“Strong, light, cheap. Pick two.” That’s the famous quote that came from Keith Bontrager, I believe. Even though Keith works with Trek, RockShox certainly had his wisdom in mind when creating their Sektor range of forks. Back in issue 39 I was pretty impressed with the Revelations, so in these tough economic times I was pretty keen to get some real time on their lower priced alternative. A key advantage of the Sektors is that you can get them in so many different configurations, from air to coil to adjustable travel with QR, 15mm or 20mm axle—perfect if you don’t want to make any changes to your existing wheelset. I chose the Solo Air RL mainly based on weight (1837g) but also because they have rebound and external compression adjustment (compression through to lockout). The overall package is lightweight, easy to tune and can be locked out for climbing—easily done whilst in the saddle. The all-round performance has been impressive, and they are surprisingly stiff and solid. I ran them a little softer than recommended to get full travel and when set up properly they feel consistently smooth and plush. Big hits are managed well and they feel nicely progressive throughout their travel with no harsh bottom-out or spikes. The only place they performed less admirably was fast trail chatter; repeated harsh hits where the fork doesn’t track as smooth as its more refined (and expensive) big brother. Overall, the only hiccup has been a slight leak from the seal on the right hand leg; nothing terminal and easily fixed. I’ve been so impressed by the Sektors that they’re now the main fork for my bike due to their lighter weight and solid performance. Sure, I still lust after some of the features of the Revelations, but to be honest, why drop that extra cash? Sorry Keith, but with the Sektor you can now have all three: strong, light and cheap. MARK DANGERFIELD
Afton are another newcomer in what seems a flood of new shoe brands, but the stylish look and comfort have got everyone talking. Want to be the snazziest dude among your mates? Look no further.
The Flat pedal shoe market has thickened recently, and one brand leading the charge is Ride Concepts. We did some skids this summer in a long term test, and are stoked there is a new player in the mix.
The Orbea Rallon is a hot topic. Good looking and extremely well put together, this pedigree machine gets the carpark talking. We got to spend a few days aboard the Spanish rig and collated some thoughts inside.
We got to spend some of our summer thrashing around on this beast. A user friendly 180mm do it all park bike, that’ll pop jumps and rip turns till the cows come home. Get in.
Two bikes for the price of one? Canyon’s new Strive enters with 29” wheels and a revised shapeshifter giving you a 135mm trail bike and a 150mm enduro weapon at the press of a button. Does it live up to the hype?
We take a look at Whyte’s short travel 130mm 27.5 trail which has all the hallmarks of their bigger rigs. This bike questions the big travel trends and makes us take a look at what we actually require out of a bike. Is big actually better?