Follow SRAM enduro racers Jerome Clementz, Nicolas Vouilloz, Rene Wildhaber, Curtis Keene, Anka Martin and many more as they take on rounds 2 and 3 of the 2013 Enduro World Series in Val d'Allos and Les Deux Alpes, France. With enduro quickly becoming one of the most progressive and interesting forms of mountain biking, enduro riders have become an essential part in the development of a new generation of components, which combine light weight, durability and flawless performance during long and hard races. SRAM XX1 is the prime example of this new breed of components, after dominating the 2013 season with 6 wins out of 7 races with Fabien Barel, Nicolas Vouilloz and Jerome Clementz.
With enduro-fluenza spreading like wild fire, I got the opportunity to check out the 2014 enduro-bred suspension from FOX at the opener of the Oregon Enduro Series in Hood River, Oregon. Accompanied by moto all-star Jeremy McGrath, a slew of Fox’s finest engineers, and top American enduro racer Lars n’ Bars Sternberg, we set out on the trails to get our fill of the amazing terrain. Although the days were socked in and gloomy, it made for an unreal mud shredfest! To top it all off, I got to put the new 2014 product to work against the best Pro enduro guys in the country. After leaving Oregon, I have managed to put the new suspension to the test in the dry Colorado high country. Smashing it through rigorous 30plus minute descents and strenuous hour-long climbs. Post yin and yang conditions, here is the lowdown on what Fox has in store for trail riding and enduro racing in 2014.
Four-Piston Stopping Power with Great Modulation and Lever Feel
The evolution of mountain bike brakes has continued at an amazing rate fueled by the constant improvements each manufacturer has made each year. Avid has continued to improve upon the finicky Juicy’s of yesteryear and have come up with great results. Featuring a new Four-piston Caliper paired with updated,levers, the XO trail brake has created a significant buzz throughout the Trail/All-Mountain scene.
Fox iCD Electronic Lock-out, DT Swiss 29er Wheels, New Goods from Thomson, and Easton EC70 Carbon MTB Hoops
Companies unveil new 2013 components at the industries tradeshow in Las Vegas, NV
Trail-Ready, Weight Conscious Hoops
In a time when most wheelsets come complete from the factory, these Pacenti TL28 hoops offer a nice alternative for those who’d rather build up a super-tough, versatile trail wheelset the old fashioned way: from the hub up.
Bright and Durable: Thrashing the FX1950 Tricon
Yes, these euro-flashy hoops are bright, but these bomber freeride wheels from DT Swiss have a surly side with tried and true DT quality hubs laced up to a sealed tubeless compatible rim utilizing top notch DT bladed double butted spokes. This combination creates a solid and laterally stiff but otherwise forgiving wheelset that is capable of taking on some pretty insane riding while helping to smooth out your ride.
Excellent Traction and Durability but are they Worth the Premium Price?
Schwalbe has quickly gained a reputation as a high-end tire manufacturer that creates highly functional bicycle tires. Although they also sport a high-end price tag, Schwalbe has shown time and again just how great its tires are.
SRAM reveals details of New 1x11 Drivetrain
SRAM was adamant to point out that XX1 is not designed to replace current 10-speed drivetrains. 2x10 mountain bike systems are still relatively new and continue to offer huge benefits for many riders. Instead, XX1 is aimed at riders looking to simplify their drivetrain.
Srams XX1 sets to up the standard for a simplified drivetrain.
Designed as a compliment to the increasingly popular enduro/all-mountain segment, Srams new 1x11 drivetrain pairs with their newly released Type 2 clutch derailleur system to create a simple yet effective drivetrain for technical trail abuse.
Magura Launches New 29er and 650B Fork, Road Brakes
By Trina Ortega and Brian Riepe
SEDONA, Ariz. — The Magura Direct employees work hard every year to host their annual press camp on the ultimate testing grounds (whether testing gear or fear) of Sedona, Arizona’s notoriously technical and demanding trails.
Mavics durable all-mountain wheels provide an upgrade for capable trail bikes.
