February 11, 2011
It’s Friday and once again we’ve rounded up all the shiny, exciting and sometimes puzzling things that land at Singletrack Towers for us to poke, prod and test. To kick this week off we’ve got the rest of our 120mm(ish) trail bikes in for the next issue’s grouptest. So what did we got for to complete the trinity along with the Orange ST4 that’s lurking in our bike room? It’s a Yeti ASR5. Classic Yeti looks and lines with 127mm of rear wheel travel with a linkage driven single pivot. This one has an alloy front triangle with carbon fibre rear, which uses the 142mm standard bolt through rear end to keep it stiff. The tapered, external cup headtube can have 120 or 140mm forks plugged in and we’ve gone for some Fox Float 15QR 120s.
Price: £1749.00 frame & shock
From: Evolution Imports
Nicely matching finish with the frame and forks, although you can get the frame in black if you don’t have enough time to keep it white rather than a less attractive yellow.
Carbon back end is hand laid and interchangeable for 12×142 or standard QR…
Cups on the outside of the tapered head tube – so everyone can see the Chris King…
The bike that completes our trio of mid travel trail bikes is the brand-new-for-2011 Mondraker Factor RR. The Spanish brand have been making some lovely looking bikes based on their multi link Zero Suspension system but this is the first 120mm frame that they’ve made with it. The hydroformed alloy frame swoops it’s way up to a de rigeur tapered head tube with a set of the rather exciting 120mm travel, 15mm through axle Rock Shox SID RLT forks. Drivetrain is a mix of Shimano XT and SLX with Formula brakes doing the stopping. The Fox RP23 shock sits in a rather neat cradle which also serves to locate all the pivot points and BB.
Price: £2,999 complete
Easton EA70 bars are decently wide too…
Everything is tucked away in a single piece to give better alignment and stiffness. The asymmetrical rear swingarm is well built with plenty of bracing to keep everything moving up and down rather than sideways.
Chipps has been on a training mission and to that end he’s been using the Polar CS500 cycle computer to get as much information on his peformance as possible. You can plug in cadence and power sensors as well as having a heart rate monitor with training zones. There’s also an inclinometer and altimeter and even a drink reminder. The large screen should be easy to see even in direct sunlight (chance would be a fine thing) and the large rocker button should make it easy to operate while wearing gloves.
..and this is the bike Chipps plans to do his endurance racing on. It’s a rather light Trek Top Fuel 9.8. The bag of excuses will have to be deep before bike gets the blame. The OCLV carbon fibre front triangle uses a non-cut off seat mast with normal post, and there are carbon fibre seatstays with allot chainstays. It uses the ABP concentric pivot design to give 100mm of race setup travel at the rear with Fox F-Series RL forks giving 100mm up front. Both front and rear have independent lockouts controlled from the handlebar.
From: Trek Bikes UK
That seat mast up close…
One piece EVO rocker link is made from magnesium…
Carbon/alloy mix rear end…
Very neat internal cable routing for everything (including the lockout cable) on the tapered headtube…
..and the Fox bar mounted lockouts are here. We assume Chipps is keeping the bell to move the weak and slow out of his way on race day.
More uppy-downy action with the X-Fusion Hilo adjustable seatpost. You get 100mm of hydraulic movement, a choice of bar or post mounted adjusters and the saddle clamp is a infinitely adjustable type. Best of all fact fans, you can get it in 27.2mm as well as the more common 30.9 and 31.6mm sizes.
The sports camera market is getting huge and here’s the latest HD entry. The Drift Innovation HD170 Stealth has full 1080p HD recording at 30fps and up to 60fps at 720p with a slow motion playback feature with remote control. The lens can be rotated 300° to get everything square and has a f2.8 aperture which should mean decent performance in low light, along with a nice and wide 170° field of view. The mic is built in but you can plug in an external item and there is a 1.5″ LCD screen to review footage you’ve just taken. The included handlebar, goggle, helmet mounts should mean plenty of options for angles too…
From: Action Cameras
Ever wanted to know exactly how knackered your chain is? Now you can, down to thousandths of an inch. The Feedback Sports Chain Gauge works with all chains including 11spd road types and uses a spring loaded arm to accurately measure chain wear and a large LCD screen with auto shutoff to tell you the results. Might seem a bit bonkers but changing a chain before it’s badly worn can help prolong the life of the more expensive drivetrain bits. As an aside, the Feedback Sports Expedition digital scale is one of our favourite bits of kits and it’s proved to be totally robust and reliable too so we know the quality is well up there.
Pedros Chainj lube is made from renewable materials that are safe for people and the planet. It’s designed for wet conditions use which should mean it’s going to be in demand over the next few months…
Price: £7.99 for 120ml
The best kind of spanner is of course the Pedros Beverage Wrench. Easy to use and kind on your hands thanks to the rubberised handle – but be aware that it will go through glass topped tables a treat if you’ve had too many…
Cross bikes have been turning up at the office like a nasty case of genital warts in a sixth form college and the Lizards Skins DSP bar tape is just perfect for ‘cross bikers as well as the roadies, using a lightweight (56g inc. bar plugs) material called DuraSoft Polymer that absorbs shock and offers great grip.