Corsair Maelstrom High Pivot Idler NSMB NRG Co UK.jpg
EDITORIAL

Corsair Was High Pivot AND Pedaling, In 2007

Words Andrew Major
Photos As Noted
Date Jun 30, 2021
Reading time

Idling High Pivots

Balfa BB7 this, Brooklyn Machine Works that... The only reason I know the Devinci Big Bang isn't vapourware is that I saw one in 1999. It doesn't look anything like the HPSP (high pivot, split pivot) bikes they're teasing today. Lahar earns shout-outs, the Zerode G-1 comes up, and there was even a BB7 before-and-after with the Nouveau Riche and Appalache Real. V-Process of course and then credit to Commencal for leading the comeback. Even a mention or two of the Dark Cycles Scarab. Great and interesting machines, all.

And do you know what every single one of those historic high pivot full-suspension bikes that has come up here-there-and-everywhere in the last week or so has in common? They're all DH rigs. And do you know what every bike they're being brought up in reference to - Cannondale Jekyl, Devinci Spartan HPSP, Norco Range, Forbidden Dreadnought, etc., has in common? They're all bikes intended to be pedaled back up to the top.

And it shits me to tears that obscure small-batch DH rigs get a nostalgic waxing while a true predecessor to the pedalable Enduro high pivot + idler bikes was readily available, to anyone who wanted to own one, back in 2007/2008. As far as I can tell it's basically gone unmentioned by anyone talking about these complicated new super-sleds. I am referring to the Corsair Maelstrom.

(Nb. Cover shot: NRG Cycles UK)

Corsair Maelstrom Bearings NSMB Sicklines 2.jpg

The Corsair Maelstrom looks complicated but just ignore the bottom bracket area for a moment. At its heart, it has a high single pivot for eating bumps and an idler pulley for isolating the drivetrain from the suspension. Photo: Sicklines

Corsair Maelstrom Bearings NSMB Sicklines 3.jpg

I know it's hard to visualize since the bottom bracket linkage and bearings are so massive, but here's the rear triangle on its own. The lower linkage pivots around the BB to drive the shock. Photo: Sicklines

Corsair Maelstrom

This was before clutch derailleurs, when 36t was a big-ass low-cog, and any bike marketed for pedaling had to work with a front derailleur. This was so long ago that 27" wheels were called 650B and 29'ers were only for XC racing. When beers from Granville Island Brewing were 'fancy' and Kokanee, Old Style, Bud, and Canadian were what mountain bikers drank. Heck, when Marzocchi forks and shocks were still being made in Italy, even! Way back in 2007, or so, there were two gents named Doug Stuart and Pablo Tafoya.

Anywhere you went that was a bicycle function, from Interbike to Crankworx, Doug and Pablo were there too. Pablo, the engineer & designer, would answer questions ad nauseum about how much drag the upper pulley created, and how the lower linkage drove the shock, and why the added complexity of the adjustable head tube angle. I remember vividly that Pablo had a relentless, absolutist, passion for his designs. I hope that whatever he's up to these days he gets some joy, credited or otherwise, seeing companies 'discover' what he was on about.

As co-owner, Doug's job was to bring to Corsair what most of the smaller designer-owned brands were missing - industry connections and experience. He was president of Full Speed Ahead for the first half of the noughties, he'd spent the nineties running Marin Bikes, and in the 80's he worked in distribution at Specialized.

Corsair Maelstrom High Pivot Idler NSMB Colorado Dirt.jpg

It wouldn't have taken much work to make room for a water bottle - not a design priority on a 180mm bike in the late 2000's mind you. Photo: ColoradoDirt

Corsair Maelstrom High Pivot Idler NSMB Colorado Dirt 3.jpg

The machined shock basket and linkage interface just screams Banshee KS2 to me. That's a massive 10.5" x 3.5"shock delivering the 180mm travel. Photo: ColoradoDirt

Corsair Maelstrom High Pivot Idler NSMB Colorado Dirt 2.jpg

The Maelstrom was designed around a front derailleur - imagine how much simpler it would have been with 1x in mind. Photo: ColoradoDirt

Maelstrom frames were very nicely made, and a quick search will bring you to a number of old forum pages with exuberant owners raving about how they rode. All the things you would expect to hear from the owner of a high pivot Enduro bike today; fast, stable, eats square-edged hits, feels like it has more travel than claimed. These raves are followed by, "but it's worth it" apologies related to noise, drag, and complexity from the idler and mile-long chain.

The geometry, from head angle to wheelbase, is what we'd expect to see on a 140mm bike today but at the time it was very modern and it's always important to remember that high single pivot bikes have a decent amount of initial chainstay growth. Try as I did, I didn't manage to track down a geo chart for the Maelstrom to include in this piece.

One of the most interesting features is the low, low 2:1 leverage ratio. This was contemporary to Foes DHS Mono and its massive, custom, Curnutt coil shock but in the case of Corsair's 180mm travel it was just possible to achieve with the largest stock shock size on the market, a 10.5" x 3.5". I was trying to think of other bikes that used the huge shock and all I came up with the Trek Session 10 and 2010+ Devinci Wilson. Needless to say, it was a rare spec choice.

Swirled

The Maelstrom's manufacturing quality was excellent. The designer had by all ride accounts a winning platform. The co-owner had tonnes of experience bringing mountain bike products to market and amongst bike-nerds there was a general buzz about the Maelstrom, so why isn't the bike front-of-consciousness for folks currently writing about high pivot + idler bikes designed to pedal?

One major factor was the release date. The long-travel bike nerd game made a massive shift around the end of the decade with a powerful pull towards weight weenie-ism. Riders ditched reliable staples like the Mavic 729 rim in favour of riding the first Stan's Flows on their DH bikes - with alloy nipples and Hope hubs. A truly weight-conscious, high-dollar build on a Maelstrom was still going to deliver a 38lb bike. Normal builds would be pedaling closer to 42lbs.

There was also the market saturation of the 180mm travel bike game. Riders hitting the park all the time were still buying true DH rigs and as 6" travel bikes became more capable most riders hitting aggressive trails gravitated towards them. Just think, 2007 was the release for the first Specialized Enduro SL frames. If you keep an eye open you'll still see them, and their direct trickle-down model the Pitch, in use on North Shore trails today. Even simpler, lighter, contemporary machines like the Specialized SX Trail II, Santa Cruz Driver 8, and Giant Faith were having their lunches eaten by those companies shorter, much lighter, and still uber capable bikes the Enduro, Nomad, and Reign.

Finally, there's the added drag, noise, weight, and complexity for a questionable performance return for the average rider. Even true fans who put down cash for Corsairs were chasing ways to reduce noise and drag. If the high-pivot + idler Maelstrom was even a few percent faster than the equivalent non-idler multi-pivot bike through the gnar, were the trade-offs worth it to the average buyer of a long travel bike? Most riders pedaling these bikes with friends weren't going to be well served giving up efficiency on the climbs to gain a race-winning half-a-second on a long descent.

Corsair Maelstrom High Pivot Idler NSMB Sicklines 2.jpg

A better image to showcase how the linkage drives the shock as the swingarm pivots. Reall nice build quality as well. Photo: Sicklines

Corsair Maelstrom High Pivot Idler NSMB Sicklines 3.jpg

Modular drop-outs used to be everywhere and will hopefully be making a comeback. Adjustable wheelbase and high/low BB settings for the win. Photo: Sicklines

Corsair Maelstrom High Pivot Idler NSMB Sicklines.jpg

Oh, it's difficult to design a high pivot + idler bike with the shock driven off the lower linkage? How about also adding in a front derailleur in the days before plate-sized cogs. Photo: Sicklines

If I was big on shuttling, or better yet able to log a bunch of bike park miles every year, I'm positive I'd own a Commencal Supreme DH mullet. I had an unmatched passionate lust for the Balfa BB7, though I never owned one and there's a tie in there I want to note. Like Balfa twenty years ago, Commencal is synonymous with high pivot + idler DH bikes, and also like Balfa, their trail and Enduro bikes do not use high pivot + idler layouts though it's well proven that brands have a lot to gain from a unified suspension story through their line. Well, Commencal did have their very short-lived blip in the somewhat Maelstrom-esque Supreme SX model. Where Balfa got busy inventing Niner's patented suspension design, and I did truly love my Balfa 2-Step, Commencal uses a fairly standard 'faux bar' layout for their very fast Meta bikes.

