Exotic Brakes and a Single-Crown, Single-Sided Fork - Albstadt World Cup XC

May 18, 2018
by Mike Levy  
Trickstuff's Piccola brake is about as light and exotic as it gets.


The pits at a World Cup cross-country race are often full of rarely seen and ultra-light goodies, but few are more exotic than these Piccola brakes from Germany's Trickstuff. You may have seen their four-piston Direttissima stoppers before on the Polygon UR Team's bikes, and I was blown away by the outright power of them when I got to do a few runs on Mick Hannah's prototype Polygon DH rig during last year's Crankworx event. So. Much. Power.

The two-piston Piccola brake is something entirely different, though, with Trickstuff claiming that the sub-270-gram weight for a front system (with a rotor) makes them the lightest on the market.


There isn't anything in the way of extra material on Trickstuff's lightweight brakes.


Trickstuff has used four sealed bearings up top - two for the lever pivot, two for driving the plunger - and there's lightweight hardware all around. The lever, which is tall but has also been pared down to only the essential material, activates a perpendicular master cylinder, and the system runs on paint-friendly mineral oil. You can mount your shifter to the brake perch, too. Colors? Yup, Trickstuff has a ton of different options on that front, and you can mix and match as you see fit.



The Ocho has one crown, one fork leg, and is all Cannondale.


Speaking of exotic, Cannondale's new single-crown, single-sided Lefty Ocho is about as wild as it gets. I've already written way too many words about the Ocho's development, but here's a quick recap.

The 100mm-travel Ocho is designed for cross-country riding and racing, and the single-sided design is possible in large part due to the fork's three-sided stanchion tube that rolls in and out of the upper leg on three strips of roller bearings. Cannondale has been doing the Lefty for ages now, but it's always been a dual-crown, single-sided fork with a four-sided stanchion. The old Lefty 2.0's one-piece crowns and leg kept it from being compatible with a lot of bikes, though, whereas the single-crown Ocho can be mounted to the front of pretty much any modern machine.


Carbon fiber stanchion guard and motor-inspired hose routing? Check. Quick-release brake mount? Check. The Ocho ain't your average cross-country fork.


Internally, it's air-sprung and features Cannondale's all-new Chamber damper. There's a lockout, because cross-country, and it requires the same Lefty-compatible hub as Cannondale's other forks. Oh yeah, there's even a clever brake mount that pops off by rotating a locking cam, making it easy to get the front wheel off without needing to mess around with a bunch of bolts.

The Ocho can be had with either an aluminum or carbon chassis, and for 27.5'' or 29'' wheels, but you'll only be able to get the fork (strut?) by buying a new Cannondale for 2018. I'd expect to see it for sale on its own the following model year, though.


108 Comments

  • + 88
 And people say all the innovation comes from dh, so much rad tech in the XC world.
  • + 15
 Yeah like telescopic seat-posts and water bottle holder Wink
  • + 4
 Spandex and butt udder, and you can just keep that there!
  • + 1
 @drivereight: lol, forgot about the spandex
  • + 47
 Shimano couldn't possibly drag their feet any harder on 12 speed.
  • - 19
flag Benlow (May 18, 2018 at 17:35) (Below Threshold)
 Most responsible thing they've done as of late, eagle is terrible for aggressive riding.
  • + 83
 @Benlow, yeah, that Eagle really seems to be slowing Sam Hill and Cecile Ravenel down.
  • + 108
 Japanese companies like Shimano and Toyota don't release a new product until they are good and ready. Sram is innovative and Shimano is more conservative. But when Shimano's stuff comes on the market, it really works. Take Saint brakes (or any other Shimano brake) versus Guide brakes. Many, many Guide brakes had to be recalled due to sticky levers. Saint brakes just work. And how about those elixirs? Total nightmare.
Look at the Toyota Tacoma: Been around since 2004, Not a lot of changes, no exiting new models every year, but they work pretty damn well.
I like both Sram and Shimano, hopefully we will see some cool new 1x stuff from Shimano soon.
  • + 16
 @axleworthington: Tacomas has been around longer than 04.
  • + 1
 @axleworthington: Actually, major Taco redesigns went into effect 2005/2006 with extended beds, larger cabs, moving suspension points outside of the frames, etc.
  • + 28
 Better than releasing 1/2 assed shit and making buyers beta testers.

