Friday, 30 December 2016

Tech Talk: Cannondale CAAD 12 Disc

Cannondale CAAD 12 Disc

Cannondale has a history in aluminium bikes that spans more than three decades, and while many brands have either shelved aluminium or relegated it the bottom end of their ranges, the company continues to advance the material alongside its carbon portfolio. The CAAD (Cannondale Advanced Aluminium Design) range, which was launched in 1983, has now arrived at number 12, although slightly confusingly the CAAD12 supersedes the CAAD10.

Cannondale turned to some pretty sophisticated new computer software and a proprietary design technique called Tube Flow Modelling. ‘In the past all we had to work with was tube thickness and tube shape,’ says Cannondale design engineer Jonathan Shutler. ‘Now the engineer defines the parameters and then the computer runs through hundreds of virtual tests, working on different options until it finds the optimal solution. It accelerates the testing and engineering timeline and unlocks more of the material’s potential through designs that engineers alone would maybe have taken years to get to.

Internal route

‘We can hone every detail of the frame – how gradual the tube tapers are, the precise changes in wall thicknesses,’ says Shutler. ‘On the CAAD12 there are no dents or crimps to provide clearance for the front mech or tyres etc. Everything is modelled. There are no stress risers (points where stress is concentrated), there’s no excess material, and we can concentrate the strength and stiffness precisely where it’s needed.’ It sounds remarkably similar to how carbon lay-up schedules are developed using FEA and CFD analysis,and reveals how far aluminium construction has advanced. But this is only the beginning. Next comes a complex mix of tube swaging, hydroforming, welding and post-weld heat treatments to bring the CAAD12 Disc frame to life.

Bridgeless seatstay

The tubes look mostly round, but subtle shaping sets them apart. The down tube has a low central ridge on its underside, flaring to maximise its head tube junction, and swaps ovalised planes at the bottom bracket. The top tube tapers and flattens before the seat tube, and Cannondale’s SpeedSave chainstays and Thinline seatstays aim to combine drivetrain efficiency with rider comfort at the back. The gear cables and rear brake hose are routed internally through the down tube, and the front hose is retained in a channel inside the fork leg by a removable cover, all helping to maintain the clean lines.

Tappered seattube

The carbon fork is moulded as a single piece with direct bearing placement for the headset to shed more grams. The bottom bracket shell is widened to 73mm providing a sturdy perch for the flared Delta seat tube, The seat tube tapers all the way up its length until it arrives at the skinny 25.4mm seatpost. The outcome of all this, say Cannondale, is improvements in stiffness (claimed 13 per cent more at the BB and 10 per cent more at the head tube), reduced weight (236g lighter for frame, fork, headset and seatpost) and dramatically improved vertical compliance (50 per cent) compared to the CAAD10.


  • Advanced aluminium construction
  • Disc brake with QR
  • Skinny seatpost with SAVE seat and chainstay for better vertical compliance


Toptube: The tube connect headtube with seattube.

Downtube: The tube connect headtube with Bottom Bracket shell

Seattube: The tube connect the toptube and downtube, its also home for seatpost.

Seatstay: The tube connect seattube with rear end 

Seatpost: A bicycle seatpost is a tube that extends upwards from the bicycle frame to the saddle. The amount that it extends out of the frame can usually be adjusted, and there is usually a mark that indicates the minimum insertion.

Chainstay: Tube connect BB housing with rear end

Bottom Bracket: The bottom bracket on a bicycle connects the crankset (chainset) to the bicycle and allows the crankset to rotate freely. It contains a spindle that the crankset attaches to, and the bearings that allow the spindle and cranks to rotate. The chainrings and pedals attach to the cranks. The bottom bracket fits inside the bottom bracket shell, which connects the seat tube, down tube and chain stays as part of the bicycle frame.

Headset: The headset is the set of components on a bicycle that provides a rotatable interface between the bicycle fork and the head tube of the bicycle frame. A typical headset consists of two cups that are pressed into the top and bottom of the headtube. Inside the two cups are bearings which provide a low friction contact between the bearing cup and the steerer.

Cyclist ME Nov 2016

Ride On!

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Choose The Right Bag/Boxes For Your Bike

If you take your bike on holiday with you, the right bag or box can make the difference between it arriving safely or in several pieces. Most bags and boxes will take a standard drop-bar road bike or hardtail mountain bike with ease, but things get a little more difficult when it comes to time trial/triathlon machines and full-suspension rigs. 