I bring up the champions of high pivot DH bikes choosing different setups for pedaling because I think the Maelstrom is cut from the other side of the same cautionary tale. There's room for some boutique high pivot + idler bikes on the market, but there are also only so many riders that are going to accept the trade-off of extra noise and complexity and drag and weight. There appears to be room for some 38-42 pound Enduro bikes with full Gucci builds and no real room for weight savings. But what percentage of potential purchasers are going to be better served by a new Devinci Spartan HPSP over the already very capable and much simpler Spartan?

What is best for the top pro racing Enduro is not necessarily best for the top bro or sis riding Enduro and it will be fascinating to see that played out in the sales, and future re-sales, of the crush of pedalable high pivot + idler bikes hitting the market. And I come full circle and can't help but wonder if the Corsair Maelstrom fails to draw mention in all these recent articles because it was by all metrics - from design to execution - an excellent example of a high pivot + idler mountain bike that was also a commercial failure.

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Comments

hongeorge
+3 Andrew Major Nologo Endur-Bro
hongeorge  - June 30, 2021, 1:06 a.m.

My Morewood Makulu was another bike with that 10.5x3.5 shock. They were proper monsters, just filled the front triangle. The water bottle crowd would never stand for it.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 5:46 a.m.

The weight weenies don’t go for them either. The difference from a 9.5x3 is notable! 

I think the Corsair front could be designed for a bottle rather easily no?

Reply

craw
+8 Andrew Major Nologo Pnwpedal Poz Shoreboy Luix Endur-Bro Timer
Cr4w  - June 30, 2021, 7:21 a.m.

Back when "weight weenies" didn't strap 5lbs of tools and water to their ultralight bikes.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Zero-cool
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 7:28 a.m.

Hahahahaha. I love stashed tools as much as the next nerd but your shade is well thrown!

Just waiting for OneUp to fire back with an EDC Lite Elite with a Ti bolt, Ti bits, and carbon wings.

Reply

Pnwpedal
+4 Shoreboy Andrew Major Luix Endur-Bro
Pnwpedal  - June 30, 2021, 11:45 a.m.

I'm glad others are catching on to this quirk, as the comments always seem to overlook that many 35/36lb trailduro bikes commonly get 5lb+ of pedals, inserts, water, tools, tube, and more added to them and now weigh more than a DH bike.

I'll always choose to keep my water and tools on me, run the right tires without inserts, and keep my bike under 32lb. It's so much nicer to throw around.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 8:38 p.m.

I resemble that comment but I’m sticking with a bottle, or two, on my bike. I like not having to take off my pack to use my EDC Lite tool.

No doubt though that just keeping all your stuff in a pack that’s ready to go has a simple beauty to it. I almost always ride with a backpack with my food, spare gear, chin bar (on the climbs), and other tools and I’m happy with the hybrid.

Reply

Vikb
+4 Tremeer023 Mammal Jerry Willows Zero-cool
Vik Banerjee  - July 1, 2021, 5:08 a.m.

I think the weight on the bike makes it ride better for me than more weight on my body.

Reply

fartymarty
+3 Andrew Major Mammal Zero-cool
fartymarty  - July 1, 2021, 5:23 a.m.

This is something Chris Porter noted in his interview with AJ - suspension works better when the sprung / unsprung ratio is higher (and weight on the body is not strictly sprung).

Bikeryder85
+2 Andrew Major Cr4w
Bikeryder85  - June 30, 2021, 2:58 a.m.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I remember being very excited by these bikes...shame the company is no longer around, I always liked their aesthetic.

Reply

Bikeryder85
+1 Andrew Major
Bikeryder85  - June 30, 2021, 3:01 a.m.

As an aside, I love how this example has ardents, hahaha...fits with the weight wenieism you talk about in the article

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Mammal
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 5:42 a.m.

Hahaha. I didn’t notice that! One of many tires that gave rise to the If-In-doubt-DHF mindset of so many folks.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 5:44 a.m.

The manufacturing quality was excellent. Certainly to me it’s also a preface to the current boutique-Taiwan small batch aluminum bikes like Banshee and Knolly.

Reply

craw
+1 Andrew Major
Cr4w  - June 30, 2021, 7:22 a.m.

In 2008 all the Knolly were still made in North America?

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Mammal Cr4w
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 7:33 a.m.

Yes, at Sapa, and while Banshees were always made in Taiwan the quality in ‘08 was nowhere near what it is now. 

Before the fresh pedalable HP+I craze I had started collecting these images as part of a piece on Taiwan-boutique FS frames. I can’t think of a nicer, earlier, example than Corsair in 2007. 

It didn’t write itself but this piece worked out better maybe anyways.

Reply

Marshall-Willanholly
0
Marshall-Willanholly  - July 6, 2021, 3:52 p.m.

Based on my experience, which was one frame, I would disagree with this statement. My Marque frame's lower linkage bottomed out against the frame before the shock reached full travel. To make matters worse, the customer service was abysmal and borderline rude. The idler pulley issues were just icing on the cake. I've tried to steer clear of any product Pablo or Doug are involved with ever since.

It's too bad. The bike looked f'n awesome!

Reply

fartymarty
+1 Andrew Major
fartymarty  - June 30, 2021, 4:02 a.m.

And let's not forget the GT RTS - only an idler away from being legendary...

Reply

Golem
+1 Andrew Major
Guillaume Désy  - June 30, 2021, 5:15 a.m.

Same thing for the Sunn Radical.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 AJ Barlas Guillaume Désy
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 5:41 a.m.

Interesting that the Sunn didn’t use an idler and then as soon as Nico was doing V-Process those bikes did.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 5:40 a.m.

The GT RTS is a bike I always discount. I’ve actually only seen a couple in person and they were ~ destroyed… lots of LTS bikes which is another design aesthetic that’s always coming back.

Reply

the-prophet
+1 Andrew Major
the prophet  - June 30, 2021, 6:08 a.m.

With the current market, I don't think there will be any problem selling any new bike. People are going crazy these days. You see folks driving 6-7 hours one way just to get bikes such as the Epic EVO. My buddy waited 8 months for his YT without even considering giving up his deposit or place in line! You can still sell a 10 year old used POS for more than you paid for it on FB or CL.  I have never seen anything like it.

We'll see how long it lasts, but the mtb consumer market is fully open and willing to consume anything thrown their way from $17,000 e-bikes to 38lb high pivot chain eaters. Ride the wave!

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Mammal Tjaard Breeuwer
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 6:17 a.m.

None of these new HP+I bikes are intended to be a one hit wonder… the companies have years invested in them and are looking to drive years of sales from these platforms. Heck, I’m surprised Cannondale didn’t keep hyding the Jekyll - apparently delivery is ages away?

If the bicycle supply insanity lasts one more season I’ll be surprised. Two I’ll be shocked. And yes, some of the used prices are criminal! 

I don’t think there would be any problem moving the initial units anyways. There’s always the nerds (like me) plus the fast + fit folks looking for any edge to win their group ride. It’s staying power with the weekend warrior (with the job to afford a high dollar bike) where I wonder about the (marginal) improvements in performance v. the sacrifices.

