Albstadt XC Pit Walk: Bike Checks and Crazy Tech

May 31, 2015
by Richard Cunningham  

World Cup XC racing stopped at Albstadt, Germany this week and racers were greeted with a decidedly less technical course, but with a significant increase in climbing. As one may expect, hardtails were the weapons of choice on German soil and PB's intrepid photographers, Irmo Keizer and Matt Delorme, took some time between shooting the racing action to capture some of the technology in the pits, including some first looks, a number of bike checks, and an interesting montage of S&M styled cockpit components.

Helen Grobert's Ghost Lector

Albstadt WC XC Germany 2015
Ghost brings back the Lector moniker with an all new carbon chassis. The exact numbers are not out of the bag yet, but Ghost tells us that the 29er XC racer has a slightly higher bottom bracket, shorter chainstays and a one-degree steeper seat tube angle. The top tube has also been lengthened, but only by a few millimeters. The seatpost diameter has been increased to 31.6 millimeters to allow for a dropper post, and there is internal cable routing for same. We like the checkerboard motif on its RockShox RS-1 inverted fork.

Albstadt WC XC Germany 2015
Clean, internal routing and new-school super-profiling of the frame tubes.
Albstadt WC XC Germany 2015
An aluminum caliper mount is said to wick heat away from the caliper better than carbon.

Albstadt WC XC Germany 2015
AX Lightness is a small accessory maker that makes improbably lightweight parts - like Grobert's carbon saddle and seatpost.
Albstadt WC XC Germany 2015
AX Lightness carbon wheelset, shod with Schwalbe Rocket Ron and Racing Ralph tires.

Albstadt WC XC Germany 2015
SRAM XX1 brakes and drivetrain - a theme which seems to be prevalent in the XC Pits.
Albstadt WC XC Germany 2015
Through-axles are quickly replacing quick-release skewers - once considered an XC racing must.

Merida Debuts Ninety-Six 9 XC Race Bike

This is it Merida s new Ninety-Six 9 Team. A high-end racer aimed at aggressive XC. Available in 27.5 as well as 29 .
Merida's Ninety-Six 9 is a 29-inch-wheel cross-country racing bike, intended to take on the more technical courses we are beginning to see on the World Cup circuit. Merida says it will offer the bike with 27.5-inch wheels as well. The RockShox RS-1 fork intimates that it won't be an inexpensive purchase. The Ninety-Six debuted with SRAM XX1 components.

Carbon all the way with beautiful tubing and this rocker which comes in at a mere 80 grams. The linkage has been overhauled resulting in more compression in the midstroke yet transferring to a more linear end stroke. The new damper placement allows for a clean routing of the lockout cable.
RockShox Monarch shock with hydraulic remote lockout. The carbon rocker is said to weigh only 80 grams.
Internal routing that is actually workable. A large opening in the bottom bracket provides relative easy access when changing cables.
Intelligent cable routing, complete with an access port in the bottom bracket to assist threading the hoses and housings.

The Merida has been designed with a 1x drivetrain in mind. Its kinematics have been tuned towards a 34T 32T chainring up front 27.5 29 .
Suspension is based upon a single-pivot swingarm and Merida has opted for the more-rigid through-axle rear hub.
Oversized bearings should provide stiffness and durability. Although designed for a single chainring setup 20 sag provides the best efficiency a front derailleur can be mounted.
"Just in case" holes on the seat tube for a front derailleur, just above the high-pivot swingarm location.

Pure slender lightweight carbon. Do not exceed these NM limits though or you ll be crying dollars.
Just enough carbon to reinforce the seat tube mast, and just enough carbon to clamp it in place.
A relatively short rear combined with a 70 degree head angle. Compared to the previous model wheelbase has been reduced yet reach has been increased by 9mm a result of changes in seat- and headtube angles.
No, you can't put a 2.34-inch knobby into our cross-country racing chassis. Beautiful carbon construction throughout.

Jordan Sarrou's Prototype BH Hardtail

Jordan Sarrou s BH hardtail frame is almost ready for production. The Spanish brand would not tell us the weight as a final version was not available but did say it would be their lightest ever.
Jordan Sarrou's BH hardtail frame is almost ready for production. BH adds length to the top tube, shortens the chainstays and stems, while slightly slackening the head angle. Sound familiar? The Spanish brand would not tell us the weight, as a final version was not available, but did say it would be their lightest ever.

