SRAM GX Eagle – Trickle Down Tech at its Best, On Review

SRAM GX Eagle is a prime example of trickle-down technology; about one year on from the launch of SRAM XX1 and X01 Eagle, SRAM’s impressive 12-speed drivetrain with a mighty 10-50 tooth cassette we now have the option of SRAM GX Eagle. Probably more impressive than how much it looks and feels like the top-shelf offerings are the box kit price of GX Eagle, $799. Upgrading your 11-speed SRAM drivetrain for a fair $799 is now very appealing.

Holy dinner plate technology! 11-speed GX vs 12-speed GX.

What are we aiming to do here?

The shift lever feels slightly less crisp than the more expensive X01 and XX1 Eagle, but otherwise, there is very little difference in feel overall.

Is SRAM’s cheapest 12-speed drivetrain up to the task? How can it be cheaper? How much heavier? We know very well that SRAM are heralding the death of the front derailleur and claim that it “matches or down-right beats 2X drivetrains”, but is it only the enormous range of gears that defines Eagle?

There’s a whole host of other improvements over the SRAM 11-speed drivetrain, and we have fitted our GX Eagle groupset to our Specialized Enduro which came with 11-speed SRAM GX which will make testing between them wholly noticeable.


Once was 11, now we’re 12.

What we do know for now is that GX is around 250g heavier that X01 Eagle, predominantly in the cranks and cassette. It’s a touch heavier – about 120g – than the outgoing 11-speed GX drivetrain, although the Specialized uses RaceFace cranks.

It was a breeze to install, included with the derailleur is a tool to help guide you when setting up the b-tension – the distance the top jockey wheel sits from the cassette teeth – most important on rear suspension bikes as it requires deflating the shock and compressing the suspension to bottom-out for a correct measure.


What now?

Let’s ride!

SRAM announce GX Eagle: 12-Speed for the Masses

What’s Eagle all about? 

The Eagle 12-speed concept doesn’t need a lot of explaining, beyond the simple fact that its 500% gear range (10-50 tooth cassette) delivers the same gearing spread as most 2×11 systems, but of course without the complication of a front derailleur. As big believers in 1x drivetrains (and seriously, who isn’t?) we’ve been thoroughly impressed by the Eagle drivetrains we’ve ridden to date. If the GX drivetrain can deliver the same benefits and much of the performance at a fraction of the price, then SRAM are going to get a lot of riders on board.

Insert your bike here, for less than $800 AUD.

What is the cost break down?

As with other versions of the Eagle drivetrain, the cassette is the most expensive item in the groupset, at $319. Still, that’s a damn sight cheaper than the X0 or XX1 versions of the Eagle cassette. The GX chain is well priced at just $59, so overall price of the wear-out items in the drivetrain are far more affordable. All prices are listed below.

Trigger                                                  $69.95

Grip Shift                                             $69.95

Rear derailleur                                  $179.95

Cassette XG1275                              $319.95

GX Eagle chain                                   $59.95

GXP/GXP Boost crank                    $219.95

BB30/BB30 Boost crank                 $299.95

The GX Eagle cranks are solid looking alloy numbers. We love the look of the direct mount chain ring. Noiiice.

What’s involved in going to 12-speed?

The 12-speed drivetrain really is a complete system, you can’t just bung on a cassette and shifter and go climb a mountain. The Eagle chain and chain ring are specific to 12-speed, as is the derailleur, which is a serious piece of engineering in order to accommodate the massive cassette spread. So if you’re keen on soaring like an Eagle, you’re looking at installing a new drivetrain in its entirety. Lucky it just got cheaper then, huh?

Oh, and your rear hub needs to have an XD freehub – Eagle won’t fit on a Shimano freehub.

It takes a big derailleur to handle a big cassette.

 

Does it weigh more than a 1980 Land Rover?

No! The weights are a real surprise actually. We’re going off SRAM’s quoted weights here, but you’re looking at only a 290g weight penalty over X0 Eagle. The full GX Eagle groupset is 1794g, compared to 1501g from X0 and 1456g for XX1 Eagle.

At $319.95, the cassette is the priciest item in the GX Eagle drivetrain. But, given it’s essentially allowing you to ditch a front derailleur, a chain ring or two, a shifter and a cable, perhaps the cost isn’t too bad after all!

When will it be here?

GX Eagle should be in Australia late July/early August 2017. We’ll be ensuring we get a groupset on test, pronto. Now, read below for SRAM’s own blurb.

*unless you’re towing a trailer in the Alps while and chasing down road bunches on the descents. 
GX testing at Manly Dam.

GX Eagle Crankset

The reliability of forged aluminum crank arms is undeniable, and the GX Eagle™ crankset completes its performance mission with the new X-SYNC™2 direct mount chainring. With numerous Eagle™ ring size options, your range can be tuned for any ride you can find yourself on.  The GX Eagle™ crankset is designed around not only SRAM bottom brackets, but Eagle™ technology as a whole.

FEATURES/BENEFITS

Durable 7000 series forged aluminum crank arms

Best-in-class chain retention and wear characteristics with X-SYNC™2 tooth profiles engineered to match perfectly with SRAM Eagle™ chains

Light weight and durable direct mount ring construction

A master-class crankset at a working-class price point, the super-tough GX Eagle™ crankset makes it easy for riders who are hard on equipment and/or setting up multiple bikes to have 100-percent Eagle™ compatibility


GX Eagle Rear Derailleur

Simply put, the new GX Eagle™ derailleur extends the range of your riding because of its ability to handle the 10-50t Eagle™ cassette—but there’s more to this new derailleur than capacity. The GX Eagle™ derailleur includes the Type-3 ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH™, so that chain management feels the same on every cassette cog, small or large. And a new Eagle™ pulley design, combined with the SRAM Eagle™ chain, helps to make this drivetrain super quiet and incredibly efficient.

FEATURES/BENEFITS

Best-in-class chain management with our proven X-HORIZON™ design and Type-3 ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH™ technology

Simplified installation and added robustness with our repositioned CAGE LOCK™

Best-in-class 1x efficiency and quiet operation with our Eagle™ pulley technology

The GX Eagle™ derailleur carries with it the rough-and-tumble toughness of our X-HORIZON™ design; no derailleur wants to be abused, but the X-HORIZON™ design is built to withstand a lot


GX Eagle Trigger Shifter

The GX Eagle™ trigger shifter is the control center of the new Eagle™ drivetrain that unlocks its range to allow you to realize full potential of Eagle™. Superior ergonomics and adjustability let you shift quickly, comfortably and intuitively. The GX Eagle™ shifter carries with it all of the enhancements and improvements that the XX1 and X01 Eagle™ trigger shifters received, improving trigger feel, precision and durability for every rider on any terrain.

FEATURES/BENEFITS

Eagle™ provides the smoothest and most reliable 1x shifting in mountain biking

Optimized shifting precision via X-ACTUATION™ cable pull works flawlessly with Eagle™ rear derailleurs

Super durable forged aluminum trigger is designed to take a beating

With MatchMaker™ X you can adjust your shift, brake and Reverb lever setup for lever ergonomics that are perfect for your hand position and the way you ride


GX Eagle Grip Shift

Three decades ago, SRAM was founded on a product called Grip Shift, and an idea that shifting a bike should be easier, better and more intuitive. The new Eagle™ Grip Shift includes new, robust internals that make it even more durable and its shifting performance more precise. But just like the original, it is total control in the palm of your hand, but this time with Eagle technology to accompany it.

FEATURES/BENEFITS

Improved precision and durability with our new Grip Shift mechanism

The most durable shifter option for SRAM Eagle drivetrains

Grip Shift is the shifter choice for many ultra-endurance athletes and extreme cold weather riders, since shifting Grip Shift requires less manual dexterity than a trigger shifter does


XG-1275 Eagle Cassette

Best-in-class 1x range that allows you to ride anywhere, this XG-1275, 10- to 50-tooth Eagle™ cassette FULL PIN™ technology uses lightweight, stamped steel cogs held together with high-strength stainless steel pins. The result: a cassette that’s light and strong. The open design—similar to our X-DOME™ cassette—aids in mud clearance, giving you cleaner shifting performance and longer component life. New X-GLIDE™2 teeth features mate perfectly with Eagle™ chains to improve both inboard and outboard shifting, as well as chain retention.

FEATURES/BENEFITS

Extremely durable and lightweight cassette that incorporates FULL PIN™ technology using eleven lightweight, stamped steel cogs and one 50-tooth aluminum cog held together with high-strength stainless steel pins

Perfect range for any ride with our 10-50t [500 percent] gearing

Smooth, consistent and optimized gear steps across entire range of cassette

The XG-1275 Eagle™ cassette not only offers a massive 500-percent gear range for lower low gears and higher high gears, but also the ability for advanced level riders to ride larger chainrings for a smoother overall pedaling feel


GX Eagle Chain

Though you may think of it as a humble assistant to the rest of the groupset, the GX Eagle™ chain is the epicenter of the drivetrain. Featuring link plate geometry optimized for massive 500-percent range, Eagle™ derailleurs, chainrings, cassettes and shifters have been designed to work perfectly with Eagle™ chains. Anything less is nothing but a performance, reliability and durability compromise.

FEATURES/BENEFITS

Increased longevity and better chain guiding with our all-new Eagle™ PowerLock® chain connector with FLOW LINK™ technology

Unique features and design also provide significantly improved wear resistance on Eagle™ cassettes and rings

The GX Eagle™ chain is constructed using the same link geometry and general manufacturing processes as XX1 and X01 Eagle™ chains, making it the ideal backup chain for XX1 and X01 riders

Introducing The RockShox Reverb 1X Remote

The RockShox Reverb is the most popular dropper post in the world, so there’ll be lots of people very happy to hear this new remote can be fitted to older models.

The dropper post market is growing at a rate of knots, and while posts like the Fox Transfer and the Pro Koryak make use of remotes that mimic the feel of a good old-fashioned front derailleur shifter, the Reverb remote was based off RockShox’s X-Loc suspension remote, and it certainly wasn’t the most practical option out there.

That all changes with the new 1X remote. The new remote was designed by RockShox to feel like a SRAM shifter, and with Matchmaker integration you can get a clean cockpit setup without sacrificing access to your dropper- it’s a win win!

The new remote is Matchmaker compatible.
The new remote is Matchmaker compatible.

Other changes include the bleeding system and speed adjustment for the post, which are both now hidden behind a rubber port, and the bleeding system uses SRAM’s Bleeding Edge technology found on Guide brakes- no more searching for tiny grub screws you dropped on the floor! Check out the video below on how to install the new remote.

We’re pretty excited about this new remote, and can’t wait to try one out ourselves. If you’re thinking this could be an upgrade you’d like to run, Australian pricing has been set at $149.95 for the remote only, or you can get the Reverb Stealth with the new 1x remote for $599.95. Initial deliveries are expected in late May 2017.

Continue reading below for the official word from RockShox.


The all-new Reverb remote pairs the superior ergonomics of SRAM’s shifter design with low-lever-force hydraulic actuation to create the world’s best dropper-post remote. Its excellent ergonomics and light touch mean that riders of all ability levels can use their Reverb posts quicker, more easily and more often, for better ride control everywhere on the trail. And the new Reverb 1x Remote’s Bleeding Edge™ fitting ensures that the periodic maintenance needed for optimum performance is about as hassle-free as working the remote itself.

REVERB 1x REMOTE

  • Compatible with all B1 and A2 Reverb and Reverb Stealth models (identifiable by the black return speed adjuster on the standard remote)
  • Reverb Stealth with 1x remote MSRP:
    399$, 445€, 375£
  • Upgrade kit MSRP (includes remote, Bleeding Edge™ fitting, discreet clamp, MMX clamp):
    95$, 105€, 90£

RockShox Reverb 1x Remote-009

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

  • MatchMaker X or discrete clamp options
  • Bleeding Edge™ lever bleed fitting
  • Tooled speed adjust
  • Backwards compatible with all B1 and A2 Reverb models in the market (black return speed adjuster knob)

 

 

Coming Soon – RockShox Super Deluxe Coil

If you take a look at the top end of EWS racing, you’ll see more than a few bikes decked out with coil shocks in the rear. Yes, they’re heavier, and they offer less on the fly adjustments than many air shocks on the market, but their predictability makes them a winner for many riders.

We recently did a bike check with Josh Carlson, who told us the consistency of a coil shock during long, unpredictable downhills makes them an easy choice for his enduro race bike.

What about if you’re not racing in the EWS though? We would argue that as the weight of bikes relative to travel continues to fall, having a minor weight penalty in an area where real performance gains are possible, such as coil shocks is something that’s really worth looking into.

RockShox clearly think coil shocks are worth considering for your trail bike as well, as they’ve released a full range of Super Deluxe Coil shocks for 2017. Read below for a run through of the range as well as the updated Super Deluxe Air and Deluxe Air models.


Coil for all:

Super Deluxe allowed us to ditch old design constraints, and simply focus on building the best possible rear shock. And with that old thinking no longer holding us back, we began to wonder why coil-shock performance had to be limited to purely downhill and enduro applications, and why there should be any pedaling compromise associated with a coil shock.

The RockShox Super Deluxe Coil.
The RockShox Super Deluxe Coil comes in lockout and non-lockout variants.

No option spared:

In the words of a famous enduro racer, “Lean back and hang on,” because the all-new Super Deluxe Coil brings the consistency and feel of a coil sprung shock to trail and enduro bikes, and the benefits of metric design to downhill bikes. And with remote-lockout options, riders can capitalize on pedaling power anywhere, not just on fireroads.

A OneLoc handlebar remote is used to lockout the rear shock.
We think we’ll be seeing a few of these in Rotorua in a few weeks.

Sag gradients- coil setup:

All Super Deluxe Coil models feature sag gradients printed on the shaft to facilitate the correct setup. Steel springs will also be available in 50 lbs increments from 250 to 650, depending on length.

Sag indicators for simplicity.
Sag indicators make setup simple.

SUPER DELUXE COIL RCT:

Solid Threshold adjustment for pedaling performance, low speed compression adjustment to fine tune the ride to any trail and condition, the unmistakable feel of a coil spring and RockShox’s Super Deluxe design. A unique blend that’s now a reality, to push the benefits of coil shocks to bold new places.

p5pb14463776-1

FEATURES AND BENEFITS:

External rebound damping adjustment

2-position threshold adjustment (Open/Pedal) with low speed compression adjustment in Open mode

Steel springs available in 50lbs increments from 350lbs to 650lbs (depending on length)


SUPER DELUXE COIL RT REMOTE:

Remote rear shocks are no longer reserved to the XC elites – and Super Deluxe Coil RT Remote has already proven it with its 2016 EWS title with Cecile Ravanel. Riders can conserve energy and accelerate faster by switching to the “Threshold” mode, and click back into “Open” for full shredding capabilities.

RS-SDLC-RT_REMOTE-A1_Black_3Q_MH

FEATURES AND BENEFITS:

External rebound damping adjustment

2-position, remote-operated threshold adjustment (Open/Pedal) via OneLoc remote

In and Out cable routing

Steel springs available in 50lbs increments from 350lbs to 650lbs (depending on length)


SUPER DELUXE COIL RC WORLD CUP:

RockShox metric rear shock technology meets downhill World Cup racing – a shock designed for the new breed of downhill bikes, ultra-capable and light as never before. No-compromise damping, with precise low speed compression and rebound adjustments to dial in a podium-worthy ride.

p5pb14463778

 

FEATURES AND BENEFITS:

External rebound damping adjustment

Low speed compression adjustment

Metric Vivid replacement

Steel springs available in 50lbs increments from 350lbs to 650lbs (depending on length)


SUPER DELUXE COIL R:

No-nonsense performance for all coil-worthy applications, from the latest breed of trail and enduro bikes to downhill and park rigs that leave room in the budget for a season pass at the local hill. All the benefits of the Super Deluxe Coil package in a shock that’s as easy to understand as it is fun to ride.

RS-SDLC-R-A1_Black_3Q_MH

FEATURES AND BENEFITS:

External rebound damping adjustment

Metric Kage replacement

Steel springs available in 50lbs increments from 350lbs to 650lbs (depending on length)


SUPER DELUXE UPDATES:

STROKE INDICATOR:

All new Super Deluxe and Deluxe models feature a full stroke indicator on the damper body, to facilitate proper setup by confirming that you are using the full travel of your shock.


SUPER DELUXE RCT:

Solid Threshold adjustment for pedaling performance, low speed compression adjustment to fine tune the ride to any trail and condition, and the proven performance of RockShox’s revolutionary Super Deluxe rear shock in a package that’s ready to tackle any challenge.

The Super Deluxe RCT features two compression settings, as well as low speed compression in open mode.
Note the full stroke indicator at the bottom of the shock.

FEATURES AND BENEFITS:

External rebound damping adjustment

2-position threshold adjustment (Open/Pedal) with low speed compression adjustment in Open mode


SUPER DELUXE RT REMOTE:

Remote rear shocks are no longer reserved to the XC elites – and Super Deluxe RT Remote has already proven it with its 2016 EWS performance under the likes of Jerome Clementz and Cecile Ravanel. Riders can conserve energy and accelerate faster by switching to the “Threshold” mode, and click back into “Open” for full shredding capabilities.

p5pb14462389

FEATURES AND BENEFITS:

External rebound damping adjustment

2-position, remote-operated threshold adjustment (Open/Pedal) via OneLoc remote

In and Out cable routing


SUPER DELUXE RC WORLD CUP:

RockShox metric rear shock technology meets downhill World Cup racing – a shock designed for the new breed of downhill bikes, ultra-capable and light as never before. No-compromise damping, with precise compression and rebound adjustments to dial in a podium-worthy ride – with the precise ride tuning abilities of an air spring.

The Super Deluxe World Cup replaces the Vivid Air.
The Super Deluxe World Cup replaces the Vivid Air.

FEATURES AND BENEFITS:

External rebound damping adjustment

Low speed compression adjustment

Metric Vivid Air replacement


SUPER DELUXE R:

p5pb14463772

New stealth graphics

Additional stroke lengths (up to 75mm) to replace Vivid Air for metric bikes


DELUXE UPDATES:

METRIC GOES REMOTE:

NEW Deluxe RL Remote

New stealth graphics for Deluxe RT3, RT, RL and R


DELUXE RL REMOTE:

The efficiency of an Open/Lock remote switch meets the benefits of RockShox’s metric shock design. The ultra-low activation force required to operate Deluxe RL Remote via the OneLoc remote means that riders can access the efficiency of the Lock position more often.

The Deluxe Rl has also received the OneLoc remote lockout treatment.
The Deluxe Rl has also received the OneLoc remote lockout treatment.

FEATURES AND BENEFITS:

External rebound damping adjustment

2-position, remote-operated threshold adjustment (Open/Lock) via OneLoc remote

In and Out cable routing

 

 

Flow’s First Bite: Quarq ShockWiz

ShockWiz lets you make use of the endless tuning capabilities of modern suspension.
ShockWiz lets you make use of the endless tuning capabilities of modern suspension.

We ride lots of different bikes on a regular basis here at Flow, and while we know what base settings we like on certain suspension models, things like differing travel amounts, geometry and suspension tunes mean that setting up suspension can become a bit of a headache.

Introducing the ShockWiz, originally a Kickstarter start up set up by Australian Nigel Wade before being sold to SRAM’s technological division Quarq, this nifty little device is designed to take the stress out of setting up and fine tuning your suspension.

The ShockWiz is only fractionally bigger than your hand calluses after a big weekend on the bike.
The ShockWiz is only fractionally bigger than your hand calluses after a big weekend on the bike.

How does the ShockWiz work?

The ShockWiz is a telemetry unit that’s designed for air sprung suspension. It works by attaching to and monitoring the behaviour of a fork or shock over the course of a ride by sampling the air pressure 100 times a second, and the information collected is then sent to the ShockWiz smartphone app at the end of the ride.

The ShockWiz attaches neatly to the air valve of your fork or shock.
The ShockWiz attaches neatly to the air valve of your fork or shock.

From the information gathered, the app offers suggestions on how to better setup your suspension- simple!

The question is, do you check out your ShockWiz results before or after Strava?
The question is, do you check out your ShockWiz results before or after Strava?

Is it simple to install?

The ShockWiz is very simple to install, but we would recommend watching Quarq’s installation video, as it has some helpful tips about the best way to go about installation that are better explained in video format- it’s worth being patient for eight minutes on this occasion!


What about if my suspension is already setup well?

ShockWiz founder Nigel Wade says that the ShockWiz identifies an ideal ‘window of performance’ for your suspension, which varies depending on what you’re looking for from your suspension as well as your riding style.

So, if your suspension is already setup well, the ShockWiz will identify that the component in question is setup within its ideal window of performance.

We're impressed by the ShockWiz's easy installation and unobtrusiveness.
We’re impressed by the ShockWiz’s easy installation and unobtrusiveness.

Despite this, the application can still offer slight adjustment recommendations, as well as changes to make the suspension characteristics more efficient, balanced, playful or aggressive depending on your preferences- there’s always room for more fine tuning!

The ShockWiz website does a good job of explaining what these different words mean in terms of the actual performance of a suspension component.

We're going for a 'Balanced' tune initially on our Pike RCT3.
We’re going for a ‘Balanced’ tune on our Pike RCT3.

How does the app work?

Once you’ve got the app setup, it very straightforward to use, which we’ll discuss later. The initial setup however requires a couple more steps, which are once again explained clearly in Quarq’s app setup video below.


Do I need a fancy phone to use the ShockWiz app?

Not really- the ShockWiz app is compatible with IOS 9 or later for Apple users, and Jellybean 4.3 or newer for Android devices. 


Does the ShockWiz work with fork and shock manufacturers other than RockShox?

It sure does! ShockWiz will work with the majority of offerings from the suspension duopoly of RockShox and Fox, and other lesser seen brands providing the component is a single air chamber offering.

We've fitted out ShockWiz to a RockShox Pike RCT3.
We’ve fitted our ShockWiz to the RockShox Pike RCT3 on our YT Jeffsy.

Dual position travel adjustable forks, such as a RockShox Lyrik or Fox Talas fork aren’t strictly speaking compatible, but ShockWiz have approved them for use if they’re kept in the same travel setting for the entirety of the ride.

If the travel amount is changed, the ShockWiz will need to be recalibrated, which requires fully deflating the fork.

The Calibration Wizard takes care of calibration, thanks Gandalf!
The Calibration Wizard takes care of calibration, thanks Gandalf!

Suspension components with both positive and negative air chambers are not compatible with the ShockWiz, for example Öhlins’ RXF Fork range.

You won't be using the ShockWiz with the Öhlins Forks.
You won’t be using the ShockWiz with the Öhlins Forks.

If all this compatibility talk is hurting your head, ShockWiz have a comprehensive list of what works and what doesn’t in their ShockWiz Manual, so head there if you’re in any doubt!


Now that we’ve set it up, do the suggested changes work?

We’ve only had a brief play with the ShockWiz so far, but it’s already told us to slow down our rebound, and that our shock pump was out by nearly 10psi!

You’ll need to go for a decent ride to get enough data for the ShockWiz to make legitimate recommendations though, as it tracks things such as the amount of times you bottom out in a ride, and how much the fork is diving under braking, so going for a ride that encompasses a variety of terrain is needed to get accurate recommendations.


How much does it cost?

The ShockWiz will retail in Australia for $529. A steep price, but if you’ve got a high-end bike and no idea about setting up your suspension, you’re missing out on a whole heap of potential benefits.

ShockWiz also have a direct mount offering specifically designed for inverted forks such as the RockShox RS1, which will retail for $579.

The ShockWiz works with inverted fork designs, such as the RockShox RS-1.
The ShockWiz works with inverted fork designs, such as the RockShox RS-1.

Another perspective is if you’re tossing up between two new bikes that’re relatively close in price, getting the slightly less expensive model and the ShockWiz could allow you to better setup the bike for the type of riding you want to do.

We think it could be worth sacrificing a couple of components that offer a negligible performance increase at a slightly reduced weight for having the ShockWiz at your disposal, as having properly tuned suspension is going to be far more valuable out on the trail.

Another option is for bike shops to jump on board and offer ShockWiz rentals, as over the course of a weekend you could definitely gather enough data for the ShockWiz to give you recommendations for how you should setup your suspension for your style of riding, at a fraction of the price.


Where to now?

As we said at the outset, we setup a lot of suspension here at Flow, so the ShockWiz has the potential to be a hugely positive asset in reducing the time we spend knob fiddling, and increasing our trail time- a win win in our minds!

Little part, big potential.
Little part, big potential.

We’re planning to run the ShockWiz on a few different bikes and suspension brands to see how it goes, so stay tuned!

 

Long-Term Test: One Year Of Shredding, The Canyon Strive CF Race

It’s nice when you feel at home on a bike, while we can’t exactly call it our own it feels like it, we’ve grown quite attached indeed. The Strive could almost have been purpose built for our favourite local trails, but we doubt the German designers at Canyon have ever ridden this far abroad. The rocky, steep and raw nature of Sydney’s Northern Beaches (we are not just talking about Manly Dam here) begs for a bike that’s capable of getting rowdy, just take a look at the locals and what they are riding and more importantly how their bikes are setup.

Around here it’s all about meaty rubber, powerful brakes and wide gear ranges and quality travel. While some riders set up bikes like they’re racing the Enduro World Series we don’t go quite that far, the speeds are never that high or descents for too long, and of course there aren’t any clocks waiting for us to cross a line at the bottom.

So we’ve found the Strive a great bike for the rugged rides we love, and are still enjoying playing with setup and the parts spec to see what happens when we do.

Let’s have a look at what it’s looking like right now ahead of another summer of excellent riding. Get ready for some serious tech talk!

13.9kg as pictured, including tools, spare tube etc.

  • Frame – Canyon Strive CF Race, size medium. Rider is 180m tall, 72kg.
  • Fork – RockShox Lyric RCT3, 160mm travel, w/ two Bottomless Tokens fitted
  • Rear shock – RockShox Monarch Plus RCT3 w/Debonair can and three Bottomless Rings fitted
  • Wheels – Wheel Works Flite Carbon, 35mm internal width, DT Swiss hubs
  • Tyres – Maxxis Minion DHF 3C MaxxGrip EXO TR 2.5” WT and Maxxis Minion DHR II 3C MaxxGrip EXO TR 2.4” WT
  • Shifters – SRAM XO
  • Rear derailleur – SRAM XO
  • Front derailleur – Don’t be silly…
  • Crank – SRAM XO 170mm length, 32T direct mount chainring
  • Cassette – SRAM XO
  • Chain Guide – *eThirteen
  • Saddle – SDG
  • Grips – Ergon GE1
  • Post – FOX Transfer, Factory w/Kashima coating
  • Handlebar – Renthal FatBar Carbon
  • Stem – Renthal 45mm
  • Brakes – SRAM Guide Ultimate levers and Avid CODE callipers, 200/180mm Centerline rotors, SRAM metal sintered brake pads
  • Pedals – Shimano XTR Trail, limited edition 25th anniversary edition.
  • Bottle cage – Syncros MB Tailor cage Right Micro HV+ Bottle Cage

How’s the Shapeshifter going?

The number one question we are asked on the trails is how the Shapeshifter is holding up to the test of time, and if we’ve had issues like they, unfortunately, were originally plagued with. The bike arrived with a Shapeshifter that wasn’t 100% we believe it was due to incorrect setup, inflating the chamber while it was closed which damaged the unit. That was during the first ride, since then it has never skipped a beat, and has worked perfectly.

canyon-strive-cf-race-0011
Hiding away behind the linkage plate is the clever Shapeshifter air chamber unit, which with the press of the button on the bars extends and pushes the upper shock mount forward, changing from descend to climb mode. 160/139mm travel.

