BikeRadar have just returned from the launch of Austrian brand KTM’s 2014 mountain bike range, where the main story was the company’s move away from 26in wheels on all but their entry-level bikes. With their mid- and high-end models, the hardtails will have 27.5in (650b) or 29er hoops, and the full-suspension machines 27.5in wheels.
The other main push for 2014 is their Carbon For All program, featuring a number of new full-carbon bikes designed to come in at a reasonable price, to enable a wider range of riders to benefit from the technology. KTM claim that the carbon used in many cheaper frames on the market is diluted with glass fibres, impacting on performance. However, they were keen to stress that their frames are 100 percent carbon fiber.
All prices are to be announced.
Two hardtail models were on show, the Aera and the Myroon. Both feature carbon frames and 27.5in or 29in wheel size options, and are designed for 100mm travel forks.
Aera 27 and 29
The Aera is part of the Carbon For All program, and will therefore come in a relatively wallet-friendly package. It comes with all the features you’d expect from a decent-priced race bike. The press-fit BB is attached to a conical seat tube, wider at the bottom to add stiffness, with a slender 27.2mm seatpost at the top.
The Aera features a tapered head tube to add stiffness
The 160mm post mount is housed on the chainstays, keeping the caliper out of the way, and the curved seatstays are slender, which should add a degree of comfort to the frame. At the front, the head tube is tapered 1 1/8in to 1 1/2in, adding stiffness. Internal cable routing keeps the frame looking clean and the cables away from crud.
Myroon 27 and 29
Aesthetically, the Myroon and Aera are very similar. However, the Myroon occupies a higher price point and has a number of additional features befitting this. For example, the carbon monocoque frame benefits from a higher grade of carbon than the Aera, improving stiffness, with the frame weighing a claimed and impressive 1,175g.
Once again, a tapered head tube and press-fit bottom bracket are used, although the BB area on the Myroon is different. KTM have shifted the lower end of the seat tube forward, further towards the down tube. This offers a slacker seat tube angle, which the company say allows riders to benefit more from seatpost flex, for a more comfortable ride. To this end, KTM are looking to offer a range of three seatposts, with varying flex to suit customer needs.
The KTM Myroon hardtail will be available with 27.5in (650b) or 29er wheels
As we’re seeing on increasing numbers of race bikes, KTM have added a 142x12 rear bolt-thru axle to the Myroon, to improve rear end stiffness. To aid shifting performance both the front and rear mechs are direct mount.
The Scarp, Lycan and Lycan LT bikes share the same suspension platform, dubbed PDS II by KTM. It’s a floating shock system, with the shock isolated from the main frame by the pivot system. This allows KTM to give the suspension a very linear pattern, and they also claim it improves shock durability as the unit is protected from lateral, wear-causing forces.
The Scarp is KTM’s full-suspension race bike, offering 105mm of rear travel matched with 100mm up front. The monocoque frame is constructed from Nano Premium Carbon.
As per the Myroon hardtail, the Scarp features a bolt-thru rear axle, direct-mount mechs and a tapered head tube. On the Scarp, the latter is built using KTM’s Groove Cut Technology, with increased material around the top and bottom headset bearings to improve stiffness.
KTM Scarp 2014
The seatpost can easily be swapped out for a dropper post thanks to its 30.9mm diameter.
The Lycan is a mid-travel, all-day/marathon bike, with 125mm of rear travel. It’s designed for 120mm to 130mm forks. Many features from the Scarp and Myroon are repeated on the Lycan, such as the direct-mount mechs, bolt-thru rear axle and Groove Cut Technology tapered head tube.
KTM Lycan – carbon front, alloy rear
The Lycan does differ from the Scarp in terms of construction by featuring an alloy rear triangle, which adds weight over its carbon short travel counterpart.
The Lycan LT is, as expected, a longer travel version of the Lycan. Instead of opting for a carbon front triangle, KTM have used a hydroformed 6061 aluminium alloy throughout. Aimed at the emerging enduro market, the LT provides 160mm of rear travel through its PDS II suspension system.
KTM Lycan LT 2014
Frame features remain consistent with the Lycan, with a press-fit bottom bracket, direct-mount mechs and thru axles. The head tube is tapered, but the Groove Cut Technology is less obvious in this aluminium iteration.
For more information see www.ktm-bikes.at.