Is wide right?
Do you ever wondered what a wider bar would feel like, but don't want to go out and drop your hard earned coin to find out? First stop in the SRAM booth was this great interactive display that let you feel the difference in bar width by simply sliding the grips to different positions. You could try out everything from the slender 680mm wide Truvativ Noir T20 carbon bar, all the way up to the big stick, a 780mm wide Boobar. The display had quite a lineup of people who wanted to give it a go, and I'm betting that more than a few Euro cross-country types left the show with plans of installing a proper bar on their bike. Every shop should have one of these setups. Carbon crankset with power meter:
Are you looking to take your riding to the next step? Training with power has long been known to make a world of difference, but it is usually only the road and cross-country crowd who take advantage of it. Truvativ is making it easier for mountain bikers to benefit from power training by equipping an X0 level carbon crankset with a Quarq power meter. How it works:
The system works by using strain gauges - very small diameter wires that are in a protective coating and hidden within the spider - that measure the amount of displacement (flex
) on the surface that they are laid across. While the amount of displacement is very, very small, it is more than enough for the tiny gauges to pick up. The unit then compares this number, taken from a combination of both your right and left legs, to your cadence and comes up with a power figure in watts. The system is wireless, sending the data to any Ant+ compatible computer, and the CR2450 battery is claimed to last about 400 hours of use and is user replaceable. What good is it?
So, you're no doubt thinking that this is surely only for cross-country whippets or the geekiest of cycling geeks, but there may well be more use for it than that. Take for example the Olympic U.S. BMX team, who used it to measure power out of the gate and throughout the length of the track. Not surprisingly, they discovered that the riders who could put down similar amounts of power while exiting the first few turns usually went on to take the win. Downhill racing, where losing just a tenth of a second every few corners can equal a massive amount of time at the finish, may be ideally suited to training with power. While you'd obviously not want to mount it in a race run, training with the Quarq equipped cranks will let you improve your corner exits by specifically targeting your power output - the more power that you can put down efficiently, the quicker you'll be. With an MSRP of $1795 USD for the GXP bottom bracket model and $1895 for the BB30 version it certainly won't be for everyone, but it could be the ticket for pro level riders who are constantly looking for an advantage.
Carbon rear shock:
RockShox wants to raise the carbon content on your cross-country bike with their new Monarch XX Carbon rear shock. As you likely guessed from the name, the new shock uses a trick looking carbon fiber air can that weighs a scant 15 grams, half of what the aluminum version comes in at. RockShox had an air can removed from a shock for me to play with and it is quite a neat piece of work, with its threads made entirely from carbon. In fact, the only metal element in the entire can is an ultra thin band at the outboard end for the shaft seal to mate with. The can is also made in the US, with RockShox not being able to find an overseas vendor that could make it to the standards that they were looking for. XLoc lockout:
The new carbon air can is likely the first thing you noticed about the new Monarch XX Carbon, but the shock also makes use of RockShox's Xloc hydraulic remote to control its lockout function, which is much bigger news in our minds (although that carbon can does look trick
). The Xloc remote is the same as used on the Reverb post, as well as their cross-country and trail forks, and uses hydraulic fluid to open and close an oil passageway within the damper. The big advantage over a lockout that uses standard shift cable and housing is that it is impervious to contamination from grime - the button effort will always be the same and there is no cable to get rusty. While the guys at RockShox were not keen to talk about it, one can only assume that they are also working on a system that makes use of a single XLoc trigger to control both front and rear lockout function. One of the possible issues that we can see with this is that the front and rear dampers likely require a different amount of oil movement within the XLoc line to engage the lockout. It will be interesting to see how they solve this issue. Stay tuned. Hidden hydraulic line:
RockShox had their Reverb Stealth installed on cutaway frames from both Trek and Scott, the only two companies who will have 2012 models spec'd with the cleanly routed dropper post. The Stealth looks to remedy the drawback of nearly all telescoping posts: that pesky extra cable slack that appears as soon as you lower the saddle. The post's hydraulic line - it uses suspension fluid within the hose to control its travel - exits from the bottom of the post and travels through the frame tubes, exiting discreetly from the bottom of the seat or down tube. We have an immense amount of time on the standard 125mm travel Reverb and have been astonished with its action and reliability - it is the benchmark for all dropper posts in our minds - and the Stealth's internal routing simply makes sense to us. You can read more about it
from our visit to Les Gets, France, where we were among the first to give it a proper go.10 speed for everyone:
While there has been some resistance from the masses about the jump to 10 speed, Pinkbike has had nothing but good things to say about the added cog, especially when it includes the wider range 36 tooth gear out back. 2012 sees that technology make the jump to X5, meaning that riders who want that wide gearing range and positive SRAM shift feel can get it at a lower price than ever before. It is easy to get excited about the latest and greatest carbon bits (see the Monarch XX Carbon shock in this same article
), but X5's asking price is equally as stunning. The crankset shown above, which is available in 22-36, 24-38, 26-39 and 28-42 double ring options, and 22-33-44 triple gearing, ranges from $140 to $195 USD. The 10 speed X5 rear derailleur can be had in medium or long cage options for just $64 USD. All told, an entire X5 groupset will go for roughly $450 USD, depending on gearing and bottom bracket choice. That is just $50 more than a set of X0 cranks on their own. Talk about trickle down!Easy gearing:
The X5 cassette brings 10 speed, along with its ultra low 36 tooth gearing, to a new price point that will allow more riders to have a go on the system. Its $91 USD asking price is even more commendable considering that it uses an aluminum carrier for its largest cogs, helping to keep the weight at a more than reasonable level.
Visit the SRAM website
for more information.Stay tuned for more from Eurobike 2011