The latest full suspension mountain bike to be pulled out of a big cardboard box at Flow HQ is this bright orange and blue Orbea Occam. Brand new for the 2020 model year, the Occam has been distilled into a pure do-all-the-things trail bike, with Orbea eliminating the TR and AM variants of the previous incarnation. Instead, the new Occam is simply called…err…the Occam. It’s now built solely around 29in wheels, features 140mm of rear wheel travel. You can pair that to either a 140mm or 150mm travel fork, and like every Orbea model, there are about a zillion customisation options available through the MyO program. Ooh what do we have here then? Now You See Me, Now You Don’t! The most distinctive aspect of the new Occam is its asymmetric chassis, which employs a reinforcing strut that connects the middle of the downtube to partway up the seat tube. As well as cutting a unique profile, the strut helps to strength and stiffen the pivot platform for the main rocker linkage. Furthermore, the rocker link is rolling on an oversized splined axle that claims to reduce twisting as the suspension crushes through the travel. Orbea offers the Occam in both alloy and carbon frame options, and they all feature the same distinctive shape, along with internal cable routing, frame protection, and the Concentric Boost rear suspension platform. You can also fit a water bottle inside the mainframe, but you’ll only be reaching for it with your left hand, whether you like it or not. The 2020 Orbea Occam has been repurposed into a proper trail bike with 29in wheels, 140mm of rear travel and a 140-150mm travel fork. Orbea Occam Geometry There’s been a hefty and predictable update to the Occam’s geometry, with the seat tube angle getting significantly steeper, while the front end had gotten longer and slacker. Orbea has also moved to a reduced-offset fork, and has lengthened the chainstays to 440mm. All-up, it’s got a bigger footprint that should give it more high-speed chops. Fork offset: 44mm Head angle: 66° Seat angle: 77° Reach: 425mm (S), 450mm (M), 474mm (L), 500mm (XL) Seat tube: 381mm (S), 419mm (M), 457mm (L), 508mm (XL) Chainstay length: 440mm BB drop: 35mm BB height: 336mm Descending into the abyss! The asymmetric frame profile looks cool, and you can still fit a water bottle in there. What Occams Can We Get Down Under? Basically all of them! There are eight Orbea Occam models available for us Aussies, with pricing starting at $4,499 for the alloy Occam H30, and going up to $11,999 for the carbon Occam M-LTD. You can also get a standalone carbon frameset with a Fox Float DPX2 shock for $4,999 if you fancy building up your own bike. Alternatively, the top two Occam models (M-LTD and M10) can be customised via the MyO program. Be prepared though, because there’s a ridiculous number of paint combinations available. Since every Orbea is painted and built to order in the company’s Basque-based facility, this process doesn’t cost you a single dollar more – Orbea offers the custom paint at no extra charge. It’ll just take a few extra weeks to arrive, providing you can wait that long. We’re testing the Occam M10 in the stock configuration. There’s a bunch of upgrade options if you fancy though. 2020 Orbea Occam M10 The bike we’ve got on test is the Orbea Occam M10, which will sell in Australia for $8,299 in its stock configuration. If you want to jazz things up, the standard upgrades include a Fox 36 GRIP2 150mm fork (+$261), DT Swiss XMC 1200 wheels (+$1,746), a Crank Brothers Highline dropper post (+$278). You can even change the tyre spec and the fork’s thru-axle if you so desire. Frame | OMR Carbon Fibre, Concentric Boost Suspension Design, 140mm Travel Fork | Fox 34 Float, Factory Series, FIT4 Damper, 44mm Offset, 140mm Travel Shock | Fox Float DPX2 EVOL, Factory Series, 210x50mm Wheels | DT Swiss XM-1650, 30mm Inner Rim Width Tyres | Maxxis High Roller II 3C EXO 2.5in Front & Rekon EXO 2.4in Rear Drivetrain | Shimano Deore XT M8100 1×12 w/XT 32T Cranks & 10-51T Cassette Brakes | Shimano Deore XT M8120 4-piston, 180mm Rotors Bar | Race Face Next R Carbon, 20mm Rise, 780mm Width Stem | Race Face Aeffect R, Length: 45mm (S/M), 55mm (L/XL) Seatpost | OC2 Dropper Post, 31.6mm Diameter, 125-170mm Travel Saddle | Fizik Taiga, K:ium rails RRP | $8,299 How will the Occam stack up against bikes like the Specialized Stumpjumper and Trek Fuel EX? Mick has just gotten back from a whirlwind tour of Derby and Falls Creek, where he was able to put the Orbea Occam M10 through a barrage of trail riding to see just how capable it is. He’ll be giving the bike a good rip around his local test trails in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for his thoughts on this bright blue Basque beast. In the meantime, you can get more info on the Orbea Occam range and see all those crazy customisation options via the Orbea website. Mo’ Flow Please! Enjoyed that article? Then there’s plenty more to check out on Flow Mountain Bike, including all our latest news stories and product reviews. And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up to our Facebook page and Instagram feed so you can keep up to date with all things Flow! The post On Test | The 2020 Orbea Occam M10 Brings Some (Much Needed) Spanish Flair To Flow HQ appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.
Welcome again to another edition of Flow’s Fresh Produce! Today, our dear readers, marks the start of our final week of spring here Down Under. And you know what that means? That means the summer holidays are just around the corner – yieeeww! To get in the spirit of things, Mick’s been been down in Tassie checking out the Derby round of the 2019 Asia-Pacific Enduro World Series. He also caught up with Thomas Vanderham and Hans Rey, who have both travelled to Oz to see why everyone is frothing over the mountain biking in Derby. Stay tuned for some very entertaining videos and photo stories from those fellas… Of course summer holidays also means we’re getting closer to the C-word (it’s still November, so legally we’re not allowed to say it just yet). For those of you out there with little tackers, you might want to check out our feature on the Kids Ride Shotgun MTB Seat, where we caught up with local rider Dan MacMunn and his little bloke Jack, who’s absolutely loving the chance to hit the singletrack with Dad. Prepare for cuteness overload! Summer riding adventures here we come! There’s been a tonne of other juicy news stories and reviews landing on the website over the past couple of weeks. Marin has launched its new Rift Zone Carbon trail bike, which looks to be killer value for money for the two models that will be available here in Australia. We’ve also published our mid-term review of the 2020 Trek Fuel EX 9.8, as well as a long-term review of some very well-priced alloy wheels from a UK brand called Hunt. Keeping our legs busy for the silly season, we’ve had some new bikes join the Flow test fleet, including a lovely titanium hardtail from Curve, and a bike that has been getting a load of buzz over the past couple of months – the 2020 Giant Reign E+. Rightio, and with y’all up to speed on all things Flow, we can now crack the lid on this week’s bubbly bottle of Fresh Produce. Please enjoy, and as always, hit us up with any questions you’ve got about any of the new products you see here. Orbea Occam M10 Ooph – that’s a good looking rig right there! Basque brand Orbea has garnered plenty of attention over the past couple of seasons as it continues to reinvigorate its mountain bike lineup. The latest bike to get the overhaul treatment is the Occam trail bike, which receives a striking asymmetric chassis that’s available in both alloy and carbon variants. We’ve got the nearly-top-of-the-range M10, so gets the the carbon frameset along with Fox Factory Series suspension, a Shimano Deore XT M8100 groupset, DT Swiss XM-1650 wheels, and carbon Race Face bars. Mick’s already had some quality saddle time on the Occam down in Tassie, so stay tuned for a detailed first look story coming soon. From: Orbea Price: $8,299 Bontrager Rally Mountain Bike Shoes New trail/enduro kicks from Bontrager. What do you think of the blue? Taking styling cues from Bontrager’s Flatline shoe, the Rally is a brand new clip-in version. Designed in conjunction with the Trek Factory Racing enduro and DH race teams, the Rally is a burly flat-soled shoe that offers more traction with big-bodied clip-in pedals by wrapping the composite shank with a full rubber outsole. This makes it more practical for hike-a-biking compared to lean XC shoes, while a recessed cleat pocket sits within a deep channel that’s there to help you clip back in. The Rally features a well-padded synthetic leather upper for comfort, along with reinforced toe and heel caps for protection. There’s also a shock-absorbing EVA midsole, lace-up closure and a big Velcro strap for snugging them down on your feet. Available in three colours (including the TFR signature version shown here), and in sizes from EU 39 through to 48. From: Trek Bikes Price: $219.99 Granite STASH Multi-Tool All of this is designed to sit inside your fork’s steerer tube. Hiding tools and spares on your bike has become increasingly in-vogue in the world of mountain