You like a drive train that has to skip into sync? What about one where the chain comes out of sync wedges between the cage and jockey wheel and rips off the RD.

Yup all features of Eagle.
  • + 4
 @ischiller: yeah mine's a 2001 lol. Tacomas have been around since the 90s
  • + 16
 @axleworthington: that didn't happen with the current generation of XT brakes. So many failures it's beyond sad.
  • + 12
 I've never seen one fail. I worked at a shop and just about every person I know has them. Now guides I've seen 2 fail this week @vikb:
  • + 4
 @axleworthington: my zee brakes suck. Had the levers replaced cause pistons in mc had issues. New hose on rear. They still don't take a bleed. Don't seem to stop until a few dh runs to warm them up. My buddies saints have the same issues. My guides were replaced too, and a way easier warranty process. And don't forget about the frame recalls on tundra and Tacoma.
  • + 10
 @sdiz: do you two happen to have the same mechanic?

And yeah the japanese recalled their crappy metal. Meanwhile Chevy did not.
The hilux and its sister the taco are the best trucks for reliability.
  • + 12
 Totally.

@Benlow: Dunno why you're being downvoted so much here. I couldn't agree more. Have personally seen SOOOO many Eagle mech failures this SH summer just been. jockey wheels blowing up like you've never seen. I myself have done it three times. Have two mechs warrantied. I have personally seen five other mechs blow up whilst being a race marshal. Twice this ruined podium contenders races. And FWIW one of these (replacement) mechs was borrowed from a pro race who has been on the top step in EWS.

I recently swapped back to 11sp, shimano XTR on a SRAM block. Sooo much better and more reliable.

Eagle is a masterclass in marketing BS. Don't believe the hype.
  • + 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: you must be doing something wrong bud
  • + 5
 @freeridejerk888: I used to get cases of warranty calipers sent to me in the spring to help keep up with the leaking calipers. Recently I've had to keep track of them, but I'll still do about 20-25 under warranty, and 10-15 out of warranty. Road and Mountain.... They slowly weep fluid, which will contaminate the pads. It's only really noticeable in an area where people can't ride for 6 months. They'll buy new pads in the Fall, and their brakes are squealing first ride come Spring. It's called the "phantom brake squeal" internally, as I've been told.
  • + 3
 @nuttypoolog: yeah a few of my friends have scrapped the XT brakes after weeping calipers. Or the lever seals constantly breaking. These lads ride twice a week tho.
I myself have just had to do the plunger modification on my guide rsc. It's transformed them
  • - 5
flag casman86 (May 18, 2018 at 23:35) (Below Threshold)
 I'd rather have 10 speed than 12. Eagle is dumb. Nobody needs that many gears on a mtb and a 50t cog should never be a thing. Walk if you're riding that slow.
  • + 3
 @vikb: Shimano made quite a lot of rolling updates they just didn't mention so now the new XTs are much better. Sram still has problems with new Guides and every time they made a change (like S4 caliper) they made huge press release but haven't really solved the problem. It's still a rather small percentege but when you have a large part of modern enduro and AM bikes using those brakes you'll have quite many faulty ones.
  • - 1
 @slumgullion: Oh yes, pointing to two Sram sponsored athletes absolutely serves as credible evidence. Their job is quite literally to run Sram's latest and greatest. The performance of the eagle derailleur over rough terrain is compromised by the need for it to cover such a ridiculous range when compared to the previous generation 11 speed Sram drivetrains. If Eagle works for you, great, but personally I'm not a fan of flow trails.
  • + 3
 @axleworthington: actually Shimano hasn’t recalled any brakes but they are replacing the latest ones with no questions asked. Two differeny ways of approaching the same problem. Inconsistent lever feel of nearly all line can be quite dangerous, but hey, no recall
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: I’ve had 4 XT (m8000) levers break in last 18 months. They’ve warrantied them no questions asked but man what a PITA. Always the MC seal. The mechs at Bike Park Wales (Huge UK park) said they’d had Deore, SLX, Saint and XTR all do the same and were selling through their stock of Shimano levers fast so it seems it’s an inherent design issue.
  • + 4
 @OrangeGoblin: it’s not just breaking. The lever bite point can be so inconsistent that it can go from all the way from bubbly Juicy 5 to Formula The One with 220 rotors in a matter of a 2-3 lever pumps. Then everything in between. The most common way that Guides fail is they loose power in a matter of a few rides. Then you need to replace the piston kit. But Shimanos are a real pita, I heard only Deores and XTR Race are fine
  • + 2
 @axleworthington: the Tacoma is internationally known as Hilux, and has been around for at least 25 years AFAIK.
  • + 2
 @OrangeGoblin: same here but just the rear and only the one in 12 months. Warranteed no problem but there have definitely been issues with the m8000
  • + 3
 @OrangeGoblin: Shimano brakes have two terrible flaws everyone in the company knows: since they don't anodize the MC after machining it -as SRAM, Formula, Hope, etc do- the MC piston wears out the bore, leading to inconsistent bite point. Also, their ceramic calliper pistons develop micro cracks, which leave air in, and once they grow big enough, oil out, contaminating the pads.

