E-bikes: Can’t put these babies in the corner anymore

 LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — You don’t have to wander deep into the bowels of the Mandalay Bay to find electric bikes anymore. Several brands are “mainstreaming” e-bikes at their booths this year, as they quietly add electrified models to their 2017 lineups.

E-bikes: Can’t put these babies in the corner anymore

 LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — You don’t have to wander deep into the bowels of the Mandalay Bay to find electric bikes anymore. Several brands are “mainstreaming” e-bikes at their booths this year, as they quietly add electrified models to their 2017 lineups. Advanced Sports International (Booth 7141), for example, is launching a 27.5-plus hardtail and a city trekking bike under its Fuji brand, and two versions of its Breezer Greenway e-city bike in the U.S

Scott Scale 935 review

Whether you’re watching World Cup XC or a local race, you’re likely to see a lot of Scotts and it’s been that way for decades. Its entry-level carbon bike is feather-light and handles nicely up front, but it’s blunter than we expected out back.

  • Best mountain bike: how to choose the right one for you
  • More mountain bike reviews on BikeRadar

Scott’s Scale frame has been a benchmark for XC performance throughout its life (though it’s had a complete overhaul for next season). The head angle sits just shy of 70 degrees, which is slack in XC terms, and the seat tube is relatively relaxed at 72.5 degrees.

Butt-jointed construction (as opposed to Scott’s sleeved ‘IMP’ method) gives the frame its minimal weight edge. Subtle ledges and depressions are moulded into the ultra-thin tubes, to engineer their behaviour under load, and the gear cables disappear into moulded blisters. The rear brake hose runs externally, for easy servicing, and the relatively slender down tube swells just ahead of the press-fit bottom bracket.


Although the 650b-wheeled Scales use a conventional 31.6mm seatpost, the 29ers stay with Scott’s uniquely massive 34.9mm size and oversized, semi box-section seat tube. The chainstays and seatstay wishbone are pretty solid, too, though the seatstays themselves are flat and slim. The brake mount sits on the chainstay to stop it affecting the flex of the seatstays.

Smart buyers should probably wait to see what happens to the Scale range’s pricing

While this entry-level frame comes with a DT Swiss QR axle, you can upgrade to the same 142×12mm system as the more expensive models, but you’ll need to change your hub/wheel at the same time. A band-on front mech makes for a clean look if you single-ring it.

The kit

The relatively heavy, non-series Shimano crankset and Deore front mech definitely make single-ringing tempting, but the XT rear mech doesn’t have a clutch and the 10-speed cassette only sports an 11-36t spread so you’d probably also need an expander cog. The 2.1in Schwalbe tyres don’t cushion trail chatter as well as fatter rubber would, and the Shimano rear hub has noticeable engagement lag on stop/start trails.

The ride


You can

Shimano American takes over sales of Lazer in US

IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) ? Shimano American will handle sales of the Lazer brand in the U.S

Ritchey sells complete bikes dealer direct in Europe

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — For years Ritchey told dealers asking for complete bikes that it wasn’t going to happen while its OEM component sales represented such a large portion of its business. The thinking is a component maker shouldn’t compete with its customers by offering complete bikes

Shimano releases elite-level road and mountain bike shoes

OSAKA, Japan (BRAIN) — Shimano on Tuesday announced a new line of top-end road and mountain bike shoes, called S-PHYRE. The shoes were designed for lightweight, low aerodynamic drag and refined efficiencies.

Calibre Gauntlet review

Calibre is the bike brand of outdoor equipment retailer Go Outdoors and they’ve produced an impressively well specced hardtail with a contemporary character at a great, affordable price. And while the official price is £699, if you spend £5 on a 12 month discount card, the cost of the bike drops to an even more attractive £600 / US$945 / AU$1,260.

  • Best mountain bike: how to choose the right one for you
  • Best mountain bike helmets for trail riding
  • Best cheap mountain bike upgrades

It feels good on the trail straight away thanks to a 65mm long stem and wide 760mm handlebar for a power assisted steering feel. The WTB tyres provide a good grippier front, faster rear balance, and sit on 23mm wide rims to add more support when you’re cornering hard.

Avid Elixir 1 hydraulic brakes have much better feel and feedback than Tektro anchors too, although we’d like to see a 180mm not 160mm rotor up front for more power.


While the RockShox XC32 fork only has a QR skewer holding the wheel in place rather than the thru-axle, you can occasionally find on Suntour forks at this price it’s still stiffer than more common 30mm legged forks. The pressurised air (rather than solid) spring and basic rebound control makes it easy to tune the fork response to your weight too.

Weight is acceptable at 13.75kg/30.3lb and compared to most bikes at this price it’s very fun and capable on average trails. Don’t expect the SRAM X5 transmission to last long compared to the Shimano alternatives though.

You can

iSSi Trail pedals review

In the world of mountain bike clipless pedals, Shimano has a pretty tight stranglehold on the market. The iSSi brand comes from Minnesota-based and local bike shop parts distributor Quality Bicycle Parts, and is a sister company to 45NRTH, Heller, All-City, Salsa, Surly and others. With that connection, the iSSi line of pedals is primarily sold in bike shops.

  • Shimano XT Trail pedals review
  • Crank Brothers Mallet E pedals review
  • Gamut Podium pedals review

iSSi Trail pedal specs

  • Chromoly spindle, ED-coated
  • 8mm hex head for install
  • 52.5mm spindle length with +6mm and +12mm options available
  • Black chrome hardware
  • Sealed cartridge bearings and bushings
  • Adjustable spring tension
  • 4º cleat float
  • Eight colors available
  • Weight: 420g

Similar yet different

The Trail pedals from iSSi use the familiar SPD style retention and are compatible with Shimano cleats. The float is around four degrees and the release angle 14 degrees, which is a bit less than Shimano at six and 15-20 degrees respectively. The platform surrounding the pedal is very close in size and shape to Shimano’s Trail offerings. An 8mm hex wrench is used to install both iSSi and Shimano pedals.


Where iSSi differs from Shimano is in offering three spindle lengths. The stock length is 52.5mm, which is 2mm shorter than Shimano’s standard length. But fear not those with big, wide feet or fat bike riders with bulky, insulated boots. iSSi offers 6mm and 12mm extended spindles so everyone can pedal happily.

A bounty of eight colors is one thing iSSi Trail pedals have going for them. While color can seem inconsequential, for some folks it’s hugely important, just ask Chris King or Industry Nine. One thing Shimano doesn’t have is much color. The component giant is typically very business like, content with dignified, inoffensive shades of gray and black.  

Out on the trails

iSSi Trail pedals pricing 

  • 52.5mm spindles: £69.99 / US$100 / AU$105
  • 58.5mm spindles: £N/A / US$105 / AU$110
  • 64.5mm spindles: £N/A / US$105 / AU$110
  • Spindle kits: £32.99 / US$52 / AU$N/A

You can

Shimano bike segment sales decline steeply in first half

OSAKA, Japan (BRAIN) — Shimano saw a steep decline in sales and profits in its bike segment in the first half, pointing to bad weather, the Brexit vote, terrorist attacks in Europe, and high distributor bicycle inventory in North America as contributors.

Shimano collaborates with Michelin and Boa on 2017 softgoods line

IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Shimano has introduced its model year 2017 softgoods line, including footwear, apparel, gloves, bags and packs for mountain biking, road cycling and recreational riding. The Japanese company collaborated with France’s Michelin on the outersoles of some new mountain bike shoes, and with Denver’s BOA on shoe closures on some upper-end road and mountain bike shoes.