September 3, 2009
It must be that time of year again… The sign that autumn is on the way and 2010 products are about to appear.
Chipps and Matt are once again doing their double-act there, with Matt capturing video and winning hearts with his funky dancing, while Chipps concentrates on the still pictures and the after-show beers.
Here’s the first of their reports from the show: First-off we’re featuring new stuff from the Brits, Orange, Endura, DMR, Brooks and Hope, plus some titillation from Chris King.
Over at Hope, we caught the guys mid-ice cream break, but they still allowed us to have a nose round the stand. First off, the Hope seatpost finally exists! And to mark the long time taken to actually build it, they’re going to call it the Eternity post. It’ll come in 27.2, 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters and a 350mm length. All this for £70.
Over at the Hope stem department, they’ve been working on their XC stem to stiffen it up. Now only coming in 90mm or 110mm it’s been beefed up at the bolt-holes, but pared down at the lightening pockets, resulting in a stem that’s supposed to be lighter AND stiffer. That’s what they all say, isn’t it? This seems to be going about it the right way though. For those who like their stems shorter and even stiffer, the DH style stem is now a little slimmer but more bold. It’ll only come in 50 and 70mm. So for the XC riders that we know who like 70mm stems, they might have to go burly. Or talk Hope into making shorter XC stems too…
Then we have the new Hope Race X2 brake, featuring the X2 caliper, but a whole new lever… It’s been slimmed and pared down to save weight, features a carbon lever blade (natch) and even the brake pads are aluminium backed. Complete ‘honest’ weight (ie, including bolts, hose, oil and carbon top-cap) will be 270g per wheel. You’ll have to pay £195 a wheel to get some and they should be out soon.
You’ll see that the pink special edition Hope brake has now been upgraded to their Tech lever and caliper. Even more room for pink engraving…
Let’s look at the English Gentlemen; Brooks Saddles. Riding high on a wave of retro bikes, town bikes and fixie riding, Brooks are still making some great stuff. They’re making some limited edition saddles with the contours of Alp D’Huez imprinted into the leather, then they’re making some coloured saddles, limited to 250 worldwide to commemorate Cycle Messenger World Champs and other events like the Bike Polo World Champs…
Other Brooks products on show included fixie-style leather double toe straps and a ‘Top Brooks Dealer only’ edition of furry cow-hide leather saddles. And for those who have to have the latest in London cycling fashions, there’s a Brooks cycling cape, designed in conjunction with the people at Dashing Tweeds.
Brooks also have a lovely range of panniers and bar bag luggage out – featuring steel fasteners and clever touches like touring bike-length spokes holding the bar-bag’s map holder on, just in case you need a spare in the middle of the desert, old boy. The bar bag even features a leather Brooks belt/saddle bag that deploys like a leathery Thunderbird 4 from the front of the bar-mounted Thunderbird 2. And remember those lovely Brooks shoulder/courier bags? They’re now available in leather. We can’t think of many better uses for a cow.
DMR were very excited about showing us their new 898 Dirt Jump frame. It’s called the 898 because the tubes are heat-treated to 898degrees Celsius as part of their tempering process. It’s super low and single speed and meant to be a premium dirt jump machine. It’ll retail somewhere between £400 and £500…
DMR also showed us their Reptoid frame – a more urban chuck-about machine – complete with their ace new transparent and bombproof plastic saddle, secured by a single bolt through the middle of the saddle.
Chris King showed a few new things – some of which were so new that we got to see serial numbers 000001, 000002 and 000003… First off is their Inset headset – a Chris King headset for oversize headtubes. They also showed their new bottom bracket (yes, we know they already make a bottom bracket…) that works with Truvativ cranks.
Want Chris King quality in a 15mm hub? Well, they have two for you. One is based on their 9mm QR hub and the other on their 20mm hub shell. Which hub you choose depends on whether you think you’re going to change your mind in the future (or which hub shell you currently have). You can upgrade from 9mm to 15mm or you can downgrade from 20mm to 15mm – up to you… (The 9mm hub is 164g and the 20mm one is 297g so that might swing you too).
Not entirely mountain bike news, but news nonetheless, are the Chris King road hubs. Super light, with titanium everything and their usual quick engagement. They won’t be cheap, we’re sure, but they’ll probably be worth queuing for.
Let’s talk fabric… Endura have ditched using eVent fabric and have now found their own PTFE fabric which breathes better and allows for use with stretch panels and pit-zips. Look for it to replace eVent in their current range, plus appear in new jackets very shortly. They were also keen to show us their new MT500 baggy short which is breathable, water resistant, takes their clip-in shorts AND won a design award at Eurobike. They have an engorged range of Merino wool stuff for next year – with Merino arm warmers, sock sets (two pairs for £15) and some great Merino hats, as modeled by Matt, plus a sleeveless Merino base layer. There’s other stuff coming out too, but we need to leave room for us to show you some stuff in a Singletrack magazine feature this autumn…
Hot news for steel hardtail fans is that Orange are finally producing their skinny steel R8 bike. First shown last year, the new bike is now on the way and should appear in dealers soon. The R8 has a classic Orange wishbone, a Reynolds 853 tubeset, Breezer-style dropouts (with full rackmounts) and a simply lovely two-tone paint job.
The Orange MIII or M3 is their new jump frame. It’s basically the front end of a Patriot with a hardtail back end and should please those who lament the passing of the Sub Zero. It’ll be £499 for the frameset.
Other Orange news includes the completely new Crush frame. It’s been slightly de-chunked (because of the new MIII) and gains a triple chainset but should still please those who are after a knockabout, fun hardtail.
The P7 is completely revised (partly because it was time and partly to pass the stringent new CE standards for bikes, which are particularly hard on steel hardtails). It features new sliding dropouts, a new Reynolds 631 cro-mo tubeset and a selection of strengthening gussets.
The Diva, Orange‘s women’s bike, gains an extra medium size and it also gains a whole new hardtail cousin, the Diva HT. It also comes in small and medium (around 14in and 16in) and has a nicely non-pink-flowers paintjob that will please the women who don’t always want to ride a Barbie-pink machine out on the trails.