Imagine if the same situation happened at the Moto or car industries, how long would it take to have a massive, mandatory recall? They have been selling the same crap for at least five years instead, replacing the brakes no questions asked to try to mask the issues and keep the mouth to mouth low.
  • - 2
 @southoftheborder: They aren't the same truck. Tacoma is made for the US market and is larger than the Hilux. Tacoma's rival is the Ford F-150 and Hilux's is Ranger.
  • + 6
 @vid1998: uh nope that's the tundra.
Tacoma is the small pick up
  • + 3
 @allenfstar: Oh, but still the Hilux and Tacoma aren't the same. They have different cabs at least. Maybe it's just in the body and underneath they are the same
  • + 3
 What is innovative about sram?
Their marketing department?
Their graphic design department?
That they are able to sell stuff that doesn't work?
Making products out of low grade materials so they wear faster and you buy more?
Buying off "benchmarks" reviews with $$$ spent in ads?
  • + 0
 @axleworthington: Well as far as Toyota goes, their plant was right next to Fukushima nuclear disaster, so may have something to do with that?
  • + 2
 @casman86: why don’t you come do some 40 mike rides in above 12k feet and Colorado then come tell me that. I’m all for hike a bike but if you can pedal further, why the hell wouldn’t you? Friggin Midwest turd haha
  • + 1
 @vid1998: thanks for clearing that one for me!
  • + 24
 @casman86: I am always puzzled by this sort of comment. It is odd that mountain bikers are so judgmental of other mountain bikers. You don't know where others ride. You don't know what climbs others achieve, or at what elevation. You don't know if others have knee issues that make lower gears beneficial. You don't know how long others ride for. Someone on a 2 hour loop may not need the same gearing as someone on an all day adventure. The same goes for suspension travel. Maybe you can ride everything on a rigid, singlespeed. Congrats. Others prefer suspension. Others prefer appropriate gearing for the riding we do. Please don't tell me what equipment I need to ride, and I won't tell you how to interact with others. Oh wait, too late. Oh, the irony.
  • + 7
 I would love it if Shimano just didn’t make a 12 speed system. They don’t need to play catch-up to the hype factory.
  • + 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: maybe you should cry about it some more!
  • + 1
 @axleworthington: Yeah, those Tacomas worked great except for this pesky rusted out frames.
  • + 2
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: LOL not me I'm not stupid enough to buy that crap. People aren't doing anything wrong
Sram even says it can come out of sync. The two largest cogs are wide narrow configuration. It's impossible to stay in sync, when it's not it'll 'slip' back in. That's by design, so how is that the users fault?

Take a look through this thread forums.mtbr.com/drivetrain-shifters-derailleurs-cranks/sram-eagle-1x12-1002523.html
People are drilling holes in the RD cage and putting plastic in there to take up the space that allows the chain to come off and wedge thus ripping off the RD
  • + 2
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: lol 1/2. I prefer the decimal system. 0.5 assed
  • + 1
 @andnyleswillriot: that's a rather bold statement, pedaling on such light gears makes looks so lame and makes so little sense that walking starts to seem attractive. The moment walking is evidently more efficient than riding, is the moment to push and save energy for downs. I can get how from time to time someone may want to face the challenge of making it all the way up from the saddle, but come on...

