The tradeshow season has started, and there’s one thing that’s looking like being the dominant product, it’s the Extreme XC bike.
As the pedulum of fashion swings, first ultra-light, then full suspension… it’s now settling over the extreme hardtail bikes.
These bikes have come to the fore through groups like the North Shore riders in Vancouver, who have been riding XC, but in a unique sort of way. They took hardtail framesets and fitted them with four or five inch travel forks, disc brakes, and jumped off bridges that they’d built in the trees.
Check out http://www.pinkbike.com for an idea of what it’s about.
These are examples of Extreme bikes already around though. It’s not a new concept, just one that is being accentuated and pushed more.
Cove are a tiny bikeshop in Vancouver, and yet in conjunction with a local builder, and thanks to the hardcore riders that populate the area, their Stiffee frameset is one of the best around for extreme riding. It’s a razor-sharp precision. Turning like a fast thing turning around fast. These are rare beasts in this country, but worth looking for.
Planet X brought the hardtail jump frame to the UK, with them spotting the scene coming in the US. In France the Jack Flash isn’t ridden by spotty oiks doing jumps, but by riders who ride them up hills too! The new Easton RAD Jack Flash is a lightweight twist on the frameset, and according to sources, Planet X are working on something even better for riders who want to go up and come down fast!
Rocky Mountain have a good heritage in making hardcore bikes, and their Reaper model shown here fits the bill well. Canadian companies have got the drop on a lot of brands on this one, and they’ll probably come to the front in the next year or so. Expect bikes from Vancouver buddies Kona too.