Hardcore Hardtails, Ultralight Chainguides, Gearbox Goodness, and More - Tech Briefing, November 2017

Dec 4, 2017
by Pinkbike Staff  



Tech Briefing is a feature for the new stuff that we spot every month but haven't gotten our hands on yet. An eclectic serving of tech, from revolutionary products to novel traditional gear, with some wacky stuff thrown in for good measure.





Time Speciale 12 Enduro Pedal
$350 USD

Time's all new Speciale 12 is an Enduro pedal built with a longer, thinner profile that reduces weight as well as exposure to rock and root pedal strikes. (Learn more.)
speciale 12 enduro pedal


2018 Bird Zero AM
Custom builds start from £1374

With revised geometry and new CNC detailing, Bird's "hardcore hardtail" is designed for 150-160mm suspension forks for maximum trail hooliganism. (Learn more.)
Bird Zero AM


100% Racecraft+ Goggle
$85 USD

100% have armed the Racecraft+ with an injected polycarbonate lens for visual clarity and an elevated lens retention wall ensure the Plus + shield lens stays secure. (Learn more.)


Kellys Bikes Noid #1
3,199 – 3,999 €

Kellys' new DH bike allows the quick adjustment of the frame’s chainstays, wheelbase length, bottom bracket height, and the head tube angle. (Learn more.)
NOID 1 Vario Geometry System


Shovel Eighty8 Chainguide
80 €

Thr original Eighty8 chainguide with only 88 grams, and while the new one is only 70 grams they're keeping the name. Made with aluminum, titanium, and polyamid plastics, the guide is designed to be tough, lightweight, and low-profile. (Learn more.)
Shovel Eighty8 Chain Guide


Radon 2018 MTB Lineup
$various

Radon has announced several bikes, including the JAB—their new fighter-jet-esque 160mm bike with a geometry flip-chip and concealed Horst link suspension. (Learn more.)


Forestal ATS45 Stem
€159.95

The Forestal ATS45 Stem is designed for All Mountain, Enduro and Dirt. Machined in Barcelona, Spain from 7075-T6 aluminium, it is used by the Lacondeguy brothers.
(Learn more.)
Forestal


Last Bikes Coal
From 2999 €

Last Bikes' new Coal has gotten the longer/lower/slacker treatment, as well as progressive kinematics and good mid-stroke support. (Learn more.)
The linkage of the COAL provides it s progressive kinematics.


Race Face Carbon Wheel Guarantee
Free, kinda

Race Face recently announced a two year guarantee for their carbon wheels that covers damage of any kind, including moments of user error, like backing over your wheel as you drive away from the trails. (Learn more.)
Race Face


Kingdom Vendetta X2
€999 (frame only)

As a celebration of 10 years of the Vendetta, Kingdom bikes has produced a Limited Edition "hardcore" titanium hardtail. It can be built with 27.5, 27.5+ or 29er wheels, uses Ti-3Al-2.5V ti, and comes in raw finish only. (Learn more.)
Kingdom Vendetta X2 - A Hardcore Titanium Hardtail for the Masses


Peaty's Loam Foam
£9.99

Steve Peat's Loam Foam is a professional grade, biodegradable cleaner that he contends is tough on dirt yet safe to use on all bike surfaces including carbon, brake pads and disc brakes.
(Learn more.)
Steve Peat Loam Foam


Deviate Cycles - Guide
From £5699 including UK VAT

The Guide is designed around a Pinion C-Line gearbox and uses high pivot suspension design for desirable anti-squat characteristics and no pedal kickback. (Learn more.)
Deviate Cycles


Shred Boost Sunglasses
$160 – $200 USD

No, not another hub standard. These latest sunglasses from Shred are engineered by two-time Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety, and use high-grade urethane lenses instead of more common polycarbonate or CR-39 lenses. (Learn more.)
Shred Boost Sunglasses

Polygon Siskiu T Series
$1899 – $2499 USD

Polygon's new affordable trail bike line has different wheel sizes based on your frame size, and uses a traditional faux-bar suspension design. (Learn more.)


