The Fix Bikes Blog

Gravity Mountain Biking Nerds – Downhill, Freeride, Trail and Dirt Jumping

Archive for the ‘Freeride Bikes’ Category

Ellsworth Demo Day – A 29er Review

Posted by thefixbikes on June 1, 2011

Big thanks to Ryan and Ellsworth Bikes for stopping by Betasso and bringing a fleet of demo rigs for our riding enjoyment.  I was stoked because this gave me a chance to test ride a couple of their 29ers in addition to an Epiphany.  Over the past few years the hype has continued to build about the big wheel 29er XC mountain bikes.  I had to check it out for myself.  Several articles have been written on the 29er subject and some speed and power tests show promising results.  Yet, I still wonder how much fun is it between my legs?

I have a bunch of friends racing 29ers and they absolutely love them.  I’ve resisted the 29er movement because of a lack of tire, fork, and wheel choices.  Now, there are many options across the board and 29ers are here to stay.

First I demoed the Ellsworth Evolve, a full suspension 29er 100mm XC trail bike.  The suspension design of Ellsworth felt supple and smooth as the bike gave me the sense I was riding a bike with much more travel.  The big wheels also could be part of this feeling as they do rollover rocks and roots with ease.  The front end felt heavier than I’m used to and the uphill acceleration was a bit sluggish.

Each lap I felt more confident and began to see the benefits of a 29er.  It rolls super smoothly and flies over technical sections both uphill and down without requiring work from the rider.  It did feel heavier uphill.  When I tried the Ellsworth Evolution, the 120mm 29er, it felt like a lot of travel for the Betasso loop trail.  Small features on the trail that used to be fun to jump off of and whip around were not the same.  I guess I would have to find other features that make the loop more exciting on a 29er.

The Ellsworth Epiphany, their 140mm trail bike, was super fun descending the Canyon Link trail although the ProPedal lockout wasn’t enough to eliminate the bob on the climb back up the hill.  This is their tried and true performer so it’s expected to ride well.

In the end, I’m still curious about the 29er and think I need more time riding one.  I’m not completely sold on them.  I like that they’re performing well and finally won a World Cup XC race as well as getting a ton of US national attention.  As an XC rider, I still struggle with its weight and handling.  Basically, my discovery is this: If you want to roll your bike over obstacles, the 29er may be for you.  If you like to place your bike and have control as you maneuver through obstacles, the 26” hooped bikes are still your best bet.

Advertisements

Posted in All Mountain/Trail, Freeride Bikes, NonSense, Posts with No Home | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Downhill Exclusive – Specialized Demo 8, Intense M9 FRO, and Knolly Podium

Posted by thefixbikes on March 16, 2011

Specialized Demo 8

Already boasting race proven, World Cup winning geometry, Specialized is known for pushing the limits and standards for race bikes. The all-new 2011 Demo 8 has several mentionable enhancements from its predecessor, which improve handling and makes it faster.  The first time on the bike feels stable, light, and more nimble than other DH bikes.  The 2011 Demo 8 is sure to have you pushing your limits as it begs for more speed.

The 2011 Demo 8 frame is ¾ of a pound lighter than the 2010.  The reduction in weight is from using M5 Alloy, shortening the chainstays and headtube, as well as trimming the sharp corners from the bike and reducing small crevices that harbor mud.  Each change helps this bike perform on the gnarliest trails and courses.

The shortened headtube (112mm) and lower bottom bracket drop the bikes center of gravity helping it handle corners and feel stable while the shortened chainstays increase the quickness.

The rear hub spacing is 12 x 150mm in 2011 to accommodate for more DH hub and wheel options.  However the hydro formed tubeset is formed precisely so you won’t hit your ankle on the chainstays while pedaling.

For 2011 the rear shock connects to a extension shock yoke allowing the shock pivot to line up beside the tire and move with bearings instead of the bushing.  Therefore the suspension rate is more progressive and finely tuned.

BB 30 comes standard on all new Demo 8s.  This will eventually allow for stronger and lighter drive options.  They are currently threaded to allow adaptors until DH BB30 technology is further developed.

Overall, Specialized sets the bar high with its out-of-the-box, finely tuned machine that yearns for speed.  You will feel more comfortable at higher speeds and this bike will make you faster.