Pairing XC weight with downhill durability can be a difficult formula, but the redesigned 2012 Crossmax SX steps to the plate with its trail/enduro specific improvements. For 2012, the SX sees subtle yet strategic changes throughout the wheel, but together they create a lighter, stronger, and more versatile wheelset.
Shimano updates Gravity specific groupset and introduces a more budget friendly version.
As the first component manufacturer to develop a gravity specific component group, Shimano has continued to improve on the DH components. For 2013, Saint sees some significant updates along with a new, more budget friendly gravity group, Zee.
Mavic introduces a Line of 29er Wheels, finally.
With the exponential growth of 29" wheels in the mountain bike industry, most wheel manufacturers were quick to adopt and develop high-end 29" wheels. Mavic was a little bit slower to react though and has been a bit behind in the big wheel market, but for good reason.
X-Fusion Shox introduces new 34mm stanchion Forks, Height adjustable seatpost and ultralight rear shock.
For 2013, X-Fusion plans to create more buzz around their products by creating some new, possibly market-changing improvements introducing a new stanchion size, new gold slick ano stanchion coating, and a one piece forged crown and steertube combo along with a brand new height adjustable seatpost proves X-Fusion has been hard at work.
Gripshift returns, But More Refined than Those Disposable Pieces of Plastic on your First Mountain Bike.
For those who pine for the days when they could grab a fistful of gears in one, throttling twist of the wrist, Sram as answered your many prayers and forum posts with the introduction of a new 10-speed Gripshift system. Built from the ground up, Sram has made substantial strides to create a twist shift system that will rival the performance of top notch shifting systems currently on the market.
Improving the Riding Experience is Exactly Why Drivetrain Technology continues to Move Forward. Creating a Quieter, Smoother Drivetrain that Will Remain Consistent even over the Most Demanding Terrain is the Goal.
SRAMs new Type 2 clutch equipped rear derailleur provides one way tension that keeps chain slap to a minimum while improving on the fly shift quality. But does this technology improve the riding experience or is it just marketing hype?
With the release of Shimanos Shadow Plus derailleur this past season, Sram has been hard at work to create some significant updates to current derailleur offerings.
Shimano's Shadow Plus derailleur features a roller clutch mechanism that greatly decreases unwanted chain movement by allowing the derailleur to only move in the direction of the shift. This system has shown great potential and it is obvious why Sram would adopt a similar technology for their derailleur updates.
Mounting up a set of winter tires can make all the difference in the world on your daily bike commute. Continental offers a great studless, winter specific option with the Top Contact Winter tires.
The day after I mounted the Continental Contact Winter II on my Electra cruiser, it began to snow and didn't stop for many days and has been below freezing on and off for the past few months. So I have been able to ride the tires on dry pavement, 6"+ powder, soft and hard packed snow, -10*f Styrofoam-squeaky super hard packed snow, slush and of course ice.
Larger platform, trail specific design improves control and power over technical terrain
Shimano has long been known for their SPD clipless pedal design, for 2011 they introduced a new Trail style SPD pedal in their XT level pedals. With its refined larger platform design the trail pedals offer riders a greater amount of contact between pedal and shoe while maintaining a lightweight design.
Easton's new 685mm wide XC Handlebar Tips the scales at the Same Weight as Bars much Narrower
Review by: Travis Scheefer
Easton recognized that cross-country riders and racers are learning from the all mountain crowd and going with even wider handlebars for more control and comfort. However, added material usually means more weight and racers are notorious for counting grams in an effort to keep their bikes as light as possible. How about a bar with added width at the same weight?
Carbon spoke Technology in a durable yet race ready wheel. Mavic makes it happen.
Road riding in Western Colorado is often more like entry-level mountain biking on skinny tires. In order to connect any type of loop it is almost certain that you will end up on some type of dirt/gravel jeep road. Needless to say, road bikes and wheels take a lot of punishment. Enter the Mavic Ksyrium SR.
Specialized's new height adustable seatpost put to the test.
