September 15, 2019 (Big Bear, CA) – Held at Snow Summit Resort in Big Bear Lake, Calif. for the first time, 700 athletes and 4,000 people from around the world gathered for the Fox US Open of Mountain Biking this weekend. Spectators enjoyed the full slate of events from the Dual Slalom, GT Bicycles Enduro race, Read More The post Fox US Open of Mountain Biking in Photos appeared first on BIKE Magazine.
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Yamaha Crossconnect Already well-known for their firm footing in the e-bike market for their widely spec’d series of e-bike powerplants, the iconic motorcycle brand Yamaha has now jumped into the e-bike market with a line of bikes that cater primarily to commuters. We had a chance to ride the pre-production version of this bike a year ago, and it was impressive. Getting our hands on a production version means we can see if the bike lives up to our initial impression. THE BIKE Yamaha’s CrossConnect comes with a hydro-formed aluminum frame and added a SR Suntour NCX fork to take out the bumps in the road with 63mm of travel. While the CrossCore and the CrossConnect models look similar, they’re two separate platforms, with the latter running sans a suspension fork. The CrossConnect has bosses for water bottle cages on the seat tube, a rear rack and a kickstand. It comes in a diamond frame only, with no step-though option. The rear rack and integrated fender both proved very useful for running errands. The bike itself has great fit and finish, with a light feeling to the handling, thanks to the narrow, 700x35mm wheels that maintain low-rolling resistance. Front and rear thru-axles ensure that the wheels mount confidently. All of Yamaha’s e-bikes have the magnet for the speed sensor built into the rear brake rotor, with the speed sensor itself integrated into the frame near the rear dropout. This makes for more accurate speed calculation, and you never have to worry about losing a wheel magnet. If you’ve ever lost one or had one shift away from the sensor, you know that you’ll no longer have much, if any, power from the motor. It’s interesting, because we’ve seen more companies start to do this. It’s great to see in a relatively inexpensive bike. Fitting the bike properly is paramount. Yamaha designed it so that the geometry changes slightly on larger sizes to make fitting a bike properly very easy for shops. Head angle is sharp enough to make the bike snappy, and the SR Suntour fork, even with a scant 30mm of travel, is a welcome addition to mellow the bumps in the road. THE PARTS The seatpost binder requires a hex key to raise and lower. Considering you’ll likely not be adjusting it much unless you switch riders often, this is a good security feature. When you lock your bike up, thieves who would want to steal your seat would have to have tools for it, and it’s a two-bolt system, so it would take a little effort. Shimano hydraulic disc brakes actuate the 160mm rotors, which provide ample stopping power with three-finger levers. Shimano Sora components make up the 2×9 drivetrain. Small frames come with 165mm cranks, medium and large frames use 170mm, and all have plastic platform pedals. Integrated lighting is very cleanly placed and plenty bright to be able to see and be seen! Integrated lighting is included. The headlight is small, bright and mounted on the handlebars. The taillight is a point of contention, though, as it’s plastic, mounted on the very rear of the rack and very fragile. We popped the connector out of it accidentally. It’s something you have to be careful around when moving the bike around or mounting cargo on the rack. THE MOTOR Yamaha has been selling e-bike motors for 25 years—a ton of them. In fact, Yamaha claims they’ve sold over 4 million units worldwide over the years. We love the PWseries SE motor. Like its predecessor, it has very smooth power delivery with a really natural feel. When you approach 20 mph and above, the power tapers off all but unnoticeably. Unlike its predecessor, if you prefer high cadence, it can go above 90 all the way up to 110 rpm. It’s also smaller and lighter. It offers 70 N/m of torque, which is plenty enough for the steepest of hills. A 2×9 gearing setup with the PWseries SE motor makes for a bike that can flatten any hill, even when carrying a lot of stuff. Torque sensors work in conjunction with the speed sensor to calculate how much power assist you’ll get. In Eco+, you’ll get the longest range and 50 percent of your leg power back in electric support. Eco offers 100 percent, Standard mode gives 190 percent and High mode gives you 280 percent extra beyond what you’re putting in. The 500 Wh offers plenty of range depending on terrain, rider weight, etc. We don’t often ride in Eco mode, because the higher modes are just plain more fun! We had no range anxiety riding this bike. Modern 500-Wh batteries have taken that concern out of the equation. You’d only worry if you wanted to use this for long-range touring, but that’s not the target market for this bike. If for some reason you did want to do that, you’d simply need multiple batteries. CST E-Series Pro 700x35c tires were grippy and provided a smooth ride with minimal rolling resistance. WHO IT’S MADE FOR The CrossCore is made for commuters and riders who want a bike that’s versatile enough to be a grocery-getter in urban environments. It’s set up for the bike path or bike lane and made for those who want to take a 3-mile drive in a car that takes 30 minutes or more down to a few minutes on a bike. It’s a solid platform that you can customize with standard parts. THE RIDE Controls are laid out nicely, with a simple switch controller for the motor’s modes mounted on the bars with trigger shifters to control front and rear derailleurs. The small bell comes in handy when riding among other riders or on shared paths, as does the headlight. We first rode the bike with the motor turned off just to get a sense of how it rode. Although there’s virtually no drag from the motor, the bike’s roll still felt slightly heavy. Switching to Eco+, which is the lowest power setting, made the bike feel lighter in a way. Bumping up to Eco was even better, but we were in Standard most of the time. High was excellent for steep hills, but Standard was still plenty for most hills we rode up. There’s plenty of power to climb anything, and with a 