Reply

Jotegir
+2 Mammal blackhat
Lu Kz  - June 30, 2021, 7:38 a.m.

I'm guessing Cannondale wants people to put money down for a long-ass time before delivery because they know people will now?

I respect Norco for keeping the range officially hush-hush until C2's were landing on dealer floors. That's a proper way to launch a bike.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 6:30 a.m.

Separately, the situation with used bikes kills me inside. Working in a shop I’ve seen more broken hearts than full time match maker.

I’ve spilled a lot of ink on the subject with pieces like Buyer Beware or my four litres of gas and a match tune up special… 

I’m always looking for other avenues to bring the topic to eyeballs. If I save even one person from buying someone else’s recycling and then throwing good money after bad until they’ve ‘invested’ new bike cash on something that’s still a POS… well, that would make me pretty happy.

Reply

mammal
+6 Andrew Major Tjaard Breeuwer Luix Tremeer023 Reaper Dan
Mammal  - June 30, 2021, 8:34 a.m.

It kills me. I've spent more time than I'd like to admit on Squamish buy'n'sell, pointing out why someone shouldn't be trying to gouge an entry-level rider $2000 for their 15yo roach, but it's just not worth the time. People are buying them anyway. Sellers aren't even listing model years anymore, "Shred ready enduro bike" is a 2007 Spec Enduro that hasn't seen a suspension service or "break" bleed in 13 years. Kills me.

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AndrewMajor
+2 Mammal Zero-cool
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 9:35 a.m.

Yep. I hope Karma has a f***ing heyday. It makes me extra sad because I’m one of those saps who thinks if mountain biking as a community and a lot of the time it’s knowledgeable experienced riders taking advantage of fresh riders. 

I’ve recognized more than a few shitty roaches that have been pushed through the door. The worst is when it’s a bike where I know the rider knew how much work it needs. Or that the fork/shock is unsupported, etc.

Reply

BadNudes
+2 Andrew Major Tjaard Breeuwer
BadNudes  - June 30, 2021, 12:09 p.m.

Selling a bike without letting the new owner know what it needs (brake bleed, pads, suspension, tires, etc.) definitely deserves a karmic kick in the nuts. But when the alternative is putting a deposit down to get on a waitlist for a new bike that might arrive in 8 months or longer, spending 'new bike cash' on a serviced POS that can actually get you riding makes a lot more sense. It's unlucky for those looking to get into the sport, especially because they might not know what to look for in terms of common bike maintenance, but that clapped out bike is worth whatever someone is willing to pay.

Reply

mammal
+2 Andrew Major Tjaard Breeuwer
Mammal  - June 30, 2021, 12:37 p.m.

I'd agree with that last statement if the buyer even partially understands what they're getting into. Unfortunately with entry level, that's almost never the case, and it's compounded by sellers seeing an opportunity to offload their clapped out equipment.

mrbrett
0
mrbrett  - June 30, 2021, 4:03 p.m.

I understand bike karma but sold a "spare" 4 year old Specialized Fuse last summer. Fresh sealant, new fork seals/service, new brake pads, worked perfectly. didn't get a penny more than the people selling junk. The incentive isn't there financially (other than avoiding the karma hit).

Reply

Zero-cool
+1 Andrew Major
Zero-cool  - June 30, 2021, 2:26 p.m.

Any idea why I can no longer see anything on Meatengines apart from the home page?  I used to love reading it

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 4:02 p.m.

Thanks asking! Phone or computer? I’ve had a few similar concerns from computers where deleting cookies fixed the issue. On a phone I’m not sure sorry - I’m a bit of a Luddite.

Reply

Zero-cool
+1 Andrew Major
Zero-cool  - July 5, 2021, 11:10 a.m.

Phone.  I’ll try it on a computer at some point (when I actually turn one on). Will try deleting cookies on my phone as well. 

I did wonder if it was an iPhone thing rather than a website thing.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - July 5, 2021, 2:34 p.m.

I see it from my iPhone but again, I’m a Luddite.

blackhat
+1 Andrew Major
blackhat  - July 2, 2021, 5:32 p.m.

You made me offer $400 (usd) for a fox factory 36 that was listed for $600.  Never wavered a bit after rereading your post on meat engines.  Especially once I realized it was off a frame that “cracked” 3 days after someone else bought it used.  Thanks Andrew!

Reply

ackshunW
+2 Andrew Major Luix
ackshunW  - June 30, 2021, 7:12 a.m.

Great article!

I nearly bought a one-off prototype 150mm trail bike from a former employee of Corsair, through PinkBike buy/sell. He shared the print for the frame— that one, and I believe all Corsair aluminum frames, were done by Alu-Mate in Taiwan. Very nice details indeed. The prototype had these great purposeful tapered posts for the post-mount brake.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Luix
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 7:36 a.m.

Cool; how long ago was that? Originally I was going to see if I could touch base with Pablo to get his $0.2 on the current flood of HP+I bikes but I couldn’t find any reference to him after 2012.

Reply

ackshunW
+2 Andrew Major Luix
ackshunW  - June 30, 2021, 8:16 a.m.

About 2 years back, I believe it was a frame shown at trade shows 2017 or 2018.

Reply

slimshady76
+1 Cr4w
Luix  - July 1, 2021, 6:43 p.m.

Here it is! I recall getting really excited about Corsair's comeback when I saw these:

https://m.pinkbike.com/buysell/2658865/

Too bad those didn't make it...

Reply

ackshunW
+1 Luix
ackshunW  - July 2, 2021, 7:32 a.m.

Hahaha yeah that’s the one! I regret not grabbing it, but I was nervous about investing in a frame with no manuf. support.

Reply

Shoreloamer
+2 Andrew Major Zero-cool
Greg Bly  - June 30, 2021, 7:20 a.m.

Get a craft beers for this man and he can talk teck for hours. Not feverish new part lust. No this man has a rich knowledge of what works, what could work . What's practical and built well. 

Thanks for reminding us of bikes that gave us the innovation to create the fun toys we ride currently. 

Although I would be more than happy on this steed. Weighs close to the same as Norcos new carbon fiber framed high pivot frame.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Greg Bly
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 7:36 a.m.

Cheers Greg!

I’d bet you’d get along fantastically with a Maelstrom.

Reply

rwalters
+1 Mammal
Ryan Walters  - June 30, 2021, 9:30 a.m.

Yeah, we like to comment on how heavy bikes are these days - but don't forget that bikes are way bigger (and more complicated) than they used to be. If you were to somehow replicate that Corsair frame with modern geometry, 29er wheels, dropper post, etc. - you'd have a 50lb bike.

BTW, this isn't a comment on whether or not modern geometry is better, it's just pointing out that the Range is physically much bigger than the Corsair.

Reply

craw
+1 Andrew Major
Cr4w  - July 3, 2021, 4:30 p.m.

Is anyone really complaining about the weight though? My current bike (Geometron G1 at 37lbs in XL) would have been a dream to me in 1999. Fits well, comfortable climbing manners and great ergonomics, it's basically a DH bike at the same time, and is tough as hell often requiring little more than regular basic maintenance to keep running. I couldn't say that of any of the lighter bikes I've owned.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - July 4, 2021, 12:04 p.m.

Watching weight weenieism is like watching Olympic swimmers train with bungee cords. They dive in and the bikes get a bit heavier, and a bit heavier, and a bit heavier, and a bit heavier, annnnnnnnnd aaaaa biiiiiit heavvvvvvierrrrrrrr, annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd aaaaaaaaaaaaaa biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit heeaavvvvvvviiiiiierrrrrrrrrrrr, and then BAM! they get torqued backwards to the beginning. 

