The 2020 Leogang DH World Championships kicked off with the qualifying round ending on the mud of the Austrian track, thus determining the starting order for the final on Sunday, which however could still be canceled in the event of snowfall. If so, that would mean the results you are about to read in this article will actually turn into the final standings, assigning the world titles to the winners of today’s qualifying. In the men’s, the day was dominated by an excellent time from Loris Vergier who leads in front of his friend and countryman Loïc Bruni, who was more than a second behind. It’s worth mentioning the absence of Amaury Pierron due to injury, who last season battled for the title with Bruni after a hard-fought World Cup season. Third position for the Canadian Finn Iles, further back from the Frenchies with more than 4 seconds between him and Vergier. Fourth and fifth place again for France with Remi Thirion and Thibaut Daprela, in his first year among the Elite. Sixth and seventh position for the two Australian talents, Jack Moir, increasingly consistent at the top of the charts, and Troy Brosnan. In the women’s the future of the sport – Valentina Höll, who after winning the female Junior category by winning the world title and the World Cup overall last year, seems ready to dominate the Elite category as well, as predicted. Here in Leogang, where she trains regularly, she won the qualifying heat with more than two and a half seconds ahead of veteran Tracey Hannah. Myriam Nicole, reigning world champion, takes third position but with a considerable gap of over 14 seconds, while Tahnée Seagrave, silver medalist last year at Mont Sainte Anne, closed out in fourth position almost 16 seconds behind Höll. A very solid fifth position for Eleonora Farina . In the Junior category, first place went to the American Matthew Sterling in the men’s ranking and the French Leona Pierrini in the women’s ranking, both with plenty of margin over their rivals. Charts Elite Men Elite Women Junior Men Junior Women More information about the live broadcast of Sunday’s final in the article presenting the race route.
Its design is based on the Addict RC road bike. Scott Sports The well hidden ebikemotion system makes the Addict eRIDE look just like its standard mechanical counterpart. Scott Sports Full cable integration gives the Addict eRIDE a slick stealthy look. Scott Sports Scott’s new Addict eRIDE electric bike is claimed to be the lightest assisted bike available at just 10.75kg. Based on the Addict RC design, the new Addict eRIDE has a slightly more relaxed geometry and the range consists of four models: the Premium with Dura-Ace Di2 and a claimed 120km range; the eRIDE 10 with Ultegra Di2 and an 80km range; the eRIDE 20 with Ultegra/105 mechanical mix; and the women’s-specific eRIDE Contessa model. 5 Scott Addict eRIDE highlights 120km range with 2,200m of climbing on the Premium model 3 hour charge time 1,040kg claimed frame and 10.75kg complete bike weight Fully integrated design Lightweight and aero design based on the Addict RC All of the eRIDE models share the same 1,040g carbon frame made from Scott’s highest grade HMX carbon. So it’s not just the Premium model that has an impressively low overall weight, with Scott claiming 11.6kg for the Ultegra Di2 equipped eRIDE 10 and women’s-specific Contessa, while the Ultegra/105 mechanical bike weighs a claimed 12kg (all 56cm). All of these models are lighter than the 56cm e-road bikes we’ve tried to date, with only Cannondale’s Supersix EVO Neo at 11.3kg and Wilier Trestina’s Cento10 Hybrid at a claimed 10.2kg for a size small coming close. Scott Addict eRIDE X35 motor Launch Gallery The eBikemotion X35 system is controlled via this top tube-mounted button called the IWOC. Scott Sports The eBikemotion X35 motor is rear hub based. Scott Sports Scott was an early entrant into the ebike market way back in 2014 with a range of urban, trekking, and mountain bikes based around Bosch and Shimano crank-based systems. However, for the road it’s looked towards Mahle’s latest incarnation of