Sea Otter Randoms

Apr 21, 2012 at 9:00
Apr 21, 2012
by Mike Levy  
 
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Commencal Meta AM29
Commencal's Meta AM 29 was gathering quite a bit of attention from the crowd. With a relatively slack 68 degree head angle, the 130mm travel bike is aimed at the more aggressive big wheel riders out there. The frame features internal cable routing that enters at the head tube, and Commencal even routes both the shift and brake lines through each chain stay. The result is an incredibly clean looking bike.
Commencal Meta AM29 suspension detail
The Meta AM 29 employs a trimmer version of their latest Contact System suspension layout, with the bike's FOX air shock floating between the rocker link and the chain stays - it isn't mounted to the front triangle at either end. The main pivot is captured between the twin uprights, likely creating quite a laterally stiff package. Again, this bike looks to be ideally suited for riders who push hard and who may not have been considering a 29er for their riding style.
Commencal Meta AM29
The burly theme continues out back, with Commencal speccing a 12x142mm Maxle (left). Post mount brake mounting (right) eliminates the need for a rear brake adapter.
IXS Metis helmet
We've shown you IXS's Metis helmet from a recent trade show, but the sharp looking lid has just now been made available to the public. The rear of the helmet is shaped to play nice with neck braces - a great feature if you are looking to take the next step in safety. The CE/EN1078 and CPSC certified Metis weighs in at a competitive 1100 grams, and uses a D-ring strap to hold it on your head. It retails for $150 USD and comes in five different color options.
Orange Gyro
Are you looking at an Orange Five? Nope, this is actually their brand new Gryo 29er. With its very Orange-esque swingarm and folded aluminum down tube, the 110mm travel Gyro has clearly lifted its DNA from the Five. Look closely and you'll spot the frame's ISCG tabs - ideal for a strong rider who wants to run a single chain ring and proper guide.
IXS Sunkworx
We showed you the Grammo Skunkworx in an earlier post, but we now have a few more details to go along with it. The aluminum frame can be fitted with different length shocks thanks to its large adjustment range of the forward shock mount, allowing the rider to run between 4'' and 6'' of travel while still maintaining proper geometry, and its single pivot design employs a captured main pivot that is roughly in line with the top of the chain ring (depending on the ring, of course). Here's the kicker: Grammo is currently in the process of a redesign and is selling off their current Skunkworx frames for a mere $599 USD.
Crankbros tire lever
Crankbrothers' first product was a tool called the Speedlever, a tire lever that was mounted centrally at the axle allowing you to simply spin it around the rim to remove the bead, but that design isn't as handy now that there are so many different axle sizes. This new tire lever uses a fully enclosed handle that will limit the chance of removing skin from your knuckle, as well as a clever hook that lets you push the tire bead back in place without worrying about pinching the tube.

Crankbrothers' booth was also swamped with people after their seat post trade-in announcement offer: bring in your old Joplin and $150 USD and walk away with their new Kronolog dropper post. The offer only applies here at Sea Otter and very limited numbers are on hand.
FOX suspension
We recently spent two days riding FOX's new 2013 suspension offerings, including their latest CTD equipped forks and shocks. CTD stands for 'Climb, Trail, Descend', and refers to the three available levels of compression damping adjustment that are chosen by pushing the anodized blue lever. The black oval dial just above the CTD lever lets the rider pick from three different levels of compression damping while in the Trail setting.

While that may sound complicated at the first read, FOX says that this system lets them valve the shock more effectively from the factory while still giving the rider a wide range of damping levels to choose from. Stay tuned for a full write-up on the technology soon.
Zerode
Will gearbox bikes ever take off? Zerode certainly believe so. They were showing off their G-1 downhill bike that uses an eight speed Alfine hub mounted centrally within the frame, along with 9.25'' of rear wheel travel. The bike's main pivot is located quite high, just aft of the Alfine hub, in order to give the rear wheel plenty of rearward motion throughout its travel. The 2012 model comes in 1.5lb lighter than last year's version, helping to fight the stigma of gearbox bikes being hefty, and will come stock with a Cane Creek Double Barrel shock. MSRP $3499 USD, including the Alfine hub.
Zerode G-1 suspension detail
The large gold anodized rocker arm (left) activates a 3'' stroke shock, and much of the bike's hardware is titanium. Adjusting chain tension between the chain ring and Alfine hub is accomplished via vertical slots in the hub's mounting bracket (right), while a spring loaded chain tensioner takes up the slight amount of growth in the long drive chain.
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80 Comments

