Random Products Part Four - Interbike 2011

Sep 21, 2011 at 11:00
Sep 21, 2011
by Mike Levy  
 
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Rocky Mountain Bikes

Rocky Mtn Interbike 2011

If there was an award for the raddest looking bike at the show it would likely go to Rocky Mountain's Element 70MSL. No, it doesn't have nine inches of travel or a built in gearbox, but there is no denying that the 120mm travel 70MSL is pure sex. The frame is built nearly entirely from carbon fiber, minus only a few grams of aluminum shock hardware. Even the linkage is made from carbon, and everything is finished off with a killer matte black look that is about as stealth as you can get. The bike's 120mm of rear wheel travel means that it clearly isn't designed as a rowdy all-mountain machine, but rather a capable trail bike with a shred-able 69.5° head tube angle. www.bikes.com

Rocky Mtn Interbike

The Element 70MSL uses internal cable routing (left) that is new for 2012. Internal routing is great for smooth lines and protecting cables from wear and tear, but it can be a real pain in the ass to replace the cable and housing if you aren't a clever mechanic. Rocky makes the job a bit easier by building in a removable plug at the bottom bracket. Simply pop it out and you can feed the new lines out the bottom of the frame. Carbon is the name of the game with the 70MSL and it's even used for the bike's shock linkage (right).

Rocky Mtn Interbike 2011

Rocky has placed the rear axle pivot slightly above the hub axle, something that they claim helps to keep chain tension from acting on the suspension. There is a lot of technical talk to go along with that, but the general idea is to have the chain torque line parallel to the suspension's lower link during all of the suspension travel. I think Pinkbike will have to get on one of these stealth looking bikes for a longterm test and report back!

The Element 70MSL uses what Rocky Mountain refers to as "ABC Pivots" for every location except the main pivot just above the bottom bracket shell. The ABC acronym stands for Angular Bushing Concept, but don't be put off by the bike's use of bushings in most pivots instead of sealed bearings. Unlike the bushing designs of older bikes that simply bound up when tightened down, the Element's ABC system rotates on tapered aluminum pivot hardware that is designed in such a way to eliminate binding when torqued to spec. Rocky not only says that the ABC Pivots save 120 grams per frame when used instead of sealed bearings, but also create a rear end that is 105% stiffer as well. That's a big number!

Rocky Mtn Interbike 2011

We know what you want to see... The Element 70MSL looks great, but their Flatline World Cup is the bad boy that a lot of you would rather throw a leg over. The bike's 200mm of rear wheel travel is controlled by their Low Centre Counter Rotating (LC2R) linkage, allowing their designers to tune the leverage rate independently from the bike's main single pivot. The World Cup model shown above sits at the top of the food chain and comes equipped with SRAM's new XO DH rear derailleur and brakeset, as well as a Kashima coated and custom valved Fox DHX RC4 shock and a Fox 40 RC2 fork. Want to build it up to your own dream spec? It can also be had as a frame that is painted up in Rocky's Blackout color scheme.

Shimano Tharsis



While Shimano may be best known for their drivetrains and brakes they also do a number of different component lineups under the PRO moniker, including a great looking direct mount stem and downhill width bar. With its unique looks, it was their carbon Tharsis range that caught our camera's attention though. The Tharsis stem shown above uses a monocoque carbon construction and a round back to lessen the pain of a knee strike - the clamp bolts have been moved to the side of the stem body. The bar clamp may look conventional, but it has been designed in such a way to limit as much stress as possible from the clamping area and bolts, enough so that Shimano doesn't hesitate to outfit the stem with titanium hardware. www.pro-bikegear.com

The matching Tharsis bar is made from T800 -1000 unidirectional carbon and uses a titanium mesh at the stem clamping zone for added resiliency. The 195 gram bar measures up at 710mm wide and combines 20mm of rise with 8° of backsweep and 4° of upsweep. Just in case you were wondering, the Tharsis name comes from the largest volcano in the solar system, found on Mars.


A grip is a grip is a grip, right? It's all in the details, though. The Tharsis grip doesn't use an outer locking collar that can be uncomfortable for the outside edge of your palm, but rather an internal locking system to augment the standard inner clamp. The grip itself also tapers slightly near their inside end to allow for more clearance for the paddles of trigger shifters. How many grips out there use titanium hardware? The Tharsis does, and its thin waffle pattern will suit those who like narrow grips. They weigh 120 grams and can be had in either black or white.


