With a crazy conclusion to the EWS title today, it's safe to say that we're in the midst of yet another golden age of racing.( Photos: 51, Comments: 3 )
The final practice of the final EWS of the season has concluded. Check out the scene from Zermatt.( Photos: 43, Comments: 23 )
Handily arriving at the start of our Australian spring is this shiny new test bike; the 2020 Merida eOne-Sixty 9000. It’s an e-MTB we’ve been thoroughly excited about getting onto our home trails, having had a taster of the new eOne-Sixty platform at the official launch back in June. There’s been a load of buzz around this bike since that launch, though admittedly not everyone was thrilled by the $12K price tag of the top-of-the-range 10K model we tested at the launch. The good news? There will be four eOne-Sixty models available for 2020, including this one; the 9000. Merida’s second generation eOne-Sixty platform has launched in a big way for 2020. We won’t be going into a load of detail about the new eOne-Sixty platform here, since Oli already did a fabulous job of that in the original launch feature (you can read the full story here). We’ll also be bringing you a broader range overview shortly, including a closer look at the eOne-Forty model too. In the meantime, here’s a short and sweet rundown of what’s special about this new e-MTB. The 2020 Merida eOne-Sixty In A Nutshell This is Merida’s second generation eOne-Sixty. The original model was a much-loved bike here at Flow, having made its way into our long term test fleet where it joined us on many an adventure around the country. It wasn’t perfect out of the box though, and we made a bunch of changes to its setup and specification during our time with it. Looking to address some of those shortcomings while taking advantage of newly available technologies, Merida unveiled the new eOne-Sixty platform back in June. The biggest change? From first glance it’s pretty obvious – this bike looks a kerbillion times better! The 2020 eOne-Sixty now gets a lighter and sleeker carbon fibre mainframe, which integrates the Shimano E8035 battery neatly into the downtube, giving a much cleaner look without the bolt-on style of the old model. It also allows you to fit a water bottle inside the mainframe, which earns a big tick from us. The eOne-Sixty gets a 160mm travel fork plugged in at the front, with 150mm of squish at the rear wheel. Shimano’s latest integrated battery sits inside the sleek carbon mainframe. Merida has retained the metal back-end though. Suspension travel remains the same, so you’ve got 150mm out back and a 160mm fork up front. However, wheel and tyre sizes have changed. There’s still a 27.5in rear wheel, but Merida has gone all on-trend on us with a 29in wheel up front. Depending on your personal feelings about wheelsize, that makes the eOne-Sixty either a mullet bike or a reverse mullet bike. Oh and you also won’t find plus tyres anymore. Instead, Merida has spec’d new-school 2.6in wide tyres front and rear. Geometry gets a wee massage, with the head angle slackening to 65.5°, and the seat angle steepening to 75.5°. Chainstay lengths remain at 439.5mm, because the welded alloy back end has actually been carried over from the previous model. That means you get Boost hub spacing, anti-slap rubber armour on the drive-side chainstay, and post mounts for the rear brake calliper that tucks it in behind the seatstay for a little extra protection. The eOne-Sixty has had its geometry massaged for 2020. What’s It Wearing? There are exactly six models in the Merida eOne-Sixty range for 2020. Two of those are alloy, and they’ll carry over the previous generation frame design. The other four pricier models use a hybrid carbon/alloy frameset that is all-new for 2020, which gets the refreshed geometry and integrated battery design. The eOne-Sixty 9000 that we’ve just received for long term testing is one step down from the big banger 10K model. While it uses exactly the same frame and Shimano STEPS E8000 drive system, it lobs off a cool three thousand dollars by moving to alloy DT Swiss wheels, and changing to a Shimano Deore XT 1×12 groupset, instead of XTR that comes on the top model. High-end alloy hoops from DT Swiss are e-MTB specific, with thicker-walled alloy rims, reinforced hub internals and stronger spokes. Particular highlights on this bike include the aggressive Maxxis EXO+ tyre combo, Kashima-coated Fox suspension, and four-piston disc brakes complete with 203mm rotors front and rear. Proper powarrr! There’s a swag of other neat details, like the integrated on/off button on the top tube, the removable 4/6mm allen key inside the rear thru-axle lever, and the rubber-coated downtube armour that protects the removable battery within. Along with the bike, Merida includes its own cute front and rear mudguards (and zip ties to cable them on), tubeless valves, a carbon fibre bottle cage, and a multi-tool that tucks into its own special pouch underneath the saddle. Nice details! There’s a 29in front wheel paired to a 27.5in rear wheel. Merida has spec’d 2.6in wide tyres at both ends though, complete with the burly Maxxis EXO+ casing. 