Shimano bike component sales nearly flat in first quarter

Net sales in the bike division were down 0.9 percent in Q1. OSAKA, Japan (BRAIN) — Shimano’s bike-related sales were down 0.9 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, while operating income in the segment was down 3.2 percent. Recording sales that were almost equal to the first quarter of last year is nothing to crow about: The first quarter of 2016 was devastating for much of the bike industry, and  Shimano’s bike-related sales in Q1 last year were down 20 percent from 2015 .  The company said the European and U.S.

Kids’ bikes at Sea Otter: from first-time pedalers to high-zoot rippers

MONTEREY, Calif. (BRAIN) — Kids’ bike companies are flooding the Sea Otter expo this year, and most of them are clustered around the skills area for young riders. These are not full-line bike brands that offer kids’ bikes as an afterthought.

Upcoming fundraiser brings together SoCal industry, riding community to support NICA

IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — For the past nine years, cyclist and advocate Andy Lightle has celebrated his birthday in an unconventional fashion.

Shimano RW5 review

Nobody likes to ride with cold, wet feet in winter. And while overshoes are an option, there are also purpose-built alternatives such as the Shimano RW5 .

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This takes Shimano’s new Road Performance line and adapts it to a winter boot. The main similarity is the sole, as the RW5 shares the hybrid nylon-carbon unit. The main body of the sole is reinforced nylon, with the cleat plate made from carbon fibre moulded into the nylon. This adds rigidity to the foot just where you want it, over the cleat.

The upper is protected by a wrap-over Velcro flap, which is part of a full wetsuit-like neoprene cuff

The sole does have a little more give at the mid-foot than Shimano’s pro-level shoes, but that’s welcome on longer rides where a bit of foot flexing is more important than efficient power transfer.


Weight-wise the RW5s are 800g a pair, which may sound heavy but when you take a standard pair of shoes and add in heavy-duty waterproof overshoes, these are in the same ball park overall.

Like their summer compatriots, the RW5s use cleat fittings that are compatible with both standard three-bolt road cleats and two-bolt mountain bike-style SPD cleats. So, if you prefer the convenience of a double-sided pedal for commuting these will be ideal for wet, winter rides to work.

The sole does retain vents but any concerns about water getting in are put aside by the full Dryshield membrane that encapsulates the whole of the upper and above the outsole. This impenetrable rubber-like thick membrane keeps water out and Shimano has lined the boot with a soft-touch fleece-like material that adds plenty of warmth. The retention drawcords make them easy to get on and off.

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Nukeproof looks to the sky with top-tier Horizon finishing kit

Since coming under the wing of Chain Reaction Cycles, Nukeproof has been going from strength to strength and has now launched the first products from its up-coming, top-line Horizon range. Starting with flat pedals, there will be new cockpit components and wheelsets on the way soon too.

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New Horizon pedals

Nukeproof’s Horizon pedal actually appeared a couple of years ago, alongside its other Proton, Neuron and Electron offerings. It was probably most notable in its Sam Hill Signature model, given that Sam is one of the few DH and EWS riders using flats these days.

The two new caged versions will come in CL and CS version, with the CL having a larger cage. The 6061 aluminium cages are there to add side-foot stability, aid power transfer when used with shoes without super stiff soles and give a feel more akin to a flat pedal.

The alloy cages feature 11mm pins that are replaceable and come with washers to adjust their length — 13mm pins are also available. These are there to modify the feel of the pedal when run with flat-sole style clipless shoes. The CL comes with six pins per side, while the CS has four.


Nukeproof has made its own mechanism for the pedal, which unlike Shimano doesn’t pivot within the cage. With Shimano holding a large share of the clipless pedal market, Nukeproof decided that making the pedal compatible with Shimano cleats was important. However, following rider feedback, it has merged the benefits and feel of a SPD mechanism with the usability of the Crank Bros system.

With both the front and rear section of the sprung mechanism, it’s possible to engage with the pedal with a forward, vertical or even rearward push of the feet, unlike the required forward push from a Shimano pedal. The cleats are shaped to aid this and four degree and eight degree float options will be available. Mechanism tension is also adjustable.

