Among the treats on display at this week's Core Bike show were some exciting new full-suspension bikes from Californian companies Turner, Ibis and Intense.
David Turner's latest DHR downhill bike uses Dave Weagle's dw-link suspension design, as used on the World Championship winning Iron Horse Sunday, to deliver 8.3in of rear travel.
Made in the US, it has all the features you'd expect of a modern World Cup race bike, including a slack 63-degree head angle, low centre of gravity, 1.5in head tube, 150x12 rear axle, ISCG05 tabs and post mount brakes. Claimed weight is 9.5lb (4.3kg) for the medium frame size.
The DHR is available in four sizes. UK distributors Silverfish are selling the frame (with a Fox DHX RC4 shock) for £2,659 in raw, lime green, limited edition white or limited edition lumo yellow, or £2,795 in anodised black. US prices are $3,195 for the frame and $4,818-$6,471 for complete builds. For details, visit www.turnerbikes.com.
Ibis Mojo HD 140
Last year, Ibis's Scot Nicol decided to replace the five-year-old, 140mm-travel Mojo with the new 160mm-travel Mojo HD, figuring that anyone wanting 140mm of travel would opt for the lighter weight Mojo SL instead. Well, it appears he was wrong and there are still plenty of people out there who want a bike that can take tough terrain in its stride but don't want masses of travel.
Enter the Mojo HD 140. As the name suggests, it's a shorter-travel version of the HD. This has been achieved by altering the upper shock mount and fitting a 0.5in shorter shock. In fact, if you buy the bike and decide at a later date that you want more travel, you can switch to the full 160mm by swapping to a 2in shock and buying a new 'Limbo Chip' upper shock mount.
As well as shortening the travel, the move to a shorter shock also steepens up the head angle slightly – the HD 140 measures in at 68° with a 150mm-travel fork, compared to 69° for the SL and 67° for the standard HD. And it means you can run a Fox 32 fork instead of the longer-travel (and therefore burlier and heavier) Fox 36 needed for the HD. Claimed weight for the frame is 6.1lb.
UK distributors 2Pure are selling the frame for £2,175 and complete builds based around Shimano XT or SRAM X9 for £4,733 or £4,355 respectively, with a load of CrankBrothers upgrade options available. The frame costs $2,400 in the US, with a choice of five full builds (Shimano SLX/XT/XTR, SRAM X9/XX) ranging from $3,690 to $7,013. For details, visit www.ibiscycles.com.
Intense Tracer 2 and M9 FRO
We gave you a first look at Intense's Tracer 2 trail bike just before Christmas but this is the first time we've seen one in the flesh, and very nice it looks too. The version shown here is a prototype but the bike is due to go into production this month and should start appearing in shops by the end of March.
The mk.2 has the same geometry that we loved on the original Tracer and you can still alter the travel and angles using just a 5mm Allen key, although this time there's 145-160mm (5.75-6.25in) on tap, instead of 140-152mm (5.5-6in). Other changes include a new, slightly curved down tube and a seat tube that's been reshaped so it can take a direct mount front mech.
The main differences, however, can be found in the asymmetrical rear triangle, which is beefier than before, with a large supporting strut on the non-drive side. There are also new replaceable dropouts, which can be switched from 142mm to 135mm. Intense recommend the Tracer 2 is used with a 150mm or 160mm fork, which gives a head angle of 68° or 67°, respectively.
UK distributors Extra reckon the Tracer II can be built into a sub-27lb bike using high-end, lightweight kit. The best news? They're selling the frame with a Fox RP23 shock for £1,699, which is £200 cheaper than the original Tracer. The US price is $1,999. For details, visit www.intensecycles.com.
Also new from Intense is the M9 FRO downhill bike, which we first saw in action at Fort William. Features include G3 dropouts, which fully capture the rear axle, and a pinch-bolt style head tube for easier adjustment of the Cane Creek AngleSet that ships with the bike. UK price is £2,499 for the frame and a Cane Creek Double Barrel shock. US RRP is $2,999.
We're told that a new version of the 951 downhill bike is also on its way, which will come in slightly cheaper than the current model (£2,099 including Fox RC2 shock) thanks to a tweaked down tube and a switch to fixed dropouts.