german

Canyon Nerve AL 6.0 review

German brand Canyon has arguably done a better job than anyone else at combining superb quality bikes with unbelievable pricing for those who don’t mind getting their bike in a box rather than the local shop.

Nothing shows that more clearly than this, the firm’s most affordable full suspension bike.

Frame and equipment: outrageous value for money

The Nerve AL frameset is a previous What Mountain Bike Trail Bike of the Year and multiple bike test winner, and it’s easy to see why. The heavily shaped tubeset is light enough to build into an 11kg race weapon. Even though the AL 6.0 gets QR hubs and axles front and rear rather than the 15mm front and 142×12mm rear of the AL 7.0, the tapered head tube and shaped tubing still give reasonably tight tracking. Double rear brake clips can be used for a dropper seatpost cable/hose while internal routing keeps the gear cables tucked out of sight.

What’s blindingly obvious is the outrageous value for money you’re getting delivered in Canyon’s signature robust, reusable cardboard crate. Simply put, if this bike cost almost double we wouldn’t be grumbling with the XT highlighted Shimano transmission and RockShox Reba fork.

The nerve 6.0's evo spec fox shock isn't perfect, but knocks spots off what most of the price-bracket competition come with:

The Nerve 6.0’s Evo spec Fox shock isn’t perfect, but knocks spots off what most of the price-bracket competition come with

The Evo spec Fox shock is occasionally notchy rather than predictably plush, but the 120mm of travel is still far better controlled than most discount dampers you’ll find on the Canyon’s price competitors though. You also get a three position CTD damping lever for Climbing lockout, efficient Trail feel or soft and squishy Descend settings.

Canyon has always been impressively on trend and the Nerve’s been brought bang up to date with 650b wheels without affecting its trademark efficiency. Canyon has even managed to spec full PaceStar triple compound Evolution series tyres, and these impressively quick yet trustworthy German all-rounders are a great match to the bike.

Ride and handling: fast, light and responsive

In fact Canyon has done such a good job keeping the Nerve AL’s signature speed and responsiveness that at first we didn’t even realise they had made the change to 650b. It leapt out of corners and scrabbled up climbs more like a 26in bike than a 650b.

The handling is fast and light like a smaller wheeled bike too and even the suspension is tuned to be pert and skippy over smaller bumps rather than smothering the trail in a soft pillow. That does mean more clatter and slightly less traction than it’s mid sized wheel peers but if you want a bigger stride and a smoother ride, the Nerve AL 7.9 29er is every bit as outstanding in terms of detail and value for money.

There's ample steering speed and authority to get stuck into twisty technical singletrack:

There’s ample steering speed and authority to get stuck into twisty singletrack

The 720mm bars and 80mm stem give enough steering speed and authority to make twisty technical singletrack fun, even if there’s noticeable twist with the QR skewer-tipped Reba. However if you’re worried about losing your Nerve, Canyon’s all-new Spectral 650 and 29er bikes are specifically designed to push the pace harder on more challenging trails and comes with screw-thru axles and 140mm of travel as standard.

In summary, Canyon’s new Nerve – and the 29er and Spectral bikes – are a lesson in why it’s worth not getting stuck at three figures if you can possibly help it when shopping for a mountain bike. Pushing your budget a few hundred quid past a grand can get you a far better specialist bike that’ll properly ignite your riding.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.








By Emma on August 30, 2014 | Mountain Bikes
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Eurobike odds & ends: Only in Europe, or coming to America?

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — Some say that what you see at Eurobike is coming to the U.S. market soon — maybe as soon as next month’s Interbike show (like the GoPro doggy camera mount), or maybe in a matter of years (electric unicycles? Well, maybe someday).  Others say there will always be some things in the European market that will never translate to the U.S

By admin on August 28, 2014 | Electric Bike
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Eurobike opens on reports of good weather

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN)—Coming off a mild winter and beautiful spring, the German market has experienced an increase in sales and market experts expect the positive trend to continue through the remainder of the year.

