boost ad cutTwo new press releases landed on our desks this week and they point to a direction for the future, one very obvious in a new hub width ‘standard’, and one that is a bit more subtle.  First, the obvious:

Boost:  SRAM goes wide

A new…yes ANOTHER ‘new’…hub standard rolled out this week with the announcement of the new 110mm wide front hub and a 148mm rear hub width.  From the press release:

BOOST

  • XX1 Boost CrankSET
  • X1 1400 Boost Crankset
  • ROAM 40 Boost Wheels
  • X0 Boost Hubs
  • MTH 700 Series Boost Hubs

INTRODUCTION:  BOOST 

With revolutionary advancements in bicycle componentry, like SRAM’s XX1, X01 and X1 drivetrains, mountain bike designers have been given almost limitless freedom to focus solely on the performance of the bike. Each advancement demands that the entire package works flawlessly. Aggressive trail and enduro riders have been increasingly enjoying the benefits of larger wheels, but many still view 27.5″ and 29″ wheels as a possible weak link. Which is why SRAM has developed an open standard with Boost compatible components for SRAM drivetrain, hubs and RockShox forks.

For a long time now, SRAM had been looking for a way to open up more room around the crankset for frame designers to further optimize their bikes. SRAM 1x was the first step in this direction by eliminating the need for a front derailleur. However, SRAM also had hopes to move the chainline outboard as well. It wasn’t until an OE came to us with a similar goal that we were able to realize this hope.

Boost is a new wheel and drivetrain specification that provides: 

  • Increased wheel stiffness and durability
  • Better riding efficiency and bike handling precision
  • Improved frame geometry with shorter chain stays
  • Wider and stiffer suspension pivots
  • Wider range of chainring options
  • More clearance for bigger tires 

Boost is designed to be a complete system so it does not affect drivetrain performance.

DRIVETRAIN
The Boost system’s crankset utilizes front chainrings that sit a corresponding 3mm outward to ensure the required chainline, but Q-factor is completely unaffected. A major benefit to the repositioned chainring is increased clearance, which allows
more options for tire choice and rear-end designs.

Boost technology can be available at the following premium and performance levels (24mm spindle only).

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AVAILABLE (24mm spindle)

  • XX1
  • X1 1400

Note: boost cranks can only be used when paired with a 148mm hub

SRAM_MTB_XX1_Crankset_DM_ChainRing_Side_Red_MHBOOST 148 COMPATIBLE COMPONENTS
XX1 CRANK

Developed for maximum chain control, each tooth’s thickness is precisely CNC-machined to support the chain’s inner and outer links perfectly.

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  • X-SYNC tooth profile provides maximum chain control
  • Carbon arms with forged aluminum spider
  • CNC- X-SYNC Direct Mount ring
  • BOOST option
  • Wide/narrow Q-factor cranks for BB30 and GXP

Note: boost cranks can only be used when paired with a 148mm hub

BOOST 148 COMPATIBLE COMPONENTS
X1 1400 CRANK

Quality and durability combine in the SRAM X1 crankset to deliver consistent performance every time out. Featuring SRAM’s X-SYNC tooth profile, the X1 crankset is engineered for complete chain control. Each tooth’s thickness is CNC-machined to work seamlessly with the chain’s inner and outer links.

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  • X-SYNC tooth profile provides maximum chain control
  • Hollow forged aluminum arms with forged aluminum spider
  • Chain ring guard option
  • BOOST option
  • CNC – X-SYNC machined ring

Note: boost cranks can only be used when paired with a 148mm hub

SRAM_MTB_ROAM_40_Front_Dynamic_Silver_MHCOMPLETE SYSTEM
BOOST 148 REAR WHEELS AND HUBS

REAR WHEELS
Much more than a new, wider axle standard, the Boost system uses a rear hub that is 6mm wider than a 142mm design—each flange is 3mm farther from center. The greater flange offset allows a stronger spoke-bracing angle resulting in a stiffer wheel. Given the same rim and spoke spec, a 29″ Boost wheel will have the same stiffness as a 27.5″ wheel built on a 142mm hub.

