Once a year, journalists from around the world are invited to meet one-on-one with bike industry folks and to test their wares in beautiful Park City, Utah. It's called Press Camp and the event has become an opportunity for Pinkbike to spend time with friends and to gather intel' on products in clean air and a relaxed surrounding. It doesn't hurt that the trail network at the ski resort here has been acclaimed to be one of North America's top ten bike playgrounds either. Grab a beverage, sit back, and enjoy a taste of the Press Camp adventure.
Kali Protectives founder and chief designer Brad Waldron beats last year's freestyle helmet with a club to demonstrate that its poly-carbonate shell can be dented easily. To the right, a look at Kali's three-sided pyramid EPS foam design that is molded into the helmet to dissipate impacts. Kali has begun to in-mold a skeleton inside some of its helmets to position key elements of the helmet during the construction process (lower right).
Kali's newest full face for 2014 is the carbon fiber Shiva. It passes DOT tests at 900 grams, which techncally will certify it for moto use as well as MTB. Shiva helmets use Kali's in-molded Composite Fusion Three liner that incorporates the new pyramidal layer and a thin, shock absorbing material against the head. Price will be around $499.
Brad thinks helmets should be as thin as possible without sacrificing protection - and he knows skate-style helmets get tossed around, so Kali designed the first in-molded helmet with an ABS shell. It uses the same Composite Fusion System as Kali's top DH lid. It's called the Viva and Brad whacked it hard with the Kali stick without phasing it. The Viva weighs 422 grams in the large size. Price is $59.
Affordable DH Bike From Mongoose
Mongoose has re-entered the performance bike market with a plan to sell directly to its customers online. The benefits are simple: Mongoose buyers can communicate directly with Mongoose about technical questions they may have before and after purchasing a bike, and Mongoose can handle warranty claims personally. The bike that caught our eye, the Boot'r downhiller, is not new to the Mongoose line, but it looks pretty darn good for its $2600 sticker price.
Mongoose Boot'R Details:
Mongoose sells its entry-level DH sled with a RockShox Domain fork, an X-Fusion Vector Coil shock, Hayes Prime Sport brakes (200mm rotors), SRAM X9/X7 transmission and a SRAM Ruktion crankset complete with bash ring and chain guide. Wheels are sturdy Alex Freeride and the Funn handlebar is an 800 millimeters wide. Tires are two-ply Kenda Excavators in the 2.5 DH width.
• Aluminum frame with Free Drive suspension system, 200mm travel
• X-Fusion Vector HLR 200 mm shock
• Rock Shox Domain R 200 mm travel triple clamp Maxle fork
• SRAM drivetrain, Ruktion 36 crank, X9 rear derailleur and X7 shifter
• Hayes Prime Sport brakes with 203 mm rotors
• MSRP: $2600
(Clockwise) Mongoose used its Freedrive rear suspension for the Boot'R - a rendition of the GT's proven Independent Drive design. SRAM's Ruktion crankset is not so flashy, but has what it takes - including a bash guard and a roller guide. We liked the Kenda 2.5 inch Stick-E rubber tires and Hayes Prime Sport brakes.
Marzocchi 380 DH fork and Moto C2R Shock
Marzocchi's 888 dual-crown DH fork may have been the best front suspension in its ten-year history if one was to judge its competition based upon ride dynamics. For its 2104 range, Marzocchi replaces the Triple Eight as its top performer with the 380 C2R2 Titanium
, which will be on sale this September. Basically, the 380 C2R2 is a big step up in all respects - suspended by a titanium coil spring, its nickle-plated 38-millimeter aluminum stanchion tubes are externally relieved near the crowns to reduce weight and mete out just the right amount of compliance to give a World Cup athlete an edge in the rocks. The slippery nickle coating is further enhanced by low-friction seals by SKF.
Marzocchi installed its DBC (Dynamic Bleed Cartridge) into the right stanchion tube, with three-stage compression damping. Both rebound and compression are externally adjustable for high and low-speed damping. And it gets better: The 380's all-new lowers are 100 grams lighter (overall, the new fork is 200 grams lighter than the Triple Eight) and it will accept either 26 or 27.5 wheels. The dropouts and 20-millimeter taper-wall axle are keyed together and the clamping system is redesigned to eliminate the 888's aluminum threads. Want more? how about titanium hardware throughout - and a claimed weight of only 6.2 pounds (2795 grams). Price is $1700 USD.