 

Intense M9 FRO

As Intense’s new flagship DH bike, the M9 has been in the making for two years.  The Intense Pro Team riders have had great success on the new bike and it finally available to everyone.  The custom geometry adjustability allows each rider to fine tune so may aspects of this bike to make it the perfect ride.

The G3 dropout system has three options to fine tune your chainstay length and make minor bottom bracket height and head angle.  However, the Cane Creek Angleset headset can be adjusted in half-degree increments between -0.5 and +1.5 degrees.  Find your perfect setup for obliterating each course.

Intense uses a Travel Adjustment Module you can adjust to set you bike up with 8.5”, 9”, or 9.5” of travel.  Furthermore, the M9 has three options to adjust shock curve and change the progressiveness of the shock.  Cane Creek created the Double Barrel rear shock with dual valves, which keeps the M9 grounded in rough rock gardens and super steep sections.

The Fix has ridden and worked with customers for year to help find the perfect fit.  If the custom adjustability sounds too much let us help you make the correct fit for you, your riding style and terrain.  When tuned correctly, this bike flys downhill and feels completely stable.  It could be the best choice for you if you’re picky about your bike setup and obsessed with fine tuning for each race course.

 

Knolly Podium

Knolly is a small and growing frame builder in British Columbia.  The Knolly Podium is their standout purebred racing machine.  The 2011 Podium embodies everything learned from the start of Knolly three years ago.

The Knolly Podium has a good following of freeriders and racers as it offers versatility for a wide range of riding styles.  The bike feels strong and stable riding park, the Redbull Rampage, or World Cup circuit courses.

Built with racers in mind, the Podium is built long, slack and low to the ground providing 8.4” of travel using Knolly’s proprietary Four by 4 Suspension System.  You’ll be able to race this bike for years with all the CNC machined parts and INA bearings that are said to outlast other commonly used bearings.

With a coil shock this bike can weigh less than 37 lbs, but the frame is built to be durable and take a beating on the toughest trails.

The geometry of the bike allows the rider to be in a forward aggressive position and charge the trail with more traction and control.  The super stiff rear end and stroke of the shock with superior mid-stroke support improves confidence and stability while riding.

Posted in All Mountain/Trail, Downhill Bikes, Freeride Bikes | Leave a Comment »

Specialized EVO Bikes – Redefining All-Mountain Trail Bikes

Posted by thefixbikes on December 7, 2010

Specialized continues to evolve their mountain bike line-up in response to customer demands

For 2011 Specialized is introducing a new set of “EVO” bikes to complement their current lineup.  The new concept is designed into several of the standard mountain bikes Specialized has offered for years.  In recent years, many Specialized customers and riders would change or modify their bike build for a specific more aggressive/ trail focused riding style.

Combining the lightweight XC or freeride style bike with aggressive DH specifications and features is a natural progression of where the mountain bike industry is going.  Specialized is now offering their EVO lineup as a turnkey, out of the shop, ready to ride machine.  Within the Specialized EVO lineup are EVO-R, or Race, bikes that offer component upgrades, specific gearing and an overall lighter bike for the weight conscientious.

Taking trail aspects including a lower bottom bracket, slackened headtube, command seat post, wider bars, beefier wheels, a chain guide, and added travel equate to more trail capability and more fun!

Specialized Enduro EVO

Fully manipulated M5 alloy FSR frame with ORE tubing is the centerpiece of this incredibly versatile 160mm-travel design. The aluminum rocker link, sealed cartridge bearing pivots, ISCG mount, and replaceable derailleur hanger make this a bomb proof ride that can stand-up to the toughest rider on the most technical trails

Fox DHX RC2 coil rear shock with rebound/compression adjust and bottom out control offers 160mm of travel for high-speed bump mastery and large drop confidence.

Fox’s buttery smooth 36 Van R 170mm coil-sprung fork with 20mm thru-axle, tapered alloy steerer, and preload/rebound adjust is stiff, light, and beefy for all-mountain madness.

Newly revamped for increased stiffness, the Roval Traverse AL all-mountain wheelset, with DT Swiss internals and 20mm thru-axle, offers mountain-leveling durability at a reasonable weight.

Low-rise 750mm alloy bars with 8-degree backsweep and 31.8mm clamp increase strength and control on the nastiest trails.

The Specialized Command Post offers 125mm of travel with three adjustable height positions and a remote lever for rapid on the fly adjustments.