its ebikemotion system, the X35. Scott worked with Mahle on tuning the system to its particular needs, making the most of the lightweight system that offers 40Nm of torque at the rear wheel. Scott tells us that it worked closely with Mahle’s engineers in Spain on the software that controls the power unit with the aim of giving riders as natural a feel as possible throughout the engine’s power settings – to offer as smooth a transition as possible when the power assists as well as when it tapers out once you’ve ridden past the maximum speed assistance level. The X35 is a rear hub motor and the 252W/h slimline battery is enclosed within the down tube, with the power controlled by a bottom bracket cadence sensor. Previous versions of the ebikemotion system have impressed us, the only caveat is that to get the best out of the system when riding you really need to have it connected to the very clever accompanying app – which means mounting a phone on your bars, not exactly the race look that Scott is going for with the Addict eRIDE. So, thankfully, this latest iteration of the X35 system allows for a direct connection with a compatible head unit using ANT+, so your head unit can display power data and battery levels. Ebikemotion is controlled by the IWOC control button mounted into the top tube, which cycles through four power settings. The button’s changing LED lights also provide information on the remaining charge left in the system. As for range, the X35’s 252W/h internal battery has around 80km available, but you can piggyback a second bottle cage battery with a 208Wh capacity for 460W/h that extends the range to a claimed 120km. The Premium model comes with the second battery as standard, for a comparable range to Specialized’s claimed 130km on its S-Work’s Turbo Creo SL. The ebikemotion system uses the second battery to keep the main battery topped up rather than run the power sources in parallel, which keeps the cabling simple with just a short cable run from the bottle-battery into the charge point at the seat tube base at the bottom bracket. Scott Addict eRIDE frame design The Addict RC frame overlaid with the Addict eride (in red) shows just how similar the electric version looks compared to the standard Addict RC. Scott Sports The Addict eRide has an offset steerer tube on the fork to provide plenty of clearance at the front of the head tube for cables and hoses. Scott Sports What’s remarkable about Scott’s Addict eRIDE is the proportions of the frame. Alongside Scott’s Addict RC the frame has exactly the same tube dimensions, which means aside from the enlarged rear hub and stealthy button on the top tube you’d be hard pushed to tell it apart from a standard road bike. Scott has tweaked the geometry a little over the standard Addict, making it a little taller and a little shorter than the non-assisted bike. Our eRIDE test bike in a 58cm has a 613.6mm stack and 388.6mm reach, while an Addict RC in the same size has 588mm of stack and a 400mm reach. Scott Addict eRIDE geometry Sizes XS / 49cm S / 52cm M / 54cm L / 56cm XL / 58cm Seat tube angle (degrees) 75 74.5 74 73.5 73.1 Head tube angle (degrees) 71 72 72.5 73 73.3 Chainstay (cm) 42.2 42.2 42.2 42.2 42.2 Top tube horizontal (cm) 51.5 53 54.5 56 57.5 Head tube length (cm) 10.5 12.5 14.5 16.5 18.5 BB offset (cm) 7 7 7 7 7 BB height (cm) 27.9 27.9 27.9 27.9 27.9 Standover height (cm) 75.2 77.6 79.9 82.2 84.3 Wheelbase (mm) 995.1 997 1,002.60 1,007 1,014.80 BB center to top tube center (cm) 43.5 46 48.5 51 53.5 BB center to top of seat tube (cm) 49 52 54 56 58 Reach (cm) 37.32 37.7 38.09 38.43 38.86 Stack (cm) 52.91 55.16 57.24 59.33 61.36 Stem length (cm) 9 10 11 12 12 Scott Contessa eRIDE geometry Sizes XS / 49cm S / 52cm M / 54cm L / 56cm Seat angle (degrees) 75 74.5 74 73.5 Head tube angle (degrees) 71 72 72.5 73 Chainstay (cm) 42.2 42.2 42.2 42.2 Top tube horizontal (cm) 51.5 53 54.5 56 Head tube length (cm) 10.5 12.5 14.5 16.5 BB offset (cm) 7 7 7 7 BB height (cm) 27.9 27.9 27.9 27.9 Standover height (cm) 75.2 77.6 79.9 82.2 Wheelbase (cm) 995.1 997 1,002.60 