How hard is it to find a true ‘Australian Made’ product these days? Well thankfully it’s gotten a little easier for mountain bikers, with Deubel offering up exactly that. Established by Sydney-sider and longtime Gravity Enduro competitor Sebastien Deubel, Deubel Bicycles currently offer up one frame, and one frame only; the 150mm travel 2UP.
The 2UP is constructed from hydroformed Easton EA6X tubing, with CNC machining and TIG welding taking place in-house, right here in Australia. For those who assume that it isn’t cost effective to produce a modern mountain bike outside of Asia, Deubel is a glowing example that will prove you wrong.
The 2UP is built as an All Mountain machine, with 150mm of rear wheel travel and the capability of a 150-160mm travel fork up front. The key is in its modular shock and dropout design however, which allow for multiple geometries to be worked out of the one frameset. The suspension design is a basic single pivot that mimics the Orange and Santa Cruz models that have come before it, but its in the small details that set Sebastiens design apart from the rest. For a start, the rear swingarm mounts to the front triangle via a large 15mm diameter hollow alloy axle that is supported by two huge sealed cartridge bearings. The main pivot junction on the swingarm is CNC machined, and encapsulates the chain stays from the outside in order to maximise the welding surface area between the two pieces. It’s a beefy looking design, but through initial prototyping and testing, Sebastien found a substantial stiffness increase through the encapsulated design, which he has patented as E2S suspension.
Part of the frames lateral rigidity is surely the work of the oversized and machined dropouts, which bolt onto hefty junctions on the swingarm. You can choose between 420mm or 440mm chain stay lengths, depending on how much stability you’re after over manoeuvrability.
There are also two differnt shock shuttles available, which serve to alter BB height and head angle. Depending on what type of fork you run, the head angle on the 2UP varies between 65.5 and 67 degrees. As such, it is perfectly suited to the rigours of the Gravity Enduro racing that is currently sweeping the country.
Other neat features on the 2UP include cable guides for full length gear cabling, a huge 1.5″ head tube, ISCG05 tabs and a custom tuned Fox Float RP23 rear shock that has been configured to suit the Deubel’s single pivot suspension design.
While far better known for their performances on the Pro road circuit under the likes of Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggens, Pinarello have been threatening to get back into the dirty world of mountain biking, and for 2014 they’ve made good on that threat with the intriguing Dogma XC.
Any closet roadies out there will be familiar with the Dogma name, as it is one of the most respected road bike models available on the market. That being said, it’s a pretty big deal for the Italian company to employ the same name for their flagship 29er mountain bike. Part of the reason is that the Dogma XC utilises the same 60HM1K Toray carbon fiber fabric that is used on the road frame, which utilises 60 tons per square centimeter for a very dense structure. It also utilises the Torayca Nanoalloy Technology, which employs nano particles in the carbon weave in order to improve impact resistance. The result is a stronger frame that Pinarello claims is 59% more resistant than conventional carbon fibers – bold claims indeed.
Of course it wouldn’t be a Pinarello if there weren’t some distinctive aesthetic features too. The ‘ONDA XC’ rear seat stay arrangement employs asymmetric arms that reach up from the rear dropouts to meet the main frame higher up than a conventional frame. The idea being that the seat stays act as a kind of leaf spring, so that vibrations from the rear wheel are better dissipated by the in-built suspension in the frame. If anything, it certainly looks unique, and while we didn’t think it was possible for anyone to bring a 29er carbon hardtail to market that would surprise us, Pinarello have done just that.
On the front side of the seat tube junction is a massive 4-bolt face plate that uses a similar construction to a handlebar stem. The idea behind this is to increase the surface area between the clamp and the seat post, thereby reducing any pressure points, which is especially important with lightweight carbon posts.
The Dogma XC features racey geometry that is purpose built for competitive mountain biking. It has a low cockpit setup and it’s built stiff. Part of this stiffness comes from the compact front triangle, which eschews the use of any curved of swoopy tube profiles in favour of straight lines that complete the path from junction to junction in the shortest distance possible. This is actually harder than it sounds, as on a 29er that means losing clearance between the downtube and the fork crown. Pinarello have gotten around this by building in an integrated fork bumper into the down tube that is designed to protect the frame in the event of a crash where your bars might flip around. Rather than the fork crown ploughing into frame, the elastomer bump stops should take all the force, though we’d be interested to see just how much force they can take…
Pinarello is distributed in Australia through DeGrandi Cycle & Sport in Geelong, who also distribute Castelli, Lemond, Lake and K-Edge. They also sell Wilier, and they had a very trick looking 101XN on display.
Like Pinarello, Wilier is an Italian company that has its roots in road cycling & racing, and has turned its hand at producing a lightweight 29er race bike. In the case of the XN101, it’s not quite as radical as the Dogma XC, but it is a very nice machine nonetheless.
The frame features a truly enormous head tube with a box-shaped junction where it melts into the top and down tubes. The head tube conceals tapered headset bearings, with the objective of getting the front end as low as possible. Aiding this goal is the fitting of an 80mm travel fork – an increasingly rare sight in the MTB world. However, it’s all about getting the grips down low on the XN101, providing an uncompromised racing position that comes at the expense of some front end squish.
Internal cable routing relies on a removable entry port that bolts in place via a single hex key, with the idea of providing a sealed junction so as to keep water and contaminants outside of the frame. The carbon fiber is a 60Ton spec, with the objective of providing a stiff and efficient ride while keeping weight down in comparison to cheaper carbon blends.
DeGrand Cycle & Sport
Phone: 03 5221 5099