Archive for April, 2010

Singletracks review of answer ProTaper bars & DJ Stems

After clocking dozens of miles over the past few months with Answer products on all my bikes, I’ve finally come to grips with my love (pun #1) for the ProTAPER 780 DH, and the ProTAPER 720AM bars. I’m also smitten with this gem of stem, the Answer DJ stem. The all new 2010 line up from Answer really fills the needs of the modern DH / FR / DJ and AM rider and responds to the wider bar with shorter stem trend that more and more riders are discovering. Having spent a lot of time with both the longer/narrower set-ups and the shorter/wider combos, I have to say I’m sold on short and wide.

ProTaper Bars
The ProTaper AM and DH bars share a few vital characteristics. First up, both the AM and DH bars are designed with the same 4° up sweep and 8° back sweep. When paired with a slightly shorter stem, this gives the rider a great comfortable wrist feel without over-flexing the forearm. The DH bars are offered in a 25.4mm rise configuration or a shallower 12.5mm rise for those DH riders who like to keep their weight a little lower up front. The AM bar is also offered with 25.4mm rise or a deeper 50.8mm. I decided to roll with the same 25.4mm rise on both the AM and DH bars.

Both ProTaper bars are made from 7050 aluminum which is very strong with just enough flex to take the edge out of those hard square-edged rocks and drops. At 335 grams and 315 grams respectively for the 780 DH and 720 AM, these are not massive weight savers nor are they overweight lead pipes.

With a choice of black, red, gold (DH only), gray (AM only), and white, Answer offers a decent selection of colors to choose from.

DJ Stem
With all this talk about handlebars stemming from Answer (pun #2) I really have to talk about a jewel of a component that looks amazing. I dare you to pick up a DJ stem from Answer and try to find a flaw. This stem looks as if it was cut and shaped by a professional diamond cutter. Thanks to precise machining practices, you won’t see any tooling marks on this stem.

Another thing that really caught my attention was the detail that went into the finishing of the DJ stem – every consideration to both safety and weight was clearly considered. The underside of the top cap was even machined a bit to remove unnecessary weight. The use of tapered head bolts instead of regular rounded ones adds to the effect that Tom Porter and the wizards at Answer wanted to give us. Answer also opted to go with a 61mm wide face plate and attachment area that spreads the loads across the bar, securing the bar to the stem like a starving anaconda on fat cow.

The DJ stem weighs in at 210 grams for the 35mm reach and 250 grams for the 50mm reach version and both stems are designed for 31.8mm bar diameters (24.5mm is not offered). The DJ stem is made from stiff, durable 7075 aluminum, the same stuff used to make aircraft landing gear. A cool thing about the DJ stem is that it also comes in four top cap color options (black, white, red, and gold) to coordinate with your bar. With the DJ stem, Answer also includes a 10mm stainless bolt which allows you to run a line through it for a clean, tangle-free brake connection. Perfect for those who intend to to bar spins or styling on those progressive jumps.

I tested the bars on all three of my bikes (AM, FR, and DJ) and the DJ stem on my jumper. Bottom line: these bars really rocked. Once I got the feel for the wider bars I found it very difficult to consider going narrower; in fact, I won’t consider riding a bar less than 700mm anymore. For a guy like me with wide shoulders and a medium build at about 5′9″, these bars are perfect. I got back a whole bunch more control plus more power to steer and control the bike over the nastiest of terrain. Speaking of nasty, when going over rocky and rooted trails, the ProTaper bars took a significant edge off the vibration as well as the shock (thanks in part to the patented technology on board). These bars keep the weight where it should be and are the perfect wall thickness under the palms of your hands.

Try the ProTaper bars and the DJ stem for yourself – you won’t be disappointed.

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Preparation of the Polish Champion

Before us, the first Polish Cup and the final preparations for the main event of the season. Reaffirmed its willingness among the top players, so the current Polish Champion DH, Michael Plum teamowy and his colleague, Jonah Rożdżyński. On this occasion we want to present you their machinery and reveal a few details of their previous preparation. Michael occur this season on the new Trek Session 88 frame, while Jonah change your existing hardware on the frame Blinside Transition. Both players will have the pleasure to test the latest copies of the Manitou Dorado DH, which will receive the 2nd edition of the Polish Cup. They fall into the hands of the latest Prime Hayes brakes, which players are to receive half of the season.

