Apollo 2013 – Featuring the SRAM XX1 11-Speed Groupset
As hype continues to build for the coming 2013 product year, bike brands are hosting various dealer shows and product launches around Australia and the World to showcase their new range to the public. With an even bigger bang than last year, Aussie brand Apollo decked out the reception rooms at Sandown Racecourse in South East Melbourne to proudly display their 2013 range of Road, Time Trial, Commuter and Mountain Bikes. Over the course of 4 days, dealers, shop employees, journos and spys from all around Australia all cruised along the carpet-lined floor drinking complimentary coffee (it was actually pretty darn good!) while being brainwashed by Apollo reps.
Enduro was invited along to check out the range, and while we’ll be running some more details and specs on the broader range in our upcoming issue, we thought we’d share some photos from the bike that had us drooling the most; the Arctec 29er.
Dressed in a very exclusive SRAM XX1 groupset, the Arctec 29er is Apollos’s flagship XC race bike. By exclusive, we mean this is literally the only XX1 groupset in Australia and one of a handful in the World. Full press release and details are coming in the next fortnight on the latest 1×11 drivetrain, but in the meantime, here’s some pics to whet your appetite.
Single chainring front crankset with revised crankarms. Very neat and also very light.
The Arctec carbon frame features some pretty sweet details, such as the internal cable routing for the derailleurs, as well as a pressfit BB.
Super thin seatstays promise compliance and comfort from the hardtail frame.
Going the whole hog, Apollo have selected the brand new XX Gripshift for switching up that 11 speed cassette. Motorbike throttle noises as standard.
While not as streamlined as the current XX rear derailleur, the XX1 model is unique for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s got an offset upper pulley (hidden in this photo) that allows the chain to follow the different cog sizes evenly. Secondly, the action of the derailleur is literally side to side, no more angular movement like standard rear derailleurs. And lastly, it’s equipped with the clutch mechanism that SRAM have released on the X9 and X0 rear derailleurs, known as ‘Type 2′ – this is key to providing more tension on the chain for less chance of derailment and reduced chain slap.
Very similar construction to the current XX and Red cassettes, the 11 speed unit provides an enormous 10-42t range!
Some intense machining on that 42t cog at the back there. Note the 142x12mm Thru Axle dropouts – Apollo are listening closely.
Racy graphics make the Arctec stand out. A cheaper model uses far more understated graphics if this is too much for you.
While the buzz was around the groupset, we were also surprised to see the Arctec decked out with SRAM Rise 60 Carbon Fiber wheels. The main reason I assume would be for freehub compatibility with the XX1 cassette (proprietary hub driver – currently only SRAM and DT Swiss offer freehubs to work with the cassette), though these are clearly some very nice wheels and certainly suit the Arctec’s aesthetic.
Keep an eye out on the blog and our Facebook/Twitter channels for more info on the XX1 groupset as it comes to hand. We’ll also be running details in our upcoming issue of Enduro Magazine, and possibly a sneaky ride review coming soon…