Posts in the category Feature

Yeti Introduces New SB5C Super Bike With Revolutionary Switch Infinity Technology

2015_Yeti_SwitchInfinity_Mech

Among bike manufacturers, Yeti Cycles holds claims to one of the most rabid fan bases. Called the tribe, they’re a loyal group who’s numbers where recently bolstered by the dearly departed SB-66. That bike and it’s larger wheeled counterpart, the SB-95,  introduced the Switch Link suspension system.

What set that technology apart from a myriad of competitors was a counter rotating main pivot. Acting as a dual link, as the suspension was cycled through it’s initial travel, the pivot changed directions. This allowed Yeti to control the leverage rate throughout the travel and eliminate chain growth from affecting the suspension performance.

In it’s initial iterations on the SB-66, 75, and 95 models, the ability to tune the handling to distinctly alter each bikes suspension performance proved it’s versatility. Yet the Colorado based company thought there was still room for improvement…. READ MORE ->

Factory Tour: From Raw Metal to Finished Pedal, VP does it All

VP Components Modus Taiwan Factory Pedal Production Tour409

There are a number of things that come to mind when thinking about Taiwanese manufacturing in the bicycle industry. On the small island you’ll find every level of producer making complete bikes right down to the individual bolt. Much of the production is similar to what you would find in the US with companies getting a number of different parts from their suppliers and then assembling the final product on their own factory floor.

Then there are companies like VP Components. Where raw materials are swallowed up by the gargantuan facility only to be spit out as finished goods. VP may be a relatively new name to the US market on the consumer side, but if you’ve ridden bikes for any amount of time you have probably used their products without even knowing it. Situated as one of the largest suppliers of OEM headsets in the world, VP is also one of the last producers of high quality, inexpensive square taper bottom brackets. Oh, they played a big roll in the development of reliable methods to mass produce the ISIS BB standard in Taiwan as well.

All of the buildings on VP’s campus work together in harmony to fulfill VP’s specialty of one stop production. Their customers receive completely finished and packaged products that are ready for the store shelves, or to be assembled into bikes. Capable of producing up to a half million items in a single month, bottom brackets, headsets, and pedals all roll out of the facility on a regular basis. And yes, they have their own BMX track….

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First Look: Mavic Lightens Up with new Crossmax SL Wheels

Crossmax SLR 275 29 mavic mou (6)

Until now, Mavic’s updated Crossmax Wheel Tire Systems on the mountain side have been geared towards the ever popular buzz word, Enduro. However, each successive launch has brought lighter and lighter wheels, and the all new Mavic Crossmax SL is the lightest yet. Not only are the wheels the lightest in the new WTS range, the wheels are the lightest mountain bike specific wheel system Mavic has produced. Designed specifically for cross country riders, racers, and fast trail riders, the Crossmas SLs certainly aren’t the uber wide wheels that have become so popular lately. Instead the wheels offer impressive durability with a new rim profile to create an impressively light aluminum wheel at an affordable price.

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All New Specialized Diverge Gravel Road Bike Takes Back Roads to Adventure

specialzied Diverge It would be hard to pinpoint a specific moment in time when adventure biking became a marketable concept, but if you put a finger on the pulse of road biking today, the gravel grinding concept would be the thing that gets the most rider’s hearts pumping.

The formula of course is simple. We’ve been doing it for years, since we were kids really. Except back then, it was just tromping through the woods on mis-adjusted bikes.

Today, a combination of carbon technology, reliable wheels, and disc brakes, makes the world beyond pavement far more comfortable to explore. Taking off where cyclocross bikes left off, the new Diverge models from Specialized are purpose built to conquer dirt roads and goat trails.  READ MORE ->

Review: Magura TS8 eLECT Suspension Fork – Electronic, Brains Free Lockout For the Win!

Magura-eLECT-TS8-suspension-fork-review

Last summer, Magura introduced their eLECT suspension fork with built in sensors to automatically stiffen the fork up for climbing. It also gave the rider manual control over lock out by way of a Bluetooth remote button.

