Intense M9 FRO
The Intense M9 was on display here twelve months ago so it’s not exactly new. What is however is a redesigned lower pivot assembly that uses expanding collets on each side to help stiffen the area and reduce maintenance. More noticeable was this color, fluro yellow offset with contrasting matt black decals. Sunglasses optional...taste questionable. It’s probably wrong that I like this.Intense UZZI
Intense have seen fit to revise the Uzzi. Now with a lower bottom bracket, a slightly slacker head angle at 66 degrees and a direct mount front derailleur sum up the biggest of the changes at the front end. At the rear you’ll now see more tyre clearance and certain tubes from the M9 for increased strength and stiffness. Holding it together is the new design of link described on the M9 above.K-Edge Ki2
It wasn’t the stealthy black finish that turned our attention to this Tracer on display at the front of the Intense stand. No, it was the ‘hacked’ Shimano Di2 Dura Ace shifting technology which did that. Made by K-Edge, the Ki2 utilises Shimano Dura Ace Di2 derailleurs and satellite shifters, mated with a new rear cage to deal with the mountain bike world. Bolted to your Shimano brake levers it’s an innovative piece of work which has brought the highly regarded electronic shifting from the road world to the dirt. And regardless of how you feel this relates to us there’s some pretty clever work which has gone on to do so that should be applauded. Check out www.ki2bike.com for some more info – at $3,385 you’ll be doing some serious budget scraping to afford it so you’ll want to be fully informed!
Daniel Fricke of Eaze Bikes (www.eaze-bikes.com
) had this final prototype of his downhill bike on display. Production location is yet to be finalised but expect to see a combination of the Far East and Germany in there. Flip chips enable a degree of adjustability in both wheelbase and head angle (and as a result, the bottom bracket height too). The essential info is 230mm travel, 64-65degree head angle with the previously mentioned adjustments and 3.9kg without shock but including all mounting hardware.
Although the shock is yet to be decided for when the time comes to sell production models, expect retail to sit somewhere between €2300 and €2500. Pinkbike’s been promised an early ride on one so we’ll be sure to chase that up and bring to you our impressions. Large cartridge bearings, beefy looking linkages and an integrated chain device are all neat features and shout German engineering at you from a great distance. KALI Protectives
Brad Waldron from Kali Protectives was keen to show us a couple of new for 2012 products. The first was this, the Avatar 2 helmet, which comes in at 770g. A carbon shell and Kali’s Composite Fusion Plus technology are the two big selling points. This technology can be seen on the left here with dual density polystyrene which is directly molded into the shell. With many years experience in the military as a composites engineer Brad has created a patented process which enables this to happen. The dual density foam can be seen as two interlocking layers of cones which interact to spread impact forces across the greatest possible area.
The second part of this reduces the deceleration of your head when the outside of the shell hits something hard and immovable. This is good as the slower and more controlled the deceleration, the lower the g-force your brain experiences in a crash. The helmet both looks good in the flesh and feels great in your hand; light, high quality and some confidence inspiring technology combine to make a product that you can picture yourself handing over some hard earned for.
It might not fancy or full of the more expensive technology featured in Kali’s high end helmet this Chakra Plus is nevertheless worthy of a mention for at just sixty bucks it’s killer value for money. It’s comfortable too although the lime green will perhaps be one for the slightly more extrovert riders. We’re going to be putting one of these through the some long term paces to see how it holds up in that place we like to call the real world. There’ll be no missing us; ours is fluro green!
The Inspired Bicyles Skye. Designed for some trials rider who’s apparently quite exciting to watch. Someone called Danny MacAskill. No, I’ve not heard of him either...unlike many trials riders this bike’s fitted with disc brakes. What separates them from the average is that they’re designed with trials in mind so are super grabby. By the way, if you really haven’t heard of him then you need to check this
German brand Toolz had some cool components on display. One of the neatest was this headset (only the lower cup is pictured) which incorporates two bearings in the lower assembly. It’s just over 100g for the full headset but has a huge five o-ring seals on each cup that even when under pressure seem to create minimal drag. The main bearing sits where you’d expect it to but the second is tucked up inside the headtube. The race then runs through both. As with all items on display there’s an amount of assumption in how you’d expect products to survive. However, you’d have to put money (€119 to be precise) on this lasting the distance with its combination of load bearing ability, fantastic sealing and high quality finishing.
We’ll bring you some more from Saracen later in the week but for now we'll tease you with this Ariel 16X frame only. It’s new for 2012 and unsurprisingly given the name features 160mm travel. Saracen last year brought some very nice products to the table. Firstly that was in the form of the Myst which was this year piloted to the win in the Junior Womens overall in the World Cup by Manon Carpenter and secondly the 140mm Ariel.
Renamed the Ariel 14X for 2012, it’s a medium travel all mountain frame which now sits as little brother to the 16X. Styling has noticeably improved across the range with a real upmarket feel to everything, especially with the 14X and 16X frame only options in their gold and two tone black finishes.
The second generation Giant Glory goes into its third year in 2012 but given the way it’s being shredded down the World Cup courses this year by the team led by Danny Hart it looks like there’s plenty of life left in the chassis yet. Champery isn’t very far away from Eurobike and is host to the World Championships this weekend. Everyone is on tenterhooks at Giant, not wanting to tempt fate by suggesting that Danny has an outside chance of doing something special but the reality is that he really could. Keep your eyes peeled for our up to the minute coverage over the weekend but for now here are some images of the Giant’s striking new graphics.Stay tuned for more from Eurobike 2011