Carbon sure makes for sexy shapes in frames.
Beautiful lines. Carbon has injected new vitality into the Plain-Jane XC racing hardtail of the recent past.
XTR Di2 direct-mounted. Cable routing has not been finalised yet.
Shimano Di2 shifting, KMC chain, direct-mount hanger - and zip-ties for the wiring. Di2 must have caught BH by surprise.

The rather large carbon undertube is protected by shielding.
So, how thin is that down tube? Press-fit bottom brackets are the most common types because they allow for wider (read, "thinner") tubes.
Internal cable routing is finally improving offering servicibility and clean looks in one package.
Clean looking screw-down plates to cover internal routing access holes. Shimano's Di2 has been embraced by XC racers, which will further affect cable routing strategies.

Foam grips save grams.
High-tech FSA K-Force brakes beside low-tech foam grips.
SR Suntour might not be a very well known suspension brand but this company produces an awful lot for your major brands. Their carbon Axon fork means business.
SR Suntour's carbon Axon fork means business. The largest fork supplier in the world has a strong XC following.

Ever wondered what practise is like at a XC race This image tells the story in a nutshell. Riders rest might go for a spin and check out any changes but it is not like your normal downhill session. Sunday s action is full on though.
A couple of laps and then the racers all head for the hotel. This shot was taken during XC practice. Cross-country race pits are far more relaxed than the general mayhem of a DH World Cup.

There is a difference between clean and clean. Trek Factory Racing s Matt Opperman is a perfectionist. Rinse foam bath rinse scrub. Sven Nys cyclocross legend will be a happy man.
"Hey, my tires are a little dirty, can you give them a once-over, please?" There seems to be no end to mechancs' love for their charges.

Albstadt WC XC Germany 2015
Helen Grobert's (slightly out of focus) seat post binder is not made for ham-fisted home mechanics.

SR Suntour s solution for quicker wheel change a quarter turn quick release available for 15mm as well as 142x12.
SR Suntour's through-axle only requires a quarter-turn to disengage the front wheel. With the peloton shifting to through-axles, it could be a race saver.

Well it beats the RockShox RS-1 s stiffness by a fair margin without a doubt.
The lightest suspension fork on the World Cup XC circuit: the 980-gram Lauf TR 29 uses composite leaf springs to provide a small amount of cushion.

It will hold a bottle.
Yeah, it holds a full water bottle on a rough course, I think. Carbon can do amazing things.

Sarrou s BH sports a new Michelin prototype tyre.
Prototype Michelin tires on Jordan Sarrou's prototype BH Hardtail. What's up with the unlabeled Mavic rims?
A slightly raised center profile combined with a larger side know should provide a low rolling resistance yet pack a punch in cornering.
The tread on the new Michelins looks more robust than we are used to seeing at pro XC races.

Albstadt WC XC Germany 2015
Prologo saddle with traction pads - placed in a less than intuitive position on the saddle nose. Junk stabilization technology?

Margot Moschetti's Superior Team:29 Czech-Made Carbon Speedster

Margot Moschetti s Superior Team 29. A Czech made carbon speedster.
Margot Moschetti's Superior Team:29 features Magura's electronically controlled fork. Margot's saddle is still slightly below the level of her negative-angle stem and handlebar.

Magura s E-lect provides an electronic lockout. A handlebar remote controls the setting. Don t forget to charge though.
Magura's E-Lect wireless electronic lockout system is controlled at the handlebar. The fork's magnesium twin-arch sliders are very rigid.
Albstadt WC XC Germany 2015
Love for the cycling universe? Or was it placed there specifically (or strategically) because that is where the most crud is going to end up?

Manuel Fumic's Cannondale F-Si

Albstadt WC XC Germany 2015
Looking very sharp with its matched set of Enve 50 carbon wheels, Fumic's Cannondale F-Si hides some interesting technology. The Lefty suspension strut has a carbon fiber upper and a hydraulic remote lockout. To provide a better chain line and also to strengthen the rear wheel, the rear triangle is offset to the right by six millimeters - just enough to eliminate almost all of the spoke dish in the rear wheel. It's a simple solution that solves the same problem as SRAM and Trek's Boost hub system, without requiring any new standards, beyond an offset crank spider, which in the case of SRAM, Race Face and Cannondale, can be retrofitted to existing cranks. Interesting.

