Yeti goes carbon x2:
It was no big surprise that Yeti Cycles took the SB95 29er FS into the carbon battle front. But more of an unexpected treat was the appearance of the ARC Carbon hard tail at Sea Otter 2013. Taking up where the Big Top left off, the all carbon frame is nearly a full pound lighter than the Big Top and comes in at 2.6lbs for a Med. Designed around a 100mm fork (but will accept a 120mm), the ARC Carbon retains the geometry of the old bike…long TT, slacker angles than the norm, short CS length. Nice combo for a endurance or all around XC hardtail. 142×12 only…no SS option or swappable dropouts. Threaded BB too. And, of course, it has to have the Yeti Loop Tail design that is claimed to add to compliance. Even if that is not true, it looks like a Yeti and, in a world of me-too carbon frames, this makes it standout. I like it. Note: As was pointed out in our comments by some sharp reader, I missed the point of Yeti matching the frame size to the wheel size. SM and X-SM sizes are built for 27.5 wheels and MED to XL are 29ers. That makes some sense to me. Also, MSRP is $2000.00. Editor
And of course, there was the SB95C which cuts almost 2 lbs over the aluminum version at 5.7lbs for a medium frame. And it is still one of the best looking FS designs out there as far a lines, aesthetics, etc. I asked about increased tire clearance at the rear stays and that was not clear at the time, but the Ikon tire (not what one would expect on a bike like this) had a ton of room and it looked like a more aggressive tire would fit, although maybe not a truly big tire.
Rocky Mountain Instinct 970: Under the radar?
In the same category of the rest of the 29er FS bikes with over 120mm of travel…130mm in this case…the Instinct 970 seems to be a bit obscure. With the Smoothlink suspension done with longer legs in a 7005 alu frame, the Instinct looks to be a solid bike. The innovative Ride 9 technology allows you to adjust some performance aspects of the rear suspension by just moving around a little Rubics Cube thingy at the rear shock mount. I like this company and their lesser travel 29ers very much, but I have to say that this is a, well…homely bike. Yep. The graphics and lines are just not too pretty. Too bad, cause Rocky typically brings the goods to the trail. But if you are not looking to spend $7k on one of the new carbon super bikes and you typically cover your bike with mud anyway…well then have a look at the $4400.00 Instinct (or the better looking 950 model for $3200.00) ‘Go Canada’.
White Bros ups the travel in 29er forks:
This un-named and not yet ready for production (but soon) fork is the new 140mm-150mm travel (adjustable) 29er fork that would look just fine on any 29er heavy trail or enduro bike. 34mm stanchions and a adjustment that affects the spring rate of the fork as well as the typical compression damping/rebound that the Loop 130mm140mm fork has. They also had this MRP chainring guide for XX1 applications, or at least that was the target in mind, but it applies to more than that.
Banshee Prime: Not new, but still relevant:
I stopped by the Banshee booth to look at the Prime (or I am pretty sure this is the Prime), a much loved bike by those who ride tough trails. It is a good looking bike and all, but I could not get anyone to talk to me about it. They were too busy yakking with their buddies about trails they had been shredding while I stared at them, the bike, them, the bike, etc with camera and notepad in hand. Odd. Maybe it’s me? I need more tattoos, most likely.
Geax rolls out the Goma Enduro Tire:
Coming in to the family of Geax MTB tires is the Goma, a full figured girl of a tire made with serious trail use or endur0 racing in mind…or slopestyle or whatever. At 765g in a 27.5×2.4 (pictured here…29ers are still in the oven), the Goma is in a good place, both in TNT and folding casings. It has some nice touches that may not show well in the pics like stepped knobs and sipes in the tread blocks. The stepped knob is said to give you a gradual warning that you are reaching the edge of traction while cornering instead of hanging on hard then suddenly letting go. If so, I think I would like that. Apparently Cam Zink (pictured below) does too. This tire in 27.5 has already been winning events so the Goma could be a serious player as longer travel 29er bikes hit the trails in 2013-14.
More to come from SRAM, Niner (including some cool handlebars), Fox, DT Swiss and who knows what else.