Their new Trail pedals are turning out to be a great choice for riders who are looking for a slightly larger platform, but we can't forget about the standard version as well. The cross-country XT pedals hit the scales at 343 grams (the Trail version weighs 408 grams per pair) and offer a slimmer profile than the Trail model, something to keep in mind if you suffer from frequent pedal strikes. www.shimano.com

Dakine


Dakine's booth was swarming with riders who were looking for functional clothes that don't make them look like a European storm trooper, including the ladies ensemble being worn by the cute model above. The Siren short uses a 12" inseam length - long enough to be comfortable and short enough to not feel like you're wearing a pair of shants - and are made of a burly 200D micro corded nylon shell. Zippered vents let the air flow on hot days, and the Siren's stash pocket is a good place to hide the key to the shuttle truck, an iPod or something else that you don't want found. There are no belt loops, but rather hook and loop side waist tab adjustments, and they come complete with a removable women's Comp Chamois liner short. www.dakine.com

The matching Flight short sleeve jersey is designed for warm conditions, with its top section and sleeves made from ventilated mesh paneling. It comes in both a long and short sleeve version, both of them using the same anti-microbial finish and sporting an eyewear wipe at the left interior sideseam. The minimalist girl's Exodus glove is also well suited to hot conditions with a moisture wicking 4-way stretch nylon top panel and lightly padded palm. A strap at the wrist makes getting them on and off easier.


Are you wanting to bring the business casual look to the trailhead? With its snap down enclosure, breast pockets and collar, Dakine's Triumph jersey does just that. It isn't all for show though, there is functionality thanks to the Triumph's wicking and breathable waffle knit fabric that will keep you from getting sticky and gross while also looking ready for any occasion that may arrise post-ride. Just don't pop the collar, please.

Dakine Interbike

Dakine's AMP pack is available in an 8L size that is great for those days when you just need some water and a few essentials, a medium sized 12L version that can fit enough tools, water and food to keep you trucking during a long ride, as well as the biggest 18L size that is shown above. The 1.1lb pack comes equipped with a 3L bladder that uses a Quick-Disconnect hose for easy refills, and uses a new and lightweight mesh helmet stash that will fit your XC lid. It is pictured above in the new timber color, perfect if you are going for that one-with-nature look.


Above, Kathy Pruitt models the Nomad in its new Cypress color scheme. The 18L Nomad bag is suited for those who leave home with pads, but don't want to have to wear them during the entire ride. The Nomad's armor carry straps are nearly hidden externally at the bottom of the bag, yet they can be pulled out and used to secure knee and leg pads if you need to earn your day's turns and don't plan on falling over during the climb up. Likewise, it also uses a helmet carry that will work for both XC and DH lids, and it sports the same 3L bladder with a Quick-Disconnect hose as the AMP.

Gripshift


There are many riders who have been waiting for the day when SRAM finally releases their 10 speed compatible Grip Shift and it looks like that day may be arriving soon. Exactly when, we don't don't know, but Specialized rider and cross-country Champion of Everything this season Jaroslav Kulhavy is one of the lucky few who have been rocking these on his race bike. We know nothing about them - my probing questions to SRAM were met with a polite "we're not talking about them yet" - but that sort of silence often means that there is something cool going within a new product. We had heard that the delay in producing a functioning 10 speed Grip Shift was down to the finer indexing required when making the jump from nine to ten gears, something that was difficult to achieve with the internals of the currently available Grip Shift, so we're eager to see what makes this new version tick. It is apparently not as easy as simply adding another click the shifter! It is worth noting that the model on Kulhavy's bike was remarkably easy to turn, requiring barely any force. How did they do it? Is it going to be compatibile with their current rear derailleurs? It is no doubt lighter than a trigger shifter, but how light? Let the speculation begin... www.sram.com


