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Wednesday
Apr262017

Santa Cruz Is Making A 29" V-10 

It's true. There's a 29er V10, and the Syndicate will be racing it this weekend at Lourdes. Although the move to 29-inch wheels has been riling comments sections and forums for months (#26isdefinitelydeadnow), the writing's on the wall. Tracks are faster, times are tighter, and eking another second out of a 4-minute track can be the difference between a World Cup win and missing the podium entirely. Keeping the Syndicate in the hunt every season takes a ton of time and energy, but downhill racing is not only the most exciting racing going, it's also where new products and technology are tested to their limit.

It comes as no surprise that Greg Minnaar was the driving force behind this project. "I raced the Hightower at the Enduro World Series in Finale Ligure, Italy, last October, and it just held so much speed," explains Greg. "That's when I knew we had to come back to the 29er V10 idea."

"I raced the Hightower at the Enduro World Series in Finale... I knew we had to come back to the 29er V10 idea."

Greg Minnaar

Jason Marsh, Greg's mechanic, points out that, "We'd looked at doing a 29er V10 a few years ago, but the fork options available at the time wouldn't stand up to World Cup racing. Greg's experience in Finale got the project off the shelf and back into development. FOX gave us a critical piece of the puzzle when they delivered a prototype 40 for us to test on a modified Hightower. Our first test session aboard that Hightower showed consistently faster times on the bigger wheels, we all decided we had to go for it. Then the real work began. We machined a few different sets of links, welded up three aluminum swingarms, and did more testing. As the riders got on terms with the new bikes, they got even faster. We played with linkages and shocks to achieve different angles, travel, and leverage ratios until Greg felt happy with setting everything in stone."

But ideas don't get set in stone around here. They get set in carbon. And in order to race a carbon bike at Lourdes, we needed to start manufacturing by mid-January. Nick Anderson, our head engineer, finished the design in early January and sent it to our carbon factory to get the tooling machined. "We're fortunate enough to co-own our own carbon manufacturing facility, which gives us bandwidth to indulge in this kind of project," Nick says, "I don't think it would have been possible without this kind of partnership."

"While the manufacturing was spinning up, we sat down with the Syndicate partners to make sure we could get the bits we needed by late March or early April." says Nick. "Fox had race-ready forks in the pipeline, and ENVE was on board to build some 29-inch M90s. Maxxis delivered bigger versions of the Syndicate's preferred tires, and Chris King's Buzzworks group whipped up some custom headsets to bring the geometry in line. It sounds simple enough, but the reality was anything but. The upshot is that, thanks to everyone's ability to move quickly on product development, we were able to go from frame concept to race-ready bike over just a couple months, with a few weeks left over for final testing." In one particular case, a technological leap by one manufacturer forced a quick counter by another. Fox altered the brake mount location on the 40's lowers to accommodate ‘Boost' flange spacing, which meant a standard 20x110mm DH hub wouldn't work—Chris King machined a one-off design they call ISO-AB (Asymmetric Boost) to get everything in sync.

"We were able to go from frame concept to full-carbon race-ready bike over just a couple months"

Nick Anderson

Although it seems like the new race bike is a radical departure, the intent is the same as it ever was. Every iteration of the V10 was built to be faster than the one that came before, and the results began to speak for themselves during testing, to the disbelief of one of the new recruits.

"Greg practically forced me to try the bike" reveals Loris Vergier. "I tried it once in testing, but went straight back to my original 27.5 inch bike because that's what felt fastest across the length of the test track. But Greg insisted I give the 29er another shot. So I did, and I felt like it was still slower. The clocks don't lie though, and I was consistently posting quicker times on the new bike compared to the old—and this was on my local track! That's when I realized the new bike was deceptively quick."

"I was consistently posting quicker times on the new bike compared to the old—and this was on my local track!"

Loris Vergier

In contrast, Luca Shaw took straight to it. "Psychologically I think it really helped that the bike already looked refined, straight off the bat" says Luca. "The swingarm and links are custom, and they're mated to a production V10 front triangle. Loris and I are riding bikes with 190mm of travel, and Greg's got 210 because the XXL frame has more room."

While the guys were testing, Nick was working through the final pieces of the puzzle. "We needed to sit the bike into the travel to compensate for the BB height change created by the larger wheel diameter, and the guys at Chris King were able to make us a Buzzworks headset that then corrected the resulting change to the head angle" he says, "We also had to reduce the travel to maintain tire clearance at bottom out, which then meant we had to change the shock rate progression to maintain good suspension feel. The leverage curve is similar to the existing V10, but the leverage ratios have been modified slightly." Expect links and headsets to change over the course of the season as the riders keep working toward their ideal setups.