biking, and Granite Designs is the latest brand to get on board the bandwagon with its new STASH tool series. Shown here is the STASH Multi-Tool, which is designed to put a fold-out multi-tool inside the hollow cavity of your fork’s steerer tube – not unlike those from OneUp and Specialized. The Granite version is more like the Specialized SWAT CC tool, in that you don’t need to tap a thread through your fork’s steerer tube. Instead, the whole assembly acts as a compression device to preload the headset bearings, where the lip on the upper part of the tool is designed to sit on top of your stem. The multi-tool then slides out of this upper assembly, with a simple O-ring holding it in place. You’ll find a minimalist spoke key, valve core tool, and 8-piece multi-tool within. From: Link Sports Price: $79.99 Granite STASH Tire Plug Tool More secret STASH tools, this time for your unoccupied handlebar. You get tubeless anchovies, a metal fondue fork, and a metal reamer for performing a trailside tubeless tyre repair. For air-retention based emergencies, Granite offers the STASH Tire Plug Tool, which sits inside one of the ends of your hollow handlebar. Granite includes two sizes of rubber bungs and end caps to suit different thickness bars. Within the tool is both a reamer for cleaning up the puncture, and a fondue prong for inserting one of the four tubeless anchovies to plug up the puncture. From: Link Sports Price: $27.95 Granite STASH Chain Tool Stealthy chain breaker stores inside your bars. And last, but certainly not least, is this stealthy little chain breaker that Granite wants you to stow inside the other end of your handlebars. CNC machined from 7075 alloy, the Chain Tool weighs just 50g and is ready to fit into any handlebar that has an internal diameter of 18-21mm. There’s even machined pockets for clipping in a spare set of quick links. From: Link Sports Price: $34.95 Trek Knock Block Lockring Spacer This lockring spacer keys in with a Trek Knock Block headset. You might have seen Wil’s review of the 2020 Trek Fuel EX 9.8, where he detailed a bunch of changes he’s made to our long-term test bike. One of those changes was a new bar and stem, which necessitated the use of this little Knock Block lockring spacer. This $30 spacer clips into the upper headset, and then tightens down on the steerer tube. This means you maintain the functionality of the Knock Block headset to prevent the over-rotation of the bars (which would see the fork crown hitting the downtube, and the brake/shift levers hitting the top tube), while having a flat spacer top that’s compatible with any regular mountain bike stem. *Note: Trek originally had this spacer listed with a price of $60 AUD. Since publishing the review of the Fuel EX 9.8, Trek contacted us to inform us that they’ve now dropped the price to $30. From: Trek Bikes Price: $30 BikeYoke Divine Dropper Post We’ve got a new 160mm travel dropper post from BikeYoke, which you can internally adjust the travel with by 5mm increments. It was only a few weeks ago that we received the “World’s lightest dropper post“, and we’ve since received another dropper post from German brand BikeYoke. This one is the regular Divine dropper post, which puts less emphasis on the grams, and more on being travel adjustable. That’s right – unlike the vast majority of droppers on the market, the Divine can have its travel reduced internally by the user. BikeYoke includes 4 x 5mm plastic plastic spacers that clip onto the main piston shaft, reducing the maximum travel in 5mm increments up to a maximum of 20mm. Useful for those who want a little less travel, or need to reduce the total extension to suit their saddle height. The BikeYoke Divine dropper post is available in 125mm, 160mm and 185mm travel versions, and you can get it in 30.9mm, 31.6mm and 34.9mm diameters. The Divine is cable activated with ‘stealth’ routing, and BikeYoke offers various handlebar remotes to integrate with Shimano or SRAM brake levers, as well as a standard band clamp version. From: BikeYoke or MTBDirect Price: $555 Stan’s NoTubes DART Tubeless Tyre Repair Tool The new DART tool from Stan’s NoTubes has finally arrived. The flexible rubber plugs have a special coating on them to produce a chemical reaction with the sealant within. It’s finally here! And it’s a little different to what we expected too. This is the Dual Action Repair for Tubeless (DART) tool from Stan’s NoTubes, which was excitedly announced last month. It’s designed to plug up punctures in tubeless tyres, though unlike other solutions out there, the DART is lined with a special compound that’s designed to set off a rapid reaction as soon as latex sealant comes in contact with it. According to Stan’s, this vigorous reaction is supposed to create a faster and more robust seal. As you can probably tell, the production rubber plugs have a different design to the ones shown by Stan’s in the original launch, though they’re still made of a flexible material that Stan’s says you don’t need to trim off after you’ve repaired the puncture. We’re not eager to get a puncture, but we are looking forward to seeing how well the DART tool works on the side of the trail. Stay tuned! From: JetBlack Products Price: $32.95 Stan’s NoTubes DART Refill Pack Stan’s is selling a refill pack. Hopefully we don’t need ALL of them. And likely because the product team at Stan’s NoTubes thinks we’re total riding hacks, we’ve got a 5-pack of spare DARTs to go with our tool. Fingers crossed we don’t have to use ALL of those little plugs – at least not for a while anyway! From: JetBlack Products Price: $24.75 Mo’ Flow Please! Enjoyed that article? Then there’s plenty more to check out on Flow Mountain Bike, including all our latest news stories and product reviews. And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up to our Facebook page and Instagram feed so you can keep up to date with all things Flow! The post Flow’s Fresh Produce | Tubeless Tech, Secret Stash-Tools & An Adjustable Dropper Post appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.
Mountain biking is an ever-evolving sport, with new technology and ideas about bike design coming out all of the time. This might make it difficult to keep track of things, and even more difficult to look ahead to what mountain biking will be like in the future. So, with that in mind, Tom and Seb decided to look forwards anyway… Our latest podcast looks to the future of mountain biking, but what do you think we’ll be seeing in the years to come? Let us know in the comments below. Short travel, but super capable bikes could be the future. If you’re also interested in drop-bar bikes, in our previous podcast we talked about the future trends in road cycling – so check that out too! Otherwise, read on to find out more about BikeRadar‘s podcast series’. Subscribe to the BikeRadar Podcast Subscribe to the BikeRadar Podcast on iTunes Subscribe to the BikeRadar Podcast on Spotify Find the BikeRadar Podcast on Google We have an ever-expanding range of podcasts available. The BikeRadar Podcast comes out every fortnight and covers a multitude of topics – previous episodes are listed below – and there’s an eight-part Mountain Bike Tech Talk series, which is a more in-depth podcast discussion – again, you’ll find links below. Plus, Road Bike Tech Talks will be with you shortly! We also have a BikeRadar Meets podcast, where we interview interesting and influential people within the bicycle industry. Episode 1, with Jeff Steber of Intense Cycles, is live now. Finally, there’s our ad-hoc BikeRadar Shorts podcast, a reactive news-based podcast in shorter form. The latest edition covers Shimano’s gearbox patent, uncovered by BikeRadar‘s Jack Luke. Stream them below, or subscribe via the above links. Previous BikeRadar Podcast episodes Episode 1 — Cycling Plus‘ Bike of the Year Special (Spotify/iTunes) Episode 2 — MBUK‘s Trail Bike of the Year Special (Spotify/iTunes) Episode 3 — The BikeRadar Podcast | How do £10k bikes even exist? (Spotify/iTunes) Episode 4 — The BikeRadar Podcast | SRAM versus Shimano, and more! (Spotify/iTunes) Episode 5 — The BikeRadar Podcast | Why do all bikes look the same? (Spotify/iTunes) Episode 6 – The BikeRadar Podcast | Is it time to ditch ‘The Rules’? (Spotify/iTunes) Episode 7 – The BikeRadar Podcast | Road tubeless — the what, why and how (Spotify/iTunes) Episode 8 – The BikeRadar Podcast | Purism be damned, this is why we love e-MTBs (Spotify/iTunes) Episode 9 – The BikeRadar Podcast | Do you really need more than one bike? (Spotify/iTunes) Episode 10 – The BikeRadar Podcast | How MTB racing influences bike design (Spotify/iTunes) Episode 11 – The BikeRadar Podcast | Future trends in road cycling (Spotify/iTunes) Previous BikeRadar Tech Talk Podcast episodes BikeRadar Tech Talk Podcast Episode 1: Fork Offset — all you need to know BikeRadar Tech Talk Podcast Episode 2: Mountain bike suspension dampers BikeRadar Tech Talk Podcast Episode 3: Mountain bike geometry BikeRadar Tech Talk Podcast Episode 4: Linkage forks Bikeradar Tech Talk Podcast Episode 5: Wheel size BikeRadar Tech Talk Podcast Episodes 6 and 7: Suspension Springs and MTB Drivetrains BikeRadar Tech Talk Podcast Episode 8: Does weight really matter?
