More From Eurobike - Eurobike 2013

Sep 2, 2013
by Mike Levy  
SRAM X0 hub

SRAM X0 Hubs

SRAM has offered wheelsets for a few seasons now, but Eurobike saw them introduce a brand new X0-level hubset that, surprisingly, differs from what their wheels are assembled around. Both the $197 USD front hub and $364 USD rear hub utilize traditional spoke flanges that accept standard J-bend spokes, which is very different than the flanges on the hubs at the center of their Roam and Rail wheelsets that feature stacked spoke holes that hold straight pull spokes. Why the change, especially when the stacked arrangement allows for just one spoke length used throughout the entire wheelset? SRAM says that the answer lies in compatibility, with the idea being to allow the consumer a greater chance of finding replacement spokes if they happen to break one or more, a sometimes
tricky proposition if you require a straight pull spoke. Standard flanges were also a smart choice given that the X0 hubs could be at the center of nearly any mountain bike rim, negating SRAM's 'Solo Spoke' concept anyways. Thankfully, the new X0 hubs do feature tool-free axle conversion, dubbed 'Side Swap' by SRAM, that allows the front to fit quick-release and 15mm thru-axles, and the rear to either 135mm quick-release or 12 x 142mm thru-axle. No, there is no 20mm front or 150/157mm rear setup.

Internally, the rear hub has gone away from the DT Star Ratchet driver that is found on the Roam and Rail wheels, with a four pawl system and a fifty-two tooth driver ring that gives 6.9° of engagement (11spd XD and standard drivers will be available). While the move away from DT's driver mechanism may confuse some, especially given that it has proven to be reliable and easy to work on, the new setup trumps its 10° of engagement. Internals aside, SRAM isn't shy about the new X0 hubs' premium price, telling us confidently that they rival any other high-end option currently on the market when talking about quality, finish, and reliability, but they did also admit that they are aiming for the hubs to be used at the center of pre-built wheelsets that many distributors offer.


POC's Ultra Light Lid

Lets get one thing out of the way right off the bat: the Octal has been designed with road riding in mind. Having said that, the interesting looking lid is insanely light at just 195 grams (claimed, medium size), yet it has passed all of the applicable standardization tests required of the major markets in Europe, North America, and Australia. And while the Octal shown here clearly has a roadie look to it, POC does have plans in the future to offer a visor'd version that would look more at home on the dirt. The trick to the helmet's lack of heft lies in POC's choice of EPS foam - slightly less dense than usual but with a partially thicker make up. This design also allows them to forgo the internal skeleton that most performance helmets depend on for strength and support, with a unibody shell that POC says "enhances the safety properties and construction integrity of the helmet" Either way, we are looking forward to seeing a version with a visor up front in the future.


Pads for Pedalling

iXS's Flow knee pads (above, right) are a lightweight, flexible alternative to the usual bulky and restricting options on the market, with iXS saying that they are ideal for a rider who is looking for protection that they can wear over the long haul. Their secret lies in the pads' 'X-Matter' material (above, left) that is essentially open-cell, slow rebounding foam that we're told does a great job of absorbing impacts. The section of X-Matter padding on display in the iXS booth revealed that it is impressively pliable, with us easily bending it around a single finger without difficulty. The Flow pads may not be the best choice for lift-assisted downhilling, but we'll be testing a set soon with pedalling and all-mountain riding in mind.

Cube Fritz

180mm Travel Cube Fritzz 180 HPA SL 26

It seems as if longer travel bikes designed for pedalling may be making a comeback, due in large part to the rise of Enduro racing, with European brand Cube being among the companies offering such machines for 2014. Their new Fritzz will come in two versions, one with 160mm of travel, and one with 180mm (pictured here), both using aluminum tubing and the same four-bar suspension design. As the name suggests, the bike uses 26'' wheels, with both ends shod in the always impressive Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires. Suspension is all FOX, including their new Float X shock that seems like an ideal match for the bike's intentions, with a 140 - 180mm travel 36 Talas RC2 FIT fork up front. It does look like quite the bike for racing down some serious terrain, doesn't it?

