Archive for the ‘Bikes & Specs’ Category

Kaos Custom Bikes Titanium 36"er

September 5, 2009

While many just can not wrap their heads around 36 inch wheels, and think the whole idea is silly, it just doesn’t seem to go away. Case in point: This sano titanium 36″er from Kaos Custom Bikes from down under in Australia.

DSC00254

Andy from Kaos Custom Bikes sent us the following specs on the bike:

The tyres are Nightriders from Unicycle.com as are the Stealth rims.
They are fitted up tubeless using a selection of tape, Stans NoTubes sealant, and bolt in valves
from car wheels.
Removal of the tube saves 600g. The hubs are Hope. the rear is a Pro II single speed fitted with 6 cogs
from a Sram cassette. The group set is SRAM Select with the 2 smallest rings fitted on the front.
Brakes are the new Avid Elixer 5 fitted to Hope rotors. The rotors are 183mm from M4 down hill brakes.
All the tubes in the frame are Straight gauge .9mm wall.
The fork is 35mm legs with 1.5mm wall tubes

DSC00260
Andy claims the bike rides like a dream on the rear wheel.

Like most 36″ers, there is a bit of flex going on. Andy concurs with this saying, “It is a bit flexy when out of the saddle but fine when seated or on the back wheel.
Rides great on the back wheel.”
Andy also chimes in with what probably is the number one attribute of riding a 36″er- you get noticed- a lot! Andy says, “For the moment it is really great fun and turns heads big time. Its one of those “mobile phone salute” bikes.” Andy also tells us to look for more on the Kaos Custom Bikes site soon on the 36″er.

Interesting to note that this one has tubeless wheels which I would imagine ups the roll ability of the 36″er dramatically. I have only ridden tubed 36″ers and they can be a chore to get going in part due to the rolling resistance of the tire/tube combination and the weight. Getting 600 grams out of the tires has to help a bit!

Andy tells us this won’t be the last one that Kaos Custom Bikes does either saying, “This is the first one and the next will likely have 1.5mm tubes all round and some other detail changes. Its been a long time since I built my first uni wheel and got the idea.” We’ll have to wait to see more, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone else pushing the limits of 36″er technology soon. There just seems to be something there that grabs the imagination of some folks. Whatever it is, it is fun to check out.

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Salsa "Sol Sessions": The Big Mama

June 17, 2008

Salsa Cycles has been working on this new full suspension platform for quite some time and now……here it is!

The new model!

The Big Mama is a four inch travel suspension platform with several important features which I’ll get into a bit later. First off, I was able to get a chance to ride this bike on Sunday at the local Murphy-Hanrahan trail system. It is a great buff, fast, tight and twisty single track loop. I was able to put in 16 miles on the new rig and I will say, it was a very satisfying ride.

My observations of 29 inch wheeled full suspension bikes is that most of them are compromises of what I like in a 29″er. They seem to be good at some things, but have lost certain handling characteristics, aesthetic characteristics, or structural characteristics in the translation from hard tail to full suspension. There are few that seem to have it dialed and look good doing it. Is the Big Mama in that rarefied air? Let’s take a look.

New graphics

I have ridden a lot of full suspension bikes and the first thing one should determine is “what type” of full suspension are we talking about. Salsa head honch, Jason Boucher, says this is first and foremost an “all day trail bike”. Taking that into consideration as I rode it, I could then discern if it fit into my expectations for such a bike. I would say that such a bike should be maneuverable, respond to pedaling input in a positive way, (read “like a hard tail”), be stiff laterally, and have overall handling that is easy to navigate when the rider is tired. It should also do what the best trail bike full suspension should do, that is, keep the rider fresh and keep the wheels in contact with the ground. Finally, it should be fun and look cool. (Hey! I like my rigs to look good!)

