One Ghost Industries is at Sea Otter, both in support of their racers and to show off their wares, including the Musashi downhill rig pictured above. Named after Musashi Miamoto, the greatest swordsman who walked the earth, the bike offers 203mm of travel via a dual link design that creates a virtual pivot point. The $2300 USD frame weighs in at 9lb 2oz without a shock, and the team bikes are being built up right around the 36lb mark.
The bike's 'Moto*GP' dual link suspension features quite a low leverage ratio of just 2.46:1, and also acts as both the upper and lower shock mounting locations to creating a floating shock. FOX's Kashima coated RC4 comes as stock, or for the same price riders can also spec the Musashi with a 'race tuned' Elka shock that is valved to keep the bike glued to the ground for maximum traction.
The Musashi was fitted with Candy Components' BigHead headset that uses massive sealed bearings and a deep cup depth to prevent ovalized head tubes.
Shimano's new Saint component group was hanging from the Musashi, as well as the great looking cSixx 150gm chain guide. The guides name comes from its weight, which is a very competitive figure when you take into account that the 150gm provides full protection, thanks to its carbon/kevlar construction (including both the upper and lower sliders) and aluminum hardware. A sealed bearing lower pulley provides chain tension.
One Ghost Industries' David Meredith shows us their Tonto hardtail that was inspired by the old twin top tube Torker BMX bikes. The Tonto features a burly 12 x 135mm thru-axle rear end with sliding mounts to adjust the chainstay length. The $579 USD frame weighs 5.2lb (including the rear axle) and yes, that is a bottle opener between the dual top tubes.
27.5'' wheels, otherwise known as 650b, are truly everywhere this year. Intense built this beautiful blue Tracer prototype specifically for its 27.5'' wheels. Travel sits at either 5.5'' or 6'' out back, and a 27.5'' compatible RockShock Revelation fork offers a full 150mm travel(the 29er model sits at 140mm)
There is no mistaking which wheel size this particular Tracer has been designed for. It's shod with Kenda's meaty looking 27.5'' x 2.35'' Nevegal tires.
We were the first to show you Suntour's prototype Rux downhill fork back in March when Knolly's Garett Buehler stopped by Pinkbike HQ for a visit, but they also had it out for Sea Otter. The 8'' travel fork uses an air spring combined with a spacer system that allows you to adjust how the stroke ramps up through its travel - adding spacers equals a smaller air chamber and a more progressive stroke. Damping adjustments include rebound, and both high and low speed compression.
The Rux's 20mm thru-axle uses a pull out lever that makes wheel removal a tool-free affair. It also threads into a replaceable insert on the non-drive side, meaning that your lowers won't need replacing if you damage the threads. A production run is still a little ways out, though, with Suntour referring to the Rux as a 2013 product.
Suntour also had something new for the dirt jumpers out there with their new Duro Air. The sturdy looking fork now uses a sealed damping cartridge (last year's model featured open bath damping) and weighs in at 1950 grams. There will also be a 2100 gram model that employs a single coil spring, and a dual coil offering that comes in at 2500 grams.
If you've spent time on a single chain ring setup you already know that it can be ideal to keep the fitness up and to simplify your bike, but both 29er riders and those who frequent hilly terrain may have been put off by the limited range (chain ring bolt circle diameters keep most middle positioned rings from being any lower than 32 teeth). MRP's new Bling Ring takes a different approach to the problem with its spider-less design, a layout that it very similar to what you'd find on many BMX cranks. The hole machined at the center of the ring is shaped to match up to the spider mounting spline on certain SRAM's cranks, replacing the spider entirely. Sizes will include 28, 30, 32, 34, and 36 tooth options, although they are still a little ways out from hitting the production line.
MRP has also designed a new, smaller G2 Micro SL that will work with the compact 28, 30, and 32 tooth rings. The guide features the same polycarbonate skid plate and 5mm thick backplate as the larger model.
A Canfield Nimble 9 was hanging out at the MRP booth fully decked out with, you guessed it, MRP and White Brothers goodies. The steel frame sports impressively short chainstays for a 29er that are adjustable between 16.25'' - 16.9'', as well as a slack-for-a-29er-hardtail 70 degree head angle when fitted with a 480mm tall fork. $650 USD gets you one of these interesting rigs.
Spank's Spike pedals are a staff favorite here at Pinkbike, but Spank is now offering an updated axle and nut layout that will eliminate the squeaking that some users may have experienced. The cause of the noise was simple: shoes with really pliable soles were flexing enough that they could rub on the older design's axle bolt. The updated model includes a new axle that uses lower profile nut (instead of a bolt) to hold the pedal body on, as well as a small diameter bushing. It's all about the details!
The curvy Spike stem comes in a short 35mm length that tips the scales at just 135 grams, and 50mm option at 150 grams. MSRP is $69.95 USD.