The V10 has racked up more World Cup wins than any downhill bike in history. It was the first full carbon fiber bike to win a World Cup, and ironically it was also the last 26-inch bike to win one, too. So where does that leave 27.5"?

It's still early days for 29-inch wheels in downhill and there will always be "horses for courses." At the end of the day, we want to win races. So if any of our riders feel more comfortable in particular conditions or on certain courses with 27.5" wheels that's what they'll ride. Greg, Luca, and Loris are riding the new bike in Lourdes on April 30th because that's what they feel most confident on. The V10 has always been about pushing technology in pursuit of speed, and we're simply continuing that tradition today. The new bike is another leap forward in the progression of carbon downhill bikes and we're excited to be leading the charge.

READ THE WHOLE STORY ON SANTA CRUZ'S WEBSITE

Thursday
Apr202017

2017 Marin Wolf Ridge Announced

For over 30 years, Marin Bikes has searched for perfection in our mountain bikes. Years have been spent riding, learning, and searching for the ultimate suspension design that could break down the barriers that define our rides. We found a technology partner in Naild that shared our quest for suspension perfection, and that’s when things got interesting.

The full unidirectional carbon Wolf Ridge is built around the revolutionary 160mm travel Naild R3ACT – 2 Play suspension system, producing a bike that has the widest range of climbing to descending efficiency on the market, making it so you no longer have to compromise on suspension travel in search of pedaling efficiency. Countless late nights in the engineering department and early morning trail sessions combined to unlock mountain bike suspension perfection.

In development for nearly five years, we designed the Wolf Ridge utilizing biometric data for the perfect rider fit, applied physics for ideal kinematics based on the rider’s center of gravity, and the desire to create a bike that addresses the holy grail of mountain biking — a full suspension rig that doesn’t make you miss your hardtail on the climbs, and one that you can confidently point towards technical singletrack for the descent. The Marin Wolf Ridge is one bike to rule all of the trails that you love to ride.


The Wolf Ridge defines a paradigm shift in thinking that will force the rest of the market to take notice:

Where travel does not define category

Where a bike can climb and descend equally well

Where a bike can be at home in any terrain, with any rider – through the fast and flowy, or the rough and tumble

Where the mountain bike experience is mind-blowing
Marin Wolf Ridge Features
The Wolf Ridge was developed to be the most well rounded mountain bike on the market. The frame is engineered and built durable enough for trail and enduro use, while being light enough for cross-country riding; Component spec follows suit. The Wolf Ridge was not designed, and is not equipped, for downhill racing or bike park use.
Marin Wolf Ridge Geometry

Wednesday
Feb152017

YT Announces the New Jeffsy 27

Not even one month after presenting the new 2017 bike range YT is at it again, rolling out another trail bike – the JEFFSY 27.

It was only last year that YT appeared in the all-mountain market, where they made quite an impression. This segment now sees further growth with the arrival of another model: The JEFFSY 27 is the right choice for those seeking an even more agile and playful bike than the JEFFSY 29 – already one of the most fun-loving 29ers on the market. When it comes to getting aggressive, JEFFSY 27 follows in the footsteps of its big brother, too: in giving it a little bit extra travel, the developers made sure this 27.5” bike won ‘t get hung up on rough terrain. It is available with 160mm of travel on the top of the range model, and 150mm on the rest of the line-up. When it comes to suspension travel, the 160mm JEFFSY CF Pro Race is most suited for racing applications, where in addition to pedaling efficiently the bike also needs to have a tad more gravity potential. YT team rider Bryan Regnier will use JEFFSY for several Enduro World Series races this season.

"When choosing the right wheel size for you, your personal preferences, your riding style, and of course also the terrain you ride all play an important role in the decision. Everybody should decide for themselves which wheel size is most appropriate for them. At the end of the day, it’s not about numbers but about how much fun you’re having on your bike. Everything is what you make of it.”
Markus Flossmann, CEO"

Technical Data

The carbon frame weighs in at a scant 2300 grams, while its aluminum counterpart tips the scales at 2900 grams. Just like on the JEFFSY 29, a Flip Chip lets you dial in your ride: in the low position, you get an aggressive, 66-degree head angle and a significant BB drop (15mm). Those who climb a lot might prefer the high position, which yields a 75.5-degree effective seat angle. Naturally, YT’s highly acclaimed V4L suspension layout is also used on JEFFSY 27; it provides great small-bump sensitivity, good mid-stroke support and significant end-stroke progressivity. The BOOST standard was used for the rear axle spacing and the crank in order to provide more space between the chain ring, chain stays, and tire. An E-Type mount makes sure you can always install a front derailleur, even on the single chain ring models. Last but not least, the protectors on the stays help keep drive train noise to a minimum, whilst the discretely integrated alloy “chain suck guides” protect from damage caused by a fallen chain.