Albstadt WC XC Germany 2015
Cannondale's Si rear end is offset to the right to improve the chain line and wheel strength, but it also makes more room for the rear tire and allows the chainstays to be tightened up a little.
Albstadt WC XC Germany 2015
Fumic opts for a chain guide in spite of the fact that SRAM chainrings are known for their stability in the rough. The inside of the left crankarm has a Stages power-meter transmitter.

Albstadt WC XC Germany 2015
A look at the carbon Lefty's hydraulic lockout control and an interesting stem that has no apparent clamping device. Does this mark the return of the internal expanding quill stem? We would not be surprised.

MENTIONS: @shimano, @SramMedia. @foxracingshox, @Cannondale, @GhostBikes, @ikeizer, @MaguraPassionPeople, @mdelorme


  • 257 2
 Wow; I've got no real interest in XC, but those bikes are gorgeous works of art.
  • 47 1
 No kidding, these bikes are awesome.
  • 14 0
 Absolutely amazing!
  • 12 6
 I love that these bikes look like they can be crushed by a strong grip of a hand. I always think my 20lb rigid is light and then I see what these guys have on their bikes and it makes me realize I can go way lower. Maybe even get it down to 18lbs.
  • 21 0
 Some of these really look fantastic. Owning one would be pointless for me, but they are gorgeous just the same.
  • 8 0
 All those neg rise slammed stems look furking hot
  • 9 2
 I was with you until that pink fork
  • 12 2
 Really surprised to see the Lauf fork (the pink one) here... mtbr's reviewer said it was an undamped, flexy nightmare not suitable for any real mtb. Seems like a terrible idea.
  • 4 0
 Also not into XC, but I can recognize how amazing these bikes are. Being a DH'er and all-mountain rider, it's cool to see the influence on mid-travel bikes coming from XC as much as from DH.
  • 2 1
 These machines are sexy as hell. That Cannon a SHOT!!! even though the course is less technical, I am still surprise to see a Lauf.
  • 6 0
 No love for a real 1 kilo, truly dampened fork?
  • 1 1
 Loving the simple concept of the TR29 fork. I would love to give one a try. The only thing I'm wondering is if it causes the wheel to tilt during corners, because it looks like one side should be able to suspend more than the other on sideways forces.

@Hancheez: damn, that German-A Kilo fork looks hot! Another fork I would love to test drive aswell, and which I would probably have mounted in one of my bikes if I were rich. The article is right though, the TR29 fork is still 100g lighter than the lightest German-A Kilo. But then again the German-A Kilo is a real and decent suspension fork, while this TR29 is almost more like a rigid fork with some extra cushioning (far less travel and no options to set stiffness and rebound for example).
  • 1 0
 What rider is on the lauf?
  • 3 0
 @Mattin the fork lets the wheel flex side to side by a considerable amount. It also has no damping at all, so when you start spinning fast it bounces like crazy.

The german-A is a sweet concept. I'd love to try one of those.
  • 4 0
 The Lauf is awful. Its best use is gravel road racers who just swapped from a full rigid set up. If you like semi decent suspension the Lauf is a flexy nightmare. If you have been riding fully rigid its slightly better than fully rigid.
  • 43 3
 Valor rims are carbon, It's a Di2 shifter not a Fox iCD switch (using a Suntour fork), The C-dale fork clamps to the steerer (no quill needed), and offsetting the rear end does not Boost (increase) the flange spacing - Offset rim design already solves the problem that C-dale "fixed" here.
  • 10 2
 You are 100% correct.
  • 2 0
 You can even see the clamp bolts in the main pic of the FSI.