Specialized Stumpjumper EVO

M5 manipulated alloy frame for SJ EVO features slacker headtube angle of about 67 degrees and a lower bottom bracket with 145mm of rear travel.  The aluminum rocker link and sealed cartridge bearing pivots transfer small and larger impacts directly to the shock with a buttery smooth feel.

The custom tuned Fox RP23-S shock was made exclusively for the Stumpjumper and features position-sensitive Boost Valve damping, low-speed compression damping with 3-way adjustable “open” and “climbing” settings – equating to great bump performance and solid climbing efficiency throughout the entire ride.

Specialized chose the Fox F150 RL air-sprung alloy fork with 15mm thru-axle, external lockout, and rebound adjust based on Fox long history of building great reliable fork that feel super plush and can handle the biggest drops with ease.

Specialized Roval Control AL wheelset is much stiffer than the typical wheels on other Enduros.  With durable alloy hubs, oversized 28mm end caps, and stainless DT Swiss spokes these wheel provide better control over gnarly terrain.

The beefier 2.2 front and 2.0 rear tires deliver improved traction for conering and braking in variable conditions.

The Specialized Command Post offers 125mm of travel with three adjustable height positions and a remote lever for rapid on the fly adjustments.

Specialized Epic EVO

The Epic EVO is built for the XC rider looking for more trail capability.  The Expert has an M5 alloy frame yet with the 100mm suspension feels efficient and smooth.

Specialized and Fox collaborated to develop the Flow Control Mini Brain shock with Brain Fade inertia valve, air spring and adjustable rebound to deliver the 100mm of suspension.  The geometry and shock technology provide the supple feel over small bumps and bigger hit support when needed.

Specialized went with a Rock Shox SID RLT 120mm air-sprung fork with rebound, compression, lockout adjust and floodgate control dials to the perfect pedaling platform while keeping the bike light weight.

Specialized Roval Control AL wheelset is much stiffer than the typical XC wheels on race bikes.  With durable alloy hubs, oversized 28mm end caps, and stainless DT Swiss spokes these wheel provide better control over gnarly terrain.

The beefier 2.2 front and 2.0 rear tires deliver improved traction for conering and braking in variable conditions.

The Specialized Command Post offers 100mm of travel with three adjustable height positions and a remote lever for rapid on the fly adjustments.

Posted in All Mountain/Trail, Freeride Bikes, Posts with No Home | Leave a Comment »

2010 Intense Bikes at the The Fix! Tracer, Spider 2, Uzzi VP, Slopestyle

Posted by thefixbikes on March 16, 2010

2010 Intense Bikes and Frames are in stock and looking awesome. The pictures don’t need much introduction on this one, all I can say is that as good as they look in the photos they are even better in person. Intense simply represents the pinnacle of quality and craftsmanship in mountain bikes. Combine that with their unrivaled knowledge of how to make a bike ride and you get some of the best product available today. Enjoy.

Tracer VP
The Intense Tracer is a bit of a chameleon bike, it can be set up to be either a lighter xc shredder or a super fun enduro/all mountain bike. We have completes built up in both styles, one with a Fox 36 and the other with the lighter Fox 32 Talas in QR15. $4250 with the Talas, $4600 with the 36.

Intense Tracer Complete with Fox 36

Intense Tracer White with Fox Talas

Spider 2

The Intense Spider 2 comes in at an awesome price point for the XC and trail bike crowd, getting you legendary Intense quality and performance at a price that competes with the big guys. Spec’ed out with Intense’s SRAM kit and Fox F120 RLC fork, this machine comes in at $3400.

Intense Spider 2/ F120RLC/ Sram kit

Intense Framesets

If you already have your parts or are just looking to do a totally custom build on your new ride, all Intense bikes are available as framesets. Intense has a couple of hot new models out with the Uzzi VP and the as-new-as-it-gets park and play bike, The Slopestyle.

Intense Uzzi VP

All mountain destruction… this bike redefines what a trail bike can be. This one is for the off-road heroes, the guys that only need one bike for any descent, any climb, any trail, anywhere. Built to be as sturdy as any bike out there, this thing can climb all day but still let you send anything on the way back down with no fear of failure, and DH bike handling.

Intense Uzzi VP- Copper

Slopestyle

As the name implies, the Intense Slopestyle is built to shred the slope in style, meaning it’s perfect for jumping, freeriding, and just having a plain old good time in the bike park. 6.5″ of travel will get you down all but the roughest of trails without much trouble, and lets it maintain the maneuverability and flickability you need to keep it steezy on the way down.