If you’re flying, you need to take extra measures. Baggage handlers aren’t known for their finesse or delicacy of movement. They’re not going to move every bag and case as if it contained a priceless Ming vase, are they? Luggage often gets flung about, dropped or stacked sky high, and you don’t want your bike to be subject to any of that with anything other than heavy-duty protection.

The main decision on which bike bag to choose will depend on the value of the bike. A $4000 racing bike will probably demand a hard case whereas the majority of mountain bikes can be safely transported in a soft bike bag or a correctly packed and reinforced cardboard box. Bike bags and bike boxes might be expensive but chances are that they’re not as expensive as your bike or your holiday. Invest in something that’s right for your needs and it’ll likely last you years.


Cost: Usually between the $100 and $200.

Protection: These bike bags are designed to pack away, so they’re light and have very little bulk. A bit like the bike box, protection is entirely up to you. Fill it with large pieces of cardboard (cut from the sides of a bike box), to reinforce both sides, plus lots of foam. Foam camping mats cut to size are also excellent.

Weight: 1.2–2kgs.

Size: Big enough to fit a dual suspension 29” MTB, but check with the manufacturer if you have any doubts.

Disassembly: Because they have little reinforcing, you might like to remove your rear derailleur, rotors, and more. A typical soft bag requires removal of pedals, front wheel, and handlebars as a minimum. If your soft bag’s a tight squeeze you’ll have to empty shock pressure. Small to medium frames will need your post dropped, or removed if it’s easier.

Portability: Reasonable, depending how strong you are and how much other luggage you have. Over short distances, the shoulder strap will be okay. You’ll only have one other hand free, so think about a backpack or rolling suitcase for your other luggage.

Storage: Generally they pack down to about the size of a full A4 folder, and they either come with cases to zip into, or the option to buy one for a little extra. That padding you’ve put in has to go somewhere though – but it does all store flat. Soft bike bags offer the best in storage and are perfect for travelling light or bike-packing.

Verdict: Perfect if you travel light, and really cheap, but not great if you have lots of other luggage or need to walk long distances.


Cost: Between about $500 and $800, depending on the brand and features.

Protection: Usually a combination of soft padding plus hard plastic reinforcing on the outside, and often a metal frame to anchor your bike into the bag on the inside.

Weight: Between about 7 and 9kgs. This is a big step up from boxes and folding bags and a reasonable chunk of your baggage allowance.

Size: Varies, and while most are big enough to take a dual-suspension 29er – be sure to check, most manufacturers list a maximum wheelbase length that they can fit. There’s usually room to chuck in a small bag of your clothes, plus bike shoes and spares – but it’s very easy to make it very heavy to move around.

Disassembly: You’ll usually have to remove both wheels, handlebars, and pedals. Whether you take any other bits and pieces off is up to you and individual bag design.

Portability: Go for bag on four wheels, rather than two, because there’s still a lot of muscle involved if you have to lift and drag, rather than tow the bike bag behind you.

Storage: Not great – whether it’s your garage, hire car or your hotel room, these guys make their presence felt. 

Verdict: A great option if you want some extra protection for your precious steed and if you’ve got a fair distance to walk. 


Cost: Minimal. If you can’t get one for free, you’re not trying hard enough. Pick one up from your local bike shop.

Protection: Your bike shop might also be able to put aside a few bits and pieces of foam, and nobody’s ever going to stop you going nuts with a roll of bubble wrap, towels, and more layers of cardboard. Stuff in lots of soft clothing and other luggage and keep your box out of the rain to stop it going wobbly. Use packing tape to reinforce the base and handle holes. 

Weight: About 2kgs.

Size: Varies. Get a big one and you won’t have any troubles packing any bike and a whole bunch of other junk in there.

Disassembly: Generally remove pedals, front wheel, and handlebars. The rest (like rotors and rear derailleur) is up to you.

Portability: Be prepared to struggle getting this onto a conveyer belt, around corners, and into the boot of a car. Steer away if you have a lot of transfers outside the airport, particularly if you’re taking public transport like trains and buses, and especially if you’re walking. Carrying a bike box is awkward, slow, and those pointy corners will find somewhere to stab.

Storage: You can collapse your box and fold it into a bulky flat pack – although much of its strength comes from being kept in once piece, not folded. Another option is to discard your bike box at the airport, build your bike then find another one for your trip home. 

