shimano

Liv/Giant Tempt 27.5 2 – in brief review

With its steeply sloped and kinked top tube giving a standover of 645mm and a straight seat tube letting you slam the seatpost, the Tempt 2 is an impressively inclusive bike in terms of sizing. The angular looking saddle turned out to be a winner with our female test team too and the 640mm wide bars get narrow diameter grips.

  • Highs: Angular female specific saddle; no interruption to height adjustment; good value FSA/Shimano 30-speed gear range and Shimano brakes
  • Lows: Over stiff fork spring; long, stable back end with a twitchier front end means handling takes some time to master

The upright riding position is definitely more ‘look at the view’ rather than ‘ready to race’ but with a very low weight and shod with fast-rolling Schwalbes it picks up speed smartly. The impressive value mixed Shimano transmission with Giant branded triple ring chainset shifts smoothly and the Shimano brakes are consistent too.

650b wheels provide a useful balance between smoothness and sprightly acceleration and long chainstays contribute to a comfortable ride in the saddle. The long back end adds stability, but the front end feels twitchy in comparison. Unfortunately Giant has failed to compensate the coil sprung fork properly for lighter riders so you’ll be lucky to get more than half travel on an average ride.

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








Scappa Purosangue review

You’re very unlikely to known anything about Scappa… but should get to know because this bike is something special. This Italian brand was founded in 2010 by Gernot Mueller, a man with some 27 years’ experience at the top level of the cycling industry.

The mission was a simple one – to create the ultimate. It had to be handmade, state-of-the-art, superlight and bespoke, with the luxury experience of buying a supercar, something that probably isn’t entirely alien to anyone that doesn’t choke on the price.

  • Pros: Handling, stiffness, compliance, weight, bespoke sizing and colours, exclusivity
  • Cons: Selling all your other possessions to buy it

So far Scappa is a small company but it’s growing surprisingly fast. The range already includes an aero-road and a TT bike (neither of which seem obvious places to start because of the intensive aero R&D required), alongside a sportive steed, a women’s road machine and a hardtail mountain bike. Titanium and steel road frames will follow, plus a track bike and an urban range. On top of that, Scappa already has its own stem, seatpost and bars (fitted here) and in the works is a saddle and complete wheel range. It’s all designed in-house and is, of course, super light.

Just in case you forget that purosangue means 'thoroughbred':

Just in case you forget that Purosangue means ‘thoroughbred’

The Purosangue (it means ‘thoroughbred’ in Italian) is the flagship, a featherweight race bike as pure in its design as its name suggests. There are no token aero features nor fussy bump-absorbing kinks or hinges – you get round tubes and straight stays. Within that package, though, is great attention to detail: the head tube tapers from 1.5in at the lower race for steering fidelity, the chainstays are beefy and the seatstays are pencil-thin all the way to the seat tube.

The claimed frame weight is a barely-there 630g – and that includes around 80g of paint because it has three full layers to get this deep finish. If you don’t like this paintjob (it is rather divisive), fear not; you can have literally any hue you show them to match.

The claimed frame weight is a mere 630g –?a sub-5kg build is therefore possible:

The claimed frame weight is a mere 630g – a sub-5kg build is therefore possible

That frame weight undercuts everything we know of: the new Trek ?monda, Cannondale SuperSix Evo Nano, AX Lightness Vial, Cerv?lo RCA, Scott Addict… A sub-5kg build is possible if you choose the very lightest components.

What none of those frames can offer, though, is bespoke sizing. Scappa can, because its frames are made by hand to order using a tube-to-tube process rather than a mass-production friendly monocoque. We sent Scappa our tester’s fit data and they built a bike that fits beautifully. We say this a lot, but bike fit is so important to get right and it will never be better than with a bespoke frame.

Our test bike is built with appropriately high-end parts: Shimano Dura-Ace groupset, Rotor 3D+ cranks, tubular Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels and Scappa’s own carbon bars, stem and post. It totals 6.0kg…

Under your hands, scappa's own carbon bars:

Under your hands, Scappa’s own carbon bars

The lightness is tangible all the time, not just on the climbs, and it’s coupled with very impressive stiffness. You can sprint up a short, steep ramp with a big effort and the frame is completely unflustered.

Ascending is – predictably for a 6kg machine – an utter pleasure…:

Ascending is – predictably for a 6kg machine – an utter pleasure

That’s thanks to consistent rigidity through every part of the frame and cockpit. On longer steep climbs, out of the saddle or spinning a low gear, it surges forwards under every pedal stroke with a deeply satisfying efficiency. This is how you’d hope a bike like this would feel.

The Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimates have been around for a few years but they’re still stunning – to look at and to ride. There’s a little lateral give but their power transmission is absolute. And as they weigh under 1,200g, the Scappa climbs and accelerates with vigour.

Mavic's cosmic carbone ultimates deliver ultimate power transmission:

Mavic’s Cosmic Carbone Ultimates deliver superb power transmission

The Purosangue impresses on descents just as much as on the climbs. It’s stable, precise, neutral as the lean increases and confidence inspiring. It’s on your side. Dry braking is superb but there’s the usual delay in the wet.

The icing on the cake is the great comfort from the compliant fork, seatstays and post. We’ve done a couple of five-hour rides on it and by the end it really made a difference.

The compliant rear end ensures it'll only be your ego that receives a massage after a few hours in the saddle:

The compliant rear end ensures that your ego will be the only thing receiving a massage after a few hours in the saddle

Light, stiff, comfortable, precise, desirable and tailored; the Purosangue really is a special bike. It’s exclusive, too. So far only 25 have been made. If you can afford one, you will never regret it for a second.