With regard to the offset rear end, why don't all high end rims have offset spoke holes? It's such a simple elegant solution to an awkward problem. A lot of the more niche rims (Kappius, Nox, etc) do but why the hell doesn't Enve?
  • 3 3
 Although there is no new hub standard with this design, you would not be able to use these wheels on any other bike. Might as well be a new standard! Before this offset swing arm, you could assume all wheels were dished "centered". Now, you will need to check that any wheels you are buying are the correct dish for your bike. It would also be pretty weird to build one of these wheels since they won't be dished "centered". This is not meant to sound negative toward the design. I think it's awesome. Just doesn't make sense to consider this as any less of a new standard than boost. I think it complicates things more than a new hub width.
  • 4 0
 Specialized used to use 6mm offset rear triangles on the old P-series hardtails back in the late '00s. It's not about "boosting" the flange spacing, it's about allowing for a zero-dish wheel build without having to alter the rear axle spacing - it means the rim is centred between the hub flanges, not the extremities of the hub as in a regular 135mm wheelbuild. It's an inelegant solution in some ways, sure, but a pretty simple one if for some (unknown) reason you don't want to change your rear spacing.
  • 13 0
 Pinkbike detectives :-)
  • 2 0
 @leitch it's not only about allowing for a zero dish wheel either, it's about pushing the FD and DS chainstay far enough outboard so they can tuck the tyre in next to it. This lets them design shorter chainstays (15mm shorter than the old F-29) without being limited to a 1x only frame.
  • 2 0
 just gotta say the writing in this article seems to be a bit captain obvious... which is unusual for RC.
  • 25 1
 That Cannondale has the whole field beat in the aesthetics department! Drool
  • 36 1
 Are those ENVE rims by any chance? I can't really make out the logo it's not big enough
  • 5 24
flag NotDannyHart (May 31, 2015 at 1:59) (Below Threshold)
 @blackthorne ENVE 50s
  • 1 0
 Everything old is new again...the big S was doing those offset rear ends for over a decade on the Bighit/Demo/P-bikes. A simple solution that works, but is nothing new. You should know that RC.
  • 4 0
 For me, everything has come around at least three times. Very little is "new" for anyone who has been in the bike biz for over a decade. "Relevent" is probably a better word to explain Cannondale's use of it for XC.
  • 2 1
 Looks like standard size logo for Enve rims
  • 1 0
 But how can you tell they are ENVE rims?...
  • 1 0
 I was in the spirit world and they told me
  • 21 0
 what a strange interesting world I have no idea about.
  • 12 0
 I wonder if the XC world looks at the DH bikes the same way?
  • 4 36
flag Mattin (May 31, 2015 at 7:50) (Below Threshold)
 Of course they do. They would ride downhill aswell if they had the balls for it Smile
  • 16 1
 Not a quill stem, it threads in from the bottom and is integrated with the lefty steer tube system.
  • 13 0
 Exactly. Appently the reporter has never seen a Cannondale OPI stem beforw, although they have using it for manyh years now.
  • 8 2
 limkilde^^^ Nope, we don't do much XC at PB, so this was my first look at the OPI stem (as I imagine it was for many readers). It is a take on the quill stem, although a bit more complicated. I think the internal expanding stem could make a comeback - if AM/enduro riders demand low-profile stems shorter than 50mm, it is an easy way to solve the clearance issue as the bar begins to occupy the same space as the steerer tube. Add a keyway and the bars will always be straight too.
  • 12 1
 I know PB don' t do much XC, but still you have been in this buiness so long that I was surpised you didn't know a OPI stem. But we never get to old to learn
  • 2 0
 True that!
  • 1 0
 A super short OPI for uses beyond a Lefty is actually quite an intriguing idea.
  • 7 3

It is great to see XC on PB but I'm afraid the lack of exposure really shows. Besides the OPI stem mistake, unawareness of production Mavic wheels and the host of mocking comments under the photos, there's no such thing as XX1 brakes, I'm not sure how many "2.34-inch knobbys" exist, mocking a bike for not being Di2 ready then praising the Di2 access ports is a bit silly and we don't really have "peletons" in XC.

It is a bit like going to a WC DH race and taking a picture of a SC V10 and saying "oooh look it has lots of bouncy bits... must be at least 5 inches of travel there" Wink
  • 4 4
 Everyone wanted XC coverage on a DH site (which you are getting), and then you complain about it?
  • 5 1
 PB is described as the place "for the latest in cycling and mountain biking news". I'd hope a small a critique to improve the site isn't the end of the world Wink Good stuff but some room for improvement
  • 7 0
 I love these stories! The way I see it, PB race tech stories exists to bring out the detectives in us, We expect sharp readers to point out things we miss. It's part of the game. I used to race XC, I get it, but it's still an odd bunch. Think of how weird DH riders must seem to them. Dressed in moto gear and riding bikes that can barely be pedaled. Logging KOMs on hiking trails. Exciuse my sense of humor, but we are cyclists.
  • 10 2
 Wow, these XC thoroughbreds are like the F1 racing cars of mountain biking. Pure performance machines designed for maximum efficiency. Their forward-leaning stance looks like a jaguar about to pounce. Keep em coming!
  • 10 0
 Stickers on fumic's wheels aren't correctly aligned with the valves, this is a no go for that c'dale
  • 5 0
 Is that a WiFi antenna on the first one!? Big Grin
The JST is also a nice idea, bike tech is going crazy!