2020 Merida eOne-Sixty 9000 Specs Frame | CFA Carbon Fibre Mainframe & Alloy Swingarm, 150mm Travel Fork | Fox 36 Float, Factory Series, GRIP2 Damper, 51mm Offset, 160mm Travel Shock | Fox Float DPX2, Factory Series, 205x65mm Drive Unit | Shimano STEPS E8000, 70Nm Battery | Shimano E8035, 504Wh Wheels | DT Swiss HX 1501 Spline One, 30mm Inner Rim Width Tyres | Maxxis Assegai EXO+ 3C Maxx Grip 29×2.5in Front & Minion DHR II EXO+ 3C Maxx Terra 27.5×2.6in Rear Drivetrain | Shimano Deore XT 1×12 w/Deore XT 34t Crankset & 10-51t Cassette Brakes | Shimano Deore XT w/203mm Rotors Bar | Merida Expert eTR Alloy, 20mm Rise, 780mm Wide Stem | Merida Expert eTR Alloy, 40mm Length Seatpost | Merida Expert TR Dropper, Travel: 125mm (XS), 150mm (S/M), 170mm (L/XL) Saddle | Merida Expert CC Available Sizes | S, M, L, XL Confirmed Weight | 22.09kg (Medium size, setup tubeless, without pedals) RRP | $8,999 Shimano’s sleek 12-speed XT rear mech keeps the back end nice and low-profile. New XT brake levers share the same handlebar clamp with the I-Spec EV shifter mount. Inside is a bomber Star Ratchet freehub mechanism. Give the rear axle lever a tug, and out it pops to provide you with a 4 & 6mm hex key. How neat! What’s Next? I’ve already had a couple of rides on the 2020 Merida eOne-Sixty 9000, including a local gravity enduro race on the weekend just gone. So far everything’s settling in nicely, though there’s a fair bit of tuning required on both Fox dampers, which offer a load of dials and levers to twiddle with to get everything just-so. I also want to play around a bit with the cockpit setup, which will be interesting since the stock Merida bar/stem use internal wiring for the Shimano STEPS control unit. We’ll have plenty of time to get to know one another though, and we’ve got some pretty epic rides planned for spring and summer that I am VERY much looking forward to. I’ll have an in-depth review coming down the line, but in the meantime, give us a holla if you’ve got any questions about the eOne-Sixty, and we’ll see if we can get them answered for you! Want to know more about the 2020 eOne-Sixty? Then make sure you check out the launch story here. And if you want to know how things ended up last time round with our long term eOne-Sixty long term test bike, have a gander at the story and video here. The new eOne-Sixty looks a kerbillion times better than the original version. As to how it rides? Stay tuned for the review! The post On Test | The 2020 Merida eOne-Sixty 9000 is an e-MTB with a mullet appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.
A course designed to test the best athletes in the world has done just that.( Photos: 42 )
Audi Nines has provided a week of insane action with riders pushing each other to their limits.( Photos: 48 )
Red Bull Hardline turned up the temperature today in the Dinas Maddwy.( Photos: 34 )
By the end of the day, riders were starting to link together full runs and building their speeds ready for qualifying tomorrow...( Photos: 47, Comments: 1 )
When did you last do something that made you truly proud? When was the last time you gave something your all and came out satisfied? Despite the uncertainty, the hard work paid off, right? That’s what the new ENDURO issue is about – the idea of daring to jump headfirst into a project to see if dreams can become reality, even if, at times, your journey might not always follow the direct route. The Highlights Group Test: 6 fun, capable, short-travel trail bikes Editors Bikes – 4 our editor’s dream builds Behind The Scenes – we visit Atherton Bikes All Or Nothing – the Stanton Bikes story Juliana Roubion CC long term review – Toni takes stock Portrait: We talk to Fanie Kok from Soil Searching The latest issue is available now in our free magazine app. If you haven’t installed our app yet, now’s your chance to download it for free in the App Store (iPhone / iPad) or in the Play Store (Android smartphones & tablets). Our free, digital magazine is the centrepiece of our work and definitely the best way to experience our content, with interactive features as well as beautiful photography and videos all packed into a unique design. If you like our website, we’re sure you’ll love our magazine app. By the way: the app even gives you access to all of our back issues – hours upon hours of first-class content! All the bikes in this issue Canyon Neuron CF 8.0 | Canyon Strive CFR | MERIDA ONE-TWENTY 8000 | NICOLAI G1 | NICOLAI Saturn 14 | Nordest Britango | Pole Stamina 140 | Specialized Epic Expert EVO | Specialized Stumpjumper EVO | Stanton Switch9er FS | Trek Top Fuel 9.9 | Whyte S-120C RS | Yeti SB100 C GX What to expect in this issue