Cycle Show 2010: Mountain bikes and gear round-up

Troy Lee gear, Tufo tubular tyres, plus hardtails from Sunn and NS

Fisher Outdoor Leisure were showing off the latest full-face helmets from Troy Lee Designs at this month's Cycle Show 2010 in London, including this eye-catching Medusa paintjob – one for the extroverts out there.

TLD's D2 and D3 lids are unchanged for 2011 but are available in a load of new designs, including some much more subtle options plus Sam Hill and Steve Peat signature editions.

The top-end carbon fibre D3 helmet is also now available in a cheaper – but still wallet-emptying, at £399.99 (US$375/395) – composite version, and apparently the "weight difference isn't big". RRP for the carbon D3 is £499.99 ($450), while the composite D2 is £249.99-£299.99 ($265/295).

Troy Lee also have an updated range of race kits, along with some more cross-country/trail orientated clothing, like the £86.99 ($129) Ace shorts pictured here. They're made of a stretchy yet durable polyester/spandex mix, with plenty of ventilation, a removable liner and reflective detailing.

Troy lee designs ace shorts: troy lee designs ace shorts
Troy lee designs ace shorts: troy lee designs ace shorts

Tufo

Tufo were displaying their range of tubular mountain bike tyres – ie. ones that you have to glue onto your rims – on UK distributors Sonic Cycles' stand. What's the advantage over tubeless/UST setups? Tubs can be run at much lower pressures, which means improved traction and comfort.

Tufo are offering a range of tubular mountain bike tyres:
Tufo are offering a range of tubular mountain bike tyres:

There are also weight saving benefits – because you can extract more grip than usual from a lighter, low-profile tread – and tubular aficionados sometimes talk of a more 'connected' trail feel. Tubs are already popular with some top-level World Cup cross-country racers, and we're expecting some of the bigger manufacturers to bring out their own versions soon.

Tufo xc4:
Tufo xc4:

For 2011, Tufo have a new XC4 tread design, pictured above, designed for hardpack and rocky terrain. Available in a 26x2.2in size only, claimed weight is 550g. It joins their existing XC1 (file-tread), XC2 ('arrowhead' knobs) and XC3 (wider spaced, higher blocks) tubular designs.

Sunn

Jim Walker had some very nice looking new Sunn mountain bikes on their stand. In addition to a revised Radical downhill rig and new Charger enduro downhill bike, the French company have updated their hardcore hardtail, the Tzar.

With a 150mm-travel RockShox Sektor fork up front, and a frame made from double-butted 4130 chromoly, the Tzar is ready for anything you can throw at it. The top-end S1 model (£1,799.99) uses Truvativ's HammerSchmidt planetary gearing system and Formula RX brakes, while the S2 (£1,099.99) gets 24-speed SRAM X5 and Avid Elixir 3s.

Sunn tzar s2: sunn tzar s2
Sunn tzar s2: sunn tzar s2

Another bike that caught our eye was this rigid-forked S2 version of Sunn's Modular trail hardtail. For £899.99 you get a double-butted 4130 chromoly frame and fork, Avid Elixir 3 brakes and SRAM X5/X7 shifting kit.

The frame is designed around a 120mm-travel suspension fork, so you can always sub one in later – or upgrade to the £1,299.99 Modular S1 which comes with a RockShox Recon. The £699.99 Seasons S1 looks like another good buy for hardtail fans on a tight budget.

Sunn modular s2: sunn modular s2
Sunn modular s2: sunn modular s2

NS Bikes

Not strictly on show at Cycle Show 2010 – they were actually displayed at Hotlines' expo on the other side of London – but worthy of a mention are the latest frames from Polish company NS Bikes. NS are known for their hardtail jump bikes, as used by Martin Soderstrom.

However, they've developed a prototype signature full-suspension rig for the Swedish star to use at slopestyle competitions – the Soda – and this looks likely to go into production at some point, although pricing and availability have yet to be decided. Two versions are likely to be made: a slopestyle variant with 100mm of travel and an all-mountain iteration (pictured below) with 150-170mm.

NS soda slopestyle/all-mountain prototype: ns soda slopestyle/all-mountain prototype
NS soda slopestyle/all-mountain prototype: ns soda slopestyle/all-mountain prototype

Back on the hardtail side of things, the Majesty is Soderstrom's ride of choice, with a strong but light, heat-treated, 3D-butted and internally black oxidised (to protect against rust) 4130 chromoly frame. Features include removable cable routing, straight dropouts (slimmed down for 2011), a Spanish bottom bracket and press-fit headset. Frame RRP is £449.99.

NS majesty: ns majesty
NS majesty: ns majesty

CW has been riding mountain bikes for more than two decades now. He's the first to admit he's not the fittest or most skilful rider on the hill, but that doesn't stop him sweating up the climbs to have a blast on the downhills.
  • Discipline: MTB, commuting
  • Preferred Terrain: Big mountains and flowing singletrack
  • Current Bikes: Whyte T-129 S SCR, Stanton Sherpa 853, Pinnacle Dolomite 6
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston Old Peculier
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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