one piece forged linkage

The heart of the Big Mama is it’s detailed suspension and frame fittings. Things like the one piece forged link, (pictured above) help keep things tracking correctly. The hidden part here is the Enduro brand bearings used at all pivot points. The drive side of the swing arm is even fitted with two bearings, while the non-drive side has the traditional single bearing, which helps keep the swing arm pivot stiff and resist twisting forces from the pedaling input of a rider. Did it work? Well, all I can say is that I never once felt anything close to flex in the bottom bracket area. The huge bottom bracket forging, which includes the swing arm pivot, no doubt helps in this area. In fact, that swing arm felt pretty stout too. The reason why was evident……

rear drop out area

……Notice something missing? Yep! No pivot. Salsa Cycles designed the suspension with no rear drop out pivot, not because they think the rear pivot idea wasn’t any good, it just rode better than the designs that had rear pivots in their testing. So, to get around the pivot and have it ride well, Salsa designers went to the toolbox and pulled out their experiences with the Dos Niner. The soft tail classic has chain stays designed to flex up to an inch and survive trail abuse over the long haul. The flattened Scandium enhanced structure makes a return here on the Big Mama in the seat stays and only has to flex a whopping 5mm throughout the stroke of the shock. Salsa claims it helps reduce starting shock pressures needed and with the custom tuned Fox RP2, it helps achieve full travel from the damper. Did it work? Well, with the shock set to the open position on my test ride the Big Mama rode with small bump sensitivity and didn’t feel like it ramped up or stiffened in any way towards the end of it’s travel. It just reacted to bumps with no drama and made me forget all about suspension. That’s what a good suspension design should do, become invisible.

shaped down tube

head tube/down tube junction

Salsa Cycles tried to maximize the weld areas on the bike and to reduce the places that required welding on the Big Mama. To do this they utilized special forged frame fittings, like the drop outs and the bottom bracket area. They also shaped the Scandium tubes, which were all specially designed by Salsa, to help combat flex where riders don’t want it. Check out that down tube/ bottom bracket junction, pictured above, or that down tube/ head tube weld area. There is some serious manipulation of tubes going on with the Big Mama. Did it work? Well, one of my biggest pet peeves about 29″ers is that many of them exhibit a torsional twist in the front triangle which leads to a vague steering feel and in bad cases a total disconnect between tracking of the rear and front wheels. I can say that I felt the Big Mama tracking a good straight line and that it didn’t feel like it had any significant torsional flex in the front end. yeah, I’d say all that tube shaping and weld area work was worth it.

swingarm clearances

Of course, this being an all day trail bike sort of rig, it would only make sense that you would be able to run big meats and still have some clearance around the tire for mud and trail debris. Salsa engineers made sure that you will be able to mount up a 2.5″ wide tire on a 35mm wide rim and have that clearance. I’ll have to take their word on that, as the samples I rode and saw all had Nevegals on them, but to my eye, it looks like a sure fit. That swing arm forging also helps solidify things laterally too. Nicely done!

Post mounts!

Salsa’s design goals for this project were to have reliability, durability, and attention to detail. In that vein, they chose to fit the Big Mama with post mount type fittings for the rear disc brake. This is in keeping with the move by fork makers who have gone to post mounts and should give the Big Mama better braking performance given that the brake caliper is now mounted to a sturdy forged bit directly welded to the frame.

A few notes on my ride that I have not mentioned: The Big Mama was easy to wheelie, and was nimble feeling with a slight nod to the stable side of the handling spectrum. When I rode the production prototype, I had no idea about the “numbers”, since they were kept from me. I found out only later that the head angle is 71 degrees and that the Fox fork has 46mm of off set here. With this combination, I felt the Big Mama felt calm and collected on hairy fast descents through the tight single track. Climbing didn’t require any extra attention to the front end other than that I had to weight the front a bit more or I could wheelie at will. Something that could be cured if I wanted to with positioning tweaks, but frankly, I liked it this way. The bike cornered really well and what impressed me most was its ability to carve around a really tight corner with stability. This rig should help you clean switchbacks that have given you fits on other big wheelers.

The Big Mama will also be available as I got to ride it with Fox suspension, Race Face stem and seat post, and a good helping of Shimano XT parts including the brakes, hubs, and drive train. Salsa bits round out the package which will be topped off with a WTB saddle. Frame sets will include the Fox RP2 and a Salsa Flip-Lock seat collar. Look for the frame sets to become available in September with a suggested MSRP of $1435-$1500. The complete Big Mama bikes will come in January of ’09 and will be MSRP at about $3800-$4000. (One note, the bike pictured here has the black Fox shock, which is the color for the ’09 120mm travel F-29. The complete bike will actually be spec’ed with the 100mm travel fork and was white in our hand outs) Go to Salsa Cycles and check out the specs and information on the Big Mama. I also should mention that the very similar 26″er model, the El Kaboing, will also be available and was presented at the press release as well.

In conclusion, I felt that Salsa Cycles has done their homework and applied solutions with elegance and effectiveness to the problem of making a great 29″er trail bike. Have they come up with something that fits my definition of a 29″er trail bike? If the 16 miles I got to ride it is any indication, I would say that the Big Mama is well on it’s way to filling that rare place in my mind. Will it work for you? I know that there will be those who won’t like it, but my guess is that the Big Mama will be a very popular rig with a lot of 29″er freaks. If the design fulfills the goals that Salsa Cycles set for it, and it gives every indication that it will, I would go as far as to say that this will be its best selling 29″er rig. Time will tell on that, but for now, this bike is high on my list of full suspension 29″ers.

Edit 6-22-08: Salsa Cycles Jason Boucher has informed me that the Fox F-29 will indeed be black as shown on the pics above. He especially spec’ed a black fork. It is still the 100mm travel fork. Sorry for the confusion this may have caused.

OS Bikes Blackbuck: Update

January 13, 2008

Twenty Nine Inches gave you a sneak peek of the OS Bikes Blackbuck back in October……..sans pictures! Not much of a peek, I’d say! So, I was able to procure some pictures from OS Bikes head, Mark Slate. Here they are for your viewing pleasure!

OS Bikes Blackbuck

The Blackbuck can be had as seen here with a Rock Shox Reba, Avid hydraulics, and WTB Laser Disc wheel set. Of course, it is a single speed, but it can be set up geared with the included pinned derailluer hangar. You must use full housings, but there is a braze on on the downtube to screw on a cable guide.

OS Bikes Blackbuck front end

Another interesting feature is the reinforced head tube area. Mark Slate felt that since 29″ers typically have a shorter head tube and a longer lever directing force into the head tube via a 29″ers longer fork, that the head tube needed a little extra beef. Smart move. Also interesting is the seat stay/seat tube jucntion and, of course, the gracefully arcing seat stays themselves accented by some fine silver and red pinstriped darts.

OS Blackbuck from the top/side

In the picture above you can see the interesting water bottle mounting arrangement. Three bolts allow you to posistion the cage in a high or low configuration. You can also mount the excellent but hard to find WTB designed Blackburn Bomber Cage that holds a two liter bottle of water for those epic dry terrain rides. (I happen to have one of those cages. They are great!)

OS Bikes Blackbuck is available in this complete version for about $1600.00 or as a frame and rigid fork only. (The rigid steel fork has 51mm offset, by the way) Contact OS Bikes for more info to get ahold of your very own Blackbuck

Cannondale '08 29"er Specs

July 18, 2007

Okay, as promised I have the specs on the bikes posted in the previous post. Cannondale has expanded the line above, below, and outside of what they had last model year. All frames are Caffeine level frames with the only difference being the single speed model with it’s “single speed-ness”. Interestingly, the “1FG” moniker was not used for the single speed and a rather conservative numbering system distiguishes between models now. (Although the “F-29” decal is visible on some of these as well)

Caveat: These specs are subject to change and may not reflect the actual bikes once they become available later in the Fall. Sorry! I didn’t get any MSRP’s on any of these as yet.

Okay, starting out with the black/green rig, dubbed the “29er 1”, we have a pretty nicely spec’ed bike. The fork is the Lefty Speed Carbon SL 80mm travel edition. The drive train is controlled by SRAM X-9 triggers operating an LX front and X-9 rear derailluer set up. The wheels are WTB Laser Disc Trail FR rims with a Lefty front hub and a Shimano M525 rear hub. The wheels are shod with WTB’s new Prowler 2.1 tires. Whoa the whole thing down to a stop with Avids Juicy 7 hydraulic disc brakes featuring 180 frt/160 r sized rotors. Other nice bits are the Thompson Elite seat post, Fizik Nisene saddle, and Crank Brothers Smarty pedals.