Canyon will surely come up with a better solution for the remote lever, though, it has never found a perfect home on the bars, we’re running it upside down on the opposite side and is relatively straightforward to actuate with a right thumb.

Do we use the Shapeshifter much on the trail?

Yes, a lot. In fact, if we didn’t use it and left the Shapeshifter in ‘descend’ mode it would climb like a sack of wet potatoes, it’s not ideal, to say the least. But if you utilise it to your advantage, practice activating it so it is quick and easy, the advantage is great.

canyon-strive-cf-race-9980
We position the Shapeshifter remote lever on the right-hand side of the bar, with a bit of practice swapping between the modes becomes second nature.

As we mentioned in our initial review of the Strive we found the Shapeshifter system required a bit of practice to become fully acquainted with it. The system works by shifting the position of the upper shock mount back and forward which has a dramatic effect on the suspension travel amount, feel and geometry of the bike. By pressing and holding the lever it opens the lock on a small air chamber, then as you unweight the rear end of the bike it’ll open, pushing the shock forward into climb mode. To drop it back to descend mode you hit the lever and lean back into the bike and it’ll compress the air chamber, pulling the upper shock mount back.

Our gripe with the system is that it is not exactly 100% clear to determine which mode the bike is in when you’re hammering down the trail, there is a tiny little green indicator on the linkage, but it’s hard to see at the best of times. Practice is key, it is easy for us now.

Read more on the Shapeshifter and what it looks like in our full review of the Strive here – Tested: Canyon Strive CF.

Any trick suspension setup with the fork?

The Strive originally came with a 160mm travel Pike, but we reviewed the Lyrik RCT3 and it’s stayed put since. We appreciate the increased sturdiness of the Lyrik with its beefy chassis when were yanking on the brakes or pinning through rock-strewn ugliness, and it seriously feels more like a BoXXer downhill fork in its spring curve, so damn plush. It is setup with 25% sag.

You can read our full review of the Lyrik here – Tested: RockShox Lyrik RCT3.

Big legs, supple action and a progressive spring rate. We're huge fans of this fork.
Big legs, supple action and a progressive spring rate. We’re huge fans of this fork.

While we clearly rate its impact gobbling abilities on the descents, it is a fork we also find quite efficient when climbing too (sounds crazy, we know). With such a supple and low-friction breakaway action, you’re able to hold a line and maintain momentum when climbing rough surfaces, the fork gobbles up mid-sized bumps while you focus on putting down the power in what position you feel comfortable in.

We’ve fitted two Bottomless Tokens in the fork to add progression, helping the bike ride a little ‘poppier’, with a firmer end to the suspension stroke you have a little more to push off when preloading the bike to jump it around the trail onto different lines or to pop a little easier off the lip of a jumps.

And out the back?

The Monarch RCT3 has been totally sweet, super smooth and the three-stage compression control is something that we use a lot during any ride. We select open mode only for the fastest pedal-free descents, the middle setting for pretty much 80% of riding and the third firmest setting saved for only the smoothest and longest climbs. We set it to around 35-40% sag in descend mode which sounds like a lot and was suggested to by Fabien Barel but we’ve found that although it is a lot of sag it works best this way.

We were curious though to see how the bike would react to fitting Bottomless Rings in the air chamber of the rear shock, a very simple process like the fork. After fitting the spacers we found the bike to not wallow so deep under rider input and weight shifts, it resisted bottom-out a little more and we would use the open mode of compression adjustment more without it feeling too soggy underneath us. It also reacted better to hopping, jumping and preloading the lips of jumps helping us move the bike around a little easier.

Fitting three Bottomless Rings to the air can, an easy process.
Fitting three Bottomless Rings to the air can, an easy process.

The hybrid anchors.

Yes, the rider of this bike is particularly sensitive to brakes, often succumbing to bad arm pump and hand pain on even the tamest descents, maybe a result of breaking both arms 12 years ago. Thankfully brakes are improving rapidly, and thus we’re happier! The Strive was originally specced with the SRAM Guide RSC, they were nice feeling brakes with a very consistent lever feel and fair amounts of power, especially with the organic pads swapped for metal sintered.

The next brakes on trial were the SRAM Guide Ultimate, which used the same lever but with an upgraded calliper that was built to manage heat better and utilised a cleaner bleeding process.

Check out our review of the SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes here: TESTED: SRAM GUIDE ULTIMATE BRAKES

Ultimately, we found the Guide Ultimates still not what we needed for the long and steep descents that really tested our strength, no matter how we bled and maintained the system we found fading braking power from heat and heavy usage on the longer descents.

So then we wanted more, and like we’ve seen on many pro’s bikes at the EWS and World Cup DH circuit, many riders are reverting to the old Avid CODE brakes, or at least the CODE calliper and Guide lever.

Oldies but goodies, the Avid CODE caliper provides MASSIVE POWER.
Oldies but goodies, the Avid CODE calliper provides MASSIVE POWER.
SRAM Guide Ultimate levers, the latest version with the little clip that golds the reach adjuster from creeping in and out.
SRAM Guide Ultimate levers, the latest version with the little clip that prevents the reach adjuster barrel from creeping in and out as you ride.

The CODE is a few years old, still carrying the Avid label where all the modern brakes from the brand carry the SRAM label. We chose to combine the Code calliper and Guide lever to keep the weight down, the CODE levers are mighty tough but perhaps a little overkill for this purpose.

SHHHHHH!

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FrameSkin Frame wrap, the sticky and supple rubber does wonders of reducing noise.

The hard rubber chainstay protector doesn’t do too much in the way of silencing chain noise against the frame, so we gave it a bit of extra dampening with a wrap of Frameskin the Australian brand well-known for their bike protection, much quieter indeed. Check them out here.

Up and down, sit down.

This is the third post we’ve had fitted to the Strive, initially specced with a RockShox Reverb which was plagued with squishy play and was never 100%. The second was the latest version of the Reverb with its new internals and it performed flawlessly for many months of hard riding, RockShox knew they had work to do for consumers to put their faith in a product that for the most part has had a rough ride, and they’ve nailed it. The new one feels the same but works perfectly.

The third post was the long-awaited FOX Transfer, and we’re huge fans. We’re confident in calling it the best post that we’ve ever tried with its simple installation, ergonomic thumb remote and consistent performance.

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A 150mm travel FOX Transfer dropper post, the Factor version with the slick Kashima coating for smooth sliding.
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Under the left-hand side of the bar, the remote lever it light to actuate and moves with the natural movement of your thumb.

What’s driving the Strive?

One part of the bike that has demanded very little attention from us is the drivetrain, in fact, all we’ve done is upgrade to the lighter direct mount chainring and drop down from 34T to 32T for a lower range. And we also changed the gear cable, other than that this drivetrain is unstoppable. Original chain, cassette and it’s still super quiet and smooth.

Cranks are 170mm in length, shorter than usual but 5mm of clearance from the trail below can go a long way at times.

170mm SRAM XO cranks.
170mm SRAM XO cranks.

How Enduro of you.

What’s better, weight on your body or your bike?

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Ultimate tool kit, similar in a way to the Specialized SWAT (Storage, Water And Tools) concept of hiding spares in and on the bike.
Like a saddle bag but far less noisy, a tube zip-tied loosely to the saddle rails.
Like a saddle bag but far less noisy, a tube zip-tied loosely to the saddle rails.
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The Syncros kit slides out from underneath the bottle cage; it’s a tight fit and a bit of a struggle to get to but at least it’s always there.

Carrying spares and water on the bike instead of on the body is a good thing for a few reasons, we find taking weight off your back helps you move around easier, but more importantly you don’t forget it if it’s always there. We carry a tube zip-tied under the seat, and the nifty Syncros Matchbox Tailor Cage HV 1.5 combines a bottle cage, pump and multi-tool kit in one.

We’ve been carrying the new mountain bike tubeless specific Dynaplug Micro around with us lately, and so far it’s saved us from having to perform the messy job of fitting a tube on the trail when a puncture occurs. The plug system has successfully sealed three punctures without a hiccup, and so we don’t leave home without it we’ taped it to the bottom of the bottle cage. Click here to heck out more on that little lifesaver.

A nifty little Dynaplug taped to the bottle cage is always ready for plugging holes in tyres.
A nifty little Dynaplug taped to the bottle cage is always ready for plugging holes in tyres.

Big rubber, wide rims, loads of air.

It’s more than just the big and meaty tyres that gives this bike so much grip, it’s also the whopping 35mm wide carbon rims, custom built by Kiwi brand Wheelworks. You can read all about the Wheelworks wheel building process and just why they feel confident in offering such a warranty here, in our interview with Wheelworks founder Tristan Thomas. We recommend you have a read, as there are some pretty interesting aspects to the process and Tristan does a great job of dispelling some popular myths about wheels.

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2.5″ tyres would usually be reserved for downhill bikes, but these with regular EXO casings are just light enough for enduro/all-mountain riding.

Replacing the 23mm wide SRAM wheels wit the 35mm Derby rims was a revelation, the width allowed us to drop tyre pressures to below 20psi and what that did to the bike’s traction was phenomenal.

Have a closer look at these wheels here: Wheel Works Flite Carbon.

WT tyres from Maxxis.
WT tyres from Maxxis.
Maxxis Minion WT tyres, front and back.
Maxxis Minion WT tyres, front and back.

Maxxis have begun making tyres specific for wide rims, the new WT (wide trail) pair of Minions are a perfect match for this bike and its wheels.

That’s about it if you have any setup tips or advice you wish to share, leave a comment in the Facebook section below. Time for a ride!

New SRAM 12-Speed Eagle 1x Drivetrain

“Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Ok, SRAM haven’t quite pulled off something as cool as landing on the moon, but the new Eagle 1×12 (yes, twelve) drivetrain is some pretty exciting stuff!

You can read all the details below, but in a nutshell, the new SRAM Eagle drivetrain is a single-ring specific, 12-speed system, with a MASSIVE 10-50 tooth cassette range.

A 500% gear range with a single ring is new ground – SRAM’s stated aim is to kill the front derailleur for mountain bikes, it’s their clear point of difference with Shimano, and this is their biggest weapon in that battle to date. Put simply, this spread is the kind of gear range that was previously the domain of double (or even triple) chain ring drivetrains.

If this stuff lives up to expectations in the real world, it’s certainly going to silence a lot of critics who’ve maintained that current 1×11 drivetrains don’t offer a big enough range for the masses.

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To cover such a huge gear range without unworkably large jumps in the gear ratios, SRAM decided 11-gears wasn’t enough. Fitting another gear into the mix (using the same freehub, thank god) was the answer. This cancels out any interchangeability between equipment, you can’t just bung a new 10-50 cassette onto your existing SRAM GX, X1, X01 or XX1 drivetrain. You’ve got to go all in with Eagle, baby.

While the gear range offered by Eagle should be broad enough for any rider, in just about any situation, the pricing is certainly not in the realms of the average punter. There are two levels of Eagle available (XX1 and X01) but still, the thought of handing over $629 for a cassette makes us feel like we’ve licked a 9-Volt battery. But that’s the reality of having equipment that’s on the cutting edge – R&D doesn’t happen for free, folks! Of course people will pay it, because that’s the price of having the equipment that’s on the cutting edge – And of course pricing will drop over time as the technology trickles down to lower levels in the SRAM range, but in the short term, you’ll need to open your wallet a fair way to experience what Eagle is all bout.

The gear range wars are entering a new phase now. Along with Eagle, we’ve also recently seen the announcement from Shimano that they’ve got a new 11-46 tooth XT cassette on the way, plus there’s a proliferation of products from smaller companies making accessories to extend the range of existing 1×10 and 1×11 systems (like these).

That’s enough from us for now, we’ll bring you more once we’ve actually got this stuff in our hands to ride. Below you’ll find all the details from SRAM, along with Australian pricing.


SRAM introduced the first ever, purpose built 1x drivetrain, and is the absolute leader in 1x technology and innovation. We have manufactured, tested and ridden hundreds of thousands of SRAM 1x™ drivetrains, and have capitalised on  the lessons learned from our experience to create  all new drivetrains with Eagle™ Technology.  Eagle™ drivetrains provide unparalleled performance, enhanced toughness and durability, and the freedom of a 500 percent gear range. 

In 2012, we introduced the world’s first purpose built 1x drivetrain — and it forever changed the way we ride. SRAM 1x™ changed the way we look at mountain bikes. Gone was the front derailleur, which immediately improved shifting simplicity and performance. It dropped a significant chunk of weight from the bike. It made shifting easier and consistently better for racers hitting the redline and new riders alike. It made mountain biking better for everyone. And it still does. We invented it, we build more 1x drivetrains than anyone else, and we are unrelenting in our commitment to furthering 1x technology.

Introducing SRAM Eagle™ Technology, our most advanced and highest-performing drivetrains to date. The new XX1 and X01 drivetrains, featuring Eagle™ Technology, are collections of components that have been engineered for a whole new level of ride quality and integration. These drivetrains have not only been refined, we have torn them apart, built them up, tested, tweaked, engineered and tested again. Eagle™ Technology delivers a drivetrain that is smoother, simpler, more durable and quieter than anything you’ve ever ridden. Add to that Eagle’s massive  gear range, and you have greater freedom to ride how you want, where you want. Performance, durability, simplicity, range, freedom: Introducing Eagle™, only from SRAM.


XX1 Eagle

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We built the incredible new XX1 Eagle™ drivetrain to work quietly, intuitively, precisely and perfectly. Whether you’re an hour and twelve minutes into a World Cup XC or, just about to hit the top of Pearl Pass—XX1 Eagle™ is ready for that and every place in between. This cross-country-optimised drivetrain combines our newest generation of SRAM 1x™ drivetrain technological advancements with lightweight materials. With a greater gear range of 500-percent, XX1 Eagle™ gives you smoother, more precise shifts with greater durability for long lasting performance so you can spend more time in the gear you want. XX1 Eagle™ just rewrote the rules of freedom.

XX1 Eagle™ Chain – $169.95

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SM_PC1290_Chain_Gold_Front_M

It might look normal from the outside, but the engineering inside this incredible new chain design that makes possible a gear range previously found only in 2-chainring drivetrains. And it’s also the biggest contributor to the Eagle™ drivetrain’s ultra-smooth, precise, durable and quiet performance. The Eagle™ chain’s links have a smooth radius, with no sharp edges or chamfers, which yield a significant reduction in noise, friction and wear on chainrings and cassette cogs. This design also allows for a flatter plate, which means more consistent chain riveting and greater overall strength. HARD CHROME™ technology extends the chain’s optimal performance life, and a Titanium Nitride coating on the Gold and Black models decreases corrosion and further reduces friction.

Groundbreaking new chain design and technology
The Eagle™ chain has been completely re-engineered, and is produced with new manufacturing technology.
All-new Eagle™ Power Lock chain connector with FLOWLINK™ technology provides better chain-guiding and increased longevity
The XX1 Eagle™ chain is the quietest, strongest and most wear-resistant chain in the world
Unique features and design also provide significantly improved wear resistance on Eagle™ cassettes and rings

XG-1299 Eagle™ Cassette – $699.95

SM_XG1299_Cassette_Black_Front_M

SRAM’s cassette manufacturing technology provides the greatest durability and lightest weight
All-new shifting features create a smoother, quieter system with enhanced inboard and outboard shift performance
XD™ driver body compatible
10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 24, 28, 32, 36, 42, 50

XX1 Eagle™ Crankset – $699.95

 

 

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SM_XX1_EAGLE_Crank_24mm_32t_Gold_Front_M

True competitors are always looking for a performance advantage—a relentless pursuit of equipment that is lighter, stiffer and stronger. To create the best drivetrain possible, we started with a completely reengineered crankset design. Our all-new XX1 Eagle™ crankset is the lightest, stiffest and strongest on the market. A special hollow internal architecture, combined with our proprietary CARBON TUNED™ lay-up, allows us to build a lightweight and ultra-energy-efficient crankset perfectly suited for the high-wattage output and smooth style of cross country riding and racing. Teamed up with a new Eagle™ direct mount chainring, and as an integral part of the Eagle™ drivetrain, the new XX1 Eagle™ crankset puts more focused power into every ride.

The lightest, stiffest, strongest crankset available
All-new SRAM CARBON TUNED™ crank technology provides extreme stiffness and light weight
All-new chainring technology is designed specifically for Eagle™ chains and drivetrains
The X-SYNC™ 2 chainring provides significantly quieter performance, with better mud clearing and extraordinary durability

 

XX1 Eagle™ Derailleur – $479.95

 

SM_XX1_EAGLE_RD_Gold_Front_M

This new derailleur not only answers the Eagle™ drivetrain’s need for greater capacity, but is also the next evolution of our proven, 1x-specific X-HORIZON™ design. The larger, 14-tooth X-SYNC™ lower pulley, allows 10- to 50-tooth cassette capacity in this compact design, and also adds to Eagle’s overall smooth-pedaling feel. Our new, Type-3 ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH™ features a smoother torque curve for a quieter, more consistent operation and feel. CAGE LOCK™ has been moved back and out of the way, protecting it from trail debris. A redesigned, robust mounting system further improves the Eagle™ derailleur’s performance and overall durability.

 

Completely redesigned rear derailleur incorporating our proven X-HORIZON™ design and new Type-3 ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH™ technology
Re-engineered mounting system and repositioned CAGE LOCK™ add robustness
Eagle™ pulley technology provides greater efficiency, crisper shifting and quieter operation
Carbon cage and lightweight hardware make it light and tough

 

XX1 Eagle™ Trigger Shifter – $279.95

SM_XX1_EAGLE_TriggerShifter_Black_Front_M

Tucked neatly beneath your handlebars, the XX1 Eagle™ X-ACTUATION™ trigger shifter is the nerve center of the Eagle™ drivetrain. Its internal works have been updated to include a 12th gear, and improved to enhance trigger feel, precision and durability. Whether you’re 3 laps into your race or 150 days into your season, the XX1 Eagle™ trigger shifter is your faithful 1x touch point.

New mechanism creates a smoother and more precise shifting system with exceptional reliability
Carbon trigger and cover reduce weight
Customisable setup via the adjustable pull-lever and MatchMaker™ X

XX1 Eagle™ Grip Shift – No pricing yet.

SM_XX1_EAGLE_GripShift_Black_Front_M

Three decades ago, SRAM was founded on a product called Grip Shift and an idea that shifting a bike should be easier, better and more intuitive. It’s more advanced than the original, but the all-new XX1 Eagle™ Grip Shift follows in the same tradition of making shifting easier, better and more intuitive. The new XX1 Eagle™ Grip Shift system includes new, robust internals that make it more durable and its’ shifting performance more precise. But just like the original, it is total control in the palm of your hand.

New Grip Shift mechanism takes SRAM’s original invention to an increased level of precision and durability.
Better feel and added toughness
Lightweight carbon cover

Eagle™ Chainring

SM_XX1_EAGLE_Crank_24mm_32t_Black_Front_M

 

The radical new look and feel of our X-SYNC™ 2 Eagle™ chainring is a direct result of SRAM drivetrain engineers studying the performance and wear characteristics of thousands of X-SYNC™ chainrings. We subjected every size of chainring to untold environmental and mechanical tortures, abuse and neglect, in both lab and real-world settings, to come up with a chainring that would augment the Eagle™ drivetrain’s performance in all conditions. The longer, positive-rake tooth shape has been designed to work perfectly with the new Eagle™ chain to increase chain retention and overall pedalling efficiency, while decreasing friction, noise and wear.

X-SYNC™ 2 chainring design increases chain retention, wear life, and reduces friction and noise.
Designed to be used with Eagle™ chain.


X01 Eagle™

The X01 Eagle™ drivetrain signals an exciting new era of freedom and the next level of uncompromising performance for enduro racers and aggressive trail riders. Watching the world’s best racers use our parts to battle against nature, physics and time itself, has inspired us to supply them with the most advanced tools we can develop. X01 Eagle™ takes everything you love about our pioneering 1x drivetrains and increases its wear life, toughness, precision, smooth and silent operation. Add to that the 10- to 50-tooth, 12-speed, Eagle™ cassette, and you have a range of gears that gives you the freedom to enjoy the benefit of 1x in any terrain, any location and at any speed. X01 Eagle™ is drivetrain freedom—how you exploit it is up to you.

X01 Eagle™ Chain – $119.95

SM_PC1290_Chain_Black_Front_M

It might look normal from the outside, but the engineering inside this incredible new chain design that makes possible a gear range previously found only in 2-chainring drivetrains. And it’s also the biggest contributor to the Eagle™ drivetrain’s ultra-smooth, precise, durable and quiet performance. The Eagle™ chain’s links have a smooth radius, with no sharp edges or chamfers, which yield a significant reduction in noise, friction and wear on chainrings and cassette cogs. This design also allows for a flatter plate, which means more consistent chain riveting and greater overall strength. HARD CHROME™ technology extends the chain’s optimal performance life, and a Titanium Nitride coating on the Gold and Black models decreases corrosion and further reduces friction.

Groundbreaking new chain design and technology
The Eagle™ chain has been completely re-engineered, and is produced with new manufacturing technology.
All-new Eagle™ PowerLock® chain connector with FLOW LINK™ technology provides better chain-guiding and increased longevity
The PC-1290 Eagle™ chain is the quietest, strongest and most wear-resistant chain in the world
Unique features and design also provide significantly improved wear resistance on Eagle™ cassettes and rings

XG-1295 Eagle™ Cassette – $629.95

SM_XG1295_Cassette_Black_Front_M

Take a quick look at the new X-DOME™ Eagle™ cassette. The last dangling shred of an argument in favour of a mountain bike front derailleur is now officially dead. Designed for use with our proven, reliable XD™ driver body, this 12-speed, 10- to 50-tooth cassette offers an optimal 500-percent gear range at a considerably lighter weight than 2x systems. It carries with it the X-DOME™ architecture, which, independent tests have concluded, yields the strongest cassettes on the market. New shifting characteristics improve both, inboard and outboard shifting, as well as chain retention.

SRAM’s cassette manufacturing technology provides the greatest durability and lightest weight
All-new shifting features create a smoother, quieter system with enhanced inboard and outboard shift performance
XD™ driver body compatible
10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 24, 28, 32, 36, 42, 50

X01 Eagle™ Crankset – $649.95

SM_X01_EAGLE_Crank_24mm_32t_Red_Front_M

We know you have a lot of choices when choosing a crankset, and that choice says a lot about your personal style. We designed the new X01 Eagle™ crankset for riders who feel most stylish when they stand on top of the podium. This is a completely reengineered design, employing our proprietary CARBON TUNED™ lay-up technology. Built tough, to handle aggressive lines through rock gardens and big hits wherever you find them, the new X01 Eagle™ is the strongest, stiffest, lightest crankset available. Combined with the new Eagle™ direct mount chainrings, and as an integral part of the Eagle™ drivetrain, this is a crankset that gives your ride a winning style—assuming you’re into that sort of thing.

The strongest, stiffest, lightest crankset available
All-new SRAM CARBON TUNED™ crank technology provides extreme stiffness and light weight
All-new chainring technology is designed specifically for Eagle™ chains and drivetrains
The X-SYNC™ 2 chainring provides significantly quieter performance, with better mud clearing and extraordinary durability

X01 Eagle™ Rear Derailleur – $379.95

SM_X01_EAGLE_RD_Red_Front_M

This new derailleur not only answers the Eagle™ drivetrain’s need for greater capacity, but it’s also the next evolution of our proven, 1x-specific X-HORIZON™ design. The larger, 14-tooth X-SYNC™ lower pulley allows 10- to 50-tooth cassette capacity in this relatively compact design, and also adds to Eagle’s overall smooth-pedalling feel. Our new, Type-3 ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH™ features a smoother torque curve for a quieter, more consistent operation and feel. CAGE LOCK™ has been moved back and out of the way, protecting it from trail debris. And a redesigned, robust mounting system further improves the Eagle™ derailleur’s performance and overall durability.

Completely redesigned rear derailleur incorporating our proven X-HORIZON™ design and new Type-3 ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH™ technology
Re-engineered mounting system and repositioned CAGE LOCK™ add robustness
Eagle™ pulley technology provides greater efficiency, crisper shifting and quieter operation
Aluminium cage and lightweight hardware make it light and tough

X01 Eagle™ Trigger Shifter – $219.95

SM_X01_EAGLE_TriggerShifter_Red_Front_M

Tucked neatly beneath your handlebars, the X01 Eagle™ X-ACTUATION™ trigger shifter is the nerve centre of the Eagle™ drivetrain. Its internal works have been updated to include a 12th gear, and improved to enhance trigger feel, precision and durability. Whether you’re 4 stages into the race or days away from civilisation, the X01 Eagle™ trigger shifter is your faithful 1x touch point.

New mechanism creates a smoother and more precise shifting system with exceptional reliability
Forged aluminium trigger designed to take a beating
Customisable setup via the adjustable pull-lever and MatchMaker™ X

X01 Eagle™ Grip Shift – No pricing yet.

SM_X01_EAGLE_GripShift_Red_Front_M

Three decades ago, SRAM was founded on a product called Grip Shift, and an idea that shifting a bike should be easier, better and more intuitive. It’s more advanced than the original, but the all-new X01 Eagle™ Grip Shift follows in the same tradition of making shifting easier, better and more intuitive. The new X01 Eagle™ Grip Shift system includes new, robust internals that make it more durable and its shifting performance more precise. But just like the original, it is total control in the palm of your hand.

Eagle™ Chainring

SM_X01_EAGLE_Crank_24mm_32t_Red_Front_M

The radical new look and feel of our X-SYNC™ 2 Eagle™ chainring is a direct result of SRAM drivetrain engineers studying the performance and wear characteristics of thousands of X-SYNC™ chainrings. We subjected every size of chainring to untold environmental and mechanical tortures, abuse and neglect, in both lab and real-world settings, to come up with a chainring that would augment the Eagle™ drivetrain’s performance in all conditions. The longer, positive-rake tooth shape has been designed to work perfectly with the new Eagle™ chain to increase chain retention and overall pedalling efficiency, while decreasing friction, noise and wear.

X-SYNC™ 2 chainring design increases chain retention, wear life, and reduces friction and noise.
Designed to be used with Eagle™ chain.

Starting Clean to Get Dirty – The RockShox Reverb

It’s almost impossible to imagine trail riding on a bike without a dropper post. They’ve become almost as ubiquitous as suspension forks, yet their wide appeal wasn’t fully realised until really recently in mountain biking’s history.

LTR_9175

Careful inspection and ensuring that every variable is carefully controlled is an essential component in the assembly of a new RockShox Reverb.
Careful inspection and ensuring that every variable is carefully controlled is an essential component in the assembly of a new RockShox Reverb.

To riders who grew up in the modern dropper-post era, it might be surprising to learn that an external, seat-height-locating spring, called Hite Rite, was on the market even before RockShox launched its revolutionary RS-1 — the fork that won the very first UCI Mountain Bike World Championship back in 1990. Other models followed, but it was the introduction of the first RockShox Reverb, in 2010, that started the trend toward acceptance of the dropper post as an essential mountain bike component.

The smallest details are big when the product is this sophisticated.
The smallest details are big when the product is this sophisticated.

RockShox used its knowledge of suspension design to provide Reverb with real adjustability, and to fulfil the requests of riders looking for better on-trail performance than anything that was available at the time. But those were still the early days, the Wild West, and, despite its sophisticated nature, there were really no standards to which dropper posts were held. Testing for durability and reliability was still in its infancy, and yet dropper posts are more complex in most regards than other suspension products — and are typically asked to do and withstand more than them.

To make sure that exactly the prescribed amount of thread-lock is applied, RockShox engineers designed a fixture whose sole purpose is the application of red Loctite.
To make sure that exactly the prescribed amount of thread-lock is applied, RockShox engineers designed a fixture whose sole purpose is the application of red Loctite.

But mountain bike frame design continued to move forward at a relentless pace — and with it came a demand from riders for Stealth cable-routing, longer-travel options and products that can stand up to more hard use.