On a serious note, some of these little features are genius!
On some of the bikes I used to own the drill holes for cables were the size of my thumb and weren't even covered.
  • 5 1
 "Helen Grobert's (slightly out of focus) seat post binder is not made for ham-fisted home mechanics." Its a Tune Wurger Skyline carbon seatpost clamp. Would it be possible to for PB to state what the components are please?

"Prologo saddle with traction pads - placed in a less than intuitive position on the saddle nose. Junk stabilization technology?" The traction pads are for climbing very steep hills, when you need to sit at the very front of the saddle. I appreciate that climbing certainly isnt seen as cool anymore, but for its intended application the pads position makes lot of sence.

"What's up with the unlabeled Mavic rims? Are they carbon?
  • 1 0
 The 'unlabeled' Mavic rims are actually production wheels - Crossmax SL's. Stealth black with low key graphics is their new style. Not carbon, however they are lighter than some of the carbon options out there.
  • 1 0
 Surprised to see 2 of these bikes running the new Crosmax SL's, the narrow 19mm rim gets no end of abuse on some forums.
  • 1 0
 there 23mm internal and they failed under barns and barell at the emerald last week it seems, couldn't hold there sewable tyres on the rim maybe the yellow paint adds a essay bit of diameter to hold the tyre. i know i can blow off 6 month old tyres off my 819's, latex tubes all the way. edit. seemly not 23 thought they were running a prototype last week.
  • 1 0
 They do look nice and stealthy. Better looking that the previous SLR's IMO.
  • 3 0
 @fussylou the Crossmax XL that Barnes, Barel and other enduro athletes ride is a quite different wheel to the Crossmax SL that the XC guys ride.

@Livewire88 Mavic are a huge wheel company with many, many sponsored athletes competing at the highest levels of every MTB and road discipline. Their XC wheels are also light, stiff, responsive with good hubs. Not much wrong with that when it comes to lycra clad racing.

I'm also surprised that Richard Cunningham hasn't seen them before given that Mavic have been running a wacking great banner ad announcing them across the top of the forum for the last month...
  • 1 0
 I wonder why Mavic didn't just make the rims on the SL slightly wider as 19mm is far to narrow, crazy.
  • 2 0
 Wingguy ^^^ Rode "em last month with the Mavic folks, but they were labeled.
  • 1 1
 @RichardCunningham , they're labelled now. You can see the labels in the pictures, exactly like the ones on the Mavic website or the ones in any Mavic shop.
  • 5 1
 Suntour's thru axle is easily the best/coolest design out there. Removing a wheel and reinserting the axle takes about 3 seconds. Awesome for easily getting the bike on/off my car. Plus there are no threads to line up and possibly damage (you'd have to be a real idiot to do that, but it's possible). Wish I could use the suntour axle on every fork I own.

Also, that BH bike's geometry looks great
  • 3 1
 It is cool. Unless your hub is hollow, in which case the mechanism opens up when you're pulling the axle through and gets stuck midway. I have to take apart the axle every time I want to remove my front wheel, which is sketchy because there'a a spring in there that can easily fall out and without it you can't tighten the axle. Make sure you pair with the right hub. On a side note, my Suntour fork feels great and is just as easy to service and overhaul as they say.
  • 3 0
 Did you do the quarter turn to lock the collet closed before inserting it? You just push the end in to retract the "teeth", then do a quarter turn and they'll stay shut. I tried it out with a hollow hub several times and didn't have any issues.
  • 2 0
 alternately, you can depress the end with a hex wrench/screwdriver/stick inserted from the other side to keep the teeth retracted as you insert the axle.
  • 2 0
 Even if it opens midway, can't you just push it through and try re-locking again? Taking the hub apart seems rather drastic.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, you can do that too. It's really not a difficult system IMO.
  • 1 0
 "Also, that BH bike's geometry looks great"

