Here’s another small sampling of new and interesting things we saw during the whirlwind week that is Interbike, America’s largest bicycle industry trade show.
Alchemy Bicycle Company isn’t the first name in mountain biking; it’s a young brand known for making custom carbon road bikes but its first ever full-suspension mountain bike, the Arktos, pulls no punches. With travel measuring 150 mm it’s looking to compete with the best long-travel descenders from Intense and Santa Cruz, not to mention Yeti; where Alchemy’s designer Dave Earle created the original Switch suspension for that brand.
Earle’s new design, called Sine Suspension is based on Switch (sharing intellectual properties) but rather than a concentric pivot it uses a dual-pivot, short-link with a “regressive curve,” calling for up to 30-percent sag with a falling rate, then it ramps up progressively to 85-percent travel before reverting back to regressive or softer falling rate to maximize complete travel. Think motorized off-road racing where cars and motorcycles have a whole lot of sagged suspension to keep wheels locked to the ground over rough terrain.
Frame and shock retails for $3,750 with Boost rear spacing and a threaded bottom bracket.
Among other glove offerings, Leatt’s new $55 DBX 4.0 Lite has a degree of protection on the fingers with anatomic 3D molded Amourgel, a soft material that turns hard upon impact with trees, rocks or the ground. The mesh upper one-piece palms are cool and comfortable for cross-country or enduro riding.
One of more interesting things we’ve seen is Leatt’s Hidr8 LiquiSafe water purifier. At about $14 it’s a steal with a replaceable filter that plugs right into the brand’s waterpack bladder and hose making stream water fill-ups safe when you’re way out in God’s Country.
POC Tectal Race
New from POC is the $210 Tectal Race helmet, a step up from last years Trabec with design elements from the road Octal. It’s MIPS-equipped with an EPS liner, unibody shell construction with low weight and multi cooling vents off the Octal.
As a first for mountain bike helmets, POC used its winter sport helmet background and added the Recco Advanced Rescue System to the helmet, which uses reflector technology utilized by many search and rescue teams on the ground and in helecopters.
Kask says this $199 lid is its first dedicated off-road helmet for cross-country, enduro and all-mountain riding (its Vertigo XC is a road helmet with a visor.) Featuring an in-molding process that bonds a polycarbonate outer shell to an inner polystyrene cap. Overall coverage is maximized with the rear section covering the base of the skull. Based on the cooling system of the Protone road helmet used by Chris Froome in the Tour de France, twenty vents keep you cool and Kask’s Octo-fit retention system is secure and comfy. The top of the helmet also has a built-in action camera mount.
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