Podcast: SRAM’s Chris Mandell discusses the new XPLR line of product for gravel!

podcast sram xplr Chris Mandell

Our partner in podcasting, The Gravel Ride Podcast, sits down this week with SRAM’s Chris Mandell for an exclusive interview to discuss the new XPLR line of products for gravel. We dig into the SRAM XPLR components, the RockShox REVERB AXS wireless dropper post, and finally RockShox’s new gravel suspension fork, Rudy.

SRAM Website / Zipp Website / Rockshox Website

podcast sram xplr Chris Mandell
Photo by The Gravel Ride Podcast

Automatic Transcription by The Gravel Ride (please excuse all errors)

[00:00:00] Craig Dalton: Craig Dalton. Hello and welcome to the gravel ride podcast. I’m your host, Craig Dalton.

[00:00:08] We’ve got a big show for you this week. So I’m going to keep the intro short. I’m welcoming Chris Mandel from SRAM

[00:00:14] To the show to talk about the new explore series just launched today, August.

[00:00:19] This is really three shows in one, as we talk about grupos dropper posts. And suspension forks.

[00:00:25] I’m super excited to dive into this conversation. I’ve been testing the products a few weeks down here in Topanga, California. And really excited to bounce my ideas off of Chris.

[00:00:36] And get his insights about the new XPLR line.

[00:00:39] So with that, let’s dive right in.

[00:00:41] Chris, welcome to the show.

[00:00:43] Chris Mandell: Thanks for having me. I’m real excited to be here.

[00:00:45] Craig Dalton: This is a conversation that I feel is eight or nine months in the works.

[00:00:49] Chris Mandell: Yeah, for sure. That’s that’s generally how these things go, your word developing and working on products for quite a long time before they actually make it out into the world.

[00:00:59] Craig Dalton: So yeah, I’m really excited for this discussion and I’m super stoked that this is on the day of the big launch. So if you’re listening on August 10th, which is when this podcast is first released, SRAM has got some things to talk about today. But before we get into that, I always like to get a little bit of information about you as a rider where you’re living and how’d you get into the sport.

[00:01:22] Chris Mandell: Yeah. Thanks for that. I’ve been a passionate cyclist for a really long time, my dad did a bit of road racing back in the day and we always had bikes around. Yeah. But I got distracted with American football in high school, and then ended up going to college to play American football and found really quickly in college that I did not want to keep playing at that level.

[00:01:44] And so I stopped that and was really lucky in that the town that I lived in McMinnville, Oregon had a small but strong mountain bike scene. And the people there took me under their wing and I started mountain biking with them. And then eventually started working at the local bike shop Tony’s and just fully embraced it and was obsessed with it.

[00:02:02] And then after I graduated from college, I got a job working full speed ahead, which took me up to Seattle which was great. Cause there was ton of really good cross country riding outside of Seattle, but there was also. A lot of like free side and downhill riding. So at that point I branched and was, writing a commuter to, and from work riding and racing cross country, race bikes, and then also going up to the Whistler bike park and riding that as much as possible kind of fast-forward became a product manager at Kona bikes and developed full suspension bikes at cone bikes for a long time.

[00:02:38] And then eventually made the jump to become the rear shock product manager at RockShox. Which had me moved from Bellingham where I was working for Kona, Bellingham, Washington to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and had a great four and a half years living in Colorado Springs, Colorado being really detailed, focused on full suspension, mountain bikes and what it takes to.

[00:03:02] Tune shocks and developed shocks for OEM customers like specialized or Santa Cruz. And then at a certain point, unfortunately, due to some family reasons my wife and I needed to move back to Bellingham to be closer to her family. And so we, when we made that shift I switched over from working in product development, to working on the PR side of things, which is what has me on the phone with you.

[00:03:25] But in this, in a similar timeframe, we also, I, had a child and I was getting a little bit older and I’d always like commuted and like dabbled in, in rode bikes a little bit, but I’d never really rode bikes. Never really grabbed a hold of me, but gravel bikes started to grab a hold of me.

[00:03:42] And it was about that time about when I had, when we had our child that I got a gravel bike and really started riding one pretty consistently. Fell in love with a lot of what, the early days of cross country riding, where for me, which was exploring your local area and like finding the different nooks and crannies and gravel roads and going to the places that you hadn’t been to before.

[00:04:07] But also really being able to like physically push myself, on, on a mountain bike on one hour mountain bike ride, you go up and then you come down, but on a one-hour gravel ride, you’re basically peddling your brains off the entire time. So like the fitness side of that was really helpful for me.

[00:04:22] In addition to connecting with the original spirit of what caught me in the cross country, mountain biking back in the day. So yeah, and so now living in Bellingham and I started that gravel journey in Colorado. Which is a really excellent place for gravel riding, but now living in Bellingham, Washington, which we’re obviously very well known for our mountain bike trails and the mountain bike trail network is super expansive between, Galbreath mountain, which is the hill with a lot of mountain bike specific built trails, right in town.

[00:04:52] And then the Chuck nuts, which is a little bit south of town, which is more hiking trails with some bikes specific trails, but a much bigger, longer area. But there’s actually quite a bit of graveling to do here. This area I’m actually mountain bike got started here in, in logging terrain.

[00:05:07] It’s all working for us in this part of the country. And in order to have a working forest you have to have fire roads. And so there’s just fireworks roads running in every possible direction. And then a lot of those thyroids have single track connections to them. So you can really get out and go quite far on your gravel bike from your door and have some pretty, pretty amazing adventures and get to be able to see some pretty big mountains.

[00:05:31] Craig Dalton: Amazing. What do the climbs look like in your neck of the woods? Are they long hour long climbs? Are they short and punchy stuff?

[00:05:39] Chris Mandell: Yeah, it really depends what really depends what you want. There’s definitely like hours long, slow grinding climbs, and then much to my friends.

[00:05:48] Dislike. One of my favorite climbs around here is this climate called pine the theater. And it’s basically just straight up the hill for about 25 minutes. And you’re pretty much searching for traction on your gravel bike the whole time. Cause it’s the climb. So Steve, so yeah, it’s all of that.

[00:06:03] It’s long slow slogging fire roads, and then there’s also just straight up the hill hiking or single track climbs.

[00:06:10] Craig Dalton: Nice. It sounds like a great place for gravel riding. Cause it sounds like you can pick and choose whether you want just a logging road that doesn’t have a lot of technical requirements, but you can also push your limits on the single track and mountain bike style trails.