Height adjust seatposts are not a new product in the mountain bike industry but only after years of refinement are they now becoming one of the more popular aftermarket mountain bike accessories. Specialized has produced their height adjustable Command Post for a few years now, but it was time for an update with so many more options available.
Gain traction with WTB's Bronson: a fast rolling yet aggressive all mountain tire.
WTB's new Bronson tire was developed with the help of pro riders Mark Weir and Jason Moeschler. Spending countless hours riding bikes makes these two past Downieville Classic champions great candidates for tire testers and designers. Not surprisingly, the Bronson is intended to be an aggressive all mountain tire for a variety of soil types and terrain.
(Santa Cruz, Calif.)- Easton introduces new ultralight carbon UST EC90 XC Wheels
At first glance Easton's new EC90 carbon mountain bike wheels look very similar to their less expensive aluminum brother the EA90. But upon closer inspection it is obvious that Easton has stepped up their game with this ultralight carbon wheelset. What sets the EC90 apart from other carbon wheels on the market is the Armored Ballistic Composite that Easton introduced last season with the Haven Carbon trail/All Mountain wheel.
The real secret to getting the most ‘Push’ from your squish.
Whether you’re a cross country racer, downhill racer, or an enthusiastic trail rider, Push Industries is a company you should be thinking about when you’re ready to get your front or rear suspension custom tuned.
Budget price and new technology meet with Sram's new X7 2x10 group.
SRAM’s recent introduction of the new XO, X9, and X7 2x10 products has a lot of people talking about 2x10 drivetrains and their advantages. Spending the better part of the past 3 months on the X7 group, I will say I am thoroughly impressed. The group provides the same 2x10 benefits as XX at a fraction of the cost (and a little extra weight).
Cross-Counrty Race Performance Described with a German Accent Reviewed by Steve Mabry Magura’s Durin Race is billed a true cross-country race fork and when Alban Lakata took the 2010 World Marathon Championships aboard one of these German made forks he gave them a damn good endorsement.
Continental has over 100 years of experience producing bicycle tires. This long tradition seems to put focus on quality design and materials optimized to deliver great results. The Mountain King 2.4 has been a fantastic tire to test and to gain experience with the quality that Continental is known for. by Kurt Smith
There are certain products like running shoes, blue jeans and… I don't know, prophylactics, which people tend be very brand-loyal to.
Following in the tracks of the legendary Mutano Raptor, the Stout combines characteristics found in aggressive all-mountain tires with a low rolling resistance tread pattern and a weight that won’t drag you backwards on the climbs.
The team of engineers and designers at Reynolds, based in West Jordan, UT, has been at the forefront of composite design (and in many cases, professional bike racing as well) since the early 90’s and now they’ve finally applied that expertise to an off road composite wheelset.
Reviewed by Dave Sheldon Michelin’s enthusiasm for bicycle tires runs deep, as they produce a model for just about all conditions and uses, mountain or road. For this review, they pulled a set of XC Dry2’s out of their quiver and we cut them loose on our local trails.
Reviewed by Dave Sheldon When pre-season miles or long training days are on the ride menu, it’s reassuring to know that you and your machine are balanced on a solid set of tires. The Michelin Lithion fills this role nicely, and does so in a budget friendly manner.
Reviewed by Brian Riepe I experience the same aggravating scenario every time I have a mechanical problem. By the time I’m done fixing it, my hands are covered with grease, grime, sometimes even a little cow poop (the source being my downtube or on my tires – it’s just something we put up with for good singletrack. “Share the trail”… Whatever).
Reviewed by Dave Sheldon Ok, I admit it, I’m a performance hound and will try just about anything that might make me go faster or suffer less when aboard two wheels. And although nothing I’ve tried during this fifteen-year quest has come close to the rocket fuel effects granted by coffee’s black bean, the search continues: enter Rotor Cranks elliptical Q-Rings.
Reviewed by Dave Sheldon In the world of bicycle saddles, weight reduction tends to detract from comfort, while the plushest rides always weigh a ton. But thanks to the Specialized Toupe, those concerned with weight and comfort can finally rejoice. That’s right, a lightweight seat that won’t bust your ass.