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INTERBIKE 2014 – LAUF SUSPENSION FORK FOR 29 or 27.5

Posted by Art Aguilar On September - 22 - 2014

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THE LAUF FORK – A DIFFERENT TAKE ON SUSPENSION

So are all you Hardtail riders with 29 or 27.5 bikes looking for something different than the standard 80-100 mm fork for your ride, a fork that’s lighter than your standard suspension fork, made of full composite, and still gives you some suspension, a fork that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to dial in for every ride or race course, with zero maintenance.
Well look no further than a company called LAUF and their fork called the LAUF TRAIL RACER. They will give you what you need, short of assuring you a World Cup title. This you have to work for on your own.
What makes this fork unique when you look at them is what the suspension is made up of, they are made up of three leafs on each side of the fork to give you 60mm of progressive travel. This is the suspension for the fork.
The leaves are a mil spec high performance S2 glass fibers which are amazingly flexible and impact resistant.
The Lauf forks are made for 275 or 29 size tires, tapered head tube, and 15mm thru axle, and you have 9 color ways to match them to your bike making it super cool.

S2 GLASS FIBER LEAVES, 15MM THRU AXLE

LAUF TRAIL RACER EQUIPPED TREK 29′ER

CLOSER LOOK AT THE LAUF TRAIL RACER

So if you want something a little different and don’t mind being the odd guy out with all the conformist out there check out LAUF at laufforks.com

INTERBIKE 2014- KTM

Posted by Art Aguilar On September - 18 - 2014

KTM IN THE U.S.

If your an avid dirt biker or just know motorcycles in general, you should know the KTM name, but what you may not know is that this Austrian company has been making bicycles for quite a long time, as a matter of fact they have been making bicycles since 1964.
Now that you can purchase the KTM brand in the US they have a full line of bikes ranging from Road, Commuter, E-Bikes, and Mountain bikes to choose from and if you want KTM accessories, you got it.
All there bikes look top notch for whatever your needs may be.
So if your into something different check out KTM soon.

KTM FULL LINE

27.5 LYCAN

KTM 29′er SCRAP

KTM ACCESSORIES

OK no DH bike for next year, but to give you that DH fix and let you know KTM can make an awesome DH bike here is a photo of KTM’s RATCHET DH bike we saw this summer at the Snow Summit Park opening this season.
KTM RATCHET
IMG_0433

You can check out the KTM line by going to ktmbicyclesusa.com

INTERBIKE 2014 – DAINESE 2015

Posted by Art Aguilar On September - 16 - 2014

THE DAINESE 2015 MOUNTAIN BIKE LINE
The Dainese booth was hopping with interest all week at Interbike. Always the innovator in the world of protection Dainese did not disappoint for the up coming 2015.
You may have seen photos of the new PRO PACK and the new HYBRID KNEE and ELBOW pads early on from EUROBIKE just a month or so ago, but we at MtnBikeRiders.com were able to see them first hand not to long ago prior to the show in a special secret location along with the rest of the 2015 line. Though we were sworn to secrecy, we kept our oath to Dainese not to tell a sole, besides they made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.

PRO PACK
On the World Enduro racing scene back protection is mandatory for racing. Most racers will also use packs not only to carry essential tools, water bladder, tire repair items, food, and at times a fullface helmet for the descents, plus a open face helmet for the climbs. Other riders who are out for the all day epic long ride with major descents and climbing will also want the maximum ability to carry what they need and have the added benefit of protection also.
In comes the PRO PACK which we believe to be one of the most versatile packs on the market. With space in mind and the most protection for the back, this one would be hard pressed to miss in your gear bag.

Touring Mode-Here you see the outer portion of the pack. Big pockets for item storage is great for that daily trail ride, plus detachable helmet holder you can use in either mode.

Race Mode- Here you see the PRO PACK with the outer portion zipped off allowing for quick access to the essential pockets for tools, hydration pocket and other item you may need while racing. You will also notice the “FULL” back protection of the pack. This looks to be the most coverage we have seen on pack designed for this type of Enduro All Mountain riding. The pack is also Highly adjustable on the waist and shoulders.
It’s safety rated at the standard EN 1621.2 Level 1 rating. High marks in our book.