[00:06:23] Chris Mandell: Yep. Yeah, that’s exactly. I think that’s exactly the case, like from my house is about 12 minutes to Galbreath on a rails to trails, an old railroad grade that they’ve converted to an inner urban trail. So I can take that over to golf. Which is crisscrossed with fire roads and then single track.

[00:06:42] And so I’ll generally climb up single track and then descend down the fire road on my gravel bike, because, my perspective is a lot of the times like it’s capable as a gravel bike is do do having my mountain bike on the single track a lot of the time, but it’s like a great in terms of options and my friend.

[00:06:58] And I’ll always joke. Cause we can, you could look down at the dirt here cause we get quite a bit of moisture in a normal time and you can see how many people are starting to gravel bike on the hill because you can tell the gravel bike tires.

[00:07:11] Craig Dalton: That’s amazing. Yeah. I love that. I If you’re in the fortunate position of having both the gravel and a mountain bike and live in a place where you can take all these different, make all these different choices, it’s so much fun.

[00:07:22] Cause you just pick and choose your own adventure. I could go on and on talking and learning about Bellingham, because it’s an area that I’ve heard a great things about, but we’ve got so much ground to cover with Schram’s announcement today about the Explorer series. And I’d love to get into it.

[00:07:38] I think we’d look at the componentry first and the wheels, and then we get into the hotly debated stuff that we’ll talk about later.

[00:07:46] Chris Mandell: Yeah, totally. Yeah. I I think the round out the gravel side of things, the last thing I’d add there is I think the other thing that’s nice about having a gravel bike and a mountain bike is you can get so much more out of your mountain bike if you spend time on your gravel bike, because your fitness just goes through the roof.

[00:08:02] And that’s one of the things that’s been, I’ve been loving about having a gravel bike alongside the mountain bike.

[00:08:07] Craig Dalton: Yeah. And I also imagined, from, if I go back to my origin story and mountain biking, riding orig rigid bike, there’s a certain skill level you acquire by learning how to pick your lines when you’re riding a rigid.

[00:08:19] Or a lightly suspended bike as it were versus when you jump on a full suspension bike, you can start off being pretty sloppy.

[00:08:27] Chris Mandell: Yep. For sure.

[00:08:28] Craig Dalton: Yeah. So let’s talk about explore.

[00:08:32] Chris Mandell: Yeah. So this is pretty exciting moment for us. It’s really three, three of our big brands coming together.

[00:08:40] In a way that we think is really going to allow the gravel rider to have more complete experiences on their bikes. So from the Zipp side we’re bringing a gravel specific wheelset from the SRAM road side of things. We’re bringing a gravel specific drive train, and then most new to the market would be on the RockShox side of thing.

[00:09:06] We’re going to bring a fork and a seat post that are gravel specific into the market. And I think it’s really cool that these three brands were able to come together and make this specific explore products collection. But I do think it’s also important to note that we still think our entire product line is totally relevant in the gravel sphere.

[00:09:29] So we have this specific collection of products that we designed for gravel use, but we have a ton of other products that will end up on gravel bikes. And we don’t think that those parts shouldn’t end up on gravel bikes. It’s just, these are the ones that we’ve specifically designed for.

[00:09:45] gravel

[00:09:47] Craig Dalton: Interesting.

[00:09:48] I’m sure there’s someone who immediately heard the word suspension on gravel bike and is already hitting the internet to start a debate. We won’t get into that listener. Don’t worry. I’m super excited. I’ve been riding the fork and I have my opinions on, it’s a super excited to talk to Chris further about it, but Chris, why don’t we start off with that?

[00:10:06] We’ll set.

[00:10:08] Chris Mandell: Yeah. This has been in the gravel market for quite some time with the product line that we offer today, specifically the 303 S and the 303 Firecrest both of which are excellent products for gravel riders to use like their light. The internal width are appropriate for a larger size tire.

[00:10:30] And they provide a good balance of aerodynamics. However, we recognize that there’s like a full spectrum. Travel experiences out there. And there are people who are going to push the limit a little bit more on the aggressive riding side of things. And for those riders, they’re looking for a different setup in terms of, like balancing comfort and control on the trail with aerodynamics.

[00:10:58] And so that really pointed us to what we’re already doing with zip on the mountain bike side of things, where we have the zero three Moto rim, which is a single wall, not Mike Ram that was designed to allow the rim to have what we call ankle compliance. So the rim is able to work with the tire to provide the rider with more control and conform to the ground better.

[00:11:26] As we have that have had that wheel in the mountain bike side of things for a long time, we have a lot of customers and a lot of interest in like bringing something like that over into the gravel side of things. And so that’s what we’re doing with with the 1 0 1 wheel set and really what it gives the rider is the ability to have a wheel set.

[00:11:44] That’s going to decrease their fatigue when they’re out riding because the rim is gonna work the terrain with the tire in a way that allows the rider to keep the bike going in the direction they’re going to want and isolate the rider from a lot of the vibrations and other like hits to the rider that are to the overall bike system that would create fatigue.

[00:12:06] Craig Dalton: So is there some sort of suppleness built into the rim? Is that what you’re saying?

[00:12:11] Chris Mandell: Yeah, totally. So the way that the rim system is able to work is that the spokes are run through the center of the room. And because it’s not a box section, then it’s a single wall run. The rim is able to use what we call ankle compliance.

[00:12:27] So when it sees a hit say on the left side of the rim is able to move up and out of the way a little bit and allow the front axle and the whole bike to continue to carry forward, but give a little bit in a way that provides more comfort and more control and becomes less fatiguing to the right.

[00:12:46] Craig Dalton: Gotcha. And that 27 millimeter wide internal profile is that wider than the 3 0 3.

[00:12:54] Chris Mandell: Yeah. We’ve actually got like really nice steps from the 300, three S all the way up to the one-on-one. So the 303 is 23 millimeter. The 303 Firecrest is 25 and then the one-on-one is 27 inner. And really that’s just optimizing for those different sizes of tires that you’re going to have on there.

[00:13:15] You’re able to use quite a small tire on the one-on-one. But it’s also going to give you a lot of good stability on the larger side tire.

[00:13:23] Craig Dalton: Yeah. We’ve had a discussion about that on the podcast before, and it seems like this trend towards that 27 millimeter is really beneficial for the gravel rider in terms of the contact patch of the tire and just how the overall rim performs.

[00:13:38] Chris Mandell: Yeah, totally. And I I think it’s, it’s preference in tires and it’s there’s so many factors that go into what tire pressure you run with tires you run and all that stuff. And I think, having options is good in that space. And we really look at like the one-on-one.