Barely a couple of months ago, Marin released the brand new 2020 Rift Zone; the Californian brand’s short-travel 29er trail platform. Equipped with 130mm of travel up front, 125mm of rear travel, and some juicy geometry numbers like a 65.5° head angle, the Rift Zone joins a new era of enduro-inspired, short-travel trail rippers like the Whyte S-120 and Norco Optic. The 2020 Marin Rift Zone joins a new era of short-travel trail rippers like the Norco Optic, Transition Smuggler and Whyte S-120. *Note to self – remember black riding shorts next shoot. As part of the launch, Marin debuted three Rift Zone models based around the same Series 3 alloy frameset. Ranging from $2,399 to $3,899, the alloy Rift Zone models represent darn good value for money, proving that you don’t have to skimp on geometry with an entry-level full suspension mountain bike. Building upon that same platform, today Marin has announced two new Rift Zone models. These two lovely lookers are designed to elevate the performance bar with the addition of carbon fibre frames, along with higher-end build kits to match. The Rift Zone Carbon is brand new for 2020, and joins the existing alloy model. Enter The Carbon Rift Zone Marin’s new Rift Zone Carbon is offered in two spec levels: the Rift Zone Carbon 1 and the Rift Zone Carbon 2. Both bikes are built around exactly the same chassis, with a carbon fibre mainframe that’s defined by a chunky tapered head tube and a fanned seat tube. Somehow Marin has been able to cut a unique silhouette in the Rift Zone Carbon – something that is increasingly difficult to do these days as more brands settle on a familiar four-bar suspension platform. The carbon frame utilises internal cable routing for the dropper post, mech cable and rear brake line. You’ll also find bolt-on belly armour, ISCG 05 chainguide tabs (yee-ha!) and a good ol’ fashioned threaded bottom bracket shell (double yee-ha!). The carbon mainframe cuts a lovely shape with its fanned seat tube and compact suspension layout. And unlike the more complicated Naild R3ACT 2PLAY design found on Marin’s more expensive duallies, there’s room for a water bottle in the Rift Zone’s mainframe. Ooh we like that sprawling seat tube! Internal cable routing and a threaded bottom bracket shell. While the front end is all plastic-fantastic, the back end is constructed from the same hydroformed and welded Series 3 alloy tubes you’ll find on the all-alloy Rift Zone models. For stiffness, big hunks of forged alloy are utilised for the 148x12mm thru-axle dropouts, the chainstay yoke, and the clevis seatstay pivots. What Kinda Travel We Got? Exactly the same as the alloy Rift Zone. So there’s a 130mm travel fork up front, and 125mm of travel out back. However, unlike Marin’s much more complicated Naild R3ACT 2PLAY (sorry for shouting) suspension design found on the divisive Wolf Ridge and Mount Vision models, the Rift Zone utilises a drastically simpler single-pivot suspension design called MultiTrac. MultiTrac is a rocker-driven, single-pivot suspension layout that Marin has utilised on the Alpine Trail (29in, 150mm) and Hawk Hill (27.5in, 120mm). It may not look anywhere as complicated as the Naild system on the aforementioned Wolf Ridge and Mount Vision models, but suspension doesn’t always have to be complicated. Big chunky forged alloy dropouts for strength and stiffness. Looks tidy with the tooled axle and post-mount brake tabs too. 780mm wide bars and a 35mm long stem come on all Rift Zone models, and on all four sizes. Looks Slack-As Bro! That’s because it is mate! The 65.5° head angle is slack for a trail bike in this travel bracket, and Marin has paired that to a reduced-offset fork to increase ground trail for more high-speed calmness. There’s lots of other impressively modern numbers too. Like the seat tube length, which has been set nice and short to take up to a 175mm travel dropper post, depending on the frame size. The seat tube is also pretty steep at 76°, while the back end is very short at 425mm. Add in long top tube lengths, a stubby 35mm long stem and 780mm wide bars, and the Rift Zone looks quite suitable for A Good Time. 2020 Marin Rift Zone Carbon geometry. When Are They Available? We can expect the two Rift Zone Carbon models to arrive in Australia in January 2020. Marin is distributed locally by Bicycles Online, who sell bikes directly to your door via their online webshop. This means the pricing is pretty darn sharp compared to some of the other big name brands on the market, and it also means that you can expect a small amount of assembly when the bike box arrives. Both of the Marin Rift Zone Carbon models will come with the same Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR 3C tyre combo, an X-Fusion dropper post, and 4-piston brakes and a 203mm front rotor. But whereas the Rift Zone Carbon 1 comes with a Marzocchi Bomber Z2 fork and Fox Float DPS shock, the more expensive Rift Zone Carbon 2 moves to a Fox 34 fork and a piggyback DPX2 rear shock. The Rift Zone Carbon 2 also upgrades to Shimano Centerlock hubs, a sweet-looking Deity handlebar, a PNW Loam Lever, and a wider range 10-51T cassette. The top-end Rift Zone Carbon 2 still comes in well under $6K with a piggyback Fox shock, a 34 fork and a Shimano SLX/XT 1×12 drivetrain. 2020 Marin Rift Zone Carbon 2 Frame | Carbon Fibre Mainframe, Series 3 Alloy Rear End, MultiTrac Suspension Design, 125mm Travel Fork | Fox 34 Float, Performance Series, GRIP Damper, 44mm Offset, 130mm Travel Shock | Fox Float DPX2, Performance Series, EVOL Air Spring, 210x50mm Wheels | Shimano Centerlock 32H Hubs & Marin Double Wall Alloy Rims, 29mm Inner Rim Width Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHF 3C Maxx Terra EXO+ 2.5in WT Front & Minion DHR II 3C Maxx Terra EXO+ 2.4in WT Rear Drivetrain | Shimano SLX/XT 1×12 w/FSA Gradient 32T Crankset & 10-51T Cassette Brakes | Shimano SLX M7120 4-Piston, 203mm Front & 180mm Rear Rotors Handlebar | Deity Skyline Bar, 25mm Rise, 787mm Wide Stem | Marin 3D Forged Alloy, 35mm Long Seatpost | X-Fusion Manic w/PNW Loam Lever, Travel: 125mm (S), 150mm (M/L), 175mm (XL) RRP | $5,299 AUD The cheaper Carbon 2 uses the same chassis, but makes a few spec changes to lob $1100 off the sticker price. 2020 Marin Rift Zone Carbon 2 Frame | Carbon Fibre Mainframe, Series 3 Alloy Rear End, MultiTrac Suspension Design, 125mm Travel Fork | Marzocchi Bomber Z2, RAIL Damper, 44mm Offset, 130mm Travel Shock | Fox Float DPS, Performance Series, EVOL Air Spring, 210x50mm Wheels | Forged Alloy 32H Sealed Bearing Hubs & Marin Double Wall Alloy Rims, 29mm Inner Rim Width Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHF 3C Maxx Terra EXO+ 2.5in WT Front & Minion DHR II 3C Maxx Terra EXO+ 2.4in WT Rear Drivetrain | Shimano SLX 1×12 w/FSA GRID 32T Crankset & 11-50T SunRace Cassette Brakes | Shimano MT420 4-Piston, 203mm Front & 180mm Rear Rotors Handlebar | Marin 6061 Alloy, 28mm Rise, 788mm Wide Stem | Marin 3D Forged Alloy, 35mm Long Seatpost | X-Fusion Manic w/1X Composite Lever, Travel: 125mm (S), 150mm (M/L), 175mm (XL) RRP | $4,199 AUD We like the direction Marin is heading in with the latest Rift Zone and Alpine Trail models. The Rift Zone gets a slack-and-long front centre, but very short 425mm chainstays. Oh, just like that then? So what do you folks think of the new 2020 Marin Rift Zone Carbon? A good looking package for the money? Or not quite your type? If you’re looking for more info on the 2020 Rift Zone range, then head to the Marin Bikes website, or Bicycles Online. And if you’re digging this new short travel trail rippin’ vibe, take a look at the recently released 2020 Norco Optic and our mid-term review of the 2020 Trek Fuel EX. Mo’ Flow Please! Enjoyed that article? Then there’s plenty more to check out on Flow Mountain Bike, including all our latest news stories and product reviews. And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up to our Facebook page and Instagram feed so you can keep up to date with all things Flow! The post First Look | The New 2020 Marin Rift Zone Carbon Looks Like A Sendy Little Trail Bike appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.
