SOC16: Chris King leaks new ThreadFit 30 bottom brackets for Cinch Cranks, Centerlock Road Disc hubs

Chris king centerlock road hub 40th anniversary threadfit 30 bottom bracketIMG_3586

Chris king centerlock road hub 40th anniversary threadfit 30 bottom bracketIMG_3586

If you know where to look, you can catch a lot of interesting parts floating around the Sea Otter Classic. In the case of Chris King’s latest addition to their bottom bracket lineup, it was actually pointed out first by our readers on the launch of the Chris King 40th Anniversary Santa Cruz 5010. The bike is running a RaceFace crank, with a CK bottom bracket. But how can that be since a threaded BB for a 30mm spindle doesn’t yet exist from Chris King? Well, it’s on the way. We’ve been told by Chris King that the official announcement will come in the next few weeks. We’re assuming that along with the announcement will come availability but we haven’t heard for sure. Apparently the bottom bracket will fit a number of 30mm spindle cranks for use in BSA threaded frames which should make a lot of people happy to have a CK level bottom bracket available.

Over at the ENVE booth, it was another story with our fist look at their upcoming Centerlock Road hubs…

Continue reading “SOC16: Chris King leaks new ThreadFit 30 bottom brackets for Cinch Cranks, Centerlock Road Disc hubs”



If you know where to look, you can catch a lot of interesting parts floating around the Sea Otter Classic. In the case of Chris King’s latest addition to their bottom bracket lineup, it was actually pointed out first by our readers on the launch of the Chris King 40th Anniversary Santa Cruz 5010. The […]

Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Mountain Bike, Road Bike, Sea Otter Classic14 Comments

Vittoria’s Graphene+ Tech: Detailed look at a revolutionary material

Directa-Plus_Graphene-Plus_production-tour_Graphene-nano-platelet-model

Directa-Plus_Graphene-Plus_production-tour_Graphene-process-densities

Back as winter was setting in we had the chance to travel to northern Italy to visit the headquarters of Vittoria-partner Directa Plus, who have developed some of the most advanced graphene manufacturing and applications to hit the cycling industry. We have seen a lot of hype on this new material that promises to revolutionize everything from helmets, to wheels, to tires, and even clothing textiles. But to be honest we had been (and to some degree continue to be) a bit skeptical. A lot of the talk about graphene is filled with hyperbole and such thick marketing-speak, that it is hard to accept claims of bigger, faster, stronger, and at the same time lighter.

So we were definitely more interested in not just claims of improvements, but the actual behind-the-scenes science that should back up the claims. So we sat down with both the Vittoria product development team and the Directa Plus scientists who developed their own proprietary graphene solutions for cycling, dubbed Graphene+. Then in the meantime, for the couple of months it took to get Directa Plus and Vittoria to agree to let us publish some unique details of their protected patented processes, we’ve been riding tires with the new tech to see how they perform in the real world. Join us after the jump as I try to both explain and illustrate how Graphene+ might really have the potential to revolutionize the tire market, both on and off the road…

Continue reading “Vittoria’s Graphene+ Tech: Detailed look at a revolutionary material”



Back as winter was setting in we had the chance to travel to northern Italy to visit the headquarters of Vittoria-partner Directa Plus, who have developed some of the most advanced graphene manufacturing and applications to hit the cycling industry. We have seen a lot of hype on this new material that promises to revolutionize […]

Posted in Factory Tour, Feature, Industry News, Mountain Bike, Road Bike16 Comments

SOC16: Prototype Turner Flux trail bike hints towards more carbon future for brand

Turner Flux carbon 275 mountain bike mtb trailIMG_4150

Turner Flux carbon 275 mountain bike mtb trailIMG_4159

Maybe you’ve noticed recently that the Burner is no longer listed on Turner’s website. As one of my first questions for Dave Turner, the answer was that once the new carbon RFX was introduced, it was simply more popular than the Burner. More than just out selling the Burner, the success of the RFX v4.0 provides insight into the future of Turner bikes.