@shortsguy1: oh well the issue is that this 12 speed dinner plate thing is inevitably becoming a mainstream thing with few options left for those who see no fkng point in running anything else than 9-10sp with max 10-42 cassette. If 10-50 was a niche product, it would be more than fine. But it isn't. Having 11sp XTR installed on my bike I am irritated by the number of gears to go through from top to bottom. That is because I don't give a fk and pedal, I don't let first world problems crawl into my head during long climbs: oh how lovely it would be to have intermediate gear, because this is a bit too hard and this is a bit too easy. Those thoughts are there, but I don't let them move in and take place on my sofa. So I run this XTR because I can't get a decent 10sp middle cage rear mech anymore. So no, it is folks like you buying into a scheme telling me how to ride, what is good for me, Eagle is like taking a good trail filled with chunk and covering it with gravel and smooth rollers. It's last 6 teeth are like running tripple chainring - Well, it allows more losers to ride, at least it makes them feel better about themselves. It's just that I don't care if losers can ride or not, and I piss on their participation medals. I do.
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: it’s not bold at all. I have such a high level of endurance and stamina I don’t need to “save energy” for the downhill. Haha that’s the perks of riding at such high elevation consistently. If I have the gearing to keep pedaling up steep uphills at elevation, you better well believe I’m gonna do it. I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone by doing it, it’s just pretty cool for yourself when you can, regardless of efficiency walking vs pedaling.
  • + 1
 @lightsgetdimmer: multi billion dollar loss for those rusted out frames - a million + trucks were recalled.
  • + 1
 @neimbc: when a company does a recall it means they fixed an issue. When a company just sucks the issue is not resolved. Toyota is not exciting, I get you that. They don't know how to make a sports car without charging a ton of money for it, but they last for hundreds of thousands of miles, which for a small truck is more important.
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: just you wait
  • + 4
 @pikebait2013: Taco's are NA badged Hilux' which have been around much longer. And even Hilux' are renamed toyota pickup which goes back to the 80's
  • + 1
 @DGWW: I had the 85 4x4.
I loved that truck.
  • + 1
 @DGWW: yeah name-wise the tacomas been around since the 90's. They are practically the same class truck as the original pickup (just like the t100 is to the tundra).
  • + 1
 @slumgullion: you mean the same guys that were winning way before eagle ever came out ya eagle is the reason they are so fast not the fact that they are top athletes lol eagle is garbage unless you like gears skipping on back pedals.
  • + 1
 @axleworthington: Tell that to many owners of 2016 Tacomas. After close to a dozen issues (transmission, diff, belts, box loosening off etc) with his truck my brother got rid of it. Check out any of the Tacoma sites and you will find lots of issues with this truck including an overall below average reliability rating. Plenty of saint brakes have had issues too. I had three sets plus an XTR go back to Shimano.
  • + 1
 @OrangeGoblin: were you original owner? My XTs are doing what is described on a bike a purchased used. I’d like to know if anyone’s been able to send their brakes in to be replaced “no questions asked” as not the original purchaser.
  • + 1
 I wonder how much of these issues are temperature related. I’ve heard Shimanos have issues in colder climates, and I know for sure Sram brakes DO NOT hold up in hot climates. Here in Phoenix, if you keep your bike in the garage with Guide brakes, they will not last a single summer, while I don’t know anyone that’s had problems with Shimano. So perhaps the solution is: Sram for the cold, Shimano for the hot.
  • + 2
 @southoftheborder: this is true.
  • + 3
 @Abite: is it time to start stock piling XTR 11-40 cassettes?
  • + 1
 @axleworthington: What like saint and XT with the variable bite point brakes
  • + 1
 @casman86: do you by chance live in the midwest?? lol
  • + 1
 Ev 1(@axleworthington:
  • + 1
 @DGWW: In new zealand the hilux has always been the name since late 70s and dates back to the 60s in south africa
  • + 1
 @OrangeGoblin: some you win, some you lose
  • + 2
 @axleworthington: i have saint brakes on the bike and a tacoma. i love those damn japanese mechanical engineers
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: probably not
  • + 1
 @vikb: yeah, you know how to tell if an xt, zee or saint lever is dead? You just tried to bleed it using Shimano tech docs.

