Intend Mastermind Cornelius Kapfinger is always tinkering with prototypes and he didn't disappoint this year. Initiated by intern Elias Lamprecht, the project name of the study is "High Pivot Fork", as they're trying to change the suspension path of the fork. In cooperation with Pole's Leo Kokkonen, who has machined the crown, they've offset and slackened the angle of the crown from the angle of the head tube by five degrees. The offset shortens during compression, while the trail becomes longer. At the same time, the head tube angle becomes steeper, keeping the values more consistent. At least in theory.
In the real world, they still have some tweaking to do. Since they used the fork's original dropouts, which were sitting at 44 mm, they ended up at a length of 55 mm with the offset fork crown. When fully compressed, that number shrinks to 40 mm. Compared to the shorter offset that we're used to by today's standard, Cornelius felt that the bike had a tendency towards understeering, so the next iteration will most likely see a prototype with shorter offset at the dropouts to figure out the full potential.
Another project that already went into production are the Rocksteady Magic cranks with an integrated freewheel system. While Cornelius doesn't want to take credit for the idea, as it has been shown by Shimano and some other people before, you can actually buy this version with Intend's own design right now. Inside, you can find a ratchet with 47 teeth (7.66 degrees of engagement) and a connection to a regular direct mount Race Face Cinch standard to mount the chainring. It is compatible with regular 30 mm bottom bracket cups like Race Face has in their program. The full crankset weighs about 770 g, which is about 200 g more than comparable cranks without freewheel come to.
The biggest benefit of the system is the fact that since the chain is constantly spinning while the bike is in motion, whether you pedal or not. You can shift without load, even while the bike is just coasting along. A quick spin on the parking lot showed that the system was indeed working as intended. There are plenty of situations on the trail that I can think of where it could be of benefit to shift gears without having to pedal. Also, you'll never run risk of a chain dropping from the tallest cog of the cassette when pedaling backward, even though that sort of issue is not really common these days, if your setup is aligned perfectly. Cornelius is still trying to evaluate if pedal feedback during suspension movement is slightly reduced, since by constantly pushing the freewheel at the crank the chain on the topside has a bit of slack due to friction. Because of that, you also have to deal with slightly higher chain slap.
In order for the system to work, the freewheel on the hub has to be disabled. Cornelius was thinking long and hard if he was going to come up with a highly technical solution for the different systems out there, but ended up using a simple zip tie to connect two spokes to the cassette. That way, if something gets caught in the spokes that could cause damage to the drivetrain, the zip tie simply snaps and reengages the freewheel of the hub.Actofive
While the earlier series sported regular tubes at the front triangle, the Actofive P-Train CNC is now fully CNC-machined. Machined in two halves and glued together, sleeves around the head tube make certain that nothing can come apart under the heaviest of loads. Inside those sleeves, adjustable cups are fitted that allow for +/- 1 degree of head angle adjustments. The frame without shock weighs about 4 kg.
Due to the nature of high pivot bikes, the chainstay lengthens quite a bit during compression. Designer Simon Metzner wanted to keep the chainstay length as short as possible (starting at 428 mm length) to maintain relatively playful handling. Travel also changes progression - 145 mm is progressive, 135 mm is extremely progressive. To get all the different geometry options it's best to check the Actofive website. Currently, Simon is producing 30 frames a year with his engineering company Metzner Engineering in Dresden, Germany, so you better get in line to get one of the exclusive and expensive frames.
CNC heaven.KendaShimanoPROSwitch Components
The Loop Strong with stiffer material for gravity use, still only weighing 110 grams.
Switch also has a full collection of components from XC to gravity, including bars, stems, and even a dropper post (max. drop 200 mm).LakeCybro
Since 2019, Cybro has been designing and producing bikes in Italy. The N6 is a custom size carbon hardtail with Pinion C1.12 gear box.BYB TelemetryFidlockGRDXKN
Another Eurobike award winner, these patterns on the fabric are supposed to reduce road rash in case of a crash.