Part two of our final randoms articles from Eurobike 2012
• Prototype Banshee Rune all mountain frame
• Cube's updated Two15, Hanzz and the new lightweight 160mm Stereo
• Fizik's new trail shoes and seatpost
• Hutchinson's new 2.4" Squale downhill tyre
• Yeti SB family featuring carbon and 29" wheels
Banshee Rune All Mountain Prototype
| Sometimes you spot things on the first day of a show, other times you spend all week looking and not spotting who, or what, you're after. Final day and we track down Banshee to their German distributor's stand in the open air centra area, an area which became less popular as the week progressed and the rain fell.|
This new Rune was the most striking bike on show because it's the one that's not quite in production, although with a release date pencilled in for this October it's not far away. It's a 160mm trail and all mountain bike that looks like it will be an absolute ball on the most technical and steep trails. The bike features Banshee owner/designer Keith Scott's proprietary KS Link suspension platform.
The big news is that the new frame is compatible with both 26" and 650B wheels thanks to its replaceable and interchangeable dropout design. Not only available to suit differing wheel sizes they're also available to suit 135mm, 142mm & 150mm hubs while a unique flip chip design enables the head angle to be adjusted between 65 and 66 degrees in half degree increments. Pricing is keen at €1,799 with a Fox CTD shock or €1,880 including the Cane Creek DB Air seen here. All the details are there, will this turn out to be as good as we're hoping? Time will tell.
Cube were showing some impressive bikes at Eurobike 2012 with an updated range for their downhill and freeride offerings and a new, and very light, Stereo.
Superlight Stereo HPC frame laid bare
| Right at the front of the Cube stand, this 160mm travel carbon Stereo was gaining attention all week. Looks are smooth if not groundbreaking but the real talk was reserved for the weight. 2080g including shock to be precise. For a 160mm travel frame this is quite simply astounding, and will be even more so if it proves capable of surviving the rigours of an Enduro race season. The replacement for the Fritz surprised some by not being available in 26", instead only coming in 650B and 29", the former (shown here) coming with 160mm travel, the larger 29" wheeled machine with 140mm. A carbon down tube guard and internal cable routing, including a Reverb Stealth should you wish, ensure clean lines while custom hardware anodised in complimenting colours adds a sharp look.|
Stereo full build options
| Within the Stereo range are numerous bikes with several spec levels although all come with a Fox 34 CTD of some description with varying features dependant on price. Here we feature the X0 based 650B SL, it's 29" XT equivelant SL in green and the XT/SLX based 29" Race in white/red.|
| The third year for this current incarnation of the 190mm travel Hanzz, Cube's big travel freeride/bike park bike comes in with two spec levels for 2013. The Pro promises to be a strong seller thanks to competitive pricing and a combination of Shimano Zee drivetrain, a Vanilla RC shock from Fox and a Rock Shox Domain R up front. The top SL comes with a Cane Creek Double Barrel Air and 180mm Fox 36 forks matched to a full Saint drivetrain. A Spank bar and stem complete the line-up on both.|
| Last year there was just one Two15 model and one size but 2013 sees this is expand to introduce a small and medium as well as a slightly cheaper model to open up the bike to a much larger number of riders. Both bikes feature a full complement of Fox suspension, the green/black Pro an RC2 rear shock mated to a non-Kashima FiT 40, the blue/black SL a Kashima fork and an RC4 shock. Both are complimented by Shimano drivetrains, Saint on the SL and the new Zee groupset on the Pro which is so far delivering impressive performance at a very reasonable price. Coming with a race ready spec the SL also features e*Thirteen cranks and chain device, Formula brakes, and 35mm Easton bars which seemed to be proving popular as OEM kit based on our sightings when wandering the halls.|
| Cube also had this armour, a bag and a range of riding kit that seemed to offer fantastic quality at some even better prices. If you have a Cube, or even if you don't, you could do worse than take a look as we were impressed at what was offered for the money.|
Italian brand Fizik sits under the Selle Royal umbrella, alongside Crank Brothers. Famous for their saddles in both the road side of the sport and on the mountain, they used Eurobike to launch a new range of shoes for the off road contingent alongside a new carbon seat post (also available in aluminium) with some unique features.