1,007.50 BB center to toptube center (cm) 43.5 46 48.5 51 BB center to top of seattube (cm) 49 52 54 56 Reach (cm) 37.32 37.7 38.09 38.43 Stack (cm) 52.91 55.16 57.24 59.33 Stem length (cm) 9 10 11 12 The Crestion IC SL bar/stem is aerodynamically shaped. Scott Sports The D-shaped seatpost adds some compliance and improves aerodynamics. Scott Sports Inside the head tube the Addict eRIDE uses an offset steerer tube on the fork to allow for cable clearances without affecting the steering. Scott Sports The Syncros Crestion IC SL cockpit routes cables and hoses internally. Scott Sports The eRIDE has generous clearances and comes equipped with 30c Schwalbe tubeless tyres. Scott Sports Syncros provides all of the components on the Addict eRide, including this fetching tan coloured Belcarra saddle. Scott Sports Looking towards the tidy bars. Scott Sports The eRIDE shares the same tubing profiles and frame design as the pro-tour level Addict RC with the same aero details, such as the integrated fork crown, dropped rear stays and D-shaped seatpost that’s designed to offer compliance and an aero advantage over a standard round post. The frameset has generous tyre clearances (32mm) and the eRIDE comes equipped with 30c tubeless tyres to counter the added weight of the ebike system to provide a ride quality equal to the non-powered machine. The Addict eRIDE is also the first ebike we’ve seen with full-internal cable routing throughout. The Addict eRIDE Premium uses a Syncros Creston IC SL one-piece bar and stem to route all the cables through the bar and down into the Scott’s offset steerer head tube, which channels all of the cables down through the front of the head tube. On lower models it’s the Creston IC 1.5, which uses a separate bar and stem but still routes both cables and hoses fully internally too. Scott Addict eRIDE range Scott Addict eRIDE Premium The Addict eRide Premium tops the range with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and Syncros carbon wheels for £8,349. Scott Sports Frame: AME Addict eRIDE Disc HMX E-Drive system: Mahle Motor Hub drive 40Nm max torque / EU: 25kmh / US: 20mph / Mahle 36V-250W + xTra Power Bottle Cage Battery: 36v-208W Fork: Addict eRIDE HMX flat-mount disc, full carbon Headset: Syncros Addict RC Integrated Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 RD-R9150 Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-R9150 Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace ST-R9170 Brakes: Shimano BR-R9170 hydraulic disc, 160/F SM-RT900 CL and 160/R SM-RT86 6B rotor Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-R9100 50×34 Bottom bracket: Shimano SM-BB92-41B Handlebar: Syncros Creston iC SL / Carbon combo Seatpost: Syncros Duncan SL Aero Saddle: Syncros Belcarra Regular 1.0 Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-HG901-11 Cassette: Shimano Dura Ace CS-R9100 / 11-30 Tyres: Schwalbe PRO ONE Microskin, TL-Easy, Fold / 700 x 30C Wheelset: Syncros Capital 1.0 40e Disc Price: £8,349 / €9,299 Scott Addict eRIDE 10 The Addict eRIDE 10 comes with Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 group for £5,649. Scott Sports Frame: Addict eRIDE Disc HMX E-Drive system: Mahle Motor Hub drive 40Nm max torque / EU: 25kmh / US: 20mph / Mahle 36V-250W Fork: Addict eRIDE HMX flat-mount disc, full carbon Headset: Syncros Addict RC Integrated Rear derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Di2 RD-R8050-GS Front derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Di2 FD-R8050 Shifters: Shimano Ultegra ST-R8070 Brakes: Shimano BR-R8070 hydraulic disc, 160/F SM-RT800 CL and 160/R SM-RT86 6B rotor Crankset: Shimano Ultegra FC-R8000 / Hollowtech II 50×34 T Bottom bracket: Shimano SM-BB72-41B Handlebar: Syncros Creston iC 1.5 Compact / Alloy Stem: Syncros RR iC Seatpost: Syncros Duncan 1.0 Aero Saddle: Syncros Belcarra Regular 2.0 Chain: Shimano Ultegra CN-HG701-11 Cassette: Shimano Ultegra CS-R8000 / 11-32 Tyres: Schwalbe ONE Race-Guard Fold / 700 x 30c Wheelset: Syncros Capital 1.0 40e Disc Price: £5,649 / €6,299 Scott Addict eRIDE 20 The Addict eRIDE 20 is