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94 Comments

  • + 30
 Who the hell likes narrow grips? We need more grips for people with longer hands. Even the ones like odi rouges or ourys are thin. The only reasonable option are fat sunlines but their lock-on idea nad bar end cups are the worst thing since their headset (which was the worst bike product I have owned)
  • + 15
 I prefer narrow grips and I don't even have girly hands. I look at it this way: PIcture yourself holding on to a baseball bat that weighs 50 lbs with only one hand. You need to hold it out in front if you for as long as possible... where on the bat is it going to be easier to hold? Near the outer end where it's wide and you can only get your hand halfway around, or at the handle where you can fully wrap your grip around it? To each their own, but there is certainly a place for thin grips.
  • + 42
 Actually if I was being a smartass I would hold the baseball bat by the fat end, given how the leverage will apply when held straight out. But yeah I get your point Wink I have big hands - I would like to see some longer/wider grips on the market, I am happy with the thickness.
  • + 3
 To be honest it would be easier to hold it at the thicker end because thats where all the weight is. If you hold it at the thin side the larger weight at the far end of the bat would act almost like a lever and create extra strain to hold it.
  • + 6
 With narrow grips there is more pressure on the end of your fingers... I had a lot of problems with it! Couldn't ride 1 whole day because of pain in my fingers! Now I use Raceface grips. Very fat ones! And I can ride for a long time in a row now Smile
  • + 3
 Not to mention when holding on to a thin bar or grip for extended periods I feel like my hands get far more tired than one with a wider profile. To each their own obviously, but I'll never buy thin grips.
  • + 1
 Trixie - I just got the RF grips - really hope they work since this year in morzine really killed my hands on the ourys. Previously had Oury, Rouges and Sunlines from the fatties. Also tried thin ones but for dh my hands bled. Seriously there purple and on rougher tracks I ended with scabs.
  • + 3
 To each there own. I find with fatter grips (ODI Rogues), my hands feel fine after a day of riding, whereas thinner grips really seem to make my forearms pumped at the end of the day. I like the internal end clip and the tapered concept though - both good ideas I think.
  • + 8
 holding a baseball bat out in front of you isn't really a fair comparison to holding onto handlebars. Pushing a lawnmower,doing pull-ups, or doing bench press lifts is a better comparison. In those activities smaller seems to be better. Big grips might be more comfortable for some because of more padding, but smaller is better when it comes to hanging on in sketchy situations, or when it gets real rough. Thats why I think smaller grips are at least better for DH. I love the Peaty grips, pretty comfortable and awesome grip.
  • + 2
 who likes narrow grips? people with narrow hands? Razz
  • + 2
 people with short fingers, who also ride bmx... like myself.
  • + 0
 Protour - I can still close my hand(touch my hand with the tips of my fingers) on any thick grip. What should I do with my thiners on a thin grip?
Yes thin is good since it gives you more controll but ride a bumpy track and your fingers will kill you. 2 weeks in morzine made my fingers feel like I had no joints for 2-3 extra weeks. Not cool at all. (my fork is setup properly and since it's an avy I doubt it is to blame Wink )
  • + 1
 @spaced do you wear gloves? because that might help the bleeding.
  • + 4
 i think everyones wanting chode grips..hah
  • + 2
 I wish there was more options for big handed people as well. My lock on OURY grips are the fattest I have found so far.
  • + 1
 i think that a grip should be just wide enough so when you grip it tightly your fingers of your hand don't dig into your palm (besides your index which you use for braking) i have pretty big hands and i had problems with thinner grips. i now user rouge grips and it lessens my arm and finger pump heaps. so although the idea of tapering in at the inside sounds great i would love to hear of a company that makes the same grip in different diameters
  • + 1
 to many of the above responses, "that's what she said."
  • + 4
 My hands used to ache with thin grips. Thick grips are more comfortable for my massive monkey hands. This might be because of the extra padding or the fact that my finger tips now meet perfectly with the palms of my hands instead of overlapping. With regard to the baseball bat analogy, I would probably hold it at the thin end because I'm more likely to hit the f**king ball with the thicker end!
  • + 1
 WestPennHunter - I'm not one of those pro fanboys Wink I wear gloves and always did. The only place I dont is dirt jumping but there I have no problems.
  • + 1
 grips are personal choice, and as long as companies are making different sizes of grips then its all good!

the best grips I have yet used since ODI invented the "loc-on" grip is the new Lizard skin model with the ribbed pattern, not too thin, not too fat, just about right

