What a week for off-road cycling news. Things kicked with a new bike rack from Thule, while Hutchinson announced a brand-new downcountry tyre - the Kraken 2.4. Mondraker unveiled its full-carbon Foxy, and Yeti dropped the covers off a new 650b trail bike. We also showcased Lapierre's new Pulsium gravel bike and CushCore's trial-specific tyre insert.
Hutchinson’s downcountry tyre
2023 Hutchinson Kraken 2.4 tyre rear tread, by Hutchinson
Tyre manufacturer Hutchinson has taken its cross-country tyre, the Kraken, and beefed it up to create a 2.4in version aimed at a new style of riding known as downcountry. The brand has taken what already works from the enduro tyres, such as a fast and grippy tread pattern, and paired this with a new chunky width to power the techy descents confidently. The tread features mix of higher-volume central knobs and smaller knobs around the circumference to perform best on loose rocky terrain.
Technical and rough terrain goes hand in hand with the demands of downcountry riding, so the tyres 66 TPI and a bead-to-bead Hardskin puncture defence offer much-needed durable protection. The Kraken 2.4in come in a tan sidewall and a black edition and retails at £57.95.
Thule’s new bike rack is designed to fit wider tyres
2023 Thule Epos bike rack studio, by Thule
To keep up with the modern times where the best mountain bike tyres are on the wider side, bike transport and luggage specialist, Thule has created a new bike rack designed to accommodate three bikes with different tyre widths. The rack is attached to a towbar and will work with wheels sizes from 16- to 29-inches.
What’s cool about this is the wheel holders are super wide and will hold up to a 3.2in tyre. Fat bikes are welcome, too, and can be fitted onto the rack with the added accessory strap. The total weight the rack can hold is 60kg, and when not in use, it can be folded away nicely and neatly. Plus, if you’ve forgotten to take out that tube of Pringles from the boot, you can easily access this thanks to its smart tilt system.
Prices start from £880 to £970 depending on the size.
Mondraker Foxy goes full carbon
2023 Mondraker Foxy Carbon linkage, by Mondraker
Lightweight and versatile, the new Mondraker Foxy mountain bike has carried out some upgrades to its long-standing enduro machine. The new bike sees some impressive changes, starting with the frame that is now fully carbon, with carefully selected zones for added compliance and stiffness. The patented Zero Suspension System has been reworked, giving this model fresh kinematics, and the geometry is now adjustable, giving riders the option of a ‘standard or ‘low’ position by a simple screw fiddle on the lower shock link.
Available in three models, the Foxy Carbon XR, RR and the R. With 170mm of travel on the front and 150mm on the rear of Ohlin's goodness, the XR is the most aggressive, while the other models have slightly less bounce with 160/150mm set up. You will find a mixture of SRAM and DT Swiss making up the components.
Yeti introduces its new SB135 trail bike
Yetil has designed a brand new model to add to its trail bike line-up that encompasses all of the recent updates carried out on its bike range. Welcome, the SB135. The geometry replicates the SB140 but with a tweaked leverage rate using the Switch Infinity technology to achieve a reassuring predictable ride, plus its Fox shock has had a tune to work at its best for this bike. Internal cable routing makes maintenance easier, and the UDH hanger offers simple replacement. There are three models with more aggressive geometry seen in the top-specced 160mm front/135mm rear sprung bike.
Yeti introduces the SB135 - a 650b trail bike
Lapierre’s road-inspired gravel bike
2023 Lapierre Pulsium Allroad riding, by Lapierre
These days we see gravel bikes sporting extra chunky tyres, slack frame geometry with wide clearance for those wider tyres and a 1x drivetrain. Lapierre’s new creation ignores this natural progression with its gravel/road bike known as the Pulsium. The widest tyre you can use on this machine is a comfortable 35mm, where the rider will benefit from the bike's aerodynamic qualities paired with faster rolling performance.
The sleek integrated elastomer rear shock means the bike can easily take the rider off the tarmac and onto rough terrain giving the bike plenty of versatility. For longer adventures, there is space for luggage on the handlebars to scatter around the frame without cables interfering.
Trail-specific CushCore tyre inserts
CushCore has released a new tyre insert that is designed for trail riding. The brand has already been catering for tyre protection aimed at other cycling disciplines, and this time with a focus on trail riding with features geared towards a more aggressive riding style. A fluid sidewall offers protection that works with the demands of hard cornering, the centrifugal channels increase sealant flow around the tyre, and the notches reduce their weight. It is also said that the inserts improve suspension performance by 16% and half the force from hard impacts. They come in two sizes (650b and 29in) and cost £170 for the pair.
You might also like: