Posts in the category Mountain Bike

Leogang DH World Cup Spy Shots: Intense Races the New M16 and a New Carbon Prototype

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At the Leogang DH World Cup we got some first hand looks at the new aluminum M16 that Intense teased a bit earlier this spring, and just officially announced. The bikes, being raced by the Intense Factory Racing team, were mostly painted in the low key Flat Black finish of the production bikes and put together with Boxxers and SRAM components, but this raw aluminum frame of American Shane Leslie stood out with its blacked-out DVO Emerald/Jade suspension setup and Saint build. The raw finish made it easier for us to see how the bike is put together and to appreciate the American-made machining involved.

Even though the new M16 was only shown to the public a couple of months ago, it seems Intense was pretty happy with the bike’s race performance as a prototype, and so they’re pushing ahead full steam on its carbon successor. We spotted a full-carbon version lurking in plain sight in the team’s paddock, and while no one would comment directly on the bike, it did look pretty well finished.

Hop past the break to get a few more up close shots of the raw aluminum M16, and to take a peek at what will likely become the M16 carbon in the nearish future…

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First Look: Yeti Beti 2016 Women’s Bikes

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For Yeti, 2016 is the year of the Beti – the Beti bike that is. Launching a new line of women’s specific mountain bikes, the two models are the feminine counterparts to the beloved SB5c trail machine and swift ASRc 29er. Let it be known that nothing about the Yeti Beti line is girlie, compromised, overlooked, shrinked or pinked (coral yes, but no pink – which matches their women’s apparel, of course). While it may seem that Yeti is late to the female shred program, the company has in fact been committed to the women’s mountain bike scene for over a decade supporting many riders over the years like Julie Furtado, Marla Streb, Tara Llanes, Jill Kintner, and Rosara Joseph. They’ve also been behind the Beti Bike Bash, the first all-women’s xc race by supporting the Yeti Beti race team.

Yeti still hosts this event and drew a 400 person turnout in June which coincided with the release of the Beti bikes. In fact, the Beti line is not much of a departure from what Yeti has already been offering: XS frame options in the complete line. What distinguishes the new Beti bikes is an approach to complete bikes designed for hard-riding, discerning bad ass ladies including a lighter shock tune, lighter wheels, narrower bars, shorter cranks, and shorter travel dropper posts….

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Project XC Race Rocket: Frame & Fork intro – Niner AIR9 RDO x Lauf Trail Racer

Niner AIR9 RDO and Lauf Trail Racer suspension fork project bike overview and review

At the beginning of the year, I started strategizing for the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek, one of the southeast’s preeminent endurance mountain bike races that sells out in minutes every year. In years past, I’ve raced my full suspension JET9 or some other bike that was on review. This year, I wanted something fast that afforded the opportunity to test all manner of lightweight, race worthy components. As it turns, out, it also let me place a couple older items in a modern setting, which could be of great interest for anyone looking to convert to a 1×10 drivetrain without breaking the bank.

Starting with the backbone of the project, Niner provided the latest AIR9 RDO frame, and Lauf offered a color-matched Trail Racer 29″ suspension fork. Both are stiff, efficient and light weight, getting things off to a great start…

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Scott Widens Bike Line with 27.5+ Genius and Scale for 2016

Scott plus genius 700 scale tuned 2015 2016 (5)

The most recent addition to the 27+ craze, Scott Sports is stepping up with a solid selection of plus sized bikes. Citing similar reasoning from other brands we’ve spoke with about the larger tires, Scott’s feeling is that the increase of traction, control, and tire stability outweigh any of the negatives. In fact, they claim that through their work with Schwalbe they have determined that the 2.8″ tire (on 40mm rim) offers an impressive 21% increase in contact patch with only 1% more rolling resistance. Cap that off with a “minimal” weight gain, and you start to get the picture.

Like most manufacturers we’ve seen jump into the plus sized waters, Scott has chosen to fatten up only a few of their models with a hardtail and full suspension frame both modified to accept bigger rims and tires. At this rate, it won’t be long until 27+ is as common as 27.5….

