EightyHD, 661, Vittoria - Sea Otter 2015

Apr 19, 2015 at 21:38
by Mike Levy  

EightyHD's FOX Crowns and DH Stems


Want to spice up your FOX 40? EightyHD's upper and lower replacement fork crowns are a direct-fit replacement for what comes stock with FOX's DH fork, and they're designed, manufactured, and assembled in the USA. The raw material is US-sourced 6061-T6 aluminum, and the upper crown has standard mounting for a direct mount stem, while the steerer tube is clamped in place at the lower crown rather than being press-fit into it. This means that you can replace the steerer tube (which is also made in the US, by the way) if the old steerer has been damaged or if you're moving the fork to a new bike and it's too short.

The crowns feature the same offset as the stock FOX versions, so there's no playing around with handling differences as you'd find with some aftermarket dirt bike crowns, and they're also no lighter. EightyHD sells the standard crown set with steel bolts for $275 USD, or you can shave some grams by going with aluminum bolts for an extra $25 USD (the steerer clamp bolt is steel on both for reliability reasons). Both are available in a handful of different colours.


EightyHD
The EightyHD FOX crowns don't change the bike's geometry or save weight, but they do look great.
EightyHD
The steerer tube is clamped in place rather than being pressed in.


EightyHD also offers two different direct mount stems: their 50mm option retails for $110 USD, while the mega-short Moto stem has either 0 or 10mm of reach depending on setup and retails for the same price. Both are also designed and manufactured in the US, and clamp 31.8mm handlebars only. The Moto stem's rearmost faceplate bolts do double duty by also clamping the stem onto the crown, while EightyHD has gone with separate bolts for the forward handlebar and mountings. Just as with the FOX fork crowns, there are loads of colour options to choose from.


EightyHD
Their 50mm direct mount stem is a simple, sturdy looking component.
EightyHD
With either 0 or 10mm of reach, the Moto stem is best suited to bikes with long top tubes.






New Protection from 661


661's lineup hasn't seen much in the way of new and exciting kit for the past few years, but 2016 has the company making a big push by debuting an entirely new line of protective gear. This includes redesigned elbow, knee and knee/shin pads, new shorts, and even a zip-up jacket with built-in padding that can also accept a bladder located over the rider's back.


661
  The Rage is all-new for 2016, with more protection and both hard and soft shell versions.


The company's new Rage pads are available in both soft and hardshell versions, with the plastic shell of the latter on the outside of the knee so that the rider will slide instead of stopping dead when they hit the ground, which actually came about as direct feedback from 661 racer Loic Bruni. The pads also offer more protection that extends farther above and below the knee compared to the old Rage offering, and 661 has added foam protection on both sides of the knee - ever bruised the side of your leg from banging it on your bike's top tube? That's exactly what it's for. Kevlar is used for the Rage's skin, a mesh back keeps you a bit cooler than if 661 went with something less breathable, and a calf strap has been positioned to sit just above the muscle to help hold the pad up. Both the soft and hard shell models are available in a standard knee-only version for $70 USD, or a longer knee/shin combo for $85 USD.


661
  The Comp AM is 661's low-cost knee pad.


With an MSRP of $45 USD, the new Comp AM pads are a less expensive alternative to the pricier Rage, although they also offer a bit less protection. They're based on a soft-shell design that should make them more pedal-friendly, although 661 says that the internal padding does harden up in a flash when it's struck. The pads are slip-on, so you'll have to take off your shoes to get them up your leg, but a Velcro upper band can be adjusted in tension in order to fine tune the fit.


661
  661's new Padlock design integrates shoulder protection into their EVO jacket, and knee protection into their padded short.


The EVO jacket is all about full-on protection for a rider who's in the bike park or doing shuttles, and it has been developed with help from Lapierre phenom Loic Bruni - he's one of the few World Cup racers who will often wear some sort of upper body protection under his jersey. 661 has put D30 all over the place, including the shoulders and back, to allow the jacket to move with the body until you need it to firm up, and there's breathable foam padding used over the chest area. A long, skinny pocket has been designed into the jacket's back piece that allows the rider to slid in a bladder full of water, and guides route the hose up and over the shoulder so you can reach the mouthpiece when you need to.