Hybrid Knee & Elbow
These new low-profile guards utilize two technologies, hard shell technology combined with Dainese soft PRO-SHAPE technology. Making them breathable, flexible, and comfortable to wear. Sizes range from S-XL.

PRO-SHAPE TECHNOLOGY

NEW COLORS FOR 2015


DAINESE PROTECTION

Look for the new 2015 line at your local bike shops or one of three Dainese corporate D-STORE’s located in Orange County California, San Francisco California, or Chicago Illinois.

ENDURO / ALL MOUNTAIN BIKE BEAUTIES

Posted by Art Aguilar On September - 15 - 2014

ENDURO ALL MOUNTAIN BIKE RAGE
With Enduro racing in Europe becoming all the rage and Enduro racing becoming popular here in the states it almost seems that it could replace Downhill racing. “Naaaahhh, never happen.”
With this kind of new racing discipline, bike manufactures have did the research to make All Mountain bikes ten times better than they were in the past. It starts with the geometry, travel, and the best wheel sizing to meet the needs of the terrain.
The bikes are pushing close to DH head angles, 27.5/ 650b or 29er wheel sizing, add dropper seatpost to make one kick butt package of a bike coming out of your favorite bike company, so here are a few to choose from and make you drool.

The new 2015 KTM Lycan 27.5

Devinci 27.5

Corsair Bikes Atomiclab equipped race sled

Lapierre Spicy Team 27.5

Giant Reign 27.5

Santa Cruz 27.5 Bronson

KHS 7200

So here was a look at some of what is out there to come your way if your looking for a new 2015 Endudo based All Mountain bike.

G-FORM MAKING IT RIGHT

Posted by Art Aguilar On September - 14 - 2014

G-FORM PULLING OUT THE STOPS ON NEW PROTECTION

New shirt and shorts offer protection in all the right places.

Check out G-FORM pads and look out for an up coming product review on the G-FORM Knee/Shin pads soon.

NEW 2015 KHS ENDURO BIKE

Posted by Art Aguilar On September - 10 - 2014

Check out the new KHS Enduro sled. 160mm of travel, slack head angel, and 27.5 (650b to them).

Suspension pivot give an active feel.

Dropper seatpost is a prerequisite for any cool Enduro rig.

Shimano XT and SLX parts make this bike a winner.

More to come.

DIRT DEMO – DAY 2 COOL

Posted by Art Aguilar On September - 10 - 2014

Well here we are again in Boulder NV. for the Interbike Dirt Demo. Light rains on day two made for a nice day with light heat, but on day two with the storm gone, it may for a hot and great day.
So here is a look at DEMO DAY cool.

CATCHING THE FAMOUS ON THE RED CARPET AS THEY COME IN

YOURS TRULY ON THE RED CARPET

ELLSWROTH DARE CARBON 27.5

Ellsworth goes for a new 27.5 DH bike in carbon. One thing they mentioned was the fact that it will be travel adjustable with a flip of the link on the rear shock mount. Carbon frame looks beautifully crafted with nice aluminum CNC machined pieces as well.



SOME GIANT HOTTNESS

Giant was super busy with dealers. Their 27.5 mountain bikes were flying in and out of the booth. The Liv women’s line as well were moving in and out of the both as well.

STANCE PUTS YOU IN THE SEAT FOR A GOOD PRICE

LIV LINE READY TO GO OUT

ANTHEM BLISS

2015 REIGN CARBON

DEUTER PACK ADDED SOME NEW COLORS

FAT TIRE BIKES WERE A BIG HIT AGAIN – BOREALIS

Stay tuned for more to come.

REVIEW – BELL HELMETS SUPER

Posted by Art Aguilar On September - 10 - 2014

BELL HELMET’S ENDURO ALL MOUNTAIN LID

Well we tested some Enduro gear, so next had to be a helmet that would fit Enduro/All Mountain. Now we have to say that when it comes to these type specific helmets there are quite a few to choose from, so we went with the new BELL Helmets SUPER.
BELL did a fantastic job of developing this helmet. Its packed full of features that cover not only safety, but keep the rider in mind who likes to do POV videos of their rides, something no one has done at the time BELL introduced the SUPER and I don’t know if anyone has to date.
One thing we like to do is look at the safety as the number one thing, then the comfort, function, and just plain good looks.