Specs as tested:

  • Frame: Scappa Purosangue
  • Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
  • Crankset: Rotor 3D+, 53/39
  • Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace, 11-28
  • Wheels: Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate
  • Tyres: Mavic Yksion Griplink/Powerlink
  • Headset: Scappa UL 1 1/8” – 1 1/2”
  • Stem: Scappa carbon
  • Handlebar: Scappa carbon
  • SeatPost: Scappa carbon
  • Saddle: Fizik Arione 00
  • Fork: Scappa, full carbon
  • Weight: 6.0kg (as tested, no pedals)
  • Price: €7,400 (frameset) – €10,700 (as tested)

This article was originally published in Procycling magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.








Shimano SH-XC70 mountain bike shoe review

Although Shimano’s top-end SH-XC90 shoes seem to draw all of the marketing attention, it’s the second-tier XC70 model that have really attracted our eyes, packing most of the performance of the flagship model but at a significantly lower cost. Unless your feet absolutely need the custom mouldability of the XC90s, these should be all the shoe any cross-country (or cyclocross) rider will ever need.

  • Highs: Great fit, very stiff carbon fibre reinforced sole, heat mouldable insole
  • Lows: Non-heat mouldable uppers, tread material is too hard
  • Buy if: You’re a dedicated XC rider with normally shaped feet and don’t plan on doing much walking

It’s generally wise not to use relatively untested gear in a mountain bike race – in particular, one that’s 111km (69mi) long with more than 2,100m (7,000ft) of climbing. And there are few pieces of gear to which that rule is more applicable than shoes… and yet that’s just what we did. While we had all sorts of aches and pains after crossing the finishing line, our feet were impressively cosy and have stayed that way for every ride since.

The shimano sh-xc70 shoes lack the heat moldable uppers of the top-end xc90 model but provided your feet are fairly typically shaped, these should work well: the shimano sh-xc70 shoes lack the heat moldable uppers of the top-end xc90 model but provided your feet are fairly typically shaped, these should work well

Even without the heat mouldable uppers of their more expensive SH-XC90 cousin, Shimano’s SH-XC70 shoes proved to be wonderfully comfortable

We didn’t really notice the reduction in foot fatigue that Shimano claims with the new, flatter Dynalast shape, but the roomier toe box left ample room for our little piggies to wiggle around. Further back, though, the well-shaped synthetic leather uppers wrap tightly with their cleverly reversed middle straps (something Alberto Contador used to have done on his custom Sidis), ratcheting main buckles, and deep heel cups.

Despite the very secure hold, the feel was very evenly and pleasantly snug, with no pressure points to pinch or rough interior seams to irritate. Should you need them, Shimano makes the XC70s in a wide fit, too.

The XC70 shoes are built with abbreviated carbon fibre reinforcing plates in the midsoles rather than the full-length plates in the XC90. Whatever difference in stiffness that results is slight at best, as we still found the XC70s to be plenty stout. Moreover, there’s essentially no weight penalty. Shimano’s own specs put the XC70 just 5g behind per pair. We weighed our size 43s at a good – though not fantastic – 730g including the heat mouldable insoles.

The tread is more generous than the xc90 model but make no mistake - these are best used for pedaling, not walking. the tread material is quite hard and slippery on rocks and roots. there is, however, a rubber coating in the middle to provide a bit of purchase should you miss your pedal: the tread is more generous than the xc90 model but make no mistake - these are best used for pedaling, not walking. the tread material is quite hard and slippery on rocks and roots. there is, however, a rubber coating in the middle to provide a bit of purchase should you miss your pedal

Real carbon fibre is only used under the cleat area but the shoes are still amply stiff for everyday cross-country riding

Shimano graces the XC70s with a more generous tread than the XC90 although, as with any stiff-soled mountain bike shoe, walking is best left to short stints – and the shorter, the better. The cat’s-tongue lining in the heel cup also keeps the backs of your feet from pulling out of the shoe when trudging uphill (without wearing holes in your socks or creating blisters) but the tread blocks themselves are still awfully hard. Grip is pretty good on softer surfaces but scrambling on rocks and roots can be a little treacherous.

We’ve noticed slightly faster-than-expected wear on the tread (which is non-replaceable) but the uppers have been holding up quite well otherwise, particularly with the light armouring built around the toe box. Past experience has demonstrated excellent overall durability with Shimano footwear, too.

The plastic cap provides some protection for your toes while also boasting a legitimately effective vent right up front. additional light armoring is built in a little further back: the plastic cap provides some protection for your toes while also boasting a legitimately effective vent right up front. additional light armoring is built in a little further back

There’s light armouring around the toe box to protect your feet from minor impacts. The vent in the front of the shoe is legitimately functional

All that said, the XC70 shoes are clearly intended primarily for pedalling, not walking, and in that context there’s little to complain about. Though perhaps a bit pricey, they’re very comfortable, they’re well built, and unless you’re planning on spending a lot of time on foot in rocky conditions, should last for several seasons.








By admin on August 19, 2014 | Mountain Bikes
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Merida road range 2015 – first look

BikeRadar?recently visited Hidden Vale in rural Queensland for a dealer launch hosted by Advance Traders, Australia’s distributors for Merida, Lapierre, Norco, Met and a handful of other brands. With the venue being surrounded by trails, the launch of the 2015 mountain bike range gained the most attention, but we got a brief look at what’s new in Taiwanese big-hitter?Merida’s road range, prior to the upcoming media-flurry that is the Eurobike trade show.

The Warp TT and Scultura both continue with solely componentry and aesthetic changes for 2015, but the big news is with a new endurance-based Ride Disc carbon, a triathlon specific Warp and a new price-conscious range of cyclocross bikes. Detailed specifics of each of the models, including geometry, are still a little vague, but below is a brief glimpse and what we know so far.

