Posts in the category Feature

Suspension Setup Series #1 – Set Your Sag Properly

bikerumor guide how to set up mountain bike suspension sag

At virtually every mountain bike and suspension launch we attend, we’re told to simply sit on the bike while someone slides the “fun-o-meter” ring to the base of the fork or shock, then we hop off and see where it lies. If it’s in the ballpark, we gear up and head out, fiddling with the settings as we ride.

Recently, I had some time with Rockshox brand ambassador and SRAM MTB marketing manager Duncan Riffle, who also happens to be a 2x U.S. National Downhill Champ and former World Cup DH competitor, so we discussed the finer points of suspension set up. The result is this 6-part series, with additional input from Manitou’s Eric Porter, who’s raced professionally in XC/DH/DS/DJ over the past 11 years, and Mark Fitzsimmons, Fox Racing Shox’s race program manager and pro athlete suspension tuner. As you’ll see throughout the multi-part story, there’s quite an art to getting it all dialed, but when you do, it’s pure magic on the trail.

So, ready to rethink everything about how your suspension is set up? Good. We’ll start with sag, which is the amount of travel your suspension moves through just by adding your own weight (body, clothes, pack, etc.) to the bike. This puts the suspension into an active state, letting it react in both directions, keeping your tire glued to the dirt. To get it right, there are two things to consider: Rider position and amount of sag. We’ll start with properly positioning yourself on the bike so that sag is set based on your actual riding.

But first, make sure your fork and shock both have their compression damping set to their fully Open/Descend positions, then hop on the bike…

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Salsa Creates new Fat Bike Categories w/ New Bucksaw, Blackborow & More

Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (3)

You can always tell the hot bike at a demo by how hard it is to get one to try. Whether due to excitement, skepticism, curiosity, or disbelief, usually one bike stands above the rest. In the case of QBP’s Saddle Drive event this year in Ogden UT, that bike had to be the new Salsa Bucksaw full suspension fat bike. It seemed that even those with no interest in fat bikes wanted a ride just to see what it was like.

As the first mass produced full suspension fat bike, the Bucksaw joins other new additions for 2015 to create the most diverse fat bike line up anywhere. While some of the companies are just releasing their first bike with the giant tires, Salsa now offers five different categories of fat bikes from rigid to full sus.

Curious why there needs to be such a variety of fat bikes? Find out next, plus details and actual weights for the Bucksaw, Blackborow, Beargrease, and Mukluk…

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2015 Felt Mountain Bikes – Lighter High End, Cheaper Low End & Plenty in Between

2015-Felt-Edict-FRD-XC-race-full-suspension-mountain-bike

For 2015, Felt’s mountain bikes don’t introduce any brand new models, but like the road side they bring their top level tech down to more affordable level while also spreading their TeXtreme carbon to more bikes. They’ve also added a few women’s specific hardtails, from a carbon 29er racer to alloy 27.5 entry level builds. At the very top end, there’s a new FRD Edict that’s built with top shelf components to be a lightweight, World Cup level full suspension XC race rocket. We’ll start with that.

The new Edict FRD takes advantage of their top level UHC carbon and adds TeXtreme with a build that’s an XC racer’s dream with an XX1 Grip Shift group turned by a Race Face NEXT SL crankset, RS-1 fork with Monarch XX using their X-Loc Full Spring dual-push lockout to control both. An Easton carbon fiber cockpit, including the EC90 stem, and Avid XX World Cup brakes with 180/160 rotors. The Edict is a 100mm travel bike, but for this model they set the RS-1 at 120mm travel to make the bike a bit more aggressive. It’s rolling on the Rise 60 carbon wheels with Schwalbe Nobby Nics tires.

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First Look: Salsa Suspension gets Lighter, Stiffer with New Carbon Spearfish and Horsethief

Salsa Spearfish carbon RS-1

Just over a year ago, Salsa Cycles took the wraps off their all new full suspension bikes with the Spearfish and Horsethief. While the Spearfish had been around for some time, both of the bikes took advantage of Dave Weagle’s Split Pivot concentric dropout design to allow efficient pedaling suspension that was still active under braking. Built with 80 and 120mm of travel, the Spearfish and the Horsethief have been in high demand since their introduction.

