Rolf Prima, Vittoria, Rotor - Interbike 2016

Sep 22, 2016
by Mike Levy  
Interbike 2016


Interbike 2016


Rolf Prima's Alsea Plus Wheelset

Rolf Prima's Alsea range of wheels gets a new addition in the form of the Alsea Plus wheelset that, as you probably guessed, has been designed specifically for plus-sized rubber. The carbon fiber rim sports a 40mm internal width, so there won't be any issues running 2.8'' and 3.0'' wide tires, but the 1,630-gram weight for the 27.5'' wheelset is still lighter than many skinnier options out there.

You're probably wondering why they've gone with a twenty-four paired spoke layout, which is something Rolf Prima has been doing since 1997, and that's a question that I'll let the company answer: ''Bringing the spokes to the rim in pairs neutralizes the left and right outward pulling forces allowing us to build true wheels on lighter rims with fewer spokes. Fewer spokes and lighter rims help create increased aerodynamics and faster performing wheels.'' I suspect that the design calls for relatively high spoke tension as well.

A set of XST hubs, made by White Industries, are at the center, with a drool-worthy titanium freehub body available in both Shimano and SRAM XD variations. The price? $2,399 USD.
Interbike 2016



Interbike 2016
Interbike 2016


Vittoria's Martello and Gato Tires

We showed you Vittoria's 2.5'' wide Martello downhill and enduro tire from Sea Otter, and now the Italian company is bringing the same aggressive tread pattern to a lighter duty 2.35'' wide version (shown above left). The Martello, which means 'hammer' in Italian, is intended to be used as an all-conditions tire rather than a soft-terrain or mud special, and they claim that its square moto-block tread pattern is designed with stability and durability in mind. The tire's large, square lugs look like they'd offer plenty of support to keep from folding over on hard-packed ground, but the three sipes on each one should allow the contact area of the lug to flex and conform to whatever is under it. Vittoria says that the progressive sipe width (note how each lug sports three differently sized sipes) "provides tactile grip at the knob surface, without sacrificing speed or grip."

The new 27.5'' x 2.35'' size tire employs the company's TNT-AM casing with the added protection of their APF (anti-pinch flat) insert located just above the bead - this is said to protect the tire and rim against impacts while adding stiffness to the sidewall - as well as their 4C four compound rubber with Graphene added into the mix that is claimed to help improve rolling speed, grip, and decrease the likelihood that knobs will fold and tear. The 2.35'' Martello probably won't be available until spring of next year.

The other new tire is the Gato. The Gato (shown above right) is a cross-country tire designed with wet conditions in mind, but not necessarily full-out mud. Picture those rainy days when it's still great to get out on the trails, but not so muddy that things turn into a messy slog fest. A prominent center ridge is used for high rolling speeds, but the Gato also employs similar siped knobs found on the Martello to up traction when crossing over wet roots and rocks. The Gato will be available in a single 2.2'' width for both 27.5'' and 29'' wheel sizes.




Interbike 2016


Rotor's Raptor Cranks

Want to try something a bit more exotic than the usual SRAM or Shimano crankarms? Rotor's new Raptor cranks certainly fit the bill. The aluminum arms feature some heavy reliefs machined into them, and Rotor includes rubber protectors (seven colors are available) over the ends of the arms and, somewhat strangely, up on the arms themselves. At least you won't get any rub marks from your feet on them. There are a plethora of axle lengths available for pretty much any shell size and discipline, and a threaded preload adjuster is used to fine tune bearing tension. The Raptors are available in 165, 170, and 175mm lengths.

