Race Face is augmenting its Next carbon cross-country crankset with two additional models. Singlespeed riders get the Next SS, which uses the same hollow carbon arms as the Next, but with a single 34T chainring, an outer bashguard and shortened granny gear bosses for more clearance.
A removable granny gear spider is included though, and since the overall profile of the crank won’t be changed, users will still be able to run three rings if desired. Claimed weight is 700g complete.
Buyers will have to wait a while longer for the upcoming Next SL, with release projected for the end of 2009. Once that day comes, though, Race Face will treat us with a complete crankset weighing just 695g that, again, shares the current Next’s hollow carbon arms but now mates them with a titanium spindle and lighter alloy hardware.
The prototype we handled at the show was even lighter than projected, weighing just 679g.
Also new on Race Face’s carbon front is a pair of 3/4 riser bars that slot neatly between the existing low-rise and flat bars. As the name suggests, rise is a modest 19mm (0.75”) and is coupled with a 9° rearward sweep.
Race Face is offering two 3/4 bars: the Next SL 3/4 is 660mm wide with a 4° upsweep and 170g claimed weight, while the standard Next 3/4 is slightly wider at 685mm, a bit heavier at 195g, and has a more pronounced 6° upward sweep.
Lots of new headset sizes and models from Cane Creek
Cane Creek’s excellent 110 headsets have been well received and the line is expanding for 2009. New for the coming season are the 1.5” XX II and ZS (Zero Stack) to supplement the current Classic (1 1/8”) and IS (Integrated System) models.
The new variants share all the standard 110 performance features, including hand-polished and anodized 7075 alloy cups, supplemental split-lip seals and a ‘captured compression ring’ that centres the steerer tube within the headset and locks it in place – something many other headsets don’t really do. All 110 models will also use press-fit stainless steel bearings with dual-lip seals, except the XX II, which uses black oxide races instead.
Cane Creek is offering the 110 in black, silver, red, blue and, yes, even purple. 17.5mm of matching aluminum Interlok spacers are also included.
The new 100 headset platform is nearly identical to the 110, but a few material swaps bring the price down to just US$100. Black oxide bearing races are used in lieu of stainless steel, the cartridges themselves are now a drop-in fit instead of press-fit and the cups are machined from 6066 aluminum.
The 100 only comes in black and silver, but both still come with 17.5mm of matching aluminum Interlok spacers.
Cane Creek’s new Frustum line addresses the growing trend for tapered steerers. More precisely, the new Frustum models aren’t really all-new headsets so much as they are reconfigured top and bottom cups from existing models. Even so, the new configurations will still make things easier for consumers and shops alike and come in a variety of sizes including 1 1/8” to 1 1/2” and 1 1/8” to 1 1/4” in traditional, integrated and internal cup styles.
The oversized Double X line has been completely revamped for 2009 and includes three models: the aforementioned XX II, the XXc II and the XXc Flush II.
The XXc II shares the XX II’s lower cup, but allows users to run a standard 1 1/8” fork within a 1.5” frame by virtue of a conversion crown race and flush-fit upper assembly. Stack height is substantially reduced compared to last year’s Double Xc and Cane Creek says the weight has dropped by 35 percent, bringing it down to about 160g.
Stack height is reduced even further with the XXc Flush II, which also enables use of a 1 1/8” fork in a 1.5” frame, but with flush cups at both ends.
Cross-country chain guides from MRP and a new fork prototype from White Brothers
MRP caters to the Lycra-wearing crowd with its XCG line of chain guides. While not really a chain guide in the way we’re used to, the XCG Triple does place an aluminum plate on the inboard side, just below the front derailleur, which helps prevent dropped chains. The XCG Triple adds a sturdy stationary bash plate down below to protect against impact and the entire assembly mounts easily behind the bottom bracket cup.
For single-ring users there’s the XCG Single, which retains the bash plate but loses the upper section.
Fans of MRP’s G2 chain guide system who use smaller chainrings have a new version called the Mini-G. The Mini-G keeps the original G2’s stationary bash plate design, adjustable lower pulley and upper cage, but resizes things to work better with 32-36T rings.
MRP’s White Brothers fork division has been busy too, with a prototype 29er fork with 6” of travel and upsized 35mm-diameter stanchions instead of the company’s usual 32mm pipes. Unfortunately we don’t have much in the way of additional tech info other than to say that it uses White Brothers’ usual machined aluminum construction, but this may be a sign of what’s to come.
Stunning ‘cross stoppers from the makers of Zero Gravity
Ciamillo Components showed off a fantastic looking new cyclo-cross cantilever brakeset called the GX, which is claimed to weigh just 198g including a pair of arms, pad holders, a dual-ended straddle cable and carrier, plus all associated hardware.
The GX sample on display was impressively slop-free, but instead of cartridge bearing pivots, Ciamillo opted for a precision-milled titanium sleeve that slips over the standard canti boss and a matching precision-milled bore on the aluminum arm. By eliminating pivot slop, Ciamillo says the GX can provide more power and better feel and also squelches the chatter that’s all too common with lightweight ‘cross equipment these days.
Suggested retail price on the GX is a surprisingly reasonable-sounding US$318 for a complete set and production units begin shipping this week.