swiss

Stromer gains Swiss investors, separates from BMC

OBERWANGEN, Switzerland (BRAIN) — An Swiss investor group has made a substantial investment in Stromer, completing the e-bike maker’s separation from owner BMC. “We have been able to engage a group of Swiss investors to commit tens of millions of Swiss francs

Skinny full-sus or plus hardtail for the UK National Endurance Champs?

Wrapped around the lower slopes of Scotland’s Ben Nevis at the end of October, the Relentless Exposure event lap is a serious block of climbing and big grin/big risk descending. I’m going to be racing around it eight times (that’s 88km / 54.5 miles with 2,760m / 9,056ft vertical) and mostly at night as part of two teams of four blokes old enough to know better. Sounds like the ideal place to let a couple of XC freaks out to play.

  • Best 29er trail bikes
  • Best mountain bike: how to choose the right one for you
  • Cannondale Scalpel-Si Black Inc review
  • The course: A superb but very demanding 11km (6.8 mile), 345m (1,132ft) lap including elements of the World Cup XC course and even the last drop of the DH course. Ridden eight times over 24 hours
  • Horse one: Cannondale Scalpel-Si Black Label with Lefty Carbon 2.0 100mm travel fork, Shimano XTR Di2 gears and brakes, Enve bar and Enve rims on Chris King hubs with Schwalbe Racing Ralph Evo Snakeskin 29×2.25in tyres
  • Horse two: Open One+ with RockShox RS-1 120mm travel fork, SRAM Eagle XX1 gears, SRAM Level Ultimate brakes, USE Vyce bar/stem and custom DT Swiss X551 rim/SRAM hub wheels with WTB Ranger 27.5×2.8in tyres
  • The equipment goals: Minimising cumulative fatigue and maximising speed on a brilliant but brutal, mostly rocky, wet and dark race lap

If using the term ‘freaks’ sounds like I’m being harsh, then the curious looks I was getting around the race paddock definitely confirmed that both arrows in my quiver were causing a stir, and marked me out as either very lucky or very rich.

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The Cannondale Scalpel-Si Black Label is an off-the-peg full-suspension XC bike — albeit a very high peg at £9,500 / $12,790. With Cannondale’s unique Lefty single-legged fork, and other eccentric aspects, it’s definitely a distinctively different option to the large number of super light, but essentially very similar carbon fibre, full suspension bikes available from mostly European brands. To add an extra comparative spark, it’s loaded with a full Shimano XTR Di2 electric shift suite.

The Open Pro+ has a 990g frame that would make an ideal basis for a conventional ultralight 29er hardtail. However, as it’s one of the few frames in that category that can also take a 27.5×3.0 plus tyre, I couldn’t resist experimenting to see how a bit of low-pressure pneumatic float would compare to ‘proper’ hydraulically-damped suspension and small volume 29er tyres. And what else could I use to help me soar through the Scottish mountains than SRAM’s XX1 golden Eagle transmission?

Full sus or full plus?

Despite less grip and less communicative brakes than the Open, I manage to squeeze another 7secs out of the descent

Tortoise and the hare

I fumble down the final descent in a mess of snot, tears, sweat and dribble, but elated to be back on par

Final furlong

Every cleaned climb feeds into a crescendo of dead horse flogging that would mean a jail term from the Jockey Club

Lessons learned

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

Vee Tire Co. sponsors Snowbike Festival in Swiss Alps

ENGELBERG, Switzerland (BRAIN) — Vee Tire Co. sponsored this weekend’s second annual Snowbike Festival in the Swiss Alps. Organizers expected participants from more than 20 countries at the four-day event, which included a prologue and three stages of racing, along with an expo, a night race and other activities.

Continental Der Kaiser Projekt tyre review

The Der Kaiser Projekt’s issues started when we tried to inflate it. While all other brands’ tyres seated effortlessly on our DT Swiss test wheels, the Kaiser’s bead fitted very loosely, resulting in a tricky installation. This often left us resorting to an Airshot tubeless inflator. Worse, when aggressively cutting the rear wheel into a gravel bank at 25psi, it popped off the rim completely. This was the only tyre on test to do this.

  • Best winter mountain bike tyres
  • Best mountain bike: how to choose the right one for you
  • Buyer’s guide to winter MTB tyres
  • Weight: 1,109g
  • Width: 2.19in
  • Height: 2.16in

This could have been a freak incident, but it seems that the bead fits too loosely on the rim for reliable tubeless running. We could have gone up in pressures to prevent this, but even at 23/25psi, Continental’s six-ply casing feels distinctly wooden and harsh over bumpy ground.

We back-to-back tested over a mat of roots against Schwalbe’s Magic Mary, which has a similarly hefty carcass, and that felt far more compliant. The Conty’s overly stiff casing made our fresh fork feel six months overdue a service.