The mechanised brain that focuses only on applying Loctite.
The mechanised brain that focuses only on applying Loctite.

Like with its high-performance suspension products, RockShox builds the Reverb in a clean room. For the typical mountain biker, who has probably done a bit of trailside engineering, maybe overhauled a fork or two in the garage, and most definitely spent hours cleaning gunk from every part of a bike, the idea of people wearing hospital gowns while assembling products intended for muddy, loamy, dusty environments might not make sense. But the truth is that to ensure best-possible performance and longevity in the dirt, variables in the assembly process need to be eliminated. It’s a painstaking process that starts with cleanliness.

A place of everything and everything in its place: Reverb parts move down the assembly line in anticipation of a life of shredding.
A place of everything and everything in its place: Reverb parts move down the assembly line in anticipation of a life of shredding.
A lot of hands are required to complete the many steps it takes to produce 500 Reverbs per day.
A lot of hands are required to complete the many steps it takes to produce 500 Reverbs per day.

Each individual part needed to assemble a Reverb, whether manufactured by an outside supplier or whether it is made in one of SRAM’s factory facilities, is cleaned and packaged prior to it arriving for assembly. All of the parts then undergo inspection and a further cleaning process before being moved to an intermediate room, which is directly connected to the clean room. All parts are stored in bags and on trays until ready for final assembly.

Entering the Reverb clean room as a human is similarly meticulous. Perhaps it goes without saying, but the clean room is restricted to assembly operators and a select few others. Before going in to work, those with authorized access enter a staging room, change into shoes that have not been used outside the clean room, and then put on a lab coat and hat.

Inside, temperature and airflow are carefully controlled. Not only is properly maintained temperature of the parts, assembly machines and fixtures important to alleviate assembly variables, but the human brain also makes fewer mistakes when ambient temperature is kept at a cooler level than what most people find perfectly comfortable.

Artful tweezer-work that easily rivals that of the best gourmet chef.
Artful tweezer-work that easily rivals that of the best gourmet chef.

The Reverb assembly process is the adage “measure twice, cut once” taken to extremes. Every movement of a part, hand, tool or machine has been carefully engineered to ensure repeatability and eliminate errors. And it is not uncommon to see a SRAM engineer working on the assembly line, ensuring that a build process, which worked perfectly on prototypes a few months ago, still works as expected when 500 Reverbs roll off the line ever day.

Sophisticated machines provide a perfect bleed on every Reverb.
Sophisticated machines provide a perfect bleed on every Reverb.

When the assembly process is completed, the new, unpackaged Reverb exits the clean room through a negative airflow passageway. Once outside, it is packaged according to its final destination — bicycle manufacturer or retailer — and sent to fulfil its duty of getting dirty.

A Reverb assembly line operator checks head rotation before allowing any product to move forward.
A Reverb assembly line operator checks head rotation before allowing any product to move forward.

After six years of driving the dropper-post market, RockShox is now introducing a new, next-generation Reverb. Though it sports similar styling, the new Reverb has been reengineered to allow travel lengths between 100 and 170 millimeters and faster return speeds, as well as to increase bushing overlap, which results in smoother operation and greater fore-aft stiffness. Though the new Reverb was redesigned to increase performance, it also addresses dropper-post reliability issues and makes regular service easier.

Monitors at each assembly station keep operators apprised of assembly procedures and parameters, as well as current assembly line conditions.
Monitors at each assembly station keep operators apprised of assembly procedures and parameters, as well as current assembly line conditions.
Cleaned and inspected parts prepare for bushing installation.
Cleaned and inspected parts prepare for bushing installation.
The sterile environment and tedious process is critical to ensure a long life in the dirt.
The sterile environment and tedious process is critical to ensure a long life in the dirt.
The Reverb assembly process is the adage “measure twice, cut once” taken to extremes.
The Reverb assembly process is the adage “measure twice, cut once” taken to extremes.

Imagine trail riding, as it existed without dropper posts. RockShox wasn’t the first company to make a dropper post, and it surely won’t be the last, but the Reverb is unquestionably the one that gave dropper posts universal acceptance, and pushed the boundaries of performance. The new Reverb is now charged with raising the bar on the next generation of dropper posts.

Fresh Product: SRAM ROAM 60 Wheels and 900 Hubs

Fast climbs and fast descents—from sunup till sundown. Truly made for the modern mountain biker, ROAM wheels use a special balance of low-inertia design, weight and strength to excel on a wide variety of terrain. They’re durable enough for hours in the saddle, yet light enough for race day.

WIDE IS FAST

The new ROAM 60’s careful combination of shape, width, design, and materials yields a new carbon wheelset that gives bikers the speed-enabling features they want—and the critical reliability they need. Lightweight, high-strength 30-mm carbon rims increase control and confidence in any terrain.

The precision engagement of DOUBLE TIME™ hubs ensure quick, consistent power delivery from the pedals, and a durable, smooth-rolling feel. The new ROAM 60 is the wheel for riders who want everything and don’t like to compromise.


ROAM 60

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

Light and strong carbon rim designed for more speed, more control and more reliability 30mm wide profile, hookless, tubeless ready, carbon rim Smooth, quick engagement with durable DOUBLE TIME™ hubs Stealthy new graphics and customisable sticker pack.

SM_ROAM_60_275in_Front_Side_Black_M

USAGE

TR

EN

STICKER PACK

The included sticker pack contains seven different colours to help riders make them their own.

TECHNOLOGIES

DOUBLE TIME™

CARBON TUNED™

WIDE ANGLE™

SOLO SPOKE™

SPEEDBALL™

SIDE SWAP™ SYMMETRICAL

XD Driver Body™

BOOST

SPECIFICATIONS 

SIZE (WHEELS)

27.5”

 SM_ROAM_60_275in_Rear_3Q_Black_M SM_ROAM_60_275in_Front_3Q_Black_M

RIM CONSTRUCTION

CARBON – HOOKLESS

 

RIM – INSIDE WIDTH

30mm

 

TIRE COMPATIBILITY

CLINCHER TUBELESS READY

 

BRAKE COMPATIBILITY

DISC (6-BOLT)

 

CASSETTE COMPATIBILITY

SRAM XD™, NON XD

AXLE TYPE (WHEELS)—REGULAR

FRONT: INCLUDES DECAL PACK, QUICK RELEASE, 15x100mm AND 20x110mm THRU AXLE CAPS

REAR: INCLUDES DECAL PACK, QUICK RELEASE AND 12x142mm THRU AXLE CAPS

 

AXLE TYPE (WHEELS)—BOOST

FRONT: INCLUDES DECAL PACK, 21mm STANDARD AND 31mm ROCKSHOX TORQUE THRU AXLE CAPS

REAR: INCLUDES DECAL PACK, 12×148 THRU AXLE CAPS

 

DRIVER MECHANISM

DOUBLE TIME™ – FOUR PAWLS

 

SPOKE COUNT

24

 

SPOKE TYPE

STEEL BLADED – BLACK, DOUBLE-BUTTED 2.0 TO 1.8

 

BEARINGS

SEALED CARTRIDGE

 

NIPPLE MATERIAL

ALUMINUM

 

RIM FINISH

UD FIBER / BAKE-ON LABELS / MATTE CLEAR COAT

 

RIM SECTION

ASYMMETRICAL

 

SPOKE PATTERN

2 CROSS

 

PART WEIGHT

FRONT 750g – REAR 875gAM_ROAM60-Life-160128-058 AM_ROAM60-160131-1151 AM_ROAM60-Life_1


900 HUBS

EXTREME VERSATILITY

Whether the goal is a finish line, epic adventure or simply getting back home again, our new 900 hubs are ready for the challenge. On the inside, our smooth and durable DOUBLE TIME™ drive mechanism ensures rapid engagement for quick and confident pedal responsiveness. SPEEDBALL™ bearings provide smooth, long-lasting rotation performance. Multiple spoke-count and cassette-capability options, as well as interchangeable end caps make the 900 hubs a perfect choice for any disc-equipped road, gravel, cyclocross, cross country, trail, or enduro bike.SM_900SeriesHub_Rear_28h_12x148mm_Black_M
SM_900SeriesHub_Front_28h_15x100mm_Black_M

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

DOUBLE TIME™ mechanism offers smooth, quick and durable engagement

Versatile driver body can accept ROAD or MTB drivetrain, full spline or XD™ cassettes

Fully convertible with tool free end caps

BOOST variants

24, 28 or 32 spoke holes

USAGE

Road

CX

TT

Gravel

XC

TR

EN

 

TECHNOLOGIES

DOUBLE TIME™

SPEEDBALL™

SIDE SWAP™ SYMMETRICAL

SEEKER™

XD Driver Body™

BOOST

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

ORIENTATION

FRONT, REAR

 

AXLE TYPE

 

FRONT: QR 100 CAPS (DIA. 19mm), TA 12×100, TA 15×100, TA 15×110, TA 15×110 TORQUE CAPS (DIA. 31mm), TA 20×110

REAR: QR 135, TA 12×142, TA 12×148

 

SPOKE HOLES

24, 28, 32

 

BRAKE COMPATIBILITY

DISC (6-BOLT)

 

CASSETTE COMPATIBILITY

SRAM XD™, SRAM/NON XD

 

COLOR

BLACK

 

DRIVER MECHANISM

DOUBLE TIME™ – FOUR PAWLS

 

AXLE MATERIAL

TAPERED ALUMINUM

 

AXLE – CONVERTIBLE

YES

 

DRIVER BODY MATERIAL

ALUMINUM

 

HUB SHELL

ALUMINUM – SEEKER™ ANGLED

FLANGES – OVERSIZED BODY

 

OVER LOCKNUT DIMENSION

100mm, 110mm, 135mm, 142mm, 148mm

 

BEARINGS

SEALED CARTRIDGE

 

PART WEIGHT

FRONT 150g REAR 275g

(WEIGHTS ARE IN THE LIGHTEST CONFIGURATION)

 

AM_ROAM60-160128-579

 

TECHNOLOGIES

 

DOUBLE TIME™

Ratcheting up the smarts. This straight-aligned, 4-pawl design turns the 26-tooth ratchet ring into 52 points of contact. The result: smooth 6.9-degree engagement without reducing tooth size or offsetting internal geometry—which means serious long-term durability.

 

26-tooth ratchet ring

26

x 2

52

POINTS OF

ENGAGEMENT

 

Straight-aligned

and perpendicular

2-pair, 4-pawl design

 

CARBON TUNED™

Strong like bull, light like carbon. Every CARBON TUNED™ rim is designed with a distinct style of riding in mind. By selectively layering woven carbon fiber at high-stress points and using unidirectional fiber throughout, SRAM creates rims that yield a remarkable level of strength and durability—while remaining lightweight and responsive.

 

WIDE ANGLE™

Take corners as fast as you want. SRAM wheels have a wide rim profile without significant added mass. This profile holds tire shape better, preventing tire roll and giving you superior comfort and traction around corners.

 

SOLO SPOKE™

With SOLO SPOKE™, you’re never wrong. SRAM wheel design eliminates the need for different spoke lengths—one size fits the entire wheel. This identical-length design means no longer wondering whether you have the right front/ rear/drive-side/nondrive-side spoke handy.

 

SPEEDBALL™

The only adjustment they’ll ever need was made back at the factory. Every part of the ball bearing is manufactured in the same factory—which means that each bearing bore can be precision machined to fit the bearing race exactly.

 

SIDE SWAP SYMMETRICAL™

Switching axles has never been easier. Threadless side caps can be installed and replaced by hand—no tools necessary. The left side cap is identical to the right one. No need to figure out where each cap is going.

 

SEEKER™

Get unbent. 3D forged and machined for lightweight strength, the flanges are angled towards the rim—allowing the spokes to be fully in-line when tensioned. The result: reduced spoke head breakage and better overall durability.

 

XD™ DRIVER BODY

XD™ is a cassette driver body design that allows the use of a 10-tooth small cog and provides an improved interface with the cassette.

 

BOOST

BOOST is a new wheel and drivetrain specification that provides: increased wheel stiffness and durability, better riding efficiency and bike handling precision, improved frame geometry with shorter chain stays, wider and stiffer suspension pivots, wider range of chainring options, and more clearance for bigger tires.

 

TORQUE CAPS

Torque Caps make the bond between hub and fork dropout stronger, with an increased surface area connecting the two. This creates a stronger, stiffer interface, giving you a more responsive front wheel and more control. So you concentrate on the most important connection, the one between your bike and the trail.

Fresh Product: SRAM Level Brakes

When it comes to braking power and control, we believe in freedom—options. We believe that there should be an absolute best solution for every type of rider and every kind of ride; that there really isn’t a One-Size-Fits-Most when it comes to brakes. That’s the concept that led us to the development of Level, a new brake designed for the needs of modern cross-country and trail riders.

Level puts the same proven SRAM brake technology used on the 2015 Downhill World Championship-winning bike into a smaller, lighter-weight package. Braking power and modulation are optimized by matching our DirectLink™ lever design with authoritative 2-piston calipers. Reach adjusters are hidden from outside elements, giving the entire package a clean, confident look. And with five options to choose from, Level makes it easy to find the perfect setup.

Proven SRAM technology, entirely new options: Level.

ALL NEW 2-PISTON LINEUP

  • SRAM Level Ultimate
    Replacing—SRAM XX
  • SRAM Level TLM
    Replacing—SRAM X0
  • SRAM Level TL
    Replacing—SRAM DB5
  • SRAM Level T
    Replacing—Avid DB3
  • SRAM Level
    Replacing—Avid DB1AM_Level-Ulti-160217-109 AM_Level-Ulti-160217-118 AM_Level-Ulti-160217-072

LEVER DESIGN

  • New lever design—based on Guide, but more compact and lighter
  • Same Timing Port Closure mechanism—solid and predictable braking
  • Same seals—stable and durable
  • Same Expandable Bladder reservoir—dependable and consistent braking power in all conditions
  • DirectLink™—solid, positive feel and engagement
  • New detent design for the tooled reach adjust—same pistons, seals, reservoir, bladder
  • Smaller lever body with DirectLink™
  • New detent design for the tooled reach adjust

CALIPER DESIGN

Incorporates technologies developed on Guide Ultimate’s S4 caliper

  • Heat Shield: stainless steel shield reduces heat transfer from the rotor and pads to the caliper’s body
  • Consistency, control and feel: optimized gland geometry, seals and piston rollback
  • Bleeding Edge: the easiest and cleanest way to bleed your brakes

Two 21mm pistons

Monoblock construction


Level Ultimate

Level Best

SM_Level_Ultimate_Caliper_Rotor_Front_Black_M
SM_Level_Ultimate_Lever_3Q_Black_M

SM_Level_Ultimate_Caliper_3Q_Black_MAs its name implies, this is our Ultimate brake design for cross-country and light trail use. We took the same technology used in the brake that Loic Bruni rode to a Downhill World Championship and packed it into a smaller, sleeker, lighter-weight and XC-optimized package.

The carbon-fiber level blade pulls crisp and clean, thanks to pivot bearings and our DirectLink™ design. And it maintains that feel throughout the ride because it is matched to our monoblock, two-piston caliper. This caliper’s superior heat management and smooth piston actuation give you braking power exactly when and how you need it. And the BLEEDING EDGE™ design significantly simplifies fluid maintenance. untitled_shoot-160211-655

THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • Same proven lever technologies as Guide – piston, seals, reservoir and bladder
  • Compact lever body with DirectLink™
  • New detent design for reach adjust
  • New, 21-millimeter, 2-piston monoblock caliper for superior heat management, consistency, control and feel

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

  • Carbon lever and blade
  • Lever pivot bearings
  • Ti hardware
  • Alloy backed pads
  • BLEEDING EDGE™
  • MatchMaker™ X

WEIGHT 318g (direct mount, 800mm hose, 160mm CLX rotor, Ti hardware)


Level TLM

Championship Contender

It has a championship-winning pedigree, and is ready to take all of the punishment you want to give it. Level TLM puts proven SRAM braking performance and consistency at your fingertips, in a sleek, lightweight design optimized specifically for cross-country and light trail use. Power and modulation are delivered via the Level TLM’s alloy lever blade, DirectLink™ actuation, DOT 5.1 fluid and our new two-piston, monoblock caliper. The design provides superior heat management for consistent, fade-free performance all day long, and BLEEDING EDGE™ technology makes maintenance incredibly simple, so your brakes feel great all day — every day.

SM_Level_TLM_Caliper_3Q_Grey_M SM_Level_TLM_Lever_3Q_Grey_M

THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • Same proven lever technologies as Guide—piston, seals, reservoir and bladder
  • Compact lever body with DirectLink™
  • New detent design for reach adjust
  • New, 21-millimeter, 2-piston monoblock caliper for superior heat management, consistency, control and feel.

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

  • Alloy lever blade
  • Lever pivot bushings
  • Stainless hardware
  • BLEEDING EDGE™
  • MatchMaker™ X

WEIGHT 356g (direct mount, 800mm hose, 160mm CL rotor)untitled_shoot-160211-278


Level TL

Lightweight Heavyweight

Heavyweight performance in a lightweight package. Level TL packs the same XC and trail-optimized power delivery into a brake set that won’t break the bank. This brake matches an alloy DirectLink™ lever to a lever body that contains the same technology found in the Level TLM, Level Ultimate and Guide series of brakes, for reliability and consistency you can count on. SM_Level_TL_Caliper_Black_3Q_M SRAM_MTB_Level_TL_Lever_Black_3Q_M

THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • Same proven lever technologies as Guide—piston, seals, reservoir and bladder
  • Compact lever body with DirectLink™
  • Same power as Level Ultimate and Level TLM

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

  • MatchMaker™ X
  • Tooled reach adjust

WEIGHT

370g (direct mount, 800mm hose, 160mm CL rotor)


Level T

Trail Tamer

Level T capitalizes on the same trail-taming brake technology that conquered the 2015 World Mountain Bike Championships, to deliver a powerful and consistent XC and trail-optimized brake set that keeps your capital in the bank. This budget-minded, MatchMaker™ compatible brake set provides all the power of its siblings, keeping you in complete control. SM_Level_T_Caliper_Black_3Q_M SRAM_MTB_Level_T_Lever_Black_3Q_M

THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • Same proven lever technologies as Guide—piston, seals, reservoir and bladder
  • Compact lever body with DirectLink™
  • Same power as Level Ultimate, Level TLM and Level TL

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

  • MatchMaker™
  • Two-bolt clamp

WEIGHT

410g (direct mount, 800mm hose, 160mm CL rotor)


Level

New Rules

The SRAM Level brake levels the playing field with power and reliability stuffed into a lightweight package. This is a no-nonsense performer, but don’t let its understated disposition fool you — Level gives you the art of braking in minimalist form.  SRAM_MTB_Level_Lever_3Q_Black_M SM_Level_Caliper_Black_3Q_M

THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • Same proven lever technologies as Guide—piston, seals, reservoir and bladder
  • Compact lever body with DirectLink™

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

  • Distinct contact point
  • Pinch clamp

WEIGHT 430g (direct mount, 800mm hose, 160mm G2 rotor)

Fresh Product: 2017 SRAM NX Drivetrain

START WITH ONE

SRAM NX 1x DRIVETRAIN
It’s how you start that matters. Whether you’re discovering the mountain for the first time or you’re an MTB lifer searching for a no-nonsense, no-worries 1x drivetrain, SRAM NX is ready for action and ready to take you there. NX brings you a wide range of gear choices engineered for simplicity and durability, so you can focus on what matters most—the ride ahead. German engineered and proudly bearing the SRAM 1x™ stamp of approval, NX is ready to let the world know what real riding feels like.

START NEW. START RIGHT. START WITH SRAM NX.

__________________________________

AM_GroupRideLife-160207-157_tight AM_GroupRide-160207-226 AM_GroupRideLife-160207-224

1x X-SYNC™ CRANKSET

AUD RRP $199.95 – $239.95

__

Overview

The SRAM NX crankset provides high performance at the right price. Featuring the SRAM engineered X-SYNC™ chainring, the NX crankset is engineered for complete chain control. Each tooth’s thickness is CNC machined to work seamlessly with the chain’s inner and outer links.

__

SM_NX_Crank_1000_32T_AL_Spider_30mm_Side_Black_MH

__

Features and Benefits

6000 series aluminum arms

Fully compatible with all SRAM 1x™ drivetrains

Most affordable fully featured 1x crank in the industry

Usage: XC, TR, EN

Technologies: X-SYNC™, GXP, BB30

__

Specifications

Speeds
11

BB Compatibility
BB30/PF30-68/73mm, GXP 100mm/ PF GXP 121mm, GXP PF GXP 68/ 73mm

Chainring compatibility
28t, 30t, 32t, 34t, 36t, 38t, 40t

CRANK ARM LENGTH
155mm, 165mm, 170mm, 175mm

COLOR (CRANK ARM)
Black

BB SPINDLE INTERFACE
24mm, 30mm

CHAINRING MATERIAL
Aluminum

GUARD
Aluminum Guard, No Guard

BOLT CIRCLE DIAMETER (BCD)
94 BCD

CRANK ARM MATERIAL
Aluminum

CHAINLINE
49.0mm, 52.0mm, 66.5mm

PART WEIGHT
680-780g

_____________________________________________________

1×11 X-HORIZON™ REAR DERAILLEUR

AUD RRP $119.95

__

OVERVIEW

The SRAM NX X-HORIZON™ rear derailleur provides the same smooth, reliable shifting action as XX1—from the larger upper pulley offset to the 12-tooth X-SYNC™ pulley wheels. By eliminating unwanted chain movement, X-HORIZON™ shifts faster, puts an end to ghost shifting and reduces shift force and chain slap. And with CAGE LOCK™ technology, wheel removal and installation are easier than ever.

__

SM_NX_RD_Side_Black_MH

__

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

X-HORIZON™ design that reduces shift force, ghost shifting and chain slap

12-tooth X-SYNC™ pulley wheels

Fully compatible with all SRAM 1x™ drivetrains

Most affordable fully featured 1x rear derailleur in the industry

__

USAGE
XC
TR
EN

___

TECHNOLOGIES
X-HORIZON™
X-SYNC™
X-ACTUATION™
CAGE LOCK™
ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH™

__

SPECIFICATIONS

SPEEDS
11

CABLE PULL RATIO
X-ACTUATION™

CAGE
Long

MAX TOOTH
42

COLOR
Black

PULLEY BEARINGS MATERIAL
Steel

CAGE MATERIAL
Steel

PART WEIGHT
322g

______________________________________________

11-SPEED X-ACTUATION™ TRIGGER SHIFTER

AUD RRP $49.95

__

OVERVIEW

SRAM NX trigger shifter with X-ACTUATION™ technology gives you sharp, dependable shifting. Built for precise and swift shifting across our wide range 11-speed cassette, the NX trigger shifter brings industry changing technology to everyone.

__

SM_NX_Shifter_Front_Black_MH

__

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

X-ACTUATION™ for precise and dependable 11-speed performance

Fully compatible with all SRAM 1x™ drivetrains

___

USAGE
XC
TR
EN

___

TECHNOLOGIES

X-ACTUATION™

__

SPECIFICATIONS

SPEEDS
11

COMPATIBILITY
11-speed rear derailleur

CABLE PULL RATIO
X-ACTUATION™

COLOR
Black

CABLE LENGTH
2200mm

SHIFTER TYPE
Trigger

MATCHMAKER COMPATIBLE
No

CLAMP INCLUDED
Yes

MAX UPSHIFTS
5

PULL LEVER ADJUST
No

MULTI-POSITION
No

GEAR INDICATION
No

PART WEIGHT
142g

_______________________________________________

11-SPEED X-ACTUATION™ GRIP SHIFT

AUD RRP $59.95

__

OVERVIEW

SRAM NX Grip Shift with X-ACTUATION™ technology gives you sharp, dependable shifting. Built for precise and swift shifting across our wide range 11-speed cassette, the NX Grip Shift brings industry changing technology to everyone.

__

SM_NX_GripShift_Front_Black_MH__

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

SRAM 1x™ X-ACTUATION™ for precise and dependable 11-speed performance

SPEED METAL™ shift indexing

ROLLING THUNDER™ ball bearing technology

JAWS™ lock-on grip technology

Most affordable fully featured 1x grip shifter in the industry

__

USAGE
XC
TR
EN

___

TECHNOLOGIES
X-ACTUATION™
SPEED METAL™
ROLLING THUNDER™
JAWS

___

SPECIFICATIONS

SPEEDS
11

COMPATIBILITY
11-speed rear derailleur

CABLE PULL RATIO
X-ACTUATION™

COLOR
Black™

CABLE LENGTH
2200mm

SHIFTER TYPE
Twist

MATCHMAKER COMPATIBLE
No

CLAMP INCLUDED
Yes

MAX UPSHIFTS
n/a

PULL LEVER ADJUST
n/a

MULTI-POSITION
No

GEAR INDICATION
No

_____________________________________________

 

 

PC-1110 CHAIN

AUD RRP $24.95

__

OVERVIEW

Designed from a long line of dependable, lightweight chains that are built for toughness, the recommended chain for NX, PC-1110. Designed with SRAM’s trusted XX1 geometry, the PC-1110 features solid pin construction, 11-speed PowerLock® and smooth, efficient shifting that you can count on every time out.

__

SM_Chain_PC-1110_Side_MH__

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

Optimized to work with X-SYNC™ rings for precise and dependable 11-speed performance

Fully compatible with all SRAM 1x™ drivetrains

__

USAGE
XC
TR
EN
GR

___

TECHNOLOGIES
X-SYNC™

__

SPECIFICATIONS

COMPATIBILITY—SPEED
11

CHAIN LENGTH
114 links

COLOR—OUTER LINK
Grey

COLOR—INNER LINK
Grey

CHAIN CONNECTOR
PowerLock®

INNER LINK FINISH
Polished

OUTER LINK FINISH
Polished

PIN VARIANT
Solid Pin

PIN TREATMENT
Chrome Hardened

PART WEIGHT
232-273g

__________________________________________________

PG-1130 CASSETTE

AUD RRP $124.95

__

OVERVIEW

The PG-1130 cassette is light, durable and equipped with SRAM’s super wide 11-42t gear range that’s a perfect fit for any ride. Personalize your wide range gearing with one of eight available X-SYNC™ chainrings.

__

SM_NX_Cassette_PG1130_Side_MH

__

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

Super wide gear range—a perfect fit for any ride

Optimized gear steps across entire range

Compatible with non XD™ driver body

Fully compatible with all SRAM 1x™ drivetrains

__

USAGE
XC
TR
EN

__

SPECIFICATIONS

SPEED
11

GEARING
11-42t

COG FINISH
Black

TECHNOLOGY
PG

COG SIZES
11t, 13t, 15t, 17t, 19t, 22t, 25t, 28t, 32t, 36t, 42t

COGS ON CLUSTER
3

PART WEIGHT
538g


SRAM drivetrain groupset price

XX1 –  GXP drivetrain – $2175

X01 – GXP Drivetrain – $1910

X1 – GXP Drivetrain – $1510

GX – GXP Drivetrain – $843

____________________________________________

TECHNOLOGIES

X-HORIZON™
The X-HORIZON™ rear derailleur’s ‘straight parallelogram’ design limits all movement to the horizontal axis, which makes ghost shifting impossible while also reducing shift force. For quicker, more exact shifting, the large upper pulley offset design maintains a constant chain gap across all gears.

DERAILLEUR MOVEMENT LIMITED TO HORIZONTAL AXIS
UPPER PULLEY OFFSET PROVIDES CONSTANT CHAIN GAP

____

X-SYNC™
SRAM X-SYNC™ 1x chain rings provide the highest level of performance and durability. The SRAM X-SYNC™ tall square teeth edges engage the chain earlier than traditional triangle shaped teeth. The sharp and narrow tooth profile, as well as rounded chamfer edges, help manage a deflected chain. To provide the best possible performance in muddy conditions, the X-SYNC™ chainrings have been designed with mud-clearing recesses for the inner chain links and rollers. Engineered in Germany, X-SYNC™ rings are an integral part of the SRAM 1x™ drivetrain.

