The Auron is Suntour’s 34mm stanchioned entry in the enduro market, a 27.5 fork in a few damper configurations and travel lengths, topping out at 160mm. This is a basic RC damper with low speed rebound and compression clickers, a slick QR thru-axle, forged hollow crown, and magnesium lowers, adding up to 4.1 pounds with a cut steerer.
Competition is stiff in this segment, with the Fox 34 and darn near perfect RockShox Pike owning most of the market. I’m happy to report this fork plays in the same league on all levels: steering stiffness, damping adjustments and ride quality.Tweet
The new Crossmax Enduro wheel system is unique in that it’s designed around (and includes) Mavic branded tires, the dual-ply Charge and Roam XL. While the wheelset itself doesn’t break any new ground, it does use specific rim widths, spoke counts and lacing for the front and rear.Tweet
Liteville isn’t a brand you see much of on this side of the pond. A sister company to German component maker Syntace, Liteville makes just three understated models, which, when examined closely, display some of the finest design and engineering in the industry.
Rather than complaining about what wasn’t on the market, Liteville was formed to create bikes its founders wanted to ride, but weren’t available and the 601 is an obvious example, with a whopping 190mm of rear travel, adjustable geometry, and a full range of gearing capable of going up as well as down.
The 601 attracts very little attention on the trail because its flat black, ball-peened finish hides enough features to fill the rest of this page. Some highlights: super smart cable routing, model specific Syntace chain guide and a rear derailleur rock guard. Liteville designed specific aluminum tubing for each size and model, and the amount of shaping is nothing short of impressive. The 601 looks like the bicycle equivalent of an assault rifle; all business, and in the right hands, very dangerous.Tweet
In this day and age, a new 29-inch hardtail often isn’t big news. But with a company like Ibis (which has a very small bike line up) and a bike like the Tranny, this is more than another “me-too” bicycle.
The 26-inch version of the Tranny was recently retired, and this 29er replacement has been in development for years, but the full suspension Ripley took most of the lion’s share of Ibis’ development power. Now that the Ripley has left the nest, it leaves room for this new carbon fiber hardtail.Tweet
For almost as long as fat bikes have been a thing, trying to set them up tubeless has also been a thing. We even wrote a blog about it.
45North is the first company to release a tubeless ready tire, the Vanhelga, a four inch wide tire with what looks to be a trail bike tread pattern. Marketed as winter trail riding tire, 6.5mm tall, aggressively shaped and siped lugs look promising for the all season fat-biker as well. The Vanhelga uses dual compound rubber, harder in the middle for increased tread life, softer on the outside for more traction when cornering.Tweet
Trek hasn’t shied away from developing proprietary suspension products in its search for better performance. About five years ago, the Dual Rate Control Valve (DRVC) air spring system appeared on Trek’s full suspension bikes, and has remained part of its suspension designs ever since.
About the same time, Trek started talks with Penske Racing Shocks through a fortunate father-son connection, the father being a well-respected NASCAR engineer, and the son being a frame engineer with Trek.
I knew the Penske name had something to do with racing, but I was mostly familiar with the big yellow rental trucks. Penske is a whole other ballgame supplying high-end, bespoke suspension solutions to the fastest motorsports racing teams in the business, including six of thirteen F1 teams.
There are a few mountain bikers on staff at Penske’s Reading, Pennsylvania, “skunk works” where most of the suspension design takes place. Those riders realized that the “regressive” damping design developed for F1 racing would have some application for mountain bikes, and a partnership with Trek would be a perfect vehicle to deliver it to the mountain bike market.Tweet
Juliana pro rider, Anka Martin, has already proven the worthiness of the new 150mm travel Roubion with a victory at Trans-Provence, perhaps the world’s most challenging enduro race, a six-day stage race in France. The Roubion is named aster Anka’s favorite Trans-Provence stage.Tweet
The good old Fox 36 was getting a bit outdated, and with new wheelsizes taking hold, it was high time for a new fork. We recently brought you the news that it has been completely redeveloped for 2015, and now we have one in the office for testing and we’ve got more details to share.Tweet
Electronics are all around us. When was the last time you rolled up a window in a car? Turned a dial to tune in a radio station? Wound up an alarm clock? Been awhile, right? Well, we’ve been pulling cables to change gears on mountain bikes for decades. Our road and cyclocross brethren have been using tiny motors and electronic impulses to shift gears for half a decade now on Dura Ace and Ultegra Di2 drivetrains, and in a not unexpected move, Shimano is porting that technology over to mountain bikes in the form of the new M9050 XTR Di2 group.Tweet
When Cane Creek first invited us to a media event to unveil a new product, it was going to take place out in California, during the crazy time that is the Sea Otter Classic. I was relieved when it was postponed and moved to Cane Creek’s home-turf in North Carolina. Not only would it be one less thing to try to cover at Sea Otter, but I’ll take a ride in the Pisgah National Forest over any trail around the Laguna Seca racetrack. So, I happily made the drive south from Dirt Rag HQ to check out the new Inline shock, tour Cane Creek’s facilities, and ride some bikes at both Pisgah and Dupont forests.
But this isn’t about me, it is about this new shock.Tweet
There is little argument that SRAM’s 1×11 drivetrains work and work well, at least no argument among those who have ridden them And therein lies the problem, as both the XX1 and X01 groups are very expensive. But now the new X1 group trickles the 1×11 tech down to a lower price point, allowing it to be spec’ed on bikes at much lowe price points, and make sence as an aftermarket upgrade.Tweet
Marin continues to impress, releasing info about three 2015 models that continue the refined look of brand, including new Rift Zone and Indian Fire Trail 29ers and the all-purpose disc-brake Lombard.Tweet