M1 & M5 MTB Shoes
| The M1 (black) is the top dog from Fizik and certainly doesn't come cheap at $375 but then no top end shoe is. Hand crafted in Italy, the Kangaroo Leather/Nylon Mesh mesh upper feels tough while we expect the carbon sole to be super stiff. The tread section around the cleat is replaceable, the buckle micro-adjustable for the perfect fit and the straps are made from high performance sail cloth which should make them virtually indestructible. The M5 (white/red) at $200 is the second tier model but still a seriously high end shoe. The sole steps down to a carbon reinforced nylon alternative and the buckle features less macro-adjustment. Microtex replaces the kangaroo leather. It also lacks the special insole of the M1 that uses heat to mould itself perfectly to your foot.|
Fit is changed over the previous models with lower profile arch support and improved fit around the toes on the back of feedback provided by their riders.
Cyrano Carbon Seatpost
| Available in both carbon (212g) and aluminium (238g) this sharp looking layback post really caught our eye. Layback posts can sometimes be a little awkward to tighten when using a twin bolt design but by changing the front bolt to a thumb screw to easily adjust the angle before tightening the rear only with a hex key, Fizik avoid this. The finish is superb and the looks are equally impressive.|
| We have some of the Fizik range which we'll be reviewing in depth shortly but for now we took a quick look at the updated Arione, their top end road saddle which incorporates some of the features also found on their mountain range. Handmade and very light piece of kit which features a carbon shell with built in flexible wings thanks to injected rubber sections for increased comfort. Our experience with these on the MTB range is that it's technology which works superbly. The deep section carbon rails are 9mm and single piece, all of which bring the saddle in at a scant 135g.|
Hutchinson Gravity Tyres
| Hutchinson are really working hard at their range of tyres right now and their World Cup riders are no doubt partly to thank for this as they will have been providing invaluable feedback over the past couple of years.|
The biggest news is the 2.4" Squale (top), a smaller and re-profiled version of the 2.5" casing already available, and a tyre which has seen use by Hutchinson United Ride team over the course of the 2012 season. The 2.5" Squale (left) remains unchanged from 2012 but features deeper tread and larger blocks than the new 2.4" size. It's already a proven all rounder and the additional size now available should open up the possibilities for its use on an even wider range of terrain and race courses.
The Dzo (right) is an altogether different proposition, moving from all rounder to about as condition specific as you get in the tyre world. A full blown spike for the worst conditions, it comes with pre-moulded cut lines for those who wish to keep the characteristics of a spike but improve rolling resistance. If you're a racer you'll get it, if you aren't then you may not feel the need to cut away unused portions of a brand new tyre! We'd like to see this in a 2.4" version too as the 2.6" is likely to prove just that bit big for anything but the wildest of tracks in the mud.
Double thickness casings feature on all three tyres as well as the rest of the Hutchinson gravity range, and the Race Riposte compound is a super-slow rebounding soft rubber that comes in at 42ShA although feels significantly slower rebounding than other tyres at this grade which should increase grip.[/PI]
Yeti are a brand which has always enjoyed stature at the top of the sport. Numerous race victories and some fantastic bikes right back to their inception comes together to ensure that.
| The Yeti lurks. The race ready, although disappointingly non-carbon, 303 sits on the left, the DJ on the right.|
| The SB66 has been around for a while but it's proving to be a popular choice amongst the enduro fraternity thanks to its good angles which inspire confidence.|
| A 29" brother to the 26" wheeled SB66, the SB95 loses an inch of travel to take it down to 5" but the weight remains unchanged while angles are kept as slack as possible despite the larger wheels. It was once accepted that 29" bikes needed to have steep head angles but this attitude is thankfully changing and some much slacker bikes such as the proto Orange featured earlier in the show as well as this SB95 are evidence of that.|
| Shaving a whole 1.5lb from it's aluminium counterpart the SB66 Carbon joins the party with smooth lines and a definite Yeti feel. Utilising the same Switch technology as the rest of the SB range it's 6" travel promises to enable efficient climbing with sure footed descending, the ideal combination made even better by the reduced weight.|
| Also on show from Yeti was this clothing range, featuring both casual and technical gear in the obligatory Yeti colours, and including a matching iXS gravity lid.|
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