It’s been a busy time for tech as new bikes have been dropping faster than we can count in recent weeks. With the UCI MTB World Series now well underway, we’ve seen more cross-country race machines enter the market from road bike brands and also witnessed Canyon overhaul its entire e-MTB range.
This tech of the week is not all about cross-country and e-bikes, though. We've also taken a look at some gravel bike developments, RockShox's suspension range, mountain bike lingo and Vaude's bikepacking kit. Read on to get up to date with the off-road cycling world's top tech stories...
Wilier reveals Urta Max SLR - a modern XC race bike
2023 Wilier Urta Max SLR riding, by Wilier
Wilier has launched its sparkling new full-suspension cross-country machine, the Urta Max SLR - with promises of maximising performance. We've already seen this machine excel on the tracks at Nove Mesto Na Morave - and that's because it has been primarily designed to get the Wilier-Pirelli Factory Team to some podium spots at the World Series with its revamped, progressive geometry.
Wilier has equipped the bike with 120mm of travel and it comes with a fully integrated, one-piece carbon handlebar with a negative 27-degree stem to finish the sleek and speedy look.
Pinarello introduces the Dogma XC mountain bike
2023 Pinarello Dogma XC rear end, by Pinarello
In our last tech of the week, we spotted a prototype Pinarello and now we can say that the Dogma XC is officially out. The bike is the first cross-country mountain bike from Pinarello in over a decade, and as expected, quite a lot has changed.
The Dogma's design is a whole lot about triangles: the rear is an asymmetric build combining two "semi-triangles", then you have the front triangle taking two water bottles and lastly, a wee bottom bracket triangle. It's like a game of Where's Wally, but instead, you're spotting all the triangles...
Aside from the triangles, the real talking point on the Dogma is the rear end, where Pinarello has eschewed the traditional three-pivot point rear triangle design for flex stays to improve wheel travel to enable travel in a more direct manner.
Canyon overhauled its e-mountain bike range - and we took a closer look at them all
2023 sam pilgrim canyon torqueon hero.jpg, by Liam Mercer
In the last week, we’ve been spoiled with new Canyon e-bikes. The German brand invited Liam over to Italy to see what they're all about and he came back with excellent first-ride impressions of the ‘ON’ e-mtb range.
In the last 10 days, Canyon has released the updated electric versions of nearly all of its electric mountain bikes, leaving only the Neuron:ON as it is. The Grand Canyon:ON adventure bike, downhill-orientated Torque:ON, and the all-rounder Spectral:ON have all got a refreshed look and Canyon also introduced an all-new enduro platform, the Strive:ON to the range.
The new bikes use the latest mid-drive motors and batteries from Bosch and Shimano, and the updated range really caters for every mountain bike rider from weekend warriors to freeride experts such as Sam Pilgrim, whose Canyon Torque:ON CF 9 we had a closer look at.
All you need to know about RockShox suspension 2023
The topic of mountain bike suspension is an endless pit of names and numbers, leaving any beginner or even more experienced bike nerd easily confused. To help you navigate some of the suspension chatter a bit better, we've put together two guides. One takes you through the RockShox rear shocks lineup, talking through the Deluxe, SIDluxe, Monarch, and Vivid options… And not forgetting the Flight Attendant tech.
The second guide takes you through the RockShox forks, covering the extensive line-up that the leading name in the mountain bike suspension realm offers.
Learn to speak proper MTB - our guide to MTB slang
The suspension guides listed above are only one example of how much new lingo you have to learn as a beginner mountain biker - that is if you want to follow any of the nerdy trailside conversations.
To help you make sense of what your pals are talking about, we’ve covered everything from berms to rebound in this small mountain bike dictionary.
Gravel bike suspension and dropper posts - do you need them?
We’ve talked about the evolution of gravel bikes a lot - and often the topic that comes up is whether, in reality, mountain bikes are just old-school mountain bikes. And no, there is no simple answer to that.
With the ever-increasing availability of gravel bikes with suspension and dropper posts, it’d be too easy to draw a parallel from gravel bikes to 90s mountain bikes without much thought. But, in this feature, Lance is taking the time to explore the correlation between gravel bike suspension innovations and the early phase of mountain bikes in depth.
Vaude: more than just great bags – great clothes, too!
2. S23_Alltour_VAUDE_Jessica_Zumpfe_4326.jpg, by Matt Lamy
If you only associate Vaude with bags, you are missing out. To fill you in on everything the German brand offers, we've taken a proper look at the extensive range of cycling kit - it covers pretty much everything you might need if you fancy a little bikepacking trip.
Vaude has always had good eco-credentials, but in recent years they've taken things further and since last year, all of their products have been climate neutral. If this is an issue that you care about, have a look at the feature linked below.
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