deniz merdano crankworx transition fiveten cascade 31
ASSORTED RANDOMS FROM THE VILLAGE

Stuff We Saw at Crankworx Part II

Words Pete Roggeman
Photos Deniz Merdano
Date Aug 16, 2022
Reading time

Five Ten Freerider Breast Cancer Edition Freerider Pro Canvas

Five Ten brand and product manager Luke Hontz has been steering the brand through over a decade of success, but he admits that it shocked him that this one came to life. Luke's mum is a breast cancer survivor, and he wanted to do something to honour her and others afflicted with it. He worked with Five Ten athlete Veronique Sandler who came up with the design, held his breath and presented it to the higher ups. They loved it. That was surprise #1. Surprise #2 came when other departments within the adidas umbrella heard about the project and decided to create BCA (Breast Cancer Awareness) editions of their own. Adidas outdoor brand Terrex created Agravic and Freehiker trail shoes - both big sellers - but the major coup was the announcement that there will also be a BCA version of the brand's #2 selling shoe: the Adidas Ultraboost.

The adidas BCA collection will be launching in late September 2022 online and at certain retailers throughout October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Five Ten will donate a portion of sales from each pair sold to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in North America and the U.K.'s Breast Cancer Now. We'll have a little more about them as the date approaches.

Transition Relay

When Transition announced the Relay e-bike, it was a bit of a gamble. First, because availability was still a long way off - about 10 months or so. And second, because the new Relay - when it does arrive - will come in a lot of different configurations: six sizes, two frames: carbon or aluminum, and while it won't may not SKUs, buyers will be able to choose between 160 and 170mm of travel and dual 29 or mullet setup. Oh, and two colourways.

A big part of the oomph behind the Relay lies in Transition's belief in the Fazua Ride60 system. If you haven't heard of Fazua already, you will in the near future - their drive system is designed around the premise that by removing the battery (and in some systems in the past, the motor), you can save a ton of weight and get two bikes in one: e-bike when you need it, regular mountain bike when you want it. Ride60 is also a system that uses a lighter 430wh battery and smaller 60nm motor for a less powerful combination that weighs less, minimizing the power and range difference between it and a heavier, more powerful e-bike. We're at an interesting confluence of factors right now with e-bikes in terms of weight and power, and progress should be rapid in the next five years.

In theory, Ride60's flexibility is awesome, but it's taken a while to get to this point. Anyway, Transition feels Fazua Ride60 is ready to shine, and the Relay allows you to remove the battery (in seconds, w/out tools) and ride away with no friction and minimal added weight vs a meat-powered bike. Having given it a quick spin, I can also say the the motor is exceptionally quiet, and the interface has some unique options as well, compared to the power delivery modes of Shimano or Bosch.

Lots more to this and we're looking forward to getting one in for review.

Yakima EXO System and RoadShower

Yakima was displaying their EXO system that turns your hitch into a modular rack system on a very sweet Defender that just may make an appearance in an upcoming Pistons & Pivots feature. We've seen EXO before but not up close, and the configuration options are very interesting. Yakima was also displaying the RoadShower, which is a bougie version of the ol' black PVC pipe attached to the truck bed rack version, but with some neat features like a thermometer, easy hose attachments so you can add a shower (in addition to the included spray nozzle) and the ability to hook up any Schrader-compatible pump to pressurize your water to 40psi so you can have a hot pressurized shower, or hose off your bike, dog, or mouthy kids.

Cascade Components

We took a deeper look into Cascade Components links on one of our test bikes last year here. The Seattle-based company produces suspension links for major and minor brands in house. They claim an increase in suspension performance with their custom links and while that is up to the individual's needs from their bikes, we can't deny they are beautifully machined in a rainbow of awesome colours. While purple is a classic with the 90s crowd, gold and blue always catches the eye on the right kind of build.

At Crankworx, Cascade had a small spot tucked away from the glaring eyes of the bike manufacturers. They had their new spherical eyelets for Fox DHX2 coil shocks. These shocks are not happy under side-loading frames and spherical bushing eyelets can help reduce the binding on the teeny shafts. They also had the V2 version of their Code Calipers on display. Now with more material where needed, they fixed some of the flexing issues the V1 calipers had. Rome wasn't built in a day, we appreciate companies taking their time revising products.

Etnies

Etnies had a few shoes and some upcoming apparel on display at Crankworx. Mainly a skate shoe brand for many of our youth, they are set on making purpose-built shoes for mountain biking, whether it be slopestyle, DJ or all mountain.

On display they had their Emil Johansson signature shoe that will be available soon. Also clipless shoes for aggressive downhill and all mountain riding. While the clipless shoe has a full length shank to provide stiffness through the sole, the flat pedal shoes support a 3/4 length shank to allow flexibility near the toe of the shoe for a better hiking and walking experience.

