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Gravel Gear

New Allied Echo flips between road and gravel with dropout chips

Road or gravel geometry? Allied's new bike says 'yes'.

Allied has an Alfa road bike and an Able gravel bike, and now the Arkansas carbon bike brand has an Echo allroad bike that can handle both surfaces thanks to flip chips at the fork and frame dropouts.

The removable chips allow a rider to change chainstay length and fork length by 1cm each. The idea is that the shorter geometry works well for road riding and road tires while the longer setup works for gravel riding and fatter tires.

In the road configuration, the Echo has 415mm chainstays, a 368mm fork, a 73-degree head tube, and tire clearance up to 30mm. In the gravel configuration, the bike has 425mm chainstays, a 378mm fork, a 72.5-degree head tube, and 40mm tire clearance.

The bike comes in six sizes, from XXS (roughly 49cm) up to an XL (roughly 58cm).

While the bike can swap between geometries and road surfaces, it does not offer such flexibility with drivetrains: the Echo only works with electronic groups.

Reigning Unbound Gravel champion Colin Strickland has been racing the Echo recently, and might race it at Unbound Gravel on Saturday.

The new bike, made in Arkansas like all Allied frames, features a new integrated Echo stem that hides cables and hoses inside while still using a standard headset. The stem is still home-mechanic-friendly, though, as the internal routing is accessible via a plate that bolts on over the top of the stem. So, you can change stems without having to disconnect the brake hoses or shift lines. The top cap itself is integrated into the stem’s faceplate.

The shift and brake lines run through the steerer tube. The stem is compatible with a few handlebars designed for such routing.

Instead of a standard headset top cap, there is a threaded piece on the bottom of the stem that provides headset preload, much like a threaded headset.

The Echo stem comes in five sizes from 90-130mm and is made in Allied’s Bentonville factory.

Prices for the bikes range from $6,430 for the SRAM Rival AXS up to $10,575 for the SRAM Red AXS build.

Allied already offers an all-road bike — the Allroad — positioned between the Alfa road bike and the Able gravel bike. Allied will keep the Allroad in its line for riders who prefer a mechanical drivetrain.

You can check out all Allied’s bikes at alliedcycleworks.com.