One of the legendary brands of the industry, Turner Bikes have been around since 1994. That original Burner set a precedent for quality, American made aluminum frames. Perhaps it’s fitting that the Burner v3.1 may be one of the last American made aluminum Turners ever made…

Continue reading “SOC16: Prototype Turner Flux trail bike hints towards more carbon future for brand”



Maybe you’ve noticed recently that the Burner is no longer listed on Turner’s website. As one of my first questions for Dave Turner, the answer was that once the new carbon RFX was introduced, it was simply more popular than the Burner. More than just out selling the Burner, the success of the RFX v4.0 […]

Posted in Feature, Mountain Bike, Sea Otter Classic21 Comments

SOC16: the Slim Chance makes a return with beautiful U.S. made steel Fat Chance road bikes

Slim Chance Fat Chance road bike chris usa handbuiltIMG_3637

Slim Chance Fat Chance road bike chris usa handbuiltIMG_3637

There are probably more people in the world that know of Chris Chance through his iconic Fat Chance brand, but like many builders – it started with the road. Back in the late 70’s, Chris apparently honed his frame building skills on the skinny tire set before introducing Fat City cycles to the world. It wasn’t until 1991 that Fat City introduced the Slim Chance – one of the first production tig welded steel road bikes.

Now with Fat Chance cycles back to offering steel mountain bikes, it was apparently time to see the rebirth of another legend. 25 years later it’s time for the new Slim Chance…

Continue reading “SOC16: the Slim Chance makes a return with beautiful U.S. made steel Fat Chance road bikes”



There are probably more people in the world that know of Chris Chance through his iconic Fat Chance brand, but like many builders – it started with the road. Back in the late 70’s, Chris apparently honed his frame building skills on the skinny tire set before introducing Fat City cycles to the world. It […]

Posted in Feature, Road Bike, Sea Otter Classic8 Comments

SOC16: Pivot LES 29 gets lighter, stiffer, and can get fatter

Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3446

Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3452

What do you do to an already fast carbon hard tail to make it better? If you are from the Cocalis school of bike design, you make it lighter and better performing at the same time as making it more versatile. Carbon hard tails certainly appeal to the racer crowd, but now with the addition of plus size tires, that same bike all of a sudden provides and interesting mix of build combinations…

Continue reading “SOC16: Pivot LES 29 gets lighter, stiffer, and can get fatter”



What do you do to an already fast carbon hard tail to make it better? If you are from the Cocalis school of bike design, you make it lighter and better performing at the same time as making it more versatile. Carbon hard tails certainly appeal to the racer crowd, but now with the addition […]

Posted in Feature, Mountain Bike, Sea Otter Classic13 Comments

SOC16: Marin shows 2017 Pine Mountain 1, Ushers in new 141mm Boost Open QR dropouts

marin pine mountain 1 plus harfd tail 141 boost qr rear spacing axleIMG_3426

marin pine mountain 1 plus harfd tail 141 boost qr rear spacing axleIMG_3419

First day of Sea Otter and we’ve already found a new hub standard. Sort of. Marin took the wraps off the new 2017 Pine Mountain 1 which slots in between the current Pine Mountain 1 and 2, with the 2016 PM1 becoming just the Pine Mountain going forward.

While the addition of a plus bike with a suspension fork and a 1×11 drivetrain for just $1299 is notable, what really caught our attention was the mention of “Boost 141x9mm open dropouts.” This was the first we’d heard of it, so it was straight over to Marin to learn more…

Continue reading “SOC16: Marin shows 2017 Pine Mountain 1, Ushers in new 141mm Boost Open QR dropouts”



First day of Sea Otter and we’ve already found a new hub standard. Sort of. Marin took the wraps off the new 2017 Pine Mountain 1 which slots in between the current Pine Mountain 1 and 2, with the 2016 PM1 becoming just the Pine Mountain going forward. While the addition of a plus bike […]

Posted in Feature, Gravel Bikes, Mountain Bike, Sea Otter Classic26 Comments

SOC16: Trek Farley EX full suspension 27.5″ fat bike crushes all seasons, hardtails get lighter

2017 Trek Farley EX full suspension 275 carbon fiber fat bike

2017 Trek Farley EX full suspension 275 carbon fiber fat bike

Fat bikes are Trek’s fastest growing category, and it’s not because there’s more snow. Surprisingly, they say Nebraska, Kentucky, New Mexico, Arizona and Tennessee are the fastest growing states for fat bikes.

So, the natural evolution to their line is full suspension with the all-new Trek Farley EX full suspension fat bike. It has an even broader usage range than the Farley hardtails. Trek’s calling it an all-season bike, something that’s super versatile and uses the same design and performance of their standard full suspension trail bikes, so it works just as well in the desert, the mountains or the snow.