TECH TALK

When you look at the BELL SUPER you can see that it comes full of features. First off the SUPER has a certification rating for CE EN1078 & CPSC Bicycle. Next you notice that the helmet’s shell seems stout in looks. This is due to its Fusion In-Mold Microshell, add the internal reinforcement, lightweight webbing, lightweight buckle, lightweight Cam-Lock Levers, X-Static Padding, then you finish it off with a Speed Dial Fit System to give you one nicely made helmet.

Now round all this off with A 25 vent system that would just about allow you to pedal through hurricane force winds (well maybe not, but our legal department tells us we can’t say things like that) and couple that with the 4 Overbrow Ventilation Ports to give you a cool head to attack any trail.

One of the cool things I like is the fact that BELL gave thought about what to do with your goggles. Simply lift up the GoggleGuide Adjustable Visor System and you have a spot to hold your goggles in place no problem. If you choose not to use the peak BELL provides goggle holders that replace the peak system.
Now the other great design feature BELL was hip on was the breakaway GoPro mount that goes on the top of the helmet. With all of us wanting to get that POV vid of our epic race or ride action. This is a cool feature that you just Velcro in with straps on the provided mount, put your GoPro on and you are ready to go.
The SUPER comes in at a weight (if your into counting things like this) of 390 grams.

OVERALL VIEW


When I first started wearing the SUPER I felt it was a bit heavy, now I haven’t tried any of the other brands in this category to compare it too, so I can’t say if it’s heavy or not, but in truth after wearing the SUPER I feel safer in it. The weight makes me feel safe, so is 390 grams to heavy?
No, it isn’t! Once I adjusted the Speed Dial Fit System internal arms (see pic above) and adjusted the Speed Dial, the helmet hugged my head great. You also get great rear coverage as well as side coverage.
Now you may see this kind of coverage on many brands, but I feel as though I’m wearing half a fullface with no chinbar (remember this).
What about the comfort. The X-Static padding is nice, but I would like just a little more thickness in this department, still it’s not bad on an all-day ride, plus it does a good job keeping the sweat from my eyes.
The one place I felt “literally “when riding with the SUPER is the amazing air flow you get from this helmet. These giant vents are just great. I’m a firm believer that if you’re going to make a bicycle helmet, let the air flow with venting. BELL has hit the mark here.
The goggle holding system is tops and how simple was that to think up, and you still look hip with them in this position.
The last thing is the GoPro mount. This is well thought out and a perfect position for the POV. The idea of it being a breakaway mount will save your GoPro and in the event of a crash you shouldn’t feel it pull on your head causing neck injury in comparison to a solid mount to the helmet.
I have been around BELL Helmets along time. They were my helmet of choice in my motocross days. They were known in the days to make the best, for the best racers in the world.
So what I see here is the same quality and safety in their cycling line as they do with their motorsports line.
As we post this story Enduro event courses have begun to look more like DH courses in some areas with rougher rock sections and drops, so BELL has already in the making the SUPER 2 ( remember I mentioned chinbar).
So when you’re ready to shell out those hard earned clams you saved up the retail of the SUPER is $125.00.
Not a bad price to pay when it comes to your head. BELL has in my mind made a great ENDURO All Mountain helmet here, with superb feature.

ON A SIDE NOTE
If there was one ad that BELL has done that stuck in my head all these years and I know I’m dating myself here, but this is so true and I think of it when I go to replace a helmet every time.
“If you have a $10.00 head, wear a $10.00 helmet.”

Contact bellhelmets.com or see your local bike dealer for a BELL SUPER.
Many thanks goes out to Niki Jaimes for the test product.

Got sticky suspension?

Posted by RL Policar On August - 19 - 2014

I believe the proper terms is: Stiction. This is when your fork isn’t buttery smooth, instead it sorta grabs or sticks when you’re squishing down on your fork or rear suspension. If you’re having issues, try this great product, it’s made by Finishline and it’s stanchion lube. Makes your fork and rear shocks super slippery.

I noticed that my KHS Lucky 7 was experiencing stiction the fork. This is common on Marzocchi forks, so I busted out my small bottle of this fancy lube and went to town.
finishline stanchion lube mtnbikeriders.com

Apply some on the felt pad that comes with the kit.