____

X-ACTUATION™
Developed specifically for SRAM 1x™, X-ACTUATION™ keeps shifting sharp and consistent across the entire cassette.

____

CAGE LOCK™
With CAGE LOCK™ technology in the rear derailleur, wheel removal and installation—as well as chain installation—becomes faster and simpler. Just pushing the cage forward to create slack and lock it into place.

____

ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH™
ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH™ rear derailleurs deliver maximum drivetrain stability—even through the most punishing terrain. With ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH™ technology, derailleur bounce and chain slap are eliminated without sacrificing precision.

____

SPEED METAL™
Full metal, 11-speed indexing keeps shifting crisp and precise with Grip Shift.

____

ROLLING THUNDER™
Three rows of ball bearings provide zero friction or play—reducing the force needed to shift and promoting long-term performance under all weather conditions with Grip Shift.

____

JAWS™
Once the Grip Shift shifter and grip interlock securely, forged aluminum clamps on either end reinforce the assembly by locking tightly to handlebar.

Chaos Can’t Be Beautiful

Behind the bars, there are a lot of things we miss. We submit to the trail ahead and the best kind of tunnel vision as everything outside this rugged autobahn becomes irrelevant. But what if we are missing something? There must be more to the turbulent charge of a bicycle than just flying earth and weightlessness. Where rider and bike play supporting roles in a bigger story of cause and effect.

Take a moment to witness beauty beyond the chaos.

rockshox.com

Fresh Product: Updated Bits From SRAM

SRAM unveil a few updates to their 2016 range, details in the press release below:


 

MONARCH RT3 UPDATES

REFINED PERFORMANCE

Monarch stands for smooth damping in a lightweight chassis, with coil-like performance thanks to its Solo Air spring with DebonAir option. For 2016 Monarch RT3 received some important damper updates, to enhance the shock’s performance and make it perfectly adaptable to each rider’s and ride’s characteristics.

MY15_RS_MN_RT3_Front

NEW COMPRESSION PISTON: MORE CONTROL AND BETTER TRACTION

  • A redesigned piston reduces compression forces at high-speeds. The increased oil flow results in a smoother feeling shock at high shaft speeds, more control and better traction on the trail.

NEW POPPET VALVE: BETTER LOCKOUT FEEL

  • An updated poppet valve design with o-ring and riveted shims create a better seal for a more refined lockout feel.

NEW REBOUND CIRCUIT: INCREASED ADJUSTMENT RANGE

  • Additional beginning-stroke rebound shaft port with dual-taper rebound needle results in increased oil flow for a wider range of adjustment. The rebound range now allows for more precise control over a broader range of riders’ weights.

 

ONELOC

ONE REMOTE TO RULE IT ALL

The new OneLoc remote provides total control over your RockShox fork at your fingertips. The increased leverage at the bar translates in a smoother and easier actuation. Its countless mounting options (left and right, below or above the bar, tall or standard clamp) make it an ideal companion for SRAM’s drivetrain, brakes and RockShox’s Reverb remote.

MY16_OneLoc_Top

  • More leverage at the bar
  • Right/left, above/below mounting options
  • Forks ship with right-above (left-below) remote
  • OneLoc clears a Reverb remote and GripShift in both above and below mounting options.
  • Replaces PushLoc remote

 

MAXLE STEALTH

LIGHT AND NARROW

Who knew we could make a thru axle disappear? The new Maxle Stealth offers a light, low profile alternative to Maxle Lite and Maxle Ultimate.

MY16_RS_Maxle_Stealth

  • New, tooled Maxle option available in 15×100,15×110 and 15×150 sizes.
  • Weight: 37g – Almost 50% weight saving over a standard Maxle Lite
  • Easy installation with an 6mm Allen wrench
  • Available as an upgrade for SID, Reba, Revelation, Bluto and Pike.

 RS-1 27.5 AND NEW COLOuR OPTION

THE REVOLUTION EXPANDS

25 years after the original RS-1, the fork that revolutionized mountain biking, RockShox does it again. A chassis design never seen before, which integrates the fork’s steerer tube, crown and legs into a single carbon mainframe. The all-new Accelerator Damper, which combines incredible small bump performance with an ultra-efficient lockout. And Predictive Steering, a reimagined interface between hub and dropouts which enabled us to create an inverted fork light enough for XC racing and stiff enough for trail riding. For 2015 the RS-1 family grows with the addition of a 27.5 model, and a new Gloss White colour option.

MY15_RS_RS1_GLWHT_BLKRD_SIDE MY15_RS_RS1_GWHT

  • Dedicated 27.5” model with 42mm offset chassis in 100 and 120mm travel options
  • 29” and 27.5” version both get new colour option: Gloss White

SRAM GX – A Drivetrain For The Masses

SRAM GX – Australian RRP highlights:

Cassette XG-1150 10-42 11 speed – $199.95

SRAM Crank GX 1400 GXP 170 Black w 32t X-SYNC Chainring – $279.95

Rear Derailleur GX 1X11-Speed Long Cage Black GX1 – $169.95

GX 11spd trigger shifter – $69.95

GX 11spd twist shifter – $79.95

Bottom bracket – $49.95

Chain X1 – $44.95


SRAM GX

For every bike, there’s a rider. A rider who builds it. A rider who knows it. A rider who’s always ready to take the bike somewhere new. Introducing GX, the drivetrain for people who love to ride without restraint. From beginner to expert, GX delivers personalized gear choices that take you as far and wide as you want to go. Engineered in Germany with 1x and 2x options, SRAM GX brings the power of riding to everyone, everywhere.

SRAM GX 9

GX 1x CRANKSET

The SRAM GX crankset delivers consistent performance every time out. Featuring SRAM’s
X-SYNC tooth profile, the GX crankset is engineered for complete chain control. Each
tooth’s thickness is CNC machined to work seamlessly with the chain’s inner and outer
links. And with five available chainrings (30-32-34-36-38), you can personalize your
gear range to match the way you ride.

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FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • Open Core Technology AL (GX-1400 Crankset)
  • 6000 series AL (GX-1000 Crankset)
  • CNC machined 7075, two-tone anodized X-SYNC chainring (30-32-34-36-38)
  • Bottom bracket configurations: PressFit 30, BB30, GXP, and PressFit GXP
  • Chainring guard option
  • Crank lengths: 175, 170
  • Colors: Black, Red
  • 24 and 30mm options
  • Boost 148 compatible
  • Technologies: X-SYNC
  • Weight: 680g (GX-1400, GXP, 175mm, 32t); 720g (GX-1000, GXP, 175mm, 32t)

GX 1×11 X-HORIZONREAR DERAILLEUR

The SRAM GX X-HORIZON rear derailleur is engineered for smooth, reliable shifting action—from the larger upper pulley offset to the 12-tooth X-SYNC pulley wheels. By eliminating unwanted chain movement, X-HORIZON shifts faster, puts an end to ghost shifting and reduces shift force and chain slap. And with CAGE LOCK technology, wheel removal and installation are easier than ever.

SRAM GX 7 SRAM GX 6 SRAM GX 5

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FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • X-HORIZON design reduces shift force, ghost shifting and chain slap
  • 12-tooth X-SYNC pulley wheels
  • Large upper pulley offset automatically adjusts chain gap
  • Sealed cartridge bearings
  • Aluminum cage
  • Colors: Black, Red
  • Technologies: X-HORIZON, X-ACTUATION, X-SYNC, ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH, CAGE LOCK
  • Weight: 265g

 

GX 11-SPEED TRIGGER SHIFTER

Get sharp, dependable shifting with the SRAM GX X-ACTUATION trigger shifter. Built for precise and swift shifting across our wide range 11-speed cassette, the GX trigger shifter brings championship technology to everyone.

SRAM GX 4

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FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • SRAM 1x X-ACTUATION for precise and dependable 11-speed performance
  • Multi-position mounting
  • MatchMaker  compatible
  • Aluminum pull lever
  • Discrete clamp
  • Colors: Black, Red
  • Technologies: X-ACTUATION, MatchMaker  Integrated
  • Weight: 122g

 

GX 11-SPEED GRIP SHIFT

Designed for the most discerning, performance obsessed riders, new GX 11-speed Grip Shift features lightweight construction and delivers outstanding speed and precision.

__

FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • SRAM 1x™ X-ACTUATION for precise and dependable 11-speed performance
  • Full metal, 11-speed indexing keeps shifting crisp and precise with Grip Shift
  • Three rows of ball bearings provide zero friction or play—reducing the force needed to shift and promoting long-term performance under all weather conditions with Grip Shift
  • Once the Grip Shift shifter and grip interlock securely, forged aluminum clamps on either end reinforce the assembly by locking tightly to handlebar
  • Colors: Black, Red
  • Technologies: X-ACTUATION, SPEED METAL, ROLLING THUNDER, JAWS
  • Weight: 144g

 

XG-1150 FULL PIN CASSETTE

FULL PIN technology uses eleven lightweight, stamped steel cogs held together with 123 high-strength stainless steel pins. The result: a cassette that’s extremely light, durable and equipped with SRAM’s super wide 10-42 gear range that’s a perfect fit for any ride. The open design similar to our X-DOME cassette aids in mud clearance, giving you cleaner shifting performance and longer component life.

SRAM_MTB_GX_Cassette_XG1150_Side_L

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FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • 10-42T range
  • XD driver body compatible
  • Technologies: FULL PIN™, XD™ driver body, JET™
  • Weight: 394g

 

PC-X1 CHAIN

The recommended chain for GX, PC-X1, comes from a long line of dependable, lightweight chains that are built for toughness. Designed with SRAM’s trusted XX1 geometry, the PC-X1 features solid pin construction, 11-speed PowerLock and smooth, efficient shifting that you can count on every time out.

SRAM GX 3

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FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • SRAM 1x specific chain designed with our XX1 geometry
  • Solid pin construction
  • 11-speed POWERLOCK
  • Color: Black/Silver
  • Technologies: X-SYNC, POWERLOCK
  • Weight: 258g (114 links)

 

 

 

SRAM GX 2×11

Retail : August 2015

 

Headline 1: RIDE YOUR WAY

With subhead: FAR AND WIDE

 

Take every ride further with a drivetrain focused on efficiency, durability, and the possibility to go wherever your bike can take you. Introducing GX 2x, simpler than a 3x drivetrain and the widest 2x gear range on the market. Engineered in Germany, GX 2x stands up to every challenge in front of you — from broken pavement to alpine hazards. GX 2x lets you ride as far and wide as your legs will take you.

 

GX 2×11 CRANKSET

The SRAM GX 2x crankset delivers consistent performance every time out. Featuring SRAM’s X-GLIDE chainrings, the GX crankset is engineered for 2x shifting performance. When paired with our wide range 10-42 cassette and GX 2x rear derailleur, GX 2×11 provides the widest range of gears ever offered on a 2x drivetrain.

SRAM_MTB_GX_Crank_1000_2x11sp_36-24t_Side_Red_L

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FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • Open Core Technology AL (GX 1400 Crankset)
  • 6000 series AL (GX 1000 Crankset)
  • X-GLIDE 2×11 shifting technology
  • Chainring option: 36-24
  • Bottom bracket configurations: PressFit 30, BB30, GXP, and PressFit GXP
  • Chainring guard option
  • Crank lengths: 175, 170
  • Colors: Black, Red
  • 24 and 30mm options
  • Boost 148 compatible
  • Technologies: X-GLIDE
  • Weight: 727g (GX-1400, GXP, 175mm); 774g (GX-1000, GXP, 175mm)

 

GX 11-SPEED FRONT DERAILLEUR

The low-profile GX 11-speed front derailleur was designed specifically for SRAM 2×11 X-GLIDE shifting. When paired with our wide range 10-42 cassette and GX 2x rear derailleur, GX 2×11 provides the widest range of gears ever offered on a 2x drivetrain. Offered in a wide variety of clamp-mount and direct-mount options.

__

FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • Wide range 2×11 systems with X-GLIDE front shifting technology
  • High Clamp, Low Clamp, High Direct Mount, Mid Direct Mount, Low Direct Mount
  • Dedicated top and bottom pull
  • Technologies: X-ACTUATION, X-GLIDE
  • Weight: 123-153g

 

GX 2×11 REAR DERAILLEUR

Leveraging the legendary history of SRAM shifting, the GX 2×11 rear derailleur provides incredible shifting speed and precision. X-ACTUATION technology eliminates slop and shifting variation. ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH technology delivers maximum drivetrain stability—even through the most punishing terrain. And with CAGE LOCK technology, wheel removal and installation are easier than ever.

SRAM_MTB_GX_RD_2x11sp_Side_Red_L

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FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • X-ACTUATION for precise and dependable 11-speed performance
  • Focused chassis design for all conditions and usage
  • 10-42 wide range cassette compatible
  • Colors: Black, Red
  • Technologies: X- ACTUATION, ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH, CAGE LOCK
  • Weight: 289g (long cage), 286g (medium cage)

 

GX 2×11 TRIGGER SHIFTERS

Get sharp, dependable shifting with the SRAM GX X-ACTUATION trigger shifters. Built for precise and swift shifting across our wide range 11-speed cassette, the GX trigger shifters bring championship technology to everyone.

__

FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • Dedicated 2-speed and 11-speed trigger shifters
  • X-ACTUATION for precise and dependable 11-speed performance
  • Multi-position mounting
  • Aluminum pull lever
  • MatchMaker  compatible
  • Colors: Black, Red
  • Technologies: X-ACTUATION, MatchMaker  Integrated
  • Weight: 242g (per pair)

 

GX 2×11 GRIP SHIFT

Designed for the most discerning, performance obsessed riders, new GX 2×11 Grip Shift features lightweight construction and delivers outstanding speed and precision.

__

FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • X-ACTUATION for precise and dependable 11-speed performance
  • Full metal, 11-speed indexing keeps shifting crisp and precise with Grip Shift
  • Three rows of ball bearings provide zero friction or play—reducing the force needed to shift and promoting long-term performance under all weather conditions with Grip Shift
  • Once the Grip Shift shifter and grip interlock securely, forged aluminum clamps on either end reinforce the assembly by locking tightly to handlebar
  • Colors: Black, Red
  • Technologies: X-ACTUATION, SPEED METAL, ROLLING THUNDER, JAWS
  • Weight: 286g (per pair)

 

SRAM GX 2×10

GX 2×10 CRANKSET

The SRAM GX 2x crankset delivers consistent performance every time out. Featuring SRAM’s
X-GLIDE chainrings, the GX crankset is engineered for 2x shifting performance. Flawless shifting means you’ll never again compromise your speed and power in unpredictable off-road terrain. No more missed shifts, ever. X-GLIDE puts you in the right gear, right now.

__

FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • 6000 series AL (GX 1000 Crankset)
  • X-GLIDE 2×10  shifting technology
  • Bottom bracket configurations: PressFit 30, BB30, GXP, and PressFit GXP
  • Chainring options: 38-24, 36-22
  • Chainring guard option
  • Crank lengths: 175, 170
  • Color: Black
  • 24 and 30mm options
  • Boost 148 compatible
  • Technologies: X-GLIDE
  • Weight:799g (GXP, 175mm, 36/22)

 

GX 10-SPEED FRONT DERAILLEUR

The low-profile GX 10-speed front derailleur was designed specifically for SRAM X-GLIDE shifting. Flawless shifting means you’ll never again compromise your speed and power in unpredictable off-road terrain. No more missed shifts, ever. X-GLIDE puts you in the right gear, right now.

SRAM_MTB_GX_FD_2x10sp_LC_TopPull_Side_L

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FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • 2×10 systems with X-GLIDE front shifting technology
  • High Clamp, Low Clamp, High Direct Mount, Low Direct Mount, Mid Direct Mount
  • Dedicated top and bottom pull
  • Technologies: X-GLIDE, EXACT ACTUATION
  • Weight:134-161g

 

GX 2×10 REAR DERAILLEUR

Leveraging the legendary history of SRAM shifting, the GX 2×10 rear derailleur provides incredible shifting speed and precision.  EXACT ACTUATION technology eliminates slop and shifting variation. ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH technology delivers maximum drivetrain stability—even through the most punishing terrain. And with CAGE LOCK technology, wheel removal and installation are easier than ever.

__

FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • EXACT ACTUATION for precise and dependable 10-speed performance
  • Cage lengths: Short, Medium and Long
  • Color: Black
  • Technologies: EXACT ACTUATION, DIRECT ROUTE, ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH, CAGE LOCK
  • Weight:302g (long cage with ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH)

 

GX 2×10 TRIGGER SHIFTERS

The GX 2×10 trigger shifters feature an aluminum lever, resulting in minimal weight with maximum durability. Pair the GX 2×10 trigger shifters with the MatchMaker clamp to streamline your handlebar setup. The GX trigger shifters maintain the legacy of X0 shifting with features and technologies optimized for 2×10 and EXACT ACTUATION.

__

FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • Dedicated 2-speed and 10-speed trigger shifters
  • SRAM’s 2×10 EXACT ACTUATION for precise and dependable 10-speed performance
  • Multi-position mounting
  • MatchMaker compatible
  • Aluminum pull lever
  • Color: Black
  • Technologies: EXACT ACTUATION, MatchMaker Compatible
  • Weight: 246g (per pair)

 

2×10 CASSETTES

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PG-1050

  • The PG-1050 cassette benefits from SRAM’s long history and expertise in developing cassettes. With its simple and reliable construction, it is the perfect cassette for the SRAM GX rider.
  • Gear Ratios: 11-32, 12-32, 11-36, 12-36
  • Technologies: PowerGlide II
  • Weight: 299g (11-32T)

__

PG-1030

  • PowerGlide technology provides super-smooth shifting between gears
  • Gear Ratios: 11-32, 11-36
  • Durable nickel chrome finish
  • Technologies: PowerGlide
  • Weight: 395g

Tested: New SRAM Guide Ultimate Brakes

When it comes to the business of slowing you down, it has been a great year for SRAM and their new Guide series of brakes.

They’ve shrugged off the horrendous 1980s-Alfa Romeo-style consistency issues of the Elixir and delivered a brake with power, feel, great adjustability and, very importantly, reliability. You can read our full review of the SRAM Guide RSC brake here. 

But the wheel of progress must roll on, and SRAM have added another layer of glitz to the Guide lineup, brining back the ‘Ultimate’ moniker.

The new Guide Ultimate is more than just a lighter, shinier version of the Guide RSC brake, it boasts a bunch of all new innovations, predominantly at the caliper end.

AM_Guide_Ultimate-Media2-150325-437
New caliper. Lighter, cooler, smoother and easier to bleed.
AM_Guide_Ultimate-Media2-150325-417
An ultimate bike for the new Ultimate brake.

As Nelly once said, “It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes.” While the new Guide Ultimate doesn’t encourage nudity, heat management is a real focus in the brake’s development. This is interesting, as heat is usually the battleground on which Shimano brakes have lead the way (with their Ice-Tech pads and rotors), but in this instance SRAM are going all out in the quest to keep things cool.

New Caliper

While the Ultimate uses the same brake pad as the other Guide brakes, and is still a four-piston design, the new S4 caliper features a longer, wider pad ‘pocket’ which exposes more of the pad to the passing air. The aluminium pistons are new too, with a layer of insulating material at the pad end of the piston, to reduce heat transfer into the fluid/caliper.

SRAM Guide Ultimate 5
The new pistons are aluminium for a more consistent contact with the new moulded rubber seals. But with a composite core, for greater cooling properties.
SRAM Guide Ultimate 6
Four pistons, for modulation and power.

There’s also a new Heat Shield, which is a novel approach to preventing heat transfer; it’s literally an aluminium chip, which lives between the pad and caliper body. SRAM claim it reduces fluid temperatures by up to 20 degrees celsius.

SRAM Guide Ultimate 3
The new heat shield in position.
SRAM Guide Ultimate 4
Simple, but should be effective in shielding the brake fluid from the heat off the pads.
AM_Guide_Ultimate-Media2-150325-441
The new S4 caliper is visibly different, with less material and a larger pad pocket.
AM_Guide_Ultimate-Media2-150325-445
The more air that can flow around the brake pads, the cooler your brakes will operate. Heat is your enemy.

AM_Guide_Ultimate-Media2-150325-380

New Bleed process

Bleeding an Avid brake was usually enough to make you want to squirt the whole syringe of brake fluid into your eyes, so the new bleeding system will bring a smile to mechanics’ faces. The Bleeding Edge (very clever, SRAM marketing people) system ditches the fiddly screw-in fittings that have been part of the Avid/SRAM bleed system for years. Instead, the bleed fittings now push/clip into place, for far cleaner connection which should reduce the instance of fluid loss or air creeping in. The bleed path for fluid within the caliper has been changed too, to make it easier to flush out any pesky air bubbles.

SRAM Guide Ultimate 2
The bleed hose clicks into the port with one clean action, rather than removing a little screw and threading it in like the current brakes.
SRAM Guide Ultimate 1
No loss of fluid no chance of letting air in or fluid out. Simple, and so clever!

SRAM haven’t made any drastic changes to the lever, aside from adding a fancy carbon lever blade which was only available on some high end bikes, so you still get reach and pad contact adjustment. The rotors, however, are different to a standard Guide – the Centreline X rotors are a two-piece design, with the stainless steel braking track riveted to an aluminium carrier. This saves a few grams, and looks bad ass.

MY16_SR_Rotor_CLX_180

AM_Guide_Ultimate-Media2-150325-431
Contact Point adjustment is easy, and effective in setting up the brake levers just right, to your taste.
AM_Guide_Ultimate-Media2-150325-434
Reach adjustment remain, for custom setup.

AM_Guide_Ultimate-Media2-150325-424

Finally, titanium hardware is employed throughout, to help keep the weights down and give you bragging rights. Complete weights are impressively low, at just 360g for a front brake with a 160mm rotor, including all hardware.


It was on the dreamy trails of Rotorua when we first squeezed our fingers around these new brakes, fitted to a brand new Santa Cruz Nomad, we set out to garner an impression on the trail.

The first thing we all noticed was the silky smooth lever feel, it’s not day and night between the current Guide range, but it sure does feel that little bit nicer in the hands. Most of the new performance features of the S4 caliper are in aid of durability, and cooling so time will tell.

AM_Guide_Ultimate-Media2-150325-348
Testing the air brake, on Corridor Trail, Rotorua.

Braking power also felt much the same, we didn’t really get the chance to ride the Ultimates in conditions which will really put their cool-as-a-cucumber technologies to the test yet (and our home trails certainly lack the vertical to do s0), but perhaps we’ll have to take them to somewhere like Mt Buller, where we can really cook them!

There was zero drag, and the pistons retreated back into the caliper with a snappy action.

We look forward to giving them a bleed, that may sound stupid but the new ‘loss-less’ style of bleed port will make the process super quick, and very tidy.

AM_Guide_Ultimate-Media2-150325-277
One of Rotorua’s finest new trails, K2.
AM_Guide_Ultimate-Media2-150325-167
Hard on the brakes on K2.

That’s all for now, we can expect these hot stoppers to be in stock around July/August, but for now keep squeezing your current brakes until the SRAM Ultimates arrive.

RockShox 2016. New Graphics, Boost and 27.5+ Standard Compatibilty

RockShox release new coloured shocks and forks from their 2016 lineup, and add Boost compatible forks. FOX Suspension released news of their support behind the Boost and 27.5+ recently too, it’s happening!


 

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 4.22.06 pm

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 4.57.48 pmScreen Shot 2015-03-18 at 4.56.36 pm
MY14_RS_VIVID_AIR_R2C

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 4.30.39 pmWHY BOOST?

• Many still view the 29-inch wheel as the weak link in aggressive trail and enduro riding.

• Boost uses a wider spacing for the hub’s flanges (5mm per side on front hub, 3mm per side on rear hub).

• The wider flange spacing allows a stronger spoke-bracing angle resulting in a stiffer wheel.

• A 29-inch Boost rear wheel is as stiff as a 27.5-inch rear wheel on an existing 142-mm hub with the same rim and spoke.

SRAM Backs New Boost 148 Standards

It looks like 2016 will be a year filled yet again with news of bike and component manufactures keeping up with new standards. SRAM have announced complete support of the Boost system. We feel that the dust has just settled with the wheel size debates. So what is Boost all about?

With the arrival of Boost spec components, we will now see wider spaced hubs on bikes to increase stiffness in the wheels. Trek initiated the whole movement this year with their Remedy 29er, using a 148mm wide rear hub on the bike (current standard is 142mm wide). Wider flanges on hubs will give the spokes a stronger stance, hence a stiffer wheel.

It’s said that a 29″ wheel with Boost 148 is just as stiff as a 27.5″ wheel.

To accommodate for a wider rear hub, the chain line is shifted outwards 3mm via a new chainring.

And up front a new hub spacing rounds out the Boost system. 10mm wider, using a new fork and hub to achieve a stiffer wheel.

Our thoughts? If this is in all aid of a stiffer 29er wheel, and the ability to run wider tyres, could this have been achieved any other way? Let’s see how it all pans out, if SRAM are backing the new standard that Trek seem to have let the licence available to all, maybe the improvements will be worth the hassle and confusion that comes along with the addition of a new standard.

Read on to hear SRAM’s take.


For a long time now, SRAM had been looking for a way to open up more room around the crankset for frame designers to further optimise their bikes.

SRAM 1x™ was the first step in this direction by eliminating the need for a front derailleur. However, SRAM also had hopes to move the chain line outboard as well. It wasn’t until an OE came to us with a similar goal that we were able to realise this hope.

SRAM_MTB_X0_Hub_Rear_Red_print copy
Boost 148 means wider spaced hubs and chainrings.
Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 3.17.50 pm
Boost spec means the chain line shifts out 3mm.

Boost 148 compatible cranks provide increased clearance, which allows more options for tire choice and rear-end designs.

SRAM_MTB_XX1_Crankset_DM_ChainRing_Side_Red_MH
Cranks remain primarily the same, it’s the chainring that is moved 3mm out to give the chain a straighter path to the cassette which will sit further outboard.

Boost is a new wheel and drivetrain specification that provides:

  • Increased wheel stiffness and durability
  • Better riding efficiency and bike handling precision
  • Improved frame geometry with shorter chain stays
  • Wider and stiffer suspension pivots
  • Wider range of chainring options
  • More clearance for bigger tires

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 2.47.00 pm

The Boost system uses a front hub that is 10mm wider than a 100mm design

Each flange is 5mm farther from centre. The greater flange offset allows a stronger spoke-bracing angle resulting in a stiffer wheel.

Given the same rim and spoke spec, a 29” wheel built with a 15×110 Boost hub becomes as stiff as a 26″ wheel built with a standard 15×100 hub.

ROCKSHOX WILL OFFER BOOST 110 COMPATIBLE MODELS OF ITS MOST POPULAR FORKS:

• Available option for MY16 SID, REBA, PIKE

• All 29″ forks with Boost 110 compatibility also fit 27.5″ plus (27.5″ x 3.0 +tires)Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 2.46.48 pm

REAR WHEELS

Much more than a new, wider axle standard, the Boost system uses a rear hub that is 6mm wider than a 142mm design—each flange is 3mm farther from centre.

The greater flange offset allows a stronger spoke bracing angle resulting in a stiffer wheel. Given the same rim and spoke spec, a 29″ Boost wheel will have the same stiffness as a 27.5″ wheel built on a 142mm hub.

