Archive for May, 2010

Answer Pink Bike Review

Answer has made a resurgence into the mountain bike industry as of late. Their Pro Taper bars have long been a favourite amongst many riders, but the company seemed more occupied with their MX division. This has changed.

Learn more inside,

Answer Products is part of the Hayes Bicycle Group along with Hayes BrakesManitouSun Ringle and Wheelsmith and is jumping back in to mountain biking and taking no prisoners. I spoke with Tom Porter, Product Manager for Answer Products. His goal is to produce 20 components under $100. That’s a pretty refreshing outlook in today’s economy where the “spare money” is at a minimum.

We’re going to have a look at the DH/Freeride component group this time, but rest assured Answer isn’t ignoring the more lightweight market. There’s a new line of AM component due to be unleashed on the public this summer.

I’ll start with the Pro Taper DH bar. Mike Levy previously introduced this bar and the direct mount stem so I’ll spare you the technical details. What I’d like to point out is that it’s designed to be able to be cut down to whatever size you prefer. This seems to be a common misconception among the wide bar trend critics, that a wide bar is a wide bar. I look at a 780mm bar as a starting point. If you like it that wide…great, but I choose a bar for its angles and comfort, then cut it down to a width that suits me.

The bar/hand interface is one of the most important parts of your bike’s cockpit. If it doesn’t feel right, it will bother you the entire time you’re on your bike. Answer has 2 styles of grips to offer. The XC grip has thick rubber and the DH is thin. This choice is pretty much a personal preference, I’ve always favoured thinner grips, but I tried the thicker XC ones and found them to be quite comfortable. The ends are colour matched to the rest of the components. These grips are like gluing your hands to the bars, no matter how disgusting the conditions are you don’t have to worry about your hands slipping on the grips. Combine them with Answer’s gloves and you’re good to go in all conditions.

Next up is the Rove DJ stem. This is a burly machined piece of 7075 series alloy. It’s available in 35mm or 50mm lengths and 4 colours to match the Protaper bars (red, white, gold and black.) The stem weighs in at 240 grams. I’ve taken multiple off trail excursions (some people call them cartwheels) and this stem has not budged. It’s nicely machined and has a wide clamping surface.

The stem was made to be bombproof and comes with a 10mm starnut and stem cap so you can route your brake cable through it.

Last, but not least, pedals.

I find that my pedals can make or break the ride. If you’re feet are slipping around and you’re always having to break your concentration to move your foot back into place, you’re not able to focus on what you need to be doing…shredding the crap out of the trail in front of you. I could easily sum up this pedal review with the following conversation, but I’ll give you guys more because this pedal deserves more praise. The first ride on these pedals was on a local DH training run on a muddy day. After a few runs, my buddy asked me how the new pedals were. I looked down, looked back at him and said “I didn’t even notice them.” I think those 5 words speak volumes. I’ve been riding these for a month now and have nothing but good things to say about them. The bearings are smooth, the grip is good and the finish is quality. They tip the scales at 460 grams.

This is my first experience using Answer components and I have to say I’m impressed. The fit and finish is top quality and the ergonomics of the components matches that. If I had to give one critique of the stem is the weight. I’d like to see the stem in the 165-180g range, word has it there’s something in the works that will fill that requirement though. There are lighter pedals out there these days, but for a part that commonly comes into contact with rocks and such, I don’t mind a little extra beef there.

I’ll leave you with a shot of Hayes Bicycle Group test rider Taylor Bloy taking the fast line over a rooty section on the Arduum race course.

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New 2011 Answer Products

Len from Hayes Bicycle Group shows Mtbr the new line up of Answer Products for 2011 – new handlebars, stems, grips, pedals and gloves.

Featured Products:

  • ProTaper 780 DH bars – made from 7075 aluminum with ProTaper technology, stiff and light, 780 mm wide
  • ProTaper 720AM bars
  • ProTaper Carbon 690 bars – 205 grams (A straight bar weighing 135 grams will be available soon)
  • DH stem – 150 grams, direct mount, 40,50,55 mil
  • DJ/Trail stem – 205 grams, available now
  • Answer Freeride and DH grips, ODI made, Answer branded
  • Rove Freeride platform pedals
  • Fall Line XC and DH gloves

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Manitou Circus, Minute 29er and Dorado forks

Rich Travis from Manitou shows Mtbr their new Circus fork as well as their Minute 29er and Dorado.

First up is the all new Circus fork. This is built for dirt jumps, pump tracks, slopestyle and 4x riding. It is aggressive and beefy and comes in Comp and Expert versions. The Circus also comes with 4 different colored sticker kits for customizing the look of your fork!

