Dirt Rag Magazine

Sea Otter Roundup: Box, Raleigh, Easton, Manitou and Sun Ringle

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Shifters, suspension, handlebars and bikes.

Box Drivetrain

Box Components is a branch of the Cycle Group, which is owned by former BMX and mountain bike racer Toby Henderson.

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Not content to stick with cockpit parts, Box has been working on drivetrain for the last year or so. The plan is to offer a 1×10 drivetrain, consisting of shifters, rear derailleur, 11-42 cassette, chainring and cranks.

The shifters are unlike anything else on the market right now. The cable is taken up with a normal push of the pivoting lever, bit it is released by pushing on the end of the same lever. It might not sound ergonomic , but it is. The rear derailleur pictured doesn’t have it, but the production version will have a clutch.

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I’m pretty excited to try this out myself. Prices aren’t set yet, but I was told to expect levels in line with XT components. Parts will be available sometime as winter starts up again about eight months from now.

Raleigh

RXS

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After years of offering a singlespeed cyclocross frameset, Raleigh now offers a complete bike with a pretty killer build. A Gates belt drive leads the way, and hydraulic disc brakes from TRP. The PF30 BB shell has an eccentric to provide tension for that belt.

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RXC Pro

Also new is this disc brake carbon CX bike; the RXC Pro. The wheels use thru-axles front and rear, and the Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes are smoothly integrated with the frame.

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Easton

A number of years ago, when the Haven line of parts came out from Easton, its 711mm wide bar was considered plenty wide. Much has changed since then, and bars under 720mm wide are looked at as XC bars.

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The Haven bar is now 750mm wide, and uses the 35mm bar clamp diameter Easton first used for the Havoc downhill bar. A low (20mm) or high rise is available carbon or aluminum. Standard 31.8 diameters are still offered in the same two rises, but width drops to 740mm.

Also new are colors. Carbon gets four choices of decals: black, red, yellow or blue. Aluminum bars are green, blue or black. Easton offers locking grips in matching colors as well. The bar of your choice can be mated to a new Havoc 35mm clamp stem in 40, 50, 70 or 90mm lengths.

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These products are ready for sale as we speak, and we have a bar/stem/grip combo in our luggage, expect a full review soon.

Manitou McLeod

The new McLeod rear shock is Manitou’s first all new rear shock design since the brand was purchased by Hayes in 2006. The McLeod is designed to pair well with Manitou’s Mattock long travel family of forks in the trail and all-mountain categories.

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A sealed air negative spring is paired with a top out MCU top out bumper to help over come initial stroke stichion, and a four position switch controls low speed compression damping. Each click of the switch increases preload on the shim stack, creating a firmer platform with a blow-off for those unexpected hits. Manitou’s calls this system IPA for Incremental Platform Adjust. The rebound adjuster is concentric with the compression lever, with a single full rotation of undetented adjustment.

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The internals offer improved serviceability, with an easier system to bleed the air when an oil change is performed, and charging the shock with nitrogen is easier as well.

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Sun Ringle

Fat bikes were all over at Sea Otter, and with its OE customers looking for more fat bike wheel options, Sun Ringle is looking to deliver. The Mulefüt 80SL is a singlewall rim with dual rows of spoke holes for offset builds. There are huge holes in the center of the rim to reduce weight, and the bead profile is tubeless ready. Price is to be decided, but they should be ready in May, and could be spec’d on several 2015 fat bikes.

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Also new is a tubeless ready mountain bike rim, the Helix. Sun’s complete wheelsets have long licensed the Stan’s NoTubes bead profile for hassle-free tubeless setup, but that agreement did not extend to Sun’s aftermarket rims (sans spokes and hubs). The Helix fills this gap with a bead profile developed in house by Sun.

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The Helix will be available in 26, 27.5 and 29 inch sizes, in two widths, 25 and 27mm. Prices TBA, but expect similar prices to Sun’s excellent Inferno series of non-tubeless rims.

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