August 15, 2014

Issue Highlights:? LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (BRAIN) — Do electric mountain bikes belong on the trails? As IMBA plans to discuss the question at next week’s World Summit in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the August 15 issue of  Bicycle Retailer & Industry News  takes a look: A few suppliers are selling e-powered mountain bikes now, most major suppliers are selling them in Europe, and most plan to sell them in the U.S. soon no matter what IMBA’s policy may be now or in the future.

New BRAIN issue looks at electric mountain bikes

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (BRAIN) — Do electric mountain bikes belong on the trails?

Canyon Lux CF 7.9 review

Canyon’s marathon machine positively encourages the kind of riding that results in ragged gasps of breath and fatigue-blurred vision. Don’t be fooled by the name – the only element of luxury in this bike from the German maker is that it’ll let you push for long enough to suffer for what seems like an eternity.

Frame and equipment: marathon mandate

In continental Europe, marathon racing remains very big news. There are huge numbers of races for the endorphin junkie, from the relatively small 100km events to massive, multi-day, mountain range crossing suffer-fests. With that in mind, it makes sense that the Lux isn’t an afterthought cross-country bike, but designed from the ground up to be as rapid as possible over huge distances.

RockShox' sid xx takes care of business up front:

RockShox’ SID XX delivers 100mm of travel up front

Pairing big wheels with 100mm of travel means there’s just enough give to keep you in the saddle and on line when you’re slumped with exhaustion without sapping energy from the start. The carbon frame has a short, stumpy head tube to enable you to get low over the front, while the rear does without a seatstay pivot to reduce weight, relying on the give of the slightly flattened stays.

There are thru-axles at both ends to keep your wheels pointing in the direction you want, while the frame abounds with neat details such as the alloy chainsuck guard, asymmetrical stays and very clever ‘Impact Protection Unit’ that prevents the top tube from being damaged by the bars spinning round in a crash. It’s even routed for a dropper post, should you wish to fit one.

A neat bolt-on bumper protects the carbon top tube from bar spinning accidents:

A neat bolt-on bumper protects the carbon top tube from bar spinning accidents

As we’ve come to expect from Canyon, the kit bolted to this base model is staggeringly impressive for the cash. When decked out in the Team Issue paintjob, it’s easy to mistake for the twice-the-price Team bike and, despite the cost difference, the frame is exactly the same. Where the top dog gets SRAM XX, the 7.9 gets a mixed SRAM X7/X9/X0 2×10 drivetrain controlled by Gripshifters. Suspension is also from the same family, with a RockShox Monarch XX rear shock and SID XX fork, both linked by a bar-mounted hydraulic lockout.

Ride and handling: casual users need not apply

Our abiding impression of the Lux was that no matter how much we wanted to take it on a gentle cruise, we’d come back drenched in sweat, hearts pounding and with a number more miles ridden than originally intended. It quickly scalped our best Strava times on trail centre loops and, despite the snappy 70-degree head angle, it was adept when pushed on more natural terrain – though in wet or damp conditions the limits of the hard compound 2.2in Continental X-Kings became apparent, despite the boosted big-wheeler traction.

Every time you get on the lux, prepare to go long and hard:

Every time you get on the Lux, prepare to go long and hard

The suspension is nicely progressive, with enough initial give to boost grip without excessive bob, though the natural spring of the pivotless stays did mean that tuning the rear shock’s rebound to get a controlled but not dead feel took time. The rear shock’s remote hose junction does interfere with the operation of the rebound knob, so adjustment itself is a bit fiddly and none too positive.

Up front, the SID fork was superbly supportive, the Motion Control damper with Rapid Recovery adding to the generally taut and agile feel. It’s enough to briefly convince you that you’re on a longer travel machine, at least until the long, skinny legs start to give.

Despite the speed-freak nature of the bike, keep the riding within reason and it makes for a rapid trail machine too. Should you wish to increase that potential, the fork can actually be boosted to 120mm by switching the air spring. Combine it with a dropper post and you would have an interesting race/trail hybrid that could well make your riding buddies despise you, unless they’re into hunting down breakaway riders like cannibals.

