Sea Otter 2008 - Product Launches

Apr 28, 2008
by Tyler Maine  
Each year Sea Otter is a gathering place for media folks to catch glimpses of new products. Some companies let us know ahead of time while others simply surprise everyone. This year was no exception with goods coming out of various camps like SRAM, Fox Shox, Shimano SAINT, FSA, Yeti and Trek to name a few of the big ones.

Here's a look at the goods we were given the opportunity to really look over:Elayna over at Fox Racing Shox had a fancy new 15mmx100mm front thru axle system to show us that has been dubbed 15QR. Shimano and Fox partnered up on this adventure to create a thru axle system for the XC, Trail and light duty All Mountain riders out there looking for more strength over their current open drop out set ups. We all know that a thru axle is stiffer by design, but Shimano and Fox felt that the current 20x110mm option was too over the top for true XC applications, so they set out to create a set up that was better suited to the XC and trail crowd with out the added weight of the 20x110mm version.

15x100mm Thru Axle

15x100mm Thru Axle







In the end a 15x100mm version was developed. Here are their thoughts on this new standard 15QR in terms of Axle Stiffness:

A properly designed thru axle system is going to provide better torsional and transverse sheer performance than an open dropout axle system. Fox and Shimano chose the 15x100 as the appropriate blend of weight, stiffness and packaging for the XC, Trail and light duty All Mountain applications. Axle diameter plays a big theoretical role in predicting system stiffness. In practice however, since there is little to no unsupported axle in any bicycle thru axle system, the axles themselves end up more in sheer and in tension, where cross sectional area and closure method...not diameter...are the key design parameters.

At the end of the day they feel that they have achieved a light and stiff set up for the XC and Trail riding crew looking to step up from open drop outs, but not up to the bigger 20x110mm DH and Freeride Standard for Thru Axles.



A quick stop by Marzocchi to say hi and voila a few more 15QR forks were on display. Their new 44 line up of forks looks to be promising for the Trail riding crew.











One of the longest awaited press releases has to be Shimano's new SAINT revamp. When SAINT hit the market a few years back it was aimed at the freeride crowd and was ready to take a beating. The down side to it was that it had a few of it's own quirks that made if difficult to mix and match with other parts that were non SAINT-like the rear derailleur and hubs. After a lot of work and many late nights at the drawing board Shimano has released the newest rendition of SAINT and it's a beauty. I could go on and on and rehash what they told me, but here are the details straight from the SAINT crew:

New Saint Group: Find Your Flow

The new Shimano Saint group shares some features with the current group such as top-level durability and reliability for extreme mountain biking such as Down Hill, Freeriding and Extreme All Mountain. At the same time, the new group is completely different and promises much more such as increased rigidity and a lightweight design which is in line with the current gravity trend for faster and smoother trails. The appearance of this group is very technical and aggressive, in shiny black and subtle gold-colored details.

4-piston disc brakes-

The Saint disc brakes have been designed from scratch. The result is a choice for dual-diameter 4-piston calipers that provide an incredible 50% more stopping power than the current BR-M800. The calipers have an increased oil flow which makes bleeding a lot easier.


The brake levers feature Servo Wave technology that contributes to the brake power and offers excellent controllability and extra pad clearance as well. The levers feature a tool-free reach adjust and they have a beefy lever blade for optimal control.


Shimano Shadow-

The group includes a Shadow rear derailleur that minimizes the chance to damage the derailleur by hitting any object on the trail. The most remarkable difference with the Deore XT and XTR Shadow derailleurs introduced last year is the super wide inner link that offers the additional stiffness that is very important in gravity. Shimano managed to combine this additional rigidity with a remarkable weight saving of 100 grams compared to the current version.


The Saint rear derailleur has an increased spring tension compared to the other Shimano Shadow derailleurs. Furthermore, it has a bracket switch to select usage with close or wide ratio cassettes. Close ratio cassettes (23-28T lowest gear) are recommended for Down Hill and wide ratio (32-34T lowest gear) for Freeride and All Mountain usage. The Saint Shadow derailleur is available in a short (SS) and a medium (GS) cage version.

Rapidfire Plus shifters-

The gravity -oriented Rapidfire Plus shifters have been designed to combine a crisp shift feeling with 1-finger braking. They feature a short release lever stroke and Instant Release technology for a fast and direct response. Of course these shifters also feature 2-Way Release technology that allows the release lever to be operated in two directions. The new Saint shifters have been developed with an
adjustable bracket to allow inboard and outboard mounting. Last but not least, they have an excellent mud shedding design.