This year Giant Bicycles unveiled its biggest, burliest and longest travel electric mountain bike yet; the 2020 Giant Reign E+. Based upon the popular Reign enduro platform, the Reign E+ is a full suspension e-MTB that’s designed to help you access the steepest, roughest and gnarliest descents around. Taking off where the Trance E+ checks out, the Giant Reign E+ boosts suspension travel to 170/160mm and packs it into a tough-looking alloy chassis. Updated for 2020, the SyncDrive Pro motor system is supposed to be smoother, quieter and more responsive than the pre-2020 version. We took a detailed look at the three-strong Reign E+ range back in August, all of which are built around the same ALUXX hydroformed alloy chassis and the new SyncDrive Pro motor system. This new motor now features 6 sensors (versus 4 on the previous version), and has been updated to be smoother, quieter and more responsive. According to Giant, the SyncDrive motor offers a whopping 80Nm of torque, and it features tuneable assistance via the RideControl ONE app. The motor is powered by a 500Wh battery pack that bolts into a recess underneath the downtube. Not The $11,499 Model Of the three Reign E+ models that Giant launched in August, of course it was the range-topping $11,499 Reign E+ 0 Pro that garnered all the attention. That model actually found its way into our article on the Top-17 most expensive bikes of 2020, largely because of its chi-chi build kit that includes a wireless SRAM AXS drivetrain and Reverb AXS dropper post. Swanky! The range-topping Reign E+ 0 Pro sells for $11,499 – wowsers! For our review bike though, we decided to exercise some restraint and went for the much more reasonable Reign E+ 1 Pro, which sells for nearly $3,000 less. It works the price down by using a cable-activated dropper and derailleur (how very pedestrian!), and swapping the Kashima-bling for all-black Performance Series Fox suspension. Mind you, you’re still getting a huge 170mm travel Fox 36 fork (the stiffer e-MTB specific version to be specific), and 160mm of rear travel via a Fox Float X2 piggyback shock. And crucially, it still features the same chassis, motor and battery system as the top-end model. Performance Series Fox 36 Float fork up front uses a shorter 44mm offset and the e-MTB specific chassis. Big volume piggyback shock out back. Big Mountain Ready Whereas the Giant Trance E+ is more of an all-round trail bike, the Reign E+ is made for accessing much steeper and longer descents. To handle that kind of terrain, Giant has given it a slack 64.5° head angle and a reduced offset fork (44mm) for increased high-speed stability. It’s a darn long bike too, with huge 470mm chainstays out back helping to increase the bike’s overall footprint. We’re eager to see how the long back end goes on our local test trails. For traction, the Giant Reign E+ is rolling on broad 27.5in rims fitted with 2.6in wide Maxxis rubber. There’s an EXO+ casing up front, and a heavy duty DoubleDown casing on the rear. To slow things down, there’s a set of the new Shimano Deore XT M8120 four-piston brake callipers with huge 203mm rotors front and rear. Of course you’ve gotta get up to get down. Giant has given the Reign E+ a relatively steep 76° seat angle, and short crank arms (160mm on the S/M sizes, and 165mm on L/XL sizes), to provide more ground clearance while pedalling through the chop. There’s plenty of breathing space in the cockpit too, with 800mm wide riser bars paired to a 40-50mm long stem. Giant’s control unit isn’t the most compact around. There are now six sensors, including an inclinometer for determining whether you’re climbing, descending or traversing on the flats. Wide alloy rims are wrapped with 2.6in wide Maxxis rubber. Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain for our Reign E+ 1 Pro test bike. 2020 Giant Reign E+ 1 Pro Specifications Frame | ALUXX SL-Grade Aluminum Alloy, 160mm Travel Motor | Giant SyncDrive Pro, 80nM Battery | Giant EnergyPak Smart 500Wh, 36V Lithium Ion Fork | Fox 36 Float Performance Series, 3-Position GRIP, E-MTB Chassis, 170mm Travel Shock | Fox Float X2 Performance Series, 205×62.5mm Wheels | Giant E-TR1 27.5, 30mm Inner Rim Width Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHF EXO+ 3C MaxxTerra 2.6in Front & High Roller II DoubleDown 3C MaxxTerra 2.6in Rear Drivetrain | Shimano Deore XT 1×12 w/Praxis e-Cadet+ Crankset Brakes | Shimano Deore XT M8120 4-Piston, 203mm Rotors Handlebar | Giant Contact Trail Alloy, 35mm Diameter, 800mm Width Stem | Giant Contact SL, 35mm Diameter, Length: 40mm (S/M), 50mm (L/XL) Seatpost | Giant Contact Switch Dropper, Travel: 100mm (S), 125mm (M), 150mm (L), 170mm (XL) Saddle | Giant Contact, Neutral RRP | $8,699 The Shimano XT brake levers offer neat integration with the 12-speed trigger shifter. Quad-piston powwwaaaa! How will the Reign E+ stack up against other long-travel e-MTBs like the Specialized Kenevo and Trek Rail? Stay tuned for the full review! We’ll be putting the Giant Reign E+ to the test on our local trails, and we’ve got plenty of other adventures around the country planned to see exactly what this big electric mountain bike can do, in order to see how it stacks up alongside the likes of the Specialized Levo, Merida eOne-Sixty, and Trek Rail. In the meantime, let us know if you’ve got any questions or requests on the Reign E+ test bike. And for further information on the full range, be sure to check out our detailed launch story on the 2020 Giant Reign E+. Mo’ Flow Please! Enjoyed that article? Then there’s plenty more to check out on Flow Mountain Bike, including all our latest news stories and product reviews. And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up to our Facebook page and Instagram feed so you can keep up to date with all things Flow! The post On Test | The 2020 Giant Reign E+ 1 Pro Is One Chunky Electric Mountain Bike! appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.