Truvativ Descendant 35mm Bar & Stem
$80 USD

Times are changing and Truvativ has announced 35mm Descendant bars and stems. They come in 9°/5° or 7°/5° sweep, carbon or aluminum, 20mm or 25mm rise, and in special edition collaborations with Kyle Strait and Jérôme Clementz. (Learn more.)
Truvativ


Look X-Track Pedals
TBC

Look's latest pedal breaks from their old twin-spring design. The new platform mechanism is similar to the Shimano SPD system and their cleats are interchangeable. (Learn more.)
Look X-Track Carbon Ti


Ghost Bikes Asket Hardtail
From 1,599 €

There's still a place in the world for rugged hardtails, and the Asket comes in both 29" and 27.5" versions—all with aluminum frames, wide tires, dropper posts, and a 1x drivetrains.
(Learn more.)
https www.ghost-bikes.com asket



62 Comments

  • + 47
 hardcore hardtails ftw! so much fun
  • + 5
 Just got new frame this morning! Still need some parts but can't wait to shred with it!
  • - 44
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 4, 2017 at 5:19) (Below Threshold)
 Just never as much as riding Yeti SB6 in Squamish while being skilled. But yes, if you have limited resources in each of these categories and then you are a bit hip... then why not. Almost everything on two wheels is fun, let's take our pants off and hug deliberately
  • + 5
 @ WAKIdesigns An interesting comment to state that riding a HT is only for the less skilled. Maybe it just got lost in translation.
  • + 3
 @gavind: I read my comment again and haven’t read anywhere in it that hardtails are only for the less skilled riders. I may have insinuated that trail hardtails are often ridden by less skilled riders... because which fast person with budget for an FS would go for a HT? A freak. They do happen. But they are few. That doesn’t mean fullies are ridden exclusively by skilled riders. There’s nothing wrong with being less skilled. I suck myself. On BMX, on HT, on trail HT and on FS. We all make our life choices... what’s wrong is attaching values to trail hardtails, like as if getting one meant you are a bad ass by default.
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: I'm one of the freaks. Had plenty of ht and suss bikes and could afford both but choose a ht as it's more fun.
I think a combination of longer slacker geometry and big wheels and tyres has shifted the capability of modern ht's quite a bit.
  • - 2
 @tremeer023: any bike can be fun in a certain environment. I can make that argument for a XC racing bike. Easily. But most people just want squish. Because in rational terms, it just makes more sense for most people. I got 100mm fork and semi slick tyres for my HT designed for 130-150 because when I get on a HT I want to experience chaos, fight for survival in face of imminent braking of spine and wrists by flying over the bars into the rock garden. This instead of emulation of a full susser what 160HTs effectively are.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: depends where you live certainly. The point with long travel hardtails is that you can have all the 'fight for survival' fun on your local trails with less crashing. It enhances certain trails.
  • + 1
 @tremeer023: nah, I personally get too little kick from long travel HT. I will soon go out riding a DJ bike in the woods. I want to hit every sketchy shit in the area. And pedal all over the place for 2-3 hours. Off course I have gears, I hate single speed.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: I’m flying my freak flag then, cause I broke my only “modern” plastic bike and have opted to get a steel hardtail (again) instead of a dualie, to go with my 3 other hardtail.
  • + 0
 @bubbrubb: throw your dead plastic frame into the Ocean.
  • + 30
 Bird on the Pinkbike homepage! I have the Aeris 145 and it's an unbelievable bike, the new Zero would be lurvely if I only I had money..... And for all those complaining that Europe is the home of super long, low and slack bikes, I believe they ship to North America as well
  • + 2
 Got the Aeris mk1.5 such an awesome bike! Came from a plastic nomad and the bird is way better. Little flexible on the rear end but nothing that ruins its ride.
  • + 3
 Yes, they do ship to the US. I've got the now old zero AM for a little over a year now. Great bike.
  • + 1
 Got a one20 (and use my dads one45). Best bikes I’ve ever ridden.
  • + 26
 more Hardtails bikes please pinkbike
  • + 17
 Al the bitching about carbon prices and that alloy stem gets nothing. Wtf
  • + 12
 How is that chain guide €80?? Next to that, the ti frame for €999 is a rocking deal.
  • + 2
 ^ this!