Cranksets-

The Saint cranksets will be much lighter and even more rigid than current versions. There will be options for single and double chainrings. Both have been developed with HOLLOWTECH II technology and feature an extreme heavy duty spider arm and spindle. The new
crank arm design allows more ankle clearance and the "honeycomb" designed bash guard has a great impact resistance. It has a steel pedal thread insert for extra rigidity.


Single chainring options:34/36/38/40/42T.
Double: 36 x 22T compact drive crankset for All Mountain usage offers a wide gear ratio and a narrower Q-factor.

Front derailleur-

Saint includes a double specific mountain bike front derailleur, designed to perform with a 36x22T compact drive crankset. It has a very compact size with increased stiffness and improved clearance of the chain, chain stay and rear tire for an optimal compatibility with all kinds of full suspension frames. A wider and lower positioned inner plate reduces the chance of chain drop considerably.

Hub and freehub-

The new Saint hub and freehub are around 100 grams lighter than current versions and they feature a standard size center lock mount which saves weight while maintaining strength. The hub has been provided with fully adjustable and easy serviceable cup and cone bearings. Over Locknut Dimension (OLD) is 110mm and they feature a 20mm through axle for an ultra stiff fork/hub combination.


The bearings of the freehub have been positioned wider apart for increased stiffness. The freehub body has been developed with Shimano's quick engagement technology that results in increased performance especially in technical terrain. The Saint freehub will be available in two versions: 135mm OLD in combination with a 10mm or 12mm through axle and 150mm OLD with a 12mm through axle. Sealings have been further improved for 400% better durability.

The new Saint: lighter, stiffer, better. Enjoy the ride and "Find your Flow."

Fully equipped SAINT bike at the Shimano booth

Fully equipped SAINT bike at the Shimano booth


Availability in the market: August 2008

If you are still curious to see how the new SAINT is working, here is a sick video put together by the Collective featuring Thomas Vanderham in Utah doing some R & D for Shimano:

Views: 27,104    Faves: 493    Comments: 122

Proving Ground with Thomas Vanderham



The crew at FSA brought a bunch of us together to have a look at BB30-a new standard in bottom bracket shell design and crank specs. BB30 has been around for a few years with Cannondale leading the innovation, but now more companies are getting on board and FSA is helping with the push. Key features to BB30:

BB30 is lighter-by eliminating the BB cups and using an alloy spindle, the weight of the crank and BB assembly can be reduced by up to 12%.


BB30 is narrower-with the bearings inside the BB shell, the width of the crank at the spindle is reduced, increasing ankle clearance.

BB30 is stiffer-the oversized spindle increases the stiffness of the crankset. New EFBe testing dramatically shows these resutls.


BB30 is more durable-BB30 bearings are significantly larger than those used in other systems, resulting in longer bearing life.






This is obviously more geared to the road and XC crowd, but the FSA's brand Gravity was also on hand showing their DH/Freeride offering for the 68/73mm BB crowd.


Views: 8,131    Faves: 0    Comments: 0




Luc's coverage of the SRAM media camp can be viewed here -https://www.pinkbike.com/news/2009SRAMProductsSeaOtter.html

Tyler's coverage of the Trek Session 88 launch can be viewed here -https://www.pinkbike.com/news/trek-session-88-launch-2008.html
Views: 10,241    Faves: 7    Comments: 2


Pinkbike.com's coverage of the new Yeti bikes can be seen here -https://www.pinkbike.com/news/yeti-releases-new-proto-bikes-2008.html
Views: 6,992    Faves: 3    Comments: 1


Last but not least I want to leave you with a little video of the driving we went through to get to Sea Otter 2008. It was all over the map and so were we with 4200 new kilometers getting put on the truck and our asses were also seated in the truck for some 53 hours of driving time all to get to the big show and home again. Here's the view from the road, next year we're flying!

