SRAM's annual Sea Otter Classic product blitz continued with an updated range of hydraulic disc brakes, suspension products and even bottom brackets for the 2011 model year.
In keeping with their new 'families' of parts, last year's Avid Elixir CR Mag has now been rebadged as the Avid X0 with matching graphics to retain a cohesive look. However, the updates are more than just cosmetic as the CR Mag's magnesium bits have been replaced with forged aluminium across the board for better durability in a crash. Despite aluminium's higher density, weight remains virtually the same as last year at a claimed 333g for a complete 160mm post mount front assembly.
Feature-wise, the Avid X0 retains the MatchMaker X split clamp compatibility, TaperBore internal architecture and tool-free pad contact adjustment. Detents have now been added to the latter to prevent setting migration but reach adjust still requires a 2mm Allen key. Avid product manager Paul Kantor says the master cylinder internals have been reshaped to lessen the negative effects of a less than perfect bleed.
Avid's long-running Code brake also gets a redesign with a much sleeker profile for 2011. The calliper retains its predecessor's differential-diameter four-piston layout but the new two-piece aluminium body is held together with two bolts instead of four. Pads are now top-loaded instead of bottom, too, which will make for easier pad replacement and also cooler operation on account of the added airflow.
Not surprisingly, the new master cylinder is more in keeping with the rest of Avid's latest models with a TaperBore internal layout for improved long-term durability and a detented pad contact adjustment integrated into the end of the compact lever body. As before, the burly main lever pivot rides on three sealed cartridge bearings and the lever blade includes a breakaway feature to prevent permanent damage.
Weight for a complete Avid Code 160mm post mount front system is down to 410g – a substantial 39g drop. The lower-priced Avid Code R gets similar updates to Code but omits the cartridge bearings and breakaway lever as well as the pad contact adjustment, saving 15g per wheel in the process. All of the new brakes will be available from August 1. Retail price for the Avid X0 is US$245 per wheel, Code will cost $235 and Code R will be $157.
RockShox Argyle lightens up
The new RockShox Argyle RCT is aimed at dirt jumpers and urban riders
On the suspension front, RockShox's updated Argyle dirt jump/urban fork lightens up with aluminium stanchions and the updated Maxle Lite 20mm through-axle skewer with single-sided adjustability – claimed weight is down to 2,016g (4.44lb). The travel range has also grown from 80-100mm up to 80-140mm.
The company's naming structure will change across the board, with more descriptive model designations such as 'RCT' (rebound, compression and threshold) to denote included features.
Also new is the TurnCoat add-on, which routes the front disc brake hose down through the centre of the steerer tube to facilitate bar spins. It serves double duty as a headset lock to prevent bearing loosening. RockShox product manager Sander Rigney says TurnCoat's lower cap does protrude about 6mm, though, and will thus void the CEN's test requirements for tyre clearance.
Truvativ bottom brackets
Truvativ have revamped their GXP bottom brackets with a new Gutter sealing system
Not to be overlooked are Truvativ's revamped GXP external-bearing bottom brackets, which have always been praised for their clever design – with a captured non-driveside bearing and axially floating driveside one for near-zero preload – but criticised for their sealing quality and drag.
To address those issues, Truvativ will incorporate the Gutter sealing system they have already integrated into their new PressFit-30 models. Replacing the outermost seal that previously followed the circumference of the cup, the new Gutter seal is integrated directly into each cartridge bearing and presses up against the face of the mating nylon faceplate.
According to SRAM's Bryan Bos, Gutter is not only more efficient at channeling water around and away from the ball bearings themselves but the smaller swept area and low-friction rubber-on-nylon design substantially cuts down on drag, too. Moreover, the cups have been reshaped with rounder contours for a more upscale look.
Gutter-equipped GXP bottom brackets in XR, Team and BlackBox levels will be included on SRAM's new crop of cranksets and should begin appearing in stores around late summer.