As well as the new bikes, Merida has fully reworked its previously confusing model naming across its range. The numbers following the model names prefix refer to the level of the bike: four digits is for anything carbon, 9000 being the highest, 1000 the lowest. Three digits is for alloy bikes, with 900 the highest, 100 the lowest. And double digits are left for steel bikes.

Ride Disc

Originally designed as an endurance bike for the masses that its sponsored WorldTour team could also use for the cobble races, the Ride offers a relaxed and stable position in the saddle, along with greater frame and fork compliance for comfort. For 2015, the Ride is joined by a carbon disc-brake version – the Ride Disc.

The new full carbon CF-2 (Comp level) frame features a large offset from the seatstays to seat tube along with ‘FlexStays’ to allow for far greater compliance in the rear end. The seatstays are a super thin 10mm diameter, something Merida states is a UCI minimum. A slim 27.2mm seat post is there to further aid compliance.

Merida road: merida road

A 15mm thru-axle sits upfront of the Ride Disc

Encouraging compliance at the front is the Merida F-Flex fork blades, which have been designed with less material at the dropout for greater flex. Adding back the confidence in this disc-brake full carbon fork is a 15mm thru-axle and tapered steerer tube.?

Post mount brake mounts feature for both the fork and rear chainstay, with the rear one placed at an angle that allows for easy tool access. While the front wheel gets a thru-axle, the rear sticks with a standard 5mm quick release.

Like most carbon frames that offer internal cable routing, the Ride Disc frame is Di2 and mechanical compatible. The fork also receives internal cable routing, with the front brake hose/cable entering near the crown.

Without rim brake calipers, tyre clearance has been increased to allow for 28mm rubber plus fenders (mudguards)? – Merida will offer special aftermarket models that provide a more seamless look with the bike.

One example of the new Ride Disc range that should prove quite popular is the Ride Disc 9000 (AU$3,799 / UK?TBC) which features a 11-speed Shimano Ultegra drivetrain, RS685 hydraulic brakes and DT Swiss R24 Spline centerlock wheels.

Warp Tri

Merida road: merida road

2015 Merida Warp Tri 7000-E

Compared with the UCI-approved Warp TT bike, the Warp Tri is purpose built for those who cycle between a swim and a run. Merida’s NACA Fastback aero tube profiles continue from the Warp TT onto this Tri version. The Warp Tri models we saw were all using a lower grade of carbon – what Merida calls ‘CF2′ – than the WorldTour-level Warp TT Team.

The biggest difference from the TT is in the geometry, with a steeper seat tube facilitating a far more forward position, and a taller head tube for the longer races. The seatpost head can also be flipped, opening up more fore-aft position adjustability.

Merida road: merida road

A look at the highly adjustable head tube design

Other features include Merida’s ‘Spacer Solution’, which combines aero shaped fork steerer spacers with a dropped head tube to allow for a great range of front end adjustment, without a significant drag increase from the bike.?

In a fetching white and black paint scheme, the Warp Tri 7000-E (AU$6,999 / UK?TBC) caught our attention. Its Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset, direct-mount brakes, 54/42t Rotor Flow crankset and Profile carbon F58/R78 wheelset appears to be a well thought out package – and one that weighs in at 8.97kg. At the entry level, and sharing the same frame, there’s the Warp Tri 3000 (AU$2,999 / UK?TBC) with Shimano Ultegra/105 gearing.

Cyclocross

While there were hints at a carbon cyclocross bike for 2016, 2015 brings in an all-new disc-brake equipped platform. Featuring a heavily hydroformed alloy frame with full carbon 15mm thru-axle fork, the new Lite series is a price conscious race option. A 27.2mm seatpost should help take a little sting away when seated.

The frames’ angled internal cable routing offers a wide, friction free exit port at the bottom bracket, which should help reduce cable friction from dirt contamination.

Merida road: merida road

The rear brake is tucked away

Positioned on the chainstay, the post mount brake mount was apparently something not easily achieved in aluminium and required brand-new tooling to make it happen. The frame and fork’s low-profile fender mounts add a little daily versatility to the new cross range.

Starting at the Cyclo Cross 300 (AU$1,299 / UK?TBC) with Shimano Tiagra components and a 50/34T compact crank, this new model looks to be a competitive option for those looking to try out cyclocross and gain a versatile commuter at the same time. The other models in the range feature more cross-specific 46/36T gearing.

For a closer and deeper look at the range, scroll, swipe or click through our gallery at top.








Carrera 2015 range – first look: sponsored post

Carrera is a brand that’s exclusive to Halfords shops and is best known for its value.? Carrera’s 2015 range has now been announced, we take a look at the fresh mountain, road and hybrid models below.

Mountain Bikes

For 2015 Carrera has switched its mountain bikes over to the ever popular 27.5″ wheel size?and at the same time has reworked geometry to optimise handling and performance with the larger wheels.

A name synonymous with the Carrera brand is the company’s long standing Fury model. Last year it won Best Cross-Country Hardtail in What Mountain Bike Magazine ?and so this new model has big shoes to fill. For 2015 the Fury retains its sensible ?599.99 price tag but now packs a 7005 butted aluminium frame, a 120mm travel Suntour Raidon air sprung fork complete with a 15mm axle and lockout, hydraulic disc brakes from Avid and SRAM’s secure2×10 X5 drivetrain.

The 2015 carrera fury will retail at £599.99:

The Fury has switched to 27.5″ hoops for 2015

Next up there’s the Kraken which packs Suntour’s XCR? lockout suspension fork as well as Clarks hydraulic brakes and 27 speed Shimano gearing at ?499.99.