The DownRock is a brand new, bird-flippin’, trail-rippin’ hardtail that has just been launched by the crew from Curve Cycling. Joining the Melbourne brand’s existing off-road lineup that includes the UpRock, GXR and GMX, the DownRock is pitched as being the most capable and the most naughty of the lot. We’ve just received a complete Curve DownRock for a full shakedown and review, but before we get it dead-filthy like, let’s take a closer look at this lovely mountain bike to see what makes it special. Aussie brand Curve Cycling is ready to unleash its new hardtail pinner; the DownRock. Ooh Shiny! That’s because it’s titanium mate! Ti-3Al-2.5V to be exact, and from first inspection, it appears to have been masterfully welded together with some extremely neat joins on display for all to see. Why titanium? Because it offers a unique blend of strength, weight and durability, and when it’s all put together, offers a zingier ride quality than alloy, while being lighter than steel. Plus, just look at it! That ain’t no painted frame… Nice short back end on our Medium test bike. That’s A Big BB Shell – What’s Inside? Up front, the DownRock gets a shapely tapered head tube to house a clean zero-stack headset. At the opposite end, cowled dropouts are locked down with a simple 148x12mm alloy thru-axle. Partway between the two, you’ll find a huge T47 threaded bottom bracket shell – a relatively new frame standard that aims to offer the ability to fit pretty much any crank axle size, without being forced to use really tiny ball bearings. This is particularly important for cranks with a 30mm axle, which take up most of the space inside a traditional threaded BB shell, leaving very little room for the bearings themselves. T47 (named after its 47mm internal diameter) allows for larger BB cups that thread into the frame, rather than press-in like PF92 and PF30 bottom bracket systems. Structurally, it offers more surface area for the downtube, seat tube and chainstays to weld to, which creates a stiffer and stronger junction in a part of the frame that experiences high loads. Up until now, T47 has mostly found favour with smaller frame builders, though with Trek recently adopting the standard for its new Crockett cyclocross bike, there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing it on more bikes, from more brands, in the future. It’s a threaded bottom bracket shell, but a bit bigger than normal. The T47 bottom bracket shell offers a big platform to join all those tubes together, and it also allows for a variety of different crank sizes to be used. The Big Fork, Fat Rubber & Long Dropper Club Being a hardtail that’s designed to seek out the good times, the DownRock is ready to accept 130-150mm travel fork. However, Curve specs both the frameset and the complete bikes with a 130mm travel RockShox Pike Ultimate fork. With that fork, you’re looking at a 65° head angle and a very healthy BB drop of 62-66mm, depending on the frame size. Along with the generous reach measurements, the DownRock puts a big fat tick in the long, low and slack boxes. Helping to take the sting out of the trail further, the DownRock is rolling on 29in wheels all the way from the Small through to the XL size. There’s clearance for up to a 2.6in tyre in the back, though our test bike has an e*thirteen rubber combo with a 2.4in All-Terrain up front and a 2.35in Semi-Slick out back. While the DownRock has been tested with a 150mm travel fork, Curve has optimised the geometry around a 130mm fork. High volume e*thirteen rubber front and rear, with a semi-slick out back. Along with modern geometry and high-volume rubber, dropper posts have been an absolute boon for the humble hardtail. With your arms and legs playing a bigger role in impact-absorption duties, being able to crush the saddle out of the way offers a tonne more room for moving around the cockpit while bending your limbs in preparation for the next huck-to-flat. To make the most of the latest crop of big travel dropper posts, the DownRock employs a short seat tube – our Medium test bike has a 410mm seat tube, and comes spec’d with a 170mm dropper. Larger frames get a whopping 200mm travel party post! This thing looks fun standing still! Size-Specific Seat Angle & Chainstays As you’ll see below, there’s been some serious attention to the geometry on the DownRock. After all, it’s one of the most important aspects of any mountain bike, and even more so on a hardtail. To begin with, there are five frame sizes, rather than the usual four. The ‘Extra Medium’ (love that name!) slots in between the Medium and Large frame sizes, and offers up more choice for riders who have a particular reach measurement in mind. Another aspect that Curve was eager to address is the rear centre measurement, which has been scaled proportionally for each frame size. So as the front centre (reach) gets bigger, so too does the rear centre (chainstay length). The idea is to maintain weight distribution as much as possible between frame sizes, while keeping the back end compact for responsive handling through the turns. At least, that’s the theory anyway. Short seat tubes allow for long dropper posts. With the saddle slammed, it’s got a total BMX vibe about it. Stubby 35mm long stem mates to a nice long top tube. Likewise, the seat tube angle is quite different between each of the five frame sizes. And indeed on the smaller frames the seat tube has more of a bend to it, whereas it’s completely straight on the XL frame size. This is all about producing a similar effective seat tube angle (a rather steep 75.75°) when measured from the stack line. It’s no doubt a more expensive way of producing a frame, because you need different tubing for the rear of the bike for all five sizes. But it’s cool to see Curve make that commitment to maintaining consistent sizing and rider fit throughout the range. This is something we’ve seen Norco do with its latest Sight and Optic models, and we’d like to see more brands share that same commitment. Curve DownRock frame geometry. Note the ‘Extra Medium’ size. Nice! Curve DownRock Frameset Features Ti-3Al-2.5V Titanium tubing Tapered Zero Stack headtube Designed to accommodate 130-150mm travel forks 65° head angle 75.75° effective seat tube angle Reach: 422mm (SM), 444mm (MD), 459mm (XM), 474mm (LG), 496mm (XL) Chainstay length: 420-445mm (size dependent) T47 bottom bracket shell Boost 148x12mm thru-axle dropouts Max tyre clearance: 29×2.6in Max chainring clearance: 32T (SM), 34T (MD-XL) Two bottle cage mounts Claimed weight: 2000g (XL size) A lovely tapered head tube hides a zero-stack headset. Room for up to 2.6in tyres back there. A post-mount disc brake and a bolt-up 148x12mm thru-axle keep the back end slim and tidy. Choose Your Own Hardtail Adventure Curve offers the option to buy the DownRock as a standalone frame that comes with a headset, seat collar and thru-axle for $3,299. There’s also a frameset package for $4,499, which adds in a RockShox Pike Ultimate RC2 fork and a Reverb Stealth dropper post. Or you can go for a complete bike, like the one we have here, which sells for $8,999. Here’s a closer look at the spec on the complete bike; Frame | Ti-3Al-2.5V Titanium, 0mm Travel Fork | RockShox Pike Ultimate RC2, Charger 2 Damper, 42mm Offset, 130mm Travel Wheels | DT Swiss 350 Hubs & Curve Dirt Hoops Wider 40 Carbon Rims, 30mm Inner Rim Width Tyres | e*thirteen All-Terrain TRSr MoPo 29×2.4in Front & Semi-Slick TRSr 29×2.35in Rear Drivetrain | SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 w/GX Eagle 32T Cranks & 10-50T Cassette Brakes | SRAM G2 RSC 4-piston, 180mm Rotors Bar | Joystick 8-BIT LT Alloy, 28mm Rise, 800mm Width Stem | Joystick Binary, 31.8mm Diameter, 35mm Length Seatpost | RockShox Reverb Stealth Dropper Post, 170-200mm Travel Saddle | WTB Silverado Pro RRP | $8,999 All cables and hydro lines run externally under the downtube with bolt-on guides keeping them in check. Is a modern hardtail like this enough to bring you over from your full suspension bike? So what do you folks think of the new Curve DownRock? Is this a hardtail you’d like to party on? Let us know your thoughts, and any questions you might have for us, in the comments below! We’ll be hitting the local test loops on the DownRock shortly, so get set for a full review coming soon. If you need more info in the meantime, head to the Curve Cycling website. And if you’re frothing on all this hot hardtail talk, be sure to check out our stories on the new 2020 Norco Torrent, and our recent feature on the custom steel hardtails from Tor Bikes in Beechworth. Mo’ Flow Please! Enjoyed that article? Then there’s plenty more to check out on Flow Mountain Bike, including all our latest news stories and product reviews. And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up to our Facebook page and Instagram feed so you can keep up to date with all things Flow! The post On Test | The Curve DownRock Is A Titanium Hardtail Built To Party 🤙 appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.
