Having been building for just three years, REEB has already built as many bikes in 2014 as they did in all of last year. As an natural progression of its American-made steel and titanium bikes, REEB Cycles has announced a new partnership with True Temper and Henry James to create a new, exclusive steel tubeset dubbed True Temper ABT that will be exclusive to REEB bikes.
The new steel is going straight into all REEB bikes, the first of which is the new REEB SFP 29er, a hardtail built for aggressive trail riding. The front triangle uses what REEB says is America’s first 31.6mm steel seat tube and 1.75-inch down tube. The seat tube is perfect for dropper seat posts and the big down tube creates the strength needed for longer fork options. Like all REEB bikes it will be able to run with gears or singlespeed, and in this case a Gates Carbon Belt Drive can be fitted.Tweet Print
Carver Bikes has always been at the forefront of the fat bike movement, never hesitating to introduce new products as the market changes. It had even built one of the first full-suspension fat bikes. Now the brand is doubling down on big tires, with a host of new goods to keep you floating year ’round.Tweet Print
With a few exceptions, most bike companies seem to shy away from making true cross country race bikes, instead designing trail bikes that can be raced. The new Oiz from Basque bike-maker Orbea is decidedly not a trail bike. This is pro-level race machine, ready to decimate the competition when the ability to ride both up and down hill matters.
A group of international journalists were taken deep into the French Alps to learn about and ride the new Oiz. As an extra incentive, this media camp coincided with the UCI World Cup races in Meribel, and we were just a short gondola ride away from all the action including the downhill finals.
The previous Oiz, released in 2011 may have been one of the last 26-inch XC race bikes to hit the market. While it was rarely seen in the U.S. (I’ll admit to not even knowing it existed before this press camp) it was well liked by the 26-inch holdouts, and even saw some use in the pro women’s ranks with 27.5 wheels shoehorned into the frame. But with 26-inch wheels going the way if the dodo, and 29-inch wheels winning races everywhere, something new was needed.Tweet Print
Coming as a surprise, the entire fleet of media demo bikes for the recent Orbea Oiz launch was outfitted with 11-speed 2015 XTR, including four sets of the scarce electronic shifting M9050. We managed to put in a good ride on both groups.
Shimano originally announced the new XTR back in April, and we got a spin around a parking lot on prototype parts, and fondle clay mock-ups of what the production groups would look like. Things went quiet for months after that, with no set date on when the new parts would be ready for sale.
These parts are mostly still marked as prototypes, but we shouldn’t expect much to change between now and when they will show up on 2015 bikes and your local bike shop’s shelves. Don’t ask about prices, we still don’t have them. I’m not going to go over all the tech of the new group, if you need a refresher, blogs of on the M9000 are here, and M9050 is here. I’ll wait for you catch up.
Ready? Head full of numbers and words like FREEZA? Let’s clear the air with some real ride impressions, starting with M9000.Tweet Print
While the recent influx of extended coverage helmet designs has brought better protection—and looks—to market for trail riders, there still exists a huge gap between their open-face coverage and a big downhill full-face helmet. Especially now that enduro racing and all-mountain riders are pushing harder than ever before, riders are looking for a little extra security on the descents, but a lot more comfort on the climbs.Tweet Print
Now in its fourth generation, the Meta AM seeks to find that perfect balance between descending ability and climbing composure. The new generation is a radical departure from the suspension layout of the previous designs, with the shock tucked in extra-low under the seat tube. Now it occupies a much more traditional spot under the top tube where it can be more easily adjusted, serviced, and can fit modern piggyback shocks. It also means you can flip the compression adjustment lever on most shocks without having to resort to an additional remote on the handlebar.
In all it packs 150mm of suspension travel and is designed around 150mm-160mm forks. Commencal believes in making the most reliable product possible, and uses only aluminum in the frame construction and is built entirely in France.Tweet Print
Late last summer there were signs that big(ger) things were coming from Devinci Cycles. Suspension designer Dave Weagle was working closely with World Cup downhill racer Steve Smith to develop a special bike for the (relatively) tame World Championship track in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
It featured not just a move toward lower, slacker geometry, but also had to accommodate a larger 27.5 rear wheel. While the Atlas, Troy and outgoing Dixon models used a vertical shock orientation in junction with the Split Pivot suspension, the new bike had to be redesigned with a horizontal shock to work with the bigger wheel and 165mm of travel.
That bike eventually became the Spartan, released earlier this year in aluminum. A few weeks ago at Crankworx we got to see the new carbon version in the fiber and resin flesh.Tweet Print
Hot on the heels of the the SB5c trail bike, Yeti releases a new cross country platform dubbed the AS-Rc.
As much as longer trail trail bikes are everyone’s favorite topic these days, not everyone wants or needs all that travel and slackness. This new AS-Rc should fill in the gap nicely between the trail bikes and ARC carbon hardtail.Tweet Print
Trek has been busy this year, with the Re:Aktiv shock technology we covered a few months ago. Now on the gravity end of things, we are seeing the anticipated release of carbon version of the well regarded 160mm Slash, and the Session splits into two models in both carbon and aluminum, the 26-inch Session Park and the 27.5 Session DH.Tweet Print
For the fifth year, Niner has created a special IMBA themed bike in support of the non-profit’s mountain bike advocacy efforts. This year’s version is a custom painted ROS 9 Plus complete bike with special detailing and components throughout. The ROS 9 Plus is a brand new addition to the Niner line up – an all mountain 29+ hardtail. Valued at over $4,499 MSRP for each complete limited edition bike, Niner expects that this will be the most successful edition of the auction to date, with 100 percent the of auction proceeds going to IMBA.
Only nine of the special bikes will be available. If you want one, you’ll have to bid in the auction, which starts at 6:30 p.m. MST today, with auction management courtesy of The Pro’s Closet.Tweet Print