POST EUROBIKE “On Test” Products: Coming Soon!: by c_g

Testing Products from FOX RACING, VREDESTEIN, SUNRACE (and a goodie from ACROS)

What a show! Those of you who have followed my Eurobike coverage, will know that this year 29″ers have landed here in Europe for good. In many cases when talking about new products, availability had been open or set to 2012. In some rare cases we heard them to be ready soon … here are some that have been ready even sooner :).

Additionally we give you some other product intro of pieces we picked up during or immediately after the show which might catch your attention.

2 FOX_Talas Terralogic on BB1. FOX Racing F32 29 Talas Terralogic QR15 Factory Series


Very hot and directly from the assembly line we received this top of the line suspension fork, that features all of FOX´s technology:

TALAS 2– adjustable travel 95 to 120 mm via blue knob on the upper left leg. Simple and easy.
FIT – damper cartridge for best performance and light weight.
TERRALOGIC – shock sensitive lockout, that promises a stable platform while providing active suspension when needed.
KASHIMA Coating – stanchion coating with the lowest friction index and smoothest suspension action (besides looking really cool, don´t you think :))
QR15 – thru axle dropouts with quick release convenience.
All that in a moderately heavy package of 1870 g (uncut steerer) and in a prestigious black/gold finish.

The only thing lacking is the new 34 mm casing and stanchions but given the 15 mm thru axle we see little need for more stiffness. Swapping the front axle on the AMERICAN CLASSIC All Mountain front wheel to 15 mm thru axle took me about 5 minutes and 2 narrow 19 mm open wrenches – not as easy as switching end caps but easily done and probably a bit stiffer.

The timing of the FOX fork´s arrival couldn’t have been better as I have just concluded review of the GERMAN:A Xcite Criterion 29″er fork (here). It will see some riding on my trusted OS Blackbuck steel frame before it will go onto another bike, which we hope to receive soon.

2. VREDESTEIN 29″er tires


5 VREDESTEIN Spotted Cat

VREDESTEIN have been awesome in sending us a set of samples of each tire they have in 29″er size just briefly after the show. These tires have been introduced already here in the course of my Eurobike coverage and now they are ours to ride.

The tires on test are:

Spotted Cat 2.0 (measured at 595 & 605 g)
Black Panther 2.2 (635 & 650 g)
Black Panther Extreme 2.2 (675 & &90 g)
(all are the tubeless ready versions)

While I have just come off reviewing a micro-knobby tire (the SNYCROS Flavor, final verdict here), I mounted the Spotted Cat first front and rear to prove its worth while the conditions are still more favorable. I expect it won´t be long before the trails call out for a more aggressive tread design.

3. SUNRACE driven MX drive train



Everyone knows the two big “S” in drive trains (SRAM and SHIMANO). SUNRACE – unfortunately another “S” 😉 – is still fairly unknown in the MTB world. The driven series is their first take in a performance group sets. It consist of two lines, the top end MZ group set which besides being more bling (by features like carbon reinforced cranks, titanium bottom bracket spindle and ceramic bearings) shares the identical shifting technology as the next in line MX group, which is what we will be riding. The groups are not brand new either (having been available in 2011 already) but we have been given the opportunity to run it on one of our bikes and see how it performs.6 SUNRACE MX cranks

The parts we´ll be running are:

Alloy triple crank set (22/32/44, 175 mm, 6061 forged alloy, glossy black finish, Cro-Mo spindle, ~ 740 g)
MX External bottom bracket (for 68/73 mm BSA BB, 120 g, silver anodized bearing cups)
MX Long cage rear derailleur (251 g, 2:1 ratio, powder coated and machined over)
MZ 11-34 cassette (9-spd, 291 g, titanium-aluminum nitride matte grey finish)
MZ 9-spd chain (blingy gold finish that matches the FOX´s KASHIMA coating nicely :))
9-spd shifters (lower end – not belonging to the DRIVEN groups, 2 x 165 g)
(The front derailleur which we also received, doesn’t fit on my Blackbuck due to the narrow tire clearance and therefore had to be excluded from testing.)

7 SUNRACE rear derailleurI have to admit that a 9-spd drive train with a 2:1 actuation ratio is a bit outdated when introducing as a modern group set. Having only a BSA bottom bracket available in times where more and more frames are running on a Press Fit standard also is plain awkward – but that is not why we will be running these components. (Besides, for someone like me – who still favors thumb shifters over any modern trigger type – being modern is of little relevance :))

For me running this system is really to indicate what SUNRACE has already accomplished in terms of shifting action, reliability and overall performance. I am sure they are aware of the apparent shortcomings and have something 10-spd cooking already for next season. For me, if the system proves to be trail worthy, then I am happy to give it a go. If not, then it will not be on my bike for very long and I´ll return to the one of the BIG S-companies.

Wait for my experiences to be posted as the fall commences and riding conditions turn grimmer.

5. Goodie: ACROS logo grips (with laser etched end caps)

8 ACROS grips_end cap

Last but not least we have picked up a set of cool personalized grips by German component manufacturer ACROS. These folks don´t only do high end precision headsets, bottom brackets and hubs – and lately a hydraulic shifting set – but also do a some branded bars, grip and other components. (They even have a 29″er wheelset to be released soon :))

As a special feature ACROS brought their laser etching machine to the trade show and you could get your personalized end caps laser etched and so we got ourselves a set with TNI specific end caps. But they offer this service to anyone year round: You can have them personalized on order anytime for a few Euros extra. The set A-Grips weighs 123 g and retails for € 17,95.

How about a personalized set for your riding buddy or club?

Wait for my ride impressions on these components in the coming weeks.