Verdict: Great weight savings and the cheapest option. Terrible if you have to walk anywhere.


Cost: Hard cases vary a lot in price. The cheapest is around $300, but they can ring up more than $1,000 at the register.

Protection: Sometimes an exoskeleton is the only thing that will do the job. You’ll still have to pack your bike correctly, and generally a lot of disassembly is necessary.

Weight: Generally between 10 and 16kgs.

Size: Take care checking whether the hard case you like fits your bike. Some simply don’t fit 29ers, or big rigs, especially larger sizes.

Disassembly: Generally quite a bit. Hard cases are typically quite compact and the bigger the bike, the more you’ll need to strip.

Portability: Nearly all hard cases are mounted on four wheels, which are a breeze to tow. Some models are ‘dragable’, on two wheels,

Storage: These guys can’t fold away for easy storage. Investing in one means you’ll have to consider transport options at your destination once the bike is built, and where you’re going to keep it at home. 

Verdict: Hard cases offer superior protection for your bike and a decent one will follow you effortlessly wherever you go. On the downside, you’ve got no hope of coming in under most airlines base baggage allowances and a great model might hurt your wallet. But if the protection of your bike is of utmost importance – they are a premium option.

Australian Mountain Bike

Ride On!

Monday, 26 December 2016

Cycling With Running: ElliptiGo

ElliptiGo Arc

The ElliptiGO is a great machine and one of the best in the industry. The stroke emulates the elliptical machines that you find in the gym but instead of staying flat through the motion, the “GO” has the runner’s kick built in as part of the motion. It appeals to runners and cyclists as well as a broad audience of injured athletes and people looking to try something new to mix up their fitness routine.

The concept for the bike was conceived in 2005. When ex-marine and Ironman triathlete Bryan Pate suffered an acute medical condition, he lost the ability to pursue his primary source of exercise – running. A vexed Pate turned to the fitness industry to find an alternative source of training, and was shocked to discover that nothing existed which came anywhere close to simulating running. “In his mid-thirties, Bryan had issues with his knee, due to a degenerative condition; he was doing a lot of training on an indoor elliptical and suddenly had the bright idea to bring it outside,”

ElliptiGo Arc Pedals

Pate realised that the answer to his issue would involve a fusion of a running-like motion with the speed and health benefits of cycling. Knowing that the project would require a mechanical engineer, he turned to co-founder and friend Brent Teal. The two set about building the original design for what would become the first ElliptiGO bike, at the time known as Alfa, and in mid-2006, the first prototype materialised.

The ElliptiGO first went into production in 2010, and the company has continued to gain traction successfully year upon year. “ The ElliptiGo outdoor elliptical bike series includes a range of models: the 3C, the 8C and the 11R. Ranging in price from $1,799 to $3,499, these uniquely designed trainers are a cross between a traditional bicycle and an elliptical trainer that allows users to essentially “run” without the impact of running.

ElliptiGo Handlebar, same like ordinary bicycle handlebar

ElliptiGo trainers operate very similarly to a traditional bicycle, with a similar set-up, brakes and gear system, but what makes these trainers so unique is their use of an adjustable stride and standing upright design where the user pedals like you would on an elliptical trainer. Each of the models features an adjustable stride of 16 to 25 inches and an adjustable steering column and handlebars.

Users control the trainer with the linear pull rim brakes with levers on either side of the handlebars, and the speeds, or resistance levels, vary based on the model, ranging from three to eleven speed options. All of the models are designed using an aluminum frame and ranging in weight from 39.4 to 44 pounds. The top two models also include a carbon-fiber drive arm for lighter and smoother design. For storage, all models feature either a folding or removable steering column, and all include a removable front wheel.

Run with speed like cycling

Bikebiz 11/2016

Ride On!

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Tour Rig: Tout Terrain Xplore

Tout Terrain Xplore

Tout Terrain makes good quality bikes for all purposes. The bikes are built in Europe, and as the name suggests, they can cope with rough terrain. Tout Terrain has won many prestigious awards for several of their bikes and much of the accessories they offer. Tout terrain is characterized by a constant innovative approach to advanced technology, mobility focus and a nice clean and elegant design. As they put it: "We will continue to abide by the philosophy that Coco Chanel once so aptly articulated: "Fashion changes – style remains" We will continue to invest our energy and effort into creating innovative, beautiful, timeless products that will guarantee you lots of cycling pleasure.”