You can buy fully functional dropper posts for the asking price of some stems...
  • + 10
 I'm lookin at the prices and mountainbiking is getting to be a sport for snobbes! $350 for pedals...for pedals for a GOD SAKE! My front fork is about that kind of money, mtb is my passion for 18 years now and year by year I can't afford this sport any more. In my country Giant Trance 3 which I ride is like 4 months full sallary....If Yoy are not rich buy a skateboard and go f**k yourself. Thanks industry, very helpfull.
  • + 10
 one up composite pedals for about 50 usd. would never spend more than 100 usd for pedals. bought my dmr vaults on a discount and they are going strong for three years now while taken some serious abuse. mtb riding since 94 and there were some ridiculous priced things back then.
  • - 11
flag boberson (Dec 4, 2017 at 2:51) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah but it is not very easy to build custom bike that will be strong enough to handle 16 foot drops and 40+ feet airs for less than $3000 if You want to be sure that You will get back to wife and kids from most of rides. If You are not rich U shouldn't do big airs and drops. And for me it's the biggest fun. Prices are cutting young kids in my country wings. I knew one guy who could be next trial legend. He was progressing so fast, his riding was on very high level and he was forced to stop riding becouse of component prices. The are not necesserly to be expensive but when You are breaking parts more often it's getting expensive anyway.
  • + 4
 @boberson: I'm pretty sure it is providing you are clever about where you spend money, a base model hardcore hardtail would survive that...
  • + 3
 @boberson: go buy used DH bike. You should have no problem finding something in 1500-2000 $ range that can handle everything described.

And there is no problem with custom build under 3000$. It'll be heavy as a minivan but will ride just fine.
  • + 2
 @boberson: yep go used. you wont have the latest and greatest but the latest and greatest from two or three years ago. see a lot of nice lightly used dh bikes for 2000-2500 usd on the used market decked out with full saint etc.
if you want to buy new commencal has good prices...the yt tues in alloy is also reasonable priced and its rampage approved! but i know what you mean...prices went up and for young people without much money its a pita to get something decent in new.
  • + 3
 There is a website called pinkbike.com that has this cool used Buy/Sell section...
  • + 1
 Good thing they designed a new profile to make it less exposed to rock and root strikes. Because you'll be picking up the pieces first time it happens.
  • + 13
 So the question is: Would you rather buy:

- 4 Time Speciale 12 Enduro Pedals

or

- 1 2018 Bird Zero AM
  • + 12
 Kingdom bikes are mega sick
  • + 2
 But they doesn't seem to address the BB height differences when varying wheel sizes from 27.5 to 29 are used.
  • + 1
 Yeah after that article on PB about the "sexiest hardtail" www.pinkbike.com/news/what-is-the-sexiest-am-fr-enduro-hardtail-of-2016.html the Kingdom Vendetta 2 LS has been my favourite. Eventually I went with a BTR Ranger (26", large size but with a 400mm seat tube and a top tube as low as it could go) because I liked that one better but yeah the Kingdom still looks cool.
  • + 1
 They ride even better than they look...and you get the best customer service ever, no doubt!?
  • + 3
 @gbcarmona: You mean the BTR? I'm not even on the build queue yet, they're finishing some details but I probably won't have it before early March or so Wink . That said, the process was painless. Tam is quick to respond and honest about what's possible. I won't question the geometry, it looks great. I just like my top tube as low as possible and figured out that even with a 400mm seat tube, I could get a saddle right up to XC height should I ever desire. So that gave some room. Required a different seat tube (Reynolds 853 instead of 631) but it allowed me to have my dream bike built. Pretty happy about that.
  • + 1
 @vinay: sorry...I meant the Kingdom Vendetta and the Kingdom customer service...but the same can be said for the BTR probably...never tried one but would like too.
  • + 1
 @gbcarmona: Ha yeah no worries. I wasn't sure but I was just a little over excited about the BTR. I don't know anyone with a Kingdom (James McKnight from Dirt seems to love it though) but at least they were quick to respond when I had questions. They're competing in a small market (UK based Chinese made titanium hardtails) just like Stanton so I expect they are very aware that they need to keep those few customers happy. So yeah as for those few e-mails, they seem very good, nice and real.
  • + 9
 Are there any adapters so that those boost sunglasses can fit my non-boost head?
  • + 4
 Digging the hardtail trend. After many years of full sus bikes I picked up a hardtail. First a CC hardtail and now, more recently, a modern long, low slack hardtail.
Honestly all I want to do is ride the hardtail at the moment and my Sworks E29 is sitting picking up some dust.

