More bikes and beers, sun and sand from Day 2 of the Interbike Outdoor Demo Day.
Be sure to check out our gallery from today with even more cool bikes and accessories.
Perhaps the only bike at the Outdoor Demo that was kept secret and debuted at the show was Knolly’s Chilcotin. This all-mountain bike is equipped with six inches of front and rear travel and was named after a region of British Columbia’s remote backcountry.
I usually scuff at the thought of riding anything over four inches of travel, but I guess the platform of today’s bikes has changed faster than my opinion because the most fun I’ve had this year at Interbike has been on 26-inch–wheeled bikes with five to six inches of travel.
The Chilcotin offers versatility to please the climber and descender in you. The bottom bracket height can be set to either 350mm or 341mm, which will slacken or steepen the 69-degree seat tube and alter the head tube angle, which can be independently changed from 66.75 to 66.0 degrees.
With cable routing for drop seatposts and ISCG tabs integrated into the bottom bracket shell for Hammer Schmidt configuration, there are many ways to build this frame up. The one I rode had a Fox RP23 with boost valve and a TALAS 36 fork with 150mm-160mm of travel. In addition, the rear triangle of the proprietary 4×4 linkage system has tire clearance for 26”x2.7” tires and a replaceable 3/8” thick derailleur hanger.
On the trail the Chilcotin pedaled efficiently and actually surprised me with its uphill mannerism as long as I remained seated. When the trail became more rollercoaster-like I found myself catching air and landing into the transitions on the opposite side frequently. Normally I’m a two-wheels-on-the-ground man, but this bike made me feel so comfortable that I had to launch it. Handling was stable and forgiving and very intuitive. I clipped the pedals on a few rocks, but in the bikes defense, it was set at its slackest settings.
I can imagine the Chilcotin would be even more my style when set to its steeper geometry.
It’s available in XS to XL sizes and will retail for around $2600. If you ever get a chance to test ride one in your area, do yourself a favor and throw a leg over it.
– Shannon Mominee
Diamondback Sortie Black
This is one of the only bikes in North America right now equipped with the new Shimano XTR group. Not much else has changed on the bike for 2011, however, I was impressed with the Knuckle Box. Recently redesigned, the Knuckle Box prevents chain growth values, and Diamondback claims this limits pedaling feedback. They also claim the box increases small bump compliance and increases the perceived travel while maintaining a low center of gravity.
This five-inch travel full-suspension bike climbed better than I anticipated and he desert trails of Outdoor Demo really suited the bike’s characteristics. It was playful enough to encourage leaving the ground and yet felt great to pedal uphill. Maybe there’s something to this Knuckle Box thing.
- Matt Kasprzyk
Santa Cruz Blur XC Carbon
Full carbon, full suspension. The Santa Cruz line-up offers something for almost everyone. For those of you who like 26-inch wheels, carbon fiber and four-inches of travel: put this one on the must-see list. I was surprised, the little wheels were a lot of fun to ride with only four inches of travel. Like most suspension platforms, the VPP was designed to pedal well and handle bumps. And it certainly did. The bike was light, efficient and was some of the most fun I’ve had on the Bootleg Canyon trails.
Santa Cruz carbon manufacturing uses a one-piece lay-up that eliminates extra material, thus dropping some grams. Sure, it’s expensive but a 4.48 lbs. medium frame is rarely cheap. The complete bike would set you back between roughly $3000-$6000.
- Matt Kasprzyk
Rigid, singlespeed, belt drive, and in case you’ve forgotten Roman numerals: a 29er. The 46/28-tooth pulleys on the Gates Belt Drive is nearly the magical 2:1 gear ratio. The frame features 4130 butted steel tubes with CNC drop outs, and 4130 is used for the suspension corrected fork with disc brake tabs as well. The clear coat over the raw frame shows the brass of the brazed on cable guides.
Of all the high-tech stuff I rode at this year’s Outdoor Demo, I may have had the most fun on the XXIX. It was an amazing feeling going back to simple bike after riding the innovative technology of Interbike. There’s something really great about riding a rigid singlespeed and Raleigh has captured that essence.
- Matt Kasprzyk
We’re not the only ones with opinions. We asked some riders what their favorite bike that they rode at the demo was. Here’s what they had to say.