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Happily, it does grip really well. The BlackChili compound, while not the softest around, sticks to wet rocks tenaciously. The aggressive yet well-rounded tread pattern offers superb, predictable cornering grip in all but the claggiest mud, and braking grip on steep, loose ground is genuinely exceptional.

On the other hand, it came dead last in our rolling resistance test and we can’t forgive that wooden yet floppy casing.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

e*thirteen TRSr / TRS+ 29×2.35 review

E*thirteen TRS tyres come in two flavours. The TRSr features by far the softest triple compound mix on test; while the TSR+ uses slightly harder rubber.

  • Best winter mountain bike tyres
  • Best mountain bike: how to choose the right one for you
  • Buyer’s guide to winter MTB tyres
  • Weight: 964g
  • Width: 2.30in
  • Height: 2.15in

We opted for the TRSr on the front, with the faster rolling TRS+ on the rear. This combo was the second slowest in our roll-down tests. If we’d used the stickier TRSr front and rear, it would’ve been even slower. On the other hand, the TSRr’s super soft compound, combined with the massive width and beautifully damped carcass, provides incredibly surefooted traction on wet, rooty and rocky gnar that would put most downhill tyres to shame.

The casing feels stable and well-damped like a tyre several hundred grams heavier; combined with the high volume this encourages lower pressures too. Though designed to work with e*thirteen’s own wheels, we had no issues on our DT Swiss rims. The tread offers superb traction on practically every surface other than deep mud.

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Even on 25mm rims they come up very square, making for a slightly grabby, speed-scrubbing feel when leant in really hard through flat corners. However, they posted the fastest time on our steepest, loosest test track.

Thanks to that carcass and heavily siped shoulders, even the cheaper, faster, harder wearing TRS+ provided remarkable off-camber traction when run up front, so it’s probably the smart-money compound for most conditions.

e*thirteen TRSr / TRS+ pricing and availability

  • TRSr: £68 / $72 / AU$116
  • TSR+: £57 / $59 / AU$100

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

Specialized launches new Roval wheels at Tour Down Under

MORGAN HILL, Calif. (BRAIN) — At the Tour Down Under this week, Specialized is launching a new range of Roval wheels, being used by the Bora-Hansgrohe and Quick-Step Floors teams.

Intense Recluse Elite review

The Intense Recluse Elite is the latest in a flurry of new bikes introduced this year by California-based brand and it’s a hard beast to tame.

  • Best mountain bike: how to choose the right one for you
  • Are 27.5+ bikes faster than 29ers?

Intense’s top ‘SL’ lay-up and titanium fixtures save 250g over the standard carbon frame, but it’s still a tough and practical chassis with bottle, front mech and ISCG mounts, and user serviceable, grease injected bearings. The internal cables rattle badly though and the rubber belly ‘armour’ soon started peeling off.

The DT Swiss hubs have a slow-reacting freehub and the 160mm rear disc reduces braking power

Intense’s new wide carbon rims keep wheel weight on par with narrower alloy hoops. The triple-compound Maxxis tyres, Thomson stem and Renthal bar create a rock-solid cockpit. Race Face carbon cranks are a visual highlight and the e*thirteen cassette gives a very wide, if slightly rumbling, gear range.

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The DT Swiss hubs have a slow-reacting freehub, though, and the 160mm rear disc reduces braking power. Mid-range Performance Fox suspension units are disappointing for a bike at this price too.

Unfortunately the fork’s relatively basic damping is obvious in either a lack of small-bump compliance or inconsistent support under cornering loads if you try to run lower pressures to counter that. Despite hours spent adjusting the rear shock, we couldn’t escape similar issues there either.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

Organizers announce winners of 2017 Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarships

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (BRAIN) — The 16 recipients of the 2017 Women’s Bicycle Mechanics Scholarship have been announced by the program’s organizers: QBP and co-title sponsors SRAM, Park Tool, Michelin and UBI. The women will attend UBI’s Professional Shop Repair and Operations Workshop in Ashland, Oregon, later this month.

Best winter mountain bike tyres

The right tyres change everything. They can make the difference between riding and sliding, railing or crashing, puncturing or ploughing. Bump absorption, damping and rolling resistance are also very important. We’ve tested a range of tyres to see you through the winter slop, from aggro all-rounders to spiky mud munchers and these were the best performers of the bunch. We’ve gone for 29in rubber here, but most are available in 650b and 26in versions too.

  • Best mountain bike: how to choose the right one for you
  • Buyer’s guide to winter MTB tyres

How we tested

To keep things consistent, we used the same bike with the same wheelset (DT Swiss EX1501 with 25mm internal width) and used exactly 23psi front and 25psi rear throughout testing. We used tubeless tyres and inflated them with a track pump to check for sealing and burping issues. We then measured each tyre’s width and height with a Vernier gauge and the hardness of the tread with a durometer before hitting the trails.

First up was a roll-down test. We took an average over three timed runs down a fireroad (without pedalling) to gauge rolling resistance. We then did back-to-back runs of several muddy, rocky and rooty tracks, taking two or three runs before swapping tyres and repeating to get the most direct comparison possible.

