Posts in the category Prototype

Cyclocross Worlds Tech Finds: Prototypes and Pro Tips, Part 2

CX-Worlds_Mathieu-van-der-Poel_Stevens_Super_Prestige_Disc_prototype_spray-on_polish

We’re back for another roundup of tech details from last weekend’s Cyclocross Worlds in Tábor. Today we’ll start off with the bike of young Dutchman and new world champ Mathieu van der Poel, as he kept a couple of mechanics busy going over his four prototype bikes in prep for Sunday’s big race. The biggest secret we could weasel out of them was probably their heavy use of spray-on wax polish. Besides making frames, helmets, and shoes look sparkly and new, it also does a bit to keep mud from sticking and certainly makes it easier to quickly wash the mud off that does build-up on the bike.

Follow past the break again for part two, where we’ll look a bit more behind the scenes at the prep for the final elite men’s race…

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Cyclocross Worlds Tech Finds: Prototypes and Pro Tips, Part 1

CX-Worlds_Womens-World-Champion_Pauline-Ferrand-Prevot_Liv-Giant_muddy_cyclocross_race_bike

Women’s World Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot’s muddy 140mm Freeza disc and Di2-equipped Liv-Giant Brava Advanced Pro

We spent last weekend standing out in the cold and snow flurries of Tábor, an hour south of Prague, screaming at cross racers riding around in circles. In between bourbon, beers, and cow bell ringing, we also sought out anything interesting from a tech perspective that we could pass on to you. There were several prototypes from tires to frames, that we’ll offer our guess as to whether they’ll make it to market.

We met with several professional mechanics and the odd directeur sportif to see what kind of special prep they were doing for bikes for a world championship. Some had worked dozens of worlds and had the wisdom to show for it, while a few were there for the first time and just happy to soak in the atmosphere. We also had a chance to get out on the course for a bit with some of the pros pre-riding the course to test out a couple of the bikes we have on test and to help some friends figure out which tires to ride for the changing frozen and muddy track.

So click on through for our first part, and we’ll try to give you a little behind the scenes insight into a bunch of things stood out for us…

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Bike Check: Neko Mulally’s new Scott Gambler w/ prototype Fox shock

Neko Mulally Scott Gambler Dh bike with prototype dual high-low speed compression and rebound coil shock

Having moved to Asheville, NC, last year, gravity phenom Neko Mulally showed up for a Scott Bicycles demo ride at Billy Goat Bikes recently and gave us the run down on his new team bike.

The frame is the 2015 Scott Gambler with 27.5″ wheels that was introduced last summer, and a Scott rep informed the model will carryover unchanged for 2016, save for the likely spec updates. We were thinking there might be a carbon version coming, but the official word is that the riders are doing quite well on the alloy bike and are very happy with it. Neko’s been testing a coil version of a new dual high/low speed compression/rebound Fox shock for a couple months now, we just couldn’t photograph it the first time he showed it to us. We spotted a prototype Fox air shock using the same new damping controls in testing earlier, and our source tells us Neko could be swapping that in soon, too.

Drop in for a little Q&A and closeup pics…

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SRAM Wireless Electronic Road Group Spotted (Again) at Tour Down Under Warmups

SRAM Red wireless electronic road group closeup photos from Gravel Cyclist at Tour Down Under 2015

Spotted by Jayson of GravelCyclist.com while riding along with the AG2R during training in Australia prior to the Tour Down Under, these SRAM wireless electronic front and rear derailleurs are looking pretty darn polished.

Mounted to Christophe Riblon’s Focus Izalco Max road bike, there’s at least one detail we hadn’t quite picked up on in the already profuse collection of photos and technical data we’ve amassed on this group. The tops of each derailleur appear to have a similar looking hatch, which we’re guessing hides the charging port. Micro-USB would be our guess, since it would allow both charging and firmware updates. Plenty of closeups and links below…

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Prototype Smith aero helmet spotted in the wind tunnel atop UHC

prototype-smith-aero-helmet-united-healthcare-pro-cycling-team

Photo: UHCprocycling on Twitter

We’d heard rumor late last year that the United Health Care pro cycling team was helping test a new aero helmet from Smith, and now it looks like they’re taking it the wind tunnel. The pic above was tweeted from @UHCprocycling and shows the helmet being worn by Slovenian cyclist Janez Brajkovič in the Faster AZ tunnel. No details to report, but it’s certainly less exotic looking (in a good way) than some other aero helmets on the market. No doubt the visor takes advantage of Smith’s experience with optics, and we’re guessing it’ll come in a few different tints if/when the helmet comes to market. Here’s what Smith’s marketing rep Cassie Abel could tell us for now:

“SMITH is committed to the experience. Our goal is to elevate human performance through essential product evolution. The cornerstone of our long-term partnership with UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team is collaborating on the development of next-level products that meet the needs and demands of cyclists while offering superior protection with aerodynamic innovations. SMITH is working closely with UHC to bring a new TT helmet to market as part of our 2016 product assortment with more details of the project to emerge Summer 2015.”

In the meantime, check out larger and more pics on UHC’s Twitter stream and Facebook page.

Prototype Fox DH Air Shock Spotted w/ Dual High & Low Speed Compression, Rebound

prototype Fox Dh air shock with dual high and low speed compression and rebound damping

In the latest episode of This Is Peaty, Santa Cruz’s YouTube star takes a walk through the Fox Racing Shox headquarters. After meandering through the moto museum, he gets to the good stuff (see our tour here), then it’s off behind closed doors to the R&D room where forks are being tortured and this little treat is being cycled…

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Cam Zink Teases Prototype YT Industries Carbon Slopestyle Bike

Cam Zink YT prototype slopestyle bike

Apparently Cam Zink was so excited to show off his new Birzman Tiny Tanker and Maha Apogee III that he forgot his prototype YT Industries Slopestyle bike as in the background. Ok, not really – he even mentions it on his Instagram feed. Rumored to be soon coming to the U.S., the carbon prototype looks to have a BB concentric pivot due to the ability to run singlespeed.

yt-industries.com

D-Fix Rear Hub Reinvents Wheel Removal – Remove the Wheel, Leave the Cassette

D-Fix
In order to remove nearly every rear bicycle wheel, you have to separate the chain from the cassette. In certain instances, that can be prove to be tricky – not to mention the potential for grease to get on your hands, gloves, car trunk, etc. Jan Deckx thinks there is a better way.

As the inventor of D-Fix, Jan came up with a way to attach the hub and the cassette in a way that leaves the cassette in place when you remove the wheel. Sort of a thru-axle housed in a quick release hub, the cassette uses a spring loaded engagement system that retracts when the axle is removed. Jan tells us that he currently has 10,000 km on this hub pointing towards its durability.

Watch a video demonstration of the hub system next…

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Jared Graves Teases Possible Prototype Yeti SB8c Downhill Bike & Carbon DT Swiss DH Wheels

Jared Graves Yeti SB8C prototype 2

Last year, Yeti made the difficult decision to  abandon the World Cup Downhill scene in order to support their Factory Enduro World Series Team, which included top contender Jared Graves, and up and comer Richie Rude.

Mid way through this years EWS Campaign, they released two well received trail & enduro models sporting their new Switch Infinity Platform, and shortly thereafter, Richie Rude was spotted testing  a long travel aluminum prototype. Details regarding that prototype have been scarce, although on a post on MTBR, the Colorado based company claimed the test mule was simply being used to dial in kinematics and geometry, and that a new model was no where near production.

Despite these claims, Jared Graves just posted this incredible new build to his Facebook page.

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