  • + 57
 those zerodes were at aussie nationals, they dont make a sound on the hill and look super smooth to ride.
  • + 12
 looks sick indeed
  • + 16
 took a zerode for a run in morzine this year, they eat bumps like nothing ive ever experienced in my life!!! i wont comment on te rest of the bike, because i only did one run on it, but JEESUS...the back end of it is UNREAL!!!!
  • + 5
 that zerode makes my brain hurt it looks so advanced
  • - 9
flag rffr (Apr 21, 2012 at 10:27) (Below Threshold)
 How is it so advanced? Lahar did this 3/4 decade before Zerode did. Canfield and some others did also but Canfield and a few others didn't utilize Geared hubs like Lahar and Zerode does.
  • + 5
 I want one!!
  • + 7
 Happy belated 4-20 Potthead! It does look badass regardless.
  • + 6
 Those shock adjustment knobs are not going to last there...
  • + 3
 I've had one for almost a year and the little chain tension knobs still work fine. You don't need to adjust it very often though. Cool that they are now running Cane Creek shocks too. Succession is the key to our sport though
  • + 2
 grassroots: there's a cover similar to the ones found on Lapierres and older glorys that protects the knobs..
  • + 2
 Saving my pennys to get one of these bad boys!
  • + 2
 Yeah, they now come with a carbon guard for the shock.. Have owned one for about 4 months now, it is simply amazing, can not rate it well enough, eats bumps better than any other bike out there. So quiet as well
  • + 3
 I'm thinking of getting one of these simply because I cannot stand noise coming from my bike.
  • + 2
 That Zerode looks absolutely amazing
  • + 28
 stop this 29" hysteria!!!
  • + 15
 Sooner or later you'll be hipster if you don't ride a 29er. Frown
  • - 3
 The only 29"ers I can understand are hard tails. If a 29"er is so much smoother on the trail, why do people who ride them still need rear suspension?

The Canfield Yelli Screamy is the only 29"er I would consider right now. It has the slackest head angle, and shortest chainstays of any production frame 29"er on the market. You could build one up all pimped out for $2000, and it would be so simplified compared to a full suspension bike. A great bike to ride around town, or take the dog out on a leisurely xc ride.

If you want to smooth the trail out so much that you need full suspension and 29" wheels, maybe you should consider road biking instead.
  • + 9
 So, what would you suggest? Should we ban the production of 29ers? Let people ride what they want. Different strokes for different folks, and all that.
  • + 10
 "If a 29"er is so much smoother on the trail, why do people who ride them still need rear suspension? "

There is no way in hell you're even remotely serious. You just can't be.
  • + 1
 People always find new things to degrade the others yesterday was about your skin color tomorrow something about the bikes or soccer or cars or.... But before all that we all should consider the things that we all share in everyway. 2 pedals and a chain!!!! just avoid clown bikes unless you work at the circus.
  • - 4
flag tetonlarry (Apr 21, 2012 at 17:48) (Below Threshold)
 Not trying to degrade anyone. My point was that with a good full suspension bike that is set up right, no one should need 29" wheels. Your suspension is supposed to help smooth out the trail, and float over bumps.

But, if you want to ride a hard tail, I think 29" wheels do make sense because they ride smoother (making up for the fact that you do not have rear suspension).