Boost technology is available in ROAM 40 wheels

as well as X0 and MTH 700 Series hubs

AVAILABLE BOOST WHEELS

• ROAM 40 (27.5″, 29″)

AVAILABLE BOOST HUBS

• X0

• MTH 746/716

Behind The Scenes, Testing New SRAM Wheels With Jerome Clementz

Jon Cancellier has managed the BlackBox Program for the past 7 seasons. This includes choosing the athletes, working with them on custom projects, as well as being at the races to make sure that they have everything they need. An athlete on the SRAM BlackBox Program has access to all the engineering horsepower that we have to offer and Jon is the link between racer and company. Earlier this year he travelled to Finale Ligure, Italy with 2013 Enduro World Series Champion Jerome Clementz to test wheels. 

We asked Jon some questions about the test, and what it meant for Jerome as he put in his first miles on SRAM wheels.

Explain the test with Jerome.
JC:
The goal of the test was to give Jerome time on three models of SRAM wheels and let him evaluate the benefits of each. We chose one track and had him ride it twice for each set of wheels. The tires, tire pressure and rotors were carried over each run to eliminate as many variables as possible. While the runs were not timed, Jerome tried to carry the same pace each run to keep his feedback similar.

Jerome Clementz 7

Jerome Clementz 20

How often does a test like this happen?
JC:
We tend to test products with athletes at the beginning of the year to set baselines for the upcoming season. If we are working on something new that we are looking to get athlete feedback on, it can happen as soon as we have a ridable prototype. As wheels are a relatively new area for SRAM as well as the BlackBox Program, this is only the second time we have conducted this kind of wheel test with an athlete. The first was with Nico Vouilloz last year. As we create new wheels or have new ideas we want to test, I see this being a very valuable tool for our development process.

What can a test like this potentially yield for both the athlete and SRAM?
JC: Testing in this way allows the wheels to be broken down to their unique parts, each being a different variable. We can then pick apart the results and see which variable created the feeling the rider is after. For Jerome, he was able to feel the differences between rim width, rim material as well as spoke thickness. This way he can feel how one variable can affect the ride and we as a company can learn more about how all the wheel components add up as we strive to make the fastest wheels.

What did Jerome learn during the test?
JC: Jerome discovered all three wheels to be winners. He found that all three offered him such strong unique characteristics that he couldn’t put one ahead of the others. He was able to conclude that the hugely varying terrain of the EWS will allow each of these wheel’s characteristics to shine at key races throughout the season. Knowing that he has three wheels that he can confidently choose between will give him a competitive advantage every weekend as he looks to regain the Enduro World Series title.

Jerome Clementz 19

Jerome Clementz 11

So based on that conclusion, what will Jerome’s wheel choice strategy be?
JC: He will choose the wheel that best suits the conditions and terrain he is faced with on a certain weekend. For example, he found the wider rim of the Rail 50 to add more volume to the tire, so this might be his first choice on a weekend where the terrain is very rough. Jerome found the carbon rim on Roam 60 to be very responsive. This is especially beneficial for tracks that demand quick acceleration, like those found at last year’s EWS round in Scotland. Roam 50 offered him a strong balance of all of these variables and will be a great option most weekends of the year.

Beyond wheels, did you learn anything else?
JC: As you would expect from an Enduro World Series Champion, Jerome is meticulous about his setup and is very in tune with what he expects from his bike. He can feel very small changes in product that can mean big differences for both him on the bike and for us as we develop our wheels.

TESTED:
ROAM AND RAIL WHEELS

 

 

ROAM 60

SRAM_MTB_ROAM60_27.5in_FrontWheel_Dynamic_md

THE EXTRA MILE. AND BEYOND.

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FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • Available in all 3 wheel sizes: 26, 27.5 and 29″
  • CARBON TUNED™ unidirectional and woven carbon fiber, asymmetrical rim profile
  • Profile: 21mm inside, 28mm outside rim width
  • UST compatible
  • Available with 11-speed XD™ driver body, 10- or 9-speed driver body
  • Aluminum nipples with nylon lock ring
  • SOLO SPOKE™ design with double butted, stiff stainless steel spokes
  • Durable hub internals with Star Ratchet 36-tooth system
  • SIDE SWAP™ easy conversion to all axle types
  • DOUBLE-DECKER™ hub shell design
  • Technologies: CARBON TUNED™, TAPER CORE™, SOLO SPOKE™, SIDE SWAP™, DOUBLE-DECKER™, STAR RATCHET™, UST
  • Weight: 1515g (26″), 1570g (27.5″), 1650g (29″)
    Wheel pair in lightest configuration

 

ROAM 50

SRAM_MTB_ROAM50_27.5in_FrontWheel_Dynamic_md

TRAIL BLAZER

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FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • Available in all 3 wheel sizes: 26, 27.5 and 29″
  • Lightweight aluminum rim with asymmetrical TAPER CORE™ profile
  • Profile: 21mm inside, 25mm outside rim width
  • UST compatible
  • Available with 11-speed XD™ driver body, 10- or 9-speed driver body
  • Aluminum nipples with nylon lock ring
  • SOLO SPOKE™ design with double butted, lightweight steel spokes
  • Durable hub internals with Star Ratchet system
  • SIDE SWAP™ easy conversion to all axle types
  • DOUBLE-DECKER™ hub shell design
  • Technologies: TAPER CORE™, SOLO SPOKE™, SIDE SWAP™, DOUBLE-DECKER™, STAR RATCHET™, UST, PREDICTIVE STEERING™ for 29”
  • Weight: 1475g (26″), 1530g (27.5″), 1610g (29″)
    Wheel pair in lightest configuration

 

RAIL 50

SRAM_MTB_RAIL50_27.5in_FrontWheel_Dynamic_md

AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOUR

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FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • Available in all 3 wheel sizes: 26, 27.5 and 29″
  • Lightweight aluminum rim with asymmetrical TAPER CORE™ profile
  • Profile: 23c, 28mm outside rim width
  • UST compatible
  • Available with 11-speed XD™ driver body, 10- or 9-speed driver body
  • Aluminum nipples with nylon lock ring
  • SOLO SPOKE™ design with double butted, stiff steel spokes
  • Durable hub internals with Star Ratchet system
  • SIDE SWAP™ easy conversion to all axle types
  • DOUBLE-DECKER™ hub shell design
  • Technologies: TAPER CORE™, SOLO SPOKE™, SIDE SWAP™, DOUBLE-DECKER™, STAR RATCHET™, UST
  • Weight: 1690g (26″), 1750g (27.5″), 1830g (29″)
    Wheel pair in lightest configuration

SRAM MTB WHEELS 2015 ATHLETE ROSTER 

Adam Craig (USA)

Adrien Dailly (FRA)

Alex Marin (ESP)

Alban Lakata (AUT)

Anka Martin (RSA)

Angie Hohenwarter (AUT)

Blake Baggett (USA)

Brandon Semenuk (CAN)

Bryan Regnier (FRA)

Carl Decker (USA)

Dave Weins (USA)

Guillaume Cauvin (FRA)

Jan Skarnitzl (CZE)

Jana Czeczinkarova (CZE)

Jeff Kerkove (USA)

Jeremiah Bishop (USA)

Jerome Clementz

Josh Carlson (AUS)

Juan Pablo Montoya (COL)

Kelli Emmett (USA)

Kristian Hynek (CZE)

Liv Ladies AllRide – Lindsey Voreis (USA)

Luca Shaw (USA)

Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (COL)

Martin Stosek (CZE)

Nate Hills (USA)

Nathan Riddle (USA)

Nicolas Vouilloz (FRA)

Rachel Throop (USA)

Pauline Dieffenthaler

Rebecca Rusch (USA)

Robert Mennen(GER)

Russell Finsterwald (USA)

Sally Bigham (GBR)

Sarah Leishman (CAN)

Steffie Teltscher (GER)

Tanja Zakelj (SLO)

Walker Shaw (USA)

Yoann Barelli (FRA)

Yuki Saito (USA)

New SRAM XX1 Black and Accessory Products

The 1x drivetrain that launched an XC World Championship, SRAM XX1 was built to be simpler, lighter and more durable than any other. Calibrated to work together, SRAM XX1 components deliver remarkable chain control and rapid, high-precision shifting. Which gives serious riders exactly the edge they need. Now available in black. UNSTOPPABLE.

XX1 BLACK

  • XX1 CRANKSET WITH X-SYNC
    DIRECT MOUNT CHAIN RING
  • XX1 X-HORIZON REAR DERAILLEUR
  • XX1 TRIGGER SHIFTER
  • XG-1199 X-DOME CASSETTE
  • XD DRIVER BODY
  • PC-XX1 CHAIN

SRAM_MTB_XX1_RD_Side_Black_M

 

 

HIGH DIRECT MOUNT FRONT DERAILLEUR COVER

As mountain bikers make the move to SRAM 1x, they’re ditching their front derailleurs for simpler shifting, lighter weight and a more durable drivetrain. But with high direct mount frames, riders are left with an unnecessary mounting surface. SRAM turns this into a statement with the new SRAM 1x Badge—a branded cover with a bold design tying the rider to the SRAM 1x revolution.

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The SRAM 1x Badge is a small, CNC aluminum cover for mountain bikers who decide to eliminate their front derailleur in favor of SRAM 1x. 

CARBON CRANK BOOT

SRAM_MTB_CrankArm_Boots_M

SRAM’s cranks are strong and tough, ready for any kind of ride. So it’s inevitable that pedal strikes and debris will chip away at the end of the crank. SRAM’s Carbon Crank Boot is an upgrade that combats the wear and tear that comes with hard riding. The boot protects the crank from surface damage and keeps the rider’s style perfectly in tact.

FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • Injection molded plastic crank protection
  • Color: Black
  • Perfect way to protect your carbon crank investment from scratches and dents from pedal strikes

 

Fresh Product: New SRAM Direct Mount Chainrings Offer Greater Gear Range

A DIRECT MOUNT UPGRADE WITH A RANGE OF GEAR OPTIONS FOR EVERY STYLE OF RIDING: 26T – 40T

Make SRAM 1x even better with the simplicity of the new SRAM X-SYNC Direct Mount chain ring. Engineered in Germany, the new Direct Mount rings bring lighter weight and greater simplicity to XX1, X01 and X1-1400 cranksets. SRAM’s Direct Mount rings give riders the perfect opportunity for a serious upgrade.

SRAM_MTB_DM_ChainRing_Side_M

CRANK OPTIONS
After market cranksets ship with a 32T X-SYNC Direct Mount chain ring.

  • XX1
  • X01
  • X1 1400 compatible

FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • Fully CNC AL rings
  • X-SYNC technology
  • Lighter weight than spider version (~25-50g depending on size)
  • Sizes: 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40
  • Weights: GXP – 61g (26T), 66g (28T), 68g (30T), 71g (32T), 76g (34T), 91g (36T), 101g (38T), 119g (40T).
    BB30 – 52g (26T), 58g (28T), 61g (30T), 66g (32T), 71g (34T), 82g (36T), 94g (38T), 106g (40T).

SRAM_MTB_X01_Crank_DM_ChainRing_Side_M SRAM_MTB_XX1_Crank_DM_ChainRing_Side_M SRAM_MTB_X1_Crank_DM_ChainRing_Side_M

Available December: 30, 32, 34

Available April: 26, 28, 36, 38, 40

Rings will be for all sizes – $129.95.

XX1 – all $114.95

X01 – 30, 32 and 34t – $89.95

X01 – 36 and 38t – $99.95

X-SYNC

  • SRAM X-SYNC 1x chain rings provide the highest level of performance and durability in the market
  • The SRAM X-SYNC tall square teeth edges engage the chain earlier than traditional triangle shaped teeth
  • The sharp and narrow tooth profile, as well as rounded chamfer edges, help manage a deflected chain
  • To provide the best possible performance in muddy conditions, the X-SYNC chain rings have been designed with mud-clearing recesses for the inner chain links and rollers
  • Engineered in Germany, X-SYNC rings are an integral part of the SRAM 1x drivetrain. Accept no imitation.

Mr Consistent: SRAM Guide RSC Brakes Review

There’s an old joke that goes something like this: “You build a bridge, does anyone remember you as John the Bridge Builder? You save a forest, does anyone remember you as John the Conservationist? You teach a child to read, does anyone remember you as John the Educator? ….But you f#%k just one goat and…”

The point being, people tend to remember the goats you screw, not the good deeds you do. And in the case of Avid brakes, unfortunately a few goats got screwed.


SRAM Guide RSC brake 5

Yes, countless sets of Avid Elixir brakes did, and continue to, work flawlessly, but there were some duds along the way and SRAM’s reputation with brakes definitely ended up a little tarnished. But now they’re looking to put things right, with the brand new SRAM Guide series of brakes, which were launched this year and have already found considerable spec on production bikes. These brakes have a wide appeal – from trail, through to Enduro and downhill – with multiple price points targeted too. There are three models of Guide brakes available (the basic Guide R, the Guide RS and Guide RSC), and since receiving these brakes in August (read our first impressions here) we’ve been trialling the RSC version across two different bikes – a Norco Range and Trek Fuel EX.

SRAM Guide RSC brake 2
The neat contact point adjuster is very effective.

The Guide brakes are a radical departure from the Elixir design (at least in the lever – the four-piston caliper is actually identical to the Elixir Trail brake). Gone is the Taperbore master cylinder design, replaced with a more conventional reservoir design that is reminiscent of the original Avid Juicy. The reach adjustment is easily accessible on the front of the lever blade, and in RSC brake, there’s contact point adjustment too, via a spinny dial on the lever body.

SRAM Guide RSC brake 9
On the RSC model, the lever pivot uses a sealed cartridge bearing.

In the the RS and RSC models, the Guide brakes also feature a new master piston actuation system called Swing-Link; the lever blade drives a small cam/link that in turn pushes the master piston. This system allows the for a variable rate of leverage throughout the lever stroke, moving the caliper’s four piston quickly at the outset of the stroke (to engage with the rotor nice and fast), then more slowly deeper in the stroke for better modulation. Unfortunately the lower-priced Guide R misses out on the Swing-Link doodad.

SRAM Guide RSC brake 10
The small reach adjustment dial is far easier to access than on earlier SRAM brakes. Note how the Match Maker clamp keeps the handlebar clean.

If the Swing-Link system sounds a little like Shimano’s Servo-Wave system, it’s because the principle is much the same. In fact, the lever feel is very similar to that of a Shimano SLX or XT brake, with that same reassuringly solid engagement where you can really feel the pads hit the rotor firmly. It’s very confidence-inspiring feeling with no uncertainty about when the power is going to come on, and more importantly, that feeling has remained completely consistent throughout our testing.

In every area, the Guide brakes are an improvement over the Elixirs. Bleeding the Guides is fast and easy with a dual syringe system, and even if you do a slightly shonky job (as we did when rushing out the door for our first ride on them), any air bubbles seem to migrate their way harmlessly up to the lever reservoir where they stay put. The seemingly random appearance and disappearance of air in the system was a nightmare with Elixirs, so it’s fantastic this seems to have been sorted.

SRAM Guide RSC brake 1
The Guide brakes use the same four-piston caliper as the Avid Trail series brakes, with its neat adjustable banjo fitting.

Getting the brakes positioned and operating how you’d like them is simple too; the reach adjuster isn’t as slick as the rest of the brake but it works perfectly. The contact point adjuster is a real highlight – it allows for really precise adjustment, so you can match the levers up perfectly.

SRAM Guide RSC brake 8
SRAM’s new Centreline rotors are quiet in the dry, but you’re not going to be sneaking up on anyone in the wet.

Of course, power is excellent, as you’d expect from the big four-piston caliper, and it’s easy to modulate too. The new Centreline rotors are significantly quieter than the old Elixir rotors in the dry, but get them wet and you’ll be getting noise complaints from the other side of the state, on a wet ride they howl like two cats fighting on hot summer night. As the caliper and brake pads are unchanged from the Elixir Trails, the pad life should be excellent, and we’ve had a number of miserable, grimy rides without any significant wear to date.

For the first time in a few years, we’re excited about SRAM’s brakes once again. Our confidence in their stoppers has returned, and that is kinda reassuring when you’re grabbing a fistful of brake at 45km/h. Bravo!

 

 

Always Summer Somewhere: Riding Craigieburn and Nelson, NZ

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Picture yourself: pinned, silently drifting, surfing and jumping along some of the finest singletrack you have ever touched. The only audible sounds are of beech leaves heaving off pristine trail as tires smash its corners, take-offs and straight-shots. The humidity hanging in the air from the nearby Tasman Sea blows off your face, shoulders and hands as if it had never existed at all. This is perfection. This is New Zealand.

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3_craigieburn_wakeup_diptic

After a few days of crushing hot laps in the Queenstown Bike Park, our crew stuffed itself aboard the HouseMartin van and a relic we’d picked up from a local rental outfit in town. Our rig read 350,000 kilometers on the odometer and was the third and final installment of vehicles we “tested” before leaving town. New Zealand is such a massive hub for backpackers and long-haul travellers that we couldn’t help but imagine the tales our pewter 10 passenger van, bikes in tow, had to tell under its remarkably intact exterior. Manual transmission, right hand drive, questionable high-speed shudders and all, old reliable “kept ‘er pinned” throughout our journey; up and down shuttle roads, along the highways of New Zealand’s south island and all the way to the “top” (of the island) to Nelson. This van was a clear winner – and proved to be so as we watched Anka and Sven battle with periodic stops to pump a perpetually slow leaking tire of the HouseMartin van on our way up north.

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We arrived in our quaint accommodations in the Craigieburn Range after driving nearly 7 hours past countless mind-blowing vistas. The plan was to ride up to the legendary Craigieburn Ski Field in the morning and to the descent of the adjacent Mt. Cheesman, about 16km down the road, in the afternoon. The crack of dawn came early and we all mobilized for what we knew would be a big day. The pedal up to Craigieburn, via the Craigieburn Valley Ski Field Road, proved to be reasonable, and everyone chatted and threw around jokes on the way up. The 7-kilometer ascent toured us past Craigieburn’s winter accommodations and ticket windows, complete with “tow prices” ($50/day NZ for club members), all left in solitude to sleep for the summer. When we arrived at the top of our climb, the forest canopy parted and we were met with the panorama of an open scree-filled alpine bowl, complete with dozens of avalanche start zones and a couple of precariously placed tow lifts down the center of the terrain. Sven pointed out our route of travel: a skinny looking piece of benched singletrack that meandered along the alpine bowl in and out of forested areas and back into the heart of the valley we had just climbed out of.

6_craigieburn_tyler

The ride down from Craigieburn was everything a person with a bike could ask for. Technical, rocky traverses coupled with rooty sections that could be blasted over. New Zealand is a country so small, half of it could be crossed in 7 hours by our old-timer van, yet it felt so enormous that the terrain we encountered at each stop was so different from the day before it felt like another planet entirely. We were told that this descent takes most riders about a half an hour to ride in full at a reasonable pace, and it was clear that the pedal we did to get here would have been worth doing over and over again, had there been the time we needed. It was time to move on to Mount Cheesman.

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8_cheeseman_waiting

By the time our van chugged itself to the drop-off spot along the Mt Cheesman Ski Field Road, the sun was in the process of shutting down for the evening. We stood atop a view unlike anything we’d seen yet in New Zealand, and we took the time to appreciate the place where we stood. Once riding, we dropped into a few hundred meters of incredible alpine singletrack through tussock grasses, jumps and corners. We continued on to “Ride The Line” just as we saw the sun drop behind the mountain in our peripheral. The dimly lit trail ahead of us dropped virtually straight down the fall line and through the haunting-looking vegetation of the mountain beech (or “tawhairauriki” in Maori) forest we were in. When we weren’t hanging on through the chutes of Ride the Line with full trust our brakes, we were making pointed attempts to open up and look for speed in the places where it felt like we could get away with it. As the group spread out, we could hear each other yelling and shouting with disbelief and utter elation. It was hard to imagine that we could have stepped up the excellence of the terrain we rode earlier that day, but we were getting used to being surprised.

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We travelled north and then west along the West Coast Road in the dark; stopping only to drink beer and eat sandwiches sourced by Anka and Sven in a late night café…visit…in Arthur’s Pass. Canterbury was behind us and the West Coast region crept into our senses: the humidity in the air and the scent of the nearby beaches of the Tasman felt overpowering when we arrived late at night in the small town of Punakaiki. The next morning reared its head with the brightest sun and we found ourselves in cabins nestled within a jungle.
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A short visit to Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks and a wicked refuel session at a local café put us back on the road as the HouseMartin van’s tire became more beleaguered; we were able to take more frequent photo opportunities while the floor pump was put back to work. State highway 6 delivered us north and then east to Nelson, and the 5-hour drive gave us all a chance to relax, share a few more tall stories and check out the views out the window.

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Nelson was more than fit to be the final destination for our adventure. We settled into a house perched high on the hill overlooking Nelson and the Tasman coast. Duncan made a single attempt to run along the 14% (and higher) gradient roads that accessed where we were and the sense of newness and excitement over things yet unseen hit our crew once again. As a small port city, Nelson has an international feel that so many towns around the world are missing. Its streets are lined with amazing restaurants, bars and cafes and it has the downtown feel of a tiny, cultured metropolis.

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HouseMartin got the vans and the arrangements in order to shuttle us all up to a local trail on top of Fringed Hill outside of (and overlooking) town the day after we arrived. This is one of Anka’s favorite “after work” rides, and while the challenge of getting to the actual trailhead was something we hadn’t yet experienced while in New Zealand, we were met with the usual stand-out singletrack we had grown accustomed to being introduced to. It was such a contrast from the terrain we’d seen in Queenstown and in Craigieburn, though: this trail had an older forest and gnarled roots everywhere. As Anka and Sven celebrated being back on their local trails, the rest of us awkwardly adjusted to riding over inconsistent roots and rocks and ups and downs; some of us met with the ground more than once, but still found a way to appreciate what this trail had to offer all the way to the Matai Valley.

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It was our final day in Nelson and HouseMartin chose to lead us out with a bang by booking a helicopter to access a trail that would otherwise take a few hours to get to by bike in the Richmond Mountain Ranges. We drove northeast out of Nelson and into the mountains again, along a dirt road and we parked at our “landing zone” in a quiet little campground along a river. This is also where we would end our day. As our pilot skillfully flew our group over a couple of trips to our starting point, we had the opportunity to experience the vastness of this region in New Zealand, bordering between the Marlborough and Nelson regions of the country, from above. As we waved goodbye to the heli, we all sprinted into the unknown of the trail ahead of us with an anticipation that had been fed by the immaculate network of trails we’d seen thus far. This…this was even better.

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The first few kilometers of the trail were high speed, benched and wide, with deep beech leaves spread everywhere. We were teased initially with this descent, as we soon began onto rolling climbs that graduated to full hike-a-bike terrain within a short distance. A short, but significant, burst of climbing landed us to “the top” of the trail according to Sven and Anka. We stopped for lunch and took for granted what we were about to ride. We were partially covered by forest canopy at this point and we sat along rocky outcroppings. It was hard to tell what we were about to ride. The singletrack further on was open and ripping, including root jumps and naturally bermed corners throughout. The beech leaves lay in piles along the trail and robbed us of just enough grip to fear the drifts we were getting into just as tires would regain forward traction to carry on. This was pure bliss.

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Our ride out on that final day sent us along a rolling 45-minute traverse to land us back to the old pewter relic and to a thoughtfully assembled BBQ, courtesy of HouseMartin. We regaled stories of our day – our near misses, triumphs and laughs. There was a sense, also, that we were all about to lose something, despite everything we had gained. This had been a perfect adventure through the Otago, Canterbury, West Coast, Nelson and Marlborough regions of New Zealand. We were all healthy, happy and had finished our week long affair with a fundamental appreciation of the absolute splendor of the country. It was cold and snowy in North America. Wait…why were we leaving again? We had barely scratched the surface of what New Zealand has to offer as a mountain biking destination. Sven and Anka of HouseMartin had meticulously designed a trip that brought us to as many heavy-hitting trails as we could access in a limited period of time. When it came time to say goodbye to our favorite South African buddies, we all felt a sense of appreciation and simultaneous sadness for having seen so little, while managing to cover so much ground. We would be back, and next time for longer; there was no doubt in anyone’s mind. The question was…could it come soon enough?

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Flow’s First Bite: Polygon Collosus N9

You ain’t seen curves until you’ve taken a good look at the new carbon monster from Polygon, the Collosus N9. As ridden by the strong Hutchinson UR team, this 27.5″ wheeled 160mm travel bike with the new FS3 floating suspension design is a seriously trippy looking machine, and it’s all ours for a little while for review.

Polygon bikes from Indonesia are growing rapidly into the higher end of the range here in Oz, with an effective online consumer-direct purchasing model from Bicycles Online, the impressive value and ease of availability of their huge range is a real standout feature. Sure, value is a good thing but most important importantly how do the high end bikes ride? We’ll find out soon enough, but to begin we deliver our first impressions in our Flow’s First Bite.

This is the same bike that Kiwi mad shredder, Jamie Nicoll won the mighty Trans Savoie big mountain enduro on, not a bad reference to begin with at all!

From Polygon so far we’ve reviewed their 2014 downhill bike and a budget dual suspension rig.

Tested: Polygon Collosus DHX 

Tested: Polygon Recon 4 

Polygon Collosus 6
If Batman was Indonesian, and rode mountain bikes, he’d surely choose the N9 to match his bad ass style.

To satisfy the needs of the Hutchinson UR enduro team as they take on the Enduro World Series, Polygon have come up with a seriously burly and hardy bike with many of the vital areas for serious shredding covered off; relaxed angles, a short rear end, meaty tyres and a wide and roomy cockpit. Just looking at the numbers, the N9 looks to err on the side of an agile long legged trail bike rather than a big steam roller, with its fairly sharp 66.5 degree head angle and a tight 431mm chain stay.

What makes the N9 appear to be so unique is the long and curvy seat stays and myriad of wild carbon shapes. Typically when you have long sections of carbon like we see here, there is the risk of unwanted lateral flex, but our first impressions when riding just around the block exhibit nothing to be worried about at all, it is solid. Looking down on the frame the crazy shapes of glisten and shine as they curve and weave all over the place, and closer inspections reveal some highly intricate graphics and very smart detail touches making this bike one of the most striking to ever grace our presence.

Polygon Collosus 25

 

Spec wise, Polygon have got it spot on with the N9, a mixture of SRAM, Shimano, e*thirteen, Spank and RockShox deck out this high end ride. A SRAM 11 speed single ring drivetrain and Shimano XT brakes represent what we believe is the best of both worlds from the two main players in the mountain bike game. The XT brakes are as tough, powerful and reliable as they come, and we have never found the limits of SRAM XX1 on any style of bike.

Flow fave’s the Schwalbe Hans Dampf tyres find their way onto the N9, with a smaller casing one on the back wheel to keep weight down and the lower profile tyre helps the N9 to achieve such a short rear chain stay length as tyre clearance looks quiet tight. Mounted to  e*thirteen wheels with one of the loudest freehubs in existence, the wheels are sure to be up to serious abuse.

The lustrous gold coloured Kashima FOX Float X rear shock is sandwiched between two opposing aluminium linkages which compress it from both ends. The lower link is of the ‘floating’ type to give the rear wheel the Polygon engineers a specific axle path as it motions through its suspension range. A variation of the popular design seen in major brands like Santa Cruz and Giant, what makes the N9 different is the way the top shock mount also pivots, compressing the shock from the top. The FOX Float X CTD shock has three modes of compression adjustment via the blue lever on the drive side.

Whoa swoopy!
Whoa swoopy!

Polygon Collosus 8

There is no geometry or travel adjustment options, or any provisions for a water bottle on the bike, but that just gives us the opportunity to wear a brightly coloured hydration bag that matches our gloves in true enduro fashion.

So, off we go to the put the N9 through its paces, keep an eye out for our full review soon.