In 2015 both bikes receive a major update in the form of material. Stepping into the realm of carbon fiber, both bikes now feature a high modulus carbon front triangle and seat stays while sticking with 6066-T6 aluminum chainstays. Even though the Spearfish was already a highly optimized, weight conscious bike the move to carbon fiber nets a 220g loss in frame weight while the burlier Horsethief sees around a 340g weight loss. Other than a larger seat post clamp to constrict the carbon tube, the main standards on each frame remain unchanged from their aluminum siblings.

With decreased weight, improved spec, and the same Salsa feel, the new Spearfish and Horsethief are ready for your next adventure. Details and actual weights after the jump…

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Factory Tour: Hunter Cycles’ Santa Cruz Mountain Workshop

Hunter Cycles Factory Tour (17)Nestled deep in the coastal redwood forests of Northern California, acclaimed custom builder Rick Hunter quietly builds hand made bicycles for clients from around the world.

Starting with steel tubing, and dabbling in carbon, over the past twenty years he has created a reputation for clean lines and a unique aesthetic.

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Scott Road 2015: Disc Brakes for Solace Road Bike, Integrated Aerodynamics on Plasma 5

Scott road 2015 disc Solace plasma 5 (21)

At this point, we’re all pretty aware that disc brakes for road bikes are here to stay. Lately the conversation seems to focus on how manufacturers will address the issue of axle standards, and now even the brake mounts themselves are in question. For their foray into the world of disc brakes, Scott has adapted their Solace endurance frame which was initially launched last year in rim brake versions only. In 2015 the Solace will still be mostly rim brake equipped, with the Solace 15 Disc the solitary model running discs.

Perhaps more important than the brakes is the fact that Scott has chosen to equip the Solace 15 with thru axles front and rear. Oh, and the rear brake mount is pretty interesting as well…

More on the Solace 15, plus an up close look at the new Plasma 5 rocket ship, next!

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Photo Gallery – More 2015 Specialized Mountain Bikes & One More Road Tire

2015 Specialized Enduro Evo with Boxxer dual crown fork and Ohlins coil over rear shock

If you thought our first round up of 2015 bikes from Specialized was lacking in gravity oriented models, your wait is over. We’ve also found more frameset colorways, a couple fat bikes, a cost-is-no-object women’s full suspension racer and…another road bike tire.

Above, the new 650B Enduro Evo with Rockshox Boxxer dual crown fork is about as close as you’ll get to Specialized downhill bike without actually buying a, um, Specialized downhill bike. Equipped with Ohlins rear coil-over shock, chain guide, Thomson seatpost and Spec’s new Slaughter rear tire on Roval 650B DH wheels. Word is there are very few 26″ full suspension bikes left in their 2015 lineup.

Drop in for more…

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First Look: Big Ed Fat Bike brings Big Tires for Scott 2015

Big_Ed_Close Up Image_2015_BIKE_SCOTT_Sports-1

There was a bit of talk about horses for courses among the Scott Week presentations, since bikes that may work well in one area of the world, might not be ideal in others. The horse analogy may have continued in the naming of Scott’s new fat bike, but instead of Mr. Ed, meet Big Ed. We expected to see a number of impressively light, super capable mountain bikes among Scott’s 2015 offerings, but a fat bike? That was surprising.

Fortunately for Scott, being new to the fat bike scene means that they are able to jump right in with a RockShox Bluto equipped bike. Built with suspension corrected geometry and modern axle sizes, Big Ed looks like it will be another popular option in the world of fat bikes.

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Exclusive First Look: Kuroshiro Takes on 29+ with Hybrid Composite Polymer enso 950

 

kuroshiro enso 950 29+ carbon rim (5)

Earlier this year while Minnesota was trapped in Nature’s icy grip, we met with Mauro Bertolotto of Raceware Srl. Mauro was very excited to show us a special project he had been working on – the first Kuroshiro carbon rim. Unlike most companies that specialize in high end carbon goods, Kuroshiro was starting with products specifically designed for fat bikes. Using a number of intriguing technologies, the Enso 685 was designed to be one of the lightest fat bike rims on the market.

Now, Kuroshiro is introducing their second product, the all new Enso 950. After deciphering the naming structure, we’re left with a 29” rim that is 50mm wide. Perfect for the growing 29+ market. Created to be just as impressive as the 685, the 950 continues with a bit of new carbon technology to offer even higher performance.

Just like the 685, the feature packed 950 won’t come cheap, but it’s not every day you can drop 5 pounds from your bike with a single swap…

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