Dirt Demo Day 2
The word is that in 2011 the Outdoor Demo portion of Interbike will feature riding that is entirely XC! Not there is nothing wrong with XC riding. I enjoy riding that traverses the country with an X, but what in jeebus’ name will we do if we are testing downhill bikes? Everyone I have spoken to about the Interbike change, from Vegas to Anaheim and from September to August, is scratching their heads. But enough ranting (well – almost enough). Thankfully today and yesterday we were enjoying 2011 rides on the sweet trails at Bootleg Canyon. Here are some informations regarding those bicycles.
Seb Kemp schralping the new Devinci Wilson. Photo ~ David Ferguson
Devinci’s new Wilson platform was generating buzz out in the desert. It’s one of the first bikes to use Dave Weagle’s Split Pivot platform, based on a rear pivot that is concentric with the rear axle. A linkage drives the shock and the main pivot is concentric with the bottom bracket – a move that Dave says addresses practical concerns rather than providing a performance benefit. It allows the shock to be placed lower in the chassis while reducing weight.
Unfortunately buddy’s hand is blocking the Split Pivot portion of this frame – but we’ll try and get more photos once we get into the Sands. Take our word for it though; that’s where it pivots. Photo ~ David Ferguson
In DW’s own words “Split Pivot performs like a single pivot in terms of acceleration but it brakes like it has a floating caliper.” Aside from Devinci you’ll see Split Pivot on Morewood, Spooky and Seven Cycles who are known for custom frames.
We didn’t spend much time on the Wilson, and we plan to spend some more time on it Shoreside, but one thing I noticed was that when I did a small drop, the saddle buzzed the rear tire. The bike was undersprung for me but it still annoys me when that is possible. DH racer types who run their saddle higher may not experience this but the post wasn’t slammed on the bike we rode. I did talk to Scott Pilecki of Steed Cycles in North Van and he said the Wilson eats up rough trails like a trucker at a Vegas buffet.
The 2011 Norco Range was playful and agile on faster terrain but it loved to eat up the steep and rough as well. Photo ~ David Ferguson
The Norco Range is the replacement of the Fluid LT. I’ve never liked the LT moniker because it seems like an afterthought – so it’s nice that Norco gave this bike a name of its own. Stuart Kernaghan attended the Norco launch this summer and you can find Range details in his article here. I’d like to focus on how the Range rode… on the range.
I wasn’t surprised to like the Norco Range – but I didn’t expect to like it so damn much. Photo ~ David Ferguson
The first thing I noticed was how agile and playful the Range is. The active and responsive rear suspension made me want to hop the bike over obstacles and get in the air whenever possible. That coupled with the laidback 66.5 degree headtube made this bike a wickedly-fun descender. I rode it down some of the burlier terrain out at Bootleg and the Range barely broke a sweat. This bike would be an optimal North Shore pedaller – while also being more than up for a Chilcotin epic or an adventure race, because it’s light and it pedals very well. I was impressed with the Range and I’d like to spend more time on one.
Shimano’s Dynasys may have a name that 1984 wants back – but it’s got 10 speeds that work sweetly together in the rear. At least that’s been my experience thus far on the North Shore. With Dynasys you can do a new school 2 x 10, a 3 x 10 or a North Shore 2 x 10 with a bashguard and no big ring. Norco is rolling with a new rear suspension tweak called A.R.T. (Advanced Ride Technology) which, as Norco tells us, improves the axle path to better absorb bumps with edges that are square. Photo ~ David Ferguson
This morning, on day 2 of the Dirt Demo, we all got dh bikes and headed to the cattle truck for a shuttle to the top. As I stood in the queue I realized that I saw very few dual crown forks. There were Stumpjumpers, 29ers, hardtails – all manner of light easy-to-pedal bicycles being loaded onto the truck. These were supposed to be retailers evaluating bikes for their customers and yet they weren’t going to put the effort into finding out if the bikes could climb. I asked a couple of people why they were shuttling and one woman – who to her credit answered truthfully – said she was just lazy while another dude said “who wants to climb when it’s 100 degrees out?” The shuttle was busy and there was always a line up so it’s pretty lame to have it taken up with lycra-wearing poseurs who are too lazy to climb! /rant2.
This will be a moot point next year because, as mentioned above, the word is that the riding area chosen near Anaheim is XC only. Hopefully this would mean no shuttles required.
I’ll leave you with some random images from the Demo.
Darcy Turenne becomes the meat in a bad boy sandwich with Seb and Fergs. Photo ~ Cam McRae
The days of Chris King being slow to respond to changing standards appear to be over. You can now get just about every tapered/zero stack combo you’d like from CK. So far these combos are black only from what we heard. Photo ~ Cam McRae
Their slogan is ‘become the most powerful gay in the village with Quercetin.’ Seb would love to meet the marketing genius who named this mysterious potion. Photo ~ Cam McRae
Seb poses with the Ellsworth girls. Apparently Tony Ellsworth won’t let you pee in his home because of his religious beliefs (according to hbcutthecourse) – but he’ll happily hire these young ladies to promote his bicycles. That is Christie on the left and Starry on the right. Photo ~ Cam McRae
“I’m pretty sure one of them just farted…oh wait, there it is, it smells of perfumed sin” Photo ~ Cam McRae
Feel free to suggest alternate captions, ask pertinent questions – or rant about ranting here…