Posts in the category Feature

SOC15: Advocate Cycles Builds New Plus Size Bikes and Advocacy Based Business Model

Advocate cycles hayduke 27 plus (9)

The bicycle industry is getting to be a pretty crowded place. As more and more brands seem to emerge from the primordial ooze that is the intersection of passion and ideas, it’s getting harder to stand out.

A long time industry veteran, Tim Kreuger knows his way around a bike. After working for years as the project manager for Salsa Cycles, when it was time for a new adventure Tim was looking for not only a way to pursue his passion for bicycles but also for bicycle advocacy. Hoping to continue giving back to the community with events like the Chequameggon 100 that he has run for years (with all of the profits going back into the trails), Tim learned of a new type of business arrangement that is recognized by the state of Minnesota where he calls home.

Instead of operating as a 501c3 non-profit, Advocate Cycles will run as a Special Benefit Corporation (SBC) which falls into one of three categories – sharing, giving, or helping. While designed to give all of the profits back to cycling advocacy, the SBC is not tax exempt which and is really only recognized by the state of Minnesota. The Advocate Cycles site has a break down on how all of the tax structure will work out, but the main story is that the company is organized to give back.

And make cool products – starting with the new Hayduke mountain bike. It’s 27+. It’s 29″. It’s Boost or standard 142. It’s all of the above…

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SOC15: Fox upgrades 32, 34 and 36 forks with FIT4 damper; RC2 shock damper cutaway & more 2016 suspension!

2016 Fox 32 FLOAT FIT4 suspension fork

The transition to the 2016 Fox Racing Shox mountain bike suspension fork lineup all started with the 2015 36′s switch to a new air spring. It introduced a full air system with check valves to equalize air pressure between the positive and negative chambers, dropped weight and improved performance. Now, that same air system can be found across the entire line, from the XC-oriented 32 to the trail/enduro-ready 34 and 36 to the downhill destroying dual crown 40. Likely, the same 100-130g weight savings can be expected across the line, too!

The progression continued with the announcement of the all new, fourth generation FIT4 damper on the 34 a few weeks ago. The new system moves away from the CTD (Climb/Trail/Descend) modes to Open/Medium/Firm. Similar in theory, except that they added much better support in the open mode compared to the all-but-unusable Descend mode that would simply blow through the travel way too quickly and easily. Plus, the in-setting micro adjustments have moved from the middle setting to the Open setting, giving you even more control over how the fork acts when wide open. The FIT4 damper can now be found in the 32, 34 and 36 forks as an option, and there are no more open bath cartridges on any forks.

Out back, the expanded air volume cans and upgraded damping can now be found on the Float and Float X, and we’ve got a cutaway look at the new dual high/low speed compression and rebound circuits of the DHX2 and Float X2…

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SOC15: Specialized launches Fuse, Ruze 27.5+, new Rumor 650 trail bike, Command Post & more!

2016 Specialized Fuse 275+ 6fatty hardtail mountain bike

The new Specialized Fuse (men’s) and Ruze (women’s) trail hardtails are built from ground up for their 27.5+ (6fatty) wheels and tires, tailoring the geometry to the new tire size and introducing new parts and frame designs to go along with it.

Both bikes will come with new Ground Control 27.5 x 3.0 tires that tip the scales around 900g, and they’ll have Purgatory 27.5 x 3.0 (around 1000g) available separately if you need something more aggressive. Both have a 60tpi folding bead tubeless ready carcass, and the Pro model will have them wrapped around new 38mm wide (inside) welded alloy Roval Fatty rims laced to Boost 148 and 110 hubs.

The tires may have inspired the new bike, but it’s the unique design that makes them fit…

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Plus Sized Gets Squishy with New Manitou Magnum Pro, Sun Ringle Plus Rims and Hubs

IMG_6344

It may seem like plus size bikes are just now springing up overnight, but for the new Manitou Magnum the project has been in the works for the past 18 months. Billed as the first purpose built suspension fork for plus size tires, Manitou wanted to be sure that the end product performed just as well if not better than any of their other options. In order to prove that bigger is indeed better, Manitou designed the fork from the ground up, rather than just stretching a 29er fork to fit.

At this point the inclusion of Boost sizing for the axle spacing should come as no surprise and as expected the Magnum touts all of the benefits we’ve heard to this point. Wider spacing results in wider hub flanges and improved spoke bracing angles for a stronger and stiffer front wheel. The added room also boosts tire clearance allowing for a 3.4″ tire in both a dedicated 27.5 and 29″ chassis. Unlike the Rockshox Bluto which started with 32mm stanchions, the Magnum goes with 34mm tubes hinting towards the aggressive nature of the fork.

