Tech Roundup: Forks, Brakes, Tools, Oversize Pulleys & more!

Tech Roundup: Forks, Brakes, Tools, Oversize Pulleys & more!

In addition to all the killer new bags and soft goods I found at Sea Otter, there were plenty of unannounced tech products hiding in the booths. From suspension to brakes, tires to drivetrain, and lots more anodized and CNC’d goodies, here’s the rest of the best from my camera.

Cascade Components, which got its start making rear suspension linkage swaps for bikes like Santa Cruz, Forbidden, Specialized and now a whole lot more, was showing off their brand new North Fork four-piston disc brake calipers.

cascade components 4 piston brake prototypes

Originally designed only for SRAM Code levers and DOT fluid, the North Fork calipers are adding a Mineral Oil version to work with Shimano and other levers, too. It’s not out yet, but the 18/16mm piston combo and oversized body and hardware will carry over.

They use standard bleed hardware, same as the stock calipers they replace, and claim to have ~20% more power.

cascade components high pivot pulley wheels and shock linkages

If you haven’t seen them, here’s an example of their replacement linkage for a Specialized Stumpjumper EVO, which increases travel (without changing ride height) and progression.

Marzocchi adds white finish

marzocchi mountain bike forks in white

Currently only offered to their pro riders, Marzocchi will be making this white color available on all of their forks a little later this year. For now, you can choose from Red or Black.


ceramicspeed x offroad oversize pulley cages for gravel and mountain bikes

Over the past couple of years, Ceramicspeed has added Cerakote finishes in limited editions and special colors, all of which carry a ~$200 premium. Now they have two new colors (Fiery Orange and Icy Blue) and fresh “X” branding to convey their toughness and readiness for mountain biking that some of their sponsored athletes were already taking advantage of.

The products are the same, other than being designed to fit Shimano and SRAM’s top groups. MSRP from $839, for 1x drivetrains only…but they do also offer “X” series units for 1x and 2x gravel groups.

ceramicspeed x offroad oversize pulley cages for gravel and mountain bikes

And answering the question “Will these work with SRAM’s new T-Type Transmission group?” without actually having to say anything was this display bike. They suggested the standard Eagle AXS derailleur works just fine with the new T-Type cassette and chain, though you’d be missing out on the added stiffness and durability of the T-Type derailleur. But, you know, if you can only afford some of the group or already have an upgraded derailleur…

Kogel OSPW Aero Cage & Purple Pulleys

kogel oversize bering pulleys in purple and aero pulley cage

Kogel has been working on their Kolossos Aero pulley cage, which uses the aero fairings as the structural element, hiding much of the chain and pulleys from the wind. It’s available for pre-order now with a $10 refundable deposit as it’s still in the “rideable prototype” phase, available in raw and black.

For purple ano fans, they’re now offering it in a limited edition batch to fit most popular current road and mountain bike derailleurs and their own complete Kolossos OSPW cage.

gold mountain bike with kogel oversize pulley cage

They also had this shiny gold-wrapped bike with gold anodized pulley cage.

Crank Brothers Highline 11 dropper post returns

crank brothers 11 highline dropper seatpost with carbon shaft

Coming back to their catalog this summer, the Crank Brothers Highline 11 with carbon shaft will give them a top-level option with improved durability. The main update is that they’re switching to an alloy head rather than carbon. It adds just 15g, but it is more reliable and easier to manufacture.

It’ll come in 60/80/100/125/150/170mm travel options with 30.9 and 31.6 diameters. They’re working on 27.5, probably up to 125. It should be shipping this summer and come in about 50-70g lighter than the Highline 7, depending on size.

Magura Vyron Wireless Dropper 3.0 finally in the US

Announced last fall, the Magura Vyron V3 promises faster actuation and return, with a more responsive wireless connection. North American availability was delayed while they finalized their Bluetooth transmission licensing, and now it should start shipping in Q3 2023 for $649 with pre-orders opening in late Spring or Early Summer.

magura vyron v3 wireless dropper seatpost

The post is powered by a replaceable CR2 battery…

magura vyron v3 wireless dropper seatpost and remote lever button

…and the remote uses standard CR2023 coin cell batteries. It’ll come with a standard band clamp and Magura’s Shiftmix clamp that fits their MT-series brakes.