Both players have worked hard for the winter season, making a similar strength training, and coaching for motocross or console:) The main goal of players for this season are racing in the Polish Cup and selected editions of the World Cup – depending on Finance will include: Maribor, Champéry and Leogang.

Jonah “Jonek” Rożdżyński: “Through the winter preparing for the season. This year, much has changed in my hardware. I went to the Transition Blindside frame suspended Answer Manitou and accessories. Hayes’y remain unchanged as well we run on them last season. For the last week I ride on new hardware and slowly entering a new bicycle, which writes down very well. “

Michael Sliwa: “Preparing the winter passed without any problem, and according to plan. It’s 1910 season and as usual, are gearing up changes: The new Trek Session 88 bike, Manitou Dorado, Answer components, brakes unchanged Stroker Ace, San Marco saddle. The equipment operates without problem, see you in the Vistula, and I hope that the World Cup. ”

Here are the photos recently made a bike with the latest accessories. Bike Weight ranges from 17-18kg.

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Tai’s Mach 5

Tai was down with 3 options – Turner, Ibis, or Pivot as he was seeking for a new trail bike with dw-link technology. Dw-link eliminates pedal bob during hard pedaling efforts out of the saddle and gives the bike additional traction while climbing (seated or standing) as well as really helping propel the bike forward during sprinting and hard efforts out of corners. In general, the dw-link truly allows riders the tunability for best pedaling performance possible without sacrificing braking or suspension feel.

After much considerations on the price, review of bike, and frame design, Tai decided to go with Pivot Mach 5! As you are looking at the photos right now, are you wondering what is that saddle in green? Well, it’s a Fizik “Test” saddle. Not for Sale! 😉

Below are the specs of his custom-built Mach 5.

  • Frame: Pivot Mach 5 2010, Small<
  • Stem: FSA OS-99 (90mm +6 Degree Rise)
  • Handlebar: FSA K-Force Low Riser Carbon (31.8mm \ 660mm \ 18mm rise)
  • Brakes: Elixir CR, 185mm FR, 160mm RR
  • Shifters: SRAM X.0 Trigger
  • Headset: Chris King Inset
  • Fork: Fox 32 Talas 150mm 15QR
  • Rear Suspension: Fox RP23 w Boost Valve
  • Wheel: Crank Brothers Cobalt

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Titus @ Sea Otter 2010

Sea Otter 2010 underway. Weather’s great and the bikes are hot!

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Another Review of Titus El Guapo

Velo Vert in France tested the Titus El Guapo and thought very highly of it!

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Get Fixed! Exclusive distributor of Focale 44

Focale 44 is the new single speed brand from French BMX company Superstar. Superstar has been making top quality BMX frames and parts for a few years now and Focale 44 shows the same emphasis on style, design and functionality. Three words. WE’RE LOVING THIS. That pretty much describes the feeling about the new designs from French BMX company Superstar who have released a couple of ‘urban’ bikes under the brand of Focale 44 true to the fixie image. The first range of bikes and parts will be available in Singapore in June 2010 and features two complete bikes – Noble & Relax, and selected parts. See below for photos and specs or check their page

The bikes themselves have an extremely simplistic design however we were interested to see that they don’t come with straps or clips which is a bit disappointing for an off the shelf bike (if you prefer to buy that way). The bikes are a lovely shape which will be great for all the hipsters wanting to get their hands on one of these babies…

The Relax complete bike
The Relax can be described as an “easy rider”, with a flat bar/stem combo and easy 42/16 gear ratio. The Relax has a flip-flop rear hub with the option of a 16T fixed cog or 16T freewheel, which can easily and quickly be swapped around and comes with front and rear brakes, just in case you need them. You also get Wellgo plastic BMX pedals, plastic saddle and Kenda tires. Colours are matte swamp green or matt grey for the frame, fork and bar/stem combo, clear orange pedals, gold hubs and all the other parts are black.

The Noble complete bike
The Noble is a little more serious, drop bars with grips on the lower section and a faster 46/16 gear ratio. As with the Relax you get the option of a flip-flop rear hub with a 16T fixed cog or 16T freewheel , optional brakes as well as Wellgo plastic BMX pedals, plastic saddle and Innova tires. Colours are matte black for the frame, fork and bar/stem combo, white of the pedals, grips and tyres and black for everything else.

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