Posts in the category Feature

IB15: Alchemy Arktos waves hello to all-new suspension mountain bike design

2016 Alchemy Arktos full suspension mountain bike with Sine suspension design

Earlier this year when we saw Alchemy’s new hardtail Oros mountain bike, the company hinted at full suspension things to come. A few months later, here it is. After bringing on David Earle, an engineer with the Sotto Group, Alchemy has created a legitimate all mountain contender that’s built in the U.S.A.

Designed around a unique suspension system, and built with Alchemy’s own mandrel and mold system, the Arktos is almost ready to do battle…


Review: Intense’s 2015 Spider 27.5 is an Inspiring, Well Rounded Trail Eater

2015 Intense Spider 27.5, climbing

Not long after ‘six-inch’ all-mountain bikes became the big thing it seemed like many manufacturers turned their focus to developing trail bikes with slack angles and less squish, but near-equal capabilities. When I found out I’d be riding an Intense Spider 27.5 this summer, I was extremely curious to test a shorter travel bike on the rough, steep terrain we have here in Pemberton, B.C.

Now the Spider isn’t the slackest bike out there, and its long, racey geometry gives it a cross-country fit and feel. That said, I was impressed with how hard I could push the Spider on tougher, more technical trails. The bike’s 130mm of travel ate up almost everything I put it down, only showing its weaknesses when I took it a bit beyond its boundaries on the roughest stuff I could find.

The Spider 27.5 is definitely an inspiring climber and a capable descender. With its agile handling, aggressive uphill abilities and balanced geometry the Spider would make a great ride for anyone who’s not riding their AM bike like a DH. Read past the break for the full review…

Eurobike Coverage Review – Week #2: Chosen goes for 12 Speeds, Cippollini Gets Aero, DT Swiss & HED Get Wider and MORE!

2016 Cipollini NK1K aero road bike2016-Trickstuff-Direttisima-lightweight-powerful-disc-brake-lever012016-Maxxis-DD-double-down-aggressor-enduro-mountain-bike-tire01Haibike_Noon-8-50_carbon-cyclocross-bike_complete

Welcome back to Eurobike coverage part deux! With more categories to cover than ever, this year’s show was huge and kept us on our toes more than ever. Pour yourself a well deserved scotch, kick your feet up, and travel into this week’s coverage of Eurobike 2015.

And in case you missed Week 1’s exciting coverage, check it out!


Counterpoint: ‘Motor+Bike=Motorbike’ – Marc Basiliere’s Take on E-Bike Trail Access

Photo: Kip Malone

Photo: Kip Malone

I knew that finding a counterpoint for the Michael Kelley E-Bike interview would be challenging due to the passionate opinions on all sides of the e-bike trail access debate. While the pro-e-bike lobby feels an urgency in expanding the market and user access to product, the anti-e-bike lobby fears the loss of land access they have fought so valiantly for, for decades. What everyone can agree on is that adoption seems inevitable, and finding industry members of the community would be problematic due to the pervasiveness of the technology. Any counterpoint would have to do justice to those who want to keep their trails motor-free.

Enter Marc Basiliere of Lindarets. As we were in the process of publishing in the Michael Kelley interview, Marc was gearing up to launch his new “Motorbike” shirt (Motor+Bike=Motorbike), all proceeds from which go to IMBA in support of their current position against motorized vehicles on trails. The project was inspired, as he said, by a frustration that big industry support of IMBA by members of the e-bike manufacturing community would overwhelm what he perceived to be the voices of the individual trail users calling for pause and consideration in allowing access. In Marc’s mind, there are disastrous implications for embracing the technology on cycling trails without caveat, from the disruption of trail harmony and safety to both the access that we currently enjoy and potential future access. So when the Kelley piece went live, Marc pasted the copy for the shirt, his e-bike manifesto, into the comments section. He then volunteered to be the counterpoint, so I gave him a call… READ MORE ->

Santa Cruz Springs New VPP Linkage Along with Updated Bronson and 5010

Bronson Kalimotxo Hero

It’s been nearly 3 years since Santa Cruz introduced the Bronson. Launched on April Fools’ Day, the Bronson was no joke and was the company’s first stab at a bike specifically built around 27.5″ wheels. Built as an extremely capable enduro racer, a lot has changed since Bronson first came on the scene.