the base model at £3,999 and comes with a mix of Shimano Ultegra and 105 mechanical. Scott Sports Frame: Addict eRIDE Disc HMX E-Drive system: Mahle Motor Hub drive 40Nm max torque / EU: 25kmh / US: 20mph / Mahle 36V-250W Fork: Addict eRIDE HMX flat-mount disc, full carbon Headset: Syncros Addict RC Integrated Rear derailleur: Shimano Ultegra RD-R8000-GS Front derailleur: Shimano 105 FD-R7000 Shifters: Shimano 105 ST-R7020 Brakes: Shimano BR-R7070 hydraulic disc, 160/F SM-RT800 CL and 160/R SM-RT76 6B rotor Crankset: Shimano 105 FC-R7000 50×34 Bottom bracket: Shimano SM-RS500-PB Handlebar: Syncros Creston 2.0 Compact / Alloy Stem: Syncros RR iC / 1 1/4in Seatpost: Syncros Duncan 1.0 Aero Saddle: Syncros Belcarra Regular 2.0 Chain: Shimano 105 CN-HG601-11 Cassette: Shimano CS-R7000 / 11-32 Tyres: Schwalbe ONE Race-Guard Fold / 700 x 30c Wheelset: Syncros Capital 2.0 25e Disc Price: £3,999 / €4,499 Scott Contessa eRIDE The women’s-specific Contessa shares the same spec as the eRIDE 10 but has women’s-specific finishing kit. Scott Sports Frame: Addict eRIDE Disc HMX E-Drive system: Mahle Motor Hub drive 40Nm max torque / EU: 25kmh / US: 20mph / Mahle 36V-250W Fork: Addict eRIDE HMX flat-mount disc, full carbon Headset: Syncros Addict RC Integrated Rear derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Di2 RD-R8050-GS Front derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Di2 FD-R8050 Shifters: Shimano Ultegra ST-R8070 Brakes: Shimano BR-R8070 hydraulic disc, 160/F SM-RT800 CL and 160/R SM-RT86 6B rotor Crankset: Shimano Ultegra FC-R8000 / Hollowtech II 50×34 T Bottom bracket: Shimano SM-BB72-41B Handlebar: Syncros Creston iC 1.5 Compact / Alloy Stem: Syncros RR iC Seatpost: Syncros Duncan 1.0 Aero Saddle: Syncros Savona 2.5 V-Concept Chain: Shimano Ultegra CN-HG701-11 Cassette: Shimano Ultegra CS-R8000 / 11-32 Tyres: Schwalbe Pro One / 30 x 622 / Schwalbe One Race-Guard Fold / 700 x 30c Wheelset: Syncros Capital 1.0 40e Disc Price: £5,649 / €6,299
Multiple world-first tricks were landed today at the Audi Nines 2020 presented by Falken as the weeklong mountain bike event drew to a sensational close. German rider Nico Scholze landed the first Cordova Flip on a Downhill bike and Italy’s Diego Caverzasi completed a Backflip Barspin to Cliffhanger, while Swedish powerhouse Emil Johansson dominated the event’s contest runs, winning Best Freeride Line and Ruler of the Week. Here in the Hunsrück-Nahe bike region near Birkenfeld, Germany, a team of the world’s best mountain bikers gathered from the 7th to the 13th of September for a session of the superlative variety. For the third consecutive year, the Ellweiler quarry—a former stone quarry that’s been converted into a top-level mountain bike venue—played host to a crew of outstanding athletes ready to push their sport to new heights. Hungry to get on back on their bikes after months of cancelled events, the invited riders wasted no time getting to work on the quarry’s selection of custom-built features. From the expanded Freeride Line and Big Air venue to the brand-new Slopestyle Line, the riders found plenty to keep them busy throughout five days of non-stop film sessions. World-First Tricks on Downhill & Slopestyle Bikes The week’s action culminated with several tricks never seen before in mountain biking. One of the biggest highlights was Nico Scholze’s Cordova Flip, a daring manoeuvre adapted from freestyle motocross in which the rider executes a rather painful-looking backbend while hooking his feet on his bike’s handlebars—all while doing a backflip. No small feat. “It feels amazing to be the first person to ever put down the Cordova Backflip on the downhill bike,” said Scholze. “I really like freestyle motocross tricks, and I hope we have a couple more attempts, maybe next year.” Scholze wasn’t alone in the “world’s first” category. Italian rider Diego Caverzasi became the first to land a Backflip Barspin to Cliffhanger on a hardtail bike, while Austria’s Daniel Ruso put down a Frontflip Toboggan on his downhill bike and fellow Austrian Peter Kaiser landed a Backflip