At Unbound Gravel in Kansas this weekend, Ted King raced an unreleased Cannondale, Quinn Simmons and Kiel Reijnen raced unreleased Trek Checkpoints, and Robin Carpenter raced an unreleased Felt Breed.
All offer ample tire clearance, seatposts or seatmasts built for some compliance, and varying degrees of internal routing and down tube protection.
When you add in the just-launched Allied Echo under Colin Strickland and the custom-painted-for-Unbound Specialized and Canyon bikes under Ian Boswell, Laurens ten Dam, and Pete Stetina, there was a whole lot of newness on the pointy end of the ultra-endurance gravel race.
Allied formally launched its flip-chip Echo just ahead of the race, so details on that bike are now public.
For Trek, Cannondale, and Felt, however, their bikes remain somewhat under wraps. It appears all three brands were keen to use the race to gather marketing assets to promote the bikes later in the year when they do launch.
I asked the brands for information and received cagey responses.
“Felt is always working with our athletes in the development of new products, using their input and expertise at all stages of development to refine our bicycles before they’re available to riders for purchase,” Felt senior marketing and communications manager Michael White said.
Team Twenty24 had three riders racing on the current aluminum Felt Breed gravel bike. The new Breed is carbon.
Trek-Segafredo director Matt Shriver said Trek is not yet ready to talk about the Checkpoints raced in Kansas.
“At the moment we are not sharing information about the bikes Kiel and Quinn raced in Unbound Gravel 200 this past Saturday,” he said. “Our athletes experiences provide valuable feedback as we develop new products for them and our customers to enjoy.”
Cannondale’s global media relations manager Massimo Alpian had something similar to say: “I can confirm that Ted was riding on a Cannondale but I’m unable to name the model at this time. I hope to in the near future.”
With that, expect to see launches from Felt, Trek, and Cannondale sometime in the near future. In the meantime, check out the photos of the bikes below.
Cannondale has a new gravel bike in the works, evidently, and it is not necessarily in the Topstone family.
Quinn Simmons raced an unreleased version of a Trek Checkpoint with some aero features.
This new Checkpoint carries over the same IsoSpeed Decoupler tech from the current version, which allows the seatmast and seat tube to flex. But it appears to have more tire clearance and a new top-cap routing system.
Note how the brake hoses route into the frame under the stem. The current model features a front hose that enters the fork and a rear hose that enters the down tube. Perhaps more substantially, the massive head tube area is reminiscent of Trek’s Madone aero bike – a big departure from the more rounded head tube of the current Checkpoint.
Seems pretty likely that Trek will launch this new Checkpoint soon.
Robin Carpenter had fun racing an unreleased Felt Breed in his first-ever gravel race, where he placed sixth.
Felt’s current Breed is aluminum, with fairly straightforward shaping. This new carbon Breed features the dropped chainstay and more sculpted frame work overall. Both Breed models offer three cages in the main triangle for all but the smallest sizes.
Carpenter had plenty of clearance with 40mm tires.
A new bolt-on OruCase bag rounded out Carpenter’s build.
New bikes were all around at Unbound, especially at the pointy end of the race.