500-Wh battery, we never had range anxiety, not even once. The speed sensor is built into the frame near the rear dropout, and the magnet is integrated into the disc for a very clean look. There’s some motor noise, but the PWseries SE is one of the quieter mid-drives on the market. It doesn’t interfere with the riding experience and makes about as much noise as the tires on pavement. Because it’s an aluminum frame, plus higher-pressure/lower-volume tires, the ride can be bumpy, especially on places with imperfectly maintained roads. The fork and the locking ergonomic grips made a difference; they were soft and comfortable on longer rides. If we owned one, we’d likely fit it with a suspension post to help alleviate some of the shock and bumps from the road that transfer through the frame. Power delivery is instantaneous but very natural-feeling. It isn’t a kick, but you feel the power coming in, making you feel superhuman. It gets you to its maximum speed of 20 mph swiftly and easily. Once over 20 mph, you don’t notice that the assist level drops. It’s so subtle, and they’ve programmed it to be so gradual that it just feels natural. Some systems feel like the power drops off a cliff, but not the Yamaha PWseries SE. If you’re going somewhere in a hurry, it works well to help you get going quicker. We found this really helpful on urban bike lanes when riding with traffic. THE VERDICT The CrossCore is a lot of bike for the price. The included bike rack, fenders and kickstand make it a really versatile bike for getting around town. It feels like a more expensive bike than it is, with good looks and versatility and plenty of power to get you to work or wherever you want to go without breaking a sweat. The motor system is elegant and rock-solid dependable. As a commuter, it’ll get you to work much quicker than a regular bike or, in many cases, a car. SPECS YAMAHA CROSSCONNECT Price: $3000 Motor: Yamaha PW Series SE Battery: Yamaha 36V, 500Wh lithium-ion Charge time: 4-5 hours Top speed: 20 mph Range: 30–50 miles Drive: Shimano Sora, 2×9 Brakes: Shimano M315 hydraulic disc with 160mm rotors Controls: Yamaha Fork: SR Suntour NCX 63mm, mechanical lockout, 30mm stanchion, magnesium lowers, adjustable air sleeve Frame: Yamaha hydro-formed and butted aluminum tubing Tires: CST Sensamo Sumo, 700x35c. Weight: 49.8 lb. (medium) Color choices: Storm Gray or Polar White/Crimson Sizes: 54cm, 56cm, 58cm www.yamahabicycles.com THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET ELECTRIC BIKE ACTION In print, from the Apple newsstand, or on your Android device, from Google. Available from the Apple Newsstand for reading on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Subscribe Here For more subscription information contact (800) 767-0345 Got something on your mind? Let us know at hi-torque.com The post Bike Review: Yamaha Crossconnect appeared first on Electric Bike Action.
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Watch the winning run and check out the live replay of the 2019 Red Bull Hardline event here The post The World’s Toughest Downhill Race? appeared first on Mountain Bike Action Magazine.
Relive some of the action from one of the best downhill races ever, with Intense Factory Racing at the 2019 World Cup finals in Snowshoe, West Virginia. From the crew: “I really enjoyed racing back in the states this weekend, the home crowd was so cool. The track was a lot of fun and it Read More The post Intense Factory Racing at the Snowshoe World Cup Finals appeared first on BIKE Magazine.
Pick any dominant trend in mountain bike design, and chances are it wasn’t started by a dominant brand. Chances are, it was started by someone on the fringes. Just like punk rock music, designer Nike sneakers and Asian fusion burritos, most of what we call mainstream was first launched by someone who dared to be different. Read More The post Banshee Introduces the Rune V3 and Titan appeared first on BIKE Magazine.
Bernard Kerr battled through heavy mist to become the first person to ever win the world’s toughest mountain bike downhill race for the second time. Gee Atherton and Joe Smith completed an all-British podium. Here is all you need to know: – Built by local legend Dan Atherton in Wales, the course combines tricky technical downhill features with huge freeride-style jumps including the breathtaking final fly off which sees riders fly 65ft towards the finish line. – Saturday’s qualifying for the sixth edition of the gruelling race took place on a near perfect track in bright sunshine amongst the hills of Dyfi Valley. – Kerr, one of the best all-round riders in the world, dominated qualifying with a time of 2m50s as Atherton showed he was also in form just two seconds behind. – Sunday’s weather, though, turned in front of a sold-out crowd of 3,000 as heavy mist and tricky wind peppered the track to make life difficult for the riders. – Former world junior champion Kade Edwards, Charlie Hatton and Kaos Seagrave all suffered in the conditions before Welshman Smith’s incredible run was marred by a rear tyre puncture that forced him to go round the final jump – losing three vital seconds in the process. – Reigning champion Atherton’s run was messy, however it was fast and enough to take the lead by 2.5s with Kerr then looking to repeat his 2016 triumph. – He attacked the course with clean lines and made up speed on the open sections, where other riders crashed, to power into the final section where he held his nerve. – Kerr revealed: “It was a tough day with all the weather, but I tried to carve new lines. I found it easy to focus today. Winning twice is unreal. I broke my hand a few weeks ago, so I missed half the season. It makes me feel really good, after missing races and knowing I was going quick this year, to come back and win it.” – Two-time world downhill champion Atherton added: “The rain rolled in, the mist rolled in and we went back to classic Red Bull Hardline with dark, Welsh conditions which always makes for a tough race. I enjoyed it. I had a few slips on the run, but it wasn’t a bad run.” 2019 Red Bull Hardline course features Rock drop: 13ft drop Cannon: 57ft travelled Step Up: 40mph speed required to clear jump Dirty Ferns: 45ft travelled Road Gap: 55ft trajectory Out of the woods: 45ft travelled The Final Fly Off: 65ft travelled – biggest jump ever at Red Bull Hardline