Posts in the category Mountain Bike

Shimano files patent for shiftable narrow-wide chainrings

patent application drawings for Shimano shiftable narrow-wide double chainrings

With the advent of narrow wide chainring designs, we’ve gone from worrying about dropped chains to full on all mountain riding with nothing more than a bare single chainring up front keeping our chain in place. Sure, clutch-equipped rear derailleurs help, and more aggressive riders still use a chain guide on occasion. But for most of us, the alternating tooth profiles are all we need to keep things running silent and smooth.

The tradeoff, of course, is that these chainrings couldn’t be used in a double crankset since there are no provisions for moving the chain from one ring to another. Whether it was simply an assumption that it couldn’t be done or a lack of interest in better chain retention on a double (or triple, for that matter), it simple fact is it wasn’t on the radar. Now, thanks to Shimano, it is, and we’ve got some good ideas on where it could be heading…


Tenneco to close Marzocchi mountain bike, motor bike suspension business (UPDATED)

Over the last couple years of trade shows, the innovation and new product announcements from Marzocchi had steadily slowed to a trickle. Now, the business has decided to close the doors on its mountain bike and motorcycle suspension business permanently.

Some of the last few drops from their product pipeline were the 27.5+ fork shown above and the final iteration of their dropper seatpost, but it looks like those wont ever see the light of day. Full PR after the break…

UPDATED: Copy of letter from the brand to distributors added at bottom of post.


Fox Factory Tour Part 2: The Assembly Line

Fox US Factory Production (9)

After components are produced at Fox’s California based machine shop, the parts are sent out for anodization (either locally or to Japan), then shipped to the Fox assembly facility in a small town just South of Santa Cruz, CA. 

As these components arrive from all corners of the world, random samples are pulled for inspection and walked directly from the receiving area and into the Quality Lab.

In addition to testing individual components, they also pull sub-assemblies to ensure parts are fitting together properly and double check for wear on tooling.


All-new 2016 Orbea Rallon refined into high speed enduro racing machine

2016 Orbea Rallon enduro mountain bike first ride impressions

The Orbea Rallon was reworked in 2014 and intentionally made only in alloy so they could more easily make tweaks. Overall, they were very happy with it, but it does get a few but important updates for 2016. Why? Because enduro.

The 2014 Rallon was originally built for their enduro team, designed as a racing bike from the outset just as the whole enduro scene was blowing up. And it’s been well reviewed since then, so there was no need to reinvent it, just refine it. The frame is still 7000-series, triple butted and hydroformed alloy, and it keeps their Advanced Dynamics linkage driven single pivot suspension design. Advanced Dynamics is their method for designing suspension around more than just the shock tune and leverage ratio by considering rider generated forces on the pedals, handlebar and frame. There’s a port for stealth dropper posts and all cable and brake housing now runs externally for easier setup and maintenance.

The biggest news is a switch to the Boost 148 rear end…


Suplest introduces new Edge3 Cycling Shoe collection


Thinking of themselves as the smallest premium shoe company, Swiss Suplest put some unique touches into their shoes that end up standing out from the bunch. The new Edge3 collection is built around the Ego 360° last that it shares with their whole range, and will come in both road and mountain outsoles. The Edge3 gets Boa dials and stiff outsoles for power transfer, but a supple microfiber upper paired with extensive mesh to fit comfortably and breathe well.

Join us after the break for the low-down on the Pro, Performance, and Sport features…


Rose Bikes BIKETOWN, their first concept store in Munich


While the consumer-direct model has spread through Europe in recent years, many cyclists still don’t want to shell out thousands of Euros sight-unseen. So consumer-direct companies like Rose Bikes have started to build brick-and-mortar retail stores to reinforce their brand and connect to customers in a real world sense. We had a chance to stop in at Rose’s first concept store in Munich, which opened last fall and it seems to nicely bridge the gap between their internet shop and their customers. Read on to see how they are reaching out to the internet bike shopper….


Northwave Digs Deeper with Michelin Soles for New Enduro, MTB, and Road Shoes; plus new Apparel


Expanding on the Spider Plus 2 shoes that we’ve have on a long-term test this year, Northwave worked with Cedric Gracia to develop a shoe specifically targeted to Enduro racing. The Enduro Mid shoes (above) carry over the all-synthetic thermowelded uppers of the Spider than makes them quite durable and water resistant. They also get a heavily reinforced toe and a padded tongue for comfort and extra security. On the Enduros Northwave’s SLW2 (Boa-like) adjustment dial gets a special cover to guard against rock strikes while still allowing fine fit control. The new Enduro shoes gets a X-Fire Michelin outsole, soft inside for great pedal grip and harder on the outer edges for more stability and longer wear. The Enduro Mid shoe is also to be joined by a low cut option as well, replacing the dial with a SpeedLace2 (SL2) closing system.

Jump past the break for the other shoe updates and a 68 gram jersey…


Kona Launches New Road Models, Redesigns Cross Country Range

Konda Roadhouse 2016

If the heat wasn’t a solid indicator that summer was here, the wave of new model year 2016 product launches should be. While many brands are content to merely introduce new color ways, Kona is “going deeper.”

With that theme in mind, the traditionally mountain oriented brand has expanded its line of road bikes, redesigned its cross country models, and updated several other MTB models to better meet new and growing riding segments.

Up first is the new Roadhouse, which is a classic steel road frame built with Reynolds 853 tubing, modern touches like disc brakes, a tapered headset, and 12×142 thru axle dropouts…


Friday RoundUp – Bicycle Bits & Pieces


Racing and Events

  • Brompton World Champion to Be Part of UCI Worlds in Richmond – The UCI road world championships, which come to the United States this September for the first time in a generation, will be even more of a spectacle thanks to the addition of one of the most unusual bicycle events in the world. Closing the first week of UCI racing on September 25, 2015, 150 nattily dressed Brompton folding bike riders from around the country will compete in the USA leg of the Brompton World Championship series.
  • Red Bull Rampage Tickets on Sale August 10th – Red Bull Rampage, the world’s toughest freeride MTB event, will once again welcome a limited number of spectators on-site to witness the 10th Edition firsthand October 17. Tickets will be released to the public on August 10 for $25 and can be purchased at Spectators who are lucky enough to make the journey will also be able to attend the qualifiers, held on October 15. If you miss out on tickets or can’t attend the spectacle in person, you can watch the finals live on Red Bull TV.
  • Le Tour de France Continues – The Tour heads into the Alps this weekend. Will anyone be able to take the Maillot Jaune from Froome? Visit in the USA if you want to watch it live. The official site of Le Tour is