Featuring the unique twin-shock design on all three of their bikes, 2stage bikes cater for Downhill, Freeride and the monster market of All Mountain which is sweeping the mountain bike scene at the moment.
Hailing from New Zealand, 2stage bikes are a relatively new company whose four years of R&D has seen them produce these innovative bikes. The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted the twin-shocked bikes at Fort William recently, and the true bike fans will have seen them at last year’s Cycle show at Earls Court.
Unlike other twin-shock bikes, the 2stage system is designed around efficiency. The first shock is your small bump shock, and the secondary shock is for big hits. But that’s not all.
The configuration of the suspension design is essentially a single pivot with another one on top. The lower pivot is tamed by an idler wheel, which means when pedalling the lower shock is locked out, effectively making the bike a short travel rig. You really notice this when pedalling hard, a common thing in UK downhilling.
The secondary shock kicks in on bigger hits, but there is no noticeable transition between the two - a sign of great design. The other big thing is how well balanced the bike feels. The rearward axle path follows the fork’s natural action, making the bike want to lunge forward on square edge hits.
The 2Stage Elite 9 model
Heading the range is the Elite 9 model - their downhill masterpiece which features 9in of travel and retails for under £3900 complete - with a very competitive spec that’s ready to race. MBUK will be roasting one of these bikes soon, so keep an eye out there and on the MBUK blog.
As well as this flagship bike, there are the Zed8 Freeride bike which should be a huge target for the UK market with a frame pricing of under £1500, 8in of travel and a 1.5in headtube to accommodate forks like the Rockshox Totem.
Unfortunately we haven't yet seen the Am8 all Mountain bike, which will be a seriously attractive bike for the UK. Just think what the twin-shock system allows: a 4in travel bike uphill, and an 8in travel monster downhill. It sounds so fast that we wonder if it will even be safe to ride! We reckon it’s going to be the All Mountain ride for 2009, so keep your eyes peeled in MBUK magazine for all the gory details.
In the meantime, check out www.2stagebikes.com for further details.