Each year the folks at SRAM in New Zealand pile all their latest wares on a truck and head around the country stopping occasionally to show local shops what's coming as well as address any questions dealers (and even customers) might have with existing products. Sometimes Rob Eva, SRAM Australasian boss, makes the trip over from their Melbourne offices and other times we get a special guest. Well this is that other time, and the special guest is/was Chris Hilton who is the Mountain Bike Drivetrain Product Manager at SRAM, and he's been responsible for XX, X0 2x10, Grip Shift, Type 2 RD, X0 DH, XX1 and this year's X01. The show itself was a slightly scaled down version of what it's been in the last few years, with the team focusing on a smaller range of key products that weren't necessarily new to our computer screens but were new to touch. Truvativ's range of Pro-model bars where the first things that caught our attention. I've been running the 75omm wide carbon Jerome Clementz bar since June but it turns out that all the bars are here now in NZ and ready to ship. So if you want to rock the same bar that Stevie just won the World Cup overall with or the bar that Jerome won the EWS overall with then you need hit up your LBS now; they should be able to have them for you tomorrow. The Danny Hart bar features a 25mm rise, a 5˚ up-sweep, 9˚ back-sweep, is 780mm wide and weighs in at 340g. The Stevie Smith features a 30mm rise, a 5˚ up-sweep and a 7˚ back-sweep, is 780mm wide and weighs in at 340g (and it comes in black and silver). The Jerome Clementz is the only carbon fibre model in the range and features a 20mm rise, a 5˚ up-sweep, 8˚ back-sweep, is 750mm wide and weighs in at 240g.
And if you want some super comfy grips then SRAM's new lock-on silicon grip should fit the bill. There isn't a super slim version but if you like your grips on the larger side then these are most definitely worth a look.
These new hubs have a number for a name that I can't quite recall, but they bring 142x12 rear axles to a lower price point. It's compatible with standard freehub bodies or an XD driver body for 11 speed. The front comes in 15mm only, and both are 32 hole only as well.
Back in April when SRAM's new wheels were announced we got a little sneek at the new SRAM hub but no one was giving too much away, but when the XO hubs where formally announced at the end of August we got a closer look at some of the new tech going on. These things are light for sure, and the Double Time pawl engagement system is pretty rad...
Basically, two of the four pawls only are engaged at any time, meaning the pick up time is halved. There are always two pawls engaging when the other two are disengaging. Hard to explain, easy to understand when an expert is telling you!
SRAM stepped up their wheel program a while back and in fact announced the new all-mountain Roam and Rail wheels back in April but yesterday was the first time that we have had a chance to actually have a little play with them and frankly they look fricken awesome! All the details on the wheels are back here but to recap the Carbon Roam 60 features a 21mm inside bead witdh (28mm outside) and come in all three wheel sizes, with either an 11 speed XD driver or a 9/10 speed driver body and are super convertible. As well as this they feature SRAM's SOLO spoke setup, meaning that all spokes are exactly the same length.
The Rail is an alloy only wheelset that features the same Solo spokes and blinging hubs (and all the features that come with them) as the Carbon Roam 60 but its inner rim width is stepped up a notch to the very fashionable 23mm (28mm outside width). Again its also available in all three wheel sizes as well as in XD 11 speed or standard 9/10 speed.
The Rise 60 is aimed at XC/Marathon racers and lightweight freaks, in 26 and 29" versions. 24 spokes using the Solo system and laced 2 cross but with the strength of a 3 cross lacing, keeps the weight down but retains plenty of strength in the wheel, with carbon rims and QR or thru axle options.
The Pike is popping up on a lot of bikes lately and has set a new standard for trail/AM forks with its large diameter stanchions and light weight. The Charger damper is where the magic happens.
XO1 carbon cranks, derailleurs and shifters available with either red or grey graphics and that cool black 10-42 cassette (steelo not included in group).Chris' bike was running this trick black XX1 chain, not part of the release but pretty cool looking when matched with the black cassette. Although he did point out that the black wasn't their for looks but for function; what function he wouldn't say, but a fast black chain? We'll be spending the weekend with Chris so after plying him with beer I'll get the answer (and more hopefully as well).