Going with a pure fat bike rather than “plus” tires gives them even more traction in all types of terrain, and the 120mm suspension gives you more bump control. With fat bike tires, you essentially have uncontrolled suspension coming from the big, inflated rubber. Putting a tuned suspension on both ends of the bike lets them control the motion better, which further enhances traction. To cap it all off, they’re built around 27.5″ fat bike tires, not 26″, which puts an even bigger patch of rubber on the ground. Grip it and rip it.

For those opposed to suspension with their giant tires, there’s also a new top-of-the-line Farley 9.9 rigid carbon hardtail with custom HED carbon wheels that’s a lightweight race rocket…

Continue reading “SOC16: Trek Farley EX full suspension 27.5″ fat bike crushes all seasons, hardtails get lighter”



Fat bikes are Trek’s fastest growing category, and it’s not because there’s more snow. Surprisingly, they say Nebraska, Kentucky, New Mexico, Arizona and Tennessee are the fastest growing states for fat bikes. So, the natural evolution to their line is full suspension with the all-new Trek Farley EX full suspension fat bike. It has an even broader usage […]

Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike, Sea Otter Classic34 Comments

Shimano XT Di2 8050 mountain bike group unveiled, debuts wireless setup for all Di2

Shimano XT di2 electronic shifting drivetrain mountain bike mtb battery wired-28

Shimano XT di2 electronic shifting drivetrain mountain bike mtb battery wired-49

Just as Di2 trickled down on the road, so too does it now bring electronic shifting down to the a more affordable level for mountain bikes. And, just as Ultegra Di2 ushered in the new E-Tube and other technologies that improved upon the original, so too does the new XT Di2 8050 bring a host of impressive new tech and features to Shimano’s battery powered groups.

“How do we make the ride experience better?” asked Dave Lawrence, Shimano’s road product manager, as an introduction to showing how the new XT Di2 will improve the entire Di2 family. “We looked at electronic shifting and how that would change the ride experience. What we found was we could offer incredibly precise shifting. And the ergonomics were fantastic, too. Then we moved it into triathlon, but when we started using it in cyclocross is when it really took off. You had this precise shifting in the worst possible conditions.”

From there, it trickled down to Ultegra and a switch to their plug-and-play E-tube connections. That made remote shifters possible and really brought electronic shifting to the masses. All of that led to Dura-Ace 9070, which borrowed E-tube wiring and actually offered new shifting options for road and triathlon. It also added multi-shift and user control over shift speed and other settings. This group also put their electronic shifting below the weight of a mechanical group for the first time. All of these improvements then trickled down again to Ultegra, and then they took Di2 to their Alfine, Nexus and Steps pavement groups.

From there, it all combined to create the first digital mountain bike system, XTR Di2. And why did they do that?

Continue reading “Shimano XT Di2 8050 mountain bike group unveiled, debuts wireless setup for all Di2”



Just as Di2 trickled down on the road, so too does it now bring electronic shifting down to the a more affordable level for mountain bikes. And, just as Ultegra Di2 ushered in the new E-Tube and other technologies that improved upon the original, so too does the new XT Di2 8050 bring a host […]

Posted in Feature, Mountain Bike49 Comments

SOC16: Spot Rollik full suspension bike gets official w/ Lumpkin’s Living Link carbon flex plate

2016 Spot Rollik full suspension mountain bike with Living Link design by Wayne Lumpkin

2016 Spot Rollik full suspension mountain bike with Living Link design by Wayne Lumpkin

Spot Brand showed us a rideable prototype of their full suspension mountain bike concept exactly one year ago. At that time, it was using a similar suspension design, but had a titanium flex plate in place of a lower linkage arm. Now, a ballistic carbon fiber plate has replaced the ti, which improved fatigue life by many multiples. So much so, in fact, that their test rig was no longer putting the plate through its paces. Rather, the carbon flex plate was testing the limits of their lab equipment. As Spot’s folks put it, you’d have to ride every day for 12 years to match what they did in their testing (3,000,000 cycles) and it still wouldn’t be worn out.

But durability is only part of the suspension’s story, which is only part of the whole bike’s story. The new Spot Rollik was built as a spare-no-expense exercise in making the best mountain bike they possibly could…

Continue reading “SOC16: Spot Rollik full suspension bike gets official w/ Lumpkin’s Living Link carbon flex plate”



Spot Brand showed us a rideable prototype of their full suspension mountain bike concept exactly one year ago. At that time, it was using a similar suspension design, but had a titanium flex plate in place of a lower linkage arm. Now, a ballistic carbon fiber plate has replaced the ti, which improved fatigue life […]

Posted in Feature, Mountain Bike22 Comments