More interesting is the EVO's Padlock system that sees slim snaps used for its integrated shoulder pads that can be easily added or removed, and the same system has been employed on the company's shorts to hold their Rage kneepads in place. The snaps themselves are very shallow so as not to leaves bruises behind if you land on them, and they're positioned so that the Velcro strap runs over the snap for even more protection. Pretty clever.






Vittoria's 'Inner Tubular' System


Vittoria has been experimenting with a two-chamber tire and 'inner tube' setup that's similar in concept to Schwalbe's two-chamber Procore system, although Vittoria's design is much simpler at this stage in its development. In fact, this very early prototype is more of a proof-of-concept than a purpose built system, and Vittoria is still thinking about if such a setup is actually needed in these days of very reliable tubeless tire and rim combos. After all, I can run a high-volume tire on a wide rim at under 20 PSI (depending on the terrain and conditions) and have zero issues and massive amounts of traction. Vittoria is trying to figure out if a two-chamber system needed, and if it's worth the 120 gram (in their case) weight addition.


Vittoria
You're looking at a tubular tire (without tread) being used as a high-pressure, small diameter inner tube to create a two-chamber system.
Vittoria
The tubular tire's cotton casing keeps the latex tube from expanding, which allows the outer section to run between 10 and 20 PSI and the tubular to be inflated between 50 and 80 PSI.


Vittoria's Ken Avery has come up with a rough prototype to try and answer those questions, and while his early take on a two-chamber design is built using basically off the shelf parts, he says that it's allowed him to put plenty of time on the concept. Vittoria manufactures 900,000 tubular tires per year, and Avery simply went and grabbed a size-appropriate tubular tire off of the assembly line before the rubber tread was put on, but he's also had a rubber sealing element added to the base of its threaded valve stem. The treadless tubular weighs about 120 grams, and its cotton construction keeps the thin latex tube inside of it from expanding - it's volume means that it sits just proud of the rim, which provides protection from rock strikes, but it also doesn't apply too much pressure on the rim's sidewalls when pumped up as high as 80 PSI.

Avery has been running between 50 and 80 PSI in the 'inner tubular', and between 10 and 20 PSI in the tire itself. Inflating that tire does require that a hole is drilled in the rim for a second valve stem, which he then uses to inflate and seat the tire before filling the inner tubular, and while drilling a second hole in a relatively inexpensive aluminum rim won't scare many people, he does realize that doing the same thing to a carbon rim that can cost as much as $900 USD will be a different story for most people. There's a good chance that Vittoria will come up with a single valve stem solution if they end up taking the system to production, though.


Be sure to check out all of our Sea Otter Classic images in this gallery.


82 Comments

  • + 197
 275 bucks to upgrade the color of fork clamps... i bet the guy who buys those is also the guy who buys that titanium hammer!!
  • + 96
 You're probably correct.
  • + 15
 lol atleast provide different offsets or something !!
  • + 37
 Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't aluminum bolts threading into an aluminum part be a recipe for galled threads?
  • + 11
 I imagine if you needed a longer steerer for a bike, it wouldn't be too far off the cost of a new FOX crown/steerer unit.
  • + 5
 It would probably cost less to re-anodize you original crowns! Hahaha
  • + 4
 @six66 Yeah it would.
  • + 5
 yep, you can pay an extra 25 bucks for the privilege of destroying your threads !
  • + 4
 You are correct. It's wise to use copper-paste on that thread.
  • + 5
 Risse Racing makes some for way cheaper. And they offer multiple colors too.
  • + 7
 Thinking about it more, wouldn't this be a poor application for aluminum bolts regardless? Properly tensioned, bolts are designed to stretch, and aluminum is much more brittle than steel. I don't think I'd want aluminum bolts to be holding my fork together..
  • + 39
 on the + side, we didn't have to read about the new tire size in this article!
  • + 3
 They look pretty sick honestly. I imagine that's the reason they use the steel bolt on the critical steerer bolt, the pinch bolts around the stanchions don't see much stress. Look at stock fox bolts, small, and don't require much torque.
  • + 1
 Risse Racing will not sell you anything. Read reviews on their stuff. People buy, and then never receive product. These guys are actual riders who care about their customers.
  • + 7
 I do think it's really cool that they source and manufacture domestically.
  • + 4
 www.pinkbike.com/u/fousttuningworks/album/FTW-Bikes