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We did this several times on a range of different tracks at a few different riding spots, often using a stopwatch to put a number to the tyres’ performance. We hope this thorough testing helps you pick the best bike boots for your needs.

What to look for

Profile: The cross-section shape of a tyre. Squarer tyres bite harder into slippery turns and off-cambers. Rounder tyres offer a more predictable drift — they generally roll faster and carry speed better through flat corners. Remember wider rims make a given tyre squarer.

Casing: Often overlooked, the casing (or carcass) is the nylon-reinforced body of the tyre. Its construction balances weight and rolling resistance on one hand, with puncture-resistance, damping and stability on the other. It has a huge effect on rolling drag and traction.

Maxxis Shorty 3C EXO 29×2.3

  • Price: £56 / $78 / AU$99
  • Weight: 885g
  • Width: 2.11
  • Height: 2.07in
  • Maxxis UK
  • Maxxis USA

e*thirteen TRSr / TRS+ 29×2.35

  • TRSr (front): £68 / $72 / AU$116
  • TSR+ (rear): £57 / $59 / AU$100
  • Weight: 964g
  • Width: 2.30in
  • Height: 2.15in
  • e*thirteen
  • Silverfish UK

Specialized Hillbilly Grid 29×2.3

  • Price: £35 / $60 / AU$TBC
  • Weight: 960g
  • Width: 2.13in
  • Height: 2.09in
  • Specialized

Schwalbe Magic Mary SuperGravity TrailStar 29×2.35

  • Price: £65 / $98 / AU$100
  • Weight: 1,145g
  • Width: 2.35in
  • Height: 2.2in
  • Schwalbe

Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO 29×2.5

  • Price: £56 / $60 / AU$110
  • Weight: 1,000g
  • Width: 2.25in
  • Height: 2.14in
  • Maxxis UK
  • Maxxis USA

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

Best winter mountain bike tyres

The right tyres change everything. They can make the difference between riding and sliding, railing or crashing, puncturing or ploughing. Bump absorption, damping and rolling resistance are also very important. We’ve tested a range of tyres to see you through the winter slop, from aggro all-rounders to spiky mud munchers and these were the best performers of the bunch. We’ve gone for 29in rubber here, but most are available in 650b and 26in versions too.

  • Best mountain bike: how to choose the right one for you
  • Buyer’s guide to winter MTB tyres

How we tested

To keep things consistent, we used the same bike with the same wheelset (DT Swiss EX1501 with 25mm internal width) and used exactly 23psi front and 25psi rear throughout testing. We used tubeless tyres and inflated them with a track pump to check for sealing and burping issues. We then measured each tyre’s width and height with a Vernier gauge and the hardness of the tread with a durometer before hitting the trails.

First up was a roll-down test. We took an average over three timed runs down a fireroad (without pedalling) to gauge rolling resistance. We then did back-to-back runs of several muddy, rocky and rooty tracks, taking two or three runs before swapping tyres and repeating to get the most direct comparison possible.

ADVERTISEMENT
advertisement

We did this several times on a range of different tracks at a few different riding spots, often using a stopwatch to put a number to the tyres’ performance. We hope this thorough testing helps you pick the best bike boots for your needs.

What to look for

Profile: The cross-section shape of a tyre. Squarer tyres bite harder into slippery turns and off-cambers. Rounder tyres offer a more predictable drift — they generally roll faster and carry speed better through flat corners. Remember wider rims make a given tyre squarer.

Casing: Often overlooked, the casing (or carcass) is the nylon-reinforced body of the tyre. Its construction balances weight and rolling resistance on one hand, with puncture-resistance, damping and stability on the other. It has a huge effect on rolling drag and traction.

Maxxis Shorty 3C EXO 29×2.3

  • Price: £56 / $78 / AU$99
  • Weight: 885g
  • Width: 2.11
  • Height: 2.07in
  • Maxxis UK
  • Maxxis USA

e*thirteen TRSr / TRS+ 29×2.35

  • TRSr (front): £68 / $72 / AU$116
  • TSR+ (rear): £57 / $59 / AU$100
  • Weight: 964g
  • Width: 2.30in
  • Height: 2.15in
  • e*thirteen
  • Silverfish UK

Specialized Hillbilly Grid 29×2.3

  • Price: £35 / $60 / AU$TBC
  • Weight: 960g
  • Width: 2.13in
  • Height: 2.09in
  • Specialized

Schwalbe Magic Mary SuperGravity TrailStar 29×2.35

  • Price: £65 / $98 / AU$100
  • Weight: 1,145g
  • Width: 2.35in
  • Height: 2.2in
  • Schwalbe

Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO 29×2.5

  • Price: £56 / $60 / AU$110
  • Weight: 1,000g
  • Width: 2.25in
  • Height: 2.14in
  • Maxxis UK
  • Maxxis USA

You can read more at BikeRadar.com