Weights (per pair)

  • Pro: 430G
  • CL: 526g
  • CL Ti: 430g
  • CS: 432G  
  • CS Ti: 352g (estimate)

Cockpit updates

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Box Components’ 1×11 drivetrain now available from distributors

ANAHEIM, Calif. (BRAIN) — Box Components said its new 1×11 mountain bike drivetrain is now available from U.S.

Shimano Europe opens third distribution center, in Lyon, France

LYON, France (BRAIN) — Shimano Europe has announced plans to open a new distribution center here to serve its French and Italian customers. It will be the third distribution center for Shimano in Europe, joining locations in the Netherlands and Poland. Shimano also has a distribution warehouse in Istanbul for the Turkish market. The Lyon facility will offer delivery of bike parts and accessories from Shimano brands including PRO bike parts & accessories, Pearl Izumi clothing, Lazer helmets and other related brands

Stif Cycles Morf first ride review

Yorkshire-based Stif Cycles has long sold bikes from the likes of Orange and Santa Cruz, but this is the first time in its 33-year history that it has actually had its own name on a head tube. The Morf is that bike — a long, slack, 650b-wheeled hardtail, which has been designed by Stif staffer Sammy Smithson, in partnership with frame designer Brant Richards, to be a true ‘do it all’ ride.

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Stif Cycles Morf spec overview

  • Fork: Rockshox Pike Solo Air RC 130mm
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano XT M8000 GS RD
  • Shifter: Shimano XT M8000 SL
  • Brakes: Shimano XT M8000
  • Rotors: Shimano RT86 ICE TECH 180mm
  • Crankset: Shimano XT M8000 32T w/BB 175mm
  • Cassette: Shimano XT M8000 CS 11-42T
  • Chain: Shimano HG70011
  • Handlebar: Burgtec RideWide, 30mm rise, 800mm wide, 31.8mm clamp
  • Stem: Burgtec Enduro mk2 35mm long, 31.8mm clamp
  • Grips: Burgtec Lock-On
  • Headset: Hope 2H with Hope top cap and bolt
  • Seatpost: KS LEV Integra with Southpaw 150mm travel
  • Saddle: Burgtec the Cloud with cromo rail
  • Front wheel: Hope Pro4 hub laced to WTB Frequency Team i25 TCS rim
  • Rear wheel: Hope Pro4 142×12mm laced to WTB Frequency Team i25 TCS rim
  • Front tyre: Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO TR 27.5 x 2.3 tubeless
  • Rear tyre: Maxxis Minion DHF 60/62a EXO TR 27.5 x 2.3 tubeless
  • Tubes / sealant: WTB TCS Sealant and WTB TCS valves

Stif Cycles Morf frame and kit

The intention with the Morf’s geometry was to give this rigid-rear-ended machine similar riding characteristics to a modern full-suspension trail bike. It has a fairly long reach (435mm on the medium size), a raked out 65-degree head angle and the chainstays have been tightened up to a very short 420mm. The bottom bracket height is a reasonably average 311mm.


The frame is made from 4130 chromoly steel. There’s a bend in the down tube to prevent any clashes with the fork crown and Stif has used ovalised tubes at the rear end to give a small amount of flex and bump absorption. There are a few neat details, such as an inboard mount for the rear brake and replaceable bolt-through dropouts. The frame’s signature feature is the ‘12 Bore’ chainstay bridge, which allows the back end to be made as short as possible while also providing clearance for 2.4in tyres.

The complete bike (the frame is available on its own for £499 / $623.75 / AU$838.32) comes with a burly RockShox Pike fork, in 130mm (5.1in) travel guise. Stif says that a longer fork would make the front end dive and steepen the bike’s geometry too much as it neared full travel. The brakes and 1×11 drivetrain are both Shimano XT, and although no chain device is supplied, there are tabs for fitting one.