I've ran eightyHD stems and crowns on all my bikes and never had any thread issues etc.... I love the product, but even more I love the people behind it. Don't just assume because you've read something, try the product out and see for your self.
  • + 8
 Those crowns look so badass with the Kashima coming through. $275 seems pretty reasonable to me. I'm digging that style for a stem and the matching holes between everything. Just simple and clean and Made in USA for the win. Nice to see a different approach to the aftermarket for the upcoming season, will definitely keep these guys in mind.
  • + 2
 If you can afford a 1700 fork 275 for crowns is no stretch. It's not just changing the color, it's billet, looks sick and supports craftsmanship and American made, something you don't get to say all too often anymore. The replaceable steer tube is a great idea if you ever want to swap the fork onto another bike. You can still anodize/powder coat your stock crowns, but at the end of the day they're still stock, and were designed to be mass produced and keep costs down. I'd rock the eightyHD crown/stem combo in a heartbeat.
  • + 3
 Off the top of my head, that 'titanium hammer' you've all heard about was used on the SR-71, which was made of titanium, so they needed a titanium hammer as any other sort would cause corrosion on contact.
  • + 2
 I wish they would've designed those crowns like the new float ones so there would be more clearance on frames, like the aluminum demo. I hate having a 40 and half my turning radius
  • - 6
flag banjberra (Apr 20, 2015 at 8:30) (Below Threshold)
 White people....
  • + 2
 I think these crowns are probably a bit unnecessary to just go out and buy just for the sweet colors, but I think the price is reasonable if there was ever a need to buy a replacement crown and steer tube setup.
  • + 2
 I've bought many things from them over the years. And had a rear shock rebuilt. No problems.
  • + 0
 The aluminum bolts used to hold the head on the block of your engine seem to do just fine... Dissimilar metals tend to lead to increased wear between materials. Galling can be prevented with a little grease I would think. The titanium hammer they are talking about was in another article for bicycle use. Not sr71's
  • + 1
 @Taletotell never heard of aluminum head bolts before, and a quick Google search netted zilch. You have any links?
  • + 1
 @taleotell most head bolts are chromoly
  • + 0
 I took a look at some in my tool box. I stand corrected. Steel bolts all the way. You do see a lot of aluminum hardware on aluminum though, and you can do a quick Google search to find stainless steel galling. I would think having the same rate of expansion would be a good thing too.
  • + 2
 I work on bmws for a living and bmw used a ton of aluminum bolts between magnesium blocks and aluminum componets to prevent corrosion. They have a joining torque and an angle of rotation to stretch them correctly and keep joining torque. Occasionally the bolts will fatigue and the heads of the bolts will fall off. Usually it's on head covers on the n52 engine, or on motor mount arms on all wheel drive n52 or n52k cars. You still use steel headbolts on this car, as aluminum will not hold up.
  • + 1
 A cars head bolt is torqued to over 100lb/ft in certain applications. not even close to the probably 10 lb/ft used in this application. With proper application of grease on threads aluminum is perfectly good for this and not a ridiculous amount of $ for Ti bolts.
  • + 1
 Oh, forgot to mention the n52 motors do use 4 aluminum headbolts around the front of the head/block and all 4 of those bolts do break, causing an oil leak. The bolts that hold ccombustion are big steel ones. They're well over 100ftlbs. can't remember exact torque, but theyre in the neighborhood of 45nm+90deg+90deg+45deg wich end up being around 250nm. The cheesy aluminum bolts are 20nm plus 90deg or 180deg depending on length wich ends up being 40nm or so
  • + 2
 Sweet info, thanks for sharing dudes!
  • + 1
 agreed!
  • + 17
 611? someone must have been tired when they wrote this lol
  • + 9
 He otter have proofread!
  • + 7
 they keep going from 611 to 661 which is super funny.
  • + 9
 I can't wait to try something like ProCore or Vittoria's possibly new system.
  • - 4
flag deeeight Plus (Apr 19, 2015 at 22:24) (Below Threshold)
 Vittoria's "prototype" is an old idea... people were doing that years and years ago.
  • + 3
 I find the Vittoria bit a little amusing: " In fact, this very early prototype is more of a proof-of-concept than a purpose built system, and Vittoria is still thinking about if such a setup is actually needed..." Also: " ...he says that it's allowed him to put plenty of time on the concept.