The most affordable bike with disc brakes in the mountain range is the ?329.99 Vengeance, once again it pairs an alloy frame to a Suntour suspension fork, this time there are 24 Shimano gears and reliable yet powerful mechanical disc brakes. It’s also available in a women specific version.

Road bikes

Three affordable road bikes will be on offer, the cheapest of which is the ?299.99 Zelos with an alloy frame, 14-speed Shimano gears and Tektro dual pivot brakes.? Next there’s the ?379.99 Virtuoso, the next step up in performance from the Zelos. It uses a mixture of Shimano Claris and Tourney components to offer 16 gears.

Carrera vanquish 2015 road bike ?429.99 :

The ?429.99 Carrera Vanquish

The range topping Vanquish gets a carbon fibre aero blade fork, lightweight performance butted aluminium frame, deep section wheels plus a compact 16 speed drivetrain for just ?429.99

Hybrid bikes

Carrera has continued with its popular hybrid range for 2015. All models use alloy frames and are available in men’s and women’s specific geometry. The most affordable hybrid is the Crossfire 1 which at ?279.99 gets a comfortable Suntour suspension fork, alloy v-brakes and 21 speed Shimano gearing. The Crosspath uses a 70mm suspension fork and larger Kenda tyres to keep its rider comfortable. Additional plus points for this model are full mudguards, and an adjustable stem, making it ideal for touring or even commuting.

The popular subway hybrid remains for 2015, this subway 1 women's model will retail for ?299.99 :

The Subway hybrid has also made the switch to 27.5″ wheels

Finally, the company’s successful Subway hybrid has returned for 2015. Now updated with 27.5” wheels, the entry level Subway 1 starts at ?299.99 and packs an alloy frame, 24 Shimano gears and Tektro mechanical disc brakes. It’s also available in a women specific version. Spend ?50 more and you can upgrade to the Subway 2 which, along with transmission upgrades, features hydraulic disc brakes.








By admin on August 13, 2014 | Mountain Bikes
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How to replace an external bottom bracket – video

Knowing how to replace an external bottom bracket – such as Shimano Hollowtech II or FSA MegaExo – on your road or mountain bike can save you money on bike services and give you the satisfaction that only comes with home bike maintenance.

Changing bottom bracket bearings might seem like an expert task, but it’s actually very simple if you’re using the right tools.

In the step-by-step video walkthrough below, BikeRadar’s James Tennant explains how to replace your Shimano Hollowtech II BB cups. Check out more BikeRadar videos on our YouTube channel.

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LIV women’s performance bikes 2015 – crafted by Giant

BikeRadar recently broke the news on the Giant Bikes 2015 men’s performance range. One notable thing was the clear separation of the men’s and women’s ranges; Giant has taken the bold step to rebrand its female-focused bikes as LIV. So female riders looking for a Giant, will now be offered a LIV – but they’ll find a subtle ‘handcrafted by giant’ marked somewhere on the frame.

The other big news for the LIV range was the recent launch of the completely revamped Avail endurance road bike range, with many options now featuring disc brakes and greater comfort. As well as this, the aero race-focused Envie (Propel for the men) now has improved brakes and there’s also a new performance flat-bar road bike.

Road bikes

For the racers, the aerodynamic Envie range continues with numerous options, all well-suited to road or triathlon racing. The Envie offers a different carbon layup and geometry to the men’s Propel bike, and there’s also differences in gearing ratios and contact points.

The biggest change to the 2015 envie line-up is a new brake. previously the envie brakes were known to be fiddly and underperforming - these new alloy models should fix that :

The Envie range gets new and improved brakes

All Envie models receive a small but significant switch to better performing integrated brakes. As well improved lever feel, the new brakes offer a two-position cable stop to enable simple swaps between wide carbon race-day wheels and narrow alloy training wheels.

The liv envie advanced pro 0 (us$8,300 / au$7,699 / ?tba) is a pro-level race bike worthy of world champion marianne vos :

The LIV Envie Advanced Pro 0

Sitting at the top of the range is the Envie Advanced Pro 0 (US$8,300 / AU$7,699 / ?TBA), a bike that’s worthy of world champion Marianne Vos. This full-carbon model features a Giant P-SLR0 carbon race wheelset, Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 gearing and an aero integrated handlebar and stem combo.

Sitting a few price points below is the Envie Advanced 1 (US$2,775 / AU$2,799 / ?TBA) in a super bright blue and yellow, which we expect to be a popular choice. This carbon-framed model features Shimano Ultegra mechanical gearing.

For the ironman and triathlon focused, there’s now a Envie Advanced Tri (US$4,250 / AU$N/A / ?TBA), which takes the aero road model and adds composite clip-on aero bars, bottle cages and Giant 55mm deep aero wheels. This model won’t be offered in Australia (other markets TBC), because the purpose built Trinity Composite W (US$N/A / AU$2,799) is available. In any case, it’s quite easy to turn a standard Envie into a bike like this.

The thrive comax 2 disc (us$1500 / au$1,599 / ?tba) is a new carbon composite flat-bar road bike. while an avail or envie will still be more efficient (faster), the thrive range is better suited to commuting or general fitness riding :

New for 2015, the LIV Thrive CoMax 2 Disc

The Thrive CoMax Disc models are designed for commuters or fitness seekers – it’s a range of performance-orientated flat-handlebar road bikes with carbon composite frames. The Thrive CoMax 2 Disc (US$1500 / AU$1,599 / ?TBA), a model we suspect will do well, offers Shimano Tiagra gearing and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.

At a lower end of the price spectrum, the Thrive Disc models move to aluminium frames, but lose little in the way of components. For example, the Thrive 1 Disc (US$925 / AU$999 / ?TBA) has many of the same components as the Thrive CoMax 2 Disc.