They make old, less challenging trails fun again and the amount of ground you can cover is impressive due to the lower weight and efficiency.
I have the same feeling and stroke that I did when I first got into the sport.

The new breed are also incredible fast on the downs and it is undeniably satisfying to blow by guys on full sus super bikes on a tech trail Smile
  • + 3
 bird if the zero was steel with the rear calliper post mount during last years black friday, anyways ns surge evo will do me.
  • + 1
 yeeeewwww surge evo ftw
  • + 4
 Yay, some love for Last Bikes! \o/
  • - 4
flag Kramz (Dec 4, 2017 at 3:05) (Below Threshold)
 Simple things annoy me about bikes, like they have the fricken space station to build the thing, and I don't even want to present my gripes.
  • + 3
 @Kramz: I think it is cool how much these German companies do in house. If they have a space station in house, so be it. It takes some automation to remain competitive. Hope also uses CNC equipment instead of a manually operated lathe and mill.
  • + 0
 @vinay: Yeah, like the bike is amazing, but it's like they went so far into perfection, they didn't see the whole picture. "Down the rabbit hole."
  • + 2
 @Kramz: What whole picture didn't they see? What exactly did you mean by simple things annoy you about bikes? Is it because it's a single pivot?
  • - 1
 @Losvar: I don't even want to get into it. There's about 4 very simple problems I see with it. 1. Thin top tube 2. Thick down tube 3. Bad headtube connection 4. Curved top tube(even weaker) 5. Bad rear suspension/bottom out geometry...........It's common sense, but I feel bikes are designed with flaws purposely
  • + 2
 @Kramz: Bad bottom out geometry??
Wow, judging a book by it's cover, it's one of the most progressive suspension platforms out there, I can huck shit I wouldn't dare without bottoming out harshly with mine.
It's an extremely stiff frame, super responsive, and it's made from 6013 instead of 6061 or 7005 alloy, no cut corners, and there are quite a few of the older Herb frames been put through some serious shit in bike parks over many years without cracking, same basic design.
  • + 1
 Well, the titatium Kingdom Vendetta is a dream bike, but the indicated price is unfortunately wrong. "Only" the frame doesn't cost 999 but 1799€. My hard-on was short :-(
  • + 2
 Look again because the Vendetta X2 costs 999...its the Vendetta or Vendetta LS that costs 1799 due to all the expensive manufacture details. However the Vendetta X2 and LS share the same awesome geometry. Its such a great fun bike.
  • + 1
 You're in luck. They recently released a new 'cost-cutting' frame which really is 999. Its wicked, raw and same geometry. Only downside is they make them like 7 at a time Razz
  • + 1
 @tompryor: true, each batch is limited. that is done so that QC/QA processes can be implemented to ensure that there is no degradation in quality. its worth the wait in the end...the x2 rips.
  • + 2
 @ledude: Yeah I understand why they do it, I don’t have an issue really. I bet it rips! I can’t wait to own one in the new year.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the round-up, great article pinkbike, I had missed a bunch of these! Ghost bikes are really stepping up their hardtail game...
  • + 1
 That Bird looks like it ticks every aggressive hard tail box for me. Kind of between XL and L, not sure on sizing.
  • + 1
 I'm a hair shorter than 6'2" and I ride a size Large with 31mm stem and 780 bars on their non-boost Zero AM (slightly shorter than the 201Cool
  • + 2
 Damn, €1000 for a Ti frame is a pretty rockin deal, actually
  • + 2
 Kellys Noid #1 looks extremely playful
  • + 1
 nice shot. Frommestrail Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis
  • + 1
 none of the hardtails are for 26" ):
  • + 1
 But.... it’s December, no?
  • + 1
 Cool stuff. Thanks pinkbike, you know me so well 3
  • + 1
 Awesome feature! Love the randomness of the variety.
  • + 1
 I want that Asket hardtail

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