Integrated rear rack

The German designed 29ers Tout Terrain Tanami Xplore, is like no touring bike you would have seen before, for starters, Tout Terrain Tanami Xplore uses a Dedacciai steel and it has a custom-butted down tube designed specifically to cope with loaded riding. The bike has a  had three bo le cage mounts, mid-fork eyelets, and maximum load capacity of 160kg including the rider, with a 40kg limit on the integrated rear rack. The dropouts and all of the braze-ons are made from rust-proof stainless steel and the frame is then powder coated in Tout Terrains own facility to maximise corrosion resistance.

Pinion Gearbox

Second, the gears are integrated into the bottom bracket. They use Pinion gearbox. Developed by engineers for Porsche, Pinion's P1.18 gearbox is fully internal, like a gear hub, but much more versatile. All up, there are 18 speeds with sequential increments of 11.5%, greater than the 14 speeds offered by Rolhoff. All up, the gear range is 636% with no overlapping like on a derailleur system, making it the widest of any gear system on the market. The internal nature of the Pinion gearbox makes it less prone to problems and low maintenance, requiring an oil change just once a year. The system should last 60,000km.

Tout Terrain TBA, you can adjust chain/tension here

Last, the frame incorporates a unique system for tensioning the chain - Tout Terrains innovative TBA (Triangular Belt Adjusment) system allows the gearbox to pivot on two central bolts, which tensions the transmission from the gearbox end and enables the use of belt drive transmission.

If 29ers too big for you or you scare cant find spare inner tube on your journey, take a look at Tout Terrain Silkroad Xplore. Its a little brother from Tanami Xplore, using 26 wheels with same DNA and with Tanami Xplore.


  • Pinion Gearbox
  • Integrated Rear rack
  • Triangular Belt Adjusment
  • Built to be loaded


Ride On!

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Adora-Bike: Van Dessel WTF

Van Dessel WTF

Van Dessel is a company based in New Jersey with a strong racing pedigree, especially in cyclocross. Van Dessel prides itself on designing versatile bikes that defy categorization, a trend that started with the company’s legendary Country Road Bob. Other than perhaps looking like a Retrotec, the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is quite unique in appearance and ride. Both the frame and fork aren’t designed with the stiffer-is-better philosophy, and the curved tubes and steel fork offer a classy aesthetic.

Van Dessel WTF Frameset

The durable double butted 4130 chromoly Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, or WTF can be many bikes. It can be a road bike, a cruiser, a fixie, a townie, a cross bike, a full-rigid 29-er, or monster cross. It sure is versatile and as well as rocking an eye-catching look with those twin top tubes. the frame is quite traditional, geometry is dialed so you can use drop bar or flat bars, external routed cables, a steel fork and a non-tapered steerer tube. 

You can run with belt drive too
There are rack and mudguard mounts front and rear, and huge amounts of clearance, especially at the back where there’s no brake bridge between the seatstays, while the driveside chainstay slims into a flat plate towards the bottom bracket. Modular dropout inserts offer quick-release and thru-axle (12x142 rear and 15x100 front) wheel compatibility. Also, you can run a belt drive with this frame.

It is all of those things in one bicycle. About the only restrictions are that it’s disc-brake only, and won’t take a modern suspension fork (the geometry is not suspension corrected and the steerer tube is 1-1/8-inch rather than tapered).


  • Dual curve top tube
  • Flatbar and dropbar geometry dialled
  • Very versatile setup


Seatstay: The tubes connect seattube with rear end

Chainstay: The tubes connect BB house with rear end


Ride On!

Tech Talk; Canyon Ultimate CF SLX

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX

The Ultimate has been a mainstay of the Canyon range for over a decade, having been one of the first real-world evolutions of the Project 3.7, a fully roadworthy concept bike Canyon showcased in 2004. The brainchild of renowned German bike designer Hans-Christian Smolik, the Project 3.7 weighed a staggeringly light 3.784kg, thanks to an 818g F10 Ultimate carbon fibre frame and a series of fully custom parts made by Smolik, including 8g shift levers, a 823g wheelset and a 138g seat and saddle ensemble. Smolik passed away in 2010, but his ideas resonate in Canyon’s latest Ultimate, an elegantly engineered 6.66kg bike. The secret behind this weight is a 780g frame and a 295g fork, along with neat tweaks such as the 33g Acros headset and 350g one-piece Aerocockpit stem and bar ( 100mm stem, 410mm bars)

According to Sebastian Jadczak, Canyon’s road development director, the brief for the Ultimate was simple: preserve the stiffness-to-weight ratio of its predecessor while reducing drag by 10% and increasing compliance by 10%. Canyon’s done that and then some. ‘The Ultimate has 7.4% less drag as a frameset, 12.9% when combined with the Aerocockpit handlebars, and is 15% more comfortable than the previous Ultimate,’ claims Jadczak. ‘The stiffness to weight is maintained.’


