Richie Rude is aboard what appears to be a revised version of the current SB150 at Crans-Montana, with changes to the swingarm, bottom bracket area, upper suspension linkage, forward shock mount, and front end that all set it apart from the current production model. Starting at the back, the shift cable now exits in a different spot (pictured below), the swingarm sports slightly different tube shapes, and the top rocker link is now captive in the front triangle whereas it pivots on the outside of the production SB150.
There's also much more frame volume near the bottom bracket and what could be a door on the underside of the downtube guard that points toward a frame storage compartment on the new bike. Maybe. The downtube around the bottom bracket area also doesn't look to extend as low as on the previous model, which should provide some extra ground clearance.
With the EWS this week and the EWS-E event last weekend, there are plenty of interesting things to see, including another look at what seems to be SRAM's eMTB motor that we've been predicting for a least a few years
. This time around it's on Elliot Heap's raw Nukeproof Megawatt, with the 170mm-travel frame being modified versus the production version that comes with a Shimano EP8 motor and battery. Other things to note include a different set of chainstays, a display integrated into the toptube (not pictured), and rumours that the eMTB-specific derailleur is wired to the same battery that powers the motor
More new-ness from SRAM with another look at their unreleased direct-mount derailleur and drivetrain that we first saw back in August at the Les Gets World Cup
. This time around it's being used on EWS-E winner Yannick Pontal's bike rather than a cross-country rig, and while the mud is doing a good job of making it hard to tell, it appears to be shaped differently from that earlier version. Looking from the rear (below) shows how much additional support the two-sided direct-mount should provide versus a traditional hanger, as well as how it protrudes less from the frame for more clearance.
Stay tuned for more tech from EWS Crans Montana.