Also featured are the Manitou Minute 29er and Dorado.

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2011 Fixed Gears From Subrosa

So Subrosa’s launching their 2011 Complete Bike Collection later this week. I thought I’d put out a little preview of their new Subrosa Fixed completes. The complete line will drop around early July, but for now check out the new Malum and Letum fixed gears. See below for photos and specs.

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New Focale 44 Production

As mentioned, you can see now pictures of the 4 Focale 44 models released on this 3rd production. By order of level : Full Moon (black), Relax (grey/gold), Noble (black/white) and Revolted (red/black). 2 new bikes will be added to the range in addition to Relax and Noble bikes. These new marvels are on the assembly line right now, and will be shipped out next week. They’ll be available here on the 2nd week of June 2010.

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Crankbrothers Dreambike Program

One of Titus favorite partners, crankbrothers, unveiled their new line of components last weekend at Sea Otter. As part of their launch, they also displayed their “Dream Bike” program, which Titus is proud to be part of. These are bikes that any of us would create in our dreams – the best components, coordinating colors, impeccable quality. True works of art. To accomplish this, Titus as one of the frame builders of distinction, is involved. Check out how beautiful Titus bikes look with the new crankbrothers parts…

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Pivot Phoenix DH Presentation

The Ultimate World Cup Downhill Bike: An all new Pivot design with the heritage of Dave Weagle’s 6 world Championships behind it….

#Suspension#
Dw-link suspension design with position sensitive anti-squat, and 8.15” (207mm) rear travel. The Phoenix is designed to have an ultra plush feel and compliance on par with the world’s best downhill bikes. However, it has a distinct advantage in overall control and pedaling efficiency. Square edge bump absorption is incredible and the suspension remains stable and controlled in even the most extreme conditions.

Although based on the World Championship winning Sunday, the Phoenix is not a Sunday! The Sunday took the concept of using a position sensitive shock as a bottom out device. Phoenix DH shares a similar leverage ratio curve for the first part of the travel, and then remains slightly progressive through the end travel (The opposite of the Sunday). The Phoenix DH runs slightly higher spring rates and a curve that is more in line with what Pivot developed for the Firebird.

#Geometry and Handling#
The Phoenix DH features a 64 degree head tube angle, 13.6” BB height, and 17.25 Chainstay length. Dropouts are changeable and will allow for both a change in chainstay length and BB height. As Pivot develop the bike with their World Cup Downhill team, they expect that some riders may opt for even a slightly lower BB height on some courses where as riders wanting to use the bike in a more park type setting might choose to raise the BB to about 13.8” with a slightly shorter chainstay length. The removable dropout option offers a lot of flexibility to tune the bike to the rider and the course.

#Adjustable Head Angle#
The Phoenix DH headtube is indexed and head angle is easily adjustable at 0, and +/- ½, 1, or 1.375 degree settings via a new adjustable head angle design. More details regarding this design will be released to the media on Monday, June 21st.

#Lower Center of Gravity#
The shock and main linkage are mounted as low as possible in the frame. The shock housing/main pivot/bottom bracket area are designed to allow easy access to all damping adjustments on the Fox RC4 shock. The Phoenix DH’s low center of gravity and low BB give the bike excellent cornering and handling characteristics. Combined with the dw-link design’s position sensitive anti-squat, Pivot can achieve the handling and cornering benefits of the lower bottom bracket without the negatives of a low BB height on other designs.

#Frame Stiffness#
As with all Pivot frames, frame stiffness and durability are a key part of all their designs. The Phoenix DH takes this to a whole new level. 1.5 Headtube with massive oversize thin wall hydro-formed downtube. 2 part hollow BB/seat tube/main pivot forging is both lightweight and incredibly stiff. Plus all front triangle pivot locations are machined on one part, making the pivot locations extremely accurate. Rear swing arm features two piece hollow forged box uprights. The rear triangle is stiff and accurate with all pivots being located on the main uprights. This design is incredibly stiff and lightweight. Lower link uses 17mm diameter main pivot pins and double row EnduroMax bearings for maximum durability and frame stiffness. The upper linkage features 16mm diameter hardware and double row EnduroMax bearings for maximum durability and frame stiffness.

#Design Details#
Optimized lightweight design. Complete test bikes are sitting at 39lbs. Team bikes should come in at about 37lbs. Standard 83mm Threaded shell with ISCG mounts. 150mm rear spacing with 12mm through axle. Fox RC4 rear shock. Two frame colors with multiple decal color options, and available in January 2011…

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