Barspin to Superman Seat Grab on a hardtail bike. Though it didn’t quite qualify as a first, Adolf Silva’s Cali Roll—only the second one ever landed on a mountain bike—proved that the high-flying Spaniard was back in action after an injury last year. Add in Antoine Bizet’s Opposite Cash Roll on a downhill bike and Paul Couderc’s innovative Footplant Flip, and it’s safe to say that the 2020 Audi Nines had more world’s firsts than you can shake a stick at. “I love this event, I love the crew,” said Diego Caversazi. “We have so much fun together, filming whatever we want, whatever we like to try. It’s such a good time.” The Audi Nines Go Live In a normal year, the Audi Nines would welcome thousands of spectators to watch action sports at its finest. In lieu of a public event this year, organisers hastened to offer an alternative for fans. The result: a series of Live Sessions hosted on audinines.com throughout the week. The Live Sessions offered multiple live camera angles from the quarry, including point-of-view helmet cameras from riders. The Live Sessions attracted tens of thousands of online viewers throughout the week, who took advantage of this special opportunity to drop into the quarry virtually along with their favourite riders. Coronavirus prevention measures While ongoing travel restrictions prevented several top North American athletes from attending, a strong squadron of mostly European riders was able to make the journey to Birkenfeld. Strict coronavirus prevention measures were in place throughout the event, as athletes and staff were required to present a negative coronavirus test upon arrival. The entire event team remained in a “bubble” throughout the event, with minimal outside contact to prevent viral spread. “This was one of the most challenging years yet for Audi Nines, with so many new factors for our team,” said Audi Nines founder Nico Zacek. “We’re very fortunate and thankful that, through the hard work of our team and the cooperation of local partners, the event was able to take place as planned.”
It’s Friday and that means it’s time for another round-up of the best riding kit to arrive with the BikeRadar team. This week we’ve been exploring the best tech from the Tour de France, shared our favourite cycling shoes and baselayers, and brought you news of Greg LeMond’s latest range of e-commuter bikes. Yesterday we reviewed the brand-new Vitus Vitesse EVO, a relatively affordable pro-level bike. Meanwhile, I gave my thoughts so far on Privateer’s 161 enduro bike, which I’ve been testing for the past few months. absoluteBLACK Graphenlube £115 buys you this modest-sized bottle of chain lube, but if the claims are true, it could be a relatively fruitful upgrade for serious racers. absoluteblack lube Competitive road cyclists and pro mountain bike racers are starting to realise that drivetrain efficiency is a relative gold mine of marginal gains. In the lab, differences between the type of chain lube used (as well as the condition of the chain, the model of drivetrain and the gear combination) can all make a significant difference to the amount of power that transfers from the pedals to the rear wheel, which in turn effects how fast you can go for a given amount of effort. With that in mind, absoluteBLACK’s Graphenlube is the most expensive chain lube we’ve ever seen. At £114 for a 140ml bottle, it’s right up there with the finest single malts in terms of cost per millilitre. You can buy a bottle for just £12, but you only get 14ml! Ouch. It’s a wax emulsion lube that’s impregnated with graphene – a much-hyped material comprised of tiny sheets of carbon just one atom thick. Apparently, the graphene (which is very expensive and not the same as the graphite in your HB pencil) helps lubricate the chain more effectively over long periods of riding. This is claimed to not only save a few watts, and thus provide a marginal performance gain, but also boost the wear-life of the drivetrain, offsetting the cost of the chain lube. According to a test commissioned by absoluteBlack and conducted at independent test lab