Mountain bikes

The LIV mountain bike range mirrors Giant’s push on the 27.5in (650b) wheel size. All but the entry-level Enchant series is now offered with middle-sized wheels only. Another key change for the mountain range is the removal of Giant’s OD2 technology – a proprietary fork steerer and stem size that made finding aftermarket stems a real hassle.

The liv lust advanced 2 (us$3,600 / au$3,299 / ?tba) looks like a high-value endurance and cross country bike. fox suspension and shimano slx/xt gearing :

The LIV LUST Advanced 2 (US$3,600 / AU$3,299 / ?TBA)

The LUST Advanced series of race and endurance-focused cross-country dual suspension bikes headlines the mountain bike range. The ‘Advanced’ part of the name refers to a carbon front triangle, matted to an aluminium rear triangle. Those seeking absolute performance will likely gravitate toward the LUST Advanced 0 (US$8,050 / AU$6,999 / ?TBA), with its RockShox SID XX fork, SRAM XX1 11-speed gearing and, interestingly, a Giant Control SL Switch dropper seatpost.

The fully aluminium-framed LUST series is the more affordable option – the LUST 2 (US$2,450 / AU$2,499 / ?TBA) is likely to be popular, thanks to its Fox suspension package and Shimano Deore 20-speed gearing.

Cross country race focused, the obsess advanced 2 (us$2,775 / au$2,799 / ?tba) shares the same frame as used by the professional liv racing team :

LIV Obsess Advanced 2

The Obsess, a carbon race hardtail used by the likes of two-time U23 world champion Jolanda Neff, is on offer for the speed seekers. In both the US and Australian markets, the Obsess Advanced 2 (US$2,775 / AU$2,799) will be the only model offered; it features a Fox Float Evolution front fork and a Shimano SLX/XT drivetrain. UK models and pricing are TBA.

The giant trance is a bike you'll often see on the trails with its 140mm of suspension travel; the liv intrigue is the female specific version. pictured, the intrigue 2 (us$2,775 / au$2,699 / ?tba) with a price conscious rockshox revelation rl front fork and shimano deore 20-speed gearing :

Built for technical trail riding, the LIV Intrigue 2

And for the less race-focused riders, there’s the 5in (140mm) travel Intrigue trail bike. It’s available in two models: the Intrigue 1 (US$4,700 / AU$N/A / ?TBA) with a Fox Talas Performance front fork and SRAM X0 20-speed gearing, and the Intrigue 2 (US$2,775 / AU$2,699 / ?TBA) with a more basic RockShox Revelation RL front fork and Shimano Deore 20-speed gearing.

Cyclocross bikes

Sitting one below, the brava slr 2 (us$1,650 / au$1,799 / ?tba) should be popular for those looking to give cyclocross a go:

The LIV Brava SLR 2

Introduced last year, the Brava SLR is an affordable cyclocross race bike with disc brakes and a lightweight aluminium frame. While the Brava SLR 1 (US$3,500 / AU$N/A / ?TBA) looks fantastic with its Shimano Ultegra gears and matched hydraulic disc brakes, it’s the more affordable Brava SLR 2 (US$1,650 / AU$1,799 / ?TBA) that will likely be a popular starter bike. The SLR 2 features Shimano’s workhorse 105 gearing and TRP’s Spyre mechanical disc brakes.

If you’re seeking a little adventure, the new Invite CoMax (US$1,650 / AU$N/A / ?TBA) is worth a look. A carbon composite frame is combined with a drop handlebar and a reasonable width tyre for touring, commuting or all-day adventures on a variety of surfaces.

As indicated throughout this article, UK pricing and availability is still to be annouced. Where a price is listed as N/A, the model is not available in that region.








By admin on August 1, 2014 | Mountain Bikes
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LIV women’s performance bikes 2015 – crafted by Giant

BikeRadar recently broke the news on the Giant Bikes 2015 men’s performance range. One notable thing was the clear separation of the men’s and women’s ranges; Giant has taken the bold step to rebrand its female-focused bikes as LIV. So female riders looking for a Giant, will now be offered a LIV – but they’ll find a subtle ‘handcrafted by giant’ marked somewhere on the frame.

The other big news for the LIV range was the recent launch of the completely revamped Avail endurance road bike range, with many options now featuring disc brakes and greater comfort. As well as this, the aero race-focused Envie (Propel for the men) now has improved brakes and there’s also a new performance flat-bar road bike.

Road bikes

For the racers, the aerodynamic Envie range continues with numerous options, all well-suited to road or triathlon racing. The Envie offers a different carbon layup and geometry to the men’s Propel bike, and there’s also differences in gearing ratios and contact points.

The biggest change to the 2015 envie line-up is a new brake. previously the envie brakes were known to be fiddly and underperforming - these new alloy models should fix that :

The Envie range gets new and improved brakes

All Envie models receive a small but significant switch to better performing integrated brakes. As well improved lever feel, the new brakes offer a two-position cable stop to enable simple swaps between wide carbon race-day wheels and narrow alloy training wheels.

The liv envie advanced pro 0 (us$8,300 / au$7,699 / ?tba) is a pro-level race bike worthy of world champion marianne vos :

The LIV Envie Advanced Pro 0

Sitting at the top of the range is the Envie Advanced Pro 0 (US$8,300 / AU$7,699 / ?TBA), a bike that’s worthy of world champion Marianne Vos. This full-carbon model features a Giant P-SLR0 carbon race wheelset, Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 gearing and an aero integrated handlebar and stem combo.