Plenty of time = still no clue if it's needed ???
  • - 4
flag deeeight Plus (Apr 19, 2015 at 23:01) (Below Threshold)
 Downhillers experimented with the same setup over a decade ago... run a road tire inside the casing to keep the bead locked in place, with a regular tube above it to inflate the tire. If you punctured, the tire wouldn't come off the rim and you could still finish the race on a generally flat tire but still might finish better than a complete blowout. There were also DH'ers known to run double tubes.
  • + 3
 I have done this exact thing with a dh tyre n road tub. It lets you finish on a flat but still not as good as a thick DH tube as sharp rocks slice through dualply dh tyres so flat if tubless.. I done a uplift day and welsh slate had cut 3 slashes through tyre nicked the dh tube but didn't go right through so didn't flat. I also saw a blue procore flapping about on the last wordcup that came apart when flatted..
  • + 1
 i ride with something like that from deaneasy ( www.deaneasy.it/en )
witch is a tubular tire inside specialy made for them so it's lighter than the procore, and as a special valve that you don't have to drill any thing
  • + 2
 we used to put small tires inside of tires back in the 90's! Ok tire manufacturers, let's try experimenting with an ultra lightweight mousse system or thicker bead interface for downhill use.
  • + 1
 Reminds me of the "TUbliss" system for moto. I think it works there because their horsepower comes from an engine. You get to a certain point in low pressures with mtbing that while traction is unbelievable, it becomes an in-efficient mush, pedaling-wise. I do find the concept interesting though. Seems like a true tubeless system might be just as good, and you'd probably end up putting stans in this system for flat proofing anyway, so the weight savings, if any, would be limited.
  • - 1
 You mean the foam mousse sealant ? They've done that.
  • + 1
 @deeeight no I mean this: www.motorcycle-superstore.com/5174/i/michelin-bib-mousse-flat-proof-competition-foam-tube

The moto version is heavy as all hell, but there has to be some magical material made from ground up unicorn poop that is super light that they could use.

@biking85 I have used the TuBliss system quite a bit. When it works, its is great, but it fails far more than a HD tube. Moto tires get holes in them very very easily. It became such a pain in the ass that I got rid of it and went to a HD tube in the rear and a bib mousse up front. Flats - eliminated.
  • - 2
 Oh those...they've also been tried in bicycles before.
  • + 1
 I'd like to see if there is a material that is less dense and much lighter, with an improved bead/rim interface. A) eliminating flats in dh racing and B) improving sidewall stability.
  • + 1
 at least with the dean easy set up que tire with the tubular insise prevents burping. and the tire it self as it has a smaler air chamber inside works more progressively.
  • + 1
 @WayneParsons I've never used the TUbliss system. In what way did it fail? With that system, I always thought that punctures in the tires wouldn't be an issue because guys were running 0 pressure with stiff carcass off road tires. I use HD tubes also, but I run a trials tire in the rear, so I don't think the soft carcass would be good with the TUbliss. I'd like running bib mousse for the front and rear, but I hear that excessive heat buildup leads to extreme degradation. My moto is plated, so I frequently ride the highway to trails, and I worry I'd kill the bib mousse. Any insights?
  • + 1
 @biking85 moto tires get holes in them, from rocks causing punctures to knobs breaking and ripping off. You'd be surprised how easily it happens. It only becomes evident once you go tubeless. You don't run zero pressure, but you can ride out on a flat. Even though mx tires are structurally rigid, I wouldn't run any lower than 7-8 psi with the TuBliss kit. You still need some air in there. I was probably the first guy in Canada to have the kit. It became such a pain in the ass because I was getting flats more with it than without it.

