SOC13: Prototype Stuff & Random Bikes – Truvativ, Devinci, Ellsworth, Felt & Mongoose Fatbikes!
We saw the new goods from Ellsworth at Eurobike last year (and it looked great!), but this one caught our eye at Sea Otter. It’s an employee’s Dare DH bike with a custom orange and blue anodization built up with color-matched rims, bar, stem and other small bits to resemble the General Lee. Thankfully, there’s no rebel flag on it.
Jump the bridge and land hard on some more new stuff from all sorts of booths and brands…
Like Ellsworth, Devinci showed all their new bikes at the tradeshows last fall, but their team bikes had a few things to see.
Their production carbon Dixon trail bikes all use standard Rockshox Monarch shocks across the entire range. Their team guys, including Steve Smith, were all running an inverted Monarch Plus. No particular reason, but it’s one way to get a lower center of gravity.
Smith’s bike was also outfitted with a Signature Series Blackbox Truvativ handlebar.
Unfortunately, no one knew anything about it and Smith wasn’t around to talk. It’s alloy, and the 31.8 oversized center section continues pretty far out, through the first bend in the riser, and it looked pretty wide. We spotted another Blackbox carbon bar aboard Jerome Clementz’s enduro bike earlier this year.
Over in the Felt booth, there was a prototype 29er build with a claimed 900 gram frame. The frame is around 200g lighter than any of their other mountain bikes thanks to their work with TeXtreme which is the name of Oxeon’s “spread tow” carbon fiber composite. Apparently TeXtreme uses individual carbon fibers that are like small ribbons rather than round strands of carbon. This results in a wider, flatter orientation of fibers that next closer together which results in a denser, stiffer frame with less material to create the necessary performance.
Felt had this bike built up with a reasonable build with a SID fork which tipped the scaled at 19.18 lbs (8.7kg) without pedals. Obviously, a 900g frame could be built up pretty light, so this is just a just an example of what’s possible. We weighed this at Interbike last year with all hardware removed the frame, too.
TeXtreme frames are pretty easy to spot in the wild, thanks to the unique checkerboard pattern that is created by the interwoven ribbons of carbon fiber. TeXtreme F-Series FRD road frames are currently being ridden by the Argos-Shimano team and will be used throughout the season including the TDF and World Championships, with consumer road frames slated for a 2014 release. No word on any mountain bike availability yet.
In addition to some new carbon fiber cross builds, Felt is also introducing the F24X which is a 24 inch wheeled cross bike for your little one. Taking their F24 junior road bike, Felt added a hydroformed top tube for better shouldering and slackened the angles a bit to allow for bigger tires without toe overlap. The bike features other kid friendly items including a super short reach bar, and short reach brake levers. Tires are 24″ Kenda Happy Mediums which were a special issue for the bike but will be available aftermarket through Kenda. Pricing will be around $800 and available in mid-Summer.
And yes, the cowbell comes standard.
Manuel Beastley came to Sea Otter and conquered all aboard his dialed fatbike. Essentially, this fatbike could be considered Bike Magazine’s new Sh*t bike. What started life as one of the new Mongoose Beast Fatbikes got a few upgrades and was then raced in every discipline at Sea Otter. Manuel put on a good show, and while the bike barely survived the weekend (see Bike’s coverage here), it was rallied to the max in anything from DH runs to log pulls.
Clearly the Easton grips, and Avid/Paul brake combo were added after the fact.
In case something went wrong, Manuel had his trusty vice grips at the ready on the seat tube.