Sitting a few price points below is the Envie Advanced 1 (US$2,775 / AU$2,799 / ?TBA) in a super bright blue and yellow, which we expect to be a popular choice. This carbon-framed model features Shimano Ultegra mechanical gearing.

For the ironman and triathlon focused, there’s now a Envie Advanced Tri (US$4,250 / AU$N/A / ?TBA), which takes the aero road model and adds composite clip-on aero bars, bottle cages and Giant 55mm deep aero wheels. This model won’t be offered in Australia (other markets TBC), because the purpose built Trinity Composite W (US$N/A / AU$2,799) is available. In any case, it’s quite easy to turn a standard Envie into a bike like this.

The thrive comax 2 disc (us$1500 / au$1,599 / ?tba) is a new carbon composite flat-bar road bike. while an avail or envie will still be more efficient (faster), the thrive range is better suited to commuting or general fitness riding :

New for 2015, the LIV Thrive CoMax 2 Disc

The Thrive CoMax Disc models are designed for commuters or fitness seekers – it’s a range of performance-orientated flat-handlebar road bikes with carbon composite frames. The Thrive CoMax 2 Disc (US$1500 / AU$1,599 / ?TBA), a model we suspect will do well, offers Shimano Tiagra gearing and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.

At a lower end of the price spectrum, the Thrive Disc models move to aluminium frames, but lose little in the way of components. For example, the Thrive 1 Disc (US$925 / AU$999 / ?TBA) has many of the same components as the Thrive CoMax 2 Disc.

Mountain bikes

The LIV mountain bike range mirrors Giant’s push on the 27.5in (650b) wheel size. All but the entry-level Enchant series is now offered with middle-sized wheels only. Another key change for the mountain range is the removal of Giant’s OD2 technology – a proprietary fork steerer and stem size that made finding aftermarket stems a real hassle.

The liv lust advanced 2 (us$3,600 / au$3,299 / ?tba) looks like a high-value endurance and cross country bike. fox suspension and shimano slx/xt gearing :

The LIV LUST Advanced 2 (US$3,600 / AU$3,299 / ?TBA)

The LUST Advanced series of race and endurance-focused cross-country dual suspension bikes headlines the mountain bike range. The ‘Advanced’ part of the name refers to a carbon front triangle, matted to an aluminium rear triangle. Those seeking absolute performance will likely gravitate toward the LUST Advanced 0 (US$8,050 / AU$6,999 / ?TBA), with its RockShox SID XX fork, SRAM XX1 11-speed gearing and, interestingly, a Giant Control SL Switch dropper seatpost.

The fully aluminium-framed LUST series is the more affordable option – the LUST 2 (US$2,450 / AU$2,499 / ?TBA) is likely to be popular, thanks to its Fox suspension package and Shimano Deore 20-speed gearing.

Cross country race focused, the obsess advanced 2 (us$2,775 / au$2,799 / ?tba) shares the same frame as used by the professional liv racing team :

LIV Obsess Advanced 2

The Obsess, a carbon race hardtail used by the likes of two-time U23 world champion Jolanda Neff, is on offer for the speed seekers. In both the US and Australian markets, the Obsess Advanced 2 (US$2,775 / AU$2,799) will be the only model offered; it features a Fox Float Evolution front fork and a Shimano SLX/XT drivetrain. UK models and pricing are TBA.

The giant trance is a bike you'll often see on the trails with its 140mm of suspension travel; the liv intrigue is the female specific version. pictured, the intrigue 2 (us$2,775 / au$2,699 / ?tba) with a price conscious rockshox revelation rl front fork and shimano deore 20-speed gearing :

Built for technical trail riding, the LIV Intrigue 2

And for the less race-focused riders, there’s the 5in (140mm) travel Intrigue trail bike. It’s available in two models: the Intrigue 1 (US$4,700 / AU$N/A / ?TBA) with a Fox Talas Performance front fork and SRAM X0 20-speed gearing, and the Intrigue 2 (US$2,775 / AU$2,699 / ?TBA) with a more basic RockShox Revelation RL front fork and Shimano Deore 20-speed gearing.

Cyclocross bikes

Sitting one below, the brava slr 2 (us$1,650 / au$1,799 / ?tba) should be popular for those looking to give cyclocross a go:

The LIV Brava SLR 2

Introduced last year, the Brava SLR is an affordable cyclocross race bike with disc brakes and a lightweight aluminium frame. While the Brava SLR 1 (US$3,500 / AU$N/A / ?TBA) looks fantastic with its Shimano Ultegra gears and matched hydraulic disc brakes, it’s the more affordable Brava SLR 2 (US$1,650 / AU$1,799 / ?TBA) that will likely be a popular starter bike. The SLR 2 features Shimano’s workhorse 105 gearing and TRP’s Spyre mechanical disc brakes.

If you’re seeking a little adventure, the new Invite CoMax (US$1,650 / AU$N/A / ?TBA) is worth a look. A carbon composite frame is combined with a drop handlebar and a reasonable width tyre for touring, commuting or all-day adventures on a variety of surfaces.

As indicated throughout this article, UK pricing and availability is still to be annouced. Where a price is listed as N/A, the model is not available in that region.








LIV women’s performance bikes 2015 – crafted by Giant

BikeRadar recently broke the news on the Giant Bikes 2015 men’s performance range. One notable thing was the clear separation of the men’s and women’s ranges; Giant has taken the bold step to rebrand its female-focused bikes as LIV. So female riders looking for a Giant, will now be offered a LIV – but they’ll find a subtle ‘handcrafted by giant’ marked somewhere on the frame.

The other big news for the LIV range was the recent launch of the completely revamped Avail endurance road bike range, with many options now featuring disc brakes and greater comfort. As well as this, the aero race-focused Envie (Propel for the men) now has improved brakes and there’s also a new performance flat-bar road bike.

