The popular 8bar Mitte convertible all-road bike is back again, now simpler, more versatile, and this time in comfortable & durable Reynolds 520 steel. Developed as the only bike you need before all-road was really a thing, the Mitte is an affordable disc brake road bike that can be set up as an urban commuter, a comfortable endurance road bike, a mixed-surface gravel or cross bike, or even a mixed-surface adventure bike. I can personally get behind 8bar’s motto for the new bike, “because life is too short to ride on the main roads only”.8bar Mitte Steel all-purpose, all-road adventure bikeWhen the urban & fixed gear specialists at 8bar first introduced their do-it-all-road Mitte road bike back in early 2016, the all-road concept hadn’t really taken hold yet. And some people questioned how well a single bike could transition from road to cross to adventure gravel bike with essentially just a swap in tires & adjustable geometry tweaks. Testing out its capabilities, 8bar founder Stefan Schott & his team loaded up those early pre-production alloy bikes and rode the Mittes across the High Atlas mountains of Morocco to be sure the design was dialed.courtesy 8bar, photos by Stefan HaehnelNow a couple of years later a steel version has evolved. The Mitte Steel is simplified by dropping the two fork concept (who was really going to swap forks & then put 23mm tires on a bike like this) and fully embracing the more relaxed endurance road geometry and fat tires even for road riding.Mitte all-road adventure bike with adaptable GeometryThe new steel bike adopts the more popular cross/adventure setup with the longer fork length & 72° headtube angle, vs. the one degree steeper setup with a shorter road fork that debuted with the alloy Mitte. That’s what most adopters of the original Mitte 3in1 bike preferred, and is the direction the gravel & all-road bike segment has evolved over the last two years.Geometry is then otherwise mostly unchanged from the more versatile fork setup of the original CX/ADV setup. The new chainstays are a tad bit longer in steel (+5mm), now sliding from 420-440mm to alternate between snappy steering & more stable handling depending on your preferred riding style.8bar Mitte Steel all-road Tech DetailsWhile the Mitte Steel adopts modern drop bar geometry and disc brakes, it still is a butted chromoly steel bike with a lugged crown fork, so it isn’t ultra-modern.With relatively skinny steel tubing, the bike does stick with a classic 1 1/8″ steerer tube, and conventional external cable routing – with continuous brake housing along the top of the toptube. It also gets disc brakes, but stays with post mounts and quick release axles (although the slider rear dropouts do build in a bit more future proofing.) It also sticks with tried & true classics like a 27.2 seatpost and BSA threaded bottom bracket.The new steel Mitte frameset does include plenty of braze-ons, including full coverage fender compatibility, rear rack mounts, and an extra bottle cage mount on the outside of each fork leg.Resulting frame clearance emphasizes the Mitte Steel’s versatility – room for 40mm road slicks, 38mm gravel tires, or more knobby 35mm cyclocross tires allowing extra space for mud.Mitte Steel framesets & complete bike pricingPricing remains essentially the same for the new steel bikes as is has been for the alloy Mittes. Standard paint in black or matte silver retails for 600€ for the frameset, while 8bar’s shiny Space red or Space blue paint brings that up to 650€.The new Mitte Steel is also available as a complete bike, in several different builds from 8bar’s customizer. Start at 1600€ complete with a new Tiagra groupset, 2000€ with 105, or 2200€ with Ultegra for a drop bar road double build.Or go for a 1450€ Deore triple or 1800€ XT triple for a flat bar, low-geared mountain bike drivetrain touring setup. Then urban bike builds from 1340€ with a Tiagra/Alfine mix or from 1640€ with an Alfine internally geared setup.There are even Mitte Steel singlespeed complete bike builds with either drop bars or urban riser bar setups, starting from just 1167.50€ with the current holiday sale at 8bar now.8bar-bikes.com
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A homeless person stands outside a temporary tent in Pretoria, South Africa, April 15, 2020. South Africa has provided temporary tents and food for the homeless to better control the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Shiraaz Mohamed/Xinhua) A homeless person stands outside a temporary tent in Pretoria, South Africa, April 15, 2020. South Africa has provided temporary tents and food for the homeless to better control the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Shiraaz Mohamed/Xinhua)South Africa’s divisions over race and wealth inequality, which the COVID-19 crisis had briefly sidelined, returned to the fore on Monday’s 26th anniversary of the end of apartheid.President Cyril Ramaphosa has been praised for decisive action to curb the epidemic in Africa’s most industrialised nation, which has one of the continent’s strictest lockdowns and has recorded just 4,546 cases and 87 deaths.“South Africans have come together like never before to wage the struggle against this virus,” Ramaphosa told the nation.However, recriminations are rising over inequalities in conditions to cope with the restrictions and distribution of aid around an economy already in recession.“Our government loves … to keep white people happy and safe, even at the expense of Africans,” complained Julius Malema, firebrand leader of the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters party, in a statement.At the other end of the political spectrum, white minority party Afriforum and allied union Solidarity threatened legal action against the tourism department which they accused of overlooking white-owned businesses for assistance.Of a 500 billion rand ($26.64 billion) coronavirus rescue package, nearly a fifth has been set aside for the poor and unemployed. Much of the rest will help businesses keep afloat, not least the ravaged tourism sector.But Afriforum and Solidarity, who plan to go to court on Tuesday, complained that “the Department of Tourism will … discriminate against you based on the colour of your skin” when it came to deciding who gets aid.In a rebuff earlier this month, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said that the state was offering one-off small grants to small businesses guided by black empowerment criteria, but added: “Any person or business in the tourism sector can apply for the fund, regardless of the colour of their skin.”ENDURING INJUSTICESTwenty-six years ago, South Africans rejoiced at their first ever fully inclusive democratic election, which saw Nelson Mandela elected as their first president under black majority rule, ending decades of toxic apartheid.But critics say Mandela’s legacy party, the African National Congress, has not done enough to redress inequalities in land, wealth and access to services that are apartheid’s most enduring legacy, and which on some measures have worsened.A government study last year found that whites on average earned more than four times as much as blacks. A year ealier, the state Human Rights Commission said in a report that the richest 10% of South Africans owned more than 90% of wealth.Daniel Silke, of Political Futures Consultancy, said the coronavirus crisis had briefly put political divisions on the backburner before then pumping them up with “steroids”.“The corona outbreak has brought into sharpest focus, the … inequalities that exist between black and white people in South Africa,” added Malema in a withering statement few would deny, although it omitted to mention a growing, wealthy black elite that includes him.“Even when they want to be in self-isolation, our people do not have spacious houses to isolate into because they stay in shacks. Even when they want to keep maximum hygiene … they do not have access to clean water.”In his televised speech, Ramaphosa acknowledged that while “some people have been able to endure the coronavirus lockdown in a comfortable home with a fully stocked fridge, for millions of others, this has been a month of misery, of children going to bed and waking up hungry.”Related South Africa coronavirus cases reach 1,505 South Africa celebrates ruling party 104 anniversary South Africa coronavirus cases rise to 2,173