There is more to life than cycling. That might seem like a strange thing for a bike journalist to say, but it’s true. My livelihood depends on readers like you buying bikes. I exist to trickle oil onto Big Bike’s delicate freehub pawls, to pump grease into capitalism’s ready nipple. I need you to read about bikes, think about bikes, and buy bikes. But please do other stuff too. Why I’m an e-MTB convert I drove Skoda’s car for cyclists and it’s downright silly but well intentioned Cycling is a glorious, beautiful thing. In many ways, it has transformed my life. It’s taken me to incredible places, given me physical fitness and a career, and introduced me to lifelong friends and my soon-to-be wife. I also love bicycles themselves, first as a mode of transport, but also as machines. Bikes can be stunningly pretty, like this S-Works Tarmac painted by Tyler Marchesano. Colin Chappelle / Specialized I didn’t really come to cycling for the sport, originally. My first bicycle as an adult was an absolutely awful Emmelle mountain bike that I bought to ride to university in Edinburgh. As someone who always enjoyed tinkering, I quickly decided that I needed to make it better, or at least less of a deathtrap, which meant fixing the brakes and putting non-lethal tyres on it. Being terminally acquisitive, I quickly outgrew the pig iron special, and in my first two years of cycling, I bought a further nine bikes, two of which I still own more than a decade later. How could I ever sell this beauty? Matthew Allen / Immediate Media I experienced full-blown obsession and, during this time, my every waking thought seemed to be interrupted by carbon frame daydreams and freehub fancies. On the one hand, I was revelling completely in my new found love of riding and experiencing a level of physical fitness I’d never come close to before, but on the other, I was driven by a nakedly materialistic urge to buy and buy and buy new things. I was never content with what I had and fretted constantly about expensive ways to upgrade my gear. Since then, a privileged position in the bike industry has afforded me the ability to step back slightly and be more thoughtful in my choices. I’m lucky enough that I get to ride lots of bikes and try all sorts of kit without committing to it financially. This has had the curious effect of almost completely killing my acquisitive urges (at least in the realm of cycling). Where once I was fixated on the new and shiny, I now prize the familiar and comfortable above all. The bikes I enjoy the most are not necessarily the most technologically advanced and expensive, but rather those that I’ve spent enough time riding to have formed a bond with them, customising them to my needs and (go on, cringe) making memories on them. If you look at the Instagram feed of anyone involved in cycling, it’s easy to be tricked into thinking that they live and breathe bikes to the exclusion of everything else because that’s the image they’ve chosen to project to the world. View this post on Instagram Am I channeling Laurent Fignon or Timmy Mallett with my #AW19 hill climb look? ????♀️????????♂️ Sensational snap by bad man Bromley @simonbromley . #hotboizofbikeradar #youvebeeninfluenced #overpromise #underdeliver #hillclimb #roadcycling A post shared by Jack Luke (@jacquelucque) on Oct 8, 2019 at 3:21pm PDT Yes, #outsideisfree and it’s great that you’re out riding in all weathers, but it’s also okay not to. I don’t want to diminish anyone’s enjoyment of cycling, whether that comes from doing massive rides or obsessing over componentry. But I do think that there is more to life than just cycling, and I think not letting a single pastime rule your life is probably healthier. Don’t feel like going for a ride? Okay, don’t. Spend some time with a loved one instead. Rub your dog’s belly. Make a pie. There is no reward in heaven for miles logged or KOMs claimed. If those metrics are the things that motivate you then that’s absolutely fine, but I’d still encourage all riders to be self-critical about their motivations. Are you doing big miles because you want to or because you feel like you should? Are you shopping for a new bike because it’s going to make a meaningful difference to your riding or because you need the dopamine rush of an expensive purchase to fill the keening void at the centre of your being? Life is not one-dimensional. Bicycles are truly splendid, but there’s a whole world of other things out there to experience. Please keep riding bikes and reading about them on BikeRadar dot com, but don’t just do those things. Be a rounded human being and sample all of life’s pleasures. You only get one go at this.
Welcome to the latest edition of Flow’s Fresh Produce! Not visited before? If this is your first time joining us, all you need to do is sit back and relax, because we’re here as your personal one-stop-wrap-up-shop of all things new and exciting in the wonderful world of mountain bikes! As we power on through the Australian spring, things are continuing to heat up with a load of new bike releases, and some cracking events and riding trips that we’ve been documenting here at Flow. Mick has safely returned from West Coast, having shot a belter of a gallery of what he’s calling the ‘event of the year’ – the Cape to Cape. Oh and for those who love the tech stuff, make sure you check out the cool bikes and tech from the 2019 Cape to Cape. Mick’s been on another riding adventure closer to home on the hallowed ground around Mt Sugarloaf in NSW. With the aim of rediscovering the old downhill tracks he used to race back in the 90s, Mick set off with three other lunatics for an epic adventure on a gaggle of Specialized Levos. Check out the (very entertaining!) video below, and make sure you have a read of the full feature here. We’ve also been busy launching some mahoosif competitions over the past few weeks too, including this one where you could win a brand new 2020 Giant Reign 29er! And then there’s the Ultimate Victorian Ride High Country Adventure competition – you choose a mate, the destination, your riding style, and a bike, and the World Of Flow travel agents will take care of the rest. It’s a killer prize pack, so if you haven’t entered that one yet, make sure you do it right now to be in with a chance! Speaking of the High Country, Wil took a trip over to Beechworth in north east Victoria to visit Shane Flint of Tor Bikes. Shane is a custom frame builder who specialises in hardcore hardtails made from slender Colombus steel tubing that’s masterfully fillet brazed together. If you fancy a closer look at Shane’s work and his workshop, check out the feature here. Alrighty. With y’all up to speed on what’s been happening in Flowlandia, it’s time to get stuck into all the fresh kit that’s arrived in time for this edition of Flow’s Fresh Produce! 2020 Norco Sight A1 29 Norco hasn’t held back on the Sight’s geometry, with the new bike taking a huge leap forward. Canadian brand Norco continues the aggressive upheaval of its mountain bike lineup, this time with the arrival of the all-new Sight. Pepped up with a bit more suspension travel and some seriously progressive geometry numbers, this All Mountain ripper basically takes off where the previous Range checked out. Available in both 27.5in and 29in platforms, and with a carbon or alloy frameset, there are exactly 10 different Sight models for 2020. We’ve got the top-end alloy model, called the A1, so stay tuned for a full review on Big Blue coming soon. Oh and for those with offspring, you may also be interested in the Sight Youth – a pint-sized version of the adult version that features a 150mm travel RockShox Pike and a 63.5° head angle – wowsers! From: Norco Bicycles Price: $5,799 Ride Concepts Powerline Flat Pedal Shoes Look out Five Ten – Ride Concepts has some good-looking flat pedal shoes on offer! Looking to take on the likes of Five Ten, Ride Concepts is a young Lake Tahoe-based company that’s specialising in footwear for gravity-based mountain biking. The brand offers both clip-in and flat pedal solutions, and we’ve got a pair of each on test to see just how they stack up against the big players. Slotting into Ride Concept’s “Flow” range, the Powerline shown here is described as a high performance All Mountain flat pedal shoe. It features a full rubber outsole made by Rubber Kinetics, which hexagonal tread blocks and compound labelled as ‘DST 4.0 MAX GRIP’. Think they’re trying to tell us something there… With an eye on protecting your footsies, the Powerline features custom-molded rubber toe cap and heel protection, as well as an asymmetric collar with D3O padding integrated into the inside panel around the ankle bone. More D3O padding can be found inside the forefoot and heel area of the footbeds, and that’s there to help absorb impact shocks from hard landings. The upper itself is distinctly lacking stitch lines, with a fully-welded construction that keeps it all very neat and streamlined. From: Lusty Industries Price: $249.95 Fox Defend LS Jersey Ooph, it ain’t summer just yet We’ve got some fresh threads courtesy of Fox Head, including this new Defend long sleeve jersey. Utilising a series of mesh panels and TruDri fabrics, the Defend jersey is meant to be easy-breezy for hot summertime shredding, while giving you more abrasion resistance and sun protection than a short sleeve. Also available in Black, from Small to XL sizes. From: PSI Cycling Price: $89.99 Maxima Cleaners, Degreasers & Lubricants No excuses for a dirty bike now! Looking to cover the full gamut of mountain bike maintenance, Maxima has a broad range of cleaners, degreasers and lubricants to keep your pride and joy in tip-top condition. Going form left-to-right, there’s a bottle of Assembly Lube ($18.95), which is designed for metal-on-metal components when grease is a little too heavy. We’ve also got a bottle of Chain Wax ($16.95), the classic SC1 Bike Polish ($21.95), and a big