Tradeshow Roundup: Mountain Bikes – Big, Small & Electric

Rock-Machine-multi-linkage-downhill-mountain-bike

Across the halls of Eurobike and Interbike, there’s always more to see than we have time to cover properly…so we do some drive by photo shooting.

Per usual, there are some wild linkage designs floating around, and this year’s standout was Rock Machine’s Whizz downhill mountain bike (above). Click through for detail shots, plus some 36ers, DH e-bikes and so much more…

Rock-Machine-multi-linkage-downhill-mountain-bike

There are floating shock designs, and there’s this. We’ve been pretty impressed with the feel of other floating shocks on the likes of the Trek Fuel EX 29 and BH Lynx, so we can only imagine how supple it must be on a 210mm travel design. What’s particularly interesting about this layout is the reversed upper rocker that pushes down on the shock while the bottom linkage pushes up. Usually the shock’s trapped directly on the lower stays in a floating design. Solidworks must’ve pulled some overtime on this one.

Orange-Strange-full-suspension-mountain-bike

This Orange Strange 29er enduro mountain bike prototype pushed the shock’s forward mount all the way through the downtube.

Orange-Strange-full-suspension-mountain-bike

With their Five 29 model already hitting 140mm travel, this one’s likely using a slacker geometry and the 150mm Pike fork with matching rear end travel. The frame’s front triangle gets a much more compact form for better stand over clearance, too, which is probably what forced the shock placement.

36 inch bikes20130916_0001

There are always some interesting bikes being rolled around Outdoor demo and the show floor, and these Payaso 36ers are no exception. 36ers remain mostly a novelty (with the exception of the Dirty Sixer), as low production one-off builds. Nearly all of them, like the Payaso have utilized the tires designed by Waltworks and built by Vee rubber.

Payaso-stealth-36er-mountain-bike

They also had this stealthy number sitting near the Continental Tires booth.

36 inch bikes20130916_0004

36ers have an even higher handlebar than a 29er so Niner’s drop bar is used, though this one still had a few spacers under the stem.

Payaso-stealth-36er-mountain-bike

And the ever elusive color anodized Thomson parts.

Surly-Krampus-29-plus-extracycle-cargo-fat-bike

If 36″ wheels are too big but fat bikes won’t quite get the job done, there’s 29-plus. And if those still need a little something, Xtracycle can turn something like the Surly Krampus into a cargo bike to rule them all.

randoms (15)

There are usually quite a few pro bikes around as well, like Greg Minnaar’s 2013 World Championship Santa Cruz v10. Just a few minutes later Chris Froome’s Tour de France winning Pinarello wheeled by as well. (Sorry, no picture. Couldn’t get our camera out in time thanks to Zach’s broken arm).

HaiBike-electric-motorized-downhill-mountain-bike

Let’s say you want to go as fast as Minnaar but don’t have the legs. If you’re in Europe, that’s no problem. Haibike had an extensive collection of battery powered e-mountain bikes, including this full featured long-travel version. The only thing keeping it from being a modern DH bike is a single crown fork.

Haibike-electric-motorized-full-suspension-mountain-bike

From a US perspective, full suspension, trail ready e-bikes just don’t make a lot of sense yet. And even the Europeans we talked to said they pose concerns over “motorized use” on non-motorized trails. There’s the argument that they take away the purity of the sport. The counterpoint is that they let folks who might not otherwise be able to get out in nature explore the trails, or they just make mountain biking a bit more of a commuter event if there happen to be trails between you and work. Either way, Haibike was one of (very) many global brands showing a full range of motorized mountain bikes. And everyone from groms to teens to adults were checking them out enthusiastically.

Mondraker-hardtail-mountain-bike-integrated-stem

Mondraker’s Podium SL 29 was as shapely as ever.

Mondraker-hardtail-mountain-bike-integrated-stem

Love it or hate it, the integrated stem design is a clever one, using a rotating handlebar clamp to fine tune height and reach. They also introduced a 27.5″ version of their Dune and Foxy trail bikes. The white full susser you see in the first image on the back right is the Foxy.

