The evolution of cycling tech continues, pushing boundaries and making bikes lighter and faster! Constant innovation, new designs, little tweaks here and there… all in a day’s work for top bicycle brands. This week we take a look at two tech innovations which were on show during last week’s XCO MTB World Cup Nové Město.
Nové Město produced a superb weekend of MTB Cup racing from the XCC race on Friday evening to the tightly contested elite mens and womens XCO races on Sunday. It’s strange to think that we won’t be tuning into Red Bull TV this weekend for our weekly fix of MTB racing! If you missed last weekend’s action you can read about it here.
Right, back to the Tech.
Last weekend saw the release of the much awaited Shimano response to the Sram Eagle groupset. It definitely took a while, but good things take time.
So what’s the verdict of the new XTR 9100/9120? Shimano now hold the “title” for the cassette with the widest range thanks to their new 10-51T cassette, but how does it fair performance wise…Time will tell, but initial reviews suggest that it’s a game changer. When Sram first designed their XX1 drive chains they launched it with a newly designed free hub body to make space for the 10T. This free hub body was then adopted by the majority of wheel manufactures, but Shimano didn’t follow suit. This has changed with the launch of the new XTR M9100/9120, with Shimano opting to adopt this “new” free hub design. Read more about it in the Cycling Tips review of the Groupset.
There are a number of new additions and firsts for Shimano with this latest MTB release. From new hubs (wonder if they still make a noise), a direct mount (goodbye to the the spider), new chain, and most notably the first brand on the MTB scene to offer a 2 by 12 drivetrain… Could this be the ideal weapon to tackle your next MTB stage race!
Here are a few articles which offer detailed reviews. By all accounts it seems to be an awesome drivetrain.
Another new piece of tech on the start line last weekend was the luminescent yellow bar on Nino Schurter’s Scott. It’s official name “Fraser iC SL Special Edition bar”. It definitely made Nino’s bike look like a rocketship and while we have seen bars like these on the road cycling scene, this was a first on the MTB track!
The Fraser iC SL Special Edition bar essentially integrates the stem and the handlebar, making it lighter and stiffer. Will we be seeing more bars like this on mountain bikes? We wouldn’t bet against it and it’s going to be interesting to see if other brands follow suit when riders line up for in the next MTB XCO World Cup in a little over a month.
The innovation in the bar design shows how bicycle components are becoming more integrated and lighter. Read a bit more about the bar in these articles.
We love new tech, especially when its related to bikes!
So tag us on social media or send us some of the latest tech that you have been reading about or testing out on your bike.