Top tubes are longer, geometry is more slack, and bikes are being raced even faster down unbelievably technical trails. If you pay attention to the message boards and the comment sections, riders were asking for an updated version of the beloved Bronson and 5010. As always, Santa Cruz was listening…

EB15: Chosen opens up with 12 speed wide range MTB cassette & shifters, plus new carbon hubs


Last year, Chosen showed us their amazing frictionless hubs that spun freely in both directions…until pedaling forces were applied, at which point they snapped into gear immediately to propel you forward.

This year, the fanciful feats of engineering were external, the most interesting being a complete 12-speed upgrade kit that includes shifters, wide range cassette and rear hub. Or a new freehub design, anyway. The cassette is only slightly wider than a standard 11-speed one, so the flanges on the rear hub are inset about 1.5 to 2mm from a normal one (something easily accommodated for if used on a Boost hub). The reason for a special freehub body? Because it drops all the way down to a 9-tooth cog…


Interview: Alex Webster of Hermes Wheels


After years building custom wheels for one-off customers and small batch production partners, Alex Webster, founder of Hermes Sports, found himself limited by what he perceived to be a performance ceiling in the product he could make using existing hardware. From his years of industry exposure and experience in wheel-building, and with the help of an engineer friend, Alex has spent the last three years developing and testing the VK wheel system from the ground-up, and it’s finally on shelves and ready for consumers. And, according to Alex, the wheelset delivers on the road.

But an innovative new product isn’t the whole story. In parallel with the development and testing process for these wheels, Alex has worked to establish a domestic manufacturing network for his proprietary parts, as well as setting up assembly facility in downtown San Diego. For Alex, Hermes is not just an opportunity to produce the wheels he wants to ride and to see in the world, but it’s an opportunity to stimulate and support the local and domestic manufacturing infrastructure… READ MORE ->

EB15: 2016 Cannondale mountain bikes get bigger with FatCAAD fat bike, Bad Habit 27.5+ and Beast of the East

2016 Cannondale Bad Habit 275plus full suspension trail bike

The 120mm Habit was introduced just before Eurobike as a trail bike to fill in between their Trigger and Scalpel.

The new Bad Habit bumps things even bigger with plus sized tires and Boost rear spacing. The geometry and suspension kinematics stay the same as the regular Habit, they just made room for bigger rubber in the rear triangle. The crank spindle length and BB shell stays the same, too, but the chainring is offset to maintain proper chain line. It’ll fit up to 27.5 x 3.0 tires.

The Lefty 2.0 is standard, it accommodates the fatter tires just fine. It’s the monstrous new Lefty Olaf you wanna watch out for…


EB15: Rotor Uno hydraulic road group – first look & tech details!

Rotor Uno hydraulic shifting road bike group tech details and photos

Our discovery of Rotor’s hydraulic shifting patents turned out to be well timed, teeing up the group’s public debut nicely. Turns out, our technical breakdown of the groups functioning was nearly spot on, so we’ll recap:

By using a completely hydraulic system from the shift lever all the way to the derailleurs and putting the ratcheting mechanism on the derailleurs, Rotor was able to eliminate any slack from the line that could lead to loose shifting. The side benefits of such a system included lighter weight and plenty of functional improvements that simply can’t happen on a cable-driven or mechanical system.

The key to the system is precision and reliability. Hydraulics have been proven in everything from bicycles to airplanes to heavy industry, just not for bicycle shifting until now. Their motivation was to let customers looking at Rotor’s oval rings and lightweight alloy cranksets find an entire group with the same brand. Undoubtedly, it will also give them more opportunities to put the group on pro teams that may otherwise have to opt for SRAM, Shimano or Campagnolo groups simply because of sponsorship programs dictating complete group use. And they hinted we might see some major teams on the group very soon. But that can’t be enough to justify the heavy time, energy and financial commitment the development of such a product can draw from a company. So, it needs create demand based on its merits. Of which, there are quite a few.

Check out the cutaway photos and tech details below, along with new carbon chainrings, and new 1x rings for road and mountain…