Follow Bicycle Retailer

You are here

More from the aisles of Sea Otter

Published April 22, 2013
Avid Elixir 9 Trail brake

SRAM

SRAM took the wraps off its latest road product just days before Sea Otter began, but the component maker had plenty of new offerings to show on the off-road side of its business.

Three new wheelsets are added alongside the SRAM Rise line introduced last year.

Available in 26-, 27.5- and 29-inch wheel sizes, the Roam 60 cross-country/trail/all-mountain wheels feature UST-compatible carbon-tuned rims with an asymmetrical profile, 21-millimeter inside and 28-millimeter outside rim widths, double-butted stainless steel spokes and, the company says, easy conversion for all axle types. Weights range from 1,495 to 1,625 grams, depending on wheel size.

Roam 60 should be available by June in 26-inch and in August for 27.5- and 29-inch, with an MSRP of $2,199.

The Roam 50 wheelset boasts similar light weight and trail durability, but at half the price with aluminum rims rather than carbon and a slimmer 25-millimeter outer width. It’s set for a July release in all three wheel sizes with an MSRP of $1,072.

The Rail 50 is the most aggressive of the new wheels, intended to stand up to all-mountain and enduro racing conditions while maintaining light weight. The wheelset features aluminum rims with SRAM’s asymmetrical Taper Core profile, like the Roam 50, but boasts an outer width of 28 millimeters.

Like all the new wheelsets, it’s available with the new XD 11-speed driver body for SRAM’s 10-42 XXI cassette or a 9/10-speed driver body. All wheels also have SRAM’s Solo Spoke design, featuring uniform spoke lengths for the whole wheel.

SRAM also showed off the revived Pike all-mountain fork, which has been out of the RockShox lineup for a number of years. The full redesigned Pike gets 35-millimeter upper tubes, asymmetrical lower legs for increased strength on the braking side, 15-millimeter Maxle Lite axle, the new Charger damper with three modes—open, pedal and lock—and comes in versions for all three wheel sizes. Travel is 150 or 160 millimeters for 26- or 27.5-inch wheels, 140 or 150 millimeters for 29er. The Pike is due to reach retailers in June with an MSRP of $980-$1,085.

The RockShox SID and Revelation forks are also now available in all three wheel sizes, with both the XC and trail fork, respectively, getting a remodeled Motion Control DNA damper. The forks’ new Dig Valve is designed to give optimum low- and high-speed compression tuning and allow for the use of Rapid Recovery, which is said to allow the shock to recover faster between impacts to improve traction and rider control.

SRAM adds to its “Avid Trail Family” of brakes, launched last year with the XO Trail stoppers, with the new Elixir 7 Trail and Elixir 9 Trail models, arriving at retailers in June.

Both brakes feature forged aluminum four-piston calipers, organic pads, Matchmaker X compatibility and four rotor options from 160 to 200 millimeters. The $126 Elixir 7 comes with an alloy lever blade, while the $169 Elixir 9 has a carbon lever, black anodized finish and tool-free contact adjust.

 

Marzocchi

After the dissolution of its relationship with Taiwan assembler SR Suntour caused Marzocchi to lose most of its 2013 model year sales, the Italian suspension brand was back at Sea Otter with a new aftermarket line released just a month ago—ranging from its Dirt Jumper and Corsa XC forks all the way up to the $1,850 888 RC3 Evo Titanium dual-crown DH model. But more interesting was the product Marzocchi had stashed away in its truck for the cycling media to preview.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the 888—or Triple 8—fork, and to commemorate the occasion Marzocchi is pulling out all the stops for a special-edition downhill model.

The 380 C2R2 Titanium (the “380” stands for triple-eight times 10) boasts 200 millimeters of coil-sprung travel but tips the scales at just 6.16 pounds, saving more than half a pound over Marzocchi’s current top-of-the-line 888 RC3 Evo Titanium. The weight savings is achieved with a lighter chassis, hollow construction on the lower crown, redesigned lowers—including a 100-gram reduction in the arch—and a lighter damper. It comes with a tapered or straight 1 1/8-inch steerer and has low- and high-speed compression adjustment, nickel-coated tapered aluminum stanchions and titanium spring.

The 380 C2R2 is compatible with both 26- and 27.5-inch wheels and is due for a September release.

Also coming in September is the Moto C2R titanium-spring rear shock, saving a quarter of a pound over Marzocchi’s Roco rear shock with ti coil. It has a bottom-out chamber with adjustable compression, one-piece eyelet design for increased strength and lighter weight, 14-millimeter shaft and high-speed rebound adjust via a shim stack.

 

DVO Suspension

On the same aisle as Marzocchi, this startup suspension brand launched by former Marzocchi USA employees gave North American consumers their first in-person look at it eye-catching green anodized downhill fork and rear shock.

The Emerald inverted fork boasts 203 millimeters of travel, a tapered steerer, 20-millimeter magnesium thru-axle, 41- to 42-millimeter tapered legs, 36-millimeter stanchions and high-quality polished and anodized internals.

One knock on inverted forks is a lack of torsional stiffness from the legs moving independently. To combat this, DVO has devised a one-piece guard for the fork stanchions featuring a reinforced arch, said company founder Bryson Martin, former director for Marzocchi USA.

A shim stack that unscrews from the bottom of the right fork leg allows riders to easily tune high- and low-speed compression without taking out the oil—a huge time saver, he added.

It’s a high-zoot package that will come at a commensurate price, though that price has yet to be determined. “If you already have a Fox 40, what do you upgrade to?” Martin asked. “This is that product.”

He expects the Emerald to begin shipping in August.

 

DirtBaggies

DirtBaggies founder Tim Lane admits trying to sell trail riders on the comfort of bibshorts is a difficult proposition. “It’s a tough story for mountain bikers to get their head around,” said the former Felt Bicycles designer.

But there he was at Sea Otter hawking the second generation of his bib/baggy short combo.

The Vent outer short replaces the original Classic. Eschewing cargo pockets that can uncomfortably slap against the rider’s legs or catch on branches or other passing objects, Lane has designed his short with pockets that naturally close against the hip to prevent sunglasses or other items from falling out. The short requires no elastic in the waistband since it is held up by tethers attached to the underlying bib, which also contains hidden pockets. The chamois comes from Italy’s CyTech.

Until recently, Lane had sold only through the DirtBaggies website and a handful of shops, but he has begun working with a network of reps to build business at retail. Dealers get a display mannequin printed with glowing reviews for DirtBaggies, Lane said.

Bibs and shorts are sold separately at $149.99 and $89.99, respectively.

 

Topics associated with this article: IBD Summit, Events, Sea Otter Classic

Join the Conversation