When will we reach the end of the cord? How hard will riders collectively strain and paddle to resist that snap back? Who knows... but when we do companies are going to be saying things like "why are you riding carbon rims as heavy as aluminum rims when we ours are 200-grams less per hoop?" and "check out this 4.5lb 180mm travel single crown with carbon lowers, crown, and steerer (not for extreme mountain biking)"

Reply

fartymarty
+1 Velocipedestrian
fartymarty  - July 4, 2021, 11:42 p.m.

Bike weight is always something that is playing on my mind.  My XL Murmur is about 40lb with fully stuffed BRad bad and a built mix with Zee / Saint, 511s, Ohlins coils both ends and tough Vigis (albeit 2.3s) - I picked cheap and strong and omitted light.  For reference i'm 95kg in the buff.

I keep toying with the idea of putting on some lighter wheels (because that's where you really feel the weight) but know its not as bombproof and will have to dial things back.

I could also go back to air but love the feel of coil.

So I just keep trucking and push the thoughts of weight to the back of my brain until I jump back on my HT which is low 30lbs and they come up again...  and the circle continues.

The solution involves spending lots of £££ (eewings and carbon bling) but i'm still never going to get to low 30lbs if I want to keep the bike strong.

Reply

Timer
+1 Andrew Major
Timer  - July 6, 2021, 3:53 a.m.

I don't think there is true weight weenieism in MTB any more, apart from a few exotics like Dangerholm.

I haven't seen trailbikes with flimsy (not-North-Shore-) XC wheels or 160mm brake discs in ages, while stuff like that was pretty common in the mid 2000s. No manufacturer is running their marketing campaign on bike weight anymore, not even for the high-end race bikes.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - July 6, 2021, 8 a.m.

It's always in the bushes though. There will probably never be random too-lightweight component failures and folks drilling holes in perfect good parts, that's true, but there are always riders sniffing around things like running 2-piston calipers for the rear brake, or Ti bolts, or buying one long travel single crown over another because of what they weigh. 

Lots of EXO+ and EXO tires under folks who should run DD and plenty of riders forgoing tire inserts (or choosing very meek tire inserts) while accepting they'll be denting aluminum rims, or potentially cracking carbon rims this year - that's all weight weenieism to an extent? 

I also can't help but draw parallels between bike trends in the past and when the carbon rims, frames, etc all are approaching aluminum weights and no one is too concerned I started thinking that in a couple years they will be.

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - July 6, 2021, 8 a.m.

It's always in the bushes though. There will probably never be random too-lightweight component failures and folks drilling holes in perfect good parts, that's true, but there are always riders sniffing around things like running 2-piston calipers for the rear brake, or Ti bolts, or buying one long travel single crown over another because of what they weigh. 

Lots of EXO+ and EXO tires under folks who should run DD and plenty of riders forgoing tire inserts (or choosing very meek tire inserts) while accepting they'll be denting aluminum rims, or potentially cracking carbon rims this year - that's all weight weenieism to an extent? 

I also can't help but draw parallels between bike trends in the past and when the carbon rims, frames, etc all are approaching aluminum weights and no one is too concerned I started thinking that in a couple years they will be.

craw
0
Cr4w  - July 3, 2021, 4:30 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

rwalters
+1 Andrew Major
Ryan Walters  - June 30, 2021, 8:13 a.m.

My first "real" mountain bike was a GT RTS. It was fucking awful by today's standards (it was pretty bad for its day too). I wonder if the people waxing poetic about old bikes would still feel the same if they actually rode one back-to-back with a modern bike? We love to complain about them, but my god - we are spoiled with choice, aren't we? Whether you're after a lightweight trail whippet, or a 38lb crusher - horses for courses! Bikes are pretty darn good these days!

Good on you for digging up the Corsair, Andrew. I do vaguely recall this company, but don't remember the high pivot model. My own jury is still out on whether high-pivots make sense on pedally bikes. We'll see how the Range affects my opinion.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Zero-cool
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 8:33 a.m.

Ha, there’s a reason so many early FS riders have a strong lifelong attachment to hardtails. 

AMP, RTS/LTS, Sweet Spot, Super-V etc… 

It would actually be interesting to put together a multi-person opinion piece on the first genuinely Good non-DH full suspension bike.

(The DH folks can argue M1 v. BB7 all day).

I still see a fair number of old SX Trail 1 frames being ridden today so that might get my vote/argument (~15 year old frames).

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rwalters
+1 Andrew Major
Ryan Walters  - June 30, 2021, 9:01 a.m.

While I never owned one, I think the GT LTS was a pretty successful platform. I guess GT learned what not to do with the RTS, lol. Although I do think the LTS was prone to cracking around the shock mounts under heavy duty riding.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 9:31 a.m.

The shocks blew up constantly too… the manufacturing v. weight expectations v. component constraints at the time.

There have been a few generations of Scalpel that were basically LTS’ that I think showed the concept to be good.

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fartymarty
+1 Andrew Major
fartymarty  - June 30, 2021, 1:09 p.m.

I had an LTS 1 I got used in the mid 90s.  It was constantly in pieces - shock, ti linkage, cracked stays, knackered bushings, but it was the best of a bad bunch.

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BadNudes
+1 Andrew Major
BadNudes  - June 30, 2021, 12:42 p.m.

I think Turner deserves a mention as a progenitor of not-terrible full suspension design. In the mid 90s his FTF and later Burner was one of the few FS bikes that actually had an advantage over the hardtail bikes it often competed against, it would often be re-stickered with other brand names to honour contract sponsorships. Maybe a little bit of pedal bob, but certainly worth if for the extra traction uphill and the speed carried downhill. I still love riding my 2002 Turner Burner XCE (over-forked w/ a 130mm Z1 drop-off, dropper, 1x10) for non-serious xc duties. From back when 4" was long travel and 70* HA (with a 100mm fork) was slack.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 4:04 p.m.

Turner deserves a few mentions! My friend Mark still has an ‘06(?) Burner running as a second bike and it’s slick.

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velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - June 30, 2021, 5:44 p.m.

Yep, I'm about to bring my '04 5 Spot frame back into rotation, after finding a crack in my partners seatstay.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - July 5, 2021, 2:36 p.m.

What fork did you track down to fit? Really do wish there was A new 1-1/8” option for longer travel rigs.

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Zero-cool
+1 Andrew Major
Zero-cool  - June 30, 2021, 2:30 p.m.

05 Specialized Enduro was a pretty good bike.

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fartymarty
+1 Andrew Major
fartymarty  - July 1, 2021, 12:45 a.m.

"there’s a reason so many early FS riders have a strong lifelong attachment to hardtails."

Agreed.  HTs give massive bang for buck.  

For me I would rather have a bike with a simple suspension design (like my Murmur) and is reliable and sacrifice a few % rather than an overly complicated design that requires a massive amount of ongoing maintenance.  

Also what you lose on suspension design you can easily make up for with a good rear shock (like the Ohlins coil I have on my Murmur).

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fartymarty
+1 Andrew Major
fartymarty  - June 30, 2021, 1:13 p.m.

I wouldn't want to ride an old bike but am interested in what would be if the designs were used on a modern bike.

Something I've the RTS with an idler is similar to a lot of the HP+I bikes.

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cooperquinn
+1 Andrew Major
Cooper Quinn  - June 30, 2021, 9:45 p.m.

"I wonder if the people waxing poetic about old bikes would still feel the same if they actually rode one back-to-back with a modern bike?"

I don't think any of them would.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - July 1, 2021, 3:36 p.m.

Yeah, definitely not. But I think it’s neat to relate them to current innovations.

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Shoreloamer
+1 Andrew Major
Greg Bly  - July 2, 2021, 12:26 p.m.

Pretty easy to hop on some ones new steed and take it for a spin. And yes I have I think modern bikes are devoid of character. They are boring. So no I prefer a light responsive plush ride. 

I also prefer janky double black trails where the words smooth and fast do not have any context.