Stif Cycles Morf ride impression

Stif Cycles Morf early verdict

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Shimano XT Di2 M8050 1×11 first ride review

Shimano’s new XT Di2 group is finally arriving at local bike shops and online vendors around the world. You can read the component run down and actual weights of Shimano’s second-tier electronic mountain bike drivetrain in our First Look. After a day on the trails, here are my initial impressions of the Shimano XT Di2.

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Shimano XT Di2: Three ways to ride wired

XT Di2 can be set up in three different ways. It can be a 2×11 drivetrain with front and rear derailleurs controlled by individual shifters like a traditional cable-actuated drivetrain. Or if you want the simplicity of a 1x drivetrain, but with the total gearing of a 2x system, Shimano’s Synchro Shift technology lets you just shift up and down with one lever, and automatically shifts the front derailleur as needed to keep gear changes progressive and smooth. Lastly, you can use XT Di2 as a 1×11 system with Shimano’s narrow-wide chain ring and the new 11-46t XT cassette, which is how this test bike is set up.


Electronics mean options

One of the primary benefits of Shimano’s electronic drivetrains is the multitude of ways riders can customize functions to suit their particular needs.

This customization starts with functions of the shift paddles. The default arrangement is opposite of the lever operation of Shimano’s cable-actuated drivetrains: the lower shift paddle shifts into a lower gear and the smaller, upper paddle shifts the derailleur into a higher gear.

Shimano XT Di2 initial ride impressions

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Carrera Vendetta first ride review

In a world of £8k superbikes, it’s great to see that relatively little gets you quite a lot. At £500 the Vendetta looks a reasonable prospect, but given frequent price reductions to £280, it’s a steal.

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Carrera Vendetta spec overview

  • Forks: Suntour XCM-DS 29 (100mm travel)
  • Tyres: 27.5″ x 2.8″ Kenda Havoc
  • Rear brake: Tektro Novela mechanical disc brake
  • Front brake: Tektro Novela mechanical disc brake
  • Rear mech: SRAM RD-X4
  • Front mech: Shimano FD-M410E
  • Gear shifters: SRAM SL-X4 trigger shifters
  • Cassette/freewheel: Shimano 8 speed, 12-32T
  • Chain: KMC Z-72
  • Chainset: Suntour Triple 42/32/22T with 175mm cranks
  • Grips: Velo grips
  • Handlebars: 740mm, 31.8
  • Headset: Semi-integrated 1 1/8″
  • Saddle: Velo saddle
  • Seatpost: Alloy, 350mm

Carrera Vendetta frame and equipment

Carrera proves two things. First off, geometry costs nothing. In short, the shape of the bike is up there with some of our favourite trail hardtails. The 55mm stem and 740mm bars, when combined with a relatively slack 68 degree head angle and low bottom bracket, gives confident, precise handling, far surpassing the usual nervous, upright feel bikes at this price often have.

Secondly, plus tyres work at this price point. From a standing start the 2.8” Kenda Havok tyres are slow to get rolling, but once at speed, and down at 15psi the grip and comfort they give stamps all over the skittery plastic rubbish usually seen. This means the Vendetta is confidence inspiring for new riders, while the big volume absorbs trail buzz, diminishing the harshness of the frame.


Carrera Vendetta ride impression

Up front there’s a Suntour XCM fork with 100mm of travel. Yes, the skinny, QR legs are a touch flexy and the undamped rebound means if you run your front tyre too hard it’ll ping everywhere. But with a bit of patience it is possible to marry front tyre bounce and fork rebound in to a relatively happy coexistence.

It is perhaps less forgivable at its RRP, but for £280, we’re not too worried that the cable operated Tektro brakes aren’t the most powerful, nor deliver great feel, and the mixed Shimano/SRAM 3×8 drivetrain, is certainly behind the times. But, it does work, and the 22:32 bottom gear is ideal for winching it back up the hill.

Before riding the Vendetta we thought it would be a sluggish tractor of a bike, but after our first lap of the woods we were thinking again! Beginners, or those with a limited budget will find the it a perfectly capable bike for hitting local woodsy singletrack and trail centre blues.

Carrera Vendetta early verdict

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