I'll be the millionth person to say it, but older (by a few years) Shimano brakes didn't have these problems in the same model lines. It's like they sourced slightly cheaper ways to manufacture seals and bladders and by losing just a little bit of tolerance accuracy everything has gone haywire.
  • + 2
 @nuttypoolog: It has an internal name? Yikes.

As far as I can tell it's because the seals on the calipers are not the proper (same as they used to be) durometer and barely undersized. Smarter people than me pointed out that possibility btw, it's just the one that makes sense to me.
  • + 1
 Gearboxes will be out before Shimano releases a 12 speed
  • + 1
 @zyoungson: That literally happens tomorrow ;-).
  • + 1
 @andnyleswillriot: I just cam back from a 2h ride on a DJ bike 32-18t. I wish I had that Coloradian Sherpa stamina
  • + 1
 @LoganKM1982: Possibly... The rumor I hear is the ceramic pistons are porous, and sometimes those pores line up to make a leak. Old calipers aren't ceramic. The newest stuff is also a different material.
  • + 16
 That Lefty has such potential but its just missing something...
  • + 94
 @sealoam

I know, right...
  • + 0
 @Dropthedebt: I see what you did there... well played.
  • + 4
 @Dropthedebt: I like your style , you steered that in the right direction. Especially these days when folks just have such one sided views...
  • + 10
 Right, they ditched all the unnecessary parts and this is all that's left.
  • + 1
 I think it's the second crown. I can't think of anything else it could be missing
  • + 13
 Explain how they can make a one leg fork work but you can't make a dropper post without 3mm of play in it?
  • + 6
 Have you mentioned the new Cannondale fork? Haven't seen it anywhere and I heard it's really interesting! Something about one side, one crown....
  • + 0
 I don't understand (other than weight?) why anyone would go with a single sided fork. The lateral flex has got to be god awful on the hub in corners. Also throws the balance of the front off with added weight on the left side. I dunno, just seems really odd.
  • + 3
 Both are non issue imo, Lefty forks are actually some of the stiffest forks out there and the weight being in one side you would never notice it just like you don't notice all the weight of the drivetrain being on the right side
  • + 2
 @Eviljarv: steering is slightly affected by the leverage ratio.

It's easy to get used to but it is apparent if you don't normally ride one
  • + 4
 I like my forks to have symmetry
  • + 4
 lefty loosey righty tighty
  • + 2
 @mikelevy why are you only talking about the Polygon UR Team while the Piccola breaks are mounted to a bike of the Focus XC Team?
  • + 2
 two top cyclocross SRAM racers also snapped chains this season and it cost them dearly. HMMMMM
  • + 3
 Does ocho stand for $800 SRP?
  • + 13
 If your lucky it will only cost $800
  • + 3
 I've been reading "Echo" all day. Long week I guess.
  • + 2
 @Three6ty: thats about right for half a fork
  • + 5
 The biannual service is $800
  • + 1
 Uno? Dosent that make mas sense than Ocho?
Ai chihuahua
  • + 2
 Awesome!
  • - 2
 People should really look up the definition of innovative before they start throwing it around!! There’s nothing innovative here!
  • + 1
 New Schwalbe rubber?
  • + 2
 ...Racing Ray...
  • + 0
 Why not righty?
  • + 4
 It's patented. You need the rights to make it.
  • + 5
 Right has been left behind
  • + 2
 @pdidko: Orbea will probably come out with one. Razz
  • + 0
 Which people?
  • - 2
 Lefty forks need to die.
  • - 1
 I agree. Why keep trying when your years and 100s of miles behind every other suspension
  • - 1
 @freeridejerk888: mountain bikers love digression.
  • - 2
 Why dont any xc bikes have 200mm dual crowns?
  • + 29
 No-one makes one with a lockout.
  • + 5
 Downcountry bikes do
  • + 3
 Upcountry bikes should have no crowns at all!
  • - 3
 Sorry that fork is just ridiculous. Hope they now a good facial surgeon when that snaps!

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2018. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.067065
Mobile Version of Website