Continuing with the theme of German brands at Eurobike (after all, it is in Germany), here we have Bergamont
. Not known hugely outside of Germany, the two bikes we chose to look at inside are the Big Air MGN
for freeride duties and the Straightline Team
for downhill. Check inside for all the info and a whole load of pictures!Read on...
This is the first of the bikes we took a look at from Bergamont. Although the Straightline is not a new bike to the Bergamont lineup, it has seen some pretty significant reworking over previous years to produce a sleek and neat frame that incorporates a load of new features.
New for 2011 is this Co-Ax pivot. It aims, like others using a similar design, to keep the suspension active under braking by separating out the suspension and braking forces. This photo shows a bolt through axle, but production bikes will come with custom made Maxles to cope with the width of the dropouts. Notice the rear derailleur cable which is routed through the chainstay to keep it out of harms way.
A Fox RC4 comes standard in 9.5" x 3.0" producing 220mm travel at an overall leverage ratio of 2.7:1. The rocker design has been changed over the 2010 model to create a less progressive curve to work with current shocks, but has approximately 20% increase in rate over linear by the end of the travel. The shock now also mounts to the swing link with bearings to reduce friction and improve small bump compliance.
This is the revised link, incorporating full cartridge bearings and aluminium hardware to reduce weight. The linkage looks super slick with pocketing to scoop out the excess material and neat welds holding it all together.
More neatness. A large axle holds the CNC machined yoke onto the front end, but this will be changed to a forged link to further reduce weight on the production model. Rather than a revolution on previous generations, this bike is clear evolution but in every way, from tweaked angles to far neater details which all help to improve performance and reduce weight without sacrificing on the strength.
Coming out of the same Taiwanese factory as many of the big manufacturers shows in the finishing of these bikes as the welds and quality are right up there with the best. The full bike seen here comes in at 16.9kg, the frame only weight sits at the 4.0kg mark without shock which is a fair improvement on the previous model. This reduction is helped in part by a new custom tubeset which allows for thinner walls to be used, greater surface area for welding at junctions and as a result, less weight with greater strength.
More neat welds. But the best bit about all of this is the price. How does 1599 Euro for the frame including Fox RC4 sound? Yeah, I thought so...
The next frame is the Big Air MGN which incorporates many of the neat features found on its bigger brother, the Straightline. Reduced travel at 190mm comes from a 2.75 stroke shock to create the same overall leverage rate of 2.7 to 1 as the larger bike. Although the bare frame weight is only 100g or so less than that of the downhill race machine, the Big Air is spec'd with a Rock Shox Vivid Air to save significant weight there. In fact, there'd be very little to stop you doing the same with the Straightline to save some weight there too if that's your bag.
HammerSchmidt! So many bikes are on display with these, but what's interesting is the number of bikes that now have pivots in line with the drive ring on the Hammerschmidt to improve the isolation of pedalling forces. With bikes now featuring ever lower bottom brackets the added ground clearance that this system offers while still keeping the spread of gears that a multi ring set up gives is a plus in my books.
Gold and black always looks good. Here are the accented Co-Ax dropouts which will be fitted with a Maxle come production. Post mounts keep it simple when you come to mounting your brake.
The quality really belies the price of these bikes. At 1499 Euro including Vivid Air there really is very little to compete and it makes you wonder why some manufacturers charge so much for their bikes and frames when others are pumping out high quality at prices like this. Overall some slick bikes which look nice and come in at an awesome price. And going on last year's downhill bike the performance should be there too.
Visit the Bergamont website
to see their entire lineup.Stay tuned for more Eurobike coverage!