 

RockShox Enduro Challenge Powered By SRAM – Australian Dates Announced

Event Management Solutions Australia, Australia’s leading event promoters of the hugely successful SEQ Gravity Enduro Series is taking their Enduro format on a road trip this February. Starting in Mt Buller on February 1 the ROCKSHOX ENDURO CHALLENGE POWERED BY SRAM will see riders tackling a challenging series of stages with a combination of self powered and assisted liaison stages

Taking on some of the best trails that the Mt Buller resort has to offer with a minimum of 5 different competitive stages, both the technical skill and physical endurance will be tested. With the addition of live music at the finish and a full day of practice on the Saturday, it will be a full weekend of Enduro riding.

Five weeks later will see riders head to Queensland to take on the best that Toowoomba has to offer on Sunday March 8. In the backyard of EWS king pin Jared Graves, participants will be able to race on the trails that Graves trains on. Venue of recent Qld Enduro Championships and the 2104 Oceania Championships, Jubilee Park will give those visiting from out of Qld a taste of some loose and fast racing

Photos from Round Three of the SEQ Gravity Enduro, Mt Joyce 15-06-2014.

Supported by RockShox and Powered by SRAM with Giant Bicycles as exclusive bike partner there will be over $10 000 in cash and product prizes on offer for both the pinners and the punters with heaps of random draw prizes for all involved from SRAM and RockShox, plus a bike from Giant.

EMS Australia has been developing (Gravity) Enduro events since 2009, fine tuning the delivery methods, including scheduling and timing aspects of the day to ensure that riders and spectators alike are treated to an enjoyable day of Mountain Biking. Recent learnings from the Enduro World Series have enabled us to further enhance this experience.

Utilising a new touchless timing system, riders will be able to view, stage and overall times as soon as they have completed all stages.

Full details and website will be released in September.

For Sponsorship and media enquiries please do not hesitate to contact

Ian Harwood

Managing Director

Event Management Solutions Australia

[email protected]

07 3139 0397 or 0404 326 169

Fresh Product: SRAM Guide RSC brakes

Cutting to the chase, SRAM/Avid’s run with the Elixir series of brakes over the past few years has been up and down. We’ve ridden plenty of good sets, but reliability has not been a strong point and consequently we saw a lot of brands move away from SRAM OEM spec (take Specialized for instance). But now SRAM are looking to put that all behind them, with the new Guide series of brakes.

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If you’re thinking that the Guide lever body has a similar profile to the old Juicy series of brakes, then you’d be partially right. SRAM have moved away from the notoriously air-sensitive Taperbore reservoir system to a far more conventional reservoir design, ala Shimano, which should cope with the odd air bubble without going into an inconsistent meltdown. Look beyond the reservoir configuration and you’ll find that the Guides are a world away from the Juicys of yesteryear.

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With a more convention timing-port / open reservoir design, the Guide’s are less susceptible to bleed issues.

There are three variants of the Guide brake; the RSC version we have here puts all of SRAM’s latest braking innovations on display. The R stands for reach, which is adjustable using the large forward-facing dial on the lever blade. No longer do you require dexterous child fingers to twiddle the reach, and the problems with the adjuster fouling on other bar mounted levers, which sometimes occurred with the Elixirs, are gone.

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Reach is adjustable via the dial on the lever blade, and contact point via the dial on the lever body itself.

The C stands for contact point. Spinning the round dial on the lever body gives you control over the amount of lever free stroke before pad engagement. Again, it’s far easier to use than the is-this-actually-doing-anything in-line system found on the Elixirs. 

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Here you can see the SwingLink mechanism. Of course, the Guides are all Match Maker compatible, so you can mount your brake and shifter off the one clamp.


Finally, the letter S stands for SwingLink. The lever blade does not directly drive the master cylinder on this model of the Guide brake – instead, the lever actuates a separate link that then pushes the piston. What this accomplishes is a variable rate of leverage (much like Shimano’s servo wave), moving the four brake caliper pistons quickly at the start of the stroke, then more gradually deeper in the lever throw. The idea is speedy engagement, with better modulation of the power once the pads are on the rotor. Speaking of the rotor, SRAM have brought in a new disc pattern called Centreline, which aims to remove the warbling magpie sound effects that accompanied braking with the Elixirs.

 

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The caliper is unchanged from the Elixir Trail series.

On the caliper end of the line, you’ll find the exact same four-piston as graced the Elixir Trail series brakes. This end of the system never had an issue, so it has been continued on. The other models of brake in the Guide series are the Guide RS (no contact point adjustment) and the basic Guide R, which has a simpler lever construction without the SwingLink or bearings on lever blade pivot.

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Centre Line rotors are available in 140, 160, 180 and 200mm diameters.

We’ll be testing these in the coming months, so we’ll soon find out if the Guide can lead SRAM’s brakes to the top of the market. Pricing is $239/end, excluding rotors. 

 

Video: What I Do In Whistler – Must Watch

Last night the GoPro Dirt Diaries happened at Whistler Olympic Plaza in front of a crowd of over 4000 people as a part of Crankworx Whistler.

A total of six videos put together by invited athletes and their selected filmmakers and teams screened in front of fans and a judging panel of five of the mountain bike industry’s most influential film professionals. The level of videos was stepped up again for 2014 and fans were wowed by some of the best riding and stories told to date.

The invited teams were Claire Buchar with the Summer Of Summit filming crew, Kirt Voreis with filmer Gunner Oliphant, rider Wade Simmons with Connor Macleod, Ross Measures with filmmaker Matt Dennison, rider Andrew Taylor with Long Nguyen and slope style rider Yannick Granieri with Jules Langeard. 

At the end of the night, the top three finishers who took home $10,000 in total prize money were:
1. Ross Measures and Matt Dennison – $5000
2. Kirt Voreis and Gunner Oliphant – $3000
3. Claire Buchar and the Summer Of Summit Crew – $2000

Tested: Stages Power Meter

If you’re an avid racer, tech head, or if you’re the kind of rider who’s fond of a shave down and a macchiato at the local café while talking about carbon and KOMs, then you’re also probably familiar with Watts, power-to-weight ratios and functional threshold power. But if you’re like most mountain bikers, the world of ‘power’ is probably something you’ve never delved into.

In part, the absence of knowledge about using power as a tool for training/racing in mountain biking has been due to a lack of real power meter options that are suitable for mountain bike use. But that may be about to change.

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From this side, the Stages sticker is the only inkling you’d have that the bike is running a power meter.

Unlike heart rate, your power output is not affected by heat, caffeine, sleep, illness, stress etc – therefore, it’s a far more ‘pure’ measure of effort.

Power is a proven and effective way of measuring your efficiency and strength on a bike. We’re all familiar with the concept of monitoring our heart rate as a way of training effectively, but power is a far better measure – knowing your heart rate zones (or spew threshold if you keep it old-school) is all well and good, but if you’re not moving the bike or draining the tank then knowing your heart rate doesn’t equate to much. Unlike heart rate, your power output is not affected by heat, caffeine, sleep, illness, stress etc – therefore, it’s a far more ‘pure’ measure of effort.

Roadies and serious mountain bike racers training on the road have been using power data and power specific training for a long time now. However with all the big name power companies so focused on road, the options for using power meters on mountain bikes have been few (not to mentioned incredibly expensive). In addition the focus on the road market has meant that the power meters available in the market have not always been suitable to the demands that mountain biking puts on equipment (mud, water, crashes etc).

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Enter stage left (get it…?) the Stages Power Meter crank, the first power meter solution that we feel is truly appropriate for mountain bikers.

We all know that the first component (in terms of leverage) in the transfer of leg power to rubber is the crank, so it makes perfect sense to use this as the point of power measurement. While other meters take their measurement either at the rear axle, pedal axle or crank spider, Stages have kept it simple and measure the strain/force applied to the non-drive side crank via a low-profile unit that is bonded to the crank arm and houses an array of sensors to measure crank flex (NB. You don’t attach the unit yourself – you purchase the whole crank arm assembly).The whole system adds about 20 grams to your bike, and because you’re simply replacing the crank arm, it takes about five minutes of your time to install, calibrate and sync with your bike computer. The meter itself seems bizarrely simple from the outside. It just looks like a plastic box, with a simple port to allow you to replace the battery.

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The Stages meter won’t work on a carbon crank arm, so if you’re an XX1 user you’ll need to use an X9 Stages meter.

The simplicity of using the non-drive crank provides multiple benefits, including the fact that the unit can easily be transferred between bikes. The Stages unit also serves to measure your cadence too, which isn’t so important on the mountain bike, but which is handy for the roadies. With the power meter running both ANT+ and Bluetooth communications you can sync it your GPS/head-unit or smart phone and if you have an iPhone you can run the Stages app, which also enables firmwear updates for the meter. There’s no Android app yet, but it’s on the way.

So, does it work? We fitted the Stages meter to our cross-country race bike to find out. Our test bike runs XX1, with carbon cranks. While carbon is light and stiff, it’s not predictable enough for use with the Stages system as it doesn’t flex in a uniform manner. This means that XX1 users will need to run an X9 Stages meter, with an alloy non-driveside crank. Much to our joy, this mismatched setup only adds 40g to the bike, which was a real surprise given the price premium for an XX1 crank over an X9 crank!

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The meter does protrude around 15mm off the crank arm which can cause clearance issues on some frames.

Having the ability to review our power output on the fly makes a huge difference for both training and racing.

We’ve been running a Stages X9 crank on the Flow rocket ship for a while now in preparation for the race season and the inaugural Port to Port and we can happily say that we have been mightily impressed. Having the ability to review our power output on the fly makes a huge difference for both training and racing. This was highlighted particularly during the Port to Port MTB stage race when our heart rate monitor stopped working, yet the power data meant that we could continue to monitor how much work was being done and how much effort could be sustained on the long flat sections of the race without blowing up.

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While there have been some reports of the Stages power meters faltering in wet weather, we can report that we have had zero problems. In fact, through all the mud, sand and salt water of Port to Port, the Stages power meter was one of the only elements on the bike that didn’t need attention. We’re talking near complete submersion in salt water here!

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The Port to Port stage race was a really good test of the Stages unit – mud and water galore!

In fact, the only attention that the Stages needs at all on a (semi) regular basis is periodic recalibration or ‘zeroing’ to ensure it remains 100% accurate, which is done via your head unit (in our case, a Garmin 510). This isn’t necessarily vital though, but it does ensure 100% accuracy of the power readings.

Suffice to say we have been mightily impressed with the Stages Power meter. Its strength is in its apparent simplicity and robust construction, allowing mountain bikers to finally have the same training and racing information that was once limited to the pros. We have the power!

 

Side note: While testing the Stages Power meter we did hear of other users having issues with battery life, however we did not come across this on our X9 crank. When discussing the issue with Stages, they informed us that they had addressed the problem via a firmware update that can be transferred over Bluetooth to your power meter via your iPhone Stages app. While this app is not presently available for Android, it’s in the works.

 

 

Fresh Product: SRAM X1, Eleven Speed on a Budget

From SRAM X1 comes the integrated drivetrain engineered in Germany for every rider and every trail. The simple, smart and synchronized design delivers confidence in the face of any terrain—from cross-country racing to all-mountain adventure. With our super-wide 10-42 gear range and multiple chain ring options, it’s the universal drivetrain for experienced or new-to-the-trail riders. Featuring our X-SYNC™ chain rings, optimized MINI CLUSTER™ cassette and dependable X-HORIZON™ rear derailleur, X1 puts the power of the SRAM 1X philosophy into every ride. SRAM X1. LIMITLESS.

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SRAM X1 CRANK Quality and durability combine in the SRAM X1 crankset to deliver consistent performance every time out. Featuring SRAM’s X-SYNC™ tooth profile, the X1 crankset is engineered for complete chain control. Each tooth’s thickness is CNC-machined to work seamlessly with the chain’s inner and outer links. And with five available chain rings (30-32-34-36-38), you can personalize your gear range to match the way you ride. SRAM X1 1400 CRANK

  • X-SYNC™ tooth profile provides maximum chain control
  • Hollow forged aluminum arms with forged aluminum spider
  • Chain ring guard option
  • CNC- X-SYNC™ machined rings (30-32-34-36-38)
  • Colors: Black, Red
  • Weight: 800g (GXP, 175mm, 32t)
  • AUS RRP from $349 plus BB

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SRAM X1 1200 CRANK

  • X-SYNC™ tooth profile provides maximum chain control
  • 7000 series forged aluminum arms
  • CNC- X-SYNC™ machined rings (30-32-34-36-38)
  • Weight: 830g (GXP, 175mm, 32t)

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SRAM X1 1000 CRANK

  • X-SYNC™ tooth profile provides maximum chain control
  • 6000 series forged aluminum arms
  • CNC- X-SYNC™ machined rings (30-32-34-36-38)
  • Fat bike crank option (GXP and 30-32 X-SYNC™ rings only)
  • Weight: 850g (GXP, 175mm, 32t)
  • AUS RRP from $239 plus BB

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X-SYNC™ CHAIN RINGS The X-SYNC™ narrow-wide chain ring delivers complete control. Tall, square teeth, rounded chamfers and a thick-thin tooth geometry combine to engage the chain earlier—and never let it go. With multiple ring options available, you can match your gear range to your terrain, wheel size and riding style. And recesses at the base of the teeth get rid of mud so the chain remains in place no matter what conditions you’re up against.   FEATURES/BENEFITS

  • X-SYNC™ tall, square tooth design provides maximum chain control
  • Sharp, narrow tooth profile and rounded chamfer edges help manage a deflected chain
  • 30-, 32-, 34-, 36- or 38-tooth single ring
  • CNC-machined 7075, two-tone anodize
  • Mud-clearing recesses for the inner chain links and rollers
  • An integral component of the SRAM 1X™ drivetrain

SRAM X1 X-HORIZON™ Rear Derailleur Every detail of the 11-speed X1 X-HORIZON™ rear derailleur is engineered for smooth, reliable shifting action—from the larger upper pulley offset to the 12-tooth X-SYNC™ pulley wheels. By eliminating unwanted chain movement, X-HORIZON™ shifts faster, puts an end to ghost shifting and reduces shift force and chain slap. And with CAGE LOCK™ technology, wheel removal and installation are easier than ever.   FEATURES/BENEFITS

  • Large upper pulley offset automatically adjusts chain gap
  • X-HORIZON™ design reduces shift force, ghost shifting and chain slap
  • 12-tooth X-SYNC™ pulley wheels
  • Aluminum Cage
  • Sealed cartridge bearings
  • Colors: Black
  • Weight: 256g
  • AUS RRP $279

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SRAM XG-1180 MINI CLUSTER™ Cassette The XG-1180 MINI CLUSTER™ hybrid cassette is light, durable and equipped with a 10-42 gear range that’s a perfect fit for any ride. MINI CLUSTER™ construction combines three small cogs that are CNC-machined out of a single block of billet steel with an additional eight cogs that are individually pinned together. The XG-1180 delivers SRAM’s trusted cassette design at a great value for every rider.   FEATURES/BENEFITS

  • 11-speeds (10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-42)
  • XD™ Driver Body creates more stable hub connection
  • Optimized gear steps across entire range
  • Weight: 315g
  • AUS RRP $379

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SRAM X1 X-ACTUATION™ Trigger Shifter Put your finger on the pulse of sharp, dependable shifting with the SRAM X1 X-ACTUATION™ trigger shifter. Built for precise and swift shifting across our wide range 11-speed cassette, the X1 trigger shifter brings championship technology to every ride.   FEATURES/BENEFITS

  • SRAM 1X™ X-ACTUATION™ for precise and dependable 11-speed performance
  • Zero Loss Engagement for fastest shifting
  • MatchMaker X compatible
  • Aluminum cover and forged aluminum pull lever
  • Discrete clamp
  • Colors: Black
  • Weight: 121g (w/o clamp)
  • AUS RRP $99

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XD™ driver body The XD™ driver body lets you take full advantage of the power and range of your SRAM cassette. The improved interface offers a tighter cassette-to-driver-body fit. With the XD™ driver body, SRAM has established a single universal mounting system for cogs with less than 11 teeth.   FEATURES/BENEFITS

  • Driver body design that lets riders tap into the power and range of the SRAM cassette with a 10-tooth small cog
  • Provides a more stable hub connection
  • XD™ Driver Body is 6-8g lighter

PC-X1 Chain The PC-X1 chain comes from a long line of dependable, lightweight chains that are built for toughness. Designed with SRAM’s trusted XX1 geometry, the PC-X1 features solid pin construction, 11-speed PowerLock™ and smooth, efficient shifting that you can count on every time out.   FEATURES/BENEFITS

  • New 1X™ specific chain designed with our XX1 geometry
  • Solid pin construction
  • 11-speed PowerLock™
  • Weight: 258g (114 links)
  • X1 Technologies
  • AUS RRP $47.95
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Tested: Avid Elixir 9 Trail Brake

The Avid Elixir 9 Trail brake is a powerful stopper that’s simple to set-up and has loads of modulation. We’ve had great success with the XO Trail brake (read our review here) and the Elixir 9 Trail has many of the same features in a more wallet-friendly package.

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The Elixir 9 Trail brake. A little more beef for more stopping power.

The Elixir 9 is aimed at the all-mountain crowd but it’s no boat anchor – you still get carbon fiber levers (on an aluminium body) to help keep the weight at 350g per end with a 160 mm rotor. At the  business end you get a two-piece, four-piston caliper with easy to access pads. Adjustment wise the Elixir 9 has both reach and pad contact adjustments to get your ideal lever feel.

On a maintenance side changing pads is easy and only requires an allen key and maybe some small pliers to remove the split washer on the pad retaining bolt.

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Four pistons of fury.

Installing the brakes was simple, even with the pain-in-the-arse-ness of internal routing on our test bike. We did have to cut the cables to install, however re-bleeding them was easy, as per these instructions. We matched them with an Avid HS1 180mm rotor on the front and a 160mm on the rear. There was no need for any bed in time as they worked perfectly with super bite straight out of the box. How do some brakes do this, while others seem to take days of riding to come good? Baffling, batman.

Avid market the Elixir 9 Trails feel as having “Deep Stroke Modulation”. Kinky. Away from the marketing and in the real world we found the modulation both good and bad. Good: Avoiding unwanted lock-ups is easy, there’s lots of control and the power comes on more gradually than some other brands of brakes. Bad: Our tester has small hands (enough with the jokes) and we found that if you adjust the levers in too close the lever would pull to the bars before reaching full power. The simple fix was to run the lever reach and contact point adjustment out a little further, ensuring the brakes hit their full power earlier in the lever stroke.

If you’re coming off Shimano brakes the modulation will take some time getting used to as it can feel like you’re lacking power at the same point in the stroke. Brake feel is personal, however, so you may love the more gradual feel of the power of the Elixirs.

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Modulated, like your local FM radio channel.

The Elixir has both reach and pad contact adjustment, both tool-free. As with the issues noted above, for some it can take a little longer to get that perfect set-up but seeing as it’s so simple it can all be done on the trail. We found a little ongoing fine-tuning was needed to keep the feel entirely consistent, perhaps related to pad wear.

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The small dial (close to the bars) sets your reach.
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A twist of the barrel adjusts the pad contact point.

During our test period we noted no issues with the performance of the brakes (once the set-up was corrected) and found them to be very powerful and predictable. The modulation meant we were dragging the brakes a little more than usual but the added heat from this didn’t impact performance. The only slight issue we noted was a slight sense of “pulsing” when they were super hot, or under hard braking. This was only noted infrequently and a change of front rotor and pad seemed to have fixed the issue. Also, embarrassingly, they do get a bit noisy when they get wet (most brakes do).

Overall we think these are great brakes. Their ease of adjustment, power and modulation was top class and they sure got us out of trouble on more than a few occasions. They’re perfect for your all-mountain bike.

Tested: SRAM ROAM 60 Carbon Wheels

We’re not into blowing smoke up people’s arses. But if these rims were a person we’d be lighting fires with old truck tyres and getting a jumbo jet to blow the plumes right up there. The ROAM 60 simply is one of the best wheelsets we have ridden.

We honestly cannot fault them and after a month of solid abuse they’re still kicking like the day they came out of the box. Straight as an arrow and solid as a rock.

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If you have a red, white and black bike, these will match.
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Straight pull spokes, high flanges and a deeper dish helps keep the spoke length shorter and the whole package stronger.

The ROAM 60 are a 2nd generation carbon wheel (rim is carbon, hub is alloy) from SRAM and are designed for more aggressive trail and all-mountain riding.  At 28mm wide they’re not the widest on the market but they’re still pretty beefy and their strength is second-to-none. They’re also not the lightest either (still pretty damn good at 1570g for our test 27.5″ offerings) but they’re made for aggressive riding so weight weenies need to think beyond the tale of the scales.

Inside the ROAM 60 box there’s all manner of spacers and adaptors to fit the wheels to any mountain bike you can imagine. Standard QR, 15mm, 20mm – they will fit them all. Speaking of which, the hubs are large with high flanges, strange pull spokes and the rear hub comes spec’d with a SRAM XD driver body for 11 speed. The rear freehub isn’t so loud as to stop conversations but it makes enough noise to keep you smiling.

And (hallelujah) they now come 100% tubeless ready. We slapped some Maxxis tyres on ours, threw in some Stan’s sealant, and they sealed up with a track pump.

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We liked how the wheels made life a little easier in the rough stuff.

In terms of improving performance, a set of great wheels is probably one of the best upgrades you can give your ride. Whether it’s to save weight, add strength, or both, you will always feel the benefits of better wheels and the SRAM ROAM 60 ticks both of those boxes. All up we saved around 200-300g (give or take a few millilitres of Stans) on our Giant Trance SX test bike, and whilst that’s nothing to scribe onto the walls of your local public toilet, it’s a pretty big improvement on what were pretty light OEM wheels.

The improvements in acceleration and braking that come from saving rotating mass are obvious, but it was the way these wheels improved our ability to hold a line that really grabbed us. The SRAM ROAM 60s just loved the really tough rock gardens or rough corners. Rather than being deflected from our chosen path, we immediately felt an increased ability to hold some pretty tight lines. Just point and go. We can hear the sceptics out there, but we’re 100% serious, the difference is marked.

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Point and shoot. Rock gardens are one area where these wheels show their colours.

We tested these wheels on the rocky loamy trails of Mt Buller and the loose dry soils of Stromlo Forest Park. If you’ve ridden at Mt Buller you will know that rocks seem to appear from nowhere and ping your wheels unexpectedly. We heard that harsh ping though the spokes as the rim squarely hit a rock or two but post ride inspections yielded not a single bend or dent in the rims. On a deliberate test at Stromlo we let our tyres down to around 20 psi and went and hit a few rock gardens. There was a bit of noise from the spokes as the tyres squashed against the rims but not a single problem was noted. They are still straight.

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Even when the rims did hit the rocks it didn’t matter.

Pedal engagement was positive and the wheels accelerated with ease. We didn’t witness any burping or loss of sealant from the Maxxis tyres but the rear tyre did frequently loose some pressure during our testing. We’re unsure if it was the tyre or the rim that was loosing the air however and as the front was holding pressure we’re pretty sure it was the fault of the tyre.

If you’re looking for an upgrade then you should consider adding these carbon hoops to your dream machine. Sure $2500 isn’t cheap, but you’d pay that for a big screen TV and the TV isn’t going to make you anything other than fat and lazy. These wheels will make you faster and happier…and that’s priceless.

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Jumping for joy on the SRAM ROAM 60.

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Tech: SRAM licenses X-Sync chain ring technology

Since its successful and celebrated introduction 2 years ago, SRAM’s popular single-ring 1X™ Drivetrains featuring X-SYNC chainrings continue to gain popularity. In an effort to provide consumers more choice – SRAM has licensed this valuable, precision-based technology to two industry partners.

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This December we formally signed two license agreements for the technology, one with Canadian-based Chromag, the other with the Accell Group. Both of these top-tier industry suppliers will be manufacturing their own versions of SRAM’s X-SYNC rings, to be distributed through their own networks. Both suppliers will continue to use and support all SRAM 1X™ Drivetrain components in addition to this license.

This narrow-wide design (also referred to as thick-thin) is an original SRAM technology, designed and engineered to be paired with matching SRAM components to ensure proper function. Imitation rings not manufactured to proper SRAM specifications may result in rapid wear and poor mud clearance, both of which may result in dropped chains.

SRAM has filed numerous patent applications on narrow-wide / thick-thin tooth geometry. Our German engineering teams invented narrow-wide / thick-thin chain retention for bicycles and we continue to improve on it. We strongly believe consumers deserve both choice and design integrity in the products they purchase. SRAM reserves the right to enforce its intellectual property in all matters relating to X-SYNC.

Video: SRAM XX1 | Enduro | Part 2: Flat Out and Focused

Enduro is demanding on riders and bikes in the same way: it requires a unique combination of all-out riding and reliability over long stages, multiple days of racing and ultimately a long season.

This second chapter follows the best enduro racers in the world from the iconic Mega Avalanche in Alpe d’Huez to the final race of the Enduro World Series in Finale Ligure, Italy. Here, in addition to Jerome Clementz’s victory in both the race and overall, Curtis Keene, Rene Wildhaber, Anka Martin, Anneke Beerten and many more reflect on the first season of the Enduro World Series and what it means to be an enduro racer today.

at the third round of the Enduro World Series, Les 2 Alps, France

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during the final stop of the EWS, Finale, Italy.

during the final stop of the EWS, Finale, Italy.

during the final stop of the EWS, Finale, Italy.

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during the final stop of the EWS, Finale, Italy.

during the final stop of the EWS, Finale, Italy.

 

Video: SRAM XX1 | Enduro | Part 2: Flat Out and Focused

Enduro is demanding on riders and bikes in the same way: it requires a unique combination of all-out riding and reliability over long stages, multiple days of racing and ultimately a long season.

This second chapter follows the best enduro racers in the world from the iconic Mega Avalanche in Alpe d’Huez to the final race of the Enduro World Series in Finale Ligure, Italy. Here, in addition to Jerome Clementz’s victory in both the race and overall, Curtis Keene, Rene Wildhaber, Anka Martin, Anneke Beerten and many more reflect on the first season of the Enduro World Series and what it means to be an enduro racer today.

at the third round of the Enduro World Series, Les 2 Alps, France

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during the final stop of the EWS, Finale, Italy.

during the final stop of the EWS, Finale, Italy.

during the final stop of the EWS, Finale, Italy.

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during the final stop of the EWS, Finale, Italy.

during the final stop of the EWS, Finale, Italy.

 

Video: SRAM XX1 | Enduro | Part 1: Stepping Up

Follow SRAM enduro racers Jerome Clementz, Nicolas Vouilloz, Rene Widlhaber, Curtis Keene, Anka Martin and many more as they take on rounds 2 and 3 of the 2013 Enduro World Series in Val d’Allos and Les Deux Alpes, France.

With enduro quickly becoming one of the most progressive and interesting forms of mountain biking, enduro riders have become an essential part in the development of a new generation of components, which combine light weight, durability and flawless performance during long and hard races. SRAM XX1 is the prime example of this new breed of components, after dominating the 2013 season with 6 wins out of 7 races with Fabien Barel, Nicolas Vouilloz and Jerome Clementz.

at the third round of the Enduro World Series, Les 2 Alps, France

at the third round of the Enduro World Series, Les 2 Alps, France

at the third round of the Enduro World Series, Les 2 Alps, France

at the third round of the Enduro World Series, Les 2 Alps, France

at the third round of the Enduro World Series, Les 2 Alps, France

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Video: SRAM XX1 | Enduro | Part 1: Stepping Up

Follow SRAM enduro racers Jerome Clementz, Nicolas Vouilloz, Rene Widlhaber, Curtis Keene, Anka Martin and many more as they take on rounds 2 and 3 of the 2013 Enduro World Series in Val d’Allos and Les Deux Alpes, France.