[00:13:53] If you’re looking to take on more challenging terrain, if you’re going to be spending long, long periods of time in the saddle over, not so great conditioned paved roads or rough gravel roads that extended period of time, but one-on-one is really going to bring a lot to you because it’s going to save a lot of energy and it’s going to, it’s going to stop the vibrations and all the things that fatigue you on a gravel ride from getting up to you.

[00:14:21] Craig Dalton: Nice. And for the listener, I’ll just note that it’s available in 700 C and six 50 B.

[00:14:27] Chris Mandell: Yep. Yeah.

[00:14:29] Craig Dalton: Did you want to talk about the G 40 exploratory?

[00:14:33] Chris Mandell: Yeah. Yeah, we can mention that one real quick. So the G 40 is a tire that we’ve offered for a while now, but we are rebranding it explored to fit into the rest of the collection.

[00:14:45] And it’s a pretty sweet tire. It’s sitting right there in the middle at 40, which is I think a very common tire size for people to be using. It’s got a nice center line rolling tread, which is really great for efficiency, but then it’s got good, not too aggressive, but just aggressive enough cornering logs.

[00:15:04] So you’ve got the grip in terms or when the ground gets soft, you’re still able to dig into those cornering lugs and hold align really well. And then the thing that as a mountain biker I really appreciate it is it does have a robust sidewall, so you’re not looking at getting getting flat tires that often.

[00:15:21] Craig Dalton: Yeah. Nice. Let’s move on to the driver.

[00:15:26] Chris Mandell: Yeah.

[00:15:28] Craig Dalton: So tell us about that. XPLR, drivetrain, and how it fits in you gave a little bit in your opening about it, but just contextualize it a little bit further and talk some of the details about what you guys are providing.

[00:15:40] Chris Mandell: Yeah, totally. I think if we look at where we’re at with drive trains today, we offer a 10 36 1 by drive train, and we offer and through the access ecosystem, we’re able to take our road hoods and connect them to a 10 50 mountain bike drive, train to provide, two pretty good experiences for the gravel rider.

[00:16:05] The one by gravel rider looking to have either, very lightweight set up with the 10 36 and tight gearing stuff. Or with the 10 50, bigger gear steps, but a huge range which is greatly beneficial when you’re like waiting the bike down or living in a place where there’s really steep climbs.

[00:16:22] And you’re looking to just go straight up the hill, but for sure, we recognize that there’s space in the middle of it. And for us, the one by experience is really what makes it makes the most sense on a gravel bike, where you’re just looking to keep things clean and simple and straightforward.

[00:16:40] Maybe he’s got a dropper posts on your bag too. That’s a whole lot of thing, different systems that you’re managing on the bike and for the gravel rider, the one bike is a really good solution a week, but we saw that gap in between the 10 36 and the 10 15. We knew that there were writers who spend time in the mountains and need range, but also spent a lot of time on the tarmac and the tight gear steps.

[00:17:04] And that’s what brought us to this. 10 44 cassette and as well as a derailer that goes along with it and allows you to have a one by specific trailer, which will shift that 10 44. And we’re offering that trailer hat red force as well as rival. So you can get in all three of those access price points and really be able to complete your experience from pavement to growl.

[00:17:31] Craig Dalton: Gotcha. So these ones with the explore moniker on it are exclusively one by correct. They

[00:17:38] Chris Mandell: are exclusively one by, and a good way to think about that is when you’re developing a derailer, you’ve got to optimize it for the cassette that it’s running across. And then like how much chain it needs to take up.

[00:17:50] So when you have a front derailleur system, you’ve got to think about the chainring moving between two pretty big sizes. So we changed the way we developed the cage and where we placed the pulleys. So it helps us provide a better shifting product and a lighter weight product. If we are able to divide those up a little bit.

[00:18:08] So for this derailleur, we did end up making it one by specific, and we specifically built it to work with a 10 44 cassette, but it does also shift a 10 36

[00:18:18] Craig Dalton: cassettes. Gotcha. And for clarity, you mentioned this before SRAM’s other group PO’s are mix and match compatible. So for my friends like Jason at the Gravel Cyclist who rides to buy all the time, you’ve got a two by setup.

[00:18:35] That’s totally suitable for the gravel market.

[00:18:38] Chris Mandell: Yep, exactly. Yeah. And if that rider wanted to switch to one by specific setup or maybe like dabble in it. Yeah. You could take those same controllers and you could add one by rear derailleur to them and they would work just fine. It would just be a matter of repairing it to the new derailleur.

[00:18:58] Craig Dalton: Yeah. It’s been interesting. The demo bike that you provided to me, which is a canyon Grizl, we’ve set up with a MX setup. And while I’ve been on SRAM on my personal bike for many years, this was the first access bike that I’ve had for a prolonged period of time. So it was fascinating to play around with the app pair, the different things that were on the bike in the app, and just understand that system a little bit more.

[00:19:24] Chris Mandell: Yeah. And it seemed like it was pretty straight forward and working pretty easily for you. And that’s really what we’re going for with this, like we want to make this as user-friendly and. It just things like the shift log logic, like it’s very easy for you to understand in your brain.

[00:19:39] Oh, I pushed the left shifter to get the chain to move left forward on the cassette. And I pushed the right shifter to get it to move right on that cassette and all those little details and all that little, like ease of use stuff adds up to a better experience for everyone in the channel, from the person who’s ending up riding the bike to the bike shop and setting it up.

[00:19:59] Craig Dalton: Yeah, for sure. And the fact that, and we’ll get into the dropper post later, but the fact that the dropper post and the rear derailleur are using the same battery just gives you that comfort. Should you ever get caught out of pocket? You can swap the battery around and give power to the rear derailleur and take it away from your dropper posts, for example.

[00:20:17] Chris Mandell: Yep. Yeah. And that’s a perfect example. I actually, probably because I was driving around with my bike on my car the other day I had to do that exact thing and it was totally fine. Took two seconds and I was back out on my bike and riding again. And to, like the batteries are real small.

[00:20:33] And so you can actually just get an extra one and throw it in your pocket.

[00:20:36] Craig Dalton: The other fun thing you told me, that was a mixed sense, but I didn’t realize it right off the bat was that there’s a mini accelerometer in all the componentry, so that it wakes up essentially when it’s, when you’re moving and goes to sleep if it’s in your garage.

[00:20:54] Chris Mandell: Yeah, exactly. So the way all the access systems work is they add little, as you mentioned, little accelerometer in them and to save power they go to sleep, but they’re like checking in and. When you grab your bike and, move it out of the stand or wherever you have it set, those components are able to wake up and immediately respond to whatever you’re trying to get them to do.

