Core Bike 2013: Upgrade and Kinesis (and TRP and X-Fusion and…titanium?)

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Upgrade Bikes had a huge stand, with many of its brands there. Here’s a short run-down…

A titanium MaxLight? Complete with 'prototype' stickers
Complex dropout takes a thru-axle
In case you'd not got the message
The Sync decal is currently only stuck-on. Well, it is a prototype.
Tektro's entry-level hydro disc will be £69 an end.

TRP has a lot of new stuff coming out – with four-pot hydraulic brakes for £150 an end, an interesting super-light carbon ‘cross canti and a dual piston mechanical brake. All production mechanicals at the moment rely on on moving pad and a static one, meaning that you always have to keep adjusting them on the trail as the pads wear. A dual piston brake should just need a tweak on the cable adjuster now and again. And finally, there’s the TRP “HI-RO” which looks like someone has mashed together the CAD drawing of a brake caliper with one of a brake lever. The result is a hydraulic caliper, complete with master cylinder which is actuated by a cable. What’s the advantage over a full cable? Well it gives you the self-adjusting pads of a hydro system for a start. Not that it’s going to win any beauty awards. We’ve no word on production on this one yet.

TRP's 'Quadrium' hydro four-pot brake will be around £150 an end.
TRP's new Revox carbon cyclocross brakes are tall cantis, made from two sheets of carbon. (Ally one in the background)
This is the TRP Spyre - it's a neat, dual piston cable disc. Both pads move in unison, unlike every other mechanical brake so far.
Assuming it doesn't hit the spokes on your wheel, it should be a good performer.
A CAD-drawing mash up? Or a great idea?

Upgrade Bikes is also the agent for Praxis. This is a company mostly based in Santa Cruz and with a huge design heritage behind its founders (which include Dave Earle, designer of many suspension systems and more). Apart from Shimano, Praxis is the only chainring manufacturer to cold-forge, rather than stamp and/or machine its chainrings out of aluminium. It takes some very big machines, so that is quite a talking point.

What everyone was talking about though, was its press-fit PF (and BB30) bottom bracket adaptors. This allows either type of BB shell to take a Shimano crank. There’s also a new adaptor for the brand new generation of Specialized bikes. There are two sleeves that thread into each other and bottom out solidly so that there’s no worry about overtightening the sleeves onto your BB shell. There’s an O-ring to take up any frame tolerances. Currently, Praxis is having a hard time keeping them all in stock.

Shimano cranks for all!

Upgrade was also showing the expanded range of X-Fusion forks. With another team of great heritage behind the design, they’re looking to increase on the range and reputation of the brand. New for 2013 includes the Trace 29er fork, with 34mm stanchions, in tapered or non tapered steerer, starting at £544 and coming in 120 or 140mm travel. There’s also the Slant 160 26in fork – and all of the 26in versions will take a 27.5in wheel with an internal travel-limiting spacer.

Shiny white forks!
The HiLo is now joined by the HiLo SL post (left) at 450g and £249 for 125mm uppy-downy travel.

We don’t have gravel racing in the UK, but if we did, this might be the bike you’d want for it. The Trypster will take chunky 700c tyres with room for mudguards.

It's a cobble bike, OK? Or something like that.
No, it's not for sale yet.
The Crosslight Pro6 gets this glowy green paint for this year.
This is Kinesis' aluminium road bike, the Aether. It's quite lovely (and will be sparkly black in production)
Tall, but elegant head tube.



Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (7)

    Gusset did a mechanical disc brake where both pads moved. Maybe not in unison 😉

    Wish I could find somewhere ‘local’ that stocks X-Fusion forks. Very tempted by the Slant but would like a look before I bought.

    Nowhere on the Upgrade dealer list seems to stock them.

    where are you Pinkster?

    Promax did a mechanical disc that was specced on a Ridgeback FS bike around ’99ish

    Hi Spev, I’m in south Cheshire, not far from Nantwich.

    Didn’t AMP do a much neater cable opperated hydro brake in the 90’s?

    Yep. IIRC RockShox bought the design for it and produced them for a couple of not very successful years.

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