Posts in the category 650b

Norco Aims for the Podium with New Carbon Aurum DH Killer B 27.5

Norco Aurum 650 b killer bee carbon dh bike downhill 2015 (1)

It’s been just over three years since Norco introduced the Aurum DH platform. Over that time a lot has changed in the world of DH racing, but the search for the podium remains the same. With races won by seconds or less, small improvements can have a big effect on the outcome of the race. Before the first Aurum was even on showroom floors, Norco engineers knew they wanted to explore the benefits of the bigger 27.5″ wheels.

After modifying early Aurum frames to run the bigger wheels, the focus turned to creating a new frame that not only provided the maximum advantage from a wheel size perspective but to create a bike was an improvement over an already excellent design. As it has been with most companies, that quest led Norco engineers to the use of carbon fiber. Stating that carbon fiber is much more than just a weight story, the use of composites allowed for more flexibility with tube shapes, improved strength, stiffness, and ride feel. Using the Norco Race Development program as their real world test lab, a number of prototypes led to the team putting the bike through the ultimate test – a full season on the World Cup circuit under Jill Kintner and Byrn Atkinson. After expanding their race program to include the Norco Factory Racing team, the design was finalized and the Norco Aurum DH C7 Killer B was headed to production and a store near you…


TPE15: New Vittoria MTB tires cover XC to DH, plus a look at graphene carbon rims


Last year, the Geax line of mountain bike tires was rolled into parent brand Vittoria. Most of the existing models carried over, and the Peyote, Barzo and Jafaki are the first three new treads to roll out under the Vittoria name.

The Jafaki is a moto-inspired tire with big knobs and even bigger side knobs to keep your firmly planted during high speed (read: descending) maneuvering. The widely spaced center section should clear quickly, making it a solid choice for enduro on anything but very dry hardpack.

The Barzo and Peyote skew more toward all purpose trail and XC use with lower profile knobs and faster rolling center sections. All three tires use sipes on the tread blocks to improve grip.


2016 FOX 34 Trail Forks, Float DPS Shock, & EVOL Air Sleeve – Plus Technical Interview

34-2016 Last year Fox introduced a completely revised 36 series of forks that were lighter and more supple than anything else in their lineup. An important part of that trail taming recipe was a move to a new air spring system, which eliminated the use of a coil in the negative spring.

In addition to helping shave almost a quarter pound, the new design (which they’re calling the FIT4 in the 34 series fork, for fourth generation Fox Isolated Technology) provided a more consistent feel. Rather than having to pick a coil spring rate to accommodate a wide variety of riders, they borrowed from a design first introduced in their 1999 Float Shock, to automatically equalize the air in the negative chamber when the fork was deep into it’s compression stroke. This technology also meant that Fox could introduce volume spacers to tune the progressiveness of the air spring. (You can read more about the new Float air spring here, and check out our Suspension Setup Series to learn more in general.)

Due to the drastic drop in weight and incredible gains in performance, it was only a matter of time before Fox took this technology down market to its 34 series of trail oriented forks. As such, Fox claims the new 34 is the “little brother to the 36″ and is aimed at aggressive trail riders looking for a super lightweight package. READ MORE ->

TPE15: IRC Tire 27.5″ mountain bike treads weigh in, new tubeless cyclocross tire

IRC Serac CX Sand tubeless ready cyclocross tire

At Interbike last year, IRC added the Sera CX Mud for wetter conditions. Now, they’re completing the spread with the new Serac CX Sand, a file tread version for much, much drier conditions. It’s also suitable for grassy courses (that aren’t wet) and gravel sections. It’s sized at 700×32 and weighs in at a claimed 375g.

Also introduced at Interbike last year were the 27.5″ versions of their mountain bike tires, and now we’ve got weights and a few other new tires and goodies to show you…


Velocity USA Offers New High End Blunt SS Wheelset with Industry Nine Hubs



If you’ve decided you want to upgrade to some wider rims but aren’t looking for something of the carbon variety, Velocity USA has a new option worth checking out. Based on their latest mountain bike rim, the Blunt SS, Velocity is teaming up with another domestic manufacturer for a killer wheelset. Calling it their top shelf mountain bike build, the wheels use equally top shelf hubs in the Industry Nine Torch Series. Combined with DT Swiss Competition double butted spokes and alloy nipples, the wheels still build out to a respectable weight in spite of 32 spokes per wheel and the wide aluminum rims…


Friday RoundUp – Bicycle Bits & Pieces




  • Yuba Launches Limited-Edition PeopleForBikes Branded Cargo Bike – PeopleForBikes and Yuba Bicycles have partnered to launch a limited edition Boda Boda cargo bike to raise money for bicycling infrastructure. Yuba and PeopleForBikes will officially launch the bike at the Sea Otter Classic in April, where people can enter to win one. The bikes are available for preorders now and on sale May 1 at Yuba dealers and at
  • CNN Honors Trips for Kids Founder – CNN has named Trips for Kids Founder, Marilyn Price, as a CNN Hero for her years of dedication to putting disadvantaged kids on mountain bikes. Please join us in congratulating Marilyn and take a moment to watch the video and share it with your friends and family. Or tune in to CNN March 27 – 29 and watch the story “on air”.

