From Pivot's brand-new Switchblade to Sonder's steel-framed adventure bike, this week has been mega-exciting for off-road cycling tech. There's a whole lot more, so grab a cup of coffee and catch up on the top tech stories of the week.
Sonder gave the Broken Road a new steel frame
Sonder's Broken Road adventure mountain bike blasted onto the market equipped with a titanium frame and all of the mounting points imaginable and, now, the Broken Road is available with a steel frame. This brings big-distance goodness down to a more accessible price point.
Not only does the material make the frame cheaper but it carries a vibration-damping quality that'll be appreciated during those massive trips into the wilderness. Sonder's also keen to show off its slack head angle, its claimed responsiveness, and comfortable ride quality.
For more details on why Sonder's broken road is now available with a steel frame, check out the article.
Pivot unveiled the new Switchblade
Pivot has slowly been nipping and tucking its range of mountain bikes, updating them with fresh geometries among other spec updates. This week, it was the Switchblade's turn.
With this iteration of the bike, Pivot has aimed to give the Switchblade a boost in versatility, stretching the parameters of all-mountain with a new geometry and a slightly altered suspension kinematic. Of course, it's longer and a bit slacker but the brand has toyed with its dw-link suspension to make its rear wheel path more rearward throughout its travel.
We were invited to the Forest of Dean and managed to knock out a Pivot Switchblade Pro XT/XTR a first ride review.
Focus stepped into the lightweight e-MTB market with the VAM2 SL
Electric mountain bikes are getting lighter and lighter thanks to advancements in motor tech and that's exactly the case with Focus's brand-new VAM2 SL. It's equipped with a Fazua Ride 60 motor and just 125mm of rear suspension and the brand claims that efficiency meets capability.
It's not just about suspension travel and motors though, as the brand has given the bike a special rear end that's been tuned to offer a very specific flex profile and the first of its kind for the category – a flex chainstay which ditches a Horst Link to save a bit of weight and reduce maintenance.
Click here to read all about the Focus VAM2 SL lightweight e-mountain bike.
We showed you the best MTB handlebars we've tested
Your handlebar is one of the most important contact points on your bike and it can make a huge difference to how your bike rides and feels. Even though many look identical, they come in a range of shapes, sizes, widths and materials all to hit different performance points.
Because of that, picking your next handlebar isn't the easiest of tasks. To help you, we've rounded up the best handlebars we've ever tested (that you can still buy) and stitched in some handy tips and tricks that'll help you find your ideal bar.
Have a look at the best MTB handlebars to find which option is best for you.
We delivered our verdict on PNW Components' first step into carbon manufacturing
Last but not least, we gave our verdict on the PNW Components Loam Carbon Handlebar. It's a fresh bar on the market and represents PNW's first go at using carbon fibre. The brand has done a great job of utilising the material to add interesting and useful flex and stiffness characteristics.
Here's our full verdict on the PNW Components Loam Carbon Handlebar.
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