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Friday RoundUp – Bicycle Bits & Pieces

Video Series

  • The Seasons Collection – A multi-media photography collection of adventure sports-driven stories about people who push the limits in pursuit of their passion aka LIFERS. The video highlights all that happened this past week at Windell’s Sports Camp as the team followed Cadence Founder Dustin Klein, Windell’s Sports Camp Director Jamie Weller and legendary action sports photographer Bryce Kanights. You can also watch all of the other video recaps here.

Father’s Day Deals and more after the break… 

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Interview: Paul Price of Paul Component Engineering

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Paul Price, AKA the founder of Paul Component Engineering, was always going to make stuff. Cool stuff. Having gotten his start building and selling skateboards in middle school, and making and installing his first set of cantilever brakes as a teenager, it seems like he was predestined from childhood to one day build a candy-colored component empire.

But it’s evident from speaking with Paul that he doesn’t take his empire for granted for a second, being one of the lone survivors of the slump in the component market that knocked out many of his domestic competitors in the nineties. He’s constantly evaluating himself and his product and always looking for new opportunities for new cool stuff, reserving a whole CNC machine in his factory for new product development at all times. “I ride most mornings. Come up with ideas. Can we make that? Do we know how to make that? There are days where I go for a ride, come up with an idea, get into the shop, and we’ll have a functional part by the end of the day. I think it’s pretty special that we can do that.”

When I visited his factory for a tour, we talked about the stories behind two bikes from his personal collection- bikes he built during critical times in the component company’s history… READ MORE ->

Leogang DH World Cup Tech: Prototypes and New Finds

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Over the weekend we ran down to the Austrian Alps to catch the 4th round of the UCI Downhill World Cup held at Leogang’s bike park. We spent a couple of days meeting with pro team mechanics and roaming the pits looking for new goodies and came up with quite a few. We’ve got some good features in the works for some DH pro bike checks, but first we’ll jump into some prototypes.

It is always good when you spot a raw aluminum frame rolling through the pits, the sure sign of a testing prototype. This one is a new DH offering in the works from German company Cube whose biggest travel bike currently in production is their 180mm Enduro Fritzz. Hop on past the break for the details we got on this bike, as well as PRO-totypes from Reynolds, Saracen, Shimano, and Bontrager…

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First Ride / First Look: Specialized Stumpjumper S-Works FSR 6Fattie

Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (3)

Last year at this time, the concept of a 27.5+ wheel size was littler more than a rumor – another feather in an already very full cap. In a very short period of time middle fat sizes have gone from ideas to full blown bikes. While the bigger companies have typically been more reserved when it comes to new sizes and genres, with 650b+, or 6Fattie as they call it, Specialized is jumping straight in.

After launching their 6Fattie dedicated hardtails known as the Fuse and the Ruze at Sea Otter, Specialized was quietly waiting to launch one of the first 27.5+ full suspension bikes as well. Given the fact that the 6Fattie uses the same Trail Chassis front triangle as the new Stumpjumper FSR which was just released, the fatter FSR had to wait for its debut. Now that the curtain has been pulled back, we got a chance to check out the Stumpjumper S-Works 6Fattie FSR in person and even get in an awesome ride in Graeagle, CA…

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Video: Fox Explains What’s Going on Inside the new Float X2 and DHX2

2015 is shaping up to be a big year for Fox Shox. Between ditching CTD and revamping their line of 32 and 34 forks, they’ve also also introduced two all new shocks for the enduro and DH segments.

First introduced at Sea Otter, the new DHX2 and Float X2 shocks have external high and low speed rebound and compression adjustments, as well as a new rod valve system (RVS).

To help explain the tech, Fox just launched two mini sites for the shocks (DHX2 and Float X2) and this great video – complete with a soothing voice over, Ratboy hucks, and easy to follow diagrams.

Fox Shox