Photokina 2014 highlights

Mountain Bikes

A cut-away view of a Procore-equipped tubeless tire

Back in February, we heard about a prototype Schwalbe mountain bike tire system that used a dual-chamber setup to both increase traction and minimize flats. The design has since been refined, and the commercial version of the product was officially unveiled last month. It’s called Procore, and we had a chance to see how it works at Interbike 2014.  Read More

Gregory Zielinski with his Nuseti prototype

Much as mountain bike technology has advanced since the days of friction shifting and elastomer shocks, most MTBs are still equipped with dangling, fragile rear derailleurs and dirty chains. Switching to a belt drive or a hub transmission are a couple of options, but Polish mountain biking medalist Gregory Zielinski has created another. His Nuseti bike features what he calls the Inner Drive System (IDS) – a 16-speed planetary gearbox that's incorporated into the bottom bracket, and a chain that's enclosed within the frame.  Read More

The system's SC-M9050 Display Unit

In 2009 Shimano brought electronic gear-shifting to road bikes, in the form of its Dura-Ace Di2 group. The slightly-less-pricey Ultegra Di2 system followed, although it was still aimed at roadies. Today, however, the company announced the upcoming release of XTR M9050 Di2, which will allow mountain bikers to swap their derailleur cables for electrical wiring.  Read More

The Cavalerie Anakin enduro bike

Dirty, noisy chains and dirty, fragile rear derailleurs are two features of modern mountain bikes that could certainly stand to be made obsolete. Well, the Cavalerie line of full-suspension MTBs does away with both, replacing them with a Gates Carbon belt drive and an Effigear gearbox. Launched last year in its native France, Cavalerie is about to get a boost in profile, as it commences distribution in North America.  Read More

The design of the Rungu was inspired by trying to transport surfboards across the sand

With their huge, soft tires that allow them to "float" over snow and sand, fatbikes have experienced a surge in popularity over the past few years. Last December, British adventurer Maria Leijerstam took things a step further, using a custom fat trike to ride to the South Pole. Now, California-based Standard Bearer Machines is offering a fat-trike of its own, known as the Rungu.  Read More

The DURT mountain bike from Connor Wood Bicycles

Wooden-framed bikes are things of undeniable beauty, but they're also highly prized for their smooth ride capabilities. At the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, Chris Connor of Denver-based Connor Wood Bicycles introduced us to a new mountain bike named DURT, that's had sections of the steam-bent, locally-sourced reclaimed wooden frame reinforced with Kevlar for a gorgeous combination of strength, beauty and performance.  Read More

A close view of Cycle Monkey's wacky dual-chained drive train

Of all the things that cause wear, tear and noise on a mountain bike, chain slap is certainly one of the most annoying. As its name implies, it occurs when rough terrain causes the chain to be flung up and down, slapping against the chainstay as it does so. While there are things that can be done to minimize it, California-based Cycle Monkey has taken a unique approach – the company has helped to design the one-of-a-kind Battleaxe mountain bike, that features a unique chain slap-unfriendly drive train.  Read More

A prototype of the system, with its wacky two valve stems

So, you've upgraded your mountain bike's clincher tires to tubeless, and now you figure you're all up-to-date and on the cutting edge, right? Well, perhaps not for much longer. German tire-maker Schwalbe and bike parts manufacturer Syntace have developed a tubeless dual-chamber tire and wheel system, that they claim should offer better performance than your current old-school single-chamber tires.  Read More

The MX-6 Evo mountain bike, sporting its 3D-printed titanium frame

When it comes to a high strength-to-weight ratio, titanium is just about the best material out there for manufacturing bicycle frames. Unfortunately, those frames are also quite expensive. They could be about to come down in price, however – two British companies recently teamed up to create the world's first 3D-printed titanium bike frame.  Read More

The Shoretrax system in use

Although people all over the world enjoy mountain biking, not everyone has year-round access to decent trails. That's why a group of British cyclists invented the Shoretrax modular track system. It ships flat-packed in the back of a truck, and can be assembled into different configurations on the spot.  Read More

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