Posts in the category Prototype

Will Putting Larger Diameter Wheels on your Road Bike make you FASTER? CeramicSpeed thinks so

Rider Cropped
Two days into the whirlwind that is Eurobike, new products are already piling up. So far, we have not been disappointed, and CeramicSpeed is one of those reasons. Reminiscent of some of the blinded out wheels you were supposed to put on your ride half a decade or so ago, these wheels are HUGE, and from amount of material they used…. or lack thereof, these look as light as they do fast.

Check out why CeramicSpeed says these are the FASTEST pulley wheels on the market and see the data that backs it up…


Quai, Metz develop radially staggered lacing box section carbon rims for enduro & more!

Quai x Stephen Metz box section carbon fiber enduro rims with staggered lacing for improved bracing angles

Inventor Stephen Metz showed us the SpeedRelease quick-release thru axle system at Taipei Show earlier this year. His latest project are these boxy carbon enduro rims for debut at Eurobike, built around a staggered lacing concept that provides even bracing angles for each side of the wheel regardless of differences in flange-to-center differences created by brake mounts and freehub spacing. As Metz puts it:

“The tech is known as Radially Staggered Lacing (RSL). It is based on having a different height on the left vs. the right spokes on the wheel, thus modifying the bracing angles in relation to each other.
The goal of any 1:1 wheel is as close to equal bracing angles as you can get and this is just one more tricky way to get closer. The side benefits are incredibly unique look and a box section on our Enduro rim that is super strong and laterally and torsional stiff while remaining very light.”

While not quite as wild looking as Alchemist’s latest I-beam design, these are certainly worth a closer look…


Spy Shot: Prototype 11-46 Wide Range Shimano Cassette

Ever since SRAM released its original 11 speed drivetrain in 2012, a whole industry has cropped up around creating either more affordable or wider range solutions.

When Shimano released its first 11 speed mountain bike drivetrain last year, I was a little disappointed to see the widest range cassette was an 11-40. The new XT Cassette helps push things a little further in the right direction with an 11-42, but some of us (myself included) could use a little more help, so we were excited to hear rumors circulating that Shimano was testing a wider ratio cassette. How wide?


First Ride: Pikes Peak Prototype: Rose Adjustable Enduro Bike


photo by Irmo Keizer

Not long ago we found ourselves looking at another bare aluminum European trail bike, once again screaming prototype. This time though we had a chance not only to get full details on the bike and take some photos to share, but also to throw a leg over it and ride it hard down some familiar trails. The bike was at Rose Bike’s press launch in the Austrian Alps and is the final working prototype they have used to dial in the geometry of their upcoming carbon Pikes Peak. The standout of the bike is a unique trailside-adjustable suspension setup that lets you not only flip between two different geometries, but also independently swap between two different shock progression rates in about 20 seconds with a single wrench.

Drop in after the break to see how the ProGeo adjustment works, more details on the upcoming production model, and see how it does on the trail…


World Cup DH, Pro Bike Check: Jasper Jauch’s Liteville 901 Prototype


Out of the German design lab and minds that bring us Syntace components, their in-house bike brand Liteville is developing an all new revamp to their 901 DH bike. Once again spotting a raw aluminum bike was a cue to look a bit further and see what is in the works. We caught up with pro rider Jasper Jauch at the Leogang World Cup to get the details on his Liteville 901 prototype.

This test bike brings back the 901 model, which isn’t technically in the current line (although it is listed through Syntace or some international distributors), where the slightly shorter travel 190mm travel 601 currently tops out the line-up. The new bike brings the travel back to 200mm and jumps to 650b wheels. Read on for more info and some close up pics….


Wild new Alchemist X-Sens X7.32 carbon enduro rims get built (virtually)

Alchemist X-Sens X732 carbon enduro mountain bike rims prototype rendering

A few weeks ago, Alchemist sent us photos of rim parts and cutaways to tease their new X-Sens rims. Now, they’ve rendered a mockup of the X7.32 enduro rim built up into 27.5″ wheels.

With only the rim cutaways to see before, we were all left wondering how they’d be laced. In order to give them the proper lateral stiffness, they are indeed going to be laced across the rim, sending a spoke from the left hub flange to the right side of the rim wall.

The naming scheme likely refers to both wheel diameter and inside width, with “7” telling us it’s a 27.5 and “32” referring to an inside rim width of about 32mm. Those number match up with what we’ve seen so far, and Alchemist chimed in on the comments in that first post to say rim weights could be as low as 390g and that they’ll actually cost less than their RR rims.

More pics and upcoming sizes below…


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…


FSA unveils Prototype Electronic Drivetrain on Tour de France Rest Day


Full Speed Ahead (FSA) joins the big three in cycling -Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo- in developing an electronic derailleur and shifter group. The much rumored prototype electronic groupset is yet-to-be-named, but its finally made its first big public appearance. And what better occasion than a rest day of the 2015 Tour de France? Sharing prototype status with SRAM’s wireless electronic groupset, FSA’s potential entry into the electronic shifting market is currently gracing a few team bikes from Etixx-QuickStep, Tinkoff-Saxo, Bora-Argon 18 and Cofidis. More pics and video from GCN below… READ MORE ->

Prototype long-travel inverted suspension fork spotted from… Magura?

prototype magura inverted suspension fork

Aboard a couple of Rotwild’s new X1 trail bike were prototype inverted suspension forks disguised in patterned duct tape. While their reps wouldn’t say anything about them, we took a close look and lots of pics to make an educated guess as to which brand might be testing it out.

The anodized knob colors, the shapes and fonts and some of the finer details suggest its a Magura, a notion reinforced by the Magura brakes mounted to them (the other bikes had Shimano brakes).

The first thing that jumps out about it is that it’s mated to a 140mm travel bike, putting it in a different category than the RS-1. That could mean instant competition for the X-Fusion Revel when it finally starts shipping (it’s still in development, and we saw the latest versions at their HQ in April, we’re just not allowed to talk about them yet).