Wheel Energy, a chain treated with Graphenlube travelled almost twice as many simulated kilometres, compared to other chain lubes tested, before power losses crept up above 10 watts. According to this test, conducted by Wheel Energy, the power lost in a chain treated with absoulteBlack’s Graphenlube remains lower for longer than the other lubes tested. absoluteBlack It’s worth noting that this test doesn’t include every lube on the market, and the other lubes aren’t necessarily designed to last for thousands of kilometres on a single application. In the real world, a few 100km before re-lubing is more typical. In another test conducted by absoluteBlack itself, the Graphenlube was claimed to save 7.3w compared to Muc-Off’s Hydrodynamic lube at a 250w output. That’s an astonishing 2.9 per cent of the rider’s power saved. That’s quite an advantage if the test is accurate. But do these results translate into the real world? We’ve been trying to figure that out already, but more data is needed, so stay tuned for a review soon. £114.99 / €129.95 / $145.95 (140ml bottle) FInd out more from absoluteBlack Latest deals Motion Instruments data acquisition system Motion Instruments’ fork. Immediate Media Motion Instruments’ shock. Immediate Media Working out what your suspension is doing isn’t easy. Trying to get a fork and shock working together, and at their best, is even harder. Pro-level downhill riders sometimes use expensive, cumbersome data acquisition kits to help with this. The idea is to record the travel position of the fork and shock hundreds or thousands of times a second while the bike is ridden down a course, then upload the data onto a computer. In the right hands, data can be used to see how much travel the fork and shock are using, when and how often. Among many other things, this can help flag if the suspension is balanced in terms of travel use, ride height, as well as compression and rebound speeds. Until now, such suspension telemetry has been beyond the reach of us mere mortals. The hardware required to record the data can be bulky, bespoke and expensive, while the raw data is not easy to make sense of without serious expertise. However, this nifty little system from Motion Instruments has been developed with pro-level athletes, such as Greg Minnaar, which appears to be more user-friendly than anything we’ve seen before. This particular system retails for an almost affordable $1,050, weighs just 242g for the whole kit, doesn’t turn your bike into a rat’s nest of cables and, most importantly, has an iPhone app to make sense of the data for you (to an extent). The Android version is still in development. The system links to MotionIQ, Motion Instruments’ app, and displays data in various forms. Motion Instruments The app isn’t designed to give specific setup instructions, but it can tell you such things as how much time your fork and shock spend in each part of their travel and how fast the front and rear axles move on compression and rebound. This information, which comes in the form of easy to read charts, can be used to work out if the front and rear of the bike are using travel evenly or if one is moving faster or further into its travel than the other. Histograms help to visualise the amount of time spent in each 10 per cent increment of the travel; toggling between the shock and fork tabs makes it easy to visualise if the fork is spending more time deeper in the travel than the shock, or visa-versa. This could help to decide if either end of your suspension is too stiff or too soft, too progressive or too linear. Similarly, compression and rebound speeds are tracked for each bump, so if your fork is moving faster than the shock (or visa-versa) it’s easy to see this happening on the app, and adjust damping accordingly. There’s a lot more to it than that, and after a couple of days testing I’ve only scratched the surface of the app’s capabilities. I’ll have a full review ready once I’ve puzzled over the charts a whole lot more. $1,049.99 (introductory price: $799.99) Find out more from Motion Instruments Squire