Racing News

Monarch Crest Race

  • The true “enduro” experience is finally here, October 2-4, 2015. The Monarch Crest Enduro brought to you by Chocolate Bunny Productions, threads together three days of Colorado’s finest high country trails along the Monarch Crest, a segment of the Continental Divide Trail, and IMBA Epic® no less. Registration is now live on



  • The Greatest Ride – August 9-12 2015. This is the cycling trip you’ve wanted to take for your whole life. Start by sharing a table with retired Pro Cyclist George Hincapie and Blackberry Farm Proprietor Sam Beall for the opening dinner at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. This event is limited to only 10 cyclists so book now at blackberry
  • Chris King Gourmet Century registration opens April, 1st – The Gourmet Century has expanded into a global showcase hosting four events across the U.S. and now one in Japan. Each event will feature its own special guest chefs and menus designed to compliment the best riding the region has to offer. Registration for ALL events will open on April 1st at 12pm PST at Act fast as tickets tend to go quickly!
  • Ride. Relax. Escape. Discover the Wild Highlands of Scotland – Fuel your sense of discovery with roads that will take your breath away. This 6 day, 5 night tour runs between 8th to 13th September and is strictly limited to 12 people. Book now, 72 hours before general public.


NAHBS 2015

  • Didn’t get enough of NAHBS 2015? - Gates photographer Tim Lucking has produced an exquisite photo gallery of the best belted bikes from the North American Handmade Bike Show. Check out some of our favorites on The Belted Blog.



  • Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour – Currently touring the USA, (you can find the tour schedule here) immediately after the Festival ends in November a selection of the best films goes on tour across Canada, the United States, and internationally from Scotland to South Africa to China, Lebanon, Chile, New Zealand, Antarctica, and points in between. Each year, the films travel to 40 countries reaching more than 390,000 people at over 840 screenings. There’s typically a mountain bike film in the mix but every film has always been entertaining.



  • Here’s your last reminder that you can win a set of new rubber from Vee Tire. Follow the link to the survey and complete it to win!


Brendan Fairclough Breaks it down on the Scott Sports Genius 700

What does a World Cup level downhiller grab when he goes out for a ride back home in Surrey? If we’re talking about Brendan Fairclough that would seem to be the Scott Genius 700. Contractual obligations aside, we’re also fans of the bike as it manages to blend a super pedal efficient ride with a bike that still wants to be rallied downhill. Of course, we only imagine we can ride the Genius like Fairclough, but it’s nice to dream right?


TPE15: American Classic gets fatter, wider and more tubeless for mountain, road

American Classic Sprint 350 wide road tubeless wheels

Whether it was rims or hubs, for road or mountain, American Classic’s offerings just keep getting wider and adding tubeless ready options, which should make just about everyone happy.

For the pavement, the Sprint 350 rims get a complete redesign to bring it up to modern standards. Inside width jumps from 16mm to 19mm (external is now 22mm), and it’s tubeless ready. The weight of the rim is spot on at 350g (claimed), and it’s built into a traditional road wheelset with 28/32 spokes (F/R) with double butted spokes and comes in at just 1,396g for the set. Retail is $899 USD. Their sponsored Pro Tour team, Bretagne, has been training on them and say they’re better than the race wheels they had last year.


TPE15: Kenda adds tubeless ready gravel, cyclocross & 27.5+ mountain bike tires, more!

kenda havok 27.5+ mountain bike tire

No tire collection would be complete these days without a mid-fat, plus-sized 3″ tire, and Kenda’s offering is the new Havok 27.5 x 3.0. It’s targeted to be around 900-950 grams and uses their DTC rubber compound that gets a softer rubber on the side knobs for better grip and former in the center for less rolling resistance. It’s tubeless ready, so stock up on sealant now.

OE tires will get a 30tpi at the beginning, aftermarket tires will have 60 and 120 tpi casing options. Might get a narrower 2.8-ish option if there’s demand, but will start with the 3.0.

For things that get lighter and narrower, keep reading…