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Comments

Cheez1ts
Garrett Thibault
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

Is the Freerider Pro better ventilated then the Freerider? I’ve been riding to work in Freeriders, but my feet sweat all day in them at my desk despite having an air conditioned office.

Yes, I can just leave a non-five ten sneaker at work, but if the Freerider Pro is a better all-day shoe I’ll happily pickup a pink pair.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+1 Garrett Thibault

I think my synthetic Pros are a bit cooler than synthetic Freeriders, but they are a bit stiffer which may or may not make a better all day shoe... The canvas that is shown in that pic is likely cooler than both.

Side note: maybe he's holding an example shoe that is in Vero's size or something, but it sure looks funny seeing Luke holding a shoe that is obviously way too small for him!

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

Ha! Yes, I think he's holding the women's display shoe (I forget what sample size is for women but for men it's 9/42 for shoes). I forgot to ask/don't know why it looks like the women's shoe has a gum rubber sole and the men's is black...but we'll see when they release them for real at the end of September.

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

I was stoked to discover I fit sample size in shoes - a few times I've found funky coloured kicks at clearance sales.

Still no wacky mtb shoes, but I keep looking for that bonus unsaleable colourway.

Reply

zombo
Zombo
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+1 Garrett Thibault

I found the freerider pro to be superior to the freerider in every way.  Much better ventilation, holds way less water and most importantly the soles are stiff enough my feet don't hate me on long descents.

Reply

TristanC
TristanC
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+1 Garrett Thibault

I like the Trailcross for riding to work. I have a pair of Freerider Pros for cooler weather but my feet still sweat in them all day. A little less grip though.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

To me the Trailcross series as a whole are the most comfortable flat shoes I've owned for walking and hiking. I even hiked several times last winter in my Trailcross GTX - they're better than decent for light duty hiking.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

This comment has been removed.

craw
Cr4w
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0 JVP Joseph Crabtree

I'm really looking forward to seeing more on the Relay. My interest will be contingent on them offering  a Spire-sized XXL, which is something few companies are willing to do. The idea of a light weight, low power, longer burn ebike totally appeals to me as does the quieter Fazua motor - more like an actual bike with a little boost rather than a heavy unruly bike trying to be an e-moto.

Reply

joseph-crabtree
Joseph Crabtree
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major utopic Cr4w

WTF is up with all the e-ped love? Now everyone wants a stealth e-ped so they don't look like such a slacker? Doesn't say much for the state of humanity at this point.

Reply

craw
Cr4w
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+2 Cooper Quinn rg-nw DancingWithMyself bananowy

I don't love ebikes so far. I think they're heavy, noisy and unreliable besides being ridiculously expensive. That being said if they could nail it all in a quiet light package that could survive I might eventually come around. Having an open but critical mind about these things isn't a bad thing. 

Everything on your bike was once a cutting edge idea that had purist naysayers saying the same thing.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+2 Joseph Crabtree utopic bananowy rg-nw

Except all those cutting edge ideas were in the name of making a purely human-powered vehicle do it's job better. E-bikes pervert that concept of human-powered. Sure, it's assistance, so the rider can't do nothing, but it's still extra power that the rider does not generate themselves. The shiniest all-the-dials shock, the fattest stanchioned fork, the widest range derailleur, the longest stroke dropper, even electronically actuated versions of all those, none  put more power into the ground than the rider makes all by themselves.

Reply

craw
Cr4w
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+2 Sethimus jprime JVP rg-nw DancingWithMyself Joseph Crabtree utopic bananowy

No shuttling, bike park chairlifts or driving to the trailhead for you. I respect that.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
1 month, 2 weeks ago
-4 Joseph Crabtree utopic bananowy Sethimus jprime rg-nw JVP Cr4w DancingWithMyself PR

Nope, didn't say that. I'll certainly take external assistance to better enjoy different ride experiences, but none of those actually affect the bike on the trail. I still want only myself being the thing that actually powers the bike on the trails.

Andeh
Andeh
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0 Pete Roggeman Joseph Crabtree

Ditto.  I'm planning on getting my first ebike next year, and was waffling between going for a full power one (to bang out maximum vert in the shortest possible time - sounds appealing with limited ride time) or an SL type one that rides more like a bike (at trade off of not being as fast uphill as friends' full power ebikes).  The Relay sounds like it could split that difference pretty well.

I've had great experiences with Transition's customer service in the past, and their build kits are a solid value too.

I also like that they are building a lot of flexibility into the configuration - either 160 or 170 travel, 29 or mullet.  So you can have your 170 eSpire, and I can have a 160 ePatrol.

