Earlier this week we reported back from The Bike Place show, now we’ve got some highlights, 2016 products and new brands to the UK from The Core Bike show. There’s plenty to put on your wish list for the season ahead. We’ve got test samples on their way to Dirt HQ to be hammered in the next few months.
Scottish brand Endura started with mountainbike clothing and for the year ahead have a really strong focus back on kit for trail and enduro riding.
The MT500 range has strong colours and durable fabrics with really well detailed packs just about to hit the shops. We took a look at the MT500 jacket late last year and was impressed with the performance and design. With Danny Macaskill now a sponsored rider, this range will surely become a benchmark in mountain bike clothing design. Endura’s Singletrack range also now features hooded trail jackets, kneepads and lightweight backpacks.
We’ve got the MT500 enduro backpack in for review.
As always the Hope stand was buzzing, one of the busiest stands and rightly so. Hope’s development process always leads to products being bang-on when launched and after last year’s much-anticipated arrival of their crank we were keen to see what was next.
Along with a the launch of the Pro 4 hubs, Hope’s attention has turned to a bespoke cassette and freehub system that brings choices in both a DH seven speed 10-24T set-up and eleven speed clusters of 10-40T or 10-44T. These eleven speed cassettes are two-piece units, with a stainless steel 10-24T section partnered up with the larger four sprockets in hard anodized aluminium. These cassettes fit onto a new specific freehub body that is available to fit both the new Pro 4 and older Pro 2 Evo hubs.
Woody Hole’s Specialized Enduro race bike was on show with a full fleet of Hope’s anodized orange components. We couldn’t resist taking a few photos…
The latest HT X2 clip pedals are a favourite with us, and feature in the 2016 Dirt 100. Aaron Gwin’s custom finished pedals were on display along with the new lighterweight T1 trail clip pedal. Available in HT’s usual range of colours, the T1 looks a good alternative to Shimano’s XT and XTR Trail pedals. Prices for the standard model are £99.99 with a Titanium axle model available. A test coming soon.
The MRP G4 chainguide is our pick in the 2016 Dirt 100 and was on display along with the new SXg model. The SXg is bang up to date for anything from trail through to DH use and is available in aluminium or carbon backplate options and compatible with Boost 148mm rear frame spacing. The Whippersnapper lower guide gives chain retention without moving parts or high friction. Light and efficient, yet truly capable on all terrain.
The MRP stage fork has a refresh for 2016 from damping to decals. We need to fit a pair to the next custom build we do. Available for both 29 and 27.5/26” wheels.
With the new spring/summer range of clothing due shortly here in the UK we had a full run through of the range from the RaceFace brand manager. For DH and gravity riders the new Ruxton range has a slightly trimmer fit for lower bulk. Stretch panels on the lumbar, knee and back of the leg allow a good fit and mobility and there is plenty of ventilation too. Shorts, pants and a jersey are available.
For trail bike use the Stage range of kit looks great, especially the shorts with a mix of stretch and Cordura fabrics. Lightweight but tough; just the job. The super-light Nano shell is now in ‘Hunter green’ and looking good for a packable jacket.
Hannah from Crank Brothers had plenty of new developments to show us. A new flat pedal called the Stamp in two platform sizes, the new Mallet E (for enduro…) and wait for it, the new dropper seatpost hopefully due this spring.
A new distributor Extra UK was chocked full of options from one of our favourite tyre brands (check out the 2016 Dirt 100 for our picks). There is only so much you can do with a tread pattern but we trust Maxxis to get things right when they launch a new model. Check out the new rubber below:
For 2016 Intense have brought back the Uzzi name with this 190mm travel bikepark/enduro bike built around a 180mm single crown fork. With an XL size designed for riders up to 6’6” this could be an option for the bigger guys. Two colour options will be available but the purple finish on the show bike was stunning.
There was a crowd gathering in the corner of the Ison distribution stand so we thought we’d better see what all the fuss was about. We were up to date on Renthal, MRP, ODI and HT pedals… what else was brewing at Ison?
An all new enduro bike that’s what. An aluminium frame with 27.5″ wheels and showing promising geometry and sizing, this mid travel frame is being developed under the watchful eye of Ison’s gravity rider Pat Campbell-Jenner and another very significant industry figure… the one and only Michael Bonney.
Although relatively new on the scene, DVO have over ten years worth of suspension tuning and building behind them so it’s no surprise that from one DH fork (The Emerald) a more comprehensive range has soon followed. For 2016 a new single crown fork sits in DVO’s range alongside the Diamond, giving an option for your trail bike. The Sapphire fork is built around a 32mm leg chassis and is internally adjustable between 100 – 140mm of travel to match your bike’s needs.
At the rear, DVO have launched the Topaz air shock, a good match if you’re running their longer travel Diamond fork up front on a capable enduro bike. Three compression settings are easily adjustable ‘on the fly’. Weighing in at 330g and priced at £399 this looks like it could be a good option for a custom build or when upgrading.
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