As it turns out, the 2016 Ultimate is lighter than its predecessor – but only by 10g. Instead, Canyon have focused on improving the frame’s aerodynamic performance and comfort. This isn’t an all-out aero road bike – that status is reserved for the Aeroad, but Canyon have applied some of what they learned in the development of the Aeroad, and before that the Speedmax time trial bike, and applied it to the Ultimate in a series of truncated airfoil tube profiles. 

"D" Shape

This Ultimate sports a newly designed down tube profile – a box section with the bottom face being rounded to create a 'D' shape. Compared with the previous Ultimate, the profile is narrower with a rounder nose, which is designed to decrease flow separation by ensuring the air sticks to the tube. The chainstays are hugely asymmetric, the non-driveside one being almost as wide as it is deep, and the slim, widely spaced seatstays cross the seat tube, creating a large junction with the flat, wide top tube. Canyon claims The all-in-one H36 Aerocockpit CF handlebar/stem had advantage of around 5.5W at around 45kph over a standard handlebar and stem setup. Canyon has actually ditched the oversized tapered head tube on this new model for aerodynamic reasons, going for matching diameter bearings top and bottom.

Hidden seatclamp

As well as aerodynamic improvements, Canyon has really concentrated on comfort – especially at the seat tube junction. Changing the standard style seat clamp for an integrated version has left an amount of seatpost exposed from the frame, which will then flex under load. The adjustment bolt sits at the rear of the frame between the seatstays as they merge into the seat tube. Inside the seat tube is an aluminium shim covered by a soft seal which spreads the load of the bolt over a much larger surface area to protect the post and create a tight seal.

Swallow 28mm tyres

There’s also room for 28mm tyres within the frame. Wider tyres needn’t be the preserve of endurance bikes, particularly with a number of manufacturers beginning to offer 28mm race rubber, another boon for comfort but also potentially improving grip and reducing rolling resistance.

  • Aerocockpit
  • Hidden seatclamp and flexing seatpost
  • Swallow 28mm tyres


Headtube: The head tube is the part of a cycle's tubular frame within which the front fork steer tube is mounted.

Seatpost: A bicycle seatpost is a tube that extends upwards from the bicycle frame to the saddle. The amount that it extends out of the frame can usually be adjusted, and there is usually a mark that indicates the minimum insertion.

Seatstay: The tube connect the seattube with rear end

Seatclamp: Part to held seatpost in place by squeezing the top of the seat tube


Ride On!

Monday, 12 December 2016

Did Running Bad For Your Joints?

Myths or Fact?

You’ve probably heard it before. “Running is bad for your joints.” Comments like these usually come from non-runners. Running is a natural action for humans, yet many people who don’t do it seem convinced that this highly beneficial exercise choice is ultimately bad for you. So are they right – could running be harmful to your joint health?

Contrary to popular belief, running does not cause arthritis or osteoarthritis later in life. “I think people have this misconception because we draw these conclusions from people who have run for a long time who have knee pain,” says Karen Morice, MD, an attending physician in the department of rehabilitation medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. “But you know what else happens over time? People get older, which is exactly when arthritis all over the body happens running or not. So it could be coincidence,” Dr. Morice says. Shazia Bég, MD, a board-certified rheumatologist at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando, agrees. “Most studies show there isn’t any correlation between running and developing osteoarthritis. The biggest risk factor for developing osteoarthritis is age,” says Dr. Bég. “Think of your body like a car: The more miles you put on it, the more there’s a chance to damage it, there’s more wear and tear. The more miles you put on your joints, the more chance there is for degeneration,” Bég adds. It’s also genetic, she says, so you’re at a higher risk if there’s a history of arthritis in your family whether you’re a runner or not.