Inigma lock Now even your bike lock can be controlled by your phone. Immediate Media Connectivity is the latest trend in all things cycling. Well, now historic lockmaker Squire has jumped squarely into the 21st century with its new Inigma lock. Instead of using a traditional lock and key mechanism, the Inigma goes about securing your bike via an app on your phone (iOS or Android). A Bluetooth connection enables the Inigma to be opened and it locks automatically when you shut the two halves together. No keys, no codes, and apparently, virtually un-hackable. The ability to allow trusted friends to access your bike remotely is another potential benefit. Immediate Media For those wary of new technology and the potential for hackers to break the code, Squire assures us that, because the system uses 256-bit AES encryption, it’s safe. According to tech experts, AES would take billions of years to crack using current computing technology. That means no matter how special your bike is, we’re pretty sure the world’s hackers have better things to do. Being a keyless system the lock can have multiple users, so if your friends or colleagues have the Inigma app you can send an invite giving privileges – perhaps making it ideal for sharing at an office bike park, at home, or if you lend your bike to a trusted friend. The physical lock has a tough armoured core with a hardened Boron steel shackle that’s encased in an aluminium outer, with a soft-touch polymer bonded to the inner surfaces so it’s kind to your bike. It’s rated to Sold Secure’s highest Gold level. The Inigma also comes with a battery life of five months based on normal commuting usage, and the app warns you when power levels are low. A full recharge takes two hours. £159.99 Latest deals Tag Metals T1 Dropper post The Tag Metals T1 is a rare thing – a low-cost, long-travel dropper post. Immediate media Dropper posts are popping up on ever cheaper bikes, and that’s great news for mountain bikers. Aftermarket dropper posts remain a pricey upgrade though, and there aren’t many options under £200. That’s particularly true if you want a long-travel dropper (anything with 150mm of drop or more). And, as mountain bikes get longer, they require the rider to stay more central over the bike when riding technical terrain, rather than hanging off the back. This makes longer travel posts even more of a benefit, otherwise the saddle gets in the way when riding centrally over the bike. Tag Metals is a company trying to break into the mountain bike market from its motocross heritage. Its first dropper post, the T1, is available with 150mm of drop at £160 or 170mm for £180, and in 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameters options. It’s got all the features you’d expect in a modern dropper, including an under-bar remote, a twin-bolt inline head and the ability to set the height anywhere in the travel. We have the 31.6mm diameter 170mm travel option, which weighs 714g including the full length cables and under-bar remote (or 598g for the post on its own). That makes it lighter than its main rival the Brand-X Ascend II, and it’s also lighter than the far pricier 175mm-travel Fox Transfer. One thing we like about the T1 is that the cable clamps at the lever end rather than at the remote. That means the cable pulls through from the post and is then cut to length and secured with a clamp at the lever, after the post is installed in the frame at the desired height. This makes installing the post much easier than some, where the cable clamps at the post end so the cable has to be cut precisely to length and secured with a fiddly grub-screw before the post is installed. The T1 also has a barrel adjuster to fine-tune the cable length after installation – a nice touch. Our sample post needed inflating from the Schrader valve at the top of the post before it would extend fully, but now operates smoothly with a reassuring “thwunk” as it reaches full extension. We’ll let you know how it performs after some extensive bike-based testing. £160 (150mm drop), £180 / €206 (170mm drop) Latest deals