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