This issue is all about action takers. People who grab life by the horns and decide their own fate. Entitled “Stairway To Heaven,” this issue is all about the fact that the road to realising your dreams can be long and hard, but it’s worth it at the end. Dan Stanton’s story sounds a lot like a script from a Hollywood movie. Sat at a poker table one evening, he literally bet everything on his hand. Winning would mean having the funds to start a bike company, losing would mean seeing his dream go up in flames. Fortunately – and here comes the Hollywood vibe – Stanton Bikes came to life thanks to this poker game. But like any gripping Hollywood movie, things don’t always go as planned. For Dan, running a business is a daily roller coaster, with new challenges and opportunities popping up all the time, such as the recent move of production from Taiwan to the United Kingdom. The four dream bikes that our editors built also took a long time to realise. After weeks of planning, discussing and spending a lot of time in the workshop, four completely different dream builds emerged for four completely different riders. The birth of mountain bikes is over 40 years ago. Since then, bikes have undergone an evolutionary quantum leap. Enduro bikes have become more efficient, and cross-country bikes have become increasingly capable. The categories we used to have are blurring and new possibilities are opening up. Our group test of six capable, short-travel trail bikes is proof. Besides being efficient and light-footed climbers, they’re a ton of fun on the descents! ‘Long low, slack’ is the new black and the mountain biking industry’s favourite new marketing slogan. While pretty much every modern trail bike at least somewhat follows this trend , NICOLAI and Pole take it a step further, implementing the most radical geometries currently available on the market. Does it make any sense to take this approach with trail bikes, or does it kill all the fun? We took these two extreme trail bikes out on to the trail to find out how they handle and see which one would come out on top in our head-to-head test! We didn’t go easy on the Juliana Roubion CC! It had to prove itself on demanding alpine trails in Europe, on the legendary North Shore trails of Vancouver, during long days in the saddle in Squamish and on jumps at the Coast Gravity Park. Now that Antonia is on her third set of brake pads and second set of tires, she has a good impression of what the Rubion is capable of. What are the hallmarks of a mountain biker’s ultimate family holiday? Easy answer: riding as much as physically possible. But when adult commitments and parental responsibilities put the brakes on your riding time, you may want to consider the Dolomites Bike-Weeks in the idyllic village of Olang in South Tyrol. We’ve been there and tried it out. Excited? These (and many more) stories are just a few clicks away. If you have already installed our free app, simply open it and download the latest issue right now. If not, first download the free app from the App Store (iPhone / iPad) or the Play Store (Android smartphones & tablets) and then download the latest issue in the app. All you’ve got to do then is sit back and enjoy (ideally with a cold beer or a delicious cup of coffee)! #qualitytime
Cross-country mountain bikes often feature some of the most exciting developments in bicycle design; the bikes must be light enough to handle lung-bursting climbs while also being capable enough to handle increasingly gnarly descents. So, in no particular order, here is our pick of the top five cross-country bikes of 2020 that we think are pushing the envelope of bicycle design. Specialized Epic HT Specialized’s new Epic HT claims to be one of the lightest in the world. Harookz Starting with one of the biggest releases for 2020, we have the Specialized Epic HT. The previous generation Epic HT was a firm favourite here at BikeRadar. It was incredibly light and had relatively modern geometry for an XC bike, so when we found out Specialized had updated this already winning formula, we were obviously excited to see what the big S would come up with. As you’d expect, it’s got even lighter, with an S-Works frame coming in at around 790g for a medium with paint and hardware. This means a top-spec, complete build is claimed to weigh just 7.8kg. That’s incredibly impressive when you consider that, not that long ago, 7.8kg was thought to be pretty respectable for an aero road bike. In a move expected by approximately absolutely everyone, the geometry has also been updated, with the head angle getting a touch slacker and the reach a smidge longer to improve handling on the technical XC World Cup courses of today. And, finally, the seat tube is a more dropper-friendly 30.9mm. Being Specialized it comes as no surprise that the top-spec S-Works model has a premium price, but we’re interested in the more affordable