Now the dust has settled on another mind changing Eurobike and the bikes of Christmas future have come to pass, we thought it was only fair to sift through the ingredients and separate the high quality, single-source, fair trade grinds from the service station gravy to bring you the crème de la crème of metaphors, no wait… bikes!
2017 has some astounding treats for us in the way of all things mountain bike, whether you’re a dyed-in-the-blood 27.5″ Enduro rig fan, or wish to embrace the astoundingly broad range of wheel and tyre sizes now available – and that’s before we’ve even mentioned (dare we) the eBike options!
Delve below for some of our hot picks from a summer of checking out new kit – you might find your next love…
As usual our visit to the Yeti stand yielded open mouthed stares and small amounts of drooling, accompanied by audible whimpers of joy from the editor as he wept into his coffee – they were so close to touch, yet so far away in reality. As well as the dribble inducing SB5, SB5.5 and SB6 the Yeti SB (Super Bike) range now features the updated SB5 Beti women’s specific bike, with tailored contact points and updated suspension, as well as the brand new SB5+ – a new 27.5″ wheeled, plus-tyred option for the emerging semi-skimmed market.
“The SB5 is an extremely popular bike in our line. In step with advances in frame design and suspension technology we’ve made on other models in our line, we saw an opportunity to make this bike even more relevant for the hard-charging trail rider. We were able to carry over our commitment to female athletes by updating the SB5 Beti as well.”
– Chris Conroy, Yeti Cycles CEO.
Expect the SB5+ to be lightweight, stable, full of traction and a whole heap of fun on the downs.
With it’s raised chainstays the SB5+ maintains a short rear end, allowing the radius of those chunky rollers to remain as close to the bottom bracket as possible, improving handling. The introduction of a plus-sized option to Yeti’s range is hardly surprising given the wide range of these bikes – such as the Trek Stache 29+ – now becoming available. Look out for more ‘plusser’ reviews coming very soon to these pages.
The new carbon Propain Rage is one bad-ass looking bike and had us all a bit excited when we locked eyes with it across a crowded expo floor. The Rage CF can be built at just below 15kg (33pounds) and is one of the lightest Downhill bikes available right now. With 8.6″ of rear wheel travel (we know!) it’s about ready to take on anything life can throw at it. We’ve seen less capable monster trucks.
Featuring both reach and chainstay adjustment the Rage is adaptive to every course and riding style and at € 4,999 the pricing is as attractive as the frame, which comes in this exclusive color only available for the “First Edition”.
Rocky Mountain Slayer
When it comes to building beautiful and capable bicycles Rocky Mountain knows a thing or two. Anyone basing their research and development in British Columbia is bound to have a head start when it comes to putting together outstanding trail weapons. The once ubiquitous Rocky Mountain Slayer is back from its two years out of production with a bang, as these images testify. Now constructed in full carbon and packed with patent pending technologies such as their PIPELOCK pivot system and an adjustable head angle.
“Designed to lay waste to the world’s roughest trails, the Slayer is back as an all-carbon Enduro and All Mountain weapon.”
With 27.5″ wheels sitting on 165mm in the rear and a gargantuan 170mm up front this all carbon beast has evolved from its brutish beginnings into a svelt looking assassin of a bike. Expect to see the Slayer turning up and dominating Enduro races and probably holding its own on DH tracks too!
Whether or not you think that the belt drive is the way forward for mountain bike drivetrains there’s no denying that they add a certain ‘cleanliness’ to the lines of a pedal cycle. Kiwi outfit Zerode has gone all in and committed to the technology for its latest Enduro ride, the Taniwha, which had a host of bike journos crowding around it like it was the new messiah. As looks go its elegant lines and attention-seeking colour certainly does the job for us.
The Taniwha – so named after a stealthy Mãori predator or protective guardian – brings its belt-driven, carbon-framed ninja skills to the party in the form of a 12 speed Pinion gearbox married to a stiff as houses, lightweight carbon frame. Will the added benefits of internal, faff-free gearing, near-silent running and perfect chain line be enough to convince you to open up your wallet?
The Taniwha should be available from late October 2016 and pre orders have reportedly gone through the roof, though the factory did apparently take a hit in a recent typhoon so these could be rare as hen’s teeth.
“Nothing inspires us to ride more than a quiet, low maintenance, confidence inspiring bike”
For years and years and years and years Hope have made truly beautiful, mind-bogglingly good components for push irons, the kind of parts that not only look incredible but will likely withstand a nuclear winter or perhaps even the acidic, venomous, malicious hate speech of Donald Trump.
The ‘hey, let’s build a full bike’ concept was hatched at Hope as far back as 2005 as co-founders Ian and Simon dreamed of putting together a complete rig, but never necessarily with the intention of becoming a bike brand. Many concept bikes later and Hope have presented the world with what we believe to be a Barnoldswick Beauty.
The burning question(s) – how much is it and when can I have one? Well, precious, we don’t know. As of now Hope are treating this as an in-house-R&D-come-playtime project for the sake of seeing what happens if… Be assured that we’ll have all the information we can get our grubby paws on just as soon as it is released to the world.
“This bike uses very few current standards since it has been developed as a design concept rather than a product design exercise. Maybe not the best solution for compatibility, but when you make every part, it gives you the opportunity manufacture a bike without compromise.”
By James SwannOriginally from Sheffield, James lives and works in the mountain bike mecca that is the Lake District and has been falling off bikes since he was six. In between working on bike events, riding bikes, racing bikes and writing about bikes he enjoys talking about bikes with anyone who will listen. He really likes bikes.
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