Trek-Etnies-team-slopestyle-bike-animal-print

The Trek Ticket S was introduced at Crankworx with news that custom painted frames matching pro’s bikes would be offered in limited numbers throughout the year. We found this animal in SRAM’s demo tent.

Trek-Etnies-team-slopestyle-bike-animal-print

Comments

chris - 11/20/13 - 11:20am

for the most part, I can see why you didn’t report on these.

Nate G - 11/20/13 - 11:35am

“Ever elusive color anodized Thomson parts”
Hardly, stem dress-up kits are super easy to come by.

BMW - 11/20/13 - 12:08pm

“From a US perspective, full suspension, trail ready e-bikes just don’t make a lot of sense yet.”
I hope it stays that way. Not to be the obligatory negative post, but dually ebikes? Come the eff on. I hope to God that I never have to share our trails with electronic “bikes”…and am I the only one getting annoyed with all the ebike coverage on bicycle sites?

John - 11/20/13 - 12:26pm

BMW, I am with you 100%.

Mirwin - 11/20/13 - 12:48pm

Looking at that Haibike with the 36 180mm up front, IMO, if a person doesn’t have the physical capability to pedal their granny gear in 1st, or at a bare minimum push the bike, up the climb, I believe there may be a strong probability they probably do not have the skill set or muscle strength to safely get down the hill, not to mention the desire to actually enjoy the work/reward of riding in general.

Try pulling an under-prepared rider around an IMBA Epic for 5 hours, who had the bike, and talked the talk, but was sorely lacking the endurance and bike handling skills for the duration and technical features of the trail. Simply because they rode their old MTB with an retrofitted ebike rear wheel to work for 8 months does not make a capable mountain biker.

EpicThroatBeard - 11/20/13 - 12:49pm

Just a small poll.
How many of you have ridden a full suss e-bike?
I have.
It was a riot bag of fun.
Did I immediately stop pedaling? no. Would I dod it again? oh Hells yeah!
Would I giggle as I pass you and your scowly face? Oh yes I would.

wako29 - 11/20/13 - 1:07pm

@BMW, John: Look at it as a way for those lesser fit (or older) crowds to enjoy mountain biking. I feel it is a great way to get people into our sport. Stop being so negative.

Mirwin - 11/20/13 - 1:54pm

Yeah, they do look fun.

John - 11/20/13 - 1:56pm

@ wako and throat: There a PLENTY of trail access issues already without adding e-bikes to the equation. How do you think rabid, anti-mountain biking hikers and horse riders will feel about e-bikes that can potentially damage trails and rail around blind corners at higher speeds? Wake up – if you can’t pedal, then ride a moto and stay *** on moto trails.

jeff - 11/20/13 - 2:11pm

E-bikes…. lately I’ve felt the need to defend them.
-Do they belong on trails, bike paths, freeways? Maybe, maybe not.
-Do they have a right to exist? Get lighter, faster, better? Of course. It’s what our species does with things. Good luck trying to stop it. In the case of mountain bikes… I’m old enough to remember objections to (in order)- gears, SPDs, front suspension, rear suspension, disc brakes, carbon fiber, 29er, 650B, fat tire (fat tire actually started with 24″ Gazzalodi so technically belongs right after disc brakes).
To me, the question isn’t “are they wrong?” (I can think of a thousand polluted cities that could really use a LOT of E-cargo/taxi bikes), it’s “where do they fit in?”. This obviously remains to be seen.
In the meantime, I encourage doubters to do a test ride somewhere. They are pretty cool.
Jeff (Design/Programming at Paragon Machine Works).

Keith - 11/20/13 - 2:27pm

36ers are gonna make 27.5′s Obsolete!