blue bottle of Bio Wash ($16.95). For post-wash treatment there’s the Suspension Spray ($22.95), and for cleaning disc rotors and pads, a 518ml can of Contact Cleaner ($18.95). Lastly, we’ve got a yellow bottle filled with 100% biodegradable Degreaser ($24.95), and a tub of lithium-based Waterproof Grease ($24.95). From: Lusty Industries Price: $16.95 – $24.95 Bluegrass Eagle Legit Carbon Full Face Helmet The Legit Carbon is a premium full-face lid that puts a focus on low weight, ventilation, and high-tech protection thanks to its MIPS-E2 technology. Bluegrass Eagle, the more muscly arm of MET, recently launched a new full face helmet called the Legit. Available in a standard version for $300, and the carbon model that we have here, the Legit has been spotted atop of noggins belonging to Dean Lucas, Tracey Hannah, and Sam Blenkinsop. There’s a tonne of neat features inside that stealthy carbon shell, so get a look at the full story on the Bluegrass Legit Carbon here. From: Advance Traders Price: $600 DT Swiss EXC 1200 Spline 30 Wheelset Rounding out its three-tier carbon mountain bike range, DT Swiss has recently launched its burliest and most enduro-worthy wheelset yet; the EXC 1200. Joining the XMC 1200 (AM) and XRC 1200 (XC) wheels, the EXC 1200 uses a heavier duty carbon rim that’s said to offer greater strength and durability than its lighter weight brethren. Like those other two wheelsets, the EXC 1200 is rolling on ultra-premium 180 hubs that feature SINC ceramic cartridge bearings and the new Ratchet EXP freehub mechanism that we recently took a detailed look at. We’ll be thrashing the new EXC 1200 Spline 30 wheelset over the coming months to see just how well it holds up to our haggard riding style. In the meantime, you can check out all the details and confirmed weights for this luxurious Swiss wheelset right here. From: Apollo Bicycles Price: $2,999 Timber! Mountain Bike Bell Last, but certainly not least, we have this little device. Err, it’s a bell. Not particularly exciting right? WRONG! This is the Timber! MTB Bell, and it’s basically a mini-cowbell for your handlebars. It produces a lovely ring-a-ding sound, like a wind-up telephone from the 70s, and it’ll daintily brrrring away while you bounce and hop along the trail, helping to alert inattentive hikers, dog-walkers, horse-riders and youths of your impending arrival. But what if you don’t need your sweet singletrack symphony, and it’s annoying the heck out of you? There’s a little switch that allows you to instantly silence the bell, so you can savour the sound of your tyres on fresh dirt. We should point out that this wasn’t sent in for to test – Wil actually bought this with his own cold-hard internet money. Having frequently encountered walkers and off-leash doggos on one of my local hotly-contested Strava segments, he decided this would be a suitable option rather than a manual bell, as they’ll hear you before either of you see each other. And we figured some of you folks might be interested in such a solution, so here you go! From: Timber MTB Price: $24.95 USD (plus shipping) Mo’ Flow Please! Enjoyed that article? Then there’s plenty more to check out on Flow Mountain Bike, including all our latest news stories and product reviews. And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up to our Facebook page and Instagram feed so you can keep up to date with all things Flow! The post Flow’s Fresh Produce | New flat pedal shoes, carbon wheels, and one very nifty little accessory appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.
With the summer riding season knocking on our door, and a load of new shuttle-able riding locations ready to be explored, Bluegrass Eagle’s timing could not have been better. We’ve just received one of the new Bluegrass Legit Carbon full-face helmets, which are now available in Australia through Advance Traders – the Aussie distributor for both MET & Bluegrass Eagle. Before we grab our goggles and book the shuttle though, let’s take a closer look at this new premium full-face lid from the Italian Stallions. The Legit Carbon is a premium full-face helmet from Italian protective wear company, Bluegrass Eagle. Winning Ways For those unfamiliar with the name, Bluegrass Eagle is the gravity offshoot of MET. But whereas MET is focussed on the road, commuter, XC and trail markets, Bluegrass Eagle is the heavy-duty arm of the brand, with a range of full-face helmets, trail helmets, body armour, knee & elbow pads, and gloves. The Legit is Bluegrass Eagle’s full-face helmet, and it’s available in two versions: the regular Legit, and the Legit Carbon version we’ve got here. Despite being freshly launched as of this year, you might have already spotted the Bluegrass Legit Carbon on top of some of the fastest noggins on the World Cup DH circuit. Dean Lucas, Mick Hannah and Sam Blenkinsop have all been running the Legit Carbon, and in the Elite Women’s field, the top fastest three riders for the 2019 season – Tracey Hannah, Marine Cabirou, and Veronika Widmann – are all Bluegrass athletes too. Blenki getting wet ‘n’ wild in Fort William earlier this year. We’re so stoked for Tracey Hannah, who took out the overall in the 2019 World Cup season! Legit Protection To handle the impact forces associated with World Cup riding speeds, the Legit Carbon is made up of a carbon fibre outer shell along with a polycarbonate chin guard. Additional polycarbonate shells are used to shield the outside of the multi-impact EPS foam core. Inside the helmet you’ll find the full-face specific MIPS liner, called MIPS-E2. With more coverage around the rider’s head, the MIPS-E2 system is built around a thin, plastic cap that is sandwiched between two multi-directional, stretch fabric layers that are then sewn together. The fabric is able to slide easily against the plastic cap inside, which helps the whole helmet to rotate around the rider’s head in the event of a crash. Just like the regular MIPS system, this is all about limiting the amount that the brain rotates inside the skull during an oblique impact. The Legit Carbon gets a carbon fibre outer shell for improved strength and impact resistance. The full-face specific MIPS-E2 liner lurks within. Easy-Breezy Bluegrass has packed in 15 vents into the Legit Carbon helmet, including three large intake ports on the chin guard. There’s also a small vent over each ear, which Bluegrass reckons helps with both hearing and balance. If you’re of the particularly smelly-sweaty variety though, you’ll be happy to know that that all the internal padding can be pulled out of the helmet by releasing several snap-buttons. Even the chin strap pads can be removed. Speaking of the chin strap, it’s secured by a simple, but reliable Double-D buckle system. With that kind of ventilation, and it’s impressive 1109g weight (Medium size), the Legit Carbon isn’t just for World Cup downhillers – it’s also for the enduro racers and All mountain riders who are looking for proper full-face protection. Nice lines! Big exhaust ports on the back of the shell too. The visor isn’t adjustable, but it does have a breakaway function. There’s A Non-Carbon Version Too Selling for $600, the Bluegrass Legit Carbon is one premium piece of kit. For those wanting to spend less than that, the good news is that the standard Legit comes in at half the cost at $300. The standard Legit moves to a composite shell, and loses a few vents in the process. It also misses out on the MIPS-E2 liner, which is part of the price differential. Both the Legit and Legit Carbon come in four shell sizes, from Small up to X-Large. You also get four colour choices too, and both Legit helmets feature a non-adjustable visor that’s designed to easily breakaway in the event of a crash. There’s a Double-D closure system for the chin strap, and removable padding on the inside. Speaking of, the padding is very generous, leading to a comfy and snug fit. How’s It Stack Up Against The Competition? Coming in at just over 1100g on our scales, the Legit Carbon is one of the lighter full-face downhill helmets on the market. It’s also a bit cheaper than the very popular Troy Lee Designs D3 Carbon and the Fox Rampage Pro Carbon helmets, making it a potentially better value proposition on paper. Bell Full-9 ($600) – 1130g 100% Aircraft Carbon ($619) – 1140g Troy Lee Designs D3 Carbon ($699) – 1075g Fox Rampage Pro Carbon ($699) – 1230g POC Coron Air SPIN ($N/A) – 1170g You can get a non-carbon version too, which comes in at half the price. Bluegrass Eagle Legit Carbon Full Face Helmet Specs Carbon fibre outer shell & polycarbonate inner shells Multi-impact EPS foam core Full-face specific MIPS-E2 system 15 vents in total, including 3 chin guard vents & 2 ‘hearing’ vents Chin guard features injected PU foam lining Flexible visor with safety-release system Double-D chin buckle Removable and replaceable internal padding Sizes: Small (54-56cm), Medium (56-58cm), Large (58-60cm), X-Large (60-62cm) Colours: Matt Black, Matt Black/White, Matt Black/Yellow, Matt Black/Red Certification: ASTM, CE & AS/NZS 2063:2008 Confirmed weight: 1109g RRP: $600 Shuttle-ready for the summer season! We’re looking forward to getting dusty in the Legit Carbon over the coming summer season, and we’re also eager to see just how comfortable and ventilated it is on the really hot days. In the meantime, you can get more information on the Legit & Legit Carbon helmets via the Bluegrass Eagle website, or get in touch with Advance Traders to find your nearest dealer. Mo’ Flow Please! Enjoyed that article? Then there’s plenty more to check out on Flow Mountain Bike, including all our latest news stories and product reviews. And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up to our Facebook page and Instagram feed so you can keep up to date with all things Flow! The post First Look | Bluegrass Eagle Legit Carbon Full Face Helmet appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.