Intense SS Orange

Posted in All Mountain/Trail, Downhill Bikes, Freeride Bikes | Leave a Comment »

Fresh Goods- Transition TR450

Posted by thefixbikes on March 1, 2010

Transition Bikes is set to release their much awaited new downhill rig, the TR450.  Totally new and built from the ground up with input from pro racers including Lars Tribus, Byrn Atkinson, and Jill Kintner, the TR450 promises performance on par with any of today’s top level race bikes, at a price that undercuts much of it’s competition.  Transition has opted for a moto-link style single pivot, which should offer better rear end stiffness than their previous four-bar frames, as well as giving Transition the ability to tune their shock rate to perfection.  The TR450 offers adjustable geometry that allows you to go as slack as 63 degrees in the head angle and as low as 13.75 inches for the bottom bracket, giving you the option to set the bike to your personal preferences.The TR450 is being sold in three color options, racing stripe yellow (shown), racing stripe red, and solid white, and goes for the very impressive price of $2399 with a Fox RC4 shock.  Taking Pre-orders now, selling out fast!

TR450 in Yellow Racing Stripe Graphics

SMALL MEDIUM LARGE
Reach (middle Geo setting) 366.22mm 391.62mm 417.02mm
Stack (middle Geo setting) 580.74mm
Top Tube (Effective) 22.4″/568.96mm 23.4″/594.36mm 24.4″/619.76mm
Seat Tube (center to top) 16.5″/420mm
Head Tube Angle 63°, 63.5°, 64° Adjustable
ChainStay Length 17.5″/444.5mm
Bottom Bracket Height 13.75″, 14″, 14.25″ / 349.25mm, 355.6mm, 361.95mm Adjustable
Wheelbase (middle Geo setting) 45.5″/1155.7mm 46.5″/1181.1mm 47.5″/1206.5mm
Head Tube Length 4.33″/110mm
Max Rear Tire Clearance 26″ x 3.0″
Rear Hub Spacing 150mm
Rear Dropout Axle Size 12mm
Head Tube Tapered 1.5″ Lower / Cane Creek Integrated Top
BB Shell Width 83mm

Posted in Downhill Bikes, Freeride Bikes | Leave a Comment »

951 Long Term Update

Posted by thefixbikes on February 13, 2010

It’s been almost a year since Intense’s much-lauded downhill race frame, the 951, was released.   We checked in with a few of our locals who have been riding the bike for a while and got their thoughts on the bike, how it rides, and how they’re holding up.  For starters, let’s go back and have a look at what the 951 is all about.  Before 2009, Intense had two downhill bikes, the M6 and the Socom.  The M6 was a hardcore race sled, low and slack with 9.5″ of travel.  The Socom was made to be super light and a bit more versatile in terms of geometry, with a steeper head angle, higher bottom bracket, and 8″ of travel.  We had several Socoms as shop bikes, and lots of friends on M6s.  The Socom was a fantastic pedaler, and did really well on smoother and more pedaling intensive courses.  Despite its weight, the reliability of the bike was very impressive, with the few failures all related to hardware and links.  The main complaint was that the bike needed a more aggressive head angle for the serious DH courses.  The M6 was the opposite, super aggressive with a very low bottom bracket that some people found too low.  The 951 was slated to replace the Socom, but after it’s release it quickly became Intense’s only downhill bike.  We attribute this to the bikes highly adjustable configuration, with two travel settings and three different positions on the dropouts the effect BB height, chainstay length, and head angle.   Initial response on the frame was excellent, lets check in with a few riders who have put in some good time with the bike and see how they’re feeling about it now.

Zach Johnson- Cat 1 Junior, Med 951 with Fox 40 and RC4

Amber Price- Cat 1 Women’s, Small 951 with Boxxer Team and RC4

How long have you had your 951?

ZJ- So far I have owned the bike since around September of 2009.

AP- I got the bike towards the end of the Summer of 2009,  and got to use it for The Sol Survivor and Fall Tilt in Telluride Races.

What’s your overall opinion of the bike, having spent some time on it?

ZJ- My overall of opinion of the bike is that it rocks and I wouldn’t rather
ride another bike. The 951 is super stable at high speeds in and out of rock
gardens. The three dropout wheel base adjustments also allow for the
bike to handle very nimbly and to be exactly what you want. Along with a
different bottom bracket height it makes the 951 dialed on rocky trails or
more high speed trails such as Snowmass.