A 20-year study, conducted by Professor James Fries of Stanford University in California, found that runners from the study (now in their 70s) who run consistently could expect to have less arthritis than the non-runners when they get older. It also showed the runners to have a lower risk of osteoarthritis and hip replacements. 

A 2014 study conducted by Dr Grace Hsiao-Wei Lo, assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas, found that running at any stage of life doesn’t increase a person’s risk of osteoarthritis of the knee. In fact, it may even help to ward off the condition. The findings of the study, presented at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting in Boston, looked at more than 2,600 participants, giving them knee x-rays, assessments and surveys. Researchers concluded that runners had a lower prevalence of knee pain than non-runners, regardless of their age.

“Our bodies are designed to run,” says Professor John Brewer, Head of School of Sport, Health and Applied Science (SHAS) at St Mary’s University. “In the past, we had to run to catch food or avoid being the food of a predator, so running is a natural form of human locomotion.” Samantha Moss is lead physiotherapist for Nuffield Health and has been monitoring various studies. “There is currently no good evidence that running alone causes osteoarthritis,” she says. “There is some evidence that extreme levels of running is harmful, that those who run marathons and ultra-marathons have a higher incidence of osteoarthritis, but there have been no good research trials into this to confirm a link either way.”

The Truth Is..

Far from jeopardising our mobility in later life, some loading of the joints is actually good for us. These adaptations explain the utility of physical activity in the treatment of arthritis, and the ability of joints to endure years of running without permanent damage. Ligaments and muscles, which support joints, are strengthened and reinforced by the stresses of athletic activity, improving joint mechanics. The flexibility of muscles, encouraged by exercise, can also aid the mechanical function of joints. Articular cartilage actually has its own feedback mechanism to respond to exercise. 

Chondrocytes, the living cells that make up just 1% of cartilage, sense the loading of articular cartilage and regulate the production of matrix components to repair and remodel the tissue in response to stress.“Running can improve our joint and bone health, especially if we manage the volume and frequency of our runs,” says physiotherapist Stuart Mailer from Kensington Physio & Sports Medicine. “When we run, there is a high stress and load going through our joints and bone tissue that can improve bone density, helping to prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. The bone remodels itself frequently and adapts to the stress it is put through.”

But Cautions With..

- Running is a high-level physical activity, so your back, abs, and legs need to be strong,” says Morice. That’s why building good core strength is essential for all runners. The stronger your muscles, the less impact on your joints. You’ll also decrease the likelihood of injury, experts say.

- “Running on the concrete is the worst surface you can run on,” for joint wear and tear, according to Joseph Herrera, DO, assistant professor of rehabilitation at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. “The most ideal is running on soft surfaces such as tracks; asphalt is another good alternative. In general, the softer the surface, the more joint-friendly it is,” says Dr. Herrera.

Womans Running UK 11/2016

Ride On!

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Tech Talk: Rocky Mountain Element 2017

Rocky Mountain Element 2017 Team Only Edition

The Element has been Rocky Mountain’s premiere XC race bike for two decades. To stay on the cutting edge, the frame has gradually transitioned from aluminum to carbon and the wheels have grown from 26” to 29”. Designed for cross-country and stage races, Rocky Mountain has looked to develop a bike that blends efficiency and speed with comfort and stability, particularly for routes that combine long distances with technical sections.

"This new Element is a full-on XC marathon weapon, but with the confidence of a trail bike." says product director Alex Cogger. The Element has received a substantial overhaul, including brand new geometry. On the geometry front, the reach has been increased slightly to accommodate a shorter stem/wider handlebar without sacrificing pedaling position. This includes slacker angles up front which give greater stability and confidence on descents, with a longer fork offset. The seat tube has been steepened for a better position for climbing, and the rear centre has been shortened to lengthen the reach slightly. It's also now available in a size XXL for taller riders.

The Element also now features slightly longer 120mm forks, to provide a little more cushioning on those long marathon miles. At the rear, the Element has a 100mm shock with a four-bar 'Smoothlink' suspension system (Smoothlink is linear by design with a supple, nearly bottomless feel even with less travel than a traditional trail bike.), with a brand new tune to go with the new geometry. Rocky Mountain also adjusts the suspension tune to suit each different bike size, based on 'real-world' field testing. Another major new addition to the Element is the Ride-9 adjustment system. This allows the user to further tweak the geometry of the bike to suit different terrain, different events and different riders.