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52 Comments

  • + 117
 Thank God someone finally made a set of aerodynamic wheels for plus bikes.
  • - 23
flag ivankvkharkiv (Sep 23, 2016 at 0:35) (Below Threshold)
 Maybe I am stupid and didn't understand your joke, but fat tires "eat" all aerodynamic whatever wheelset you use...
  • + 53
 @ivankvkharkiv: You didnt get the joke.
  • + 23
 @zer0c00l44: Ok.Thanks now I get it..)))
  • + 3
 Love this. Complete loss of reason.
  • + 2
 Now if someone could just make a set of clincher road tires for plus bikes, we'd be set.
  • - 4
flag DGWW (Sep 23, 2016 at 7:02) (Below Threshold)
 @bholton: Bigot much?
  • + 1
 You won Pinkbike today my friend!
  • + 4
 @bholton: Who's the Spock? Pretty easy to guess he's not a native English speaker. It ain't rocket surgery.
  • + 4
 @kabanosipyvo: yep for sure. So he reads what he sees at face value and processes it with pure logic.
  • + 1
 @DGWW: wait...what?
  • + 1
 @bholton: He's clearly not a native english speaker. This doesn't make him stupid or socially maladjusted. Let's see how well you do on a Ukrainian message board.
  • + 1
 @DGWW: Did I say he was stupid or socially maladjusted? Logical yes. In fact I have suggested that he possesses a greater degree of intelligence than anyone else. Do you understand the reference?
  • + 26
 $2400 USD for a set of wheels... That's more than I paid for a brand new Alu Stumpy Evo 29er at the end of the season a couple years back... A whole bike, granted on quite a discount, but a whole bike, and a good one at that!
  • - 3
 Yes but it has to be carbone! I mean give the guys a break after all only dumb rich people are buying + bikes so kuddos to tapping on the idocy tax. if you want to be blinger than your blinged out friends at the cofee shop this is the product for you who cares how it rides.
  • + 3
 Actually when I look at these prices I have got only one idea what are these parts for... I think it's kind of a "reputation project". So really there are not many people in any (even the most developed) country who can buy it. As an example, sometimes moviemakers screen the movie as pure art only for some festivals or something. So I think this is the same stuff. But anyway there are some people who afford this.
  • + 12
 Vittoria tires tick all the boxes, and compared to other brands they are just excellent value.
  • + 2
 Agree, looking forward to that 2,35 tire
  • + 1
 I've had some really bad luck with Geax, they are literally dangerous on wet rocks and roots. Hopefully that has changed with Vittoria taking ownership but there's no way I'd pay for another set to find out.
  • + 1
 @ccollord: They have always been Vittoria tires, they just used to rebrand their mtb tires Geax. And yeah I agree their compound sucks in wet conditions and they have also been the most difficult tires I've had to inflate tubeless. And their tubeless fluid isn't as good as stan's either. So yeah, ok value but a lot to improve.
  • + 6
 Those crank guards remind me of fork booties. I don't see why they don't manufacture them differently, say with carbon cranks, put an alloy cap on the end to take the abuse? Or leave them silver where they're going to get rub marks.
  • + 4
 The mid arm crank guards also help protect against rock strikes. I ride left foot forward, and the underside of that arm is beat to crap.
  • + 2
 Way back in the day Stronglight and Bontrager did just that, selling carbon XC cranks with alloy end caps bonded in place. They proved quite ineffective at protecting the end of the crank, they'd either get scratched up or bend to the point that they fell off or damaged the crank underneath anyway. Plastic boots absorb impacts better and have the bonus of being a disposable parts should one split or be lost in transit etc. I completely agree on having raw crank arm outers though, why Shimano stopped doing that I will never understand.
  • + 8
 Oh and doesnt seem like they offer it in 26"
  • + 4
 I've come up with a formula after years of riding and attempting to get all I need with fewer spokes. For every 2 spokes a rear wheel has than 32, add an extra trip to the LBS to get it trued and tensioned. So for this wheel, an extra 4 trips/year. Your LBS will either love you or hate you.
  • + 3
 The Rolf Prima wheelset looks like another fail on what Crank Bro's designed years ago. I can't see anyone buying them as you can't true them properly.
  • + 2
 yup... and wheel stiffness is directly related to spoke count.. More so than spoke gauge and rim stiffness.. the more spokes the better if you are wanting to build a laterally stiffer wheel. Which most mountain bikers probably want. And if you snap one... you can kiss that Mother Phucker goodbye!
  • + 5
 Those cranks are dope.
  • + 52
 Pretty sure they're aluminum. I'll let my self out
  • - 11
flag ICAS (Sep 22, 2016 at 20:54) (Below Threshold)
 @bmoore34:

First 2 sentences days they're carbon hoops
  • + 19
 @ICAS: not going to fight you there, since they are. And the cranks are aluminum. Hence my comment about the comment on the cranks. So now im commenting on a comment that I commented on about your comment which was about my comment. Neat stuff huh?
  • + 0
 @bmoore34:

Bah

Mobile view makes it tough to see that you were replying to something Smile
  • + 3
 Instead of rub marks on my cranks I will be replacing my shoes twice a season. Silly product is silly
  • + 1
 I have seen those cranks in person they are nice, very detailed machining super stiff and light with the adjustable oval rings they are sweet!!
  • + 2
 Those Vittorio tires look nice. I Don't know anything about Vittorio tires though.
  • + 5
 They're like other tires... with less grip
  • + 3
 Never tried their mtb tyres, but their road tyres are next level. The Open Corsa SC was tested fastest rolling and most grippy tyre, even faster than tyres like the GP4000s II. Especially grip wise I love them. I now have a temporary GP4000s II front tyre since it came stock on my bike, but I will replace it soon with a Vittoria Open Corsa SC, mainly because of how much more grip it has and that it feels so much safer while going fast through tight corners.

Not even speaking about the Vittoria Corsa Speed, their newest road bike tyre. It is the fastest rolling road tyre in the world, that used new techniques with molding in new materials into the rubber.



TL;DR: Haven't tried Vittoria mtb tyres yet, but their road tyres are the best you can get.
  • + 1
 @Mattin: off "road bike"
  • + 3
 "a cross-country tire designed with wet conditions in mind, but not necessarily full-out mud. Picture those rainy days when it's still great to get out on the trails, but not so muddy that things turn into a messy slog fest." Next up: a special tread for those dry days, but just a bit cloudy, with light winds. The perfect addition to your quiver of hyper-specific tires. Big Grin
  • + 2
 The crank arm guards are for when you're throwing sick whips and want some foot padding
  • + 1
 I use them to help catch the bike on my tail whips. It gets a little hairy on those triple whips.
  • + 1
 Surprised they didn't show the titanium driver for the hub. It's a beautiful piece of machinery made by White Industries. Cool to see their products being spec'd
  • + 2
 $2500. Twenty five Hundred dollar mountain bike wheels. The new normal.
  • + 2
 Close call, and thanks @bmoor34. I was just about to order some.
  • + 1
 The wheels are cool.... if only they didn't cost as much as my complete bike....
  • + 1
 Vittoria has jumped on the band wagon to kill 26 also.
  • + 1
 + size wheels
- amount of spokes
  • + 0
 And totally scooping that raptor

Phew. No raceface ;p
  • + 0
 mike levy- is it as dead in the hall as it was at outer?
  • + 1
 *Vittoria
  • - 3
 Roll over laughing fuck

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