Kinda, but the picture was taken at an angle Wink
  • 6 1
 its weird to hear so many people saying "I'm not into XC" when if you ride a bike, on dirt, it's pretty much XC. Now as far as XC racing, it's not something I like to do but still go out for the trail ride :-)
  • 4 0
 Stan's Valor is carbon. A good example of a high performance aluminum rim being employed on the World Cup circuit is pictured above it covered in soapy water: The Bontrager XXX.
  • 3 0
 The Bonty XXX is basically a Stans Gold with a DT 240 hub. Literally a Stans Gold Rim rebadged, laced to a DT Swiss 240 Hub, XXX are great wheels don't get me wrong but I'd like to see a carbon XC wheelset from Bontrager.
  • 8 1
 God these bikes are absolute sex
  • 5 0
 Cool bikes. Something about the look of a small frame sized 29er looks a bit off to me.
  • 6 0
 Do they take them off any sweet jumps?
  • 5 0
 Actually yeah. Nino, Fumic and Fontana are always boosting.
  • 5 0
 "Dang, you have shocks, pegs... Lucky!"
  • 2 0
 Yes, you'd be surprised. Jolanda Neff also knows how to rip on a XC rig. Drops it, jumps it.
  • 3 0
 "Love for the cycling universe? Or was it placed there specifically (or strategically) because that is where the most crud is going to end up?"