Ride 9 Adjustment System

Ride-9 systems allows 9 different configurations, and while on Rock Mountain's trail bikes it sits at forward shock mount, for the Element it's been moved to the link to reduce weight and built. The frame includes oversized head and down tubes allowing for easier installation of the rear lockout, brake, dropper post and shift cables/hoses. The carbon frame weighs in at 2250g (size medium including shock and hardware) according to Rocky Mountain, though you can add in 30g for two-tone paint on the special edition Team Only frame. There's also room enough for two bottle cages. The single-sided chain stay pivots gives a narrower rear triangle which Rocky Mountain claims eliminates heel rub even with Boost spacing, and the bike has clearance for wide 29 x 2.35 tyres. Lightweight bolt-on axles save a further reputed 35g when compared to traditional Boost axles. 

  • Ride 9 Geometry adjustment system
  • Compatible with 2x or 1x drivetrain
  • Internal cable route
  • Boost axles
  • Two bottle cages inside the triangle


Seattube: The tube connect the toptube and downtube, its also home for seatpost.

Dropper Post: A seatpost that can be raised or lowered while riding with the push of a button.

Chainstay: The tube connect a BB house with rear end


Ride On!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Tech Talk: 3T Exploro

3T Exploro with 650b wheels

The Italian brand 3T, formerly known as Tecnologia del Tubo Torinese, has been producing top-quality bicycle parts since 1961. The Exploro is the world’s first gravel frame to consider aerodynamics, something that may sound odd at first but actually has a solid basis in science. Billed as the world’s first aero gravel bike, the Exploro is the brainchild of ex-Cervelo designer Gerard Vroomen, a man who’s always been keen to push the boundaries of bicycle engineering. It’s a disc brake-equipped, fat-tubed thing, the bastard offspring of a road bike and an XC racer.

3T Exploro frame

The Exploro uses Sqaero 50/25, with a 50mm wide downtube perfect to pick up the airflow coming off a wider ‘cross or MTB front tire and lead it on to the water bottles. The seattube is 25mm wide to make it aerodynamically disappear in-between the bottles and the rear tire. The headtube, seatstays and custom seatpost also use Sqaero shapes. 3T claim, The Exploro saves 7 Watts over the equivalent round tube frame (same tube widths, same frame details, same components), or 24 Watts at 30 mph if your mind is still set to that 30mph speed.

Peep the seatpost position

The Exploro gets a wide flat mono b-stay at the top of the seat stays that hits the seat tube below the seat cluster to help calm any chatter. That’s pretty important because the frame has such oversized downtube and asymmetric chainstays. The D-shaped ‘Charlie Sqaero’ seatpost use 3T’s elastomer-damped head that does a decent job of tuning out the buzz without feeling flexy. The post gets an integrated internal wedge clamp accessible from under the toptube with a 4mm allen

Internal cables, hoses and seatpost clamp clean up the frame aerodynamically and visually. The FlipTop cable guide on the toptube comes in several versions to allow for mechanical and electronic shifting, with single or double chainrings. For mechanical shifting, the Exploro uses full housing for the rear derailleur to completely shield the cables from any dirt or debris.

The Exploro is designed to fit road, ‘cross and even mountain bike tires following the GravelPlus standard. The road and ‘cross tires are 700c. The mountain bike tires use the 650b size, ensuring that all of these have virtually the same overall wheel diameter and therefore the same predictable handling.
Hang loose RD hanger

Last, another insteresting feature is Hang Loose Hanger for the rear derailleur, it detaches from the frame when the rear wheel is removed, making it a lot easier to re-install the rear wheel after a repair in the field without wrestling with the chain.

  • Can use both 700c or 27,5 wheels
  • Built in elastomer to reduce buzz in seatpost
  • Thru axle
  • Disc brakes
  • 3 bosses in downtube, 2 bosses in toptube and seattube
  • Biggest downtube ever!


Headtube: The head tube is the part of a cycle's tubular frame within which the front fork steer tube is mounted.

Seatstay: The tube connect seattube with rear end

Seattube: The tube when downtube, toptube, seatstay and chainstay met, its also house for seatpost

Seatpost: Is a tube that extends upwards from the bicycle frame to the saddle. The amount that it extends out of the frame can usually be adjusted, and there is usually a mark that indicates the minimum insertion.

Toptube: The tube connect headtube with seattube.


Ride On!