[00:21:15] And that allows us to save a lot of battery life so that you’re not wasting battery when the bike is just sitting in the garage, but also allows us to immediately respond to your needs as a rider.

[00:21:24] Craig Dalton: Yeah. And the additional pro tip you shared with me is if you’ve got it on the back or top of your car, take the battery out, put the little safe plastic piece in there.

[00:21:33] So it doesn’t think it’s awake for your six hour drive to a ride.

[00:21:37] Chris Mandell: Yep. Yeah, definitely take that step.

[00:21:41] Craig Dalton: You mentioned. The sort of mixed compatibility of explore group a with everything else. And I definitely appreciate it as running the MX setups and having some components from the mountain bike side of your lineup, everything visually works together.

[00:21:56] There’s no standing out of the explore versus the mountain bike side of things.

[00:22:02] Chris Mandell: Yeah. So we definitely feel like the full suite of products that we offer should all be able to come together and work cross-functionally as much as they can. And one thing you’ll notice on all of the explore products is the explore.

[00:22:18] Call-out is pretty small and pretty subtle. And I think your bike is a good example of that is a gravel bike. It doesn’t feature the 10 44 cassette. For you attend 50 was a better solution, but you could actually have a 10 44 set up for that bike and very easily just remove the cassette and the derailer and the chain, and then add a 10 44 set up to it with the trailer and the chain and the cassette, and then repair your shifters and go out and ride that 10 44 setup.

[00:22:51] Craig Dalton: What’s the difference between the chains in those two setups?

[00:22:56] Chris Mandell: So the Explorer 10 44 drive trains use the flat top chain that we have on the roadside. And then the MX drive train that you’re using the 10 50 and the Eagle rear derailer use a standard 12 speed.

[00:23:10] Craig Dalton: Gotcha. And not to get too much in the weeds, but I was curious about this the way SRAM’s, what are referred to as a magic link works to put the chain together.

[00:23:19] Is it true that you can pretty easily pop those off and take the chain out?

[00:23:25] Chris Mandell: Yeah. So you can pop those off and take the chain out. The one thing to keep in mind with that is we don’t recommend that you reuse that quickly. And the reason we don’t is if it’s a press fit and that’s what holds it together.

[00:23:36] And when you break that link, you will, you do wear that pressed it up a little bit. So we don’t recommend that you reuse that quick link, but it is like a really easy way to be able to take your drive, train apart without making your change shorter or anything like that. And in fact, park tool and a few other tool manufacturers actually make a tool that’s specifically designed to, install the quick link, but also on installed the quick.

[00:24:01] Craig Dalton: Ooh, I might have to take a look at those I, one of the things that tripped me out, I was on a trip with some of the guys from VeloNews and saw that one of them was riding access and in his bike bag, he had taken the chain off and just remove the derailer. And it was just, he, in fact, he traveled with the derailer in a separate bag, which was just a trip to me when he pulled it out of the box and was putting back all together.

[00:24:24] And it’s just such a handy, protective way of transporting the bike.

[00:24:30] Chris Mandell: Yeah, totally. I do the exact same thing when I travel, just because, even with a mountain bike, flying with a mountain bike that derailleurs like in a vulnerable place and those bike bags, and it’s not supported by the rest of the system.

[00:24:42] And I actually do the same thing and take it off the ticket off the bike. And, I’m able to put it in inside of a bag somewhere else inside of my bike bag, which is a great way to.

[00:24:53] Craig Dalton: Yeah let’s get let’s shift gears and let’s start boiling some of the listeners blood by talking about dropper posts and suspension.

[00:25:01] Let’s start with the dropper posts.

[00:25:04] Chris Mandell: One, one not to jump ahead to our not to pull us back. But one thing I do want to mention really quickly is we will we, in addition to the 10 44 cassette and the 10 44 specific red forest and rivalry trailers that we’ll offer for, with XPLR we will also offer a one by specific cranks.

[00:25:26] So same crank arms at the red enforce and rival level, but it has a new lighter weight single ring, and it’s available on 38 through 46 sizes. So yeah, just quick touch that

[00:25:37] Craig Dalton: way, jumping in the suspension. Yeah. So let’s talk about the access reverb dropper seat.

[00:25:47] Yeah, so draw, look, this is no surprise to anybody who listens to this podcast. I am pro dropper all the time for almost every situation.

[00:25:59] Chris Mandell: And what do you feel the dropper gives you when you’re out riding your bike

[00:26:07] Craig Dalton: when I’m descending and this descending is not just oh, I know I’m going to be bombing downhill for 25 minutes.

[00:26:13] It’s basically anytime I’m going downhill, being able to lower the saddle ever so slightly and create a greater area of space in my, underneath my undercarriage between my undercarriage and the saddle enables me to corner with greater confidence. Pretty much do everything with greater confidence.

[00:26:35] Chris Mandell: Yeah.

[00:26:36] Yeah. And that’s the same. That we would, when we would speak to what you get out of a dropper post on the mountain bike side of things it’s the same situation because you’re able to move wherever you need to move from the front of the bike, to the back of the bike without being obstructed by your seat post or your saddle rather lends a huge amount of control to you because you can waste the front tire as you need to, you can weight the rear tire as you need to without worrying about catching yourself on the satellite as you’re making those motions.

[00:27:08] Craig Dalton: Yeah. And I like, go ahead, Chris,

[00:27:14] Chris Mandell: you got it.

[00:27:15] Craig Dalton: When when I talk about using the dropper post, I’m talking about it in not the extreme mountain biking style stuff exclusively. I use it all the time. So descending on the road, like I think the advantages are there. When you do get into the hectic stuff and a local rider here in Southern California tipped me off to this trail called horse drop, which I finally hit the other day.

[00:27:39] And as the name would dictate, there was a bunch of drop-offs. It was truly a hectic trail for a gravel bike, but a ton of fun. And there’s no way, I shouldn’t say there’s no way it would be super challenging to do those drops with your saddle fully extended and even using the 50 millimeter drop AXS.

[00:27:59] REVERB I had, it was plenty of space to get the bike underneath me and allow it to come up to me as I was handling those drop-offs.

[00:28:10] Chris Mandell: Yeah, that makes total sense to me. And I think circling back to even in less extreme terrain, it still makes a huge difference. Like you imagine hitting the apex of a road corner.

[00:28:23] You’re going to want to be in a different position on your bike versus the way you entered the corner. You have to move your center of gravity and your body weight around to get the bike, to track well through a corner. And like any flat corner on a gravel bike where you’re trying to use a little bit of subtle body English to move the bike through the turn.