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xy9ine
+3 Andrew Major Zero-cool Endur-Bro
Perry Schebel  - June 30, 2021, 8:30 a.m.

used to think these things were so rad. doug actually replied to a thread on the forum (13 years ago). ahead of it's time, this:

Hi everybody, this is Doug from Corsair Bikes.

An important question was asked about chain growth. This bike has 5mm of chain growth at 180mm of travel. To put that in perspective, you'd be hard pressed to find another bike with that small amount of chain growth. Even most short travel XC rigs have much more than that.

And another point to make about how the idler pulley manages chain growth, it does so regardless of which chainring you are in. So while many bikes pedal 'differently' whether you are in the small, medium or large chainring, our idler pulley technology makes pedalling in any chainring the same.

A final note about the idler pulley technology. It is not mounted at the exact same place as the pivot. But where it is mounted creates a certain amount of 'anti-squat'. This greatly improves efficiency while pedaling and climbing.

Concerning the headset, we think our set-up is a big plus. We think there is no reason for everybike to have adjustable headtube angle. It is an aspect of the bike that is very personal. Not only steering feel, but a riders fork length/travel preference. By having adjustable headtube angle, the rider is able to tune the bike for their ideal reality while not sacrificing other important characteristics like BB height.

Finally on the headset topic, one could use a 'Zero Stack' headset in our frames, or we suppose some aftermarket guys will create some 'reducers' so that one could use a conventional 1 1/8" headset.

Check the link below. it has the full rundown on the Maelstrom.

http://www.corsairbikes.com/downloads/COR_Malestrom_Dossier08.pdf

Maelstrom frames have suffered further delays and will start to ship in September.

Doug

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AndrewMajor
+1 Cr4w
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 8:48 a.m.

They say the internet never forgets but sadly my dive for a geo chart had a lot of broken links.

The version-one introduction of this piece included the line: “Speaking of vapourware, I even saw a reference to SuperCo that wasn’t by Perry Schebel.” Shout out to your high-pivot nerd credentials.

-

Same follow up as Ryan (and open to anyone to comment), what’s the first good non-DH full suspension bike and why?

Mining potential future content.

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xy9ine
+3 Andrew Major Mammal Zero-cool
Perry Schebel  - June 30, 2021, 9:12 a.m.

oh - also interesting is the corsair marque that came out a year or so later. 130mm travel trailbike iteration of this platform (the maelstrom was firmly in freeride territory). 

re: early, somewhat effective non-dh rigs - know a couple guys that were on blur 4x's that were pretty happy with them for hard trail use. came out 2004-ish; granddaddy of the aggressive trailbike? 

i had a nicolai ufo ds 2006-ish that was a stout single crown 115mm travel thing with enough adjustability to get decently slack & aggro (for the time). was great at the #cypressbikepark

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AndrewMajor
+1 Zero-cool
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 9:29 a.m.

Blur 4x is a good call! I had a few friends who owned them (slightly over forked).

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cooperquinn
+1 Andrew Major
Cooper Quinn  - June 30, 2021, 9:53 p.m.

I had an over-forked 200....2? air-shocked Kona Bear De-lux that I overforked, 1x'd with the appropriate orange MRP rollers, raced dual slalom on, and rode trail on for a few years. It was quite fun! 

unfortunately if died after Delta put a huge dent in the top tube.

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cooperquinn
0
Cooper Quinn  - June 30, 2021, 9:53 p.m.

I had an over-forked 200....2? air-shocked Kona Bear De-lux that I overforked, 1x'd with the appropriate orange MRP rollers, raced dual slalom on, and rode trail on for a few years. It was quite fun! 

unfortunately if died after Delta put a huge dent in the top tube.

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UFO
+1 Andrew Major
UFO  - July 5, 2021, 11:31 a.m.

I'm going to put in a vote for the first iteration of Giant's Maestro bikes, the 4" xc Trance, 6" trail Reign, and 7" fr Faith; depending on what/how you like to ride.  Overbuilt, but reasonable geometry, good overall build quality, and reliable.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - July 5, 2021, 2:38 p.m.

There were so many of those shock-basket Reigns around over-forked to 180. Excellent bikes.

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mtbman99
+1 Andrew Major
mtbman99  - June 30, 2021, 8:44 a.m.

I remember lusting after these bikes and would have gladly ridden one but they where definitely hard to get ahold of. I wonder if they would have had direct to consumer business like yt they could have succeeded.

Also an ex Pitch rider. I flogged that bike for 8 years and it was the first bike that I owned that was truly capable to pedal up and descend with  confidence. Hanging shop wall now.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 8:51 a.m.

They tried that in the end, but like CoreRat clothing before them I think the cycling world just wasn’t quite ready for the direct model. 

Certainly their M.O. and hustle matches what the direct brands did later (if being cheeky, one could also say their delays and inventory issues were similar too.. but then the whole industry has a long term affliction of over promise / under deliver).

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 8:53 a.m.

The Enduro SL / Pitch is still a great bike. BB a touch tall, 1-1/8” headtube on the earlier models decreases value due to a shortage of compatible forks, but really a great bicycle.

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hugebiff
+1 Andrew Major
hugebiff  - June 30, 2021, 8:46 a.m.

I used to own this bike! 10 years later I'm still chasing another frame that can match it's suspension quality. The only criticism on the suspension performance is that the super low leverage ratio didn't offer much pop even after a custom shock tune to speed up the rebound.

The idler performance was awful though! I ran a 2x10 drivetrain with a 2x lower chainguide roller (Blackspire I think). The shifting was absolutely horrible. The idler slid left and right on a row of loosely installed cartridge ball bearings (so much maintenance!) to adjust for front shifts, but it would hang up and rarely slide to the correct position. I could really only effectively use the fastest 3 gears and the slowest 3 gears. That was fine for winch and plummet rides, but low gradient trails weren't fun.

That bike with a 1x12 drivetrain, dropper post, and modern geometry (I agree that the geo was awesome at the time) will haunt my dreams forever. I'll definitely be looking to get a high pivot enduro bike for my next ride.

Also, I'm not a pro racer. I'm a mid-pack, amature, couple times a year enduro racer who mostly just rides for fun.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Zero-cool
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 9:28 a.m.

I don’t think HP+I bikes are ever the answer for poppy but playful. It’s sort of the Commencal Furious v. Supreme discussion.

Updated idler, 1x, dropper, geo tweaks and pump a hump in the downtube to accommodate a bottle… more than a decade later I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Corsair could relaunch with a mulleted Maelstrom and have a sellable 2022 model!

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cedrico
+2 Andrew Major AJ Barlas
cedrico  - June 30, 2021, 8:52 a.m.

Keep in mind that the size of the idler pulley has a big effect on the amount of drag. The idler on that Corsair is tiny—and will therefore produce more drag—compared to the 18t tooth idlers found on modern high pivot bikes the Norco Range and Deviate Highlander. I've ridden a high pivot all-mountain bike with a 20t idler and it feels quite nice.

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AndrewMajor
+1 cedrico
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 9:21 a.m.

Yep, great point!

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delusional
+4 Andrew Major Mammal Grif Sanesh Iyer
delusional  - June 30, 2021, 9:21 a.m.

The wayback machine has you covered for geo! Full geometry chart available in the below pdf. No reach measurements, obviously, but sure someone can calculate that easily enough. Numbers definitely look good for 2007! Potentially a 65HA and no change in seat tube length from M to L (maybe this is an error?).

http://web.archive.org/web/20100823053353/http://www.corsairbikes.com/downloadfly.aspx?download=downloads%2FCOR_Malestrom_Dossier.pdf

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 9:24 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

RideEverything
+1 Andrew Major
RideEverything  - June 30, 2021, 10:18 a.m.

Great article!

I thought these bikes were pretty cool!

