Answer's Updated Rove Pedal
The Rove pedal gets more traction and loses weight.
Answer has made some changes to their popular Rove pedal in order to bring the weight down a bit while also upping traction, two points that their crew of testers in British Columbia came up with after much use. The latter concern has been addressed by new steel pins that sport a more aggressive shape to bite harder into the soles of shoes, although the fresh pins weren't quite ready in time for the show. The number of pins and their location hasn't changed, though, as Answer said that the layout has shown to be quite effective. Extra machining has also been performed on the pedal bodies in order to open up the slots on each side, two places that can see more material removed due to being mostly out of harms way.
Answer All-Mountain Enduro Stem
Short and well done, Answer's new AME stem sports some smart details.
It looks like Answer has covered all the bases with the name of their new stem, and there should be no confusion as to what its intentions are. Weight sits at just 103 grams for the shortest 31mm length, and MSRP is a reasonable $80 USD. There are six different lengths available: 31, 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80mm, with the shortest option being as short as a stem can be without the backside of the handlebar's clamping area coming into contact with the fork's steerer tube. It also sports some nice details like opposing steerer tube clamp bolts that play nice with carbon fiber steerer tubes, and quality machining in places like the twin face plates that see them perfectly match the business end of the stem's handlebar clamp. It even comes with a nicely integrated top cap that sits flush with the top of the stem.Colnago Uses Manitou's Updated Hex Lock QR15 Axle
We didn't get on so well with Manitou's 15mm thru-axle system when we reviewed their new Mattoc fork earlier this year
- it's fast as hell when you do it right, but doing it right can be tricky - but it's getting an update for 2015 that's aimed at solving that issue. Our complaint came down to having it clocked correctly before sliding it in so that the T-shaped locking extension at the business end keyed into place correctly, and Manitou has now remedied that by machining a flat section along the length of the axle so that it sports a D shape that ensures it goes in properly no matter how much you try to mess it up. The T-shaped locking end also gets changed to a much sturdier looking design with chamfered edges that should also help make things easier. Here's how it works: flip the Hex Lock lever open, give it a twist and the axle pulls out of the fork. To install the axle, slide it in, twist the quick release lever one quarter turn to lock the T-shaped end in place, and then close the QR lever. The lever always indexes in the same spot, and a knurled dial inboard of it adjusts the closing force of the mechanism. It's great to see Manitou responding to feedback to one of our few criticisms, and you can expect to see the evolved axle design on the Mattoc and other Manitou forks in the near future.
Manitou updates their Hex Lock QR15 axle, and Colnago puts it into use on their carbon fiber road bike.
The updated design is also being cross-pollinated into the road world on Colnago's high-end, disc brake equipped race bike. Scratching your head? Disc brakes are becoming more common on road bikes and it's looking like the pro peloton will be full of them within the next few years, but combining them with the spindly quick releases usually employed on the bikes is only asking for disaster. At the same time, the racers and mechanics have to be able to get a wheel off the bike as quick as possible, so they don't want to be farting about with slow to use thru-axles. Enter Manitou's Hex Lock QR15 axle that is, so long as you get the process down pat, the quickest thru-axle system out there, especially now that Manitou has made the updates talked about above.
Knolly's 27.5'' Wheeled Endorphin
Knolly's much loved Endorphin now rolls on 27.5'' wheels.
Knolly's decision to take the Endorphin from 26'' wheels to 27.5'' wheels shouldn't come as a surprise given that's the way that everything is going, but I'd be lying if I told you that I wasn't just a little bit sad to see them change the bike. You see, I really, really liked last year's Endorphin, and I said as much when I reviewed it back in August of 2013
, so to see them make the jump to 'tweener wheels is a little bittersweet. That said, the bike was already an immensely formidable machine on technical climbs (best in class, actually
), and the truth is that those abilities have likely been improved upon by the better approach angle of the 27.5'' hoops - I guess I'll have to review the new bike to find out, right? Wheel size isn't the only story here, though, as there have also been the expected changes to geometry and travel. The latter is bumped down to 130mm from the old bike's 140mm, while the rear end gets extended by just a few millimeters, and the frame is also updated with an internal cable routing option should you decide to go for the clean look. Claimed weight for a bare frame and shock sits at 6.5lb, and the new Endorphin will be available early in 2015.
Chris Porter's Insane Custom Nicolai
Chris Porter's custom Nicolai features a massively long top tube combined with a short stem. This isn't your average mid-travel bike.
If there's one bike at the show that I'd happily trade my dog for a single ride on, it'd be Mojo man Chris Porter's wild Nicolai. If it looks a little familiar, it's because it's loosely based on the German company's 160mm travel Ion 16, but it's pretty obvious that his machine's geometry is far from normal. How far out there is it? With a 690mm top tube length, 1,323mm long wheelbase, and two head angle options to have it sit at either 63.1 or 62.6 degrees, I'd say that it's pretty far removed from what we'd call normal for a mid-travel bike, especially given that Chris stands just over six feet tall. And given that he's the man behind Mojo Suspension, the UK location for FOX servicing and tuning, we're betting that his Float X shock and 36 fork also sport some non-stock bits inside of them.
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Chris doesn't guess about things, does he? A digital timing device from the moto world ensures that he knows exactly how the changes he's making to his bike translate to on the trail.