Giant Bicycles are to bring the new OverDrive 2 front end, introduced at their road product launch last month, to mountain bikes for 2012, as well. The off-road version uses the same tapered head tube found on their current current mountain bikes, but with a new oversized, tapered steerer tube designed to work with 1¼in top and 1½in bottom bearing sizes.
The company say the bigger steerer tube gives up to 30 percent more torsional steering stiffness than the original 1⅛-1½in OverDrive system, resulting in sharper handling and improved cornering capabilities. Giant will offer a full range of new 1¼in stems to work with the OverDrive 2 design.
It’s been developed as an open standard – meaning any company is free to use it – in conjunction with major suspension manufacturers including Fox Racing Shox, Marzocchi and RockShox. OverDrive 2 is included on a number of Giant’s 2012 cross-country, trail and all-mountain bikes. It can be adapted to fit current Giant models with tapered head tubes, but this involves swapping out the top bearing, headset cup, spacers, stem and fork.
“We were able to really boost front-end stiffness without adding weight,” said Kevin Dana, Giant’s global mountain bike category manager. “The best part is it allowed us to noticeably improve handling in a variety of bikes made for different types of terrain. From the most weight-conscious cross-country racers to aggressive all-mountain, everyone benefits from a bike that corners better and tracks truer through rough terrain.”
OverDrive 2 is said to add roughly 5g compared to the current OverDrive system. It’ll be limited to alloy steerer tubes from the mentioned manufacturers; there are no plans to offer Fox’s titanium or RockShox’s carbon steerers in the new 1¼in to 1½in taper. The system will be found on select 2012 models from the following ranges: XtC Composite, Anthem X 29er, Anthem X Advanced SL, Anthem X Advanced, Anthem X, Trance X Advanced SL, Trance X Advanced, Trance X, Reign X, Reign and Faith.
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