Then liberally apply on stanchions. After doing so, cycle or squish your forks up and down to ensure that the lube gets all the way down into the seals.
stanchion lube

That’s it! This should help your stiction issues on your fork or shock.


ENDURO GEAR WHAT’S THAT
With the advent of a new mountain bike discipline called Enduro racing, which is comprised of stages, gear companies are now on the push to design gear suited to the needs and demands of the racer.
That being said Enduro racing is a longer distance time race where you are timed between each stage. Now I have not attended an Enduro race yet, but I do want to see what the hoopla is all about.
Now being an old Motocrosser and dirt head, I grew up all things motorcycles and the motorcycle Enduro racing aspect is about the same concept, but with moto you had to come in at certain times to the stages, to early and you would have points taken away, to late no points, on time you gain points. You had a time chart mounted to your bike and had to calculate each stage, all this while traveling through nice country sides.
So this is Enduro

THE GEAR
So for 2014 ROYAL RACING has come out with a line of Enduro specific gear designed to help the rider to obtain the most out of his or her race, to do so ROYAL RACING has not only blended light weight material to aid with keeping the rider cool and dry by wicking away sweat, but also to keep the rider comfortable as well throughout each stage or a long ride.
At Interbike we talked briefly with Jason Schippers of ROYAL RACING about the new gear, so we gave him a call and asked him if ROYAL was up for a review on their cool gear and he was more than happy to let us try it out and let our readers know about it, but rather than just test one or two items why not make it the whole ensemble that the top Enduro rider would take into battle.
Now we have to let you know just how serious ROYAL RACING is about their Enduro line. There is like 19 Enduro specific items to choose from. These items include shorts, jerseys, jackets and gloves. ROYAL also has base membranes and socks. This is a lot of gear to choose when setting yourself up.
In the end we choose the Stage Jacket, Stage Jersey, and Signature Short, finishing it out with the Quantum Gloves.
Now that were decked out in what all the cool Enduro kids are wearing let’s take a look at it all in the secret test labs and trails we go to.
All the gear is loaded with features to keep you going to your next stage or trial juncture.

STAGE JACKET
When you look at the Stage Jacket it may appear to be heavy and not to breathable, but on the contrary this jacket adorns features that make it not only light weight, but breathable too.

Royal designed the Stage to take that chill off your body on a cold days ride. They have incorporated what they call DWR, technical fleece faced double weave Nylon fabric. It has a water repellent coating to shed that light drizzle, lightweight soft shell, and made to have a low pack size when it starts to heat up on your ride.
You will notice two long oversized zippers on the front of the Stage jacket. These act as pocket and vents to allow greater air flow forward, also strategically places to avoid your hydration pack straps.

On the back of the Stage you will also have a back vent that is also placed high above where your hydration pack will sit. Nice Lycra trimmed cuffs, waist, and neck.
One last cool little feature is the pocket you have on the inside of the Stage jacket for your IPod or other music device you may have. Now it may not be big enough to fit any of those new phones that are the size of a small TV though.

STAGE JERSEY

If you want to go Enduro racing this is the jersey to use. Right off the bat when you hold this jersey you can tell how light it feels. When most companies make jerseys to fit DH or XC, you won’t find anything in between with a feel like the Stage Jersey, this is what Royal set out to do by talking to some of the best Enduro racer in the world. What better way to do so then to hear, gather, and then sit down and come up with a great jersey for a new kind of racing discipline.
First they started with the fit, not to loose like DH and not too tight like XC with a somewhat slim fit. Next you need that jersey to breathe like crazy. Two large mesh panels on the sides to bring in the air, but that’s not all accompany that with T-DOT fabric, which is an active moisture body fabric designed to keep you dry and cool. Oh and speaking of more cooling, Royal put a front neck zipper which gives you the option to allow for more cooling.
Then finish this up with push up Lycra edged cuffs. “Way to go!!”

SIGNATURE SHORTS

What Royal did with their shorts was providing what they call a Pro level short with trail riding fit. I have to agree with this. The fit was great on the Signature shorts. One of the key features on the Signature Shorts is the DWR coating that is used on the Stage Jacket. This is great when riding in a light rain or early morning mist. You have strategically place stretch panels to aid in overall comfort, dual hook and loop waist adjusters, water proof stash pocket for that important stuff, and a detachable breathable inner pant liner that hooks to the Signature shorts with small liner tabs.
The pockets on the thigh also double as a vent if you have nothing to put in them, you will also see the drain tab on the bottom of the pocket area.