Plus sized wheels and tires have been gaining momentum, but now with a proper suspension fork we expect them to really gain some traction…
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Trek Gorges on Fatter Tires with All New Mid Fat Stache and New 26×5″ and 27.5×4″ Wheeled Farley Fat Bikes

Trek stache mid fatIMG_6324

After all the buzz around wider boost hubs leading up to Sea Otter, we weren’t surprised to see a new bike from Trek to take advantage of the added tire clearance. What we weren’t expecting from Wisconsin was an entirely new range of plus/mid-fat/and fat bikes with (even) more new tire sizes.

It’s getting to the point that just calling a bike “fat” doesn’t really mean that much. What started as basically just a 3.7″ tire has morphed into an increasing number of sizes that now will include even a 27.5″ fat. The way trek sees it, tire sizes from 2.8-3.25″ fall into the plus/mid-fat category while 3.25-5″ tires qualify as fat. Then there is the wheel size itself. Originally limited to 26″ hoops, now riders have the choice between 26, 27.5, and 29″ wheels with varying rim widths.

Why so many? Well, as the fat bike continues to evolve, so does the manner in which they are ridden. While the Stache is what Trek thinks of as the “trail hardtail perfected,” the Farley gets broken down into different groups depending on the intended terrain. The stratification of the fat tires is intend to ultimately provide the most fun bike possible…

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Mavic Honors 20 years of Crossmax with Pro LTD WTS, Clothes, and Gear

Mavic Crossmax LTD pro mountain bike enduro wheels _5894_1

Don’t compromise, ride Crossmax. That’s the slogan Mavic has been using for nearly 20 years since the very first Crossmax wheels were introduced in 1996. Originally introduced to offer what Mavic considered the best blend of performance and reliability, mountain biking has changed drastically since they came on the scene. Initially available in just one model, Crossmax wheels have evolved in step with riding to include 4 different models with over 100 pro level race wins in everything from XC to enduro, 4x, even slopestyle.

The latest addition to the Crossmax lineage blends much of what we’ve seen recently from Mavic with a few new touches that offer continuous improvement. Given the Crossmax Pro LTD moniker, some of the new product will be available in limited numbers and only in certain markets…

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SOC15: SRAM 1x drivetrains head to the road with new Force & Rival single chainring groups

sram rival 1 road group

SRAM’s taken their 1x drivetrains to the road with new Force 1 and Rival 1 groups.

Essentially an expansion of their CX1 group and XX1/X01/GX mountain bike cassettes, it opens up the possibilities for gravel, cyclocross and even triathlon bikes looking to simplify the setup and save a little weight.

In fact, the CX1 group is now simply Force 1, and the Rival 1 group takes most of the existing parts and combines it with the pinned GX cassette and brand matched X-Horizon rear derailleurs.

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First Look: Rocky Mountain Sherpa Overland Bike

Rocky Mountain Bikes Sherpa Porcelain Rocket

Last year, in the true spirit of one-off show bikes, Rocky Mountain created a stunning hand built concept they called the Sherpa. Designed around a prototype WTB rim, the bike was designed to take you the kind of places where you’d probably need a GPS beacon.

Based upon all of the media attention and consumer feedback, Rocky spent the past year refining the concept, and will be making it available to consumers starting next month. Head past the break to see how they did it:

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All-New Rotor INpower hides power meter tech inside crank spindle

Rotor INpower crankset powermeter inside the spindle

The antenna and battery cap on the non-drive crank is all you’ll see of the new INpower power meter…everything else is tucked inside the spindle.

The Rotor INPower is a clever new take on the crank-based power meter that puts all of the electronics inside the axle, which not only protects it, but keeps the rotational mass at the center.

But the location of the electronics is just part of the story. Rotor, which is known mostly for their ovalized chainrings, can show “different” power readings when those chainrings are used on standard spider-based power meters. This happens because the ovalized shape changes the zones of rotational speed at which you’re able to turn the pedals over by making it easier in your dead spots and harder in your power zones. The result, from our own experience, is that the overall pedal stroke is much smoother and the rotational speed seems more consistent to our legs, but they say a spider-based strain gauge may not see it that way.

The design also lets them use the same power meter across their entire range of cranks regardless of the arms, making it perfect for road, triathlon, cyclocross and mountain bikes…

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