DT Swiss isn’t exactly a brand that’s short of options when it comes to mountain bike wheels. Yet despite the plethora of hubs, spokes, rims and complete wheels on offer from the Swiss-based manufacturer, it might be surprising to learn that DT Swiss hasn’t actually had a fully-fledged carbon fibre wheelset available for enduro riders. Well, until now that is. Enduro-Ready Carbon The EXC 1200 is a brand new carbon fibre wheelset from DT Swiss. It joins the XRC 1200 series (XC) and the XMC 1200 series (All Mountain) as a super tough, and super premium carbon wheelset that’s designed specifically to handle the rigours of modern day enduro racing. DT Swiss has rolled out (sorry…) a new carbon fibre enduro wheelset called the EXC 1200. 3mm thick hookless beads, along with a more robust layup mean these rims are built for a’punishing. Developed in conjunction with DT Swiss’ EWS athletes, the EXC 1200 wheelset features heavy duty carbon fibre rims that use a tubeless-ready profile with 3mm thick hookless beads. The new rim design is claimed to offer more strength and impact resistance than the lighter rims found on the XRC and XMC wheelsets. Just like those other wheelsets though, the EXC 1200 is built around DT Swiss’ high-end 180 hubs, which feature the new Ratchet EXP freehub mechanism inside the rear hub. For those who are wondering what the heck that’s all about, we recently took an in-depth look into how the new Ratchet EXP internals work and why DT Swiss has switched things up from its proven Star Ratchet freehub design. Super trick DT Swiss 180 Straightpull hubs sit in the middle of each wheel. The rear hub comes loaded with DT Swiss’ new Ratchet EXP freehub system. What Options We Got? DT Swiss is producing two EXC 1200 wheelsets. There’s the Spline 30 (29in) and the Spline 35 (27.5in). The latter number refers to the internal rim width. The ‘Spline’ bit is just a cool name that DT gives to its complete wheelsets. Both wheelsets are built with DT Swiss bladed straight-pull spokes and alloy ProLock nipples. On a sweet side note – the spoke length is exactly the same for front and rear wheels, and drive and non-drive sides. How good is that! At the centre of each wheel you’ll find a DT Swiss 180 Straightpull hub that comes loaded with SINC ceramic cartridge bearings. Axle spacing is Boost-only, so that’s 110x15mm front & 148x12mm rear. Since the hubs use a Centerlock rotor spline, DT Swiss kindly includes 6-bolt adapters. You also get both SRAM XD and Shimano Micro Spline freehub bodies in the box. A Shimano HG freehub body is also available to purchase separately for any prehistoric folks still using 11-speed. 6-Bolt adapters, a spoke tool, and a Shimano Micro Spline freehub body are included in the box. How Light Are They? Pretty light! We’ve got a set of the EXC 1200 Spline 30 wheels on test, and including the pre-installed tubeless tape and supplied tubeless valves, these clocked in at 1697g on the Scales Of Broken Dreams. If you’re running 6-bolt rotors, you can add 82g for the adapters. That weight is pretty impressive when you consider they’re about 200g lighter than the alloy version, the DT Swiss EX 1501 Spline One 30 wheels, which come in at 1895g. A good portion of that weight difference is in the rim too, and that should lead to improved acceleration and quicker handling. The 30mm internal rim width should suit tyres from 2.3-2.6in wide. Yes, the valve caps double as a core removal tool – tidy! And How Do They Compare To The XMC 1200 Wheels? On the spec sheet, there are actually a lot of similarities between the XMC 1200 and EXC 1200 wheelsets. Both use the same hubs and spokes, and both feature carbon fibre rims that measure 36mm externally, and 30mm internally. The main difference though is in the rim profile, which is significantly shallower on the EXC 1200 wheelset (25mm vs 30mm). There’s a substantial difference in the layup and overall thickness of the rims too, because the EXC 1200 wheelset is around 150g heavier, and most of that weight would appear to be in the rims. All-up, DT Swiss states that trail and All Mountain riders will be better suited to the XMC 1200 wheelset. If you’re subjecting bike and body to properly flat-out enduro racing though, the tougher EXC 1200 is the wheelset for you. While the EXC 1200 rims share the same inner and outer dimensions as the lighter XMC 1200 rims, the carbon layup is very different between the two. DT Swiss EXC 1200 Spline 30 Carbon Wheel Specs Carbon fibre enduro wheelset Tubeless compatible profile w/3mm thick hookless beads External rim width: 36mm Internal rim width: 30mm Rim depth: 25mm DT Swiss 180 Straightpull hubs Boost hub spacing only SINC Ceramic bearings 36T Star Ratchet freehub mechanism Includes both SRAM XD & Shimano Micro Spline freehub bodies Front wheel build: 28 x DT Swiss Aerolite bladed & butted stainless steel spokes, 3X lacing Rear wheel build: 28 x DT Swiss Aero Comp bladed & butted stainless steel spokes, 3X lacing Nipples: DT Swiss ProLock Squorx ProHead alloy 130kg system weight limit (rider + gear + bike) In the box: 6-Bolt rotor adapters, tubeless valves, spoke tool, and wheel bags Actual weight: 1697g (including tape & valves) RRP: $2,999 We’ve got a set of the EXC 1200 Spline 30 wheels, which are only available in a 29in diameter. Shown here with a 2.3in wide Maxxis Minion tyre combo. Are they as tough as DT Swiss say they are? Time to find out! We’ll be putting our test set of EXC 1200 wheels through the wringer over the coming months to find out just how tough they are. We’ll also be comparing them with the Curve Dirt Hoops wheels we also have on test, along with some other 30mm wide carbon wheels, so stay tuned for the full review! In the meantime, you can check out our tech feature on the new DT Swiss Ratchet EXP freehub system here, head to the DT Swiss website for further info, or get in touch with the Australian distributor for DT Swiss, Apollo Bicycles, to find your nearest dealer. Mo’ Flow Please! Enjoyed that article? Then there’s plenty more to check out on Flow Mountain Bike, including all our latest news stories and product reviews. And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up to our Facebook page and Instagram feed so you can keep up to date with all things Flow! The post First Look | The DT Swiss EXC 1200 Spline 30 is the brand’s first enduro-ready carbon wheelset appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.