I used a mousse for the front only, as then in race situations I could just nail rocks and roots without even caring. It worked great for slow off road, but it wouldn't if it were fast on road riding. Still, it affected steering drastically, but for racing it worked great. No flats! I didn't want any loss of power from extra weight of having one in the back. I liked the explosive power of my two stroke so I really didn't want to lose any that punch.
  • + 3
 @WayneParsons Our Moto stem is actually weighing in at 102grams, which would make it one of the lightest stems on the market to date. Not to mention it is a six bolt design. Also, our 50mm which is the industry standard length btw, is weighing in at 117grams (matching a carbon direct mount currently on the market for unicorn pop prices) Thank you for giving us the idea of unicorn pop tho, we appreciate it. We will post some more info here shortly with what seems to be a lot of mis guided info. Thank's Pinkbikers! we appreciate your feedback!
  • + 2
 Unicorn poop* autocorrect sucks!
  • + 2
 @Eighty-HD-industries why is your response directed at me? I'm referencing tubeless tires, not your products.
  • + 2
 @WayneParsons yeah sorry man we realized that too late lol pink bike won't let you delete haha! Many apologies!
  • + 1
 No prob dude! Keep up the good work
  • + 8
 Hmm looking at the back mesh on those 661 pads, they're already ripping apart. Must be a "pre-production" model.
  • + 6
 I really am digging that stem!
  • + 4
 The 50mm one looks sweet, but for the 0mm one I'd assume your digging a grave? I couldn't imagine someone putting that on their sleek new V10.
  • + 1
 Was talking mainly about the 50mm. They look just as good in person too!
  • - 2
 they need something in between, 0-10mm is extreme, 50mm is almost old school
  • + 3
 So what does that make my 75mm stem on my Enduro 26 from last year? Am I outdated already?
  • + 5
 Who even runs 75? That's like road bike length.
  • + 1
 I'm talking about direct mount stems for dh forks. Enduro on brutha
  • + 1
 Haha, yeah I am, but I need an upgrade, thinking about a Renthal Apex.
  • + 4
 If only 661 would update their site.
  • + 1
 And actually have ANYTHING I stock...!
  • + 1
 you could always put one of those fancy new negative geometry stems on those forks if your top tube is too long
  • + 1
 When manufactors and reviews state again and again that it's made in USA, is it supposed to be a good thing or what?
  • + 4
 made in USA is a trending thing in the USA right now. And with Sea Otter being a USA event, its a selling point, where applicable, thats likely thrown at the crowds (who are likely to be american) attending the event. Also Americans seem to be leaning away from stuff stamped "made in china" or elsewhere right now. One reason is a push to bring jobs back to america. Another is probably a pride thing. Wouldnt you feel proud if "made in Norway" was a selling point? Smile
  • + 2
 Ok I get it, its a selling point to Americans just because its made in their own country. And no, bike parts made in Norway would suck because it would be overpriced as hell with little to no advantage over things made elsewhere.
  • + 2
 haha fair enough. There is one other aspect, pollution. For the most part China and other similar countries have very little to no regulation on pollution made by manufacturing. It is one of many reasons Chinese made goods are so cheap. America has very stringent manufacturing and pollution regulations. So its relatively safe to assume the same item being produced in the USA is less impactfull on the environment during manufacturing. This also drives the cost up because the producer flips the bill for meeting the regulations.
  • + 2
 i got 7 titanium hammers.
  • - 1
 $275 for crowns that offer no advantage over stock, rather than "my shits custom"...... stupid. They should at least off the custom offset that Fairclugh runs. they probably sell a ton.
  • + 0
 Fairclough ran those crowns because Scott wanted to experiment with geometry on their frame. different frames work better with different offsets but the overwhelming majority of frames nowadays are designed to work well with fox's standard offset. Hence the reason Fox makes their forks with that offset. If it aint broke don't fix it.
  • + 1
 You think theres not a single tall rider out there that feels limited by frame size options and wants to lengthen their wheelbase? I know a couple
  • + 0
 What's in a name?
[url=http://www.funnyjunk.com/80hd/funny-pictures/5068137]80HD[/url]
  • + 1
 Those crowns don't appear to be 27.5 compatible.
  • + 0
 27.5 or 26 tire size has nothing to do with crowns?? Fully compatible!
  • + 8
 Hahahaha, I know. Troll at work.
  • + 1
 Those Rage pads are already ripping at the seam...quality.
  • + 0
 pointless crowns

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