Epic HT carbon, which comes in just north of roughly 2,100 Great British pounds or US dollars, while still having a claimed 930g frame weight. Could this possibly be the perfect privateer XC racer’s bike for 2020? Let us know what you would choose in the comments. Specialized’s 790g S-Works Epic HT is the lightest of its kind Pivot Mach 4 SL Pivot’s Mach 4 SL. Pivot Arizona-based Pivot Cycles has long been known for its premium mountain bikes, but the new Mach 4 SL really pushes the boundaries for publicly-available bikes, as does its price tag with a top-spec build coming in at £11,800. There’s no need to remind us that you could buy a really nice car or motorcycle for £11,800. You could even buy nearly 30 Calibre Two Cubed mountain bikes. Which would you prefer? The Mach 4 has gone through several iterations and has featured 27.5in and 29in versions in its lifetime. This latest version merges the Mach 4 and Mach 429SL into one superfast racing machine. It features a revised DW-link suspension configuration with a vertically-positioned shock and settles on 100mm travel and 29in wheels. And the weight? A size medium World Cup build with a full Shimano XTR groupset weighs a claimed 9.4kg, which is very impressive for a full-suspension bike. We doubt you’ll be seeing too many of these special builds out on the trails though, but it’s impressive to see what a brand can do with a money-is-no-object design. Santa Cruz Blur Santa Cruz’s Blur. Santa Cruz I’m sure you’ve all heard that famous saying… there are two guarantees in life: death and taxes. Well, here at BikeRadar we have another saying… there’s one guarantee in life: if you don’t include a Santa Cruz in a mountain bike top 5, no matter the genre, people WILL NOT BE HAPPY. Obviously, we jest, but in order to prevent commenter Armageddon, we present you with the Santa Cruz Blur. It’s a thoroughbred cross-country racer, sporting 100mm of front and rear travel, a 69-degree head angle and a relatively steep 74-degree seat angle. The reach is pretty long for an XC bike, with a size large coming in at 460mm. This should hopefully mean the bike will be able to descend and climb with the best. A medium frame claims to weigh just north of 2 kilos, and while there are lighter race whippets out there (sorry, we couldn’t make it past the third bike in this list before we used the phrase ‘race whippet’), the Blur’s claimed weight includes all of the hardware and shock. But anyway, it’s a Santa Cruz, so everything it does is good because it’s the coolest brand on Earth, right? Cannondale F-Si Cannondale’s F-Si. Cannondale Cannondale released the newest F-Si back in 2018, and it’s been bothering the front of XC races ever since then. The elephant in the room is the polarising Lefty Ocho fork, and we say polarising because you probably won’t have to look too far down the comments to see someone saying the Lefty is the worst fork ever made, while the next commenter will say it’s suspension perfection. And while Leftys have their quirks, we kind of like them, so make of that what you will. The F-Si is competitively light for a World Cup-ready hardtail, with top-spec builds weighing less than 9kg. It also comes with Cannondale’s AI offset on the rear wheel, which pushes the drivetrain 6mm to the right. This means you need to have a neutrally dished rear wheel, but as you’d expect Cannondale claims this is better than the more conventional asymmetric dish. Just like every other bike on this list, top-spec models don’t come cheap, but more affordable models are available if you’re keen on an F-Si. Cannondale F-Si Hi-Mod World Cup review Trek Supercaliber Jolanda Neff has been racing on the Trek Supercaliber this World Cup season. Alex Broadway/SWpix.com We’ve saved possibly the most interesting XC bike of 2020 until last, with Trek’s all-new Supercaliber. The Supercaliber has been hidden in plain sight, having already been ridden by Jolanda Neff at various World Cup rounds with a sock used to hide the ISO Strut suspension linkage. But now Trek’s embargo on the bike has lifted and we can finally tell you a bit more about it. The frame weighs just 1,900g with the shock and hardware, making it lighter than most conventional full-suspension frames, but the compromise is that you get 60mm of rear travel instead of the usual 100mm. Trek claims this gives you the best of both worlds, with full suspension performance and hardtail efficiency. The geometry is refreshingly modern, with a 69-degree head angle and 74-degree seat angle. More crucial for the long-distance racers among you though is that the ISO Strut suspension linkage allows you to fit two water bottles into the frame. Could this be the perfect marathon machine in 2020? We’ll have to wait and see. Trek Supercaliber What do you think of our list? Did we get it right? Or should we have picked something else? As always, let us know in the comments.