 

The Carbon Models


The JEFFSY 27 is available in four carbon versions: CF Pro Race, CF Pro, CF One, and CF Two. The top of the line JEFFSY 27 CF Pro Race features only the very best parts, which makes it an ideal choice for racers and pro riders. It is also the only bike in the range that offers 160mm of travel, ready to get rowdy. The Kashima coated FOX Factory suspension components were designed for aggressive trail riding and serious enduro racing, and they are both ready to mix it up with the best. Drivetrain wise the choice felt to e*thirteen being a very reliable and robust cassette for racing with its perfect range of gears. Carbon wheels, crank, and handlebar help keep JEFFSY’s weight really low, this rocket weighs a mere 12.4 kg. The JEFFSY 27 CF Pro is also a convincing package with extraordinary specs: The FOX Performance Elite suspension shines with top-class responsiveness on aggressive downhill sections as it comes with exact the same damping cartridge as the big brother Factory Series. In fact, the only difference between the Performance Elite fork and the Factory Series are the hard-anodized stanchions. Another eye-catcher on the CF Pro: the SRAM Eagle transmission which with its twelve gears makes the front derailleur superfluous. Those who prefer RockShox suspension will find themselves in great company with the JEFFSY 27 CF One or CF Two. The CF One offers a crisp, 11-speed SRAM transmission while the CF Two provides 2x11 gears via Shimano’s XT group.

The Aluminum Models


When it comes to aluminum, YT offers a choice between the JEFFSY 27 AL One and AL Two. Neither have anything to envy their carbon colleagues, since they are both based on the same frame platform. The user-friendly suspension components are easy to set up and adjust, even for beginners. Both bikes offer 150mm of ready-to-rumble suspension travel front and rear: A RockShox Pike RC fork and Deluxe RT shock on the AL One, and a RockShox Pike RC and Deluxe R on the AL Two. The biggest difference between the two aluminum models is the drivetrain: the AL One features a SRAM X1 1x11 transmission while the AL Two goes 2x11 with SRAM GX.

All models come in S, M, L, and XL sizes and are available to order as of today on the website www.yt-industries.com. At the end of April YT’s Rolling Circus will once again head out with all the different JEFFSY models on a huge test tour of Europe’s trail centers and bike parks. The exact dates and places will be published in March.

JEFFSY 27 or JEFFSY 29: it doesn’t matter which wheel size you believe in, it’s what you do with it that counts. Size doesn’t matter. Ace Hayden and Bryan Regnier checked it out lately in Squamish. Now online on YouTube. Size doesn't matter – it’s what you do with it.

 

 

 

Monday
Jan302017

RUPERT CHAPMAN JOINS PIVOT FACTORY RACING FOR 2017 AND BEYOND 

TEMPE, AZ – For Immediate release, January 30, 2017 – Rupert Chapman, current New Zealand National Downhill Champion, joins the Pivot Factory Racing team for the 2017 UCI Downhill World Cup season and beyond.

Pivot Cycles and Pivot Factory Racing are pleased to announce the addition of Rupert Chapman to the team roster, effective immediately. Chapman, 24, from Christchurch, New Zealand, is no stranger to international competition – he has been racing downhill for 12 years, beginning as a junior. Chapman has multiple World Cup Seasons under his belt, both in youth and pro competition, including numerous strong finishes on the professional circuit. Chapman is also the current New Zealand national downhill champion.


“I'm really pumped about representing Pivot Factory Racing in 2017 and beyond. I've always admired Pivot bikes around the pits and now that I’ve finally started riding them, can say that they exceed my expectations.” said Chapman.

A true working man’s athlete, Chapman has spent the last several years working construction in the off-season to pay for his international program. This will be his first season with full support. “Not having to slave away on the building site while trying to fit in training will be really good for my racing!” he said. Chapman has signed a multi-year deal with the team. Carla McCord, Marketing Manager at Pivot Cycles, said “Rupert is a great fit for our team. We really enjoy working with young, talented athletes. Helping them to make the next leap in competitive achievement through supporting them with incredible equipment is what we do best. Rupert is already successful, and we think that he has a strong future in World Cup Downhill racing.” Chapman joins Bernard Kerr, 2017 Red Bull Hardline winner, and Emilie Siegenthaler, a regular visitor to the World Cup podium, on the Pivot Factory Racing team. All three riders will be competing on the Pivot Phoenix DH and Pivot Firebird models at World Cup and Crankworx events. For training they will utilize the Pivot Vault and Pivot Switchblade bikes. All bikes will be equipped by a roster of incredible sponsors, including Fox Factory suspensionShimano componentsReynolds wheelsMaxxis tires, Industry 9Jet Black ProductsWTB and MRP. The team will wear clothing, helmets and protection from Fly Racing. Follow Rupert on instagram at @rupertchap, and on Facebook.