I don't think we should ban the sale of 29ers. I agree that people should ride what they want. I think once the hype passes, full suspension 29ers will become a niche market.
  • + 7
 You are a little late on the 29" hate bandwagon. 29ers are so last year. The new thing to hate is 650b.
  • + 2
 I don't hate it. I just think it's too bad that people are getting sucked into the hype of this trend. 650b actually seems much more logical than 29" to me. 29" is just too big. When I can grab a 29" wheel and pull it till it touches the fork lowers without much effort, It would seem to me that these wheels are just not stiff or strong enough for aggressive riding.
  • + 3
 You should see all the people racing down south here, there's a whole mess of em riding SS fully rigid carbon 29'ers, I don't get it, I don't like em, but shiiiiiit man theres no denying how fast these guys are.
  • + 2
 That's mostly because they're bikes are phenomenally light. And the bigger wheels help make up some for the loss of suspension. I know a guy who rides that way too, and jesus he's fast when we ride XC. He smokes us all going up, and he's no slouch going down either. Not my cup of tea, but it works incredibly well for him.
  • + 1
 seems like it would be great for xc..and thats it. i havent ridden them very much...but when i have they just seem like oversized roadbikes...sort of an awkward feel on dirt. also, saw one dude riding a 29er on the dh track...he wasnt having much fun...seemed like the bike wasnt handling very well. but yeah...different strokes for different folks.
  • + 10
 Im proud to own a Zerode :-)
  • + 6
 Anybody else here old enough to remember that Skunkworx frame when it was an On-One/ Planet X product?
  • + 2
 Yeah that Skunkworx is definitely a Planet X Split Tail, I have two sitting in my garage, sick bikes but both of them have cracks in the same places. They cracked right where the forward shock mount is welded, I guess it was a common problem with the frame. Also heard a rumor that Planet X had about 1200 of these laying around their shop, maybe those guys picked them up painted them and threw a new name on them.
  • + 1
 Could not think of the name of that thing to save my life. Surprised someone hasn't brought something like this to market in a less fugly configuration. High single pivot with a shock shuttle that could handle anything from a 7.5" to 8.5" eye to eye shock for adjustable travel/ geometry. Throw in a chip type thru axle for chainstay length adjustment and I'd be interested.
  • + 1
 Yep, recognized that ugly bitch right-away. Always loved my Planet-X hardtails, but with the production of their split-tail they prove that they should have stuck to producing hardtails. I thought Planet-X's frames were produced by Kinesis, so Grammo must have just bought the design from Kinesis.
  • + 2
 So, to get this straight, on the Fox shock you now have 3 settings (CTD) plus 3 settings within the trail (T) setting, plus the rebound adjust. The Trail dial looks like it'd be difficult to adjust on the fly. They should just make a 5 stage remote lever for the shock: C, T1, T2, T3, D.
  • + 4
 I really like the design of Zerode frames. They hang down really far under the BB, though!
  • + 5
 If you are running a 40 or 38t chainring + a taco, it probably wont hang down that much further.
  • + 1
 theyre comign with a carbo shock gaurd now if i remember correctly, maybe its an extra, cant remember, but with a 38 ring on there, the bash is well below it, mind you, if you were leanin in to the left, it is still ripe for a beatin!!
  • + 4
 frames come with a single speed conversion kit, shock, gearbox hub, carbon shock guard and shifter.
  • + 2
 the shock guard is composite for this year, but it weighs the same.
  • + 3
 Man I wish crank bros offered that trade-in deal at all shops. Good move by them, though.
  • + 3
 The 29 debate is so lame, don't like it don't ride one. I ride everything, I took a rumblefish out and thought it was great.
  • + 1
 @sgsrider I've ridden wagon wheels before, I'm 6' 2" and I'm just not into those things for anything gravity oriented, but I'm very excited to see the new slopestyle 29ers in 2013! Wink
  • + 1
 I like that gammo frame...but how would it work for dh/freeride stuff?...I dont know what the head angle is but the travel seems alitttle low for dh
  • + 3
 Lookin forward to the write up on the CTD!
  • + 1
 Speedlever isn't new... If I recall Pedro's make em for sometime. or another company. Got one at home.
  • + 1
 Correct, the Speedlever was actually Crankbros' first product many years ago. The lever shown above is new, though =)
  • + 2
 Hey ORANGE! Make something new please Smile
  • + 9
 My orange five Is one of the best bikes I've ridden, I say orange keep makeing the same stuff because it's working.
  • + 3
 make something new? why? orange is some of the best stuff on the market to date.anyway what about the 322 which was brought out last year and they are not in production yet because they need more feedback and testing from the riders.
  • + 2
 orange please carry on making what you are as it is the best in the world as soon as i have enough money i am buying one and using it for everything
  • + 2
 People with sense.^^^^^
  • + 1
 In my opinion, Orange should be respected for sticking to that design! Besides it looks awesome!
  • + 5
 yeah orange should totally make something new... cause im sure the people who ride their fives are bored of seeing it get 5/5 in every single review Wink
  • + 1
 are the $599 frames available from the UK distributor??

www.pearl-distribution.co.uk/how-to-order
  • + 1
 No, just through the original designer in Oregon.
  • + 1
 ...I'd pray for THE Zerode Invasion in 2013 mtb world...
  • + 1
 Where can i get the $599 frame?
  • + 1
 Call 541-201-8798
  • + 1
 Where can I get the skunkworx frame?
  • + 1
 Call 541-201-8798
  • + 1
 That Commie Meta 29'er looks awesome!!!
  • - 1
 I get a feeling pinkbike wants us to accept the 29ers desperately! Make it easier pinkbike and just rename the website pink29ers.com.
  • + 1
 they call them the twentybuisners
  • + 1
 @northshorerider7, they are merely seeing the writing on the wall. The 29'er trend has been a storm brewing for years, and pinkbike is just jumping on the bandwagon.

That said, I am sure that the new commencal, as well as the turner sultan, Canfield, and a few other brands are embracing the 5-6" 29'er trail bike, and the capabilities larger wheels allow on the trail.

Don't knock it 'em down til you try 'em, those bikes are a blast to ride! 'Specially on the shore.
  • + 1
 Anyone know what kind of goggles are strapped to the IXS helmet?
  • + 1
 iXS
  • + 1
 most likely some new IXS prototype. they make goggles as well. Pretty sick stuff.
  • + 0
 That ixs helmet is the same as the fly and oneil one, but the fly one only costs 100$ instead of 150$
  • + 6
 It is actually a different mold altogether =)
  • + 1
 Actually the Fly Default is the same mold as the ixs helmet, the o'neall Airtech helmet is a different mold.
  • + 1
 Is there anywhere to demo a Zerode in the states?
  • + 2
 Contact them here-
www.zerodeusa.com
  • + 1
 The goggles on the helmet match the new Norco Aurum Big Grin
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