If you’ve ever been left behind on the chaingang or struggled to stay with the bunch on a long singletrack grind (and would prefer not to put in any training miles) you might want to consider adding a secret weapon: the Gruber Assist.
The entire system adds about 1900g (4.2lb) but feeds up to 200 watts of power straight to the cranks; simply hit the turbo button hidden in your bar end and off you go, beaming smiles as you pass your riding pals with almost no effort on stiff climbs on a ‘standard’ bike.
The motor and transmission are designed to drop into a 31.6mm seat tube and drive a dedicated bottom bracket based on a Shimano Hollowtech II crank. The Li-ion battery pack drops into a standard saddle bag.
Experienced cyclists are unlikely to embrace the Gruber Assist (after all, it’s fairly heavy) but it’d be a great boost for new cyclists and commuters looking for a little help.
Road rigs from Charge
Fixie/singlespeed supremo Charge is now piling head long into geared road bikes with the launch of two retro flavour machines, the Juicer and Skewer.
The Juicer uses Tange Prestige steel tubes which were somewhat chunky in the prototype form we saw but slated to be more traditionally slimline in production. The Skewer, on the other hand, is built with double-butted Tange Ultimate Titanium tubes arranged in traditional race geometry and dressed in a beautiful highly polished and brushed finish. A dedicated matching Tange all-carbon fork caps off the front end.
From what we can tell, the premium materials and build quality of the Skewer puts it firmly in the court of the major titanium manufacturers such as Litespeed, Lynskey, Merlin etc. But at just £1299 for the frame this particular entry might just set the standard for value in Ti ownership.