With enduro quickly becoming one of the most progressive and interesting forms of mountain biking, enduro riders have become an essential part in the development of a new generation of components, which combine light weight, durability and flawless performance during long and hard races. SRAM XX1 is the prime example of this new breed of components, after dominating the 2013 season with 6 wins out of 7 races with Fabien Barel, Nicolas Vouilloz and Jerome Clementz.

at the third round of the Enduro World Series, Les 2 Alps, France

at the third round of the Enduro World Series, Les 2 Alps, France

at the third round of the Enduro World Series, Les 2 Alps, France

at the third round of the Enduro World Series, Les 2 Alps, France

at the third round of the Enduro World Series, Les 2 Alps, France

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Flow’s First Bite: SRAM ROAM 60 Carbon Wheels

Carbon is definitely the new black. One quick look around your local trail head and you will see carbon bikes galore. But it’s not just frames; carbon wheels are becoming increasingly popular and SRAM have been aggressively developing their wheels for that market.

Last year SRAM introduced their first carbon wheel, the RISE, which received rave reviews and constructive feedback. SRAM seemed to have listened and have not only improved their design, they also added the new carbon model, the ROAM 60.

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We’ve just thrown our test set of ROAM 60s onto our all-mountain Giant Trance SX. Inside the box was a whole host of spares that give you the ability to run them on pretty much any bike. They even come with a 20mm front hub conversion, and they are completely tubeless ready (no need for rim strips).

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We shaved about 200-300g off our ride (Stans sealant isn’t an exact science), and while that’s not a saving you’re going to gloat about across your favourite social media platform, it’s pretty significant.

The advantage of carbon wheels isn’t just in the weight savings though (as you can get plenty of light aluminium wheels), it’s in their strength and ride quality and we expect the same with the ROAM.

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We’ll be giving these a good test over the coming month and let you know how they respond to a rock garden or two.

Video: The Narrows | SRAM X01 | All For One

I had barely even had a chance to catch my breath from a contest trip in the U.S. when I got back to the Sunshine Coast and met up with my good friends from the Coastal Crew.

They were getting ready to leave for Narrows Inlet that same evening, on a trip that would be one of the most unforgettable experiences of their lives. Norbs gave me all the details – they had picked out this insane location in a secluded ocean inlet. Barges and boats were all lined up for bikes, dirt bikes, their truck, and five days worth of food and beer. It sounded unbelievable and I couldn’t help but be jealous of this adventure they were about to embark on.

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Next thing I knew, Norbs added that there was an extra spot available on the trip and it had my name all over it. The boat was leaving in three hours and I went straight into scramble mode. I enjoy a hectic lifestyle filled with unexpected adventures and it was a rush to pick the pieces up and pull them together so quickly. Coming off my last trip and heading straight onto a boat destined for the BC wilderness with the best crew ever, our bikes and a thirst for an adventure that would end up delivering memories sure to a last a lifetime was the best possible scenario for me to recharge. I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for us over the next few days.

The Coast always seems to surprise and this day is no different. Today finds us exploring just one small fork in the road but has us realize how far the land and the sea can take us. Standing on the bridge between these two mystery worlds gives a true feeling of what-if and what’s next. We witness a little of the unknown everyday and in our case you can never get to the end, all we can do is open our arms and take it in. Finding a balance in what the dark, vast ocean inlet can give you, and the gargantuan rain forest (we call home) can offer – Endless adventure.

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I grew up on the water, swimming, fishing or just boating around. I have this strong connection with water – a curiosity of what is lying beneath the dark glassy surface. The inlet was no exception.  Art, owner of Tooznie Outdoor Adventures Lodge, could see my love for fishing and was nice enough to take me out one morning. Art is one of a kind; he is a hard working, good guy with the best sense of humor. He would always set the mood right by cracking off jokes first thing every morning. It was the final day of the trip, when we got up bright and early to hopefully hunt down a lunker. Art has the best knowledge of the area and I was spoiled to get the goods on our twenty-minute boat ride in the first mornings’ light.

When we arrived at Art’s honey hole, I was giddy with excitement. I was given the low down on how to get the big ones in the boat. Art explained it wasn’t about brute strength, but more a game of finesse. The boat was sitting in a hundred feet deep or more when Art let me know, this was the spot. I dropped my live shiner with a four-ounce weight down to the depths. Once my rig got to the bottom it was only two seconds before I felt that familiar bite on the end of my line. When I set the hook, instantly I knew it was big and the look on my face alerted Art of the same. I played the finesse game all the way to the top. Gaining line, to have the fish just take it back. Slowly but surely I worked him to the surface where Art gaffed the big Lingcod and dragged it aboard. My jaw dropped when I finally got my eyes on the fish, followed by that satisfying fish slimy handshake with Art.

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When we dropped-in to the deep dark depths of the lush forest, we could only begin to see what has been saved for a lucky few. We slowly massaged, and in some cases – violently shaped some of the most natural flowing terrain into one of the most exciting trails to-date. We pushed our trail bikes into a perpetually perfect speed to carve berms and make those tranny’s we could see in the distance. The words from the boat stayed with me… “It’s not about brute strength it’s about finesse.” So, I tried damn hard not to over think our adventure and keep it simple. I think the boys did too and all week we just pushed further and took full advantage of being out there, in the wild making new unforgettable memories that would last a lifetime.    – Logan Peat

We can push, we can try, but knowing we will never-ever get to the end of this unique and mysterious landscape keeps us unsatisfied and wondering how far we can wander.

What you will see in the video and photos is the account of an unforgettable trip, a unique combination of amazing days of riding, searching, exploring, fishing and soaking every bit of life in.

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Tested: SRAM Roam 50 29er Wheelset

When a wheelset proves to be light, stiff and durable, it becomes pretty hard to put together a particularly interesting review, but we’ll try!

What can you say? They've been perfect.
What can you say? They’ve been perfect.

The Roam 50s are SRAM’s versatile alloy-rimmed trail wheel. There’s also a carbon version, the Roam 60, which isn’t actually any lighter, but has the strength and stiffness benefits of carbon construction.

It’s worth mentioning too that SRAM have the serious cross-country crowd covered with the lightweight Rise wheelsets and if you’re more gravity oriented, there’s the tougher Rail series wheels too. Put simply, SRAM now have a shedload of wheels for you to pick from. You can get the Roam, Rise and Rail wheels in 26″, 27.5″ or 29″ versions. We tested the big 29er hoops.

There is a carbon version of this wheel available too, in 26, 27.5 or 29er sizes.
There is a carbon version of this wheel available too, in 26, 27.5 or 29er sizes.

Since we first received these wheels, we’ve only had a month or so on the trails with the Roams so we can’t honestly comment on the long-term durability, but we’ve not been nice to these wheels in order to cram as much punishment in as possible in a short period.

The hub shells use SRAM's Double Decker spoke flange design. The spokes are long, but the wheels are stiff all the same.
The hub shells use SRAM’s Double Decker spoke flange design. The spokes are long, but the wheels are stiff all the same.

In a nutshell, these wheels are as true as the day we fitted them, the sealed bearings and superb freehub are still spinning perfectly smoothly, and we’ve suffered negligible air loss with them set up tubeless. Speaking of tubeless, the rims come pre-fitted with a super tough tape that seals up the rim bed nicely, plus valves are included.

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The Double Decker hub design is very low profile, which looks good, but it does mean the spokes are very long – something that many 29er wheels try to avoid in order to maximise wheel stiffness. That said, these wheels are surprisingly stiff, more than stiff enough for all but the heaviest or roughest riders. Furthermore, the 21mm internal rim width gives your tyres a good measure of support too, helping keep everything going where you want it to, rather than squirming about.

The rims are offset, allowing the use of one spoke length across both wheels. A generous 21mm internal width ensures good support for wide trail rubber.
The rims are offset, allowing the use of one spoke length across both wheels. A generous 21mm internal width ensures good support for wide trail rubber.

On the subject of spokes, SRAM have made life very easy for mechanics the world over, but using the one spoke length for both drive-side and non drive-side of front AND rear wheels! No more spoke length calculators!

The axles are modular, so you can run all the common dropout configurations, and the freehub mechanism (DT’s Star Ratchet) is one of the easiest to maintain on the market. We love servicing these freehubs, the simplicity is just so perfect.

We're running XX1 on our test wheels. Make sure you grease up the freehub body before installing your cassette if you're going 11-speed too.
We’re running XX1 on our test wheels. Make sure you grease up the freehub body before installing your cassette if you’re going 11-speed too.

On the subject of freehub bodies, if you’re running the SRAM XD body for SRAM’s XX1 or X01 cassette, make sure you use lots of grease when you install the cassette. We had a drama with a cassette getting stuck and it was a real battle to free it (almost resulting in a ruined XX1 cassette; now that would’ve been expensive).

We’d love to try the Roam 60 carbon versions of these wheels, because we’re very impressed by the 50s and can only imagine how good the stiffer carbon rim would make this wheelset.

 

 

Long Term Test: SRAM XX1

After more than six months on SRAM’s 11-speed, single-ring-specific drivetrain, we’re ready to give up a kidney to get this system on all of our bikes. Hands down, this is the best mountain biking product to have been released in quite some years. Here are 11 thoughts about going 11 speed.

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10-42 teeth and 11 gears. We still get funny looks when people see this whopping cassette for the first time.

1. The triple chain ring is dead. Its reign ended the day 10-speed mountain bike shifting was released. With the advent of the 36-tooth rear cog, the 22-tooth chain ring became superfluous; two chain rings paired to an 11–36 cassette was all you needed. And now, with the development 11-speed XX1, we think the days of 2×10 drivetrains are numbered too.

We’ve been fans of 1×10 drivetrains for a while now, but a 1×10 setup inevitably has some compromises, particularly when it comes to climbing. You do still lose a small amount of gear range with XX1, compared to a double-ring setup, but it’s negligible. And when you consider the advantages, the compromise is well worth it.

2. The right gearing for 99 percent of the time. We have encountered precious few situations where we’ve been left wanting more gears, in either direction. On our test bike we opted to run a 34-tooth chain ring – it was the perfect choice. If you’re struggling to push a 34:42 uphill, you’re going to go just as fast if you hop off and walk. At the other end of the spectrum, a 34:10 is more than tall enough to sail along a fire road at over 40km/h.

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XX1 has won XCO and XCE World Champs and World Cups, but it’s popularity and versatility extends beyond the cross country realm. XX1 has found a strong following amongst trail and enduro riders too and is coming specced increasingly on 140mm+ travel bikes.

3. This is not a cross country-specific product. One of the most impressive things about XX1 is how it can’t be pigeonholed as a product for a particular style of bike. While we’ve been running it on a cross-country race bike, it’s just as applicable for use on a 160mm-travel all-mountain bike. We’re sure that some of the XX1 technology will be adopted in the downhill world soon too.

4. We have not dropped a chain. From the very first day we installed our XX1 drivetrain on our Trek Superfly test bike, right up until the moment we sat down to type this review, we are yet to drop the chain on our XX1 groupset. And, no, we haven’t been running a chain guide. Furthermore, it hasn’t felt like we’ve come even close to losing the chain. There is so little chain slap going on, you just know that the chain is going to stay in place.

Part of the XX1’s amazing chain retention comes down to the tooth profile of its chain ring. The teeth are in two widths and they alternate (wide, narrow, wide, narrow), so they mesh perfectly with the alternating widths of the chain links. It’s an incredibly simple solution, and now we’re starting to see copycat rings from other manufacturers as well.

5. You’re never caught out. How many times have you caught yourself in the wrong chain ring, having to crunch a shift under load? Or had to listen to the grinding of an out-of-adjustment front derailleur? Or shifted to your granny ring and dropped the chain onto your bottom bracket? These issues don’t exist with XX1. You’re never caught in the wrong ring, never listening to a grindy front derailleur, never bending chain ring teeth.

SRAM XX1 long term
We opted for a 34 tooth chain ring on our XX1 drivetrain, but swapping rings for different conditions is a two-minute job.

6. Chain ring selection is key. There is only one cassette spread available for XX1 (10–42 teeth), so the chain ring choice (from 28 up to 38, in two-teeth increments) determines your gear range. Choose wisely! In our opinion you’re far better off to pick your chain ring based upon the lowest gear you’re likely to use. Swapping the chain rings is very easy, however, because you don’t need to remove the cranks. It’s so easy you could just purchase a couple of chain rings and change them out according to the conditions – keep a bigger ring in the tool box if you’re heading to a flatter race.

7. SRAM’s bottom brackets still suck. We found the installation process with SRAM’s GXP bottom bracket pretty fiddly, especially compared to Shimano’s seamlessly simple systems. There are a bunch of spacers and rubber bearing covers that just didn’t play nicely, not even when we followed the instructions. The system also requires you to tighten the cranks very, very tight in order to get it all to cinch together without any play. It’s a little unnerving the first time you do it.

8. Chain strength. We remember when 10-speed was first introduced and the mountain bike world was quick to cry out that we’d be swamped by broken chains. It didn’t happen. In fact the new 10-speed chains proved tougher. But with the advent of 11-speed, SRAM has had to go narrower again. And this time around, it seems that perhaps it has been hard to retain that same strength in the chain.We’ve witnessed XX1 chains snapping twice – including seeing Chris Jongewaard’s chain snap during an eliminator round at the National Champs. The chain on our test groupset has been fine to date, but we’re not putting out the same kinds of watts as Jongewaard and many bigger riders.

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SRAM had to create the new XD driver body to accommodate the 10-tooth sprocket of the XX1 cassette. Most of the major hub manufacturers now make an XD body for their rear hubs.

9. Compatibility. XX1 uses a completely new freehub body design – the XD driver system – to accommodate the tiny 10-tooth cog and handle the leverage forces from the large diameter 42-tooth. This means you can’t just whack the system onto any old wheels – you’ll need a rear hub that’s compatible. Fortunately, there is an increasing number of brands now manufacturing XD/XX1-compatible freehubs that can be retrofitted to existing wheels. Of course, this doesn’t include Shimano, the world’s biggest producer of hubs.

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XX1 in situ on our Trek Superfly 100 Elite long term test bike. We never missed a shift or dropped a chain once in over six months,

10. Silence! A quiet bike is a fast bike, and nothing is as quiet as XX1. The combination of the Type 2 clutch derailleur, which keeps chain slap in check, and the absence of a front derailleur means there’s no rattle. We removed the chain slap protector from our Trek Superfly and replaced it with lightweight Framewrap and the bike is still deadly quiet.

11. The possibilities are incredible. Doing away with a front derailleur has some obvious advantages (weight reduction, less complicated, cleaner appearance and cabling, better mud clearance and many others) and some less obvious advantages too, particularly when it comes to frame design.

Front derailleurs are tyrants of mountain bike frame design. Squeezing in a front derailleur limits how robust you can make the lower pivots point on full suspension bikes, having implications for frame stiffness. All kinds of horrendous asymmetrical formations are required to fit a front mech in too, increasing manufacturing costs. Front derailleurs cause all kinds of headaches when it comes to wheelbase lengths as well, forcing bikes (particularly 29ers) to run much longer chain stays than is ideal. Broader adoption of single-ring drivetrains will solve many, many problems. If the only price to pay is an ever-so-slightly reduced gear spread, sign us up to a single-ring future.

 

Fresh Product: SRAM Roam 50 29er Wheelset

ROAM Farther.
Fast climbs and fast descents—from sun up till sundown. Truly made for the modern mountain biker, ROAM wheels use a special balance of low-inertia design, weight and strength to excel on a wide variety of terrain. They’re durable enough for hours in the saddle, yet light enough for race day.

It’s everything the modern mountain biker could ask for. One of the lightest alloy trail wheels in the market, ROAM 50 delivers a smart balance of weight, inertia and stiffness—making for a very responsive and predictable wheel. Thanks to our WIDE ANGLE rim, its tire profile delivers superior traction.

• Intended use: XC/TR
• Available in all 3 wheel sizes: 26, 27.5 and 29in
• Lightweight aluminum rim with asymmetrical TAPER CORE profile
• WIDE ANGLE profile: 21mm inside, 25mm outside rim width
• UST compatible
• Available with 11-speed XD™ Driver Body, 10- or 9-speed driver body
• Aluminum nipples with nylon lock ring
• SOLO SPOKE design with double butted, lightweight steel spokes
• Durable hub internals with Star Ratchet system
• SIDE SWAP easy conversion to all axle types
• DOUBLE-DECKER hub shell design
• Weight: 1475g (26in), 1530g (27.5in), 1610g (29in). Wheel pair in lightest configuration

Fresh Product: New SRAM X0 Hub

Finally, a hub worthy of the X0 name. Built to roll over the toughest mountain terrain, the SRAM X0 Hub proves that being solid doesn’t mean being sluggish.

From pawl tooth to side cap, we went the extra mile on the X0 Hub—so you have less to worry about on the trail. DOUBLE TIME™ ratchet design gives you smooth 6.9-degree engagement—all while keeping everything light and steady. Super-precise SPEEDBALL™ bearings mean lower resistance, faster revolutions and no more time spent readjusting play.

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NEW X0 HUB

STOP AT NOTHING

  • Versatile hub – light enough for XC, strong enough for All-Mountain
  • New DOUBLE TIME ratchet mechanism for durable, quick engagement
  • SPEEDBALL precision cartridge bearings for light, smooth action. No play adjustment needed for simplicity and convenience.
  • 3D forged hub shell with SEEKER angled flanges for durability and fewer broken spokes
  • Convertible to all axle types, except DH
  • Available in XD or 10-sp driver body
  • Available in 32 or 28 holes
  • Available December 2013
  • Sand-blasted black with red label
  • Glossy black with silver accents
    • Weight: 130g (front), 250g (rear)

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DOUBLE-TIME™ RAT CHET DESIGN

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SEEKER™ ANGLED FLANGES

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SPEEDBALL™ PRECISION BEARINGS

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SIDE SWAP SYMMETRICAL™ SIDE CAPS

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XD™ DRIVER BODY

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Smith Holds The Crown as King of Crankworx

Whistler’s tenth anniversary of Crankworx came to a close yesterday with Canada’s own Steve Smith taking a third consecutive win in the Canadian Open DH.

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Smith, having won the Air DH just day’s prior and the World Cup in Mont Saint Anne on the previous weekend entered the final race of the festival with serious momentum and confidence. Having won the title as King of Crankworx in 2012, Smith was favored to win the event and would carry the heaviest weight going into the race to close the week of events.

With overnight showers and a dark gloomy sky the notoriously rough and technical Canadian Open DH course would become much more dangerous as the riders would push their limits racing from high atop the Whistler mountain on the hunt for the win. As the field of racers navigated down the treacherous course, Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre Gravity Republic) would set the quickest time down late in the race as the fastest riders attacked the course. Being the defending champion, Steve Smith would be the last man on course attempting to better Blenkinsop’s time. The crowd was charged and electric awaiting Smith’s arrival at the bottom of the hill as he blasted into the Whistler mountain Boneyard approaching the finish. By the closest of margins Smith would inch past Blenkinsop by only 0.09 seconds to reclaim the Canadian Open DH and overall King of Crankworx titles.

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In the Women’s field, Emmeline Ragot (Lapierre Gravity Republic), also fresh off a World Cup win in Mont Saint Anne and a victory in the Garbanzo DH in Crankworx’s opening day’s, would take the win over Whistler local Claire Buchar.

Results

King of Crankworx – Steve Smith

Canadian Open DH

Men’s

1st – Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing – SRAM X0 DH, RockShox BoXXer and Vivid, Avid X0 Trail, TRUVATIV BlackBox bar)

2nd – Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre Gravity Republic – SRAM X0 DH, RockShox Boxxer and Vivid, Avid X0 Trail)

Women’s

1st – Emmeline Ragot (Lapierre Gravity Republic – SRAM X0 DH, RockShox Boxxer and Vivid, Avid Code)

Fresh Product: New SRAM X7 Type 2 Rear Derailleur

X0 technology at the X7 level. Reduces chain bounce and chain slap, easiest wheel removal, fits on the bike you have now, and German engineered mechanism.

TYPE 2, the same rear derailleur technology as 2X10 X0 and X9 drivetrains, has now arrived for SRAM X7. Time to take chain control to the next level.

The versatile, highly capable X7 product family brings high-end precision and reliability to midrange mountain bike components. Unbeatable X-GLIDE shifting teamed up with ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH and CAGE LOCK technologies boost your confidence in all types of terrain, from your local trails to the most challenging backcountry singletrack.

SPECIFICATIONS

•  Exact Actuation for precise and dependable 10-speed performance \
•  Focused chassis design for all conditions and usage
•  293g
•  36-tooth cassette capable
•  3 cage lengths available: short, medium and long

Prepare yourself for the ride ahead.

TRUVATIV BlackBox Athlete Series

It started nearly two decades ago with the original RockShox BoXXer and our desire to provide completely personalized support to a special group of riders.

The goal was to give our team a clear performance advantage in World Cup competition, and to win races. In this relentless pursuit of the podium, no rider request was too crazy or too costly—the average yearly salary of a pro mountain biker wouldn’t have covered the manufacturing cost of those gen-1 BoXXers.

It paid off. We won races and wrote some of the most exciting stories in mountain-bike history. With our athletes’ successes—and failures—we learned what worked, and what didn’t. Some of those BlackBox technologies have made it to market.

As the sport evolved, the BlackBox program extended beyond RockShox. Across the SRAM brand family, if it could extend the boundaries of mountain biking, the BlackBox team was there to develop new products and technologies.

When our athletes asked for a different kind of handlebar, TRUVATIV answered with the BooBar, a bar designed to meet the demands of World Cup downhilling, as well as the discerning feel of our athletes. And now we’re proud to announce the TRUVATIV BlackBox Athlete Series, a collection of bars specifically engineered to match the demands of each signature athlete’s discipline and riding style—and to enhance each rider’s cockpit interface.

DANNY HART BLACKBOX BAR – THE RIGHT ANGLE.

Danny Hart. He rides fast and loose. He turns the impossible into the ride of a lifetime. Danny spends countless hours working with his trainers and coaches to get more traction, power, and speed — and how to build the bike that’ll get him there. In the past, Danny used a 5mm space under his direct mount stem combined with a 20mm rise Boobar to lift him to the exact height he wanted, but that setup wasn’t seamless.

Designed by Danny himself, the new TRUVATIV Danny Hart BlackBox bar delivers the 25mm rise that he  needs — with no spacers and less weight. We also  added two more degrees of back sweep for a total 9 degrees, which moves his weight back, putting more pressure on the rear wheel. That keeps him exactly where he wants to be — on the trail, smashing turns.

Danny Hart BlackBox bar.
  • 7050 Al Alloy
  • 780mm wide
  • 25mm rise
  • 5˚ up-sweep
  • 9˚ back-sweep
  • 340g

 

JEROME CLEMENTZ BLACKBOX BAR – DEGREES OF PERFECTION.

Jerome Clementz. He’s an all-mountain legend whose name is synonymous with mountain bike enduro. Megavalanche, Mountain of Hell, Enduro des Nations — Jerome Clementz has won them all. Staying at the top means he needs to go even faster with as little effort as possible. Jerome asked us for wider, stiffer, lighter bar that gives him ultimate control without sacrificing the toughness he needs for powerful sprints and descents.

Working one-on-one with Jerome, we created the TRUVATIV Jerome Clementz carbon BlackBox bar — 750mm of carbon fiber perfection. With 5 degrees of up sweep and 7 degrees of back sweep, this signature bar keeps your bike light and strong so that you can rail every turn with precision.

Jerome Clementz carbon BlackBox bar.
  • Carbon Fiber
  • 750mm wide
  • 20mm rise
  • 5˚ up-sweep
  • 7˚ back-sweep
  • 240g

 

STEVIE SMITH BLACKBOX BAR – RAISING THE BAR.

Stevie Smith. He rides the gnarliest terrain extremely fast. He’s a brute, strong, powerful and pointed straight down the mountain. Stevie lives in a place where the trees can swallow you whole so his style requires a heads-up approach.

We teamed up with Stevie to create a bar that is high and out in front, giving him ultimate control. His signature 780mm downhill bar features a 30mm rise, keeping his hands forward, his head up, and his eyes focused. It’s the strength, stiffness, and quality you’ve come to expect from TRUVATIV —  but with some Stevie Smith baked in.

Steve Smith BlackBox bar.
  • 7050 Al Alloy
  • 780mm wide
  • 30mm rise
  • 5˚ up-sweep
  • 7˚ back-sweep
  • 340g

Nicolas Vouilloz – The Relentless Pursuit Of Balance – SRAM MTB Wheels

After 10 World Champion titles and 5 overall World Cup wins, Nicolas Vouilloz still wants to be and feel fast.

A different kind of fast, perhaps. While racing DH, Nico was known for his unconventional and extreme equipment choices. He is now getting ready for the first Enduro World Series season. A riding style that requires a different bike setup, a discipline where racing is spread over an entire day, with many stages and kilometers of riding. Because of these differences, gone are the days of ridiculously low spoke tension, or extreme suspension setups. Nico now makes choices based on a balance of factors such as weight, efficiency and durability. These choices allow Nico to be his fastest and a true pleasure to witness riding.

After being the most successful male mountain biker of all times, and a rally car racing champion, Nico now embarks on the next phase of his competitive life. This time, in the pursuit of balance.

Nested between deep gorges and high peaks, it’s hard to imagine the town of Peillon is only a few kilometers from Nice and the Mediterranean Sea.
A quick visit of the old town becomes an opportunity to display unearthly bike handling skills.
“Riding here, you either become good, or break yourself really bad”. Not hard to believe Nico, when rocks are flying and it’s hard to decide whether going too fast or too slow will yield the most consequences.
Peillon basks in the golden light of an early spring afternoon. When you are testing with Nico, days are long detailed.
An hour of twisty highway and a country later, we are in San Romolo. This is home to hard, long and physical DH and Enduro tracks. This is where Nico comes to decide what’s good and what’s not.
The plan mandates a tall order of runs on one of the most physical Enduro trails around. Nico rides different wheels back to back. When Nico is around, mountain biking becomes a science.
The casual look and relaxed setup might deceive to the level of precision and feedback that the session involves.
When Nico follows, it’s not easy to stay in your comfort zone. SRAM’s BlackBox program manager Jon Cancellier uses every moment to gather important feedback for Nico’s racing season.
Late in the day we move to a rough downhill trail for a final round of pictures. Nico proclaims he doesn’t feel it’s the right trail for the “little bike”, and then proceeds to make our jaws drop with his line choices and bike handling wizardry.
To win might not be Nico’s number one priority today, but he will definitely make everything in his faculty to be damn close to the top. The day hardly ends when Nico is around. Luckly, he is the one ordering the next round of beers.

 

Knolly Endorphin

Knolly are as Canadian as pancakes with bacon and maple syrup. And like the aforementioned delicious breakfast, we highly recommend giving them a try.

The Knolly brand has its roots in Vancouver’s North Shore and their bikes have always reflected this; big hucks and scary, slippery root-infested trails need solid bikes to tame them and the brand bills itself as ‘a high-end manufacturer of freeride and downhill bikes.’ But the Endorphin, a relatively recent addition to the Knolly stable, is a machine that’s far more relevant to the masses, yet doesn’t stray too far from the brand’s home turf too.

We first clapped eyes on the high-vis yellow Endorphin at a gravity enduro race and locked it in for testing straight away. We wanted to make sure it lived it up to the showy appearance. With 140mm rear travel (paired to a 150mm fork), a kicked-back head angle of 67 degrees and boxy construction, the Endorphin looked ready to fight its way through rough trails. We had a medium-sized bike on our doorstep from importer Endless Flow Cycles within days.

A FOX 34 leads the charge. The extra stiffness of this fork when compared to a 32mm-legged fork is inspiring.