Topeak has new pumps, stands & Ninja tools

topeak max stand bike stand with 65lb weight limit for heavy e-bikes

The new Topeak Lineup Stand Max will accommodate tires up to 29×2.35 and bikes up to 65lbs, perfect for heavier eMTBs with big tires.

new topeak joe blow floor pumps

The Joe Blow lineup gets a visual refresh with easier categorization by discipline designated by name and max air pressure ranges. Two mountain bike versions are offered, both with oversized 44.4mm barrel diameters to move lots of air, but with different pump heads (both compatible with both Presta and Schrader).

new topeak joe blow floor pumps

They also get bigger 3.5″ gauges and numbers to make them easy to read. MSRP $50-55 each.

topeak ninja bike tools that hide inside your mountain bike handlebar

Their Ninja line of hidden tools add new flat bar kits that features hex and torx bits on one end, and a tire plugger kit on the other. Fold out handles make them easy to pull out of the bar when needed.

new topeak tool roll

There’s also a chain breaker/mini tool option, and this new Tool Roll that we first saw at Taipei Show (along with some other really cool stuff from their booth).

topeak tire levers with integrated chain breaker and holder and quick link disconnect

Lastly, there’s this new tire lever set with chain breaker, quick link pliers, and chain hook to keep it together while you remove or insert a link.

Clever Standard COtools adds more ways to upcycle spent CO2 cartridges

clever tools COtools that use CO2 canister as a handle

If you hate the idea of ​​chucking perfectly good metal after a single use, then Believe In Bikes’ Clever COtools repurposes spent threaded CO2 cartridges as tool handles.

Their newest (upcoming) thread-on base can hold standard hex/torx bits to create a wrench. Add the one-way ratchet to extend it or make the job quicker. Thread in the tubeless plugger spear and thread on the stop to safely repair a puncture. Topping it all off, the base comes in multiple colors and doubles as a valve core removal tool and spoke wrench and can even help true a brake rotor.

clever tools COtools that use CO2 canister as a handle

Bring along a piece of string and you can even use it to tie your e-bike’s crank to the chainring, allowing you to backpedal for easier tuning and chain cleaning (because many mid-motor e-bikes disengage when backpedaling, so you can’ t turn the cranks backward to move the chain in reverse).

clever tools COtools that use CO2 canister as a handle

Their new Adaptor 2.0 comes in lots of colors and combines a valve core removal tool with Presta-to-Schrader adapter. It works great as a Presta valve cap, too, so you can add some bling and be ready for whatever pump you may find in a pinch, even if it’s at a tire center.

clever tools COtools that use CO2 canister as a handle

Last up are their tire plugger ends, which fit over a small allen tool and basically turn any multitool into a puncture repair kit. Preload a few fits and keep them in a little bag and you’re ready to go. Multiple sizes accommodate different thickness “bacon strips”.

Selle Italia Smart Tape handlebar tape

sell italia handlebar tape with integrated plug end

Selle Italia’s new pre-capped Smart Tape has integrated caps made from the same grippy material as the tape, just slide it on and start wrapping. The backside uses a micro-suction cup-like material to hold onto your bar and prevent slipping, eliminating the need for sticky tape.

sell italia handlebar tape with integrated plug end

That means it’s reusable, and easy to rewrap as many times as you need to get it just right. It not only starts off looking tidier, but they say it saves about 20% of the time it normally takes to wrap a bar. It’s 2.5mm thick and will retail for just $20 when it goes on sale in mid/late May.


elevation wheel co truing stand quick release modification tool and spoke nipple sorting tray

Elevation Wheel Co. is a Colorado-based custom wheel builder, and founder Chris is always looking for ways to make it easier to build wheels (and teach others how to build wheels…he hosts online classes now and then).

elevation wheel co truing stand quick release modification tool and spoke nipple sorting tray

His latest invention is the Arm Bar, a magnetic truing stand indicator lock, which snaps (magnetically) onto the end of a Park Tool truing stand and adds plunger-like pins that you can push in to hold the rim guides open. This makes it way easier to remove a wheel and much quicker than turning the dial all the way open…just pull the guides out and press the pin to hold it wide open. MSRP is $80-100 depending on whether you want custom etching on it.

elevation wheel co truing stand quick release modification tool and spoke nipple sorting tray

His Nipple Shuffle Box is a 3D-printed (also in Zach’s 3D-printed tech roundup) try that holds spoke nipples in an organized, easy to grab slot, helping speed up wheel building. MSRP is $25-$30.

Want more? Check out my Bags / Gear and Overland / Vanlife roundups, too!

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