There was plenty of new mountain bike gear on display at Eurobike, even if the show did have a road feel to it.
Here we take a look at the new offerings from GT, Mongoose, Ellsworth, Santa Cruz, Scott and Kona.
The all carbon Marathon looks to be one of a number of standout new bikes from GT. As the name suggests it’s aimed at marathon and enduro riders, and is essentially a carbon version of the i-Drive XC. Complete with a carbon swingarm claimed to be 200g lighter than the alloy one on the XC, GT reckon it’s stiffer too. There are two versions: the Team and the Pro; in the UK these will sell for £3999 and £2499 respectively and you get either full a Shimano XTR or full XT groupset for your money.
This year’s GT range was hailed by many observers as their best in over 10 years. All the GT elements were there: Triple Triangle frame designs (this time in carbon); i-Drive suspension platform, a system much refined and tweaked over the years but which undeniably works; and Zaskars. We’ve already shown you the 20th anniversary limited edition Zaskar re-issue but the all-new carbon version of the legendary hardtail complete with Triple Triangle definitely deserves a mention too. In the UK expect to pay £3299 for the top of the range Carbon Team with full XTR.
Other new GTs for 2008 were the all mountain Sanction and the Force, the Sanction is basically the burlier gusseted version of the Force.
That trademark Triple Triangle in carbon
Here’s a women-specific version of Mongoose’s Teocali Elite in a not too girly two-tone blue. The main difference over the standard model is the shorter top tube length which will suit women with longer legs and shorter bodies – that’s by no means every woman who wants to hit the trail, those with different proportions will probably be better off with the standard model. The frame is 6061 aluminium matched to a Marzocchi XC 600 fork, giving 140mm of travel and a Fox RP2 Air Shock. Drivetrain is a mixture of Shimano Deore for the front mech and crankset with a SRAM X-9 rear mech and SRAM X-7 shifters. Wheels are WTB Speed Discs, and Hayes Stroker Trail discs take care of stopping.
Among other US bikes to catch our eye were this titanium Ellsworth Oracle. We’ve already admired the new Merlin Works 4.0, which features a back end licensed from Ellsworth. Here Merlin return the favour by supplying the Oracle’s front end, which some ill informed people might assume makes them pretty much the same bike.
Last year this show was awash with orange coloured bikes, they obviously didn’t sell because this year there were virtually none.
Except for this Santa Cruz, which was actually more interesting for its eccentric bottom bracket (new for 2008) which allows you to run it as a singlespeed without horizontal droupouts, this new flexibility comes at the price of a small weight penalty.
Okay, Scott USA may not really be from the USA, in fact they probably had one of the shorter trips to Eurobike, but hey, they undeniably produce a very purposeful looking race bike.
This one belongs to mountain bike race legend Thomas Frischknecht. It’s a Spark Ltd with an integrated carbon seat post; also check out Scott’s prototype carbon rims -and those are tubular, not clincher tyres.
A touch of Magic from Kona – automatic geometry adjustment courtesy of their new Magic Link suspension. The idea is to eliminate any bobbing from the rear end – Kona have already gone part way to achieving this with their DOPE braking arm, and this is the next step. Instead of the chainstay’s pivot point being on the frame, the stays now extend to a point above and in front of the bottom bracket, where they attach to the Magic Link. This attaches to the bottom of the shock where it becomes the lower shock mount; an auxiliary spring and rod arrangement adds stability. So when you ride up hill the Magic Link moves forward, activated by rider weight and steepens the angles; going down it moves back, slackening them.
It’s only available on Kona’s Coilair Deluxe, we haven’t ridden one yet, but our name is on the list.
© BikeRadar 2007