Kitted out with a premium build kit, the Endorphin gave us plenty to admire; FOX 34 fork, CTD dampers front and rear, Hope hubs, Raceface Next carbon cranks, SRAM XX drivetrain, Thomson stem, Maxxis Minion rubber and the highly rated KS LEV adjustable post with a massive 150mm of adjustment. This build kit needs little tweaking in our opinion, though we envisage the narrow DT rims requiring a bit of spoke key love over time with the kind of punishing riding this bike is capable of. Our test bike tipped the scales at a fair 12.8kg, certainly weightier than many other premium-level trail bikes, but not excessively so.

All hail the LEV! Could this be the finest dropper post on the market? 150mm of adjustment at the push of a silky smooth button.

The really eye catching element of the bike’s construction is the ‘Four by 4’ suspension linkage – kind of a link-on-a-link setup. Practically, it’s actually pretty simple; there’s your traditional four-bar linkage arrangement to control the bike’s axle path, and the second linkage controls the shock rate. Before the advent of dropper posts, the system also had the advantage of allowing a full-length seat tube too, so you could get your saddle out of the way. The bike’s rear ends with surprisingly narrow dropouts clamping a 142x12mm axle, which requires a 5mm Allen key for removal, and a tapered head tube up front

Knolly’s Four by 4 linkage is a twist on the standard four-bar configuration. It performed best when ridden hard and fast, not feeling terribly supple at slow speed.

This isn’t a bike for ticking off big kays on fireroad trails. The Endorphin carries the same hunger for technical riding as the rest of the Knolly range, just in a lighter more efficient package, and the bike’s sizing reflects this. With a stocky 17” seat tube and upright riding position, the whole bike feels super compact. Short stays (425mm) mean that even with though the head angle is slack, the overall wheelbase is quite short.

Consequently, you’re really centred over the bike, and it’s very easy to pick and choose exactly where you want to place the wheels. It’s most adept when the trails require lots of body language; the short reach, dropped top tube and compact rear end make it easy to twist yourself all over the bike as you rip it over and around technical trails.

Just right. The combination of a 70mm stem, 725mm-wide bar and robust fork never left you wondering about the front end’s ability to hold a line.

You can slam the big FOX 34 fork into just about anything and it won’t complain, leading the way for you to start looking for more and more nasty rocks or drops to fly off. We had absolute confidence in the front end, finding the cockpit ideal, and feeling very connected to the grippy Minion front tyre. On board the Endorphin we tackled some steep, rocky rollers that we’ve been avoiding on other bikes recently. The kind of obstacles where you need to hit the line just-so or risk going over the bars became fun challenges, rather than terrifying.

We spent a lot of time on this bike with the seat post lowered, out of the saddle, playing with the trail. We ran the rear shock in Trail mode generally, which added to the bike’s responsiveness, making it easy to pick up the front wheel or wheelie-drop off ledges. Hard landings didn’t worry the Knolly, and even though we bottomed-out the suspension with a clunk on a few occasions, the bike didn’t flinch or get out of shape. In fact, the bigger, faster hits really seemed to suit Endorphin. The Four by 4 suspension system isn’t particularly supple, feeling a little choppy over repeated small hits. The rear end performed best when you showed no mercy, hammering over the rocks fast, or slamming back to earth off drops.

While the SRAM XX derailleur shifts brilliantly, we’d still have preferred an X0 derailleur with the new Type 2 clutch mechanism to reduce chainslap and chain derailment.

Fast riding did reveal one hole in the Knolly’s spec, that being the absence of either a clutch derailleur or some kind of chain retention device, and we bounced the chain off a few times. It’s funny how quickly we’ve come to take the great chain retention afforded by clutch derailleurs for granted. The frame is equipped with ISCG mounts so, installing a chain guide (either single ring or dual ring) is hassle free should you wish to go that route.

Raceface’s Next carbon cranks are gorgeous. Unfortunately we dropped the chain and it scratched the finish of the crank arms badly! Yet another reason to run a clutch derailleur or some kind of chain device.

The drawbacks of the upright riding position come when climbing or sprinting. The short reach cramps your style a little if you’re out of the saddle. The best approach for technical uphills was to hit them hard and fast, or alternatively to sit and spin. Grinding out of the saddle didn’t suit the Knolly and tended to set the suspension bobbing. Sprinting was a little awkward on the Endorphin too, the saddle tended to get in the way. Again, the KS LEV dropper post came to the rescue – we really love this seat post, it’s superb. You could fit a longer stem to open up the top tube a little, but this would sacrifice performance in terms of responsiveness. The best bet is try out a couple of frame sizes if possible, and consider going a size bigger than usual. It all depends on your trails and your riding priorities.

Admittedly, the Knolly isn’t quite as versatile as some other 140/150mm trail bikes, which may out-climb the Endorphin or weigh in a little lighter. But the Knolly knows its niche and nails it. It rewards the rider for whom technical trails aren’t a challenge to be negotiated but a playground to be explored and unlike some of the featherweights of this category, we’re sure it’ll be faithfully dependable for years to come.

New SRAM Roam And Rail MTB Wheels

You don’t win by being the lightest. Or the stiffest. Or the toughest. You win by being the fastest. And that takes a wheel designed specifically for the modern mountain biker. At SRAM, we start with the demands of the terrain and work forward from there—carefully balancing each wheel’s design around five key attributes: weight, inertia, engagement, stiffness and durability.

No matter where you ride, SRAM wheels will take you further. RISE higher. ROAM farther. RAIL harder.

ROAM 60 (Intended Use: XC/TR/AM)

ROAM 60 – it’s the only wheel you need. By layering extra material onto stress points, ROAM 60’s UST compatible CARBON TUNED rim is light enough for long climbs and strong enough for the toughest Enduro races. It’s DOUBLE-DECKER hub shell design takes straightpull spoke slots and stacks them two-by-two—distributing force perfectly around the wheel’s SOLO SPOKE design. The resulting wheel dish is wider, maximizing lateral stiffness while retaining frontal compliance. If you love to ride, this is your wheel.
  • Available in all 3 wheel sizes: 26”, 27.5” and 29”
  • CARBON TUNED unidirectional and woven carbon fiber, asymmetrical rim profile
  • WIDE ANGLE profile: 21mm inside, 28mm outside rim width
  • UST compatible
  • Available with 11-speed XD driver body for SRAM XX1 or 9/10-speed driver body
  • Aluminum nipples with nylon lock ring
  • SOLO SPOKE design with double butted, stiff stainless steel spokes
  • Durable hub internals with STAR RATCHET 36T system
  • SIDE SWAP easy conversion to all axle types
  • DOUBLE-DECKER hub shell design
ROAM 60: Weight*
26” - 1495g
27.5” - 1550g
29” - 1625g
*Wheel pair in lightest configuration

Available: July (26”) and August (27.5” and 29”)

ROAM 50 (Intended Use: XC/TR)

It’s everything the modern mountain biker could ask for. One of the lightest alloy trail wheels in the market, ROAM 50 delivers a smart balance of weight, inertia and stiffness—making for a very responsive and predictable wheel. Thanks to our WIDE ANGLE rim, its tire profile delivers superior traction.
  • Available in all 3 wheel sizes: 26”, 27.5” and 29”
  • Lightweight aluminum rim with asymmetrical TAPER CORE profile
  • WIDE ANGLE profile: 21mm inside, 25mm outside rim width
  • UST compatible
  • Available with 11-speed XD driver body for SRAM XX1 or 9/10-speed driver body
  • Aluminum nipples with nylon lock ring
  • SOLO SPOKE design with double butted, lightweight steel spokes
  • Durable hub internals with STAR RATCHET system
  • DOUBLE-DECKER hub shell design
Weight*
26” - 1475g
27.5” - 1530g
29” - 1610g
*Wheel pair in lightest configuration

Available: July (26, 27.5” and 29”)

RAIL 50 (Intended Use: AM)


An alloy rim that does what other alloy rims can’t. With WIDE ANGLE rim design providing superior stability, RAIL 50 can withstand the most aggressive All-Mountain/Enduro riding while setting a new benchmark for lightweight in the category. Featuring the perfect balance of strength, stiffness and width for All-Mountain/Enduro terrain, RAIL 50 delivers best-in-class ride quality all the way down.

  • in all 3 wheel sizes: 26”, 27.5” and 29”
  • Lightweight aluminum rim with asymmetrical TAPER CORE profile
  • WIDE ANGLE profile: 23c, 28mm outside rim width
  • UST compatible
  • Available with 11-speed XD driver body for SRAM XX1 or 9/10-speed driver body
  • Aluminum nipples with nylon lock ring
  • SOLO SPOKE design with double butted, stiff steel spokes
  • Durable hub internals with Star Ratchet system
  • SIDE SWAP easy conversion to all axle types
  • DOUBLE-DECKER hub shell design
Weight*
26” - 1690g
27.5” - 1750g
29” - 1830g
*Wheel pair in lightest configuration

Available: July (26, 27.5” and 29”)

TECHNOLOGIES

TAPER CORE
Strong in the right places. The sidewalls of SRAM rims are reinforced along the wings to withstand major impact. But the sidewalls then taper in along the center—reducing overall mass. The result is a very light rim with excellent dent resistance.
SOLO SPOKE
With SOLO spoke, you’re never wrong. SRAM wheel design eliminates the need for different spoke lengths—one size fits the entire wheel. This identical-length design means no longer wondering whether you have the right front/rear/drive-side/nondrive-side spoke handy.
Front + Rear + Drive-Side + Nondrive-Side = 1 Spoke
CARBON TUNED
Strong like bull, light like carbon. Every Carbon Tuned rim is designed with a distinct style of riding in mind. By selectively layering woven carbon fiber at high-stress points and using unidirectional fiber throughout, SRAM creates rims that yield a remarkable level of strength and durability—while remaining lightweight and responsive.
WIDE ANGLE
Take corners as fast as you want. SRAM wheels have a wider rim profile without significant added mass. This profile holds tire shape better, preventing tire roll and giving you superior comfort and traction around corners.
19mm XC Racing
21mm Trail
23mm All Mountain
DOUBLE-DECKER
Stacked in your favor. This hub shell design takes straightpull spoke slots and stacks them two-by-two—distributing force perfectly around the wheel’s SOLO SPOKE design. The resulting wheel dish is wider, maximizing lateral stiffness while retaining some frontal compliance.
XD™ DRIVER BODY
XD is a new driver body design that allows the use of the SRAM XX1 10-42 cassette and provides an improved interface.
SIDE SWAP
Switching axles has never been easier. Threadless side caps can be installed and replaced by hand—no tools necessary.
STAR RATCHET
This patented freewheel system uses precision ratchets with extremely high load capacity and reliability. Thanks to its no-tools-required design, routine maintenance is easy.
UST TUBELESS
No tube, no-brainer. UST Tubeless rims feature hooked edges designed to seal with UST compatible tires. The result is improved traction and control, less inertia and fewer flats.

 

SRAM X0 TYPE 2 Rear Derailleur

The rear derailleur world has gone through a recent facelift with the introduction of clutch mechanisms that seek to fix the issues of dropped chains and chain slap from a bouncing chain cage.

TYPE 2 is SRAM’s answer to Shimano’s already greatly successful Shadow Plus offerings (reviewed here). Designed for use with SRAM 10 speed systems, we tested this derailleur on our 4” travel rigs previously running the range topping XX derailleurs; one bike was setup 2×10 and the other 1×10 using a lightweight chain guide. [private]

The SRAM X0 TYPE 2 rear deralluer is the answer to dropped chains and that horrible slapping noise.

Where Shimano’s design features a user serviceable clutch system that allows for adjustment with wear; TYPE 2 makes use of a sealed “Roller Bearing Clutch”. While not user serviceable, SRAM claims that the “Roller Bearing Clutch” is maintenance free, with clutch tension factory calibrated and self-lubricating.

After bolting the TYPE 2 on, we were immediately blown away by the sheer silence and surprisingly snappier shifting. At no point did we loose a chain on either bike; something that was happening before. The upshift at the shifter lever gets a heavier feel, but not as apparent of a change as experienced on the Shimano Shadow Plus. Throughout our testing there were no signs of wear or tension loss in the clutch bearing and we noted that it’s well sealed for long-term reliability.

The cage lock is the second part to SRAM’s TYPE 2 and is the answer to easier wheel removal. Unlike Shimano’s switch that releases the clutch tension, SRAM have taken a different path with releasing all chain tension by holding the cage assembly in a forward position. Pushing the cage forward by hand and then pressing the cage lock button, the cage is locked into a position leaving a completely slack chain that allows simple wheel removal and chain installation.

The SRAM TYPE 2 in the locked out position.
The cage lock button (with the lock symbol) in the lock position.

To return the derailleur to its normal position just push the cage further forward and let the button auto release (just watch your fingers for the snap back!).  We found this cage lock system effective, however not as simple to use as Shimano’s clutch switch. For newer and less technically minded riders, this feature is likely to add to the confusion of removing and replacing the rear wheel; however once mastered, wheel removal is easier with no fight against the derailleur tension.

At 228 grams for the long cage version and with just an additional 30 grams compared to a normal derailleur, we believe the extra weight is well worth the peace of mind. Without a carbon cage, and at a mere 15 grams heavier than the XO (we tested), the lower X9 version represents amazing value for money at $129.95 and will be the way to go for most.

Much like the review for the Shimano XT Shadow Plus, SRAM’s TYPE 2 derailleurs represent a significant upgrade to the derailleur, making it a relatively cheap and easy replacement that results in significant gains. [/private]

SRAM Shift Cable Kit – Slick Shifting From SRAM For A Sleek Price

The SRAM Shift Cable Kit comes with all the bibs and bobs required for your bike and performance at a level expected from one of the duopolies in MTB running gear. [private]

The SRAM Shift Cable Kit comes with everything you need to set up smooth shifting and a clean, noiseless bike.

Fitting the Shift Cable Kit was fairly straight forward providing a solid housing when cutting it to length, with no noticeable spoil to the housing form. The 1.1mm stainless steel cable was clean and smooth and retained its form even after a number of goes at getting it through the internal routing path.

A great feature of the Shift Cable Kit are the supplied rubber lugs, they fit neatly over the cable housing and once in place do not move. The rubber lugs add another layer of frame protection, or the option to do away with frame protection stickers.

The bike we fitted the Shift Cable Kit to incorporated internal frame routing to the bottom bracket which meant we had plenty of spare housing left over. However if you are planning on fitting full length housing to both derailleurs on a 29er or larger bike, we recommend you rough in a fit to establish how much housing you will need.

Hitting the trails with the SRAM Shift Cable Kit we found the shifting to be solid and smooth providing confident and direct shifting. After a number of rides and one race with a lot of shifting there has been little adjustment required with the cable maintaining a solid level of tension.

The kit comes in 4 different colours (black, white, red and blue) to match or un-match your bike depending on your preference.

Choose your colour.

The SRAM Shift Cable Kit is a solid product provide smooth and strong shifting and is a worthy upgrade or maintenance replacement to your current bike.

There is also a Slickwire PTFE coated version available for $42.95 is you want even smoother shifting. [/private]

SRAM pART PROJECT

Here’s a box of 100 SRAM high-performance bike components. Now make something of it.

That’s the challenge SRAM lays down for groups of noted, hand-selected artists.

The works they create are displayed and auctioned off with all proceeds from auctions being donated to World Bicycle Relief.

World Bicycle Relief serves people in underdeveloped regions of the world who suffer from lack of access to health care, education, and economic opportunity. With a bicycle you can travel four times farther, carry five times more, and save up to three hours a day in travel time (based on a 10-mile commute). So you can get to a doctor, to school, or to work faster and more safely. Doors closed by distance are now opened, as is the way to a better life.

SRAM Rise 60

Let’s get the elephant out of the room right from the start.  These rims aren’t cheap and rather than harping about the price constantly throughout the review we will talk about it up front.  Yep, $2199 is a bucket-load of money and yes you can buy a hell of a lot of other things for that money – we agree.  Spending that kind of money will not be everyone’s cup of tea but if you have the coin these rims are actually very much worth it.  It’s not just the sexy factor we’re talking about – we have Strava times that show how they improved our speed. [private]

If you don’t have the money, don’t stress as the prices of these (and other carbon offerings) will surely reduce over time and become more obtainable for the rest of us.  Also, if you need extra justification to squeeze the bank account a little more then these aren’t even at the high end of the carbon rim market.  Just keep reminding yourself of that fact as you pass the credit card over to your local bike shop – it will help the healing process.

We’ve ridden this trail a zillion times and straight up these wheels made us faster.

But let’s not talk about money again.  That just gets in the way of things.

We were initially sceptical about the rims.  ‘How much difference can a carbon rim make?’, were our initial thoughts.

To be honest, and this is the 100% truth, we were blown away by how good they felt on the trails and how they actually made us faster.  On the very first ride on one of our favourite well-ridden trails, our Strava times were quicker.  We hadn’t been EPO’ing the night before, the rest of the bike was unchanged and the trail conditions were standard.  It was the rims. Their weight savings, their strength, their acceleration, their ability to hold a line, it all added up to make the difference.

Day one of testing we were sold.  Carbon rims rock and SRAM really had a killer with the Rise 60.

Rather than rattling off specification after specification we want to focus on the ride.  The technical details are a nice sound bite used for marketing but how they rode on the trail proved more telling than a bearing count or spoke diameter ever could.  There is one very important specification we do wish to highlight though, and that is the weight.  At 1410 grams for the set (we weighed them ourselves) these represented a significant weight saving from what we had already on our test bike.

Our test bike became more playful with these rims and we just wanted to jump and float over everything.

That weight saving made a huge difference.  Rolling weight is a big thing and the less weight you have rolling underneath you the better you can accelerate and brake.  In the past the only way to save grams on rolling weight was to use rims that were either super thin or had less spokes than a guitar has strings – all meaning a sacrifice in strength.  SRAM solved all these issues by using super strong carbon (obviously) while still maintaining a 19mm rim width and 24 spokes.

Carbon is not only strong, it’s also sexy.  Look at those fibres glowing in the sun.

We really noticed the difference in the reduced rolling weight immediately and the bike felt faster out of corners and more playful over jumps and across rocks.   It was like new-bike-fever all over again as it made our old familiar steed feel new again.  The strength was also immediately noticeable and the rims enabled us to hold our lines better.  We cannot explain it (beyond maybe the lack of flex and overall strength in the rims) but rather than the normal deflection and throwing offline that we were used to we were able to hold on to those difficult line choices across rough terrain and through rock gardens.

Another notable plus was acceleration performance.  The rear wheel engages super quickly thanks to a combination of 54 teeth and 9 points of engagement (3 paws @ 3 teeth each) hidden in the freehub body.  Not only did this make the rear hub sound like a dream (oh, it sounds so, so good) but it also made pedal engagement instantaneous.  The speed of engagement may not always be noticeable to everyone but the security of the engagement gives you a certain level of confidence when you’re stomping on the pedals.

With all that engagement, stomping on the pedals felt good.

Worthy of a little special comment is the rim noise – or lack thereof.  Some rims ‘ping’ and ‘pong’ as you ride and the noises make you cringe.  Not these puppies.  These rims are quiet and there is no noise at all from the spokes or rims – even when we were hitting rocks really hard.  A nice artefact of the carbon material perhaps, and nice if you love a silent bike (like we do).

Without a doubt the rims are strong.  All up we have been riding these for about 3 months on all kinds of terrain and not all 100% recommended by SRAM for this wheel-set.  They are designed more for cross country riding but we have been giving them a good workout on some big trails including big rocks and jumps.  Even after our abuse they’re still straight and we haven’t had to touch them.   Don’t tell SRAM, but we even threw these onto a 6” travel bike for a week or so and still we didn’t get any problems.

We tested the rims beyond their expected capacity and they held up like a dream. Smash away.

The only negative we want to highlight is the lack of tubeless compatibility.  If you run tubes, these rims are 100% perfect and feel free to skip the next couple of paragraphs.

For that money (I know we said we weren’t going to talk about money again) we expected them to be fully UST compliant.  They’re supposed to be run with tubes but we prefer tubeless hands down and the latter option isn’t part of any factory setting.  We converted ours to tubeless using Gorilla tape and a DT Swiss tubeless valve. That combination made the rim airtight, no issue – the issue was more with the rim bead (the part of the rim that locks onto the tyre bead giving that perfect seal).  We felt the rim bead was a little too shallow and thus it was a pain to get a tubeless tyre to get that initial hold.  We were able to do it, but it took some skill, lots of swearing, and a few beers to get them to seal with a compressor.

Tubeless conversion worked no problem – it’s just that it was much, much harder to get them to hold that first time.

The other factor that showed the lack of tubeless capability was the leaking and burping we experienced.  They burped more than Homer Simpson at Moe’s.  Maybe not that bad but it was enough to notice the Stans sealant on the tyres.  That being said, and to their credit, it never caused an on-trail issue but it did mean that we had to check our tyre pressures regularly before rides.   Also, over the test period they never came off the rim and we had no flats or any other issue on the trail.

Just to reiterate.  The issue was more with the initial setting up of tubeless tyres and some minor burping.  Once set, they actually held air pretty well.

Burping. It may look bad but was never an issue. Just make sure you run plenty of sealant and regularly check tyre pressure.

We acknowledge that this ‘negative’ is essentially by our own design as the rims are not UST compatible, but we think it should be an option.

The rims also come in 29er size ($2399) and whist we haven’t tested any yet, we do expect the performance improvements and all the good stuff we experienced with the 26er’s to be comparable.  The 29er’s may (and that’s a big “may”) take a little less abuse but a comfortable assumption would be that they would be fine for their designed purpose – cross country riding.

The box came with a myriad of adaptors and sleeves so you can mount them on most bike configurations.  Remember, these are designed for cross country performance so don’t expect a big bolt through rear axle or anything that will suit your big travel bike.

We were very impressed with the on trail performance of the SRAM Rise 6o carbon rims.  They were noticeably fast, noticeably strong and noticeably fun….all money aside.

[/private]

SRAM XX1 groupset test

[SV_VIMEO id=”49131764″]

Flow scored Australia’s first test on the much-hyped SRAM XX1 drivetrain, lucky us indeed.

After the media launch in Whistler we desperately wanted to have this all to ourselves to test on our own trails, away from the watching eyes of SRAM staff and engineers. We really wanted to find the limits to this unique eleven speed system, and we planned to try our hardest to try and drop the chain off the chainring.

A sweet Yeti SB66 Carbon arrived at Flow equipped with Grip Shift operated XX1, and out we went. We gave it hell, we picked it to pieces and we had it all to ourselves. We discussed the costs, the compatibility and the target user. After a week’s solid riding on Canberra and Sydney trails we serve up our verdict here in this video…and beg SRAM for another longer term test on this impressive product. [private]

Our toughest testing ground serving it rough for our SRAM XX1 bike.
It’ll take some getting used to, XX1 just looks odd. With a small ring up front and a large one on the rear, it’s backwards to what we are accustomed to.
Check out the size of that big sprocket! 42 teeth is massive, especially when we are used to getting around on a 36 tooth cassette. While our test bike had a 36 tooth chainring, most XX1 groupsets will sell with a 32 tooth ring. In that configuration, compared to a 3×10 Shimano drivetrain, you do lose a little bit of top-end speed but you give up surprisingly little in terms of climbing gears (about 7%). When compared to 2×10 drivetrain the differences are even less dramatic. Could XX1 see the 2×10 fall by the wayside? Will it become a battle of 1×11 vs 3×10?
If it were ours, we would happily add around 60g grams to the bike with a lightweight chainguide to secure the chain on top of the ring, just for the security and peace of mind. We only dropped the chain once during testing, albeit from a stick knocking it off, we never managed to bounce it off during any descents or rough riding. But still a chainguide will not add any drag, hardly any weight but you gain a lot of peace of mind. But we can envisage many riders riding without one, it simply looks clean.
The alternating thicknesses in the chain ring teeth sync with the chain in plates to reduce the risk of derailment. No, magnets were not used, just logic and a long prototyping phase! Rings are available in 28-38 tooth sizes in two tooth increments, we’d pick a 32 or 34 for general trail riding. In our minds spinning out on a fast fire road is less of a worry than running out of steam up a steep climb.
This rear derailleur is unlike anything we have seen before. The parallelogram actually sits horizontally, where a standard derailleur sits on an angle. It’s far more stable than a standard SRAM derailleur, plus using the Type 2 arrangement with a clutch resistance to reduce chain slap it is an astonishingly quiet arrangement.
Our test bike came equipped with Grip Shift. Not our cup of tea, and the grip is so long we had to shift our hands inboard each time we shifted gears, but it shifts the gears perfectly. The trigger shifter we do love, and it feels just like an XX unit, just one more nice, positive click.

[/private]

Tested: Avid X0 Trail Brakes

It’s no secret that Avid brakes have had some ups and downs over the past few years, but the new X0 Trail brakes see Avid back in the game in a big way.

Avid have years of experience with four piston brakes already, their Code downhill/freeride brakes are big, powerful but heavy. We have since seen some riders experimenting with fitting lightweight X0 levers to Code calipers to gain the added power of a four-piston brake without the added beef to your handlebars. So when we heard rumours of a lightweight four-piston brake aimed at trail riders we thought to ourselves ‘that makes good sense’. And here it is, a powerful brake without the weight.

Available in black or shiny chrome, the sleek and minimal pack a punch.

Most brakes out there use two pistons, one on each side of the caliper to push the pad onto the disc rotor. A larger brake pad would increase friction applied to the rotor, but would need more of a push to do so, hence the need for two more pistons. The Trail brake uses a longer brake pad than a standard Elixir or X0 brake for example, and a combination of 16mm and 14mm pistons have been chosen to tune just the right amount of power you get when you squeeze the lever.

The small pistons work to provide a solid force against the rotor.

It’s not only the caliper that differs from other brakes from Avid, the lever also scores a lot of attention from the engineers. Most notably the lever feels solid, smooth and consistent in its action. Two small cartridge bearings are used on the lever pivot in place of bushes (bushings can develop wear and slop) and it uses the new bleed port location indicating Avid’s Air Trap feature which helps the brakes from losing feel and power if air finds its way into the lever body.

Note the two small cartridge bearings on the lever pivot, smooth actuation and no lateral slop are the results. Keep an eye on the bolts though, one of the tiny torx bolts loosened off on us, and we almost lost it on the trail.
All this means a new pad standard is introduced, but we think it’s worth it.

The rotors are now available in 140, 160, 170 (new size), 180 and 200mm sizes to allow fine-tuning of the power on hand to suit your bike and riding style. Also with all the new wheel sizes being thrown into the mix, this is handy. We used a 180 up front and 160 out the back on our Yeti SB66 Carbon test mule.

During testing we found the X0 Trail brakes to be refreshingly effective, and after cutting down the brake lines to fit our test bike perfectly, the lever felt like the most solid feeling Avid brake we have ever felt yet. The power sure was plentiful and we found modulating the right amount of stopping juice with one finger was simply spot on. On the longest runs we did notice some brake fade, but far less than a set of X0 Elixirs, and nothing out of the ordinary.

Adjusting the brakes to suit your hand size and lever position preference takes about thirty seconds via the user-friendly adjustments. We tried running the caliper without the concave and convex washers but as we tightened the caliper onto the bike it would creep out of adjustment and drag again, so, leave them on there they make drag-free adjustment easier.

The pad contact adjuster spins and adjusts like it should, and in conjunction with the reach adjustment, customising the feel is as easy as one, two, three.

SRAM dedicated riders can now fit a brake to their bikes and be confident their Shimano loyal mates can’t pick at, this brake works a treat. Our set weighed in the exact same as a set of X9 Elixirs, so it’s a no-brainer, the weight penalty is not even an issue. Avid certainly are back.

We’ll keep on testing these brakes, and happily so. They have impressed us and reinstated Avid brakes as an option for the non-believers out there.