I remember Kelly McGarry riding one in Whistler around this timeframe. He may have been sponsored by them?

My first pedalable FS bike was a Turner 6Pack (Horst version) with a Fox DHX5 and a travel adjust Marz Z1 ETA(?). I think that was around 2004-05. I rode everything on that bike including the WBP.

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I_am_beige
+1 Andrew Major
I_am_beige  - June 30, 2021, 12:30 p.m.

Great article. I came very close to buying a 2nd hand corsair but it fell through in the end. My friend did have a maelstrom which seemed to have never ending idler issues causing the chain to jam. I still have the go-pro footage of him losing his temper with the bike out in morzine and throwing it into some bushes!

First pedalable FS bike for me, and still one of my favourites, was the cannondale prophet, although I think the pitch was a better bike. Geo wise it just seemed way ahead of the times.

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AndrewMajor
+2 LWK Endur-Bro
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 4:14 p.m.

I’ve written, cheekily, more than once about the Prophet being the best/most interesting bike Cannondale’s ever made. I love them! 

I’m not trying to hold a 2007 Corsair up against a 2022 anything performance or reliability wise, just trying to highlight that’s in a world suddenly stuffed with pedalable HP+I bikes it deserves recognition for how far ahead of its time it was (look at what these companies were marketing for long travel + pedaling in 2007) AND I think it should act as a bit of a resistor for folks jumping hard, and uncritically onto the pedalable HP+I bandwagon.

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LWK
0
LWK  - June 30, 2021, 5:53 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

LWK
+1 Andrew Major
LWK  - June 30, 2021, 5:53 p.m.

Agree, great article, was a fun read!  

somewhat of a side note, but I have to wonder if the current crop of super capable but also heavy bikes will have staying power.  Or if we'll all rush over to bikes that are a bit lighter, simpler and more versatile for the next versions.  I cant imagine a new Range being much fun outside of places with a big helping of serious double black DH trails.

as for the Prophet... I know that bike received lots of love in the media and internet back in the day but my 2005 Prophet 2000 was absolutely terrible!  The Lefty was horrid (even when it was working) and I had no end of problems with the drivetrain.  I must have spent a thousand bucks on new drivetrain parts and an endless supply of new cables and housings, to no avail.  It was the happiest day of my life when my 2010 Knolly Endorphin frame was delivered.  In the end, my conclusion was that it wasnt as advertised - it was just a long travel (for the time) XC bike, and a very flimsy/flexy one at that.  Its interesting how experiences can be so different!

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rwalters
+1 Jerry Willows
Ryan Walters  - June 30, 2021, 2:51 p.m.

Upon further inspection, I think that calling this thing a "pedal" bike is optimistic at best. I didn't realize that the idler was floating laterally on a shaft(?). My god, this combined with a front derailleur AND lower chainguide pulley (or the HammerSchmidt for that matter), would be a disaster. And that's before throwing dirt, mud and wear/tear into the system. Seems the comments back this up.

I think I'd rather pedal around on a BB7!

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 3:38 p.m.

I don’t think the bikes ever ‘needed’ a lower chain guide pulley - at least not more than any other bike before clutch derailleurs and narrow-wide chainrings.

Even with no other changes there would be plenty of chain wrap to run a modern 1x drivetrain with no extra guide.

Of course the pulley had to float laterally - or be made of a low friction sliding surface so the chain could move across it - who was going to be climbing a 38lb+ 180mm bike with a 32x11-36 drivetrain? It’s no different to contemporaries like the Rocky Mtn Switch, Knolly V-Tach/Delrium, Norco Shore, Intense Uzzi or etc in that regard. Front derailleurs (or manual shift Grannie rings) were a necessary evil that created plenty of their own issues from extra chain retention (oh, how many BlackSpire Stingers we sold!), to noise, to kinematics. Designing bikes became a lot of simpler with the mass adoption of 1x, Clutch Derailleurs, and Narrow-Wide rings.

None of that takes away from the fact that this is the first legit HP+I ‘Enduro’ (or Freeride) bike, with low gearing and a reasonable pedaling position for climbing and it certainly isn’t getting its just due in current coverage of new HP+I bikes.

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rwalters
0
Ryan Walters  - June 30, 2021, 7:39 p.m.

Not sure how this is like any of those bikes you listed(?) Do you mean those bikes had chain tensioners with a floating pulley that captured the chain from above? Because that's a lot different from a pulley (or sliding surface) that is actually loaded with drive chain tension (like the Corsair). If the Corsair "idler" was just a sliding surface, it would have been awful to actually pedal with. Take it from someone who has designed and fabricated a few different idler systems in his day ;)

But I digress, would you like me to edit my Range article to include some love for the Corsair, Andrew? It seems I've made a big mistake not mentioning it!

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 8:20 p.m.

Hi Ryan,

Apologies I wasn’t clear, obviously none of those bikes have systems that capture the chain from above the chainring in any way. I was trying to say that all those bikes had to also be compromised by the drive systems of the day - 2x drivetrains, multi-speed chainrings, and non-clutch derailleurs.

I think it’s interesting to imagine, with no change in manufacturing capability or materials, what bikes would have looked like if the friction clutch, narrow-wide chainrings, and wider gear ranges arrived a decade sooner. A lot of bikes would have been much better, kinematics would have been simpler and so on.

The Corsair wouldn’t have needed a floating idler.

.

I wasn’t/am not intending to single out any writer/piece. As I noted in the opening it seems every single HP+I bike ever has gotten a mention somewhere (except BCD actually… haven’t seen them mentioned) at some point as regards these new machines… but they’re all DH bikes.

I think it’s really sad that Pablo/Corsair haven’t been given their due by anyone writing about the Forbidden(s), the Range, the Jekyll, the Devinci, etc. Or actually by any of the companies making them. And when obscure micro-run bikes like Devinci’s Big Bang are mentioned as prior art but the production Maelstrom isn’t I think that’s bullshit.

Would it stack up against bikes being released today? Ha! Right? Obviously not. Give me the choice between a 2009 Altitude and a 2022 Altitude and that’s just as easy as choosing a Dreadnought over a Maelstrom. No question.

But if folks are going wax about HP+I bikes past in reference to machines like the Jekyll, I think it’s fair to point out that this is the true prototype of the breed, not a BB7.

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jt
+1 Andrew Major
JT  - June 30, 2021, 3:02 p.m.

I remember seeing this and the Marque at Sea Otter. The design of the bikes were so ahead of others at the time, from aesthetics to sus design. I took a Marque for a spin and was smitten. Never bought one, but it's short link virtual pivot design pedaled amazing for the time, but was def outside my pay grade as well.  Not sure what caused their closure, and Atomlab's at the same time. I know they were linked together somehow, but unsure how exactly. (plot thickens?)

Pablo I think is still involved in the industry, at least somewhat. He threw in with Hyper when Cam Zink signed on, and I think had a hand in the design of the DH & enduro bikes they showed over the last number of years but have pretty been nothing but vaporware.

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samnation
+1 Andrew Major
samnation  - June 30, 2021, 3:48 p.m.

Corsair nailed it for a few years, after this they had that dominion in the days of slopestyle is kinda big rampage is kinda big but neither is big enough to sell bikes. Enter the dominion a single bike that could do both, it was everything the Scott voltage fr was supposed to be. If I remember correctly there was a soured relationship that ended that one. 

Side note, the malestrom had a smaller sibling, the Marque I believe? It was like 150mm. Don't remember if it was high pivot idler but it was definitely 2:1 leverage ratio. Then there was the 2 shock crown! Oh my way too many awesome bikes in the past. I wonder if we'll be reminiscing about that bike in a similar way in a year or 2? 

I love going back in the past and finding rad bikes that came too early.

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AndrewMajor
+1 samnation
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 8:28 p.m.

