You can always count on the massive Pass’portes du Soleil in the Swiss/French Alps to have an expo area that puts most other events to shame.
Along with the plentiful meat, cheese and drink on offer to entrants there are massive trade stands from the likes of Lapierre, Scott, SRAM and many more, so there’s always plenty to see off the bike.
So, as Matt and Jon were in Les Gets to attend the 2012 Lapierre launch and to shoot a feature on the Pass’portes du Soleil for Issue 68 (subscribe now!), they strolled about Les Gets with a beautiful combination of cheese overdose, arm pump and mild sunstroke and were ushered into the welcome shade of the SRAM stand.
There they were fed small and tasty cups of coffee and shown lots of shiny new things that’ll be available from the SRAM mega-corp for 2012 as well as being given the “Rock Shox Book of Expertise”, which made them feel rather special.
Internally routed Reverb Stealth launched for OEM customers
The thing that got us the most excited was the new Rock Shox Reverb Stealth post. The only thing that’s annoying about the Reverb (and all of the other uppy downy posts out there) is the fact there’s a cable flopping about on the outside, catching on the tyre when the post is dropped, rubbing on the frame and just waiting for some accident to rip it out – although hasn’t happened to any of the Reverbs being ridden in the office yet.
The Reverb Stealth gets round those pitfalls by taking the hose for the hydraulic remote out the bottom of the post and inside the frame, keeping everything looking neat and out of the way. Obviously you need a frame specifically designed for this so the Reverb Stealth is only going to be available on new bikes from Trek and Scott for 2012.
The guts are positioned upside down but you’ll still be able to bleed it from the top, which should make installation slightly less of a faff. Hopefully this will become a more common fitment, although it might make mechanics that struggled with internal gear cable routing even more miserable.
Standard Reverb gets new hose fittings and travel options
The normal Reverb has had a bit of a tweak too, with new threaded barb hose fittings at either end and there’s now a 100mm travel option as well as the 125mm if you don’t need that much travel to fit your frame. Going the other way, an ‘Enduro collar’ will also be available which clamps onto the upper to limit the travel if you don’t want the post going all the way down.
New SRAM X0 DH rear mech for close ratio setups
In other news – and rather fittingly, because Morzine and Les Get will be host to most of Britain’s downhillers at one point or another during the summer – we were also shown the new SRAM X0 DH kit we had a very brief sneak peek at earlier.
The SRAM X0 DH rear mech isn’t just a short cage version of their regular X0 rear mech – it’s specifically designed to work better with the smaller ratio cassettes downhillers prefer, with a longer ‘p-knuckle’, (where the cage attaches to the body of the mech) to better follow the profile of a short ratio cassette. It’ll work with up to a 28T cassette and is compatible with any of the 10spd SRAM shifters.
Downhill specific SRAM X0 carbon chainset
There’s also first for the world of downhill – a full carbon SRAM X0 DH chainset. Tested as a ‘Black Box’ product under a whole host of SRAM tame pro downhillers, the crankarms are actually the same as regular X0 and they’ve proved to be strong enough to put up with the rigours of World Cup level racing.
The difference is in the availability of shorter length arms (165 and 170mm), more axle lengths and a new, single ring specific spider, which has thicker and stronger tabs. It also uses the common 104mm BCD chainring size which opens up plenty of options for different rings and chaindevices, although there is now an X0 chaindevice, built in conjunction with MRP and based on their G2 SL guide. Although it has DH written on it, it should be just the trick for running a single ring setup for trail or Gravity Enduro racing use…
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Report by Jon Woodhouse