AP-I’ve ridden my 951 down heaps of fun, steep, twisty, rocky trails, and I’m
in love with how it’s so light and easy to move around.  It feels way stable in corners and rides super smooth, so I trust it at speed and that inspires me to go faster.

How does the 951 compare to your previous bikes?

ZJ- Compared to previous bikes I have ridden, such as the Intense Socom, the 951
is much more stable and versatile to different race courses. The bike is
much lower to the ground making riding at high speeds much more stable.

AP- I think I’ve loved all my bikes because bikes are fun, but the 951 is the best because it looks super cool, and with the Fox RC4 it rides the smoothest of any I’ve had.  As soon as I got it, I felt like I was able to be more poppy and ride corners better.  It was very smile – inducing!  Also, I can stand over this bike and touch the ground better and put a foot down better than on any of my other bikes, which is nice someone my height.

Any complaints, problems, things you would change?

ZJ- The bottom bracket on the 951’s is extremely low and makes pedal strikes and
hitting the bottom bracket much easier. The higher position does provide a
little more clearance but in general it is very low.

AP- My only complaint is that they’re getting more popular, so I don’t feel that original riding it, but people still compliment me on how awesome it looks all the time, so that’s cool. I had to get a flat Boxxer crown, FSA flush headset and lower bar in order to get the front end low enough for me, with the bottom bracket so low it made my old front end setup way too high. After dropping the handlebar a little over an inch, it was just right.


Posted in Downhill Bikes, Freeride Bikes | Leave a Comment »

The Fastest Bike in the World?

Posted by thefixbikes on February 12, 2010

History is written by the victor, and this season Sam Hill and his rivals will again be out to capture their spot in the history books.  Sam Hill and his Specialized Demo will be making the rounds, and searching for the gold, at events all over the world in the UCI World Cup, World Championships, US Open, and others.  Of course for a top notch rider like Sam you need a top notch bike, fine tuned for the rigors of competition and the rider’s specific preferences.  This year, that bike is the brand new Specialized Demo 8, an all new frame with much improved geometry dialed in for shredding the notoriously rough and brutal World Cup circuit.  The good news is that the new Demo is available for sale to the public just the way Sam wanted it, except you might not be lucky enough to have a team of mechanics washing and tuning yours for you.

Posted in Downhill Bikes, Freeride Bikes | Leave a Comment »

Teva Games Slopestyle Pics and Video

Posted by thefixbikes on June 11, 2009

Mountain bike slopestyle went off in Vail, Colorado last Sunday at the 2009 Teva Games Slopestyle event. Cam McCaul, Aaron Chase, Paul Basagoitia, Greg Watts and more blasted big jumps, flips and tailwhips in between hail and rain showers. Check out 42 Teva Games photos and a video at Littermag.com.

Click for 42 photos and a video

Click for 42 photos and a video

Posted in Dirt Jumping & Slalom, Freeride Bikes, Videos | Leave a Comment »

Valmont Bike Park Underway!

Posted by thefixbikes on June 9, 2009

The City Planning Board of Boulder, Colorado unanimously approved the 4.5 million dollar Phase One of the Valmont City Park which includes construction of the bike park. It’s only taken 10 years, but now one of the greatest bike parks in the country will begin construction very soon. The Fix can’t wait and I’m sure you can’t either!

Visit www.bma-mtb.org for all the info regarding the Valmont Bike Park

Reality for the Valmont Bike Park is Here!

Reality for the Valmont Bike Park is Here!

Posted in All Mountain/Trail, Dirt Jumping & Slalom, Freeride Bikes | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

The Fix is an Ellsworth Bikes Dealer

Posted by thefixbikes on January 14, 2009

Ellsworth frames and bikes are now available at The Fix Bikes!
Ellsworth frames and bikes are now available at The Fix Bikes!

The Fix Bikes is proud to announce that we are now an Ellsworth Bikes dealer. We will be carrying the full line of Ellsworth mountain bikes and frames, including the affordable, new 2009 Ellsworth Glimpse. Ellsworth has a rich and long history as a full-suspension mountain bike manufacturer and we’re stoked to be teaming up with them this year!

Buy Ellsworth Bikes at www.thefixbikes.com

Posted in All Mountain/Trail, Freeride Bikes, Posts with No Home | Leave a Comment »