(Clockwise) Slytech protective gear heralds the return of the chicken wire DH suit and introduces "Powerthong Superbriefs" for men. Fabric's transparent sport-bike saddle is nearing production. Wolf Tooth and OneUp have been copied by a dozen or so parts makers. Despite the popularity of the 40 and 42-tooth conversion kits for ten-speed cassettes, SRAM and Shimano just don't get it. Scool's XXFat 20-inch-wheel fatbike won a Eurobike award. Continental Tire's big-man, Ulf Gunzel, was visiting at their stand.
Tom Ritchey is traveling back in time, but with modern geometry and materials. His P-650b is crafted from butted alloy steel and features a carbon-tube rigid fork, 27.5-inch wheels and a beautiful carbon rendition of his circa-1979 Bullmoose handlebar.
Industry Nine displayed its Pillar carbon wheelset, with 29-millimeter OD rims made by Reynolds. Outside of the bearings, the wheels are entirely made and assembled in the USA. Industry Nine was also showing off its first fatbike hubs and rims, as well as the internals of its super-quick-engagement freewheel system.
Shimano had a three-D virtual training device on display that would be cool to ride if they could add a couple of World Cup XC courses - or maybe the crusher EWS race at Whistler Crankworx 2014.
Shimano's long-awaited Sport Camera was immersed in water. The CNC-machined mounting bits were a huge step up from the crappy plastic hardware that most POV camera makers offer.
Continental brought its prototype 2.4-inch Baron enduro racing tire and it looks more grippy than a London shop-lifter. Dan Atherton and Martin Maes are two of the athletes who shaped its development.
Conti's massive 2.4-inch Der Kaiser is now available in all three wheel sizes. We expect it to be popular among the 29er enduro crowd.
Mavic has branded a comprehensive range of AM/trail/enduro products under the CrossMax name - beginning with color-matched kits that pair up with its CrossMax wheels.
Mavic's CrossMax XL wheelset and Quest tire combination are designed to be more durable for the rowdier AM/trail riders among us.
The CrossMax shoe is sold in yellow or black, and features a ratcheting buckle, as well as a grippy sole and a reinforced toe box. Laces under a protective flap ensure a customized fit.
Mavic's Notch helmet is now available in blue, white and black - in addition to Mavic yellow. The good-looking and comfortable half-shell is rapidly becoming a favorite among North American enduro racers and trail riders.
Formula Italy now offers its top-performing 35 trailbike fork in a longer-travel, EX version. The 35 series refers to its use of 35mm stanchion tubes for stiffness, and the longer-stroke, 160mm fork has wider bushing spacing and slightly thicker walls inside its hollow aluminum crown. Formula's compact remote lockout lever is an option.
Garmin's Virb POV camera was hard to get near to at the show. We have yet to review it, but the Virb has bike friendly features like external controls and switches, and an LED monitor. While the camera is not 100-percent remotely operable, it does sync with smart phones for viewing and recording functions.
Allan Cooke is the new athlete and sports marketing manager at Santa Cruz. This man is a hero on and off the track. Allan says this is his first gig that takes him out of BMX and almost exclusively into the mountain bike end of the sport. Don't let that fool you though, Allan is a force to be reckoned with on anything that has two wheels. Look him up up.
Pivot's new Phoenix carbon DH bike is usually found in bright green team colors. The natural carbon version, however, looks absolutely wicked.
Jo Klieber, the man behind Syntace and Liteville bicycles, has done extensive testing to evaluate the roll-over effects of each of the three popular wheel diameters. His conclusion is that big wheels are 80-percent more effective up front, and that the benefits of a larger, heavier rear wheel diminish as the rider becomes shorter and the bicycle's center of mass is much lower in the frame. Klieber's response is to mix and match wheel diameters among the five frame sizes that Liteville offers. To demonstrate his findings, Klieber devised a 'pizza-cutter' model. By pushing the tiny bike over scaled obstacles from each of the three holes in the 'rider,' the effects of the different centers of mass become easily apparent.
