handmade

Custom bike builder gets serious about bottle opener accessory

SAN JOSE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Framebuilder Mike Ahrens is getting serious about selling bike-mounted bottle openers

Enve MTN fork – first look

Less than six months since BikeRadar spotted several prototypes at the 2014 North American Handmade Bicycle Show, Enve has pushed go on production of its latest fork – the MTN.

Joining a line-up of carbon road and cross forks, the MTN is the first mountain bike specific choice from the carbon component manufacturer. The $625 MTN (other prices TBC) is designed for use with 29″ wheels and its 88mm/3.46in of tyre clearance should accept 29+ rubber without issues. The total claimed weight is 711g.

Between the legs of the fork there’s a minimal but nifty clip-on mudguard which also doubles as a hose clamp for the front brake. It’s a light addition too – should you want to remove it you’d save just 25g.

The geometry of the fork can also be switched between two settings to best suit different applications or preferences. This is achieved by flipping a chip at the 15mm axle. The result is either a 44mm rake and 470mm axle to crown height or a 52mm rake and 472mm axle to crown figure.

Enve Marketing Manager Jake Pantone said: “Often the best solution to a problem is the simplest one. Despite the evolution of suspension technology over the past 10 years, rigid mountain forks still provide the optimal platform for many of the off-road riding and racing formats that riders participate in. For this reason, a mountain fork has been one of the most highly requested products from Enve over the past seven years.”

The Enve MTN fork is now shipping worldwide.








Mosaic auctioning NAHBS bike for charity

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Custom framebuilder Mosaic Cycles will be auctioning a hardtail mountain bike to benefit  The National Inclusion Project , a program that aims to reduce the barriers between children with disabilities and the world around them. The bike will be on display at this weekend’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Charlotte, N.C.

Intense Uzzi VP frame review

Sold as a big-mountain bike, the Intense Uzzi VP is more like a downhill bike that’s been put on a serious diet, with up to 7in of travel at either end. Travel and geometry tuning options come built into the highly adaptable frame.

Ride & handling: Technical star with unholy levels of grip

The full 1 1/2in head tube allows the use of any steerer, and the Cane Creek Angleset fitted here knocks the head angle back to a very slack 64 degrees from an already relaxed 65 degrees.?

The Easton Havoc Carbon bar and dinky 50mm stem mean that, despite this choppered-out approach, it’s easy to shove the bike about. In fact, it’s a surprisingly lively handler, especially when wound up to a suitably high speed. On our rugged, rocky descent, this composure meant that, where other bikes floundered, the Uzzi ploughed on.?

Uphill you pay for the extra travel, and climbs are definitely endured rather than enjoyed, especially as the rear shock can’t?be firmed up without using tools. The?double chainset does mean there’s a low winching gear at least, and if you’re building an Uzzi for all-mountain adventures we’d definitely recommend it over a single ring.?

The tough and precise Easton Havoc tubeless wheelset is a high point, but we were cursing the lack of a dropper post, though the frame has the necessary guides?to take the hose.

Intense uzzi vp : intense uzzi vp

Our Intense Uzzi test build

Frame & equipment: Handmade USA heritage, and a price to match

UK distributors Extra don’t do complete builds for the handmade-in-the-USA Uzzi frame, so our Brit test team asked them to put together a suitable build – as you’d expect with a custom, it didn’t arrive cheap. If you were to match this spec you’d be looking at the wrong end of ?5,000.

It’s all top-drawer kit, with an air-sprung Fox 36 fork with 180mm travel, plus separate high- and low-speed compression adjustment on the RC2 damping cartridge. Despite being so long for a single crown fork, it blows the 34mm stanchion fork into the weeds for tracking stiffness and pure bump-swallowing control.?

The 20mm thru-axle helps too; Fox 34s have 15mm axles. On the downside, plugging in a 160mm you may already have isn’t wise – the geometry is based around the longer fork.

Out back, the sturdy swingarm drives a Cane Creek Double Barrel Air shock, which allows a whole world of tuning options thanks to the independent high- and low-speed adjustment for both compression and rebound damping.?

While the Virtual Pivot Point suspension is incredibly supple and provides a mass of traction, it can be hard to balance responses at the extremes of travel. Careful knob twiddling will get you there, at least, which might not be the case with a less adjustable model. Just be prepared to work on setup.

The versatility of this frame means you could build it up with generally less burly gear – and shorten it to 160 rear/170 front – to make it more versatile. The smart features mean your options aren’t limited either way. And that’s the beauty of a custom build – just don’t expect it to come cheap.?

Test spec

  • Wheels: Easton Havoc rims, Easton Havoc hubs (20mm front, 135×12mm rear)
  • Tyres:Hutchinson Cougar Hardskin, 2.4in
  • Fork:?Fox 36 Float Factory FIT RC2, tapered 20mm, 180mm
  • Chainset:?Shimano XT, 38/24T
  • Shifters:?Shimano XT, 10-speed
  • Derailleurs:?Shimano XT (F), SLX Shadow Plus (R)
  • Cassette:?Shimano HG81, 11-36T
  • Brakes:?Formula RX, 203mm rotors
  • Other stuff:?Easton Havoc 760mm bar, Easton Havoc stem,?Fi’zi:k Gobi XM?saddle, Fi’zi:k Cyrano post?
  • Weight:?14.5kg (32lb)

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

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1,100 retailers brave snow for Frostbike

BLOOMINGTON, MN (BRAIN)—With snow shutting airports and icing up Interstates, Quality Bicycle Products expects little impact on attendance at Frostbike which opened today with various seminars. Tomorrow QBP’s Frost Bike expo opens with over 130 vendors showing their newest products. Frostbike overlaps the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Denver, Colorado, and the Birkebeiner ski race in Wisconsin, leading a few attendees to vent their frustration at too many events scheduled for the same weekend

Ethic Industries to offer painting services

DENVER, CO — Ethic Industries, the owner of the Alchemy Bicycle Company, is launching a bike painting service at its Denver headquarters.

Retailers and suppliers gather gear for Afghan cycling team

BOULDER, CO (BRAIN) — Bike shops in Colorado and Pennsylvania are gathering donated gear for the Afghanistan cycling team. Mountain biker activist Shannon Galpin, the founder of Mountain2Mountain , will bring the gear back to the country this spring

Rolf Prima Ralos wheels go to 11

EUGENE, OR (BRAIN) — Rolf Prima has begun shipping the company’s Ralos mountain bike wheels with the new XD driver that is SRAM 1×11 XX1 compatible.   Rolf Prima’s new XD driver is CNC’d out of titanium in the U.S., and all Ralos (alloy 26-, 27.5-and 29-inch) and Ralos CXC (carbon 29-inch) wheels are available with the XD-compatible driver. It is also an easy upgrade to convert existing Ralos wheels to the XD driver to run XX1

Bike brands creating Denver cycling hotspot

DENVER, CO (BRAIN) — Six bike companies — perhaps to be joined soon by a few more — are co-habitating in a Denver building, creating a destination hotspot for area bikers.

Sampson offers bike fitter’s dream pedal

Denver company also spins off its schwag business DENVER, CO (BRAIN) — Sampson Sports has two new pedals — including one model with an innovative bike fitting feature — and is splitting off its private label business for events into a new company called Event Gear. New pedals Sampson has two new pedals for 2013. One is super light and the other allows fit adjustments that previously were possible only with cleat shims, spindle changes and other inconveniences