Posts in the category Prototype

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).


New Production Ohlins TTR Air Shock Spotted & Ready For Production

2016 Specialized with Ohlins Air Shock


While we were busy drooling over the new Specialized Camber, the German version of the Specialized website was quietly updated with the latest 2016 models.

Buried amongst dozens of product pages was a new shock from Ohlins, which will be available on the new Enduro.  READ MORE ->

Wide Range Gearing Kits for Road, Touring or Gravel Bikes from Lindarets, New Rocks Belong Tees, More


Lindarets road bike 1x11 conversion

New Mexico’s component maker Lindarets has just announced a few new product releases, including something fairly ground breaking in the road bike gearing department. Confirming our suspicions after the Instagram photo from WTC went out, the company has been working on a wide range cassette adapter kit for road, gravel or touring bikes.

Lindarets also announced their popular ‘Rocks Belong’ t-shirt is now available in blue, a cooler colour for summertime, plus the Goat Link and Giant Cogs for 1×10 conversions are now available individually. Read on for the finer details and more photos of wide-range road conversions…

Paragon Machine Works Preps for 12×100 Hubs with New Fork Dropouts and Bolt On Thru Axle

Paragon Machine works 12mm dropouts 100mm (4)

In terms of far reaching implications for the industry as a whole, one of the more interesting tech items at NAHBS earlier this year came in the form of prototype hubs from Chris King and a fork from ENVE. Specifically, it was the fact that the axle size was yet another addition to the world of axle “standards.” The new 12x100mm combination hinted at the future of disc brake road, cross, and gravel, but it’s been more or less limited to prototype show bikes to this point.

Now, with the latest introduction from Paragon Machine Works we’re getting a glimpse into the future. Something tells us we’ll be seeing a lot more of the new 12x100mm axle size this fall…

36T Secures Government Funding to Develop Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels in Australia

36T team with carbon wheels on bike

There’s no better boost to your financing, and likely your confidence, than receiving grant money from the government to develop your product idea. Australian startup wheel company 36T was one of four companies who were awarded $25,000 Smart Design Vouchers from the Australian Department of State Development, Business and Innovation, making it possible to begin developing their first carbon-rich road racing wheelset.

36T’s high-end wheelset will be developed in collaboration with the Deakin University School of Engineering, at their $34 million carbon fiber research facility called Carbon Nexus. It’s an ideal fit for producing these wheels, as they employ carbon for the rims, spokes, hub shells and spacers to achieve an estimated weight of less than 1000g for the pair…

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


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…