With the addition of Guide trail brakes, SRAM's most dangerous weapon in the present battle for trail supremacy is its X01, one-by-eleven drivetrain. Presently, Germany seems to be the last holdout - with almost every bike seller still demanding two-by and three-by systems, and Shimano is gripping tightly to the Hinterlands as if it were a life vest in a stormy sea.
Club SRAM was a refreshing oasis and a refuge from the a sea of rollerbag-tuggers and stogie-chuffing Eurobikers that journos had to contend with for four days.
SRAM brought a shift efficiency testing machine from its German drivetrain factory. A powerful gear-drive motor turned the chainring while a linear actuator meted out shift after shift. Magnetic resistance kept the chain tension near the breaking point and each shift shook the machine slightly. Load cells record the force and number of gear changes.
Early Rider is a small group of cyclists who came from outside the industry. They make lightweight and intelligently crafted kids bikes. The belt-drive mini mountain bike depicted here reportedly weighs less than 7kg and costs about $400 USD. They had one with a one-meter seat post for adults to try.
Early Rider also makes wooden striders that are works of art - and a mini road bike for father and son spandex bonding sessions. Early Rider scales down its forged cranksets, pedals, handlebars and brake levers for child-sized hands and feet.
The return of carbon spoke off-road wheels was inevitable. Bike Ahead's six-spoke carbon wheelset looked stunning - as did the carbon chassis they were attached to. More are sure to follow.
Pearl Izumi's Project X trail shoes are super comfortable, wth a seamless, one piece upper for no-hot-spot pedaling, a reinforced toe, and a carbon stiffened sole that is curved and tapered for walk-ability. The sole lugs are two compound constructs, with a hollow plastic base, co-molded to thick, grippy rubber on the outsoles. A double Boa lacing system is bonded to the tongue of the shoe so that it pulls the laces taught, evenly from both sides of the shoe. They felt like gloves on our feet. $320 USD.
Pearl Izumi's Summit baggy short is tapered slightly and tailored for a comfortable, non-chaffing fit. The Summit range is paired with matching Jerseys in short and long-sleeve versions. We are testing them at present with excellent results to report.
This newly-released rain shell is cut to fit the rider in a cycling position. Pearl Izumi uses live fit models to construct its patterns, who are on its payroll. This is how the designers there discovered that the hood needs to fit over a helmet, and that the rear of the hood should be vented. The fabric has a bonded waterproof membrane, although the seams are not sealed nor taped.
What is the message here? Is Fisik's Tritone 5.5 Kium saddle a design revolution, or are they telling us that even a man's most trumatic body injury will some day heal?
Adidas and Continental partnered to produce a trail running shoe based upon Conti's popular Trail King mountain bike tread pattern.
Geoff Kabush's Scott Spark 29er was on display at Syncros, sporting the number one plate from his overall victory in the 2014 US national XC series. Kabush uses a Fox iCD electronically controlled shock and fork, while the drivetrain and brakes are Shimano XTR.
Geoff Kabush got a WWF-style belt for winning the US Cup XC national series overall this year. Way better than a gold medal!
Hall-of-Famer Joe Murrray was one of the sport's early cross-country crushers who carved a successfull career as a bike designer and who also is one of Shimano's most trusted product testers.
Maxxis debuted its Mammoth fatbike tire alongside five of the most popular mountain bike tire designs ever made.
Nino Schurter's 27.5-inch wheel Scott Spark at the DT Swiss expo. Shurter likes carbon - carbon bars, carbon brake levers, carbon wheels, carbon seatpost, carbon seat rails, carbon shock, carbon fork, carbon stem and even a carbon bottle cage. His late season dominance of the World Cup XC was not enough to nip Julian Absalon for the number one plate, but he will be a force to contend with at the upcoming World Championships.
Kali Protectives says that research indicates that significant reductions in the thickness of a helmet may equal the rotational impact reduction benefits of thicker helmets which are designed to make room for internal rotational impact devices. Kali intends to incorporate both schools of thought in an up-and-coming design.
Ralph Naf's BMC Four Stroke FS01-29 also uses electronically controlled Fox iCD suspension, with internal wiring. The Fox iCD system shares the same battery and wiring as Shimano Di2.
Cool FeaturesSubmit a Story to Pinkbike
RSSPinkbike RSS Feed