: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS Components

The article you’re currently reading didn’t start out as a SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS review. Nope, far from it. My original plan was to test a complete bicycle equipped with SRAM’s new SRAM Force eTap AXS™ components. Rather than using an unfamiliar bike as my test rig, the folks at SRAM suggested a different approach: send them a rolling chassis–in this case, a Breezer Radar Pro frameset, PUB Gravel 734 carbon wheels–and their tech wizards would build up the bike with a Force eTap AXS group. Like many plans, though, that would change.

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