[00:28:45] If you have to, all of a sudden, move from the front of the bike, to the back of the bike and then raise your center of gravity up to move your body up and over your saddle, that’s going to disrupt your grip on the ground. And I think it’s one of the advantages of having a dropper

[00:29:00] Craig Dalton: posts.

[00:29:01] Yeah, a hundred percent. I think in my mind, it’s the number one upgrade in terms of how it will affect your performance on the bike that anybody can do. So this post, obviously rock shock has been making. Dropper posts for the mountain bike sizes for a long time and has a full range there. This REVERB AXS XPLR is in the 27 2 millimeter diameter.

[00:29:24] It comes in 400 millimeter lens as well as three 50, the three 50 has a 50 millimeter drop. And I think the 400 has a 75 millimeter drop that. All correct, Chris?

[00:29:35] Chris Mandell: Yeah. The 400 is actually available also in the 50 millimeter drop. So you can get the 400 either in 75 or 15.

[00:29:43] Craig Dalton: Gotcha. And how did you guys decide on those length drops as being what you want it to be?

[00:29:49] Chris Mandell: Yeah, that, that really came from riding these types of bikes around and thinking about how much they needed and then listening to rider feedback on how much they thought they needed. So it really was those two sides of us doing our own work internally. And then listening to rider feedback on it.

[00:30:12] And I think too, before we already get too close to the tech side of things and, I think we just had a really great conversation on the advantage of a C post. I can go from top out to bottom out. When we were looking at the gravel market and thinking about what we needed to bring to the table, we did not think it was enough just to make a post that dropped, like for sure that was going to be an advantage for the gravel rider.

[00:30:37] But we recognized that it was a different use case and we needed to bring more to the table to get a gravel rider, to understand the benefit of having a dropper post and want them to take that leap. And so one of the things that we did with is we actually Came up with a new internal design which allows us to have what we call active ride for anywhere from top out to when the seat post achieves full travel.

[00:31:06] So that means like if you move the seat post and a millimeter, the seat post is giving you what we call active ride, which is a bit of compliance in the post so that the rider is able to stay seated through rough terrain and continue paddling without having to stand up and get their butt off the saddle.

[00:31:26] So at full top out the post is rock solid, but anywhere after full top out the C post features active ride. And that is one of the things that we see as a huge advantage to a gravel rider. Who’s going to spend a ton of time paddling across rough terrain, needing to stay on the gas and needing their butts to stay on.

[00:31:49] Yeah,

[00:31:49] Craig Dalton: that’s super thoughtful element of the design. If you think about riding across stutter bumps or anything where you’re going to be needing to peddle being on the saddle, just being able to take it down a millimeter, which is likely what you’d like. Anyway, you get some advantage out of having a little bit more space there to have that sort of suppleness built in is gotta pay dividends over longer rides.

[00:32:14] Chris Mandell: Totally. Yeah. One of the, one of the initial test riders for this post actually set his, see post height a little bit too high, and then he would just move the CBOs into the travel so that he was always riding in the active ride position, which is a great way to do it for me personally. I do having the, from top out and we think a lot of writers are going to want that.

[00:32:34] So we actually, like just with the CBOs, you get to have your cake and eat it too.

[00:32:38] Craig Dalton: Yeah. Yeah. I think that for me, my setup’s always been, I’m probably like that rider and yeah. My I set my droppers up slightly higher, maybe ever so slightly. So it feels comfortable early on in the day, but oftentimes I find myself running it a little bit lower as a more fatigued or just cruising home at the end of the day.

[00:32:58] Chris Mandell: Yeah. I totally sad for me. One of the other things that I’ve really enjoyed about having a dropper post on a bike too, is a gravel bike is just like ease of getting on and off the bike because you do end up having to get off your gravel bike in difficult terrain sometimes. And it’s helpful to be able to like, get the seat down before you finally step off the bike.

[00:33:20] Craig Dalton: Totally agree with you there. And for clarity for the listener, this is an access product, which means that it has a wireless activation to it.

[00:33:29] Chris Mandell: Yep. Yeah. So this lives in our active ecosystem. So again, it uses the same battery as the drive trains. We were just talking about. And uses the same communication protocol.

[00:33:40] One of the things that’s huge advantage of that is that it’s, we leave it open to the end user in terms of how they want to activate the system. So you can use a standard reverb access shifter on a flat bar setup to activate this seat post on a drop bar setup, you can use double click on the sh on the road shifters to do that.

[00:34:05] And then if you have force or red shifters, you can get one of our blips or multiplex and plug that into your shifter and then use that to control your dropper posts. And then lastly, you can also get a blood box and plug a multi-client or a blip into that, and then use the blip blocks to flip the box, to control the seat post.

[00:34:28] So there’s a ton of options in terms of how you interact with a post. Craig, I think you have double tap on your bike right now. Correct?

[00:34:40] Craig Dalton: Yup. Yeah. And it’s, it’s interesting. I was laughing with you the other day that I found that I actually do have scenarios where I’m activating the dropper post with one hand, which seemed crazy.

[00:34:50] Wow. We were talking about it, but I was out on the bike again yesterday. And it’s oftentimes where I am. I’d be grabbing a sip of water while, beginning to start a downhill, not a, on a fire road or something. And then I found myself historically with my other SRAM bike where it’s cable activated, I would swing the left lever and drop my post in anticipation for putting the bottle down and hitting it on the descent.

[00:35:15] So it’s funny to get used to that. So I am interested in trying the blip set up and I do think it’s interesting that the blip box exists. So if you’re a writer that maybe not be, is not on an access group oh. Today on your bike, but is looking forward. I think. Investing in this product and just getting the blip box so you can control it on any bike that does not have electronic shifting is a good future proof system and investment because when you do upgrade to the access shifters, you can easily repair it and remove the blip box from the scenario.

[00:35:51] Chris Mandell: Yeah, totally super good solution. And it’s the flexibility that we’re given through access.

[00:35:58] Craig Dalton: Yeah. Any more comments on the dropper posts that you wanted to relay to the listener?

[00:36:04] Chris Mandell: Yeah. Yeah. I think the last thing I would touch on there is obviously, we hit on it’s available in 50 and 75 millimeters of travel.

[00:36:12] And then three 50 and 400 millimeter lengths. One of the other things too, to keep in mind with that C post is that the rail clamps are compatible. I don’t know a meter or standard rounds or oval seven by nine. And then there is a separate clamp available for seven by 10. So we have all of the rail configurations covered in that oral as well.

[00:36:34] Gotcha. Pretty excited for the CBOs to get out there and people will be trying it.