I cannot use the ODI Ruffian any more, it causes pains in my hands even when just riding my bike to work Frown
  • + 2
 hampsteadbandit, the problem is there aren't enough fat grips. Companies arent making them.
  • + 1
 Exactly. Almost every company makes a thin grip but most of them don't make thick ones and the ones that do usually make them quite hard.
  • + 1
 I like fat grips on my XC hardtail, it's just more comfy, but for fully and harder riding I prefer medium sized Lizard Skins Peaty's. I rented a DH bike once with super thin grips, oh sht... I agree with the less arm pump theory, but I couldn't hold my fingers straight after the whole day of riding. Especially on rattling sections on fireroads. Then I tried Ergon grips for a few rides - really comfy but somehow I feel that I don't hold the handlebar as well as with regular ones. It's really down to own preference, but it's good to try different options before believing theories...
  • + 2
 OURY OURY OURY GRIPS ARE THE BEST NOT TO SMALL NOT TO BIG AND STICKY AS HELL....... I ROCK OURY ON EVERYTHING
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  • + 12
 no, i am not wanting to bring the business casual look to the trailhead...
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  • + 11
 those 40's look great with the gold stanctions
  • + 6
 It's called kashima i think, and yes, it looks great Big Grin
  • + 64
 YOU THINK?!? where have you been!!
  • + 10
 i know about kashima, these just look shiny Razz
  • + 2
 kashima isnt usually that shinny, could be the lighting though
  • + 1
 is there that such of a huge difference between kashima and not k?
  • + 1
 They look significantly more gold than kashima normally does though. Probably just the lighting.
  • + 2
 Another color of Kashima is for 2012 and for 2011 are diffrentBig Grin
  • + 3
 Im thinking it looks a bit like the ti nitrate Marzo use? Same level of shine etc... Then again what do I know Razz
  • + 1
 Actually that's the real color of them. I saw this exact bike at Expocycle and it was the same color. The guys at the Fox booth said for 2012 the have a "newer" Kashima coating cause they have new redesigned seals on them that make them work more fluid.
  • + 1
 Well it is a gold nitride coating so I'm not surprised its shiny as hell. But the 2012 Kashima is definitely easier to see than the 2011 Kashima, it seems slightly more intense and much shinier!
  • + 1
 shiny is gooood, shiney make me happpyyy
  • + 1
 Yey! Shiny! let's make MTB into a thing where you can look in way that anyone can tell that you are a pimp, without even knowing what's the sport about Big Grin


Kitchy sht... and sorry Fox always had problem with seals, they did it 99% just for bling. Why? because we can. Come again? Because our consumer wants people to know that he can afford it!
  • + 2
 Actually Kashima isn't for bling, the gold nitride coating reduces friction in the travel and reduces stiction that was an issue with some of Fox's forks.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 That Flatline is a jaw dropper. So hot.
  • - 18
 what flatline?
  • + 1
 Are you being serious?
  • + 1
 Yeh its fecking shweet but It looks like it has quite a steep head angle?Is it just the way the photos taken?
  • + 1
 Stoney Hill FTW!!
  • + 1
 Head angle is steeper than popular 65 degrees. I'm going to run an angleset in mine.
  • + 1
 For some reason I don't like the geometry
  • + 1
 I think it's also the photo to be honest.
  • + 1
 Yeah it is at a weird angle. Headtube looks WAAAYY too steep
  • + 1
 the rocky mountain???
  • + 1
 Yeh it looks quite steep but all their bikes for the past 3 years have been 65 degrees The DH bike not the Carbon fibre XC one
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I am currently on XT on my main bike but I will say that I miss my old 9 speed XO gripshift stuff.. The new Shimano 10 speed is awesome and works very well, but I will never be as happy with triggers as I was on my gripshift..
  • + 3
 Why do you prefer gripshift to triggers? Not hating, just curious.
  • + 1
 They are lighter, way cheaper, more durable, cleaner, and you can do full casettee shifts if you want to.. I have snapped off 2 X.9s, a X.0 and a X.7 shifter off in my riding and racing days.. I never was able to break a gripshift to the point where it no longer work. I just always liked my gripshift better then my triggers..
  • + 1
 surely though when you need to fully control the bike, like pulling up and back on the bars for pop and stuff, even if you don't jump, you need your whole hand to be solid on the bar though don't you? rather than a bit of it moving around, which might also cause accidental shiftage?
  • + 1
 The only time I have ever accident shifted is when I would do really flat tables or shoulder buzzs.. and I almost never did that and I dont see many other doing that on 6 inch trail bikes.. haha But in regular trial riding, and even Dh riding, most of your pressure goes to the outside of your hand.. I could bunny hop onto picnic tables on my trail bike that had gripshift and never shifted unless I wanted to.. Everyone thinks you would shift without wanting too, but not very many people actually give it a try to find out you dont shift..
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Okay the Element 70MSL looks AWESOME. But the Flatline.. Not that I've ridden one, but a DH bike with a 65 degree headangle? Is that it? I think that would be okay for pedally tracks but if it gets steep, would that not suck a little?