Get more info on the entire team and their sponsors: http://www.pivotcycles.com/team/pivotfactoryracing/

Tuesday
Jan242017

FMB World Tour 2017 – Preliminary Calendar

January 24, 2017: Weeks have passed since the last FMB World Tour Event of 2016. Now, looking on to a bright and action ridden 2017 the first events of the new season have been confirmed. The preliminary calendar already consists of 18 FMB Events in 10 different countries around the globe and there will be many more to come.

 

With White Style in Leogang, Austria, kicking-off the FMB World Tour on January 27, all slopestyle fans and athletes can look forward to a long list of locations hosting FMB Bronze, Silver, Gold and Diamond Events this year. Reason enough for riders of all skill levels to get hold of their 2017 AM or PRO FMB License and make this season the best season yet!

Already 18 events have been confirmed and many more are to follow in the next weeks. At the grassroots level the events Diverse NIGHT of the JUMPs (POL, March 25), Bike Fest (POL, May 27), Gravity Jump It! (GER, June 10) and Cropp Baltic Games (POL, August 20) are already looking forward to lots of local riders sending it at their FMB Bronze Events. With the first FMB Silver Event of the year happening in Leogang this week, the next already confirmed contests are Bike Days (SUI, May 7) and Natural Games (FRA, July 1). The number of Gold Events has a good chance of increasing once again. The modification of adding every contestant’s best Gold Event result to the end result of the Diamond Series proved its worth last season and will be maintained. With the event O’Marisquino in Vigo (ESP, August 13) making the leap from the silver level, an increased number of Gold Events is to be expected. Other confirmed FMB Gold Events are Swatch Rocket Air (SUI, April 29), FISE Montpellier (FRA, May 27) 26TRIX (AUT, June 10), GlemmRide Bike Festival Saalbach (AUT, July 8) and Colorado Freeride Festival (USA, July 29) for the time being.

All event organizers and athletes, who know of local events or local dirt jump parks can make their event be a part of the FMB World Tour this year. Just follow the link to see, which requirements have to be fulfilled in order to host an FMB Bronze or Silver Event. Multiple events in one country can also sign up to become a National Series such as the very successful Dirtwars UK series. Inquiries can made via email to info@fmbworldtour.com.

Although the calendar is still very much in a state of flux, the FMB Diamond Events are all set in stone. After Crankworx Rotorua really gets the season under way on April 2, fans can look forward to a “double header” in June with Crankworx Les Gets on June 18 followed by Crankworx Innsbruck a week later on June 25. With the season in full swing, Red Bull Joyride at Crankworx Whistler will get everyone stoked on August 20, before Red Bull District Ride will conclude the FMB Diamond Series on September 2.

Keep your eyes peeled for further information about live webcasts and calendar updates on www.fmbworldtour.com or stay informed and sign up for the FMB World Tour Newsletter.

2017 FMB Preliminary Calendar

  • January 27, 2017: White Style (Leogang, AUT) - FMB Silver Event
  • March 25, 2017: Diverse NIGHT of the JUMPs (Krakow, POL) - FMB Bronze Event
  • April 2, 2017: Crankworx Rotorua (Rotorua, NZL) - FMB Diamond Event
  • April 29, 2017: Swatch Rocket Air (Thun, SUI) - FMB Gold Event
  • May 7, 2017: Bike Days (Solothurn, SUI) - FMB Silver Event
  • May 26, 2017: FISE Montpellier (Montpellier, FRA) - FMB Gold Event
  • May 27, 2017: Bike Fest (Kalnica, SVK) - FMB Bronze Event
  • June 10, 2017: 26TRIX (Leogang, AUT) - FMB Gold Event
  • June 10, 2017: Gravity Jump It! (Boppard, GER) - FMB Bronze Event
  • June 18, 2017: Crankworx Les Gets (Les Gets, FRA) - FMB Diamond Event
  • June 25, 2017: Crankworx Innsbruck (Innsbruck, AUT) - FMB Diamond Event
  • July 1, 2017: Natural Games (Millau, FRA) - FMB Silver Event
  • July 8, 2017: GlemmRide Bike Festival Saalbach (Saalbach, AUT) - FMB Gold Event
  • July 29, 2017: Colorado Freeride Festival (Winter Park, USA) - FMB Gold Event
  • August 13, 2017: O’Marisquino (Vigo, ESP) - FMB Gold Event
  • August 20, 2017: Red Bull Joyride at Crankworx Whistler (Whistler, CAN) - FMB Diamond Event
  • August 20, 2017: Cropp Baltic Games (Gdansk, POL) - FMB Bronze Event
  • September 2, 2017: Red Bull District Ride (Nuremberg, GER) - FMB Diamond Event

 

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