Road bikes

For the racers, the aerodynamic Envie range continues with numerous options, all well-suited to road or triathlon racing. The Envie offers a different carbon layup and geometry to the men’s Propel bike, and there’s also differences in gearing ratios and contact points.

The biggest change to the 2015 envie line-up is a new brake. previously the envie brakes were known to be fiddly and underperforming - these new alloy models should fix that :

The Envie range gets new and improved brakes

All Envie models receive a small but significant switch to better performing integrated brakes. As well improved lever feel, the new brakes offer a two-position cable stop to enable simple swaps between wide carbon race-day wheels and narrow alloy training wheels.

The liv envie advanced pro 0 (us$8,300 / au$7,699 / ?tba) is a pro-level race bike worthy of world champion marianne vos :

The LIV Envie Advanced Pro 0

Sitting at the top of the range is the Envie Advanced Pro 0 (US$8,300 / AU$7,699 / ?TBA), a bike that’s worthy of world champion Marianne Vos. This full-carbon model features a Giant P-SLR0 carbon race wheelset, Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 gearing and an aero integrated handlebar and stem combo.

Sitting a few price points below is the Envie Advanced 1 (US$2,775 / AU$2,799 / ?TBA) in a super bright blue and yellow, which we expect to be a popular choice. This carbon-framed model features Shimano Ultegra mechanical gearing.

For the ironman and triathlon focused, there’s now a Envie Advanced Tri (US$4,250 / AU$N/A / ?TBA), which takes the aero road model and adds composite clip-on aero bars, bottle cages and Giant 55mm deep aero wheels. This model won’t be offered in Australia (other markets TBC), because the purpose built Trinity Composite W (US$N/A / AU$2,799) is available. In any case, it’s quite easy to turn a standard Envie into a bike like this.

The thrive comax 2 disc (us$1500 / au$1,599 / ?tba) is a new carbon composite flat-bar road bike. while an avail or envie will still be more efficient (faster), the thrive range is better suited to commuting or general fitness riding :

New for 2015, the LIV Thrive CoMax 2 Disc

The Thrive CoMax Disc models are designed for commuters or fitness seekers – it’s a range of performance-orientated flat-handlebar road bikes with carbon composite frames. The Thrive CoMax 2 Disc (US$1500 / AU$1,599 / ?TBA), a model we suspect will do well, offers Shimano Tiagra gearing and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.

At a lower end of the price spectrum, the Thrive Disc models move to aluminium frames, but lose little in the way of components. For example, the Thrive 1 Disc (US$925 / AU$999 / ?TBA) has many of the same components as the Thrive CoMax 2 Disc.

Mountain bikes

The LIV mountain bike range mirrors Giant’s push on the 27.5in (650b) wheel size. All but the entry-level Enchant series is now offered with middle-sized wheels only. Another key change for the mountain range is the removal of Giant’s OD2 technology – a proprietary fork steerer and stem size that made finding aftermarket stems a real hassle.

The liv lust advanced 2 (us$3,600 / au$3,299 / ?tba) looks like a high-value endurance and cross country bike. fox suspension and shimano slx/xt gearing :

The LIV LUST Advanced 2 (US$3,600 / AU$3,299 / ?TBA)

The LUST Advanced series of race and endurance-focused cross-country dual suspension bikes headlines the mountain bike range. The ‘Advanced’ part of the name refers to a carbon front triangle, matted to an aluminium rear triangle. Those seeking absolute performance will likely gravitate toward the LUST Advanced 0 (US$8,050 / AU$6,999 / ?TBA), with its RockShox SID XX fork, SRAM XX1 11-speed gearing and, interestingly, a Giant Control SL Switch dropper seatpost.

The fully aluminium-framed LUST series is the more affordable option – the LUST 2 (US$2,450 / AU$2,499 / ?TBA) is likely to be popular, thanks to its Fox suspension package and Shimano Deore 20-speed gearing.

Cross country race focused, the obsess advanced 2 (us$2,775 / au$2,799 / ?tba) shares the same frame as used by the professional liv racing team :

LIV Obsess Advanced 2

The Obsess, a carbon race hardtail used by the likes of two-time U23 world champion Jolanda Neff, is on offer for the speed seekers. In both the US and Australian markets, the Obsess Advanced 2 (US$2,775 / AU$2,799) will be the only model offered; it features a Fox Float Evolution front fork and a Shimano SLX/XT drivetrain. UK models and pricing are TBA.

The giant trance is a bike you'll often see on the trails with its 140mm of suspension travel; the liv intrigue is the female specific version. pictured, the intrigue 2 (us$2,775 / au$2,699 / ?tba) with a price conscious rockshox revelation rl front fork and shimano deore 20-speed gearing :

Built for technical trail riding, the LIV Intrigue 2

And for the less race-focused riders, there’s the 5in (140mm) travel Intrigue trail bike. It’s available in two models: the Intrigue 1 (US$4,700 / AU$N/A / ?TBA) with a Fox Talas Performance front fork and SRAM X0 20-speed gearing, and the Intrigue 2 (US$2,775 / AU$2,699 / ?TBA) with a more basic RockShox Revelation RL front fork and Shimano Deore 20-speed gearing.

Cyclocross bikes

Sitting one below, the brava slr 2 (us$1,650 / au$1,799 / ?tba) should be popular for those looking to give cyclocross a go:

The LIV Brava SLR 2

Introduced last year, the Brava SLR is an affordable cyclocross race bike with disc brakes and a lightweight aluminium frame. While the Brava SLR 1 (US$3,500 / AU$N/A / ?TBA) looks fantastic with its Shimano Ultegra gears and matched hydraulic disc brakes, it’s the more affordable Brava SLR 2 (US$1,650 / AU$1,799 / ?TBA) that will likely be a popular starter bike. The SLR 2 features Shimano’s workhorse 105 gearing and TRP’s Spyre mechanical disc brakes.