Gripshift is a love/hate thing, but it allows rapid multiple gear shifts with ease:

Gripshift is a love/hate thing, but it allows rapid multiple gear shifts with ease

The drivetrain offers typical gunshot SRAM shifting and while Gripshift is a love/hate item, it does make mass-downshifts for when you’ve suddenly hit a sharp uphill corner easy to graunch through the range. The more precision-inclined might still prefer triggers.

While the cockpit on our medium test model doesn’t push the boundaries of stretched out length at 585mm, especially in combination with the steep 74-degree seat angle, the 80mm stem and 710mm Ritchey bars do end up with a front weighted – though effective – position.

If you wish to size up, there are both large and extra large models available, while the uninterrupted seat tube means you can drop the saddle as low as you like. Talking of saddles, the Selle Italia X1 isn’t the most comfortable of perches, so those that prefer their suffering to be muscular rather than corporal may want to switch it out.

A few kit tweaks and you'll have a highly capable trail machine on your hands:

A few kit tweaks and you’ll have a highly capable trail machine on your hands

When people say a bike is love/hate, it’s not meant in the way the Lux conjures these two emotions. We loved riding it and how impulsively fast it made us push, but we hated the broken backed, exhausted and sweat sodden rider it transformed us into. It’s a cracking distance machine with a lively feel and with a few tweaks it’ll translate well to trail thrashing. The geometry is slightly conservative, but it works well in this application and there’s no doubt you’re getting a quality, well-featured frame with some superb kit.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.








Canyon Lux CF 7.9 review

Canyon’s marathon machine positively encourages the kind of riding that results in ragged gasps of breath and fatigue-blurred vision. Don’t be fooled by the name – the only element of luxury in this bike from the German maker is that it’ll let you push for long enough to suffer for what seems like an eternity.

Frame and equipment: marathon mandate

In continental Europe, marathon racing remains very big news. There are huge numbers of races for the endorphin junkie, from the relatively small 100km events to massive, multi-day, mountain range crossing suffer-fests. With that in mind, it makes sense that the Lux isn’t an afterthought cross-country bike, but designed from the ground up to be as rapid as possible over huge distances.

RockShox' sid xx takes care of business up front:

RockShox’ SID XX delivers 100mm of travel up front

Pairing big wheels with 100mm of travel means there’s just enough give to keep you in the saddle and on line when you’re slumped with exhaustion without sapping energy from the start. The carbon frame has a short, stumpy head tube to enable you to get low over the front, while the rear does without a seatstay pivot to reduce weight, relying on the give of the slightly flattened stays.

There are thru-axles at both ends to keep your wheels pointing in the direction you want, while the frame abounds with neat details such as the alloy chainsuck guard, asymmetrical stays and very clever ‘Impact Protection Unit’ that prevents the top tube from being damaged by the bars spinning round in a crash. It’s even routed for a dropper post, should you wish to fit one.

A neat bolt-on bumper protects the carbon top tube from bar spinning accidents:

A neat bolt-on bumper protects the carbon top tube from bar spinning accidents

As we’ve come to expect from Canyon, the kit bolted to this base model is staggeringly impressive for the cash. When decked out in the Team Issue paintjob, it’s easy to mistake for the twice-the-price Team bike and, despite the cost difference, the frame is exactly the same. Where the top dog gets SRAM XX, the 7.9 gets a mixed SRAM X7/X9/X0 2×10 drivetrain controlled by Gripshifters. Suspension is also from the same family, with a RockShox Monarch XX rear shock and SID XX fork, both linked by a bar-mounted hydraulic lockout.

Ride and handling: casual users need not apply

Our abiding impression of the Lux was that no matter how much we wanted to take it on a gentle cruise, we’d come back drenched in sweat, hearts pounding and with a number more miles ridden than originally intended. It quickly scalped our best Strava times on trail centre loops and, despite the snappy 70-degree head angle, it was adept when pushed on more natural terrain – though in wet or damp conditions the limits of the hard compound 2.2in Continental X-Kings became apparent, despite the boosted big-wheeler traction.