COMPLETE SYSTEM
BOOST 110 FRONT WHEELS AND HUBS

FRONT WHEELS
The Boost system uses a front hub that is 10mm wider than a 100mm design—each flange is 5mm farther from center. The greater flange offset allows a stronger spoke-bracing angle resulting in a stiffer wheel. Given the same rim and spoke spec, a 29” wheel built with a 15×110 Boost hub becomes as stiff as a 26″ wheel built with a standard 15×100 hub.

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forks cut 1

torque capROCKSHOX WILL OFFER BOOST 110 COMPATIBLE MODELS OF ITS MOST POPULAR FORKS:

  • Available option for MY16 SID, REBA, PIKE
  • All 29″ forks with Boost 110 compatibility also fit 27.5″ plus (27.5″ x 3.0 tires)

WHEEL/HUB OPTIONS
BOOST 148 AND 110

Boost technology is available in ROAM 40 wheels as well as X0 and MTH 700 Series hubs.

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AVAILABLE BOOST WHEELS

  • ROAM 40 (27.5″, 29″)

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AVAILABLE BOOST HUBS

  • X0
  • MTH 746/716

Note: boost cranks can only be used when paired with a 148mm hub

BOOST 148 AND 110 COMPATIBLE COMPONENTS
ROAM 40 WHEEL

Wherever the trail leads, ROAM 40 is ready to go. Aluminum rims with TAPER CORE profile bring lighter weight and higher dent resistance. The DOUBLE TIME hub delivers strong, swift engagement. And the durable SPEEDBALL bearings are precision machined for performance you can trust. With a smart balance of weight, inertia and stiffness, ROAM 40 makes sure you’re always ready to roam.

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  • Lightweight aluminum rim with asymmetrical TAPER CORE profile—with a welded joint
  • UST tubeless
  • User-friendly SOLO SPOKE technology
  • Durable, precision-machined SPEEDBALL bearings
  • Strong, fast engagement with DOUBLE TIME hubs
  • Available in all three wheel sizes
  • BOOST 12×148 and 15×110 options available for 27.5″ and 29″
  • Convertible to any axle type
  • Available in XD or 10-speed driver body

Color: Black/Silver

BOOST 148 AND 110 COMPATIBLE COMPONENTS
X0 HUB

Finally, a hub worthy of the X0 name. Built to roll over the toughest mountain terrain, the SRAM X0 Hub proves that being solid doesn’t mean being sluggish. DOUBLE TIME ratchet design gives you smooth 6.9-degree engagement—all while keeping everything light and steady. Super-precise SPEEDBALL bearings mean lower resistance, faster revolutions and no more time spent readjusting play. From pawl tooth to side cap, we went the extra mile on the X0 Hub—so you have less to worry about on the trail.

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  • Tapered aluminum axle is stronger without added weight
  • All axles types
  • 32 spoke holes
  • BOOST 12×148 and 15×110 options
  • Sand-blasted black with red label
  • Glossy black with silver accents
  • 11-speed XD Driver Body
  • 10-, 9- and 8-speed driver body
  • Weight: 130g (front), 250g (rear)

BOOST 148 AND 110 COMPATIBLE COMPONENTS
700 SERIES HUB

Our MTH 700 hubs aim to making through axle bikes more affordable. The internal mechanism is exactly the same used in our X9 hubs. The MTH 700 series hubs are part of our non-series line, offering a brand name that riders can trust.

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  • 32 spoke holes

  • BOOST 12×148 and 15×110 options

  • Black

  • 11-speed XD Driver Body

  • 10, 9, and 8-speed driver body

  • Weight: 170-410g

I guess we can blame/thank Trek for this as they seem to have been the one who co-developed this.  And we saw the recent debut of the 27.5+ Fox forks that use this new 110 from hub standard.  Change is the only certain thing, so it would seem.

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And then there is this:

wtb bridger cut 2WTB Targets Enduro with New 27.5+ Bridger Tire

NEW TAIPEI CITY, TAIWAN – March 18, 2015 – WTB released a new 27.5+ TCS tread pattern called the Bridger 3.0 at day one of the Taipei International Cycle Show.  The Bridger 3.0 27.5+ tire features an open tread pattern composed of square shaped blocks designed for aggressive riding applications including the enduro segment.

