Posts in the category Prototype

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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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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Cannondale heading down a new road w/ Lefty equipped gravel road bikes!

prototype 2016 Cannondale New Road gravel road bike with Lefty suspension fork

Cannondale has just published a teaser video showing a Lefty suspension fork equipped gravel road bike, which looks to be the direction they’re taking for the single-sided suspended cyclocross bikes that’ve been spotted at the races recently.

Details are non-existent, but a few well timed screen grabs help get the story started. As does the blurb accompanying the video:

For those whose love for the road extends beyond just the road. For those whose thirst for fun and adventure cannot be quenched by mere road bikes or those dreary grinders of gravel. For all those who don’t necessarily want to road-ride, but who just want to ride the roads, and the verges, the trails, and whatever strikes their fancy, we proudly offer a road bike unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Check the video and more pics below…

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Spy Shots: New Ghost Lector World Cup Carbon Hardtail – Nove Mesto XC, Pro Bike Check

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German bike maker Ghost is bringing back the Lector name for a complete overhaul of their pro-level cross country hardtail being raced on the World Cup circuit. The name came from the 1991 film and when the brand was first started, Ghost used the Lector moniker to signify the absolute top bike in each of their separate lines. Now back to cross country roots, the reimagined Lector World Cup becomes a race hardatil, this time built from their top carbon, dubbed ULC (ultra light carbon.)

Ghost is getting ready to unveil the new bike at their home World Cup in Albstadt this weekend, but they had their team racing the new bikes in Nové Město last weekend where we caught up with them. The bikes were camouflaged (a bit more cleanly than some others) with some nice geometric checkered flag decals to mask the tube shapes a bit, but we were still able to get a close look at pro racer Helen Grobert’s bike. To be honest, I kinda dig the look and wouldn’t mind a little razzle dazzle in the final production finish.

Have a look at an unmasked shot we spied coming back from a wash after the break, plus details, actual race weight, and plenty of lightweight German bits and bobbles…

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Spy Shots: All New Focus Raven Max Carbon Hardtail – Nove Mesto World Cup XC, Pro Bike Check

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This past weekend in Nové Město for the World Cup, the Focus XC Team had their pros riding some crudely camouflaged hardtails, simply wrapped in tape in key locations. We had a quick chat with the team mechanics, but they were pretty tight lipped about the new Raven MAX 29R frames that will be announced over the next weekend at the Albstadt WC race. We did notice some interesting details about the bikes though.

Click through for some more quick close-up spy shots, and what we can deduce from them….

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A Cardboard Bike with 3D Printed Parts and Aero Bike’s Wooden Beam Bicycle

Aero wooden bicycle, lifestyle shot

It’s pretty interesting that creative designers and engineers sometimes build bicycles to pursue the study of new ideas or concepts. It piques our interest even further when the frame construction materials are a little outside the box…or perhaps part of the box (or crate)!

Two rather peculiar bikes have recently been created as engineering projects, one made almost entirely from cardboard and the other featuring an architecturally inspired wooden frame. While neither was made with the specific focus on producing a marketable bicycle, the Aero wooden bike seen above may not remain a prototype forever.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but will bikes one day? Click below the break to see…
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SOC15: Prototype Salsa 27.5+ full suspension mountain bike decorates WTB booth

Prototype Salsa 275-plus full suspension mountain bike

Looking very similar in design to their Horsethief 29er full suspension bikes, this prototype carbon bike showed off an upcoming Salsa model made to fit wider wheels, like those built with WTB Scraper rims and Trailblazer 2.8 / Bridger 3.0 tires.

Official details are slim, but we’ve got a little info and plenty of pics…

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Triple Bottom Line’s DFM01 concept accomplishes sustainable customization through 3D printed titanium

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When sustainability-focused designer Satoshi Yanagisawa of Japanese firm Triple Bottom Line approached the production bicycle, he saw opportunity in material optimization and customization per user. The result of his efforts is the DFM01, a cleverly designed and weight-competitive (the concept is 15.4lb when built into a complete bike) carbon fiber and titanium frame that can be reconfigured and printed custom around each user through an evolving geometry algorithm.

Triple Bottom Line is currently testing the product to establish viability with the goal of making it available to the public. It will be on display at the London Design Festival this Fall, but you can take a sneak peek here… READ MORE ->

The Bike That Got Away With Sky Boyer Of Velo Cult: Part 2

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“The Bike That Got Away” is a series of interviews intended to showcase the best bikes of all time from the perspective of the diverse characters that make up the cycling industry. It’s an opportunity to look back fondly (or not at all) on vintage technology, paint jobs – whatever made or continues to make bikes compelling and awesome. These are the bikes that have shaped us as industry members, dealers, cyclists, and super fans.

Read Part 1 of this piece to get up to speed. 

Now for part two, we’ll dive into more about that wild Hanebrink fat bike we briefly covered at Sea Otter…

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