Dirt Rag Magazine

Inside Line: 45North’s New Tubeless Fat Bike Tire – VANHELGA


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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.

Get a closer look here.

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Inside Line: First ride on the new GT Sanction enduro race bike


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When GT unveiled its Force and Sensor bikes last year they were a big hit with their sponsored athletes, but for the rigors of the DH-level Enduro World Series tracks, they knew they had to offer something to bridge the gap between the 150mm Force and 220mm Fury downhill bike. Enter the rebirth of the Sanction, this time as a 27.5, 165mm platform that is designed expressly for the “e-word.”

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Inside Line: First ride on the Lapierre Overvolt FS900 Bosch-powered e-bike


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If you don’t think e-bikes are a real mover in the bicycle marketplace? Look no further than the entry of Bosch in the marketplace to prove that some big brands are willing to invest serious resources in the growing market. For 2015 it has paired up with a few key brands to bring e-bikes with Bosch motors and control units—already a huge hit in Europe—to U.S. dealerships. Look for bikes from Haibike, Felt, and Lapierre, including this Overvolt FS900.

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First look: The latest bike care products from Finish Line


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If you just dropped a months’ salary on a new mountain bike, and then thrashed it down a mountain, you’re probably going to want to take care of it and keep it running smoothly. You might know the Finish Line brand for its huge selection of chain lube, but I got a look at some of the latest bike-care products coming to your bike shop this summer.

See them here.

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Inside Line: New Mach 4 carbon from Pivot


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The Mach 4 has always been an important bike for Pivot Cycles. It was the brand’s first big hit, and long a mainstay of the lineup. But let’s face it, a 26-inch bike with 100mm of travel is a hard sell these days, and the new, fourth-generation Mach 4 Carbon has not only embraced all the current design trends and standards, it is creating new ones.

Like all Pivot bikes, the heart of the full carbon frame is the dw-link rear suspension, considered one of the finest ever created for controlling pedaling forces into the suspension. Instead of choosing a travel number and going for it, Pivot tried lots of different suspension setups before deciding on 115mm as the best compromise between racy pedaling feel and trail-bike performance. The 27.5 wheels allow for industry-leading standover height in all sizes, including extra small.

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Niner debuts new cyclocross bike, teases 29+


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Niner continues to expand beyond its original mountain bike lineup with an all-new, full-carbon cyclocross bike dubbed the Blood, Sweat and Beers, or BSB9 for short. With a sub-1,000 gram frame, full carbon fork and a suite of top notch components, it’s a no-compromise race bike that can be used year round.

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We also got a peek at a new 29+ platform, the ROS9+, an adaptation of the popular ROS9 hardtail 29er.

Get the details of both bikes here.

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NoTubes unveils new fat bike, disc road rims


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Last year we saw a prototype fat bike rim from Stan’s NoTubes, and while we figured a 26-inch wheel was in the works, today we saw the finished product: the Hugo is a 50mm-wide, tubeless rim with a unique cross section and options in all three wheel sizes.

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We also got the details and a ride in on the new Grail disc road wheel that is perfectly suited to all manner of “road” applications and slots in between the IronCross and Alpine models.
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Inside Line: GT redefines XC with new Helion


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Photos by the author and Dane Cronin, courtesy of GT Bicycles.

There are dozens of cross country bikes on the market, and many of the were developed with racing in mind, then adapted back or watered down for the average trail rider. GT took the opposite approach with the new 110mm Helion. Starting with a more modern, progressive geometry and its proven Angle Optimized Suspension system, it has built a bike that could certainly race on Sunday, but is more at home riding for fun the rest of the week.

The Helion lineup will come to the US this fall with five models starting at just $1,549. We got our first ride on one on the trails surrounding Park City, Utah.

Take a closer look at the new Helion.

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Inside Line: New GT Grade action/adventure/anywhere bike


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Photos by the author and Dane Cronin, courtesy of GT Bicycles.

Let’s face it, the vast majority of us are never going to need the kind of elite-level performance that modern race bikes are designed for. We want other things, like bigger tires, maybe some fender mounts, and a slightly more comfortable ride for our real-world behinds. GT is jumping into the fray with a new model aimed at the core the recreational road bike market with the new Grade.

The frame is built around GT’s famous Triple Triangle design, with carefully shaped tubing to create a compliant ride. There’s also room for tires from 23c to 35c knobbies and fender eyelets front and rear. Featuring carbon and aluminum options with complete bikes starting at just $799, there is likely to be an build spec for everyone.

Get all the details here.

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Inside Line: Trek introduces new Fuel EX 27.5 with F1 derived Re:aktiv shock


Trek in North Carolina, June 2014.

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.

Find out how.

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