Hidden away in a small business park, located near Harrogate in North Yorkshire, just round the back of Stif Cycles is a little warehouse full of things that will turn most mountain bikers a little bit hazy-eyed with desire. Welcome to Jungle Products, importers of Santa Cruz, Niner and Syncros. Hung up around the warehouse like strange, metallic, multi coloured fruit is the fullest range of Santa Cruz and Niner frames available in Britain, or indeed anywhere.
Being secret downhillers, the first thing that drew our eye was the Santa Cruz V10 Carbon Syndicate replica bike. Built and specced in the same way (save the carbon fibre Edge rims) as the bikes raced by the Santa Cruz Syndicate team riders, it’s got a highly adjustable 8.5 to 10 inches of travel at the rear, a full carbon fibre main frame with adjustable Cane Creek Angleset headset and alloy rear triangle. This one is running the latest Rock Shox Vivid Air shock, which is mooted as the the first fully fade resistant air shock and the only one that can cope with World Cup downhill runs. The weight? 34.7lbs… …for the extra large frame. Madness.
Of the 100, individually numbered frames being made, Jungle are bringing in 15 of them to the UK – this one is number 2. The build shown here is a wallet thrashing £7,599. If that’s a little steep you can always go for the frame only option, starting at £2,799 with Angleset and RS Vivid Coil rear shock.
Right, on to stuff for mere mortals to ride on. The 160mm travel SC Nomad Carbon has been out for a short while now. We saw Mark Weir’s tricked out race ready model back in August but we’re looking forward to having a proper ride on one in the same way we look forward to being given cake after a long ride.
Here’s Dickon himself giving you a run-through on all that’s new for Santa Cruz in 2011…
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We also had a quick look around Stif Cycle’s new premises while we were in the area. It’s everything a bike shop should be, with lots of shiny stock and a little coffee area across from the till. Ideal for getting customers wired on quadruple ristrettos before showing them the pretty things. There’s plenty of history to be spotted too, including the wooden (early carbon fibre basically) cyclocross rims with a bit of history behind the counter… and this Muddy Fox Courier.
In fact this Muddy Fox Courier has a rather special history – called Blanche, it was bought by Roger Tushingham in 1986. Seeing the potential of a bike like this, he decided along with his business partner, to import his own bikes based on this one, along with the owner of a local windsurfing shop. Called the Tushingham B52, it was later rebranded by Roger’s business partner, a certain Lester Noble, as an Orange – and the Clockwork was born. The windsurfing shop owner was Paul Morphet and the shop called called was Stif – before mountain bikes began to compete with the surf gear for space and eventually forced it out…