BTI’s second distribution facility open for business

SANTA FE, N.M.(BRAIN)  — Bicycle Technologies International has begun shipping orders from its second distribution facility, located in Reno-Sparks, Nevada.

Stromer’s new e-bike, the ST1 X, is aimed at the young and stylish

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Stromer’s new ST1 X e-bike model is aimed at young and stylish city dwellers

Elliptigo offers two new Arc models

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Elliptigo Inc. has announced two new models of its Elliptigo Arc elliptical bike.

AForce Al33 wheelset first ride review

Dutch company AForce has come up with what they claim are “the fastest aluminium bicycle wheels”. Launching on Kickstarter right now, the Al33 clincher aims to offer the best features of costly carbon wheelsets in a more affordable alloy package.

  • Over to you: are wider rims marketing hype or a real-world benefit?
  • Buyers guide to road wheels
  • How to choose mountain bike wheels

At the time of writing, the crowdfunding campaign has smashed through its €18,000 goal and it’s close to doubling that figure with more than a week to go. AForce sent us a pre-production wheelset to try out and we’ve given them a first ride, so here are our first impressions.

AForce Al33 rims: what you need to know

  • It’s available with or without a funky black ceramic coating
  • Super wide at 19.6mm internal and bulges to 26.2mm externally at its fattest
  • 32.5mm deep
  • It has a toroidal cross-section à la Zipp
  • Tubeless ready and weighs a claimed 465g/1lb

We’ve discussed wide rims recently on BikeRadar and the general consensus seems to be that they are a bit of a no brainer — there’s essentially no downside.


The extra tyre volume they afford means you can run lower pressures with a reduced risk of pinch flats, and wide rims tend to be laterally stiffer than conventional ones for a given weight, without being any harsher riding (the opposite, if anything).

Toroidal cross-sections are more aerodynamic than slab-sided v-shaped rims, and they handle better in cross-winds too.

Braking bad

Sexy, coloured brake tracks have always come at a cost. Carbon is the obvious choice, but it’s never cheap and only the very best carbon rims offer braking that rivals that of alloy wheels.

AForce is offering a variety of builds using own-branded, cartridge bearing hubs, straight-pull spokes and internal nipples

The wheel deal

AForce Al33 wheelset first impressions

The ceramic braking was the biggest unknown and as it turns out, it’s pretty darned good

Braking… good

AForce Al33 wheelset pricing and availability

  • Al33 with ceramic coating: €699 including VAT (approx £596 / US$788 / AU$1034 at time of writing)
  • Al33 without ceramic coating: €649 including VAT (approx £553 / US$732 / AU$960)

You can

RockShox’ Yari fork is a lot like a budget Lyrik

When you’re trying to cut corners on a bike build, cheaping out on the suspension is never a good idea. But affordable doesn’t always mean inferior – and that’s what RockShox is hoping to demonstrate with its new Yari suspension fork.

Unveiled earlier this summer, the Yari can be thought of as a Lyrik for riders on a tight budget. It’s available now and retails for $700 / £560 / AUS $1,190. While it’s not exactly cheap, it becomes more palatable when compared with the Lyrik, which goes for $1,030 / £824 / AUS $1,776.

Related: RockShox Lyrik RCT3 Solo Air


More importantly, the Yari fills a hole in RockShox’ OE line. It will come stock on a wide range of more affordable trail and enduro models in 2016. Until now RockShox lacked an affordable fork with 35mm stanchions. This should be a plus for many riders – allowing them to get nearly the performance of a Lyrik or a Pike on a much more affordable mountain bike. 

So how similar is the Yari to the Lyrik? Very.

In fact, its magnesium crown and lowers are identical to the Lyrik.

You can

New BRAIN issue looks at consumer-direct sales, power meter market and more


Hope 40T-Rex ratio expander sprocket review

Hope isn’t the first to offer an add-on range expanding sprocket, but this 40T item works well, and is more affordable than a specific groupset.

Increasing the lowest gear from 36T up to 40T means that running a single chainring and losing the attendant complication and weight is a viable prospect.

While SRAM’s 42T 11-speed option requires a new drivetrain and freehub, this simply adds to the back of your existing cassette, removing one of the smaller sprockets lower down the range to compensate for the additional width. You’ll need a different sprocket depending on which S supplied your original cassette, with SRAM X5 to X9 level and Shimano XT and 10-speed XTR clusters supported.

The 40T range isn’t as big as XX1 and doesn’t match OneUp’s 42T similar replacement sprocket, but the lower range means shifting is less compromised when used with a normal mech. Adjust clearance by setting the B-tension screw further in, which on our SRAM X7 and Shimano SLX derailleur test setups made a marginal difference to the speed of shifts and it required a high standard of setup.

Shifting on and off the T-Rex cog was fine and despite being alloy, premature wear hasn’t been an issue. The removal of the lower (usually 17T) cassette cog gave a noticeable ‘gap’ in ratios as you move up and down, especially when cranking hard, but it’s a small price to pay.

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

Lapierre to offer DH bikes in US for 2015 model year

KENT, Wash. (BRAIN) — Lapierre North America plans to offer its new downhill bikes in North America next year, including its DH Team and DH 727 models. Lapierre’s World Cup team is already racing on the 27.5-inch wheeled bikes.  “The platform of the new DH is far more progressive than previous models,” said Stephane Lapierre, a company marketing assistant

NICA founder Fritzinger forms consulting business

GRATON, Calif.

FSA K-Force and Afterburner disc brakes introduced

FSA is poised to enter the mountain bike disc brake market early next year. The component manufacturer views disc brakes as a natural extension of its cockpit offerings, and plans to offer two models that fit into the company’s existing cross-country (K-Force) and trail (Afterburner) component groups.?

The K-Force brake will sell for US$369 per wheel, while the Afterburner brake will cost US$289. UK pricing is yet to be announced, and availability is expected to be early next year. Click through the image gallery,?right, for detailed images of the two new discs.

Shared features include tool-free reach stroke/contact and reach adjust. The new brakes will come with front- and rear-specific hoses, presumably to balance modulation between the front and rear models. Both the K-Force and Afterburner will use mineral oil.

The k-force brake will be the fsa's top-end disc brake. it is expected to be available in early 2014: the k-force brake will be the fsa's top-end disc brake. it is expected to be available in early 2014

Claimed individual wheel weight for the K-Force is approximately 300g

To keep the weight in check, the top-end K-Force brake uses a carbon brake lever and titanium hardware. The more affordable Afterburner will come with an alloy brake lever and steel hardware.?

For more information on FSA products see