Michael - 11/20/13 - 2:58pm

I think everyone, as a kid, dreamed of strapping some sort of motor to their bike, because we thought it would be fun… And it would be, wouldnt it?
Of course it would be fun! It would be fast as hell, and easy to go far! Thats why these attract kids and teens. Same like an electric razor scooter.
But as an adult mountain biker, I do not see the purpose of a electric full suspension trail bike. If someone is looking for a shortcut to the physical requirements of mountain biking, then they are doing it wrong, and will be quick to get in over their heads and injure themselves.
Building the fitness to access more remote and technical areas and do extended rides is a rite of passage to the skills necessary to do that kind of riding. They come hand in hand.
I believe the idea of “it will get more people into our sport” does not really hold up. People that Want to get into the sport will find a way to get into the sport. The biggest barrier to a “true mountain biker would be”, is that it is EXPENSIVE to get a mountain bike capable of actually mountain biking with. Not because they are not strong enough. I think a lot of people starting out are looking to mountain biking as a WAY to become more fit, not a way to avoid it.
The people that will buy these types of e-bikes, will never commit to becoming a core mountain biker… Thats why they bought an e-bike to begin with… Because they want to avoid the work associated with it, and because they just spent a TON of money on an e-bike.

I would hate to see someone that was genuinely interested in mountain biking get sold an e-bike. It would be one hell of a wrong first introduction to the sport.
And I fully agree it would open a huge can of worms on shared use trails, and Mtn bikes would quickly become hugely frowned upon and likely banned, if that shared use included e-bikes.
If you are that intent on a powered bike with two wheels that costs a boatload of money, wouldnt you Rather just get a dirtbike and do it right? Hell, I’d love to have a dirtbike! And I’d blow right past your smiley electric assist mountain bike lazy arse.

scentofreason - 11/20/13 - 3:21pm

please do everything possible to stem the tide, or better yet, eliminate the idea of electric mountain bikes. do a youtube search, you will see these things hitting 50mph. Now do you really think the average park ranger wants to bother checking every bike for batteries? of course not. welcome to the quickest ‘just ban them all’ event in history…

Pynchonite - 11/20/13 - 3:39pm

I’m with the Park Service on this one. They have a right to exist, and as a mode of transportation are leagues better than cars, but limit the off-road stuff to areas already designated to be destroyed by ATV’ers, motocross bikes and the like. Mountain bikers can do enough damage without help from a motor – limit it to places that have already been designated for such abuse.

wheelguy - 11/20/13 - 4:02pm

Where I live, we already have huge access issues for mountain bikes by various user groups and, in particular, a few horse-loving, mtb-hating BLM managers. Off-road e-bikes feed into the misconception even more that MTB bikes are as bad as motos for trail damage. Please, please stop covering e-bikes, or at least call them what they are: electric motor cycles.

Ilikeicedtea - 11/20/13 - 4:17pm

@Jeff

eBike evolution is fine, until these full suspension eBike MOUNTAIN BIKES start showing up on non-motorized trails.

Then the problems begin, and end with less access to us all.

That’s not hard to understand, is it?

Padrote - 11/20/13 - 4:55pm

e-bikes will do for mountain biking what the segway did for walking!

Mortimer - 11/20/13 - 6:41pm

E-bikes for commuting – okay fine! But here’s my vote against them on trails and against any coverage BikeRumor provides. And yes I have ridden two different e-bikes, one a commuter and the other a rather quick Asian dually. Motorbikes are illegal on my trails. That is bikes with motors, electric, pneumatic and or any sort of fuel powered. In my area there are enough problems with motorcross bikes, pit bikes, mini bikes and powered scooters getting onto trails. This whole notion of e-bikes on trails is, for me, akin to technological doping. What’s more is that the motors will get bigger and power cells better. 300watts today 1kw tomorrow. Bikerumor you don’t seem to be getting the picture, or is that eBikerumor now?

votre mere - 11/20/13 - 10:41pm

e bikes on trails are like logging on to the internet and watching videos of fleshlights

bin judgin - 11/20/13 - 11:53pm

lol e bikes

greg - 11/21/13 - 12:10am

i dont mind the e-mountain bikes, but i definitely feel they should be restricted. there can be trails that allow them, but those should be the ones that allow ATVs n the like, and possibly the trails that are mountain bike only (no hikers, horses, etc.).