Corsair had a few really forward thinking bikes. Their short travel 4x/Slalom/Slope/Park/DJ FS bike was actually the one I was most intrigued by personally.

I picked the Maelstrom to highlight as it most closely fits as the progenitor of the crush of pedalable HP+I don’t-call-them-Freeride-bikes that are surfacing.

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ackshunW
+2 Andrew Major samnation
ackshunW  - July 1, 2021, 2:16 p.m.

Yes! The Konig— super cool looking bike. The proto frame I mentioned above, though a decade later, used the same compact dual-link design for the rear suspension.

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awesterner
+1 Andrew Major
awesterner  - June 30, 2021, 4:25 p.m.

This is amazing Andrew, I had one of these!! I think it was a 2007/8 in some sort of creamy off white colour. I can’t recall what shock it had but may have been a Marz. Bought the frame from United Cycles in Edmonton, behind the hockey section.  Even today it has nice proportions and a cool industrial design. 

It was very heavy. It was also a very fun bike riding the big long descents at Moose Mtn in Kananskis. I’ve ridden a lot of bikes since but that one has the most downhill comfort of anything I’ve had ridden in recent years.

It had issues and I think they were related to the idler. From what I recall the pulley wore out very easy. What was great though, being a small company back in the day… I talked to the owner/marketer/designer a few times on the phone. Sorted me out with a newly designed pulley that they made. 

Wow, thanks for tickling my memory bank. Those were simpler times haha.

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AndrewMajor
+2 awesterner Velocipedestrian
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2021, 8:33 p.m.

It’s funny to me that good hubs have been dialled forever (DT, King) and yet so many other products even a decade ago had rampant issues that today’s mountain biker would never tolerate. I think that’s why so many folks I know who started riding in the last five years seem comfortable in the woods with zero tools but everyone who was riding in the early 00’s won’t take their kid for a Bobsled lap without a bike shop worth of tools?!

I certainly wasn’t trying to imply that the Maelstrom was perfect by even that day’s standard but I think it does warrant a lot of credit as, at the very least, a 14-year old insight into the hottest pedalable long travel bikes on the market for 2022 and maybe longer.

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MTN_Fella
+1 Andrew Major
Zak Brown  - June 30, 2021, 6:17 p.m.

I had a bunch of Corsairs due to being buddies with their graphics designer, including a Marque (with an Elka coil) and a Crown (idler, 10.5" shock, and a second tiny air shock!).  Always loved the feel of the high pivot, though the plastic shiftable idlers were a total pain on the Marque and Maelstrom, they wore so quickly and weren't necessary since we were running 1x on our trail bikes long before XX1 came out.  The Crown had a metal idler since it was a 1x DH bike and worked fine.  

Now I'm back on a high pivot Kavenz VHP16 and loving it!

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - July 1, 2021, 3:39 p.m.

The Kavenz is a nice looking machine!

Do you still keep in touch with your graphics buddy? I’d love to know where Pablo ended up.

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MTN_Fella
+1 Andrew Major
Zak Brown  - July 2, 2021, 12:47 p.m.

I'll check in with him and see if he's still in contact with Pablo.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - July 4, 2021, 12:06 p.m.

Cool! Thank you for doing that.

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awesterner
+1 Andrew Major
awesterner  - July 1, 2021, 9:25 p.m.

Oh now it’s all coming back to me…that sliding idler! I think I ultimately spaced out a jockey wheel from a chain guide as I went 1x on that thing. I went through a bag of those pulley (sent by them as replacements). Then they improved them but still were weird. If I recall the chain would jam against the roof (upper guard??). I rode out once just with the chain on the pulley shaft after I broke the thing. **note Andrew’s comments of OG riders bringing the kitchen sink with them on rides, I needed it hahahaha

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - July 1, 2021, 9:52 p.m.

Yeah, as I mentioned elsewhere, it would have been very interesting to see how different bikes in the 00's would have been if all the manufacturing and materials were the same but the groupsets had clutch derailleurs, narrow-wide rings, and wide-range 1x drivetrains. I'm sure a fixed-idler Maelstrom would have been a different story at least to the extent that DH bikes with idlers had been fairly sorted by the time it was released.

That's interesting that the Crown (1x DH) had a fixed metal idler.

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xy9ine
0
Perry Schebel  - July 2, 2021, 1:36 p.m.

the dual shock crown was a wild design. did the air shock engage within a specific portion of the wheelpath? the linkage actuating it looks like perhaps it's movement was resisted by chain tension. kind of a convoluted vpp thing going on?

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MTN_Fella
0
Zak Brown  - July 2, 2021, 2:08 p.m.

This probably explains it better than I can - https://vimeo.com/4384694

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BillT
+1 Andrew Major
Bill T  - July 1, 2021, 5:44 a.m.

I think at one point Jenson USA was blowing out Marque frames and I came really close to getting one.  Was a very interesting design.

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Endur-Bro
+1 Andrew Major
Endur-Bro  - July 4, 2021, 10:10 p.m.

The HP+I is gaining a lot of interest as a 1 Gravity bike to rule them all: pedal up to gnar/Shuttle/Park/Race etc.  Especially w/ Dreadnaught ability to run dual crown and mullet w/Ziggy Link. Range w/DC ability.  Kavenz mullet.  The G1 is the same design philosophy(just doesn't fit a bidon in the triangle🙄): two rear travel settings w/2 different spring weights, unlimited fork configurations, wheel size whatever, run a larger shock, do what you want with the RC length. 

Are these bikes better than their standard chain routed bikes; IDK. Sounds like DrewM knows a few people that flogged their Druids months after getting them. 

IMO WW fascination has hampered mtn bike progress.  Top 3 questions I'm asked about my G16 are always in no order: How much does your bike weigh? How much does it cost? Is this carb0n?  I've never weighed any of my bikes but I'd guess that my G16 29 is pretty close in weight to my V10C 26. 

We're at the point where people are equipping their Trail bikes w/4pot brakes,36/Lyrik/Helm/Coil-Overs or HV Air shocks/Enforced tyres etc. Myself included haha.

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AndrewMajor
+2 fartymarty Endur-Bro
Andrew Major  - July 5, 2021, 7:02 a.m.

Don’t disagree at all re. weight weenieism holding back bikes. Actually, I think bikes are fine but more it holds back riders. Especially rubber, which really holds back what folks can ride. Who doesn’t love bigger brakes on any bike too?!

It’s interesting, I’ve followed up with lots of folks about HP+I before writing this and actually two people who I thought had ditched their Druids ended up just ditching the lower chain guide (which adds the most noise/drag) and they just stay on top of replacing their N/W rings more often. No issues with derailment as long as they stay on top of maintenance. But yes, the love for HP+I is not as universal as one would believe reading the webternet.

I think that’s the biggest barrier to mass HP+I adoption, or perhaps that plus weight since non-Gucci builds on many of these machines will be well over 40lbs with inserts before a water bottle is in the cage. It’s certainly not a matter of being unexcited about HP+I bikes - I’m a f***ing nerd, I love every new bike and especially the ones that don’t look like a session, but I think working in shops I’m highly cognizant to the massive trench between the % of folks who will use and maintain these bikes to their potential and the average rider.

HP+I isn’t a niche design anymore where the curious pick up a Forbidden and either totally love it or don’t find themselves agreeing to the hype (and even then the Druid being relatively short travel and very adaptable). Now there are a lot of dollars riding on the growth of the long travel, Enduro race machine market (can we call them Freeride bikes yet?) with an HP+I configuration.

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And yeah, don’t ever weigh your bike. I could probably guess what my single speed weighs - with CushCore installed - but it’s not worth knowing.

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fartymarty
+1 Andrew Major
fartymarty  - July 5, 2021, 8:16 a.m.