That said it has an awesome spec and I personally haven't ridden one.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Too bad Dakine changed the hydration bladder on their new packs. The zip-lock style bags and flimsy bite valve are terrible. The packs are great, but I hate spending $100 on a pack and then immediately another $30 for a decent water bladder!
  • + 1
 I actually love the ziplock style bladder on my MEC pack. not sure if the dakine one is the same but i just find it way easier than my old camelbak, which was a screw top lid thingy that was really tough to tighten and loosen.
  • + 1
 The new bladder has a baffle in it (ala Camelbak style), the on/off flow valve turns easier than in the past too.
  • + 1
 most riders I know in the UK buy Da Kine packs simply because Da Kine (as a "bag maker" with years of heritage) make easily the best packs, but their hydration bladders are sh*t

simple - use the Da Kine pack and dump the superior Camelbak bladder in there, for a win/win situation Wink
  • + 1
 yeah but that was exactly his point, that he didn't want to pay extra for a camelbak bladder....
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Grip shifters belong in a museum. Beside a pair of thin grips and shimano dual control levers.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 You dont call a bike with a 69.5 head angle and 135mm open dropouts a trailbike.
A very capable cross country racer, perhaps, but a trailbike? Not by a long shot.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Is it only me or does it look like in every picture of the 40's that they look 10 inches not 8? Also I think dh bikes should have disc tabs for 180m rotors. Like the 40.
  • + 1
 I agree those 40's don't look the normal 8 inches
  • + 1
 Its because the bike is at an angle, they're closer to the camera than the rest of the frame so they look bigger and also due to the fact that seat is so damn low! Trust me, they're standard 8 inch.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 my mountin bike has grip shifters and i think is dope as hell. shifts real nice and stuff
[Reply]
  • + 1
 They need to change up the flatline somehow. Make it carbon or something. It's heavy, its a low pivot single pivot, and its got outdated geo.
  • + 1
 if it ain't broke, don't fix it. they just updated the frame a couple years ago and it rides great at around 38 lbs...however, they've been gradually redesigning frames over the last couple seasons so i wouldn't be surprised if this lineup is next.
  • + 1
 " if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Worst mentality ever.

Progress is progress.
  • + 1
 I also followed it with the fact that they recently fixed it...keep quotes in context
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Whoa whoa wait. Something cool going on...with Grip Shift? I find that hard to believe.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Love Dakine stuff and would love to buy some but everywhere I look they are really low on stock. Where do I get this stuff?
  • + 1
 Moycullen bike works in galway Stock some of The Dakine collection if I remember correctly
  • + 1
 Great. Thanks.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Cute model eh, Mike? Yeah, I noticed the mannequin's got boobs too. Sorry ladies, it's a guy thing!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Pawls, I bet they made the shifter like a hub. But with an up and down pawl, instead of a flap (?) pawl.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Dakine has it dialed all the way around the bike. Super excited for the new lineup!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that new rocky mountain dh bike looks like a trials frame with dh attitude! cool lookn frame though
[Reply]
  • + 1
 the world is full of stupid people, and some of them work in the mountainbike industry....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 you sure about the rear travel on the msl mike? i thought it had 120mm front and rear
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Cute square top cap, Shimano. So much for my custom BIKE Mag beer can top cap!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 purportedly the new XX Gripshift uses a bearing internally to help with the smoothness
[Reply]
  • + 1
 rocky mtn's dh bikes are sick... they just need a new color design :L
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  • + 1
 Things being referred to as "pure sex": hyperbole much?
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  • + 1
 The DH Rocky Mountain looks crazy!
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  • + 1
 I like the Kathy Pruitt with the DaKine Nomad pack.
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  • + 1
 love the flatline it looks so sexy with the fox stuff tup
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  • + 1
 Nice carbon frame!
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  • - 1
 im gonna have to disagree with you on that raddest looking bike verdict. that pivot mach 5.7 carbon was sexy.
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