Views: 1,899    Faves: 0    Comments: 3


-Tyler, Jordan, Radek, Fiona and Danice


43 Comments

  • + 12
 sick
i love the new look on saints i want the new cranks so bad, iv got the old ones and their epic!Smile
  • + 0
 How much lighter are the new saint cranks than the current ones??
  • + 0
 alot Razz
  • + 3
 15mm axle? Is that a joke? Great. Creation of a whole new size front wheel hub that makes for even more hassle when buying wheels...that's exactly what we need. All to save a couple grams.
  • + 0
 it's not to save grams. it's a specific product for a particular usage.
do you ever mistakenly buy 16" kiddie bike tubes instead of 26" ones? how likely is someone to "mistakenly" buy a 15mm hub when they need a 20mm?
hassle nothing. buyer beware.
  • + 0
 But why? What's the point of the new size then if it's not to save grams? Why not continue with the standard that actually exists of 20mm?
  • + 1
 Well...I think Fox just sold more Pikes than Sram ever thought possible. What a cock up! I think this one might rival Shimano's Biopace (for those old enough to remember or the poor soul that bought a used bike with one).
  • + 0
 Hahahah my dad's gf has a beater bike at her cabin with biopace, I got a good laugh out of it last summer when I volunteered to tune up their bikes. Too funny! My buddy has biopace on his old beater bike too, it's pretty hilarious.
  • + 1
 if you don't want to use a 15mm fork don't buy it. It's very simple. Fox makes 29er forks. If you don't ride a 29er you don't buy one. It's the same idea. Just more options. I'm getting one for sure!
  • + 1
 Shimano is doing some really cool stuff this year. Thank god SRAM got good enough to keep them on their toes! I like it when things get simpler and more reliable... cause it sure has gone the other way a few times.
  • + 0
 Sh*t weather you guys drove through! Way to go the extra mile for all of us viewers! New Saint stuff is rad. Looks like Trek is starting to justify the expenditure of Andrew Shandro with a nice looking bike. I agree with biking85 above- although it will be nice to have the added security of ditching open dropouts, "creation of a whole new size front wheel hub that makes for even more hassle when buying wheels". Looks like a new void in the roof rack market.
  • + 2
 wow, i think shimano has gone from mediocre to insane. all of that stuff looks amazing.
  • + 1
 super stupid 15mm axel, deal with the extra 50 grames from the 20mm . absolutly stupid and making things much more complecated for no reasoning.
  • + 1
 I'm glad they got rid of all that proprietary saint shit. Making you use their stupid hub if you want the derailleur was just a dick move
  • + 0
 .....but it looks like you still have to use their rotors if you want to run a Saint hub.
  • + 0
 not if u get a centre lock/six bolt convertor
  • + 0
 doesn't exist... Saint uses oversize centerlock, unless they got rid of that too, which would make me happy
  • + 0
 totally agree. it would be nice to mix and match some shimano components with some other hubs
  • + 0
 2008 saint will be using normal size centerlock splines so you can use the six bolt converter if you want
  • + 0
 the new saint- awesome the 15qr- comeplete bs the fsa cgravity cranks- crap the trek session- awesome the new yetis- frickin sweet
  • + 0
 Cranks looked riced. How long is that paint gonna stay like that?
Gold features don't match in, especially on levers. Centrelock is annoying.
  • + 1
 the video with thomas vanderham was really good, that line was sick and the new saint stuff looks cool.
  • + 2
 niquer tous vos maman les putes
  • + 0
 Does any one know what bars are in the picture after the last pic of the saint derailuer
  • + 0
 holy everything absolutly saint! lmao awesome bike
  • + 0
 hell yeah a 15mm fox 32Big Grin I wish they were 20mmFrown
  • + 0
 LMFAO How much gas did you guys pay for?
  • + 0
 wow - your highways are ugly!
  • + 0
 i wish my saint cranks were like that Frown awsome paint jod
  • + 0
 That session 88 is so sweet.
  • + 0
 the streets...don't know the song
  • + 0
 the streets - turn the page
  • + 1
 on a different note...does anyone have any gripe with a 12mm axle? Whats the need for a 15mm, other than an increase in ridgidity and lateral stiffness that, to be honest, nobody will ever notice over 12mm
  • + 0
 What's the song in the last vid please ?
  • + 0
 the streets - turn the page
  • + 1
 i need this saintpaket
  • - 3
 saint gear is super sweet except that ugly bashguard realy behind the times with the look of that bashguard however thats minor when the rest of the groupset looks stunning!!!
  • - 2
 oh man i hate when companies make their parts only compatable with their own parts, but if i could afford all them i would be stoked lol
  • + 0
 I own a shop and when I see tiny companies trying to do things totally differently I cringe. When I see Shimano and Fox doing something I assume it will become standard. Traditional QR front axles are crap and a new standard for light/strong/rigid fork hubs has to start somewhere...
  • + 0
 i agree, but that saint vid with vanderham was sweet.
  • - 1
 Song of the last vid:
Trun the page - The Streets
  • - 3
 when will the saint stuff be available and in production
  • + 5
 I read the whole thing and this is what I found:

Availability in the market: August 2008

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