Next up is the, you guessed it!, the “29er 2”, which is the blue and white rig. This one gets the Lefty Speed Bonded DLR2 80mm fork, WTB Speed Disc rims, Prowler tires, Wellgo clipless pedals, and Juicy 3 hydraulic brakes from Avid. The drivetrain is a mix of LX front/X-7 rear/X-5 triggers. A smattering of Cannondale and FSA parts round out the cockpit.

By the way, both the “29er 1” and “29er 2” come in an alternate “Raw” finish.

Moving on to the “29er 3”, we see the Cannondale single speed 29″er that has been rumored for so long. Done up in a raw finish with WTB Dual Duty FR rims, ExiWolf tires, and Truvativ Firex crank set, the bike stops with Avid BB-5 mechanical disc brakes and puts out the power to the rear wheel via the Formula rear hub. A Lefty Speed Bonded DLR2 fork graces the front of this single speed. The chain is tensioned via an eccentric at the bottom bracket.

Finally we see the “29er 4”, which is an entirely different spec. Most noticeable is the Rock Shox Dart 329 80mm travel fork. The bike rolls on Dual Duty WTB rims and Prowler tires that the spec sheet I saw says are “2.3” inches wide. (I’m betting they are 2.1 inches, but I could be wrong!) The drive train is mostly SRAM X-5 with a Deore front derailluer. The brakes are Shimano model BR-485’s with the 160mm rotors front and rear.

To repeat, I have no pricing information as yet and I wouldn’t expect any of these to become available until this fall at the earliest. If we get our grubby hands on any more information leaking from Cannondale’s factory gnome, we’ll let you in on it.

2007 Redline Monocog 29inch Sneak Peek (and some Flight 29er info!)

August 2, 2006

If you’re wondering what the 2007 Redline Monocog is gonna be… check out these specs and pics…

2007 REDLINE MONOCOG (MSRP $469.99) ETA 8/15/06
ITEM MAKER DESCRIPTION
FRAME REDLINE CHROMOLY MTB FRAME, DISC TABS, AND CHAIN TENSIONER
FORK REDLINE CHROMOLY, DISC TABS
HEADSET VP THREADLESS 1 1/8″
CRANKSET RPM 32T X ALLOY 175MM FORGED CRANK
BB VP SEALED BEARING CARTRIDGE 68MM-110.5MM JIS
H.BAR RITCHEY RISER 31.8MM COMP
STEM REDLINE ALLOY 10° X 31.8MM.
S. POST REDLINE ALLOY 26.8MM
GRIPS REDLINE NEW FREAKY-X GRIPS
CASSETTE REDLINE 20T
CHAIN KMC Z30
PEDAL VP ALLOY PATFORM 9/16″
BRAKES TEKTRO ALLOY V-BRAKE
BRAKE LEVER TEKTRO ALLOY LINEAR PULL
FRONT HUB REDLINE ALLOY QR DISC
REAR HUB REDLINE ALLOY NUT TYPE 135MM CASSETTE DISC
SPOKES STAINLESS 14G
RIMS ALEX ALLOY DH-19 32H
TIRES WTB EXIWOLF 29 X 2.3″
SADDLE REDLINE  

2007 Monocog 29er

And here’s some specs on the Redline Flight 29er…

2007 REDLINE MONOCOG FLIGHT 29er (MSRP $899.99) ETA NOV 2006

ITEM MAKER

DESCRIPTION
FRAME REDLINE JAPANESE SANKO DOUBLE BUTTED CHROMOLY TUBING
FORK REDLINE HEAT TREATED SANKO TAPER LEG CHROMOLY
HEADSET FSA SEALED
CRANKSET FSA GAMMA DRIVE SINGLE 32T, ISIS
BB FSA 68MM x 108MM  ISIS
H.BAR RITCHEY RISER PRO 31.8MM
STEM RITCHEY PRO MOUNTAIN 31.8
S. POST RITCHEY PRO MTB
GRIPS REDLINE NEW FREAKY-X GRIPS
CASSETTE FORMULA SINGLE 20T COG
CHAIN KMC Z30
PEDAL N/A N/A
BRAKES AVID BB5 DISC BRAKES
BRAKE LEVER AVID FR-5
FRONT HUB REDLINE SEALED BEARING, 32H, DISC BRAKE, QR
REAR HUB REDLINE SEALED BEARING, 32H, DISC BRAKE, QR, 135MM, CASSETTE
SPOKES STAINLESS 14G DB
RIMS WTB LASER DISC TRAIL 32H
TIRES MAXXIS IGNITOR 29 X 2.1
SADDLE WTB ROCKET V RACE

