However, there was still much to talk about, such as the increased selection of tubeless tires and suspension systems that lock out for better climbing. Here is a review of some of the show's highlights in the off-road market.
What a difference a year makes
It's been a year since Mavic (www.mavic.com) introduced the UST Tubeless system. And now that their hold on the technology is over, other manufacturers are diving into the market. We've already started to see actual product from companies in the tubeless segment. Many in the tire/rim portion of the industry seem involved in some level of tubeless development. Here are two companies that seem ahead of the curve.
Rolf Wheels (www.rolfwheels.com) has designed a wheel to be compatible with any tire that relies on traditional mountain bike rim dimensions UST tubeless or standard tube/tire setup. Rolf brings its paired-spoke design to the tubeless market by using a special rim strip to seal the rim. In contrast to Mavic's FORE rim and spoke system, the Rolf design allows the wheels to be built using more conventional techniques, making them easier to manufacture and ultimately helping to keep the price down.
Specialized (www.specialized.com) also has fully embraced tubeless technology. Working with the UST standard, it plans a line of 10 tubeless tires for next year, including one new tread pattern known as the Roll Model that weighs only 550 grams, designed specifically for use at the lower pressures that tubeless technology enables.
Hurtling through the rocks and trees of Vancouver's North Shore. Sliding and soaring over the sticky red rock of Moab. Winning the first-ever Dual Slalom World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain, May 2000. Whatever the landscape, Psylo RockShox's (www.rockshox.com) new suspension fork knows no limits.
You'll find that Psylo sets the standard for extreme performance at amazingly light weight. This innovative design delivers great handling and a smooth 80-125 millimeters of controlled travel. With all models, you can change the setup for any type of terrain. Choose Psylo Race for its ultra-light dual-air big-hit performance; SL with coil spring and Climb-It-Control for the freest free ride; or Psylo XC with Vari-Travel for the ultimate enduro.
The Climb-It Control lever is located within easy reach on the top of the right fork leg. Within a 180-degree sweep of the lever, compression damping can be dialed from fully open to completely locked out for sprints or long climbs. When locked out, an automatic blow-off valve allows the fork to compress for unexpected big hits.
Hydrate or die
CamelBak (www.camelbak.com) was not only the original hydration system, but they continue to be the market leader because of product design in the areas of fluid delivery, fit, reservoir design and comfort. The new 2001 H.A.W.G. (Holds A lot of Water and Gear) has long been a favorite pack with the off-road cyclists on long rides because you can carry 100 ounces of water and lots of gear.
The newly designed HAWG can hold 1,200 cubic inches of gear and clothes. Even with full of water and gear, it is super stable on the back and comfortable for hours. Some of CamelBaks other 2001 models offer a new OMEGA Access Port that allows you fill the reservoir with ice cubes and fill it faster.
Handbuilt in Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Twenty years ago Kent Erikson of Moots Cycles (www.moots.com) decided to start building bike frames because he couldn't buy what he really needed a bike to ride the trail that led up to his home ... a treehouse in the woods.
Thirteen years ago Moots produced its first softtail (a steel YBB) bike to give a little more comfort on those long rides.
Ten years ago titanium became the material for Moots frames because of its perfect characteristics for pivotless YBB suspension. Today what you see is the culmination of 20 years of perfecting the art, science and craft of building the ultimate bike frames with the introduction of the Smoothie frame.
The Smoothie has 3 inches of rear wheel travel with a pure cross-country geometry. Designed using the same principles of the "Matched Arc" design, the Smoothie has no pivot at the dropout yet delivers fully active suspension with no pedal induced bobbing. The Fox Float RC offers excellent adjustment and a lockout feature for long climbs.
Edmund R. Burke, Ph.D. is professor and director of the Exercise Science Program at the University of Colorado. He served as coordinator of sports sciences for the U.S. Cycling Team leading up to the Olympic Games in 1996 and was a staff member for the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Cycling Teams.