Cube Fritz


  • 32 0
 This is what Pinkbike product picks should be. Cool stuff, Im looking forward to trying out those knee pads, IXS makes nice gear.
  • 15 0
 Yeah until there are prices... then everybody has a sh*t fit.
  • 1 0
 Vital did a review of those kneepads, they were pretty positive about them.
  • 4 0
 They actually look really comfy. I wear pads way less than I should, looks like the ticket right there.
  • 1 1
 Been wearing IXS pads all summer (read 6 hours per day, 5 days per week) and they are very comfortable, stay in palce when riding & most importantly actually stay in place when you crash.
  • 2 0
 Ive been wearing bluegrass pads with the last few weeks. they look great and are really comfortable for pedalling. Cheaper than most other options too. I still have skin left on my kneecap after a long days pedalling unlike my old 661s.
  • 1 1
 "poozank" i don't share your oppinion. I think ixs makes shitty gear.I have ixs metis helmet and unfortunately DROPed it from 50sm. From this fall it cracked and my ixs distributor doesn't want to give me a new waranty helmet because ixs won't approve it(I think that this way ixs say's that this is normal for their products and they are the biggest shit ever).
  • 2 0
 If you drop a helmet it can crack. That's not their fault... although I understand your frustration .... but helmets are meant to break so they save your dome. You are supposed to discard after a fall even if it looks ok..... (im not saying I do that) but for safety and liability this is the way of things.
  • 3 0
 The price for the Flow Knee gonna be $69.--.
  • 2 0
 The iXS metis helmet is just a rebadged generic helmet also used by a few other companies. It isn't actually something iXS made themselves.
  • 21 2
 Those hubs are almost as expensive as the made in the USA Chris King. Choice is done.
  • 10 0
 USA made Hadley rear hubs are about $300 USD (plus or minus $10-20), can be had in 36 or 72 point engagement (3 or 4 pawls respectively) and come with a titanium freehub body. Plus, they come in several polished anodized colors. Double plus, they don't make an annoying sound.

