Schwalbe Jumbo Jim
The new Jumbo Jim is available in both 4'' and 4.8'' widths.
Will fat bikes be the only place we'll see 26" wheels? It's certainly the only genre where the smallest wheel size is continuing to grow, with nearly every major tire brand adding mega-wide rubber to their lineup, including Schwalbe. Their new Jumbo Jim is available in two different widths depending on your needs - 4.0" or 4.8" - and both sizes can be had with either the German brand's SnakeSkin or LiteSkin sidewalls. Fat bike tubes aren't light, so the Jumbo Jim can also be made tubeless quite easily if you're looking to save some grams and improve reliability. Weights range between 990 and 1,290 grams depending on the width and casing.
The Procore system consists of a low pressure outer tube and a high pressure inner tube, and the system works with any rim that's 23mm wide.
The general rule of thumb is that as you go down in air pressure, you also go down in regards to reliability. Schwalbe's Procore system, developed with Syntace, aims to allow riders to run lower air pressure for added traction via a dual chamber layout that employs both a high pressure inner compartment with a low pressure, tube'd outer. The high pressure inner section (in blue in the photo above
) is a separate tube that is to be run between 55 and 85 PSI, and its job is to both provide protection against rim dents and eliminate the chance of burping due to how it helps hold the tire onto the rim. The racers out there will also like how the system should allow them to finish their run in the event of a puncture thanks to the inner chamber still being inflated, although the average guy out on a ride will still need to perform a trailside fix. Schwalbe says that the outer tube can be run as low as 14 PSI to maximize traction, something that simply isn't possible with a more conventional setup, and the entire system is said to weigh 200 grams. The good news is that you don't need to run a Syntace rim or even Schwalbe tires to use Procore, with it being compatible with any rim that sports an internal width of 23mm.
The production version of the Procore system uses a clever valve that allows you to choose which chamber you fill by rotating it, meaning that consumers don't have to drill a secondary valve hole in their rims.
KS LEV Ci
Cross-country dropper - the Ci weighs around 400 grams and sports 65mm of drop.
Most mountain bikes should come with dropper seat posts regardless of their intention, at least in my mind, and we might start seeing exactly that as weights come down and reliability goes up. Coming in just under 400 grams for the 30.9mm model, KS' new LEV Ci is aimed at cross-country riders and racers who want to get their seat out of the way but still run stuff like foam grips and aluminum nipples to make themselves feel better when it comes to grams. The relatively low weight comes courtesy of a carbon outer tube and a carbon fiber head with titanium hardware, although its 65mm of total travel likely means that it won't be the first choice for trail riders out there. KS has also started including Power Cordz cables with their posts for more reliable action in the long run - they're made from rust-proof synthetic material - as well as lightweight Recourse housing that KS says knocks off a 1/3 the weight of standard steel-lined shift housing. KS has had a standard LEV C in the lineup for 2014, but the Ci model shown here utilizes internal cable routing and a redesigned actuation mechanism at the bottom of the post.
Canyon Strive CF
The Strive CF goes from 160mm to 130mm of travel at the push of a button via its Shapeshifter system, and you're not locked into using a proprietary shock.
Enduro racing may be the butt of a lot of jokes lately, but it's also going to be the reason that trail and all-mountain bikes that we'll all be riding in a few years will be so awesome. An EWS racer's needs to be aboard a machine that crushes the downhills but can then also be ridden back up with minimal effort should make for some pretty interesting bikes as things develop further, and Canyon's Shapeshifter technology is one of the more interesting developments in this regard. It uses a supplementary air actuator, hidden mostly out of view behind the rocker arm, that actually changes the location of the upper shock mount in order to alter the leverage. The upper mount moves by just 15mm, which doesn't sound like much, but it takes the Strive CF from 160mm to 130mm of travel, as well as raising the bottom bracket by 19mm and steepening the angles by 1.5 degrees.
The supplementary air actuator is hidden behind the rocker arm, and it controls the bike's travel and angles by changing the location of the upper shock mount.
The Shapeshifter system is controlled via a handlebar mounted remote, with a standard shift cable and housing being run internally through the frame and up to the small air actuator, and a small indicator on the rocker link reminds you what mode you're in. Canyon says that Shapeshifter adds a total of 200 grams to the bike, and that their team has been using the system throughout the 2014 EWS season. The design allows nearly any shock to be used due to the Shapeshifter system being entirely separate from it, meaning that you're not locked into using a proprietary damper.
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The Shapeshifter system appears to be pretty normal until you take a closer look at what's going on, and it's controlled by a small thumb operated remote.