Three Giants, a Cannondale, a Marin, a GT and few other quirky ones.
Three models from Giant, who look set to have a great 2017. Sneak peaks at a Cannondale and a GT. A bargain bouncer from Marin. Also some quirky bikes from Rose, Bold and Corratec.
2017 Giant Trance
Boosted, long metric shock, longer reach, shorter stays, lower BB, bit more travel.
Giant’s venerable trail bike gets a few updates for 2017. The most obvious and significant of which is the new Metric shock with trunnion mount.
This uses a similar direct connection, between the new, moulded carbon rocker link and the shock, to that used by Trek’s Remedy and allows for the use of a longer stroke to help improve grip, as well as providing a sturdier mounting solution.
Compared to the previous Trance, top tubes have grown 10mm, chainstays have shrunk 5mm and the bottom bracket has been lowered 5mm. The frame and fork is Boosted, too, and fork travel goes up 10mm to 150mm (rear travel remains at 140mm).
2017 Giant Anthem
Everything applied to the Trance has been cut and pasted onto the racy Anthem.
So the geometry gets tweaked with the aforementioned longer top tube, along with a slightly slacker head angle (-0.5º, now 67.5º).
The suspension is updated with the new trunnion mount shock and carbon link, and travel held at 110mm at the rear, with a choice of either 120mm, or 130mm on the SX version, up front.
2017 Liv Hail
Not even a hint of pink or purple anywhere to be seen, let alone a rose petal or a swirling ivy stem. Bravo Liv!
Giant’s women-specific brand, Liv, has revealed a new addition to its range; the 160mm travel Hail
It’s a completely standalone model in its own right, too, with bespoke geometry including a shorter reach, lower standover and reduced weight compared to the men’s models.
Talking of which, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that what you’re basically looking at is the updated Reign, scheduled (we’re guessing) to be released next year.
So, expect the new trunnion mount Metric shock bolted to the pressure-moulded, carbon rocker link – that’s claimed to be half the weight of the old aluminium one. The trunnion mount allows Giant to use a longer stroke shock, which reduces the leverage ratio and improves suspension sensitivity.
We also anticipate slightly shorter chainstays, a marginally lower bottom bracket, and maybe even top tubes that are a hair longer, when the revamped Reign eventually breaks cover.
Bold Cycles Linkin
The Julien Assange of frame design, Swiss brand Bold squirrels its shock away in hiding within the seat tube.
The result is a frame that’s cleaner than a stream on the Matterhorn and a shock that’s protected from whatever Mother Nature can throw at it.
To actuate the shock, the upper link – tying the seatstays to the seat tube – connects via splines to a lever within the frame (see pic below). It’s neat, it’s compact and, as you’d expect from a Swiss company, beautifully precision-engineered.
Until now, there was just one frame; the 130mm travel Linkin Trail, but Bold has just released this, the new Linkin Trail Long Travel. This gets 154mm of rear travel and your choice of either a 150mm or 160mm travel fork allied to 29in or 27.5 Plus wheels.
Drawbacks? Well, setting up the shock is definitely more involved. You have to remove the down tube cover and open up the sag window on the seat tube. Then you have to climb aboard the bike and align a custom protractor with a marking on the shock lever. Effectively it’s a two-man job, and you need to be pretty motivated to tinker with the settings on a ride.
Also, the only shock option is a DT Swiss, which is nowhere near as lively and supple as modern alternatives from RockShox and Fox.
Corratec XTB 175
The most eye-catching element of Corratec’s new enduro bike is not the bright orange paint, but the Inside Link 10HZ rubber shock mount.
Inspired by the rubber suspension bushings on cars and motorcycles, Corratec has designed an isolating mount that, it claims, eliminates vibrations at frequencies that shocks can’t handle.
The result, according to its engineers, is better grip, faster response over square-edge hits and a more harmonious relationship between the shock and the fork.
It’s made from a material called Microcellular Ductile Urethane, which boasts good energy absorption properties as well as resistance to deformation.
Rose Root Miller
Mo’ travel, longer, slacker, still-weird name. NEW WHEEL SIZE ALERT!
Direct-sales brand, Rose, has revamped its 29er trail bike for 2017. The Root Miller gets 10mm more travel, a slacker head angle and longer reach, but keeps its rather surreal name.
Specifically, the new model gets 140mm travel at the rear and top tube lengths have grown by 15mm. This has allowed Rose to fit 10mm shorter stems. A 1.5º slacker head angle joins the party (claimed 67º), and the adoption of Boost hubs means the Root now plays with both 29in and 27.5 Plus wheels.
In fact, one of the bikes on show was sporting 29×2.6in Schwalbe Hans Dampf tyres, which is a new size on us, and carves out yet another new tyre size niche somewhere between regular 29in and 29 Plus.
Rose plans on selling the bike with both sets of wheels, so you can swap, or even mix-and-match (29in front, 27.5in back if you’re feeling crazy). And, best of all, you can start every descent with the battle cry “it’s Miller time!”
Cannondale Bad Habit carbon
The Habit goes Plus.
“With Habit’s great handling and the huge grip and roll-over-anything float of 27+ tyres, Bad Habit is the ultimate technical trail machine.
“Super short chainstays for awesomely nimble handling, and tons of clearance for full 3.0 tyres, thanks to our Ai offset drivetrain.
“Wide 148×12 rear hubs with Ai’s symmetrical spoke angles and tension, give Bad Habit the stiffest, strongest rear wheels going.
“OutFront Steering Geometry is perfect for 27+. Slack stability lets you hang it out on the descents, while the Lefty’s long fork offset keeps the steering quick and light at slow speeds.
“The unreal traction of 27+ tyres puts unreal forces on your fork. Nothing stands up to it like Lefty. Precise steering, flex-free handling and smooth suspension even under the most brutal loads.”
Made to let the good times roll… over everything.
GT describe it thus…
“Progressive Geometry provides a longer Front Centre for better balance, better climbing traction, and dialed-in descending control.
“120mm suspension fork, combined with Plus tyres, can take on the rooty, rocky obstacles thrown its way. 27.5+ Wheels for increased traction and stability.
“GT’s newest addition to the mountain line-up is the Pantera 27.5”+ fitted with oversized 2.8 Schwalbe tyres that are ready to tackle every type of terrain you can throw their way. The increased traction and grip gives cornering and pedalling control riders need to crush almost any conditions, putting their skills at centre stage.”
Marin Hawk Hill
£1k full bounce squares up to Calibres and Boardmans.
Developed with the input of ex-4X star, Eric Carter, the £1,100 Hawk Hill gets a butted 6061 aluminium frame and 27.5in wheels, shod with decent Schwalbe Hans Dampf tyres.
Suspension duties are handled by an X-Fusion 02 Pro R shock and RockShox Recon Silver RL fork with tapered aluminium steerer and 15mm thru-axle, giving 120mm of travel front and rear.
There’s provision for an internal dropper post and you can upgrade to a 12x142mm thru-axle at a later date.