Core Bike is back after a forced two-year hiatus and while we might have had some trepidation about how much new kit would actually be on show (given the production issues faced by the bike industry over the pandemic), lots of brands seem to have been surprisingly busy developing new products and updating their existing ranges.
That meant there was more than enough new stuff to look at. Read on for all the tech that caught our eyes while we keenly wandered the many rooms of Whittlebury Hall...
Hope's HB916 High Pivot Enduro bike and new Tech 4 brakes
Hope's new high-pivot enduro bike has been common knowledge for a while now after it was spotted at Ard Rock Enduro last summer. Since then it has made a number of appearances at various bike shows and has been seen piloted through mucky ruts by the Hazzard Racing team who are sponsored by the British brand.
While we all know what the bike looks like, Hope has been pretty tight-lipped regarding actual specs of its new best enduro bike until now. The design is obviously significantly different from the existing Hope HB-160 enduro bike and Hope HB130 trail bike. While Hope seem to have followed the trend of using a high-pivot idler like the Forbidden Druid, it's not quite as simple. The idler is actually mounted to the elevated chainstay rather than the seatstay, how this will effect the suspension performance is yet to be confirmed but an interesting detail nonetheless.
The frame itself can be setup up in either a 29er or mullet format and has a flip-chip that sets the head angle at 63.2- or 64-degrees and the seat angle at 78.1- or 77.9-degrees respectively in the 29er setup.
It appears that there are going to be three colorways as well. There is the classic matt raw carbon, a black and light grey and a eye catching chameleon finish.
While Hope has previously indicated that it would be launched late spring we wouldn't hold your breath. However, it does seem like the project is moving forwards so fingers crossed we don't need to wait too much longer.
Hope was also showing off its recently released Hope Tech 4 brakes in all the available lever and caliper color options.
Forestal just linked up with UK Distributor Silverfish to bring its expanding range of e-bikes to UK customers. Currently, it's just e-MTBs, however, the Andorran brand is working towards gravel and road options too.
The e-MTBs have some great features that could put them at the top of the best electric mountain bike categories, including an EonDrive motor and battery system (developed with Bafang) and an integrated touchscreen display (which includes mapping and smartphone integration). Forestal had bikes for every occasion from trail to e-assisted uplift downhill bikes on show and it was great to see them in the flesh.
New carbon dropper from Crank Brothers
Not a whole lot of details on this one, but Crank Brothers are bringing out a new carbon dropper post soon. All we have been told is that it will feature the same internals as the brand's current best dropper post but build using carbon.
Other than that, the gold details look great and the stanchion has a crazy shimmery look to it, we will share more details once get them.
Wide-range E*Thirteen Helix R cassettes
E*Thirteen is claiming the widest possible gear range with its Helix R cassettes which can offer a 556-percent spread. This has been achieved not by going bigger but actually going smaller and fitting a 9t sprocket to a SRAM XD driver. The cassettes are compatible with both Shimano and SRAM chains whilst also being lighter than the Shimano XTR and SRAM XX1 counterparts, achieved through some neat machining. There is a choice of Grey, Naranja, Bronze, and Eggplant finishes, plus an Intergalactic PVD finish – which is claimed to be twice as durable as regular anodized colors.
E*Thirteen also has some new colors for its handlebars and stems which are worth checking out if you are keen on a specific color scheme.
DMT GK1 lace-up gravel and FK1 flat pedal shoes
These DMTs were released at the start of the year but we haven't had a chance to get a good look at them yet. Both the GK1 and FK1 feature a full-knit upper construction which DMT says will mold around the foot better. The GK1's feature cord eyelets that are integrated into the upper giving them a unique look and spreading the load across the foot.
Both models feature a Michelin rubber sole. The GK1's have a large blocky tread pattern that we think looks pretty good for hike-a-biking. The FK1 uses Michelin's OCX compound to help the pins grip into the sole. We are interested in getting our hands on some to see how they compare to the best gravel bike shoes and best flat pedal mountain bike shoes.
Prototype Pirelli gravity tires
Pirelli knew they were going to attract everyone's attention by writing Prototype in big yellow letters on the side of a tire. The tire in question here is a new gravity tire featuring a super soft rubber and is aimed at hard gravity riding. Canyon CLLCTV is already using the tire although we were told that the tread pattern is still being refined and will be different from what is being shown.
It's not the only update as Pirelli is also updating its Scorpion e-MTB tires with a new carcass, new tread and a new grippier compound which they say should improve the tire's performance on hard surfaces.
Topeak Tubeless repair and pumps
Topeak has expanded its Tubi tubeless repair kits. The range has been broadened and now features MTB, gravel and road specific kits. Rather than a one-size-fits-all, the new road and gravel kits come with smaller plugs to better suit the types of punctures gravel and road riders experience. The kits also feature a CO2 attachment so that when the insertion fork is stabbed into the tire, you can inflate and seal the hole with a single tool, speeding up the process.
Topeak also offers a TubiMaster Plus Special Edition that includes 1.5mm (road) and 3.5mm (MTB) plug insertion tools, both plug sizes, a trimming knife and CO2 inflation. Everything is contained within a housing and can be strapped to your frame for storage.
Topeak also had its new 2Stage MTB, gravel and road hand pumps on show. The MTB pump goes up to 300psiso that you can take care of all your MTB inflation need and use it for both your tires and suspension. It also has a digital gauge to assure accurate readings.
New helmets from Abus
Lightweight full-face enduro helmets seem to be a hot topic for helmet brands recently with the recent releases of Specialized's Gambit and POC's Otocon helmets. Abus are looking to compete in the best enduro helmet market with its own Airdrop Mips enduro full face offering soon.
Built from EPS, it features Mips, Abus Zoom Ace FF adjustable head retention and breakaway visor. Abus has also added softer edges around the chin bar to help protect collarbones and it will be upgradeable to Abus' Quinn crash detection chip.
Abus also have a selection of other open face helmets too, covering trail and enduro duties and a range of price points.
New SDG gravel saddle
SDG has a new gravel saddle on the way, it features a similar shape and materials as the mountain bike SDG Bel Air but has a refined shape to better suit riders in a more aggressive position. We felt that the Bel-Air was a great contender to be one of the best mountain bike saddles so we have high expectations for this new perch too.
There is also a version that's aimed at eMTBers too which features more padding.