Andrew - I have to disagree about "knowing" your bike weight.  If those with "heavy" bikes don't weigh (and publish) their weight then all we know is that 37lb is stupid heavy (if reading the media) when in reality there are a lot of people riding bikes that are heavier.

My guess is your W2 is ~40lb.  I certainly don't care as it's a hell of a bike and I would love to throw a leg over it and it's built right - and certainly fit for purpose.

Let's get the weights of heavy bikes out there rather than adopting a "head in the sand" attitude.  At least we can then see what "real" bikes weigh.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - July 5, 2021, 8:25 a.m.

That’s an interesting take on the other side of the coin. I mean, if we knew how many riders were out having a great time pedaling about on 40lb bikes maybe folks would give less shakes.

Rigid, the Walt V2 is probably closer to, but I’d think over, 30lbs single speeded with both bottles and tools installed. Add a couple or few pounds for the lowered Durolux. 

Next time I have it at the shop I’ll fill up both bottles and post a loaded weight.

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fartymarty
+1 Andrew Major
fartymarty  - July 5, 2021, 8:33 a.m.

No bottles, no tools (inc EDC lite).  Then were comparing apples with apples.

Knowledge is power as some important person once probably said

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - July 5, 2021, 2:25 p.m.

Yeah, I’ll get both. Maybe do a little editorial.

AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - July 6, 2021, 7:53 a.m.

I feel like there have been a thousand things written about bike weight but I can't help thinking there's something unique to be said by those who don't care that hasn't been really quantified because we don't tend to weigh our bikes. I'm going to throw my V2 on a scale and go from there. Cheers!

fartymarty
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fartymarty  - July 5, 2021, 8:33 a.m.

Double post

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fartymarty
+1 Andrew Major
fartymarty  - July 5, 2021, 11:26 p.m.

Andrew - there is probably a good article to be had about bike weight.

xy9ine
+1 Andrew Major
Perry Schebel  - July 5, 2021, 10:13 a.m.

i like this "real bike weight" sentiment. far too much emphasis placed on weight weenieism (and this coming from someone who used to nerd out on full ti bolt replacement, etc). my current (2021) 140mm "trail" bike is 4 lbs heavier than my previous 2016 150mm enduro-ish bike, yet is all round considerably more effective. i guess people like being able to quantify expensive "upgrades", as questionable as that specific metric is (at least for our typical usage).

"real world" weights often differ a good bit between published / review weights (ie, typically devoid of standard accessory bolt-ons, often without pedals, etc). would love to see a list of current ews ready to race builds; eye opening, i'm sure.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Heinous
Andrew Major  - July 5, 2021, 2:32 p.m.

Even when I did think about grams when building single speeds (where weight is apparently an even bigger deal if you follow the prevail dogma) there were some places like rear hubs where effectiveness - and for my budget long term effectiveness - gets top billing. My six-bolt Chris King hubs aren’t light by any metric but they’re resilient AF. 

Actually, it really eats me that they’ve abandoned six-bolt for Centre Lock and introduced a wear interface to the system, where I really found them faultless before.

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Anyways, my ranting aside, I’d love to see real unladen and also equipped-to-rip weights for EWS rigs.

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Heinous
+1 Andrew Major
Heinous  - July 5, 2021, 3:27 p.m.

And in doing so various parts are no longer cross compatible within the line. That's got to hurt long term ability to stay current with *ahem* standards.

I've been running Paul Comp hubs with WI freewheels forever and havefound them totally bullet proof, plus quieter than CK.

AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - July 5, 2021, 3:51 p.m.

I have to admit I sometimes consider if, years ago, a Paul + WI plan wouldn't have been the way to go. 

I've been very privileged to try a lot of great hubs for single speeding - King, P321, I9 Hydra, True Precision Stealth, etc - and they all have strengths depending on someone's use case. King I own a hub service tool going back over 15-years now and if I didn't then they wouldn't necessarily be viable compared to those other options due to my desire to service them myself. 

Would I still choose to run Chris King on mine and my wife's bike if purchase now? A year ago I could have made a strong case for yes, at least for my single speed (I do own the tool, I love the bearing quality, I mean - I love how they're made and function in general) but now that 6-bolt is dead (and apparently not coming back) then answer would be a decisive no. I choose 6-bolt. 

She'd be on Hydra. Industry Nine's green colour is the best and if I didn't blow a hub up single speeding it, I'm confident she'd get an awesome life out of it, plus it's light, plus it's basically instant. I couldn't say at this moment what I'd buy for myself - but Paul + WI would be on my dance card for sure.

AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - July 7, 2021, 4:57 p.m.

So I haven't decided 100% if I'm going to write about it or not but I did weigh the Waltworks V2 today because I said I would. This is with CushCore Pro rear / CushCore Plus front / SR Suntour Durolux dropper to 120mm travel / big brakes / bashguard / 2.6" rear tire & 2.8" front tire / long dropper post etc so I'm not really surprised but in the moment I admit I was a little bit "ummm, wow." It is a freakin' single speed hardtail!

So weight, as it sits before a ride, is 37.14lbs. That's with two full water bottles, Wolf Tooth EnCase chain breaker, an EDC Lite tool, and an e13 valve cap/valve tool. With that stuff removed it's 33.57lbs.

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fartymarty
+1 Andrew Major
fartymarty  - July 8, 2021, 10:54 a.m.

I weighed the Murmur (XL) and it's 38.6lb w/o tools or water bottles.  2.3 tough Vigis w/o inserts.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - July 8, 2021, 7:36 p.m.

Where does the weight come front? All frame? Coil shock? 

I'm riding a lowered Durolux, 2.8 Vigi Tough front, 2.6 Purg Gri rear, CushCore Plus front, CushCore Pro rear, Wolf Tooth Camo stainless steel setup, e13 170mm dropper, aluminum bar, 203/180 brake rotors, Chris King hubs, WTB KOM Tough rims - heavy stuff!

xy9ine
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Perry Schebel  - July 8, 2021, 9:59 p.m.

that IS weighty. my review bike (size large) was just over 32. some chunky bits on there?

fartymarty
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fartymarty  - July 8, 2021, 10:57 p.m.

Andrew, Perry,

Heavy bits are Öhlins coils both ends, 511 / Hope wheels, Zee cranks (which weigh a ton). WT ss chainring, 203 rotors, Zee/XT brakes, 180 PNW dropper (with molded XT shifter).  I even have schradder tubeless valves (because they're just better).

It's an XL frame with 515 reach so is long and there isn't a piece of plastic (carbon) on it.

I'm reasonably happy with the weight and regularly do 20 mile+ rides on it. I have had it down to 34/35 with lighter wheels / tyres and air both ends but prefer the robustness and knowledge I can ride anything on it.

I guess once your bike is built super strong / robust you can always dial it back with compromises.  

Out of interest I wonder what Chris Porters bikes weigh.

Heinous
+2 Andrew Major Endur-Bro
Heinous  - July 5, 2021, 3:25 p.m.

The Zerode prototype trail bikes Rob rode a couple iterations of for years were high pivot, idler, gearbox equipped and pretty remarkable. I still wonder from my arm chair if Zerode's decision to go Faux Bar was the wrong one...

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - July 5, 2021, 3:52 p.m.

I haven't met a Zerode fan/owner, including folks who have ridden/own the Taniwha, who hasn't said the same thing.

I never figured out, reading about the bike, why they didn't go HP+I. Water bottle?

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xy9ine
+1 Andrew Major
Perry Schebel  - July 5, 2021, 4:08 p.m.

while the pinion's efficiency isn't terrible, i don't think i'd want my chain running through another idler (in addition to the tensioner) on a pedally bike.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - July 6, 2021, 7:51 a.m.

Is that why the Taniwha didn't use an HP+I configuration? I guess that makes sense drag and noise seem to multiply exponentially on bikes - as a general rule.

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