“The Bridger shows that we are once again thinking beyond conventionality,” stated Chris Feucht, WTB’s product manager.  “Rather than stick within the confines of traditional plus sized tire applications, we are directly targeting aggressive riding.  We are offering the Bridger 3.0 27.5+ tire in a TCS Tough: High Grip option.  Sticky Gravity DNA rubber coating a full 2-ply casing begs for technical descents.  There is really no reason why this tire size isn’t perfect for aggressive riding applications.”

WTB TCS Tough tires feature WTB’s Enduro Casing, composed of two full layers of their sealant-optimized Lightweight Casing.  TCS Tough tires are then broken down into High Grip and Fast Rolling options, primarily intended for front (High Grip) and rear (Fast Rolling) uses.

WTB introduced TCS Tough: High Grip tires first with the Breakout tire just over one year ago at Taipei Show in 2014.  Existing applicable patterns within the line underwent the change over the past year.

“The Bridger 3.0 27.5+ TCS Tough: High Grip tire marks quite an opportunity for bicycle brands,” explained Jason Moeschler, WTB’s global OEM sales manager.  “It allows ground up design – the tire has come before the bike, a capable full suspension needs a tire like this.  We started this size and we are continuing to drive it through broadening its application and usage.”

WTB Bridger 3.0 27.5+ tires will be available in TCS Tough: High Grip and TCS Light: Fast Rolling options.  WTB lists preproduction weights of 1235g and 1510g for TCS Light: Fast Rolling and TCS Tough: High Grip options with a projected availability of August 2015.  Bridger 3.0 27.5+ TCS Tough: High Grip tires will retail for $76.95 while TCS Light: Fast Rolling tires will carry a $67.95 MSRP.

About TCS

WTB’s proprietary sealant tubeless system, TCS (Tubeless Compatible System,) revolutionized rims and tires in 2009 when combining ETRTO, ISO, and UST standards with light tubeless rotational weights.  Never before had a standards-based tubeless system weighed so little.  Certified as the first sealant-based tires for the UST system in 2012 by Mavic, TCS continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible through purpose-built tires and rims tailor-made for every discipline of cycling.  Learn more about what’s possible at wtb.com/tcs

About WTB

Founded in 1982, WTB was formed in the birthplace of mountain biking to design better bicycle products.  Renowned for saddles, tires, rims, and grips, this rider-driven company continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible through an unrelenting spirit of innovation and passion for two-wheeled adventure.

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So what are we to make of this?  ANOTHER hub standard?  Yes, but it will only hurt for a little while and then it will be OK (till the next new standard, that is).  But wider flange spacing is a good thing for the most part.  If you have ever ridden a dedicated SS rear 29″er wheel, like on a pure SS hub…say, a White Industries thread on-type freewheel…then the increased lateral stiffness is dramatic.  And even on something like a ‘normal’ cassette SS rear hub, it is still better that way.  And when we tossed that disc rotor on the front wheel and messed up the brake side flange spacing, we lost front wheel stiffness.

This takes us in a direction that is worth pursuing, even if most folks, I suspect, will not notice much difference.  Why do I say that?  Because a lot of riders are not big enough or hard charging enough to push existing wheel sets to the point where they begin to let you down.  But the improvements will be there none the less, and for the rest of those who push the bike hard or are bigger riders, it will be a welcome improvement and will be especially better for 29″ wheels.

Now then, the Bridger tire.  Guitar Ted has a blog post where he prognosticates a bit on what this tire points to…not happy little XC or trail bikers pedaling on decently light but poofy tires in this new genre of tire, but rather aggressive ‘Enduro’ riding, hard and fast trail riding, etc.  Those are heavy tires, and I suspect the TCS tough could be a dream tire for many folks who regularly shred the normal AM/Enduro tires of today, what with the high volume and heavy construction.

In my mind, taking these things together, the 27+ trend seems to be, at least initially, headed in a direction that will benefit hard charging riders on longer travel bikes.  However, I am still intrigued by the concept although I have yet to ride it and see for myself.   I likely would not put up with a 1235g tire on my 120mm/130mm travel 29″er trail bike and never never never on an XC rig and yet, theoretically, both bikes and riding styles could benefit from the mid-fat approach.

Interesting.  No doubt Sea Otter will reveal what the early marketing will be for Mid-Fat in the 27.5+ size and I am quite curious as to how this all will lay out.