Where the Rockshox/Lapierre collabo utilizes outboard sensors and the Fox iCD is simply a manually controlled electronic lockout lever, Magura’s system is both simpler and smarter. It’s simpler in that it only has a lockout mode, not a multi-mode like the Rockshox system with variable levels. It’s smarter in that it does the lockout on its own, not requiring the flick of a switch. As such, it makes for a very efficient, lightweight system that (in it’s best configuration) requires absolutely no thought from the rider, leaving you to focus on racing. That’s good, because this fork and the eLECT system is itself entirely focused on racing as far as I’m concerned. For now anyway – there are a few changes and some interesting product testing going on at Magura, which I’ll recap at the end.

Check out the tech, weights and ride review to see how it all works…

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SSC Tour: Inside the Mavic “La Maison Jaune”

Mavic Yellow House la maison juane california service center course (2)

You’ve seen them. The yellow chase vehicles and motorcycles carrying neutral support in the form of Mavic wheels have become a regular fixture in professional cycling. Since 1973 Mavic has been supporting professional cycling through their SSC (Special Service Course) after Mavic Chairman Bruno Gormand simply let someone borrow his car. That someone was a team manager during the 1972 Criterium du Dauphine Libere whose car had broken down. The loaner from Bruno meant he could finish the race, and the concept of neutral support was born. The following year the first yellow car was seen just ahead of the peloton during Paris-Nice, offering support to members of the breakaway.

Now, the Mavic SSC is expanding yet again with the introduction of the La Maison Jaune in Newbury Park, California. Serving as a home base for the American neutral support and as an event space for Mavic and their dealers, the Yellow House is the latest installment in a long history of cycling support.

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Mavic Celebrates 125th Anniversary w/ Custom Bikes by Argonaut, Indy Fab, Lynskey, Mosaic, Ritte & Seven

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When you think about it, it’s pretty hard to believe that Mavic has been around for 125 years. That is, until you look at their list of firsts. At this point in cycling we take a lot of technology for granted, but there was a time when a rim that was simply made from aluminum was a big deal. It was such a big deal that in 1934 when Mavic first used the Duraluminum rim they actually painted it in wood grain to hide it from competitors. That year it won the Tour de France – weighing half that of comparable rims at the time may have helped. Those firsts continued as the years went on with the first aluminum clincher rim. The first complete wheel system. The first UST rim design. First full aluminum wheel system with the Ksyrium, and first Wheel Tire System with the Ksyrium K10.

Even though it’s still evolving, much of the bicycle wheel technology we rely on every day has Mavic roots. Naturally, when it came time to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the storied company here in the US, Mavic wanted to do something that would honor the brand’s heritage. In addition to opening the Mavic La Maison Jaune here in Newbury Park, CA, Mavic reached out to custom frame builders to build some truly unique bikes. Each masterpiece was centered around the Limited Edition Mavic Ksyrium 125 of which only 6000 sets will be sold. Ksyrium 125 Wheel Tire Systems are currently available and selling for $1850.

More than just wheels, the Mavic 125th bikes capture a century and a quarter’s worth of history in two wheel form… READ MORE ->

Shimano Announces New Flat Mount Disc Brake Standard For Road Bikes

New Shimano Road Disc Brake Standard

Today, Shimano has announced a new mount standard for road disc brakes called Flat Mount. This new mounting option has been developed by Shimano in close cooperation with leading road bike brands as a dedicated “on road” solution. This new design allows bike manufacturers to move away from the mountain bike history and looks that has been used up to this point.

We have no further details at this point, but Shimano did send over these CAD drawings in their press release. Head past the break for a couple of more tidbits from the press release… READ MORE ->

First Look! New Time Skylon Road Bike – Lighter, More Aero & One-Piece Construction

2015 Time Skylon aero road bike

The upcoming Time Skylon road bike is a big advance for the storied French brand, changing up their trademark two-piece construction and giving them a proper aero road bike to drive the peloton.

The frame reportedly continues use of their RTM (Resin Transfer Molding) and woven tubes, but builds the frame as a single piece rather than bonding the rear triangle onto the front. It also bumps up some tube cross section sizes from what we’ve seen before, which helped them make the frame both lighter and stiffer. One of the benefits of their fiber construction method, which lays dry fibers into the molds rather than stiffer pre-preg, is that they can get more complex shapes and details. Here, they’ve used it to smooth each section of the frame into the other to give it better aerodynamics…

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