Every time you get on the lux, prepare to go long and hard:

Every time you get on the Lux, prepare to go long and hard

The suspension is nicely progressive, with enough initial give to boost grip without excessive bob, though the natural spring of the pivotless stays did mean that tuning the rear shock’s rebound to get a controlled but not dead feel took time. The rear shock’s remote hose junction does interfere with the operation of the rebound knob, so adjustment itself is a bit fiddly and none too positive.

Up front, the SID fork was superbly supportive, the Motion Control damper with Rapid Recovery adding to the generally taut and agile feel. It’s enough to briefly convince you that you’re on a longer travel machine, at least until the long, skinny legs start to give.

Despite the speed-freak nature of the bike, keep the riding within reason and it makes for a rapid trail machine too. Should you wish to increase that potential, the fork can actually be boosted to 120mm by switching the air spring. Combine it with a dropper post and you would have an interesting race/trail hybrid that could well make your riding buddies despise you, unless they’re into hunting down breakaway riders like cannibals.

Gripshift is a love/hate thing, but it allows rapid multiple gear shifts with ease:

Gripshift is a love/hate thing, but it allows rapid multiple gear shifts with ease

The drivetrain offers typical gunshot SRAM shifting and while Gripshift is a love/hate item, it does make mass-downshifts for when you’ve suddenly hit a sharp uphill corner easy to graunch through the range. The more precision-inclined might still prefer triggers.

While the cockpit on our medium test model doesn’t push the boundaries of stretched out length at 585mm, especially in combination with the steep 74-degree seat angle, the 80mm stem and 710mm Ritchey bars do end up with a front weighted – though effective – position.

If you wish to size up, there are both large and extra large models available, while the uninterrupted seat tube means you can drop the saddle as low as you like. Talking of saddles, the Selle Italia X1 isn’t the most comfortable of perches, so those that prefer their suffering to be muscular rather than corporal may want to switch it out.

A few kit tweaks and you'll have a highly capable trail machine on your hands:

A few kit tweaks and you’ll have a highly capable trail machine on your hands

When people say a bike is love/hate, it’s not meant in the way the Lux conjures these two emotions. We loved riding it and how impulsively fast it made us push, but we hated the broken backed, exhausted and sweat sodden rider it transformed us into. It’s a cracking distance machine with a lively feel and with a few tweaks it’ll translate well to trail thrashing. The geometry is slightly conservative, but it works well in this application and there’s no doubt you’re getting a quality, well-featured frame with some superb kit.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.








Accell: Good weather in Europe, sales of e-bikes prop overall profits

Company blames revenue dip in North America on severe winter and decline in overall market. HEERENVEEN, Netherlands (BRAIN) — Accell Group N.V. reported overall revenue gains for the first six months of the year.

Bionicon Hybrid Hoody review

While German brand Bionicon might be best known for its unique travel and geometry adjustable bikes, it also does a wide range of riding kit. This hooded top aims to be just as adaptable as its bikes, using a mix of merino wool along with nylon and Lycra for added stretch.

That, along with the multi-panel design and flat stitched seams give it a close and comfortable fit. The hood and waist are elasticated to enable you to cinch them down and exclude draughts. There’s a zipped chest pocket for extra secure storage, and the back is free from pockets so sits well under a pack. The slightly ‘Euro’ looks might divide opinion, but as well as this red and blue mix, black, brown and green versions are available, as well as a women’s option. The quality of fabric and construction is excellent.

It’s a bit thicker than a normal base layer, so tends to be too warm under a jacket unless the temperature’s really dropped. Used as an outer layer, the material doesn’t give a massive amount of protection from wind so it can get nippy, especially as the fabric tends to hang onto sweat and moisture. It seems most suited to milder summery afternoons or evenings where it keeps the chill off effectively without being overly warm. We did have a bit of an issue with smell, with a distinct and not particularly pleasant damp and woollen odour once our tester had worn the top for any length of time.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.








German e-bike brand, Grace, has U.S. distributor

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.