Prototype Spotted – FOX 38 Suspension Fork

During the pivotal final round of the EWS, both Richie Rude and Martin Maes took on the tough race using a new prototype FOX fork. It looks like a burlier FOX 38 will soon be joining the FOX lineup.

Nowhere to hide. It was clearly not a FOX 36 on the front of Martin Maes bike

During each EWS round, there’s often exciting product being tested by the elite racers, some products well hidden, some hard to hide. However, when you fit something like a new prototype fork to the front of Richie Rude and Martin Maes’ bikes, people are going to notice.

The prototype features a revised bridge and clearly thicker 38 mm stanchions

These prototypes are labelled under FOX’s Research and Development, RAD program, and there was no official statement from FOX. However, while the FOX Race Support technicians were not able to give details of the new fork, we can confirm that they have 38 mm stanchions and were being tested at 170 mm of travel. This means they fit directly in between their flagship 36 mm enduro chassis and their triple clamp 40 mm DH chassis. Just like the FOX 40, The prototype fork also has pressure release valves at the back of the fork legs, allowing internal pressure built up from heat and elevation to be released, optimizing small-bump compliance. The damper inside the fork looked to be the current GRIP2.

On the back of each fork leg was a bleed valve

The new fork is stiffer, more sensitive and better than the FOX 40! – Martin Maes

The prototype fork was being tested with a top-of-the-line GRIP2 damper.
The forks appeared to being tested at 170 mm of travel
Will we see a new FOX 38 hitting production soon?

FOX’s RAD program often works a number of years ahead, however, for Richie and Martin to take to the tough trails of Zermatt on prototype forks during such an important race, it would suggest that these prototypes are at a very advanced stage. With enduro bikes growing in travel, a 38 mm chassis single-crown FOX fork would make a lot of sense.

Anything possible, nothing obligatory – What constitutes the ultimate family holiday?

What are the hallmarks of a mountain biker’s ultimate family holiday? Easy answer: riding as much as physically possible. But when adult commitments and parental responsibilities put the brakes on your riding time, you may want to consider the Dolomites Bike-Weeks in the idyllic village of Olang in South Tyrol.

We have no shame admitting that the biggest priority in our early twenties was shredding. All the trails, all the time. The radder, the better. But our lives have changed and we’ve grown up. Indeed, for some of us, the arrival of families has led to an obligatory shift in priorities. The elements needed to keep a family’s happiness in check (particularly on holiday) are quite different to those you seek on a trail riding trip with mates. Our test rider Gregor knows this only too well – after the arrival of his son Anton, Gregor and his wife Adi have had to rethink those very priorities. That’s when they happened upon the Dolomites Bike-Week in Olang.

They quickly decided to spend a week in Olang, during the Dolomites Bike-Weeks. When they weren’t tucking into local delicacies like Schlutzkrapfen, or ‘gramming the picture perfect mountain lakes, they split their time between the Kinderwelt and the bike park, road riding and mountain biking, relaxing and riding in a bid to tip the scales towards the ultimate #familybikebalance. They succeeded! Here are their highlights:

Dolomites Bike-Weeks – what’s it all about?

As the name suggests, the Bike-Weeks mark a four-week period during the summer where cycling in the Dolomites takes centre stage. From mountain bikers and road riders to recreational cruisers, there’s something for everyone, including daily guided rides catering for three levels in each discipline. But before you get alarmed at the thought of being unwittingly enrolled into a rigid, predetermined programme, don’t worry – choice is king here.

Anything possible, nothing obligatory – Dip in and out of the Bike-Weeks programme.

The Dolomites Bike-Weeks is not your standard organised bike ride. There’s no set schedule to follow and no fixed group you have to meet. As a guest in Olang, you’ll simply be privy to a wide-ranging menu of rides that you can hop in and out of as you wish. Fancy a road ride? Go for it. Legs starting to feel the burn? Take a day off, or opt for an eMTB recovery ride. All of the organised rides are led by professional guides, and, being situated in the Dolomites, you can expect your culinary desires to be well and truly exceeded. South Tyrol’s cuisine is awash with local delicacies with great indigineous names like Schlutzkrapfen ravioli, Spinatpressknödel (spinach dumplings) and the messy, but fit-for-an-emperor Kaiserschmarrn pancake.

Olang – a destination for the whole family

Right in the middle of Val Pusteria/Pustertal, the town of Olang has around 3,000 residents and delivers all the ingredients for the ultimate family holiday. Its hotels run the gamut from budget to luxury and there’s no shortage of restaurants. The Kids World – the Kinderwelt – is a giant outdoor playground that’ll capture imaginations. What’s more, each guest gets access to free public transport across the region as well the option to attend any of the town’s events (either for free or at a heavily reduced rate) thanks to the so-called HolidayPass. You can also find time to discover South Tyrol’s lesser-known gems such as the Toblacher See/Lago di Dobbiaco which is equally as beautiful as the Instagram-famous Pragser Wildsee but far less overrun with tourists. Reaching the lake can be done in a number of ways but Gregor, Adi and Anton decided to pedal along the family-friend bike path. Once they had exhausted themselves skimming stones and eating ice cream, they returned to Olang for free on the train with their HolidayPass.

The HolidayPass doesn’t just come with a list of local opportunities, it also extends the range of what’s possible. Outbound by bike, return by train – no problem!

The Kinderwelt – a massive adventure play park

The sprawling Kinderwelt in Olang is a place that can light up any child’s eyes. Just next to a babbling mountain brook, this natural adventure play park winds its way along the stream, revealing an archipelago of diverse adventure islands as kids move through it. From the giant water park to picking a line up the climbing wall, there’s something for every taste. Even as adults, Gregor and Adi struggled to tear themselves away from the action. Fortunately Anton provided a convenient excuse to stay a bit longer.

The Kronplatz – culture, cuisine and a damn good time

The Kinderwelt is one form of adventure play park, but the Kronplatz is something else entirely. The mountain is a familiar ascent of the Giro d’Italia and pedalling up to 2,275 metres is a popular option, though you can also take the cable car. Once at the top, expect breathtaking panorama views of the surrounding peaks, like the Marmolada and Drei Zinnen.

But the excitement doesn’t end at the postcard perfect views. For mountain bikers, there are descents in three directions – towards Olang you’ve got the GASSL flow trail, which takes you down 1,125 metres of descending with unavoidably high stoke levels. Towards the south, you’ll find the Furcia Trail, which offers a host of detours and diversions onto other trails too. In the north, you’ll find the Herrnsteig trail – the oldest and most well-known of Kronplatz’s downhills and one that’s continually being refined with new, trickier segments. Great riding guarateed!

Family holiday means making compromises. Do you prefer biking, culture or adventure? At Kronplatz the only compromise is, to do all three in a row!

Not just a hotbed of trails, there’s no shortage of culture on the Kronplatz either. Take the Messner Mountain Museum designed by Zaha Hadid. A stunning feat of architecture perched on the mountain top. Or the new AlpINN