Adán - 11/21/13 - 3:58am

e-mountain bikes (and e-bikes in general) are ridiculous to me. If you don’t have the energy to do mountain biking, play chess or buy a real motorbike. Remeber e-bikes need to be charged and the electricity is not as clean as many people think, probably comes from a thermal power station and this it’s not a zero emission source of energy, not at all.

José@Portugal - 11/21/13 - 5:55am

Hi pedaling beings,

:( I can’t believe some of you are asking bikerumor not to publish about e-bikes anymore !!?
That’s censorship and an attempt to one’s freedom of speech! :(

Be free to listen to others and accept different opinion but don’t ask for censorship!

Please BIKERUMOR continue to publish e-bike news. I think that all anonymous readers around the world will be appreciated.

With respect to every opinion made here I do agree with jeff’s point of view (10th post made here). \o/

I live in Portugal@Europe and more than a MTBer I use my bikes to bike-to-work everyday.
Because land where I live isn’t flat I too had tried some e-bike models from city to MTB and was surprised with the fun I could get from it. This market is growing everyday. We’ll see what the future will bring about this.
I think there is space for any kind of bike if we respect each other on the trail or on the street.
If we have an opinion we can express it to influence legislators, manufacturers, and so on, but with respect to others freedom.

wheelguy - 11/21/13 - 10:16am

@Jose, we all respect your freedom, but all of us are also free to express our dislike of articles about e-bikes. If it turns out that a majority of readers like reading about e-bikes and other motorized transportation on this site, then I’m sure the editors will continue to publish this type of content. If they notice a majority of people get pissed off about it (or even worse, don’t click on articles about them), then they might stop publishing. Very simple. No censorship going on here.

I’m also a unicyclist so I’m the last person to be closed-minded about different types of “bikes.” I guess I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to “self-propelled” sports. I’m into pretty much anything without a motor!

Jak0zilla - 11/21/13 - 3:00pm

Please call them “electric mopeds”.

Tywin - 11/21/13 - 7:41pm

With all the hubbub about ebikes being bantered back and forth – did no one notice the custom-painted Trek has the Trek logo on the downtube upside down? Intentional maybe?

PFIZZ - 11/21/13 - 9:27pm

@Tywin, yes, the upside down logo IS intentional. The riders of that bike, Semenuk and the whole C3 crew do flips on that bike and that is when the money shot is taken and when it is posted on the November/December cover of Decline, you can see the Trek logo perfectly fine. Clever marketing

sean - 11/23/13 - 9:24pm

Let me put to you all I would further like this ebike trend to continue personally. Now to all that say why not just get a moto what if you cant legally get drive one. I personally dont meet the legal requirements for a drivers license because of vision and love this ebike trend as it might open up opportunity for me to ride places that might be out of reach otherwise. I would love to have a DH bike but cant drive to the trails and have to bike at the minimum right now of 13 miles each way, so I am stuck on xc bikes that handle the road better but prevent me from truly enjoying the bigger stuff. Theres also the long distance commuting, for an average person driving to a center or mall that might be only 1 hour in the car because of the interstates turns into an all day adventure on the bike by having to ride 70–140miles in total some not in the most most bike friendly areas. Im personally waiting for the day when batteries will allow me to avg 20-25mph for 100+ miles without really breaking a sweat. It will also help in the hygiene area as well in summers by the time Im at most destinations Im usually soaked in sweat from the 20-30 miles of riding and would love to be able to just cruise.

I love that treks paint job and need that on my cross bike. I noticed the upside down logo but i figured that was to allow for better viability in photos.

dervelo - 11/23/13 - 11:34pm

E-mopeds brilliant. Saw a 600 watt hard tail conversion in south Germany this year crazy dude but 250lbs plus his bike. Ideal for some and great way off being a one car family

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