Tech scoops at mountain bike World's in Italy

Stuff from Specialized, SRAM, and GEAX

The UCI Mountain Bike World Championships are always a great place to spot new tech action, because the riders will do virtually anything to their bikes if it means getting the win.

Remember that new Specialized Epic for 2009 we told you about six weeks ago? Well, it’s here in Italy begging to be unveiled. Unfortunately the full bike remained under a blanket and with no wind to dislodge it we will have to wait until Sunday for its full unveiling. It is then that Christoph Sauser will ride the bike for the first public viewing.  

What we can confirm for sure though is that the newly-designed Epic this weekend comes with the latest 2009 Magura Marta SL brakes, which rival the Hope Mono Mini Pro nudging the 300 gram barrier and the fork is a 100mm Specialized own-brand affair in red with rainbow stripes. The fork crown is F.A.C.T. carbon and we suspect the steerer is 1.5-inch at the crown, more than likely with a stepdown to the standard 1 1/8-inch at the stem.

While on the subject of forks, RockShox has also released a new world-beater, the BlackBox SID World Cup. This fork, not available on the market uses a brand-new carbon crown and steerer, similar to those on Reba World Cups and was spotted on Julien Absalon’s Orbea.

Something else that we have shots of, also found on Absalon’s bike are new Avid Juicy Ultimate brakes. Dubbed the SL Mag, this update of the Ultimate shaves 70grams per pair, just as Avid were feeling the pressure from Hope and Magura who make brakes considerably lighter.

The new design features a similar lever with all the changes in the caliper. The two-piece unit is held together with ti bolts and does away with the old pad retention system, instead using a pin and circlip design directly holding the pads and creating a lot more mud clearance than on previous Juicy brakes – a problem that in the past has led to speedy pad wear.

Other tech tidbits included GEAX going tubular in a response to a lot of the top riders opting for the new system, Absalon running a SRAM Red front derailleur set up with a duo chainring combination of 30 and 42 teeth and finally the GT team truck getting the ultimate upgrade – a disco ball! 

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