Reply

DancingWithMyself
DancingWithMyself
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0 Pete Roggeman Joseph Crabtree

I live somewhere a little mellowed than BC, so I just pulled the trigger on the Fuel EXe for the same reasons.  Going to be interesting to watch the Fauza vs TQ motor horse race.  I wasn't all that stoked about a Trek, but I think they may have kicked up the motor that's going to change everything, for better or worse.  Excites me as a rider; terrifies me as someone deeply involved in trail advocacy.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+1 Cr4w

When e-bikes first rose to prominence, I understood the anxiety about trail access. To date, I'm unaware of e-bike use leading to issues with land managers or trail access. That doesn't mean that part of the debate is over, but so far, I'm not aware of it causing issues.

This past week in Whistler I spent a lot of time going back and forth from our accom to other places in town using the Valley trail and almost got nailed many, many times by people on commuter e-bikes who had no idea how fast they were going, and got caught in the wrong lane, passing someone else, right in my way. Those people on regular bikes would be going 15 km/h, on e-bikes it's double that. A head-on collision with someone else doing 30 is a 60 km/h collision, and that's going to have consequences. I've heard commuters complain about this issue before but hadn't experienced it myself yet because I don't commute every day.

Of course there are places where trail conflicts could also happen, but most MTB trails have natural obstacles that help regulate speed, particularly for those that are less skilled. But the Whistler Valley trail and places like it are going to see big-time injuries if people don't learn how to handle these things.

Reply

DancingWithMyself
DancingWithMyself
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

Think the access and trail impact issues are going to come to a head as ebikes get better, cheaper, and more prevalent.  Being in BC, what you see day to day in terms of numbers of ebikes is prob 5-10 yrs ahead of everywhere else (excepting other NA meccas with lots of disposable income).

Reply

tmoore
tmoore
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0 Pete Roggeman Joseph Crabtree

Don't sweat it Dancing, "E-bikes don't destroy trails, riders destroy trails"

Reply

DancingWithMyself
DancingWithMyself
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+1 PR

“Yep, have to have a single click shifter and all sorts of other specific parts on this bad boy.  Too much weight, torque, and raw power.  Those normal parts would get chews to bits. 

Impact on the trails you say?  Oh, just like a normal bike.  No difference at all.”

Would be WAY less worried if we had European/sane limits on torque and speed.  The industry -sorry,  I mean people for bikes - f’d us and IMBA (which does tons of great work and gets a lot of unfounded crap) missed the boat.  Now volunteers and land managers will have to deal with the outcome while the industry sits off to the side and cashes checks.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+1 PR

Have to agree. It's insane seeing the industry tell us both sides at once. No impact, but here's a bunch of "stronger" (read: heavier and cheaper to make, for better profit margins) e-specific bullshit parts you need to buy.

"It's you, with just a little extra boost", but don't forget your fucking e-lube to handle that little boost. Because normal stuff, that pros and large riders have always beat on, somehow can't handle a little "no external impact" power boost and 10 kilos extra weight? I weigh twice that of some riders I know, so I put more force through the chain just from gravity, and we've gotten along with the same chain lubricant for decades.

Shit, almost worse than e-lube is e-specific tires. If you need special tires, the part that literally contacts the ground, then there is definitely an impact to the ground above and beyond bikes that don't need special e-tires.

Either e-bikes actually do have trail impact, or e-specific crap needs to go away. Can't have it both ways.

Reply

tmoore
tmoore
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+1 Andeh

Almost all of the pro and volunteer builders I know use e-bikes. Tells me they're not worried about extra trail degradation.

The bonus for everyone is that much more is getting done as the bikes make it possible to get further out while wearing proper work clothes and carrying tools.

I sometimes see these builders out on purely recreational e-rides and I know what their response would be if anyone tried to tell them to toughen up and get off the e

just6979
Justin White
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

Using them as a tool is quite different than using them as a toy. Just like using a quad or Rokon, etc, to carry/drag tools & materials close to where they need to be; using an e-bike for that same job on narrower trails makes sense.

Doing trail work is one time that miles traveled should be a priority vs time on the bike as a priority. I think one thing that is driving e-bike mania is the obsession with doing more and more miles. I'm personally really only concerned with the time I spend biking, not how far I went.

I recently heard someone citing an e-gravel as the reason they could do an 80 km e-ride (everyone was on e) "off the couch" with no problems. Why the need go so far for fun? What's wrong with a 40 km ride on a regular bike? It's not a commute (I'm all for e-bike commuting, makes perfect sense there), just ride as far as you have the time for, enjoy the time riding, and also enjoy the time saved by not worrying about charging batteries, doing extra maintenance, and eventually replacing and recycling worn out batteries and motors.

The next few years will be interesting as people start using up e-bike components and battery, etc, replacement becomes more of an issue.

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

Well, they've said they're doing a double-X and I don't see them going backwards in terms of geometry.

Reply

Zero-cool
Zero-cool
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

Both the Freeriders and the Flat pedal Etnies look nice. Anyone know how the Etnies soles compare to Stealth Rubber?

Reply

inshane
Shane Manery
1 month ago
0

Really want those five tens!

Reply

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