Norco’s Aurem: Norco was one of the first companies to
embrace 27.5-inch wheels in the gravity market. Their Aurem 7.1
ENVE is a downhill race bike through and through, built entirely
around the ’tweener wheel size. The bike was designed over several years in conjunction with Norco’s DH race teams and was first
raced on the 2014 World Cup stage. This is the lightest and (they
claim) fastest downhill bike Norco has ever produced.
More mid-fat love: Specialized is also now in the mid-fat game
with their new men’s and women’s plus-size bikes, the Fuse and
Ruse. The bikes use Specialized’s new 6Fattie Ground Control
tires and have a unique open chainstay design that’s built to keep
the chainstay length relatively short and still shed mud well.
Trek’s secret: That towel draped over the top tube junction was
no mistake. Trek is currently developing a soft-tail system for their
race bikes. Trek has borrowed the Isospeed decoupler rear suspension design used on Trek’s Domane road bikes and put it on
the new hardtails. The design allows for a slight amount of rear-wheel suspension, which should theoretically allow the rear tires
to maintain better contact with the ground on bumpy terrain.
Foes Fabrication: Brent Foes has a new H2 hydroformed downhill bike that caught our attention. The new bike, built around 27.5-
inch wheels, gets 8 inches of travel; a new-school geometry; and
Foes’ tried-and-true, modified, single-pivot suspension design. We
spoke with Brent about testing one of these beauties on the gravity trails here in SoCal, and he was all in for the idea. Stay tuned
for the full report.
Tracer DVO: Intense has worked with the guys at DVO suspension nearly from day one when the company was founded a few
short years ago. The new special-edition Tracer T275 comes
equipped stock with a DVO Diamond fork and Jade shock, and is
available to buy now. The Tracer was named Bike of the Year for
2014 by the Mountain Bike Action testing crew, and we’re pretty
sure the DVO setup would only sweeten the pot.
Speedy Orbea: Catharine Pendrel stopped by to show us her
new Oiz race bike that will no doubt be on some podiums this
year on the World Cup circuit. Pendrel first won on this bike at
the 2012 World Cup rounds in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada, and
Windham, New York.