| French brand Labyrinth have begun to appear on more radars recently with Sabrina Jonnier's use of the Minotaur on the World Cup circuit.|
Matt Wragg recently caught up with Sabrina to chat about her bike (check that article out here
). We love the cutouts on the frame which allows access to all bolts for checking pre race run which is all too often overlooked on many supposed race bikes. Two dropout options enable chainstay length to be adjusted between 438mm & 445mm while an angleset up front enables riders to move away in either direction from the 63.5 degree nominal. A carbon fender is available to protect the shock while shock options are either a BOS Stoy R or the Void Air as shown on Sabrina's bike.Agile AM
| The Agile has been around for a few years now but with increased focus and notice going to the Minotaur it's definitely overdue a closer look.|
The key to Labyrinth's 150mm travel trail bike is the Progression Link which allows for the first 40mm travel to be supple and provide supreme traction, steadying for the midstroke, before ramping heavily in the last 30mm to ensure that bottom out is smooth and well controlled. Marzocchi's Roco Air is the stock shock with the option of a BOS Void. Both 10mm and 12x142mm dropouts are available, an increasingly common feature of bikes like this which enables users to pick the wheels they feel suit their needs, and pockets, best. ISCG mounts and dropper post routing points finish off a well rounded all mountain option.
Kore have been on the bounce the past few years and are becoming a feature on more riders bikes. Drawn in by the lure of draught beer, here we have some of the products which caught our eye the most while on stand from their Mega (enduro), Durox (all mountain) and Torsion (downhill) ranges.
Mega & Durox wheels
| The Mega wheelset (top right) are 2046g per pair based on the 463g sleeved rims by the same name which come in at 22.5mm wide (internal). Available in both 26" and 650B to suit all front axle dimensions and both 135mm/142mm at the rear the heavy duty AM wheels look good and should prove to be a tough combination, running smoothly on their sealed cartridge bearing hubs.|
The Durox (top left) is lighter at 1817g for the pair and is based around the welded 430g rim which, at 21mm wide, is also available as a standalone. The upgraded rim is not only lighter, it also allows further weight savings to be attained thanks to direct UST compatibility. The cassette moves from steel to aluminium while axle options are the same as with the Mega.
The Torsion SL (bottom) is Kore's gravity wheelset which comes in at 2112g for the pair and feature a steel freehub body mated to 599g rims with a 26mm internal width. Only available in 26" to suit a 20mm front and 150mm rear axle.
Torsion SX V2 Pedals & Fazer Ti saddle
| These Torsion pedals come in a 426g and feature 40 grub screw pins. The seals feel tight which should hopefully lead to a long life and, although not ground breakingly thin, they're thin enough to feel good underfoot while still allowing for decent sized bearings and bushes to be used. The Fazer saddles are available with both Cr-Mo and Ti rails, coming in at 250g and 221g respectively. They feel and look sturdy and should be able to cope with everything from all mountain riding to downhill racing thanks to their svelte profile but sufficient padding and well thought out shape. |
Torsion DM stem, OCD 800mm bars & Repute stem
| Every manufacturer has a direct mount stem in the stable and if they don't, they should. Kore's Torsion is 128g, zero rise and 50mm long, utilising a three piece design to save weight. The Repute stem is available in both 35mm and 50mm lengths and to suit traditional 31.8mm oversized or the new 35mm standard which seems to be proving popular among manufacturers if Eurobike is anything to go by. The OCD Bar too is available in both these sizes, it's 800mm width being particularly suited to the new size. With several colours, 20mm, 25mm and 35mm rise options there is certainly no shortage of choice. As claimed by the originators of the 35mm standard, the M35 size bars are lighter than their 31.8mm brethren; 257g vs 285g.|
| There isn't much to say about the Intense M9 other than it's a World Cup proven design from a World Cup proven company. Intense may not be the biggest company but they punch above their weight and produce some great bikes. This dayglo orange example follows on from the dayglo yellow frame shown last year which shows off all the adjustment afforded, including wheelbase, travel and progression rate.|
| The Carbine first appeared in 2011 but we can't help showing it to you again, the sub 6lb trail frame with 6" travel just looks so damn good|
Votec VM150 Elite
| 'I have a bike I'd like to show you' is often a phrase you'll hear at Eurobike, especially when wearing a Pinkbike tee.|
So when Steffen Gronegger introduced himself I was already mentally looking for escape routes I'm ashamed to say. But when his business card was pressed into my hand my interest increased for it bore the name Votec, a brand I'd long assumed dead, but one which I remembered from my early days with the sport in the nineties. It took us most of the show to actually meet up but manage it we did and here's the bike. Votec is now under the management of InternetStores.de
in Stuttgart, and can be likened to the Nukeproof brand under the Chain Reaction umbrella of companies. Featuring in house design and production in the far east promises both competitive pricing and high quality which is a winner on both counts.
| In development for a while, this VM150 is a striking and rather appealing looking design which weighs in at 12.8kg which, for a 150mm trail bike, seems pretty on the money in our books.|
At €2,999 for this Elite model coming with a full complement of XTR Trail drivetrain, Formula R1 brakes and Fox suspension it's something of a bargain too, if you can call a multi thousand euro/dollar bike that. Horst Link suspension is proven and should provide a well controlled ride - we're trying to arrange an extended test on the bike as soon as we can. Custom hardware, a Sytnace 142mm rear axle and secure cable routing round out a well thought out bike that has some neat touches and neater welding.
