In this week's roundup, we bring you a selection of exciting stories from the world of off-road cycling. Moots, renowned for its titanium bikes, has ventured into new territory with the release of the Express, its first-ever carbon e-bike designed for adventure. Meanwhile, Genesis takes a different route, unveiling its 2023 Fugio gravel bike lineup with an aluminium frame, promising a lighter and stiffer ride for off-road enthusiasts. We also delve into the intriguing air versus coil suspension in mountain biking debate and provide insights into the challenging Cape Epic 2024 race route. Read on for more.
Moots releases the Express gravel e-bike
2023 Moots Express e-bike gravel4.JPG, by Moots
Moots, known for its titanium bikes, has introduced its first carbon e-bike, the Express. Departing from its traditional titanium builds, Moots chose carbon for its first-ever e-bike for safety and ride quality reasons.
The Express is dubbed as an "adventure-ready" bike featuring a Shimano EP801 drive unit with a 504Wh battery, providing approximately 100 miles of range. The bike boasts a Shimano XT Linkglide 1x11 drivetrain, Shimano GRX carbon wheels with Panaracer GravelKing+ tyres, and various mounting points for those adventures. The price for the Moots Express stands at $9,999 (£8,100).
Genesis unveils updated Fugio with aluminium frame
GN23300_Fugio10_Packshots_001.jpg, by Genesis
Genesis has revealed its 2023 Fugio gravel bike lineup, featuring an aluminium frame instead of its traditional steel. The shift to a 6061 aluminium frame, along with a carbon fork, promises a lighter and stiffer ride. The bike's geometry remains unchanged, offering a 70.5-degree head angle, a 73-degree seat tube angle, a 395mm reach (large size), and a 1062mm wheelbase.
Each frame is hand-painted, ensuring unique designs. The lineup includes three models, with prices ranging from £1,300 to £2,000. All models feature Vittoria Mezcal 2.1 27.5" MTB tires and offer generous clearances for rugged terrain.
Merida’s One-Sixty FR gets more travel and a coil shock
Merida has expanded its One-Sixty lineup with the introduction of the One-Sixty FR, positioning it between peak enduro and freeride. This aluminium-framed bike boasts increased suspension travel, now reaching 171mm at the rear and 180mm up front, catering to riders tackling severe terrains.
The One-Sixty FR comes in two models: the 400 and 600, with prices starting at £2,800. It's designed for budget-conscious riders looking for a capable bike to handle big challenges - and our Liam has already taken it out for a spin as well. Read his first ride review here
Air vs coil suspension - which is best for mountain biking?
Suspension is at the heart of mountain bikes, and in this feature, we've had a deep dive into air and coil suspension. The two systems differ quite a lot in terms of number of seals, weight, adjustment, and linearity.
This means that cross-country riders may prefer air suspension, while downhill and enduro riders benefit more from coil suspension. To find out exactly why, read the full feature below.
Cape Epic route 2024 - everything you need to know
Matt Beers and Jordan Sarrou at the 2021 Absa Cape Epic, by Michal Cerveny/Specialized
The Cape Epic 2024 race will span 390 miles through South Africa's challenging Boland region – an area known for its harsh terrain and extreme climbs.
The 20th edition of this mountain bike race will run from 17 March to 24 March 2024 and, unlike previous editions, there will be no 'short day' to give riders some respite. The race begins at Lourensford, near Cape Town, and features seven gruelling stages comprising gravel road, stunning singletrack, rocky trails and sandy tracks. We've taken a look at what exactly awaits the riders at this race.
The Charlie Hatton interview – the new King of Downhill
Andreas Kolb, Charlie Hatton, Laurie Greenland on podium, by Red Bull Content Pool
Charlie Hatton, the 25-year-old British rider, secured his first UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Championship title in Fort William this year. We chatted with Hatton about his race strategy, handling wet conditions, and working closely with his pro teammate. The young rider also reflected on the mental aspects of winning and his aspirations to achieve more podium finishes in future races despite a recent wrist injury.
Are ceramic bearings worth it?
Ceramic bearings are gaining popularity among mountain bikers, offering benefits like corrosion resistance, durability, and lower friction. While they are significantly harder than steel and spin more efficiently, the actual difference they make during mountain biking remains debatable.
This feature explores whether they are worth the investment for you.
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