New bikes and new brands Popping up Everywhere
Revel Bikes, launched by seven industry veterans, debuted their 165mm travel 27.5" wheel Ra
il and 130mm travel Rascal, both sporting Canfield CBF suspension. Lone Bicycles, another start-up, showed the Parabellum,
a 163mm-travel aluminum bike that can switch between 27.5" and 29 inch wheels without altering its geometry. Chromag debuted a wild, Brit-style
steel hardtail, the Doctahawk,
which is about as long and slack as we have seen on a bike with a rigid rear end. YT officially launched their Tues 29
DH bike. NS bikes announed their new Fuzz DH 29er
. Niner released their 140mm travel RIP-9 RDO
in both 29 and 27.5-inch wheel sizes. Kolly launched their first 29er, the Fugitive,
a capable aggressive trail bike with either 120 or 135 millimeters of rear-wheel travel. And, the Athertons showed us the first complete DH bike
in their new Atherton Bikes range. That's a lot of fresh hardware launching in only the second month of 2019, which leaves us wondering how many more we'll see in Spring, when the new bike season really starts up?
SRAM debuts AXS Wireless Eagle transmission & RockShox Reverb
The long-awaited AXS wireless-electric transmission from SRAM looks very promising, as does its companion, the RockShox wireless remote Reverb. Electrophiles who have been begging for a wireless option will be applauding SRAM for taking the fight to Shimano Di2 XTR.
Shimano's Di2 uses one battery and one wire to both power and communicate between its shifting components, while SRAM AXS has batteries at each station and communicates without wires. Time will tell if AXS can match the impressive reliability of Di2, but each system has merit and both offer superior shifting,
The elephant in the room, however, is whether their combined force can develop sufficient thrust to prevail over mechanically actuated derailleurs. So far, Di2 has been locked in a holding pattern between electronic shifting's lovers and haters. SRAM's debut could generate enough traction to break that polarity.
Fantasy Team Owners
PB launches fantasy leagues for downhill, cross country and the EWS
Aaron Gwin is only a DH team owner. Play your cards right, and you could own a successful World Cup downhill and
a World Cup cross country team, as well as a championship winning EWS team. February, Pinkbike extended our fantasy league contest to include all three disciplines. That means you could pull off a trifecta and be sitting on top of a pile of valuable prizes. To win, however, you'll have to manage a budget, know the players, and dive into the stats. Build your teams now, the racing season is almost upon us. Start here: Fantasy DH
, Fantasy XC
, Fantasy EWS.
Seriously injured in training
Cecile Ravanel was unchallenged last year, winning every round of the EWS series This February, a terrible crash while training has sidelined the phenomenally talented Commencal racer. In her words:
Performance Bike Shop employees
Advanced Sports Enterprises closes all US stores
All of Performance Bicycle's brick-and-mortar stores are expected to close over the course of the next few weeks, the result of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings involving Advanced Sports Enterprises (ASE). ASE was the owner of Performance and Bike Nashbar, and was also the parent company of Fuji, Kestrel, SE, Breezer Bikes and Tuesday Cycle. Performance was the largest bicycle retailer in the United States, with over 100 locations spread across the country. Reportedly, at least 95 employees will lose their jobs in the wake of the disaster.
A consortium has made a bid for Performance's on-line business, but there are no plans to salvage any of the nationwide chain of retail stores.
PB has issues with one of their strongest wheelsets at the worst possible time
Enve's M735E wheels are intended to bludgeoned by e-bike riders who use the 50 pound motorized bikes to self-shuttle DH trails all day long. Pinkbike test riders broke two sets of the wheels, and to their credit Enve replaced both. We called it quits after Enve dutifully sent a third pair.
We acknowledge that thousands happily ride Enve's $3,000 wheels without issue, but for some reason, PB has never hit it off well with their hoops. Our test riders have suffered significant failures in previous tests. Our dour review of the M735E wheels, however, was posted at a most awkward moment. Reportedly, Enve's parent company has been looking to sell the Utah-based manufacturer in addition to its other cycling assets - bad timing all around.