Standing on the bridge over the River Tweed, visiting tourists looked bewildered over the colourful carnival playing out on Tweed Green below. The EWS machine has finally worked its way to the UK, and it has brought a level of excitement and community participation that has never been seen before! With a skyline broken by endless rows of brightly coloured flags, branded banners and blow up tents, the entire industry has arrived to show its support to the UK’s first truly international enduro! Trade expos are always a great place to spot new products and find prototypes, so we took a stroll around the pits to see what we could find!
We popped in to check out Polygon’s new bike, the Colossus T8. This bike is Tracy Hannah’s team edition version that she will be racing this weekend, and is based on Polygons new All Mountain trail bike with 140mm of travel and 650b wheels. Tracy has chosen to use a Bos Devile AM fork and Kirk AM shock, and the team have spent the last few weeks getting the suspension set up in Sospel. With a varied course, the team are all running the new 2.25 Hutchinson Toro tyres, hoping to find grip on the steep downhills!
Never ones for radical changes, Orange have been reworking the build kit on their popular Five 29er, re-branding it as the new Alpine Five, this will bring a heady dose of hard hitting ability to the ever popular five platform. Everyone who has ridden it loves the Five 29er, but all were in agreement that the build kit needed to be more agro, and more suited to the bikes turn of pace. Orange noticed that people were changing the spec of the standard Five 29er to better suit racing, so decided to offer the bike in a more race ready build! For this year the five 29er is now the Alpine Five, and the build kit brings it in-line with the Alpine 160, with 140mm of travel driving the 29 inch wheels. The RS (£3700) spec is race-ready out of the box with Pike forks, Monarch + shock and 1×10 drivetrain, and they will also be offering an AM version (£2850) too with a double ring setup!
It was not only the Alpine Five that has been refined, the ever popular Alpine 160 has also gone through some changes too. Perhaps the most significant is that the top tube has been lengthened, (a medium that would normally be 600mm is now 620mm) increasing the front center and making the wheelbase longer than the Alpine Five, perfect when combined with a 35mm stem. To improve the capabilities of the bike further, the Alpine 160 has also gone up a wheel size, now running 27.5 inch wheels! With the exception of these two changes Orange have not messed with the format too much as the Alpine 160 has proven to be a well loved bike.
Bionicon are releasing an interesting new bike, the Edison Evo, that will be available next year, this will give the rider more options than ever before! Not only can you choose from 2 travel options (160mm and 180mm), but you can also choose which wheel size you want to run! So if you want to run 26 or 27.5 then all you have to do is change out the seat stays. This means that riders have full control over every aspect of the bike. The 27.5 inch bike will be available with the new X-Fusion Metric Fork, and the 26 inch will come with the triple-crown Bionicon fork! The bike comes fitted with a climb/decend mode that drops the travel of the front and rear shocks, and when in the short travel setting the physical orientation of the linkage means that the linkage itself helps minimise pedal feedback. The head angle sits at 64.5 (in 180mm) so hints at more aggressive tenancies. The bike with XO1 drive-train will retail at £3500 with a lower spec x9 2×10 at a lower spec for £2900 including a dropper post! We look forward to testing this bike!
Hope always have lots of cool things in the pipeline, able to prototype in-house they can rapidly launch innovative products! They had a number of demo bikes knocking around that were bristling with as yet un-released components!
Dual chambered tyres hit the EWS circuit
Cube Action Team Rider Scott Laughland was also running some interesting rubber on his Cube Stereo! Still to be given an official name, he was testing the new dual chambered design with an inner chamber that can be inflated to provide stability to the tyre and an outer chamber that can be run lower, providing maximum traction without the worry of burping. Scott was running a Magic Mary up front and a Nobby Nic on the rear, which was also a first ride tyre, featuring a more aggressive tread than the outgoing Nobby Nic, offering great traction in the wet and mud, and will be available in both Trail star and Pace star compounds.
There was a very cool helmet on display at the Sweet Protection stand, it looks like our current world champion, Tracy Moseley, is now geared up with a Fixer Fullface Full Carbon MIPS helmet. “Protection is of utmost importance to me when choosing my equipment, so when looking for a fullface helmet to use in 2014 I was drawn to Sweet Protection as the combination of lightweight and strength are one of the best out there. I am really looking forward to representing Sweet Protection in 2014”, says Tracy
Words: Trev Worsey
Photos: Doc Ward
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