With the DWR coating, moister properties, and this matting of lightweight materials make for an excellent cool and dry short.

QUANTUM GLOVES
The Quantum glove is made to breath, be lightweight, and fit. Again off the bat these qualities are noticed. This a perfect glove to use on those hot days as well as a nice fall season ride.

The feature Royal incorporates is .75mm AX perforated stretch palm that is made of one piece of material. This allows your palm to breathe and let heat out; on the back side of the hand what looks like micro diamond pockets on the mesh panel is Technically Knitted Mesh. What I like about this, is how well the air flows through the back panel, which is great on a hot day when you want to keep your hands cool.
Lycra between the fingers, along with seamless finger tips and a small cuff area with expanded V panel assure a well locked on glove to your hand. Add a Micro Fiber wipe.
Now you have one nice Enduro glove.

OVERALL RIDE FEEL
Now I can’t claim that I have done an Enduro race in the gear that Royal has provided for us, so to perform a proper test I would do planed point to point type long rides to simulate an Enduro race so to speak. I had to get my old body temp up to sweat so we can see how all the material would work under pressure, as well as go out in the cold to see if it kept me warm too.
Seeing we don’t have too many rainy days here to test the DWR coating or cold days here in SoCal to give the Stage Jacket a hardcore test, we had to take what we could get and the Stage Jacket kept me more than warm enough. When I needed to cool off the large front vent/pockets when open were a god send to have and with my hydration bag on the straps were not in the way of the vent/pockets. The internal device pocket worked great for my IPod. The Stage jacket felt light and was functional throughout any ride.
On the hot days the Stage jersey was complete awesomeness due to the T-Dot fabric and the great vented panels. This was a great feeling jersey to wear while on the move. It would wick the sweat away and provide excellent cooling. The semi slim fit gave this jersey a better feel than a tight fitting XC jersey and far nicer than a looser fit DH jersey. The name of the game here was “COOLING” and the Stage jersey did just that.
The Signature shorts were just as good when it came to fit and function. The nice stretch panels and vent panels on the back of the shorts are well thought out for comfort on those long rides, excellent front mid upper vent pockets for extra cooling when needed were perfect. The stash pocket was great for a phone, keys, or that beer money you may need at the end of the ride. The padded liner that comes with the Signature shorts was super breathable and had a good padded butt area to keep you going.
All the waist snaps and waist adjusters held in place at all times with no issues.
Last on the list are the Quantum gloves. Now I don’t want to sell these gloves short by no means, but when it comes to my hands I want protection, these gloves feel so light on the hands it just feels weird to have them on. I’m used to a glove with knuckle, finger, and palm protection being a DH racer.
This is the current trend today, thinner, lighter, and a skin hugging fit, so when you really look at the Quantum gloves and how they look and feel on the hand and how they’re made to be, I get it.
The only issue I had with the gloves (this is not a design flaw, but my mistake) was fit. I wear a medium normally and this is what I asked for, so the glove were a little loose, so make sure you try on a set first to really make them feel great on the hand.
I now get why glove are being made in this fashion. I loved the way they feel. The thinner material gives you better feel to the bike. The back Technically Knitted Mesh panel offers some of the best breath-ability of any glove I have felt so far, the perforated stretch palm lets the hand breathe as well when hot to allow heat to dissipate from the palm, finger structure and feel was also top notch.

FINAL THOUGHTS
After putting in the miles with all of Royal Racing’s newest Enduro gear you can see that the home work was done on all of these products. When you listen to feedback and do the research this becomes a great key aspect to a company that wants to do it right for that Enduro racer and weekend warrior.
My hat is off to Royal Racing for thinking it through. They made it hard to really find anything wrong with any of the products we tested.
Prices for this cool gear is, Stage Jacket $109.95, Stage Jersey $59.95, Signature Shorts $119.95, and the Quantum Gloves $34.95.

We want to say thanks to Jason Schippers from Royal Racing for providing us all the great gear. You can go to royalracing.com or ask your local bike dealer for Royal Racing gear.

 

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