Evil Eye Half Rim Pro & Evil Eye Pro
| Sported by Darren Barrecloth, the Evil Eye Halfrim Pro is the top dog pair of riding glasses from Adidas. These Hans Rey editions are limited to just 25 pairs worldwide and are to celebrate his Wheels for Life charity. Pinkbike has two pairs of these which you will be able to win in a competition which will be appearing soon. Adjustment is key with these glasses. Seen below (on the full framed Evil Eye Pro) are the adjustable arms which can be snapped into three different positions to fit your face perfectly while there is similar customisation available on the nose piece. Available in both small and large frame sizes it's entirely possible that these are the most custom fitted pair of glasses you're likely to find. The foam backed sweat blocker is removeable and the lenses interchangeable by sliding the tabs at either side back to open the locking mechanism. We think Adidas deserve a lot of credit for making eyewear that not only looks good but also brings a lot of innovative features to their products.|
| The ID2 Pro is another Adidas product to feature innovation with a unique take on lens technology. Rather than your regular thin goggle lenses these are significantly tougher, and more akin to the lenses you'll find in your sunglasses. The double lens arrangement is unique too, the top lens snapping easily into place and enabling quick transition from light to dark by running a lighter lens underneath (seen top right). The frame floats from a centre point which should enable it to fit well in most helmets while still remaining in perfect contact with your face. Shown here are the MG, neon green & matt crystal designs which we thought stood out the best. If you fancy something a bit different from the regular goggles then the Adidas ID2 Pro is very much worth a look.|
(Bottom left) Made in Austria is a stamp that Adidas are proud to put on their goggles.
Prologo feature CPC F1 Technology
| Prologo isn't a name likely to have tripped from the tongue of your average mountain biker but there was some interesting technology on their stand which has seen action in the Formula World for several years. CPC; Connect Power Control. Prologo call it a non-structural shock absorber which is essentially mini 'volcano' like structures on the surface of both gloves and saddles which not only dampen vibration but also provide an increase in grip. It is in this latter area that it has seen use in Formula 1 where it is applied to the palm of drivers' gloves for improved traction with less pressure required to maintain control. Although seen above on a short finger glove, will we see it featuring on a gravity glove soon? It's certainly low profile enough and could be very interesting to try in wet and dirty conditons where it can be an absolute nightmare to maintain your grip. In hand at the show it certainly felt like it could offer an advantage. Featured on the XC saddle (blue) the downhill saddle (white) eschews this and instead opts for a more standard embossed finish for added grip.|
Bionic Neck Support (BNS) Composite and Carbon
| On the right is the composite 'Special Blend', a neck brace based on a structure of strengthened polyurethane and EVA foam padding which, like all neck braces, is designed to reduce the risk of neck injury by limiting extreme movements in a crash. Where Leatt and others open from the side the Alpinestars BNS rotates on a magnesium hinge at the back and makes for easy dismantling should both for travel and emergency removal. In our experience it's lower profile in the shoulders compared to the Leatt and this can make it a better option for those who prefer a little more motion side to side, or have shorter necks. Here the composite version is shown with a custom Alpinestars 'Gravity Viola' graphics set. To the left is the BNS Carbon which reduces weight but retains all the key features of the lower priced model.|
Comp Pro & Bionic Jacket
| Both the Comp Pro and the Bionic here are designed to work in conjunction with the Bionic Neck Support and, as such, minimise or remove entirely any mismatch that can sometimes cause riders to hack apart their body armour to get a comfortable fit.|
The Comp Pro (left) is a lightweight, soft armour, which features a removeable chest piece to work in conjunction with the BNS. Short sleeve it provides shoulder, back and chest protection as well as a kidney belt.
The Bionic Jacket (right) is an all encompassing upper jacket which features removeable sleeves mated to hard shell protection throughout, a cutaway around the neck enabling the BNS to mate perfectly. A kidney belt is there along with low profile shoulder protection. Mesh keeps it breathable and lycra panels elsewhere keep the fit snug to prevent excess movement in use.
Alps & Moab Knee Protectors
| A hard shell design, the Moab Knee Protector (right) utilises the same technology Alpinestars developed for their MotoGP armour. Silicone printing on the sleeve at your thigh helps prevent movement in combination with the straps while biofoam is dual density and provides additional impact protection.|
The Alps Kevlar Knee (left) in contrast is soft shell and rather than offering integral shin protection as the Moab does, this is incorporated via a velcro-off additional section so that you have the choice; wear shorts and include the additional protection to guard against rock strikes, leave off if wearing trousers. It all adds to the versatility of the protection on offer from Alpinestars.
| New for 2013 the Stratus glove is a mid-weight offering which looks to be ideal with the colder months not that far away. The upper is constructed from a wind and waterproof softshell fabric while the thumb is fleece covered for the obligatory snot wipe mid ride. A thermal lining keeps things warm and, while minimal, there are additional panels of padding on the palm to keep your hands warm even when the conditions are less than favourable. Given that we're thinking these to be ideal for Scottish riding all year round they should find favour anywhere that gets less than tropical winters, or summers for that matter.|
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