April 12, 2014
We’ve just done Day Two of the Sea Otter and now it’s time to get some stories written for you. There’s a lot to see – some of the stuff (like new XTR and SRAM’s recent new launches) we’ve already reported on, but for many it’s the first time to see it in the flesh. There are other things too – some on show, some only available if you ask the right person nicely and sneak out the back for a photo.
Let’s start small; quite literally. Cleary bikes has a range of kids bikes starting from tiny, to not so tiny. They all have a pair of proper brakes and tiny hand-compatible levers too, even the 12in balance bike.
Bosch has a big stand at the Sea Otter, luring customers in with promises of electric 160mm trail bikes. You would, though, wouldn’t you?
Continental is showing the new 27.5in Kaiser and Baron. But don’t turn away just yet, dear 26in and 29in reader. There’s a new tyre casing on show too. With Black Chili rubber, it comes with a ‘Protection Apex’ flat resistance, which is a combination of two different Conti technologies on the same tyre. There’s the Apex system that wraps around the bead to protect against rim-bottom out, as well as the regular Protection layer that covers the whole carcass to prevent thorn punctures. It’ll come in ALL the sizes and should come out in Kaiser, Baron and Trail King (Rubber Queen) flavours in the summer. Without saying the ‘e’ word, the tyres all come in under 950g (for 27in) and be good for trail riding and racing.
Praxis is the ‘only aftermarket company that forges chainrings’. There are plenty that machine and/or stamp them, but only Praxis forges them. (Shimano does too, but it’s not really an aftermarket company, is it?) Praxis was showing its ‘should be ready about… now!’ double chainring sets. They’ll come in 104mm BCD only and in 38/26 and 36/22. Praxis did point out that direct mount front mech owners would run into issues with the 36T, but clamp on owners can just slide it down the seat tube.
Incidentally, Praxis is going to be launching cranks this year, as seen in their teaser website – turncranks.com
Shinola is a Detroit-based success story, making analogue watches in an old factory in downtown Detroit, but it also makes lovely Made-in-the-USA bikes too. Town bikes designed by Sky Yager (for many years the creative genius behind Bianchi) and made by Waterford Bikes. shinola.com
Foes Racing FFR
The Foes FFR is currently a ‘proof of concept’ 27in downhill racing bike offering 8in or 9in of travel. But the clever bit is that there are two shocks of sorts. There’s a regular rear shock, but also (that silver thing) there’s a second shock that’s allowing the wheel to track with the ground, giving a further 3in of downward travel (like into a Baja racing truck). We’ll see what the final version is come Interbike. http://foesracing.com/bikes/
Marin has a new model out. A new version of the Rift Zone. In keeping with the new look of all its recent bikes, the Rift Zone comes in a very stealthy black (and carbon). It’s a 29er with 120mm travel up front and 110mm out back. There’s a 69.5° head angle and short 440mm chain stays. There’ll be a few builds, plus a frame-only option.
And below is the new Indian Fire Trail. All the hard tails have been revamped and now feature 142mm back ends and the same, subtle satin paint.