Moto C2R Shock
(clockwise) Low-friction SKF seals are new for 2014. High and low-speed compression is adjustable externally and the damper head can be removed with a thin wrench to re-valve the washer stack without disassembling or draining the fork. Al look at the 30's machined stanchion tubes - and of the new dropouts, which now use threaded inserts to prevent damaged threads.
The final version of Marzocchi's coil-sprung shock looks sharp and is reported to weigh only 369 grams (.8 pounds) without a spring. Unique to the Moto shock is that the valve stacks can be removed and serviced by simply removing the valve body at the IFP reservoir. The aluminum shock shaft has been enlarged to 14 millimeters from 12, and the shaft and eyelet are machined in one piece. There is an air valve in the reservoir head that can be replaced with an optional remote volume-adjuster to control bottom out.
The Moto C2R shock is designed to be user friendly and privateers are encouraged to tune the shock at home or at the track. External damping controls provide for high and low-speed compression and low-speed rebound damping.Unlike the Rocco damper, the spring can be removed and replaced without disassembling the rebound clicker and while steel springs are standard, titanium springs are an option. MSRP is $600 USD with the steel spring.
Marzocchi provides a set-screw (left) to lock the spring preload collar of its Moto C2R shock. The Moto's high and low-speed damping clickers are stacked on the IFP reservoir. Removing the valve body gives access to the damper's shim stacks.
Dave Turner's Original Burner Turns 20 Years Old
Dave Turner's first dual-suspension trailbike was called the 'Burner' and Dave went into production with it in 1993. Twenty years later, the Burner has grown from 80-millimeters of travel to 140 and it's wheels have also grown a little, from 26 to 27.5 inches. To celebrate the birthday of the Burner, Dave brought his family to Park City, cancelled half of his meeting slots every day and went riding. What better way to savor two decades of dual-suspension development than spending three or four hours a day "testing" the latest version of the machine that launched your career. Good going Dave!Burner 275
From the beginning in 1993, the Turner Burner was designed to be the do-it-all trailbike. The new Burner greatly expands that concept. Its dw-link suspension and contemporary geometry make it sharp enough in both the steering and pedaling department to make an XC racer smile, and it offers shovels full of confidence that make descents a hoot.
The Burner 275 was released last year in prototype form at Press Camp with a 67-degree head angle and a bit lower bottom bracket. Dave says that after a full year of testing and listening to customer feedback at Turner demo events, he decided to steepen up the head angle and raise the bottom bracket slightly. The result, he says, is a much more versatile bike that did not give up any of it downhill attributes. Burner 275: By the Numbers
Like all wheel sizes, the outside diameter of a 27.5 (650B) wheel will vary significantly depending upon tire selection, and overall frame geometry can change over one degree with the addition of a fork with a different length stroke. Turner bases the geometry of his Burner 27.5 around a 702-millimeter tire and a fork with an axle-to-crown measurement of 510 millimeters (20 inches). It is worth noting that the larger diameter of the 27.5 wheel and the longer offset of its matching fork deliver similar-to-26-inch-steering when the head-angle is one degree steeper. Turner puts the weight of the frame, ready to go with a Fox CTD shock, between 6.8 and 7.6 pounds ( 3.09 kg - 3.45 kg), depending upon frame size. The frame with shock runs $2195.
(Clockwise) Turner suggests a 150-millimeter fork like the Fox 34 Float CTD for the Burner. Signature CNC machining marks remind us that Turner's frames are still made in small batches in the USA. Turners use a unique bushing arrangement and grease fittings at all pivot points keep them running long and smoothly.
Dave Turner poses with the new Burner 2.75. Turner said that he would not be surprised if the 26-inch wheel went away in three to five years.
Turner brought the Flux back - once a 100-millimeter XC/trail design, it now takes the spotlight with 120-millimeters of travel, 27.5 wheels and a dropped and profiled top tube that boosts stand-over clearance.
So, we hope you enjoyed the first chapter of Pinkbike's Pres Camp adventure. Next, we tour a wheel factory to see how rolls of pre-impregnated carbon fiber become high-performance wheels, take a look at some more bikes, and walk through some must-have (and one or two probably not) accessories.