[00:36:38] Craig Dalton: Yeah, for sure. You ready to make people really mad?

[00:36:43] Chris Mandell: Yeah.

[00:36:45] Craig Dalton: So RockShox is introducing their Rudy explore suspension fork for gravel bikes today.

[00:36:51] Chris Mandell: And I think, it’s interesting making people mad cause I think it’s also good. I think this is going to expire a lot of people too, if we go back to the origins of mountain biking, there was some hesitation and even moving to suspension in the first place on a mountain bike and.

[00:37:05] We kinda know exactly how that ended up not suspension is the name of the game on a mountain bike these days. And I think, from RockShox perspective and from where we’re coming to it, we look at any time a bike is getting off-road or even on a rough road as an opportunity for suspension to play a role and to really allow for more comfort and control and traction, which at the end of the day can equate to more speed or can equate to more fun.

[00:37:37] And I think, we’re all really riding our bikes at the end of the day to have more fun. However, you slice it’s on me winning a race. That’s what it means, but it means you need to go faster. So from the RockShox perspective, we looked at that and that was really what drove us to develop this part.

[00:37:54] Craig Dalton: Yeah, it’s clearly a natural place for part of the market to go. And I think you and I would be the first people to state that it’s just part of the market, just as we’ve seen a trend towards bigger and bigger tires, wider handlebars, all these different configurations that riders around the world are discovering to customize these gravel bikes for their local terrain.

[00:38:18] No one will sit here and say that bigger tires, wider handlebars suspension forks are for everybody. There’s certainly vast parts of the country and world that riding without a suspension fork. And in fact, riding a glorified road bike is totally suitable for the gravel in your backyard, but as someone who rides mostly in Marine county or here in Southern California in the Santa Monica mountains, like I’m really embracing this product and seeing some huge advantages, just five or six rides into.

[00:38:54] Chris Mandell: Yeah. From our side, we don’t think there’s a wrong way to gravel every time someone’s getting on their bike and taking it from tarmac to gravel, to single track, and then back onto the tarmac, like that’s their experience. And as a components manufacturer, what we’re really looking to provide users with is the ability to tune their experience.

[00:39:22] So the best that fits what they’re trying to do and what’s fit their needs. I think one of the things that’s really interesting is with, and it’s it’s not totally unique to grab the gravel space, but it is like an interesting thing that’s like pretty pure in the gravel side of things is you almost really build your bike.

[00:39:39] You can build your bike really to you. Where you’re lacking. So if you do you, aren’t a good defender, but you’re a great climber, that current for today, like that would point you to putting much bigger tires on your bike and trying to get more traction and get more control and a dissent just by, by putting bigger tires on your bike.

[00:40:00] After today, that rider is able to go back to a smaller tire and use suspension and use a dropper post to get a lot more control in those situations where they feel anxious, because they don’t necessarily have the confidence to, to be taking their bike down, down horse drops or whatever it is but using suspension and using a dropper post is another way to get that control back into the writer’s hand and regain calm.

[00:40:30] Yeah,

[00:40:30] Craig Dalton: exactly. I feel like I, the more and more that I advise people on how to get, how to purchase a bike and how to think about what gravel bike makes sense to them. There’s all these levers that you’re pulling. And it comes down to where you’re riding, as you said, what your comfort level is and descents.

[00:40:46] I can’t tell you how many people I see out there who just are exceptional going uphill, but the moment they go downhill, they start to get terrified and really tense up and, white knuckle, the handlebar, and really have a bad experience on the bike. Whereas adding some elements of suspension, whether it be this fork or larger tires or suspension stem, like all of these things help alleviate some of those challenges, if that’s where you’re deficient as a cyclist.

[00:41:14] Chris Mandell: Absolutely. And the Rudy. So the fork we’re bringing is part of the Explorer product line is called the Rudy. And it really is. Bill with the gravel cyclist in mind in terms of providing more grip, getting more control into the rider’s hands and allowing the rider to save their body for later in the ride and for pedaling and providing much more control and steering confidence in Russ stuff.

[00:41:46] But honestly, even just bombing the regular tarmac road in America, you’re going to get a better connected front tire to the ground and you’re going to be able to carry more speed through that.

[00:41:58] Craig Dalton: Yeah. One thing I can say, and this is probably the least controversial thing I’ll say all day is unequivocally with this fork on your bike, you can go down a hill faster.

[00:42:07] So if you think of yourself as a six out of 10, in terms of descending skills, I think you’ve automatically bumped yourself up to a 7.5.

[00:42:17] Chris Mandell: Yeah, that’s great. I love him.

[00:42:19] Craig Dalton: Yeah. And then I would say that, I did play around a lot with the lockout. Totally bombed, totally locked in. So if I was out on the road with this fork it’s pretty easy to reach down.

[00:42:29] I think just because of the geometry of gravel bikes, it was actually easier to reach down and reach the lockout lever than it was on the mountain bikes that I’ve written recently. And very easy, obviously to swing it back the other way I tended to climb off-road with it open because I’ve found that having the tire just be able to roll over the things that were coming in front of me was advantageous even on the climbing.

[00:42:52] And I, I did not feel like I was losing a lot to set the stage for the listener. We’re talking about 30 or 40 millimeter trout as the travel options in terms of what this fork provides today and tire clearance up to a 700 by 50.

[00:43:10] Chris Mandell: Yeah. So that’s a good jumping off point to talk through some of the spec details on this fork.

[00:43:16] So as you mentioned, 30 or 40 millimeters of travel is an air spring. And as an air spring that was specifically developed for the Rudy. And our vision with this air spring was to keep this air spring really supple and sensitive off the top so that the writer’s hands felt good on the bars. And they were able to have good traction.

[00:43:36] We also knew that we didn’t want to have it bottoming out harshly at any point during the ride experience. So there’s a big bottom out bumper in this fork, which catches it in the second half of the travel and really provides a lot of control as you’re going towards Baltimore. The other, another feature that’s really specific to this gravel and I think shows how much attention we were paying to the needs of the gravel road.

[00:44:04] And we’ve got two different levels of vendor compatibility. So we have a short fender that we make and sell that bolt-on with three bolts to the arch of the lower leg. And then the fork features threaded holes at the bottom of the lower leg, which allow for standard full coverage vendors to Mount onto this fork as well.

[00:44:28] And so no fender, a short fender or for the winter riders, full coverage fenders. We really tuned that in for the gravel experience.

[00:44:38] Craig Dalton: Gotcha. And from a visual design perspective, I found the fork to be as subtle as it could be. Obviously it’s got telescoping legs and it’s, it is what it is.