Correction for the article, the XO hub has a 26 tooth driver ring, not 52. The 4 pawls are 2 pairs of 2 that are offset to give you 52 points of engagement, similar to the Hadley 4 pawl setup.
  • 5 0
 Hadley also has proven reliability.
  • 5 1
 And they are just better in everyway, dont forget about industry nine as well
  • 5 0
 I'm proud to own 2 wheel sets with Hadley Hubs. There's nothing better.
  • 4 0
 I agree, Hadley all the way.
  • 2 1
 I tried to get Hadley but they were out of stock so I settled for Chris King. I would love to own a set of Hadleys one day.
  • 4 1
 King are also excellent.
  • 2 1
 I'd love to have some Chris King! I didn't know Hadley, I'll check their availability over here.
  • 5 1
 No idea why someone would spend that much on a taiwaneese hub. Have owned hadley before and i second the other comments--best on earth and for the money too--US craftsmanship
  • 4 0
 Hadley's are sweet
  • 8 0
 What about Hope? less engagement but possibly some of the most reliable hubs myself and riding friends have owned.
  • 2 1
 Chris King is the only hub that I've seen that can truly tolerate PNW winters year in and year out with just some basic maintenance. Hadleys are awesome and roll sooooo smooth, but you will replace the bearings annually if you live in western Oregon, Washington, or BC.
  • 3 2
 Go profile elite
  • 2 0
 Profile elites are too expensive, depending on the shop those hubs retail for $700-$800. Ive ridden them, yeah they sound sweet but performance wise i didnt notice a lot of difference from my hopes. I just dont see where the extra $300 is going.
  • 2 1
 i think sram is targetting people who are riding xx1 or x01 with these hubs, so they cant really be compared to chris king because they do not have an xd driver for their hubs yet. unless someone was to buy these XO hubs for a standard 9 or 10sp set up, which would be pointless. But again, i dont think thats who sram is targetting.
  • 19 1
 Specialized and kona had a baby and out popped cube
  • 12 2
 Ellsworth with a bright paint job
  • 2 1
 ka-brap's got it right... you won't see the cubes stateside because their suspension design violates the ICT patent (until such time as it expires).
  • 3 1
 Another acronym for prexisting technology that was cleverly patented by Mr E. Those bikes look almost as ugly as Ellseworths but maybe its just the paint job...
  • 3 1
 He has a bunch of patents for the various ICT bikes he's done, all involving theories he's never been able to properly explain when asked by actual engineers and even engineering students.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for that read, Dee.
  • 1 0
 Ya, that path analysis article is brilliant - more people should read it, but then again, most prefer to believe the marketing hype.
  • 15 1
 reading through the POC helmet write up, and i didn't get past the first sentence
  • 9 3
 Love near on every poc product but dam that helmets ugly!
  • 2 2
 I know right!
  • 3 1
 i dont know about the rest of you, but i hate things that are proprietary. the notch in the frame just so this years fox shock will travel correctly? ok thats great but if you upgrade a shock in the future and its not the exact same shape, then you have a cool little notch in your frame.........
  • 1 0
 On my wildcard I mostly run the shock in the 6,5 setting but if you decide to run the shock in the 5 inch setting you just switch it around so the smaller air canister is facing the seat tube...If that notch had a bottle opener in it they may be onto something!!
  • 2 0
 Probably makes that area stronger. Plus you can stash your stash and a one-hitter in there, and slap some green electrical tape over it.
  • 1 0
 ha!Im to likely to hit a tree or start talking to one if i ride baked!!
  • 4 0
 Anyone else think the xo hubs are just like the hope hubs internally !!
  • 3 1
 jep.. only hope will Always be my first choice.. AND convertible into ANYTHING.. Sram allready threw out several options.. bunch of dickheads..
  • 5 5
 I'm more than sure that the designer of that POC helmet designed stuff for Ikea before... like that fullface lid inspired by retro LEGO. 50% function 50% construction 0% balls 0% sex. If you read that, do you by any chance drive one of those matt blue or matt grey Volvos RDesign?
  • 2 0
 For the price of those hubs....I'll just stick with my Chris Kings!
  • 3 0
 Ill keep my hopes as well.
  • 1 3
 Cube coilair. 180 enduro bikes make it to easy/Boring on the decent and to hard on the up then there not slack enough ect for proper dh I don't get it. Unless they invent some way of flicking a switch and the hole geo changes not interested
  • 1 0
 look at the bionicon alva 180 air
  • 3 0
 And you say that having ridden how many 180mm enduro bikes? I own a 170mm enduro bike and believe me it is no harder on the climbs than any of my friends with 150mm or 160mm bikes. And it is leagues ahead on the descents. Definitely not boring. I take it you think Dh bikes are really boring to ride then? Also since when is a 65 degree head angle insufficient for descending? Up until 3-4 years ago that was pretty standard on DH bikes. When it gets slacker than that you really start pushing the front end out on flat corners.
  • 2 0
 Hey Cube, 1989 called, they want their colors back!
  • 3 0
 I like that Cube fritzz!
  • 1 0
 Those hub's internals just look like left over Ringle stock
  • 3 3
 Been waiting for a POC XC race lid!!! Looks great!
  • 1 0
 CUBE... Ellsworth?
  • 3 5
 Even though cube stole kona's rear triangle (just an observation but probably not true) , I think it looks great.
  • 6 1
 Konas are single pivot, cube has a FSR type suspension
  • 6 10
flag VPPFREEDOM (Sep 2, 2013 at 23:21) (Below Threshold)
 basically kona and specialized got together and made a sub brand for euros called cube, i personally think it's a pretty forward thinking idea
  • 18 0
 specialized and kona got together and created a sub brand!? I like you, you're funny

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