RockShox, Truvativ and SRAM - Eurobike 2011

Sep 7, 2011
by Mike Levy  
Truvativ bar width tester

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.

Power meter on SRAM crank

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.

eurobike

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.

RockShox Reverb Stealth

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.

SRAM X5

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



45 Comments

  • 47 1
 My ex girlfriend had tons of crank power but no meter to tell when she was about to go off... hence.. Ex. Seriously, nice stuff though .
  • 10 0
 My only complaint with the boobar has been the butt is too close to where the grip clamps so if you cut it you lose the ability to slide your brake in far enough wonder if thats been rectified. Love the X5 stuff.
  • 2 0
 Same with the Hussefelt and Holzfeller bars! It's really bad 'cuz they are really awesome, but that drawback is annoying as hell!
  • 2 0
 yep same problem here, got the 780 boobars hoping to cut them down so now I'm selling them. bought some 760 bars that have the ability to be cut right down to 660. Now I can play and find my ideal width.
P.S. anyone want my boobars? £35?
  • 5 1
 soooo truvativ have finally decided to go with a standard axel? no more bullshit power driver with splines no one carries that strip out... sounds like a step in the right direction.
  • 6 0
 I really like the rock shox cable routing, neat idea to hide an ugly cable mess. Thanks Mike Levy
  • 2 1
 I agree it's a clever solution to a problem but you need a new frame as well. Total cost would be just too great. And that assuming that I want or need a new frame or bike. I use a KS 900 and have never had any issues with extra cable. I don't even notice it. Either way, isn't the easiest solution to simply mount the cable or hose on the post body like KS have on their new post or Gravity Dropper have for ever?
  • 2 0
 well obviously no-one's buying a new bike just for an extra hole! it's just a neat feature on future treks and scotts
  • 1 0
 ya, I get that but cleaning up the frame is always nice
  • 2 0
 I have a Reverb on my nomad carbon and the cable doesn't bother me at all. I can see this becomming a new standard though.
  • 3 0
 thanks but i'll just stick to my 9-speed cranks and cogs for the time being or until it dies and i can't find affordable 9-speed replacement parts no more.
  • 2 0
 what good is a 10spd "power link" when i cant get it off on the trail with my hands? I'll stick with 9 spd until they make a 10spd chain link that is trail side compatible.
  • 1 0
 Eee... I opened and closed mine 3 times now in my "workshop", but I see no point why shouldn't I be able to do it on the trail. What's this about?
  • 2 0
 Check out the kmc x10 series.
  • 2 0
 8 speed is the way to go! Inexpensive and tough.
  • 2 1
 @derek if someone only started a production of a 1x7sp drivetrain with a 9-36 cassette I bet at least half of us here would go for it anytime...
  • 1 0
 & MrPulse, I used to have trouble getting my power link to come apart too, but i read something that says you have to squeeze it while sliding the link apart. Works flawlessly for me, try it yourself.
  • 1 0
 Unimpressed with SRAM durability. I'm on my 3rd rear 9sp cassette in 3 months (broke 1 DH and 1 751), second chain 771, and X9 shifter's alu downshift lever developed lots of play before engaging, but can't be tightened. However, I can applaud their warranty dept. Overnighted new cassette at no cost.
  • 1 0
 I tried a bike with sram 2 x 10 and was not impressed. In the big ring the chain falls off on rough downhills, because there is no chain guide to keep it on (and no way to install one). The small ring wasn't small enough for the really steep climbs, even with 36 in back. But the most frustrating thing was not having a front gear that you can use all the rear gears with, like you can with your middle chain ring on a triple. It seemed like every few minutes I was cross-chained. The best set up for real mountain biking is a triple with a chain guide instead of a big ring, 2 x 10 is for the roadie/lycra crowd who ride smooth trails.

An inexpensive X5 10 speed rear derailleur might be a good idea(eh...maybe not), since none of their derailleurs are super reliable in my experience. Plastic threads for limit screws are a joke, but probably very inexpensive to manufacture.
  • 4 0
 some cool stuff coming out of eurobike
  • 4 0
 My pockets would have to reach my knees to afford that crankset
  • 1 0
 but compared to other crank power meters, that's pretty cheap
  • 1 1
 I don't see the point in mounting them in the cranks to be honest. Hub power meters let you simply swap your rear wheel to remove them, but with cranks its not that simple.
  • 1 0
 A lot of people ride their bikes with power meters all the time. My boss' road bike has the Quarq Red cranks on it and it's still 14.8 lbs. He uses it for racing, group rides, and solo rides.
  • 1 0
 Yes seraph.... they stated that power meters were very common in road and XC riding. This is rare because it's a MTB crank with a power meter.
  • 2 0
 If your bike is so light its illegal under UCI rules even with a power meter then you don't really need to worry about removing power meters to save weight. That and I'm incredibly jealous of your boss. I get your point though. And Six or Shore, you kind of missed his point to be honest.
  • 1 0
 @Drood - don't worry, don't envy, as with all top of the line luxury stuff: vast majority of ppl who can use the given advantage doesn't pay for it, they are sponsored racers. Vast majority of people who can afford to buy these for themselves are poor riders, because they are too busy making money they don't practice that much. There is only one group that affords everything and has plenty of time for riding: Scandinavians Big Grin
  • 2 0
 With his Garmin 805 it's 14.9 lbs Razz
  • 3 0
 Wow even the x5 components look really sick thats awesome!
  • 11 0
 good AFFORDABLE components, this is what I want to hear more about.
  • 3 2
 100$ for ten sheets of stamped steel and an (presumably cast = cheap) aluminum bit? thank you but go sodomize urself with it.

EDIT: okay so it's not 100, its 91, but seriously, wtf?
  • 1 0
 Baca262, you obviously haven't seen the price tag on XX cassette... Or x5 chain costs the same as XTR. Or X0 shifters cost more than XTRs and SLX derailleurs alltogether. I just broke the piston in my Reverb Xloc and paid 100$ in US for the new one incl.shipping and customs, because there was not a single one in Europe. Sram's pricing is ridiculous.

And all of you who believe that sram shifting is better than Shimano, yea it's been true, but it's a good time to wake up, especially those who ride Xc/am and upshift a lot: try 10speed stuff from both first, because sram is totaly down with quality, while Shimano stepped it up with latest releases of every grouppo.
  • 1 0
 XX being unbelievably over priced doesn't make baca262's point any less true.
A lot of the money sram are charging (I would hope) go to R&D for future products. Prototyping is expensive, after all.
  • 1 0
 Those are some awesome new products!
  • 1 0
 Yeah! cool stuff here..
  • 1 0
 $91 USD for 10 speed ? Sign me up SRAM !!
  • 1 0
 wow!! sram never fall sleep if we talk about hi-tech and durability Big Grin
  • 1 0
 sweet cant wait!!
  • 1 0
 EXPENSIVE
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