Well the bike industry is where the most crud is. :/
  • 5 1
 I find these very interesting to hear about. lots of new technology to push the sport
  • 5 0
 Can't help myself: Race-bikes are just insanely awesome.
  • 1 0
 Does anyone remember Kettle Cycles, with the SiCCC carbon-ceramic rotors? I honestly wonder why I never saw them anywhere, especially on these XC race bikes. With these guys shaving off grams on every little detail, a featherweight rotor should be a big upgrade. Did they go out of business, or is the rotor itself no good?
  • 2 0
 They dont work and they are a terrible company. Google it, it's all over the ww forums.
  • 1 0
 I owned a set of Kettle Disc. Bought the first version of them, I was lucky to get them afte only one month of waiting. Some waited over 8 months. But they just didn't have enough bite. But the Kettle offered a Free upgrade or was it a very cheap cant remeber if you shipped your disc back. At the same time the had developed a speciel breakpad for the Disc. So I shipped mine back, and ordered 4 sets of theese new pads. I didn't see me disc for the next 5 month. No answer from them at all not even if you tried to call them. When I got them back and used used them with special pads they were alsmost as good as a normal disc but, the pads lasted 3 rides then were gone. And it was 3dry rides. So back to using normal organic disc and no bite. So I sold them cheap. In short they are not worth the money, and even if they were then Ketles customer service would stop my buying them again
  • 1 0
 That's a shame. I always thought it would be a nice improvement, in the context of this omnipresent low-weight frenzy. Sounds like Kettle bit off more than they could chew, but perhaps some day, someone else will succeed where they didn't...
  • 3 0
 The geometry of these XC bikes is starting to remind me of Road Racing Motorcycles.
  • 7 2
 next up, carbon chains ?
  • 2 1
 You can already buy "carbon" belt drive
  • 5 2
 That carbon seat post and saddle scares the living daylights out of me. Wouldn't risk my balls on that!!
  • 4 0
 Carbon really is good and strong enough nowadays. As long as you don't buy any fake chinese rip-off shit, you're good Smile
  • 1 0
 Amazing, the things they can do with carbon these days... However, can't believe those carbon seat post clamps! They must weight less than a gram!
  • 1 0
 Youre right about that clamp indeed, looks like its not much more than a tie wrap Razz
  • 1 0
 You can actually buy lighter alu seat clamps (6g) like New Ultimate or Mt Zoom for £20....
  • 2 0
 Nah thanks, I'm good Wink
  • 1 1
 I would love to try that rigid/suspension fork. Loving its simple idea. Really wondering how well it works, how stiff it is and how effective the rebound is. Also (/mainly) wondering if it doesn't cause the wheel to tilt when having sideways forces, like for example riding through corners fast (one side suspending more than the other side, causing the tyre to rub the stantions?)
  • 4 1
 What's with that nubbin on Fumics cranks?
  • 9 0
 It's the end of the display stand. Look up Scorpion Stands.
  • 4 8
flag kit-nz (May 30, 2015 at 23:54) (Below Threshold)
 "The inside of the left crankarm has a Stages power-meter transmitter"
  • 2 0
 Anyone know approximate weights on these bikes? are there weights they can't go under like in road biking?
  • 4 0
 There are no weight limits in XC racing. A lot of these hardtails can be around 17-18 lbs, and sometimes the full suspensions can be as light as 19 lbs.
  • 2 0
 Thanks a ton. I guess it's about what I expected. I wasn't sure if they were less
  • 1 17
flag fabdemaere (May 30, 2015 at 22:44) (Below Threshold)
 Same limit as For roadies
  • 4 0
 dang, 17-18 lb hardtail... Probably feel like a rocket if you come from pedaling a DH bike or something along those lines... I'd love to try one
  • 7 0
 No bloody wonder they're so quick, they're only riding half a bike! Damn..
  • 3 0
 waths the weight in kg of the first bike ?? 7 ?
  • 4 0
 I think its more 8/9 KG.
But give these bikes a rigid fork and and light tires, and I am sure they are not even far from a road bike !
  • 1 0
 Not helped by the RS-1! Wink
  • 1 0
 They said 8.1kg ready to race incl. pedals
  • 1 0
 Anyone know what KMC chain that is? And is there some specific reason why he would choose that instead of the XTR chain? Looks pretty bling!
  • 1 0
 They're sponsored by KMC. Chain is X11SL Gold. They actually buy the XTR stuff. Smile
  • 2 2
 XC bikes are cool to look at but these super light tech builds feel "squirrely" on the trail to me. Nothing says wash out in a turn like 19mm rims, 400 gram tires and narrow bars.
  • 3 0
 Sounds like you're describing XC from a decade ago or so, mate... Not these days.
I'd say around ~28mm rims are the norm, with many racers reaching for newest, wider, 30mm+ offerings..
As for tires, with not too many 26" wheeled bikes left in the field, most 29" xc tires are in 500-550g range, and not super skinny, either - many run 2.2" - 2.35".
Bigger is better - and faster.
Bars may be narrow-ish by today's DH standard, but I still wouldn't call ~720mm outright "narrow".
  • 3 0
 Would love to test them!
  • 3 3
 Would offsetting the chain stays to the right by 6mm make the bike track funny? Or is that distance not large enough to effect anything?
  • 12 0
 I believe the hub is offset, the wheel is dishless so the tyre is not offset.
  • 3 1
 Where is the news Focus Hardtail????
  • 13 2
 Already cracked
  • 3 0
 nice article.
  • 2 0
 The "unlabeled" Mavic rim sure looks like a production Crossmax SL to me.
  • 1 0
 That V-dub shield on the Merida is a nice touch. Same thing they put on the key fobs.
  • 1 0
 "...and an interesting stem that has no apparent clamping device."


It's the OPI system. Google that shit.
  • 6 5
 So no need for boost now!
  • 3 0
 Only on cannondale and anyone else willing to offset frames... problem there becomes your wheel doesn't fit anything EXCEPT those frames with the same off-set.
  • 3 1
  • 1 0
 Those are not unlabeled Mavics.. Those are Mavic Crossmax SLs. No more SLR
  • 1 0
 I wonder what the price of the Ghost Lector is gonna be.
  • 1 0
 I read something about 10.000€
  • 1 1
 Everyone is going to a single rig in the front now. Its not just downhill and enduro, XC is getting in the mix.
  • 4 0
 XC has been riding 1X since before enduro was even a thing.
  • 1 0
 Prologo saddle inspired by David Letterman.
  • 1 0
 todas muito bala! eu curti mais a Merida Ninety-Six 9 XC Race Bike.
  • 3 4
 Leaf springs. Wave of the future.
  • 6 0
 Haha that wacky thing came out a year or two ago. One of the writers at mtbr reviewed it and said it was a horrible, undamped, flexy piece of shite. I think it's intended for marathon/gravel racers, really surprised to see it here. Would not want to be piloting that bouncy twisty thing into corners at full speed.
  • 2 4
 the chainring is a bit big on the cannondale !
  • 1 4
 We get it, carbon. I swear pinkbike cares more about carbon than the component that are made of it
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