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Interbike 2006 Preview

We can hardly believe it’s “that time of year” again, but low and behold, we’re already getting showered with 2007 product, and have a good taste of what to expect at the ‘big show’ later this month.

We’ve been shipping 2007 Fox Forx since early June and have finally seen every model including the elusive 32 Float X, which has just arrived. The ’07 lineup is both beautiful and functional, making it easy to understand why Fox has positioned itself as the industry leader in suspension forks. However, because of struggles with production, Fox had to abandon the ProTune adjustment on its X-series forks. The end result: the classic Terralogic inertia valve technology found a home in the new casting.

We recognize that many of you already have frames that you’re extremely happy with, but might like to drape some new jewels on it, so we’ve introduced our custom Build Kit Calculator which allows you to customize the frame you’ve got at a savings. You’ll see the same great selection of top-quality parts offered in our kit calculator.

Certainly, the talk of this year, and rightfully so, has been the new XTR 970 series components. At the core of the XTR group is the new WH-M975 wheelset: a scandium UST ready rim, red alloy nipples and a new lacing pattern result in an incredibly sexy 1525g wheelset with improved lateral rigidity. The M975’s titanium freehub engages with trigger-like responsiveness, better than twice as fast as the previous design. The M970 series also marks the introduction of Rapidfire Plus shifters. Termed “Plus” because they can be actuated with either all thumb action or thumb/index combination—the top lever swings both ways. This, of course, necessitated Shimano’s re-introduction of the perfect mate—an XTR top-normal rear derailleur, which has designed to be both incredibly lightweight, and mud-shedding by virtue of the “X” brace design. Crisp shifts have long been a staple of an XTR drivetrain and the new XTR crankset drives this point home. The two-piece design provides stiffness and a new nickel-plated outer chainring and carbon/titanium middle ring help the already lightweight cranks shave another 50 grams. We’ve got XTR 970 configured in our kit and custom build kit calculators now—with the exception of a few bits trickling in, we expect stock to arrive in November. If you’ve gotta have it now, we’ve just landed our stock of Titus Racer X Limited bikes dripping with XTR goodies!

While Turner won’t be exhibiting at the big show, they’ve partnered with Maxxis at the Dirt Demo, and plan to bring over 60 demo bikes. You can expect to see all the usual suspects — Nitrous, Flux, Five Spot, etc., but trust us when we tell you DT has a few tricks up his sleeve including a new laser-cut, stainless steel headbadge displaying the Turner “T” logo—yes, it’s retro-fittable, and we’ll have them in stock soon.

One of them being the new Turner Sultan, the long-awaited 29er. The Sultan is reminiscent of the ever-popular Flux as it features 4” travel, but its geometry has been tweaked to optimize the performance with 29” wheels. It will naturally feature the wealth of tire clearance we’ve come to love of all our Turners, leaving options to run any 29er tire on the market. It will be available in 17, 19, 21 and 23” frame sizes, come stock with a Fox Float RP23, and tip the scales at around 6.25 for a 19. We expect to take delivery on our first stock shortly before Christmas. Can’t wait, Dave!

Speaking of 29ers, Intense has garnered much attention in this genre with the hype surrounding the Intense Spider 29er, due to arrive any day (Mediums). The Large and XL sizes are expected shortly after Interbike. Intense/Easton proprietary tubing is to blame for the delays, but we expect the end result to be well worth it. Also due anytime is the Intense Socom. We caught our first glimpse of what would become the Socom at Sea Otter, with the bike they were then calling the S.O.S., which appeared to mate an Uzzi rear swingarm to a 6.6 front triangle with some customization of course. The Socom, part of the FRO (For Race Only) series from Intense, has now morphed into a lightweight DH machine, ideal for the wide open UCI courses. Geometry will be strikingly similar to the M3 while shedding some serious weight to attain its lean 8.25 lb figure. It will feature a 1.5 head tube, 135 or 150 spacing, and a 73mm bottom bracket shell. Shock options will likely be Manitou Revox Ti, Fox DHX 5.0, or Manitou 6 Way Coil.

Intense will also introduce the Spider FRO at Interbike. Like most Intense projects, we’ve been watching this develop on MTBR for some time now. Contrary to some rumors, the bike will not be called the Carbine—this was just a product of Jeff testing some decals for the Intense road bikes of the same name. This frame will be much like the Spider that we all know and love, but on a serious diet. No word yet on official weights, but we’ve heard whispers of around 5 pounds or better. As Intense is shaving weight wherever possible, this is designed to be a race bike, for use on race day or the occasional serious training ride. We’ll keep you posted when we start to hear delivery dates.

Sherwood and Teresa at Ventana have been hard at work. They expect to unveil four new mountain frames at Interbike: El Ciclón, a 5” trail bike set to replace the X-5; El Terremoto 6.0, a burly 6” travel all-mountain machine; La Bruja returns after a brief hiatus, mating the X-brace design to a 7” platform to create a monster freeride bike; and, El Patrón, a lightweight, race-ready, 3” travel 29er that takes a page from El Fuego. Pricing and geometry should be available around Interbike. Rest assured we’ll have all the good info on the site as soon as we get our hands on it.

SRAM has an arsenal of ’07 products hitting the market. Its X-9 group will be the beneficiary of “trickle-down” technology, as it, especially with the trigger shifters, take on many of the features of the wildly successful X.0 group. Avid has introduced the XC inspired Avid Juicy Ultimate and all-mountain inspired Avid Code brakes, featuring premium performance and modulation—each should be available in late September. We’re also anxiously awaiting the Rock Shox Lyrik single crown forks, expected to challenge the dominant Fox 36 market share with their reported sub 5.5 weight and travel adjust features.

We’ll be heading to Dirt Demo and Interbike to check out all the new goodies, so be sure to check back as we’ll have the full report!