Update: Cannondale "Caffeine" 29"er

July 18, 2006

I recieved confirmation today that Cannondale is going to introduce the much anticipated 29″er hardtail bike we all have seen and heard rumors about in mid September. Originally the working name for the project was “F-29″, but in an effort to distance the model from the traditional 26” offerings, Cannondale has chose the name “Caffeine” to grace the top tube of its first 29 inch wheeled bike.

Some of the spec highlights include a Lefty Speed Bonded DLR2 with 80mm of travel, a SRAM X-7 trigger shifter set, SRAM X-7 rear derailluer, an LX front derailluer, FSA crank, Avid BB-5 brakes, and Exi Wolf 2.3″ tires. The approximate price for the new hard tail is $1599.99. Color choices will be the white/ orange/ blue Cannondale Team Bear Naked livery, or Raw aluminum.

We applaud an introduction of a new geared only 29″er, and especially one with a new suspension choice, (albeit a proprietary one). This should prove to be a popular interoduction. The word is that production numbers will be small at first, because Cannondale is testing the waters with this new introduction. If they see big numbers and quick turn arounds on the 29″er Caffeine, who knows? Maybe we’ll see other offerings out of Pennsylvania.

New Niner Bikes Air 9

June 2, 2006

Niner Bikes Press Release:

For those of you who are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the AIR 9, our geared only version of the ONE 9 with Easton Scandium GX2 tubing (which should weig h in at just a little over 3 pounds for a medium), the wait is ALMOST over. We are officially taking pre-orders for the AIR 9 and have updated our site with geometry, specs, and pics.

We will only be offering the Air 9 in two colors, our now famous TANG, and a brand new color exclusive to the Air 9, RAW. The raw color is exactly that, raw aluminum with decals over the tubeset and a clearcoat to prevent oxidization. Every frame is hand brushed so every single RAW AIR 9 will be slightly different.

For those who pre-order an Air 9, you will receive a free Niner t-shirt and YAWYD top cap. We already have a line for frames forming, so if you want to guarantee yourself an AIR 9 from the first batch, order now. Frame only $749.00.

Niner Bikes Air 9 29er
 
Niner Bikes Air 9 29er

Salsa Introduces The El Mariachi: Production Version

May 6, 2006

Salsa has released the information that the El Mariachi steel hardtail 29″er frames will be available in production form by late June/ July. The frame differs from the Limited Edition version in paint and the fact that the rear drop out on the production version will have a derailluer hangar for a geared option that the customer can use. The other details are as follows: Disc only frame and fork with hose guides on the seat stay and on the left fork leg. True Temper OX chrome moly tubing. Bushnell EBB for the single speed option. Available in “Superior Blue” or “Tomatilla Green”. All this in one frame and fork for about $880.00. Check http://www.salsacycles.com for more info.

Prototype #3 of Intense Spider 29er

March 7, 2006

Prototype #3 of the Intense Spider 29er is pictured below…

Size: Medium
Color: Satin Black
Components: XTR
Wheels: Bontrager Race Lites with Jones XR 2.2’s
Fork: Reba Race @ 80mm
Rear Shock: Manitou Swinger 3way

More Stats: 23.75 effective TT, 18 CS, SA 74, static HA 73 @ 100mm fork setting. HA with 25% rear sag est @ 71.

Intense 29er

More VooDoo Dambala Pictures

February 22, 2006

Here are some new pictures of the VooDoo Dambala that we added to our picture gallery. This is actually John from VooDoo’s bike and is outfitted with the U.S.E. SUB 29er fork and Mary bars.

You can catch more VooDoo photos in their gallery.

VooDoo Dambala VooDoo Dambala