If you’re seeking a little adventure, the new Invite CoMax (US$1,650 / AU$N/A / ?TBA) is worth a look. A carbon composite frame is combined with a drop handlebar and a reasonable width tyre for touring, commuting or all-day adventures on a variety of surfaces.

As indicated throughout this article, UK pricing and availability is still to be annouced. Where a price is listed as N/A, the model is not available in that region.








Bend in the Road: Discs are almost there

After putting in a few hundred miles on a handful of different road disc bikes, I’ve gone from ‘eh’, to ‘meh’, to ‘okay, yeah’. But Shimano or SRAM need to tick two more boxes to make me a full convert.

One, I want be able to adjust how my brakes feel. More specifically, I want to be able to dial in the free-stroke adjust, so the brakes engage just where I want them to as I squeeze the levers.

And two, I don’t want disc brakes to squeal like wounded hyenas under heavy braking.

Both Shimano and SRAM have decent explanations about both of these things, and we’ll get into that a bit below. But as a rider, frankly, I don’t care; I just want it to work the way I want it to work.

Dialed-in feel

If you got on my bike, it would feel a little funny to you, just as your bike would feel strange to me. Neither is wrong, they are just set up to our sizing and preferences. With rim brakes, we can easily adjust how the brakes feel with a simple twist of a barrel adjuster or a tweak of the quick release. With disc brakes, the situation is the same as the brakes on your car; it is what it is.

Now, with my car, I have never thought once about adjusting the where the pedal engages as I press it down. But my car isn’t my bike. I want that sucker to feel perfect, with the brakes engaging just where I want them to, whether I’m bombing into a tight corner or just toodling around town.

SRAM does not have free-stroke adjust on its Hydro R levers. Shimano technically has 1cm of free-stroke adjust, but honestly I can’t feel a substantial difference, and this adjustment is there primarily to balance out the feel left to right, and compensate for the longer hydraulic hose of the back brake.

There are still conflicting views on rotor size, depending on application and manufacturer. matching the right amount of braking power to the rider is key, but shouldn't the bike companies sort this out for us?:

Road disc rotors are powerful and dependable. They can also be noisy

SRAM does, however, have free-stroke adjust on its new Guide mountain bike brakes.

“People who want it to feel really heavy, can dial up pad-contact adjust to get that quick engagement, and those who like a little more play can get that,” said Nate Newton, SRAM’s road technical rep. “The thing is, most people would never ever adjust that. There definitely is a subset who want that adjustability. But what I have found doing demos is that most people will jump on a bike and just ride it. If I ask people how they like their brakes to be set up, they usually have opinions. But it doesn’t seem to come up unless I push the issue.”

Silence!

In my experience, road discs are quiet most of the time if set up properly. But I want them to be quiet all of the time. Simple as that.

Riding here in Boulder, Colorado, there is one section of road where I can usually get rotors to howl with heat build-up, and that’s coming down Sunshine Canyon, a nine-mile stretch of road that averages about eight percent but tilts to 23 percent, with some sharp switchbacks that require hard braking over about 3,220ft (980m) of elevation change. I weigh about 185lb (84kg), and going from 50mph to 20mph a few times in quick secession does the trick to get the rotors chirping. Outside of that, though, I haven’t had any problems.

This weekend the Rapha Gentlemen’s Race in Colorado provided an excellent test course for disc brakes, with 13,000ft of descending over 107 miles, some of it on loose dirt, and some of it on steep pavement. The only spot I was able to get Shimano R785 140mm rotors to howl was that same spot on Sunshine.

For Shimano, pairing the appropriate braking technology with the bike and rider is everything, said company spokesman and former ProTour mechanic Nick Legan.

“Braking is always a function of traction. Good descenders do late, hard braking, biasing the front brake, then backing off into the corner. But you have to pair braking power with the traction you have,” Legan said, adding that a heavy downhill bike with substantial rubber and full suspension can keep traction more easily than a light road bike with skinny tires.

Going to a bigger rotor (160mm) up front, and perhaps in the back as well, would likely eliminate the heat-induced squeal, Legan said.

This could indeed be a fix, but I want to brake companies and bike companies to sort this out, not me. Perhaps bikes 56cm and larger get the 160mm front rotor, and 54cm and smaller go 140mm?

Another smaller noise issue —?the levers rattling over rough roads when not grasped —?was fixed with a solution courtesy of our US tech editor, James Huang. Since hydraulic brakes don’t have cable tension pulling the levers taut, both Shimano and SRAM levers can rattle. On smooth pavement there is no problem. On rough roads, if you keep your fingers touching the levers, there is no problem. On rough roads when you ride with your hands loosely on the tops, however, there is a definite rattle. James showed me how to put a piece of padded tape inside the lever; problem solved. But again, this should be solved at the manufacturer level, not the rider/tinkerer level.

Hydraulic brake levers rattle. james huang showed me this fix, putting a slice of clear, padded tape on the silver cylindrical bumper above the lever head:

A little rubber bumper on the silver, cylindrical bumper addressed the lever rattle

When it comes to disc road brakes, Shimano and SRAM certainly aren’t, um, stopping. Expect to see more and more of the things —?and hopefully, more and more improved versions of the things —?as we roll into the near future.

“There is a reason that every wheeled sport has gone to disc brakes,” Legan said. “They’re better than rim brakes, period.”

Perhaps. But I want a quiet, customizable experience before I go all in.