[00:44:49] But I do find as you’re glancing over the bike, it’s not sticking out like a sore thumb in any way in my life.

[00:44:57] Chris Mandell: Yeah, that’s great to hear. I think we spent a lot of time and effort in the work on this fork, refining it and making it as light and free moving as we possibly could so that it had the best suspension performance and the lightest weight package that we could get on it.

[00:45:15] But we did pay attention to the fact that it was going to end up on mostly carbon fiber gravel frames, and it needed to have a clean aesthetic to it. And so we did spend a good deal of time looking at the existing carbon forks were out there on the market today, knowing that we wanted to build this fork in a traditional magnesium, lower leg, aluminum, upper tubes and aluminum crown fashion, because that provided us with the most opportunities for re refining the overall performance with four, in terms of weight and sensitivity.

[00:45:49] And so we really spent a lot of time on that. So it’s really great to hear that from you.

[00:45:53] Craig Dalton: Yeah. Awesome. And you’ve also got some OEM partners that are you’re working with on this today, and I’m sure more will be dropping in the coming months.

[00:46:02] Chris Mandell: Yeah, totally. So we definitely have had a lot of OEM interest in uptake on this product, the canyon is one of those partners and they will have models dropping with this fork on it.

[00:46:14] And we’re pretty excited that they’re working with us on that front. There will be numerous other OEMs who are out there also dropping dropping bikes featuring this product and the full product line. Yeah. I

[00:46:25] Craig Dalton: think it’s going to be important that riders are able to test and take a look at these products and getting them out there on more bikes and hopefully bikes that might be out there and demo fleets in the future will be great because I think it’s it’s counterintuitive.

[00:46:39] Bike performs with this fork on it. You think, you might think certainly if you have a mountain bike background that certain things are going to happen, you’re going to experience certain things in a certain way, but it’s clear that you guys had a ground up mentality to make this fork fit.

[00:46:54] Gravel bikes.

[00:46:55] Chris Mandell: Yeah. Yeah, no, totally. I think that’s an important thing here. That the RockShox is invested in improving the rider’s experience on the trail or on the road. And we know and understand that like when we build a cross country fork, that means that we need to be laser focused on the needs of the cross country riders.

[00:47:18] And then when we build a downhill race fork, we need to be laser focused on the needs of a downhill racer. And we brought that same approach when it came to developing the Rudy and developing the Rudy as a hyper-focused. Gravel product. It doesn’t mean that we didn’t pull from our experience on the cross-country and Enduro side of things.

[00:47:42] We definitely pulled from that heritage space, the damper. So the thing that provides control on compression and control on rebound in this fork is a scaled down gravel specific version of our race day damper, which you find in our Sid and sit FL cross-country race corks. And that was really, and we developed that damper.

[00:48:08] It was really a revolutionary, super lightweight, but very high performance in terms of the control it provided in open and then the way the lockout function. And we took that damper and we scaled it down. And tuned it to the needs of the gravel rider. Both in terms of the functionality for rebound and compression performance, but also just made that thing even lighter than it was before.

[00:48:32] And that’s the hard work and the nitty gritty details that we put into the forklift, into the Rudy to make it specific for gravel.

[00:48:41] Craig Dalton: Nice. I want to revisit something you commented on earlier. Cause I do think it’s important. It’s going to be interesting to see over time. Just the idea of suspension forks, helping with overall rider fatigue, obviously as you’re going down super technical stuff, like it’s immediately apparent what that looks like, but I also think it’s going to be interesting over time that as we see these forks on beneath riders who are tackling 200 mile gravel events, et cetera, To see how they’re walking away from those rides in terms of how their upper body feels and how that equates to their overall time and experience on these long courses.

[00:49:23] Chris Mandell: Yeah, totally. I remember a conversation that I had with Meg Fisher he’s an ambassador for us. And it was right when she found out that we were making this product and she was ecstatic on the phone. Cause she was telling me about how, in some of the longer gravel races she does, she ends up with blisters on her hand from the amount of like bumping and just like carnage.

[00:49:46] That’s getting transmitted from the road up through the entire system, to, to our hands on the bike. And she was really excited about trying to Rudy because she felt like that this is a way that she can isolate our hands and the rest of her body from those rough vibrations. Even on just a gravel road, race scenario.

[00:50:09] Craig Dalton: Yeah. Yeah. Now it’s going to be interesting. Right. And I, I’m always encouraging event organizers to add more sort of off-road technicality to their courses. Cause I just think it becomes more interesting when you see writers of different disciplines excelling in the events. I’m always a fan of the mountain bike background guys and girls doing well in these gravel races because of their technical skills, because I think they should be rewarded and course designers should continue to push those limits.

[00:50:39] So I do think it’s going to be super fascinating to see when we start seeing these Rudy forks underneath riders and who they are, are they elite athletes trying to gain a competitive advantage on a particular course? Or are they the rank and file athlete who is just looking to have a more pleasurable experience and less fatiguing experience over these long runs?

[00:51:03] Chris Mandell: Yeah. I think without a doubt, you’re going to see all of that. This, what this means for a rider is less body fatigue because you have less energy coming up from the road into the rider and you have more control as a rider. Your tire is going to be stuck to the ground more often. And that increase in control will give the rider more confidence and enable them to have more fun on their ride and allow them to push harder, allow them to go faster.

[00:51:31] If they want to go faster or have more fun that the speed that they’re going. And then the other thing, and I touched on this a little bit in the last one, but like more traction means that it’s going to the bike is going to predict or is going to handle it in a more predictable fashion. And you are going to know more often than not where the front tire is.

[00:51:54] You’re going to be able to get it to where you’re going. And you actually touched on earlier. Like obviously that plays a role in the sense, but even on, challenging climbs being able to keep your front wheel exactly where you want it to be is pretty important. And this fork allows for that, even on the Quan,

[00:52:12] Craig Dalton: the final area I wanted to explore with you is just the use and sale of this fork in the aftermarket.

[00:52:20] So you’ve mentioned a number of companies are building kind of ground up designs around this fork, but what about the many listeners who have a bike that was designed prior to this date and time, and prior to the knowledge of the Rudy fork existing, how should they think about the changes in geometry they might experience when running one of these forks?

[00:52:42] Chris Mandell: Yeah, totally. Just re I’ll run through a couple they, aftermarket detailed side of things. So as you mentioned, it will be available in 30 or 40 millimeter. The Rudy fork will be available in 30 or 40 millimeters of travel. It will come in 45 offset. The come in two different colorways that will come in like a gloss black or what we call quicksand, which is which is a tan colored product that fits with our overall explore product line.

[00:53:10] So what do you want to consider as you’re looking to upgrade your existing bike with this fork is in most cases, it probably will resolve and that increase in the axle, the crown.

[00:53:24] That is something we want to watch out for, but it’s something, the thing that we think is actually a benefit. Gravel bikes today are built around the idea that you’re going to be changing your tires around. You’re going to be, maybe trying six 50 and then, or using 700.

[00:53:40] So there’s a whole lot of flexibility inside of the existing gravel frame. And there may be a result in an increase in actual crown versus the rigid fork that you have on your bike today. But in our testing so far, what we’ve seen is people appreciate that and the handling of the bike because of the added suspension element improved versus a rigid fork on the bike.

[00:54:04] You do want to check with your manufacturer to make sure that their warranty covers having a suspension product to the frame. That’s a good first step to do, but really at the end of the day, It’s a matter of you decided that suspension is a good path for you. Riding out on an existing demo bike or taking the plunge and adding it to your friend it’s available in and 1.5, our inch and a taper to 1.5.

[00:54:29] So you’re looking at needing to have that head tube on your

[00:54:32] Craig Dalton: bike as well. One of the things that we had discussed offline was, in my particular case, I tend to run, I couldn’t say off the top of my head, but a fair number of spacers underneath my headset. And as this fork will naturally lift my head to about higher.

[00:54:48] The very on-point suggestion you made was if you take those spacers out and slam the stem lower down in that stack, all of a sudden you mitigate some of the rise in handlebar position.

[00:55:03] Chris Mandell: Yeah, totally. And that’s a really easy one to do, you just take it. The actual, the crown of your existing for today and subtract the actual, the crown of this fork.

[00:55:12] And that’s how many space or, whatever that number is. It’s 10 millimeters. You just, move 10 millimeters of spacer from underneath your stem to above your stone.

[00:55:21] Craig Dalton: Yeah. That I think on my personal ride that would effectively be completely possible. And I think that’s interesting.

[00:55:30] And I think the point around, the changes in handling being pretty subtle, it’s worth noting, but it also is worth noting that, your riders have not really commented much on the changes in geometry, on the bike.

[00:55:44] Chris Mandell: Totally. And I think, another important aspect of that is keep in mind, like these gravel bikes are built with a lot of this in mind.

[00:55:51] We, I run 37 C tires all the way up to 45 C I have run all the way up to 45 C tires. The same gravel bike, so a lot of these bikes you’re switching from like pretty big changes entire sizes. And that’s what the bikes were built to accommodate. And it’s it’s no different on the fork side of things.

[00:56:11] Yeah. Yeah.

[00:56:12] Craig Dalton: And anything else on the fork that you wanted to share, Chris?

[00:56:16] Chris Mandell: I think that covers it pretty well. You made the point about 700 by 50 being the tire clearance. And I think we’ve touched a lot of the points. I’m really excited for the Rudy. And I think it’s going to be a, I think it’s going to Herald the new age in the gravel experience.

[00:56:30] Craig Dalton: Yeah. I share that enthusiasm. I think it’s good for the market. I think there’s going to be a lot of debate online about the existence of this product and what it means, but I guarantee that over time, People are going to see the advantages of a product like this. And we’re going to see more and more bikes come straight out of the factory with suspension built into them because the advantages are super high for a lot of different types of riders in the gravel market.

[00:57:00] Chris Mandell: Absolutely. And even with this product out there, like not every bike is going to end up with a Rudy on it, but the bikes that do end up with a Rudy on it is going to open a bunch of doors to a rider that would have been shot previously. So I think, there’s no wrong way to gravel. And if this is something that makes sense to you as a rider, because you have the defense is a place that you struggle or on longer rides your stand start to hurt, or you just want to be able to.

[00:57:29] Keep up with your friends a little bit better or drop your friends in certain instances, this is a great great way to have a little bit of fun on your, a little more fun on your gravel bike and add a little bit of capability. And, we didn’t, I touched on this a little bit, but this is one of those things that can allow you to run a smaller, lighter tire because you don’t need to rely on the tire as much as you were previously and what other doors can moving and trying suspension unlocked for you.

[00:57:54] Craig Dalton: Yeah. I had that in the back of my head, cause we had talked about that earlier and I hesitated to open yet another can of worms around tire sizes, but point well taken like all these advances in technology. Whether it’s the fork that dropper posts, et cetera, they’re all changing things slightly and changing the considerations for any individual rider says, you said what might have driven me to a 50 millimeter tire previously, I may be able to draw back on that because I don’t need the suspension elements of the fork, all sorry of the tire.

[00:58:27] All of a sudden I’m getting that in the fork. So it’s yet another thing as we’ve talked about time and time again, there’s this long spectrum. And I think it can, it’s even getting even longer today between a road pro plus style of gravel bike and something that’s very, off-road, iSTYLE gravel bike.

[00:58:44] There’s not a definitive solution. That is the best for everybody across the world. But to your point, very early on in this conversation, SRAM RockShox zips. You’re trying to be there for all those riders and give them a wealth of compatible componentry to build the rigs that are going to make them stoked to ride.

[00:59:09] Chris Mandell: Exactly. Yeah. I, we are cyclists at strand and we are having the same writing experiences and want to have the same range of experiences. And you can just see that easily from our locations. The team in Chicago has thoughts. The team in Colorado Springs has thoughts. The team in San Luis Obispo has thought the team in Vancouver, British Columbia has thoughts.

[00:59:30] The team in Taiwan has thoughts the team in Germany, out of Sox and all those come together and really push us to make products that allow writers to have full breadth of experience.

[00:59:42] Craig Dalton: Chris, thank you so much for all the time. Congrats on the explore launch. Super excited to get this out.

[00:59:48] Chris Mandell: Thank you so much for the time.

[00:59:49] And I’m really excited to hear more about your rad experience on that bike.

[00:59:54] Craig Dalton: Big, thanks for Chris for that long detailed conversation about the new XPLR series from SRAM, super excited about what they’re bringing to the table.

[01:00:03] Natural. I’m particularly excited about the suspension fork.

[01:00:07] To be an exceptional product for some. for everyone, but I think it’s going.

[01:00:14] And I’m confident it’s going to continue pushing the gravel industry forward.

Until next time here’s to finding some dirt onto your wheels.

The Gravel Ride Podcast

One thought on “Podcast: SRAM’s Chris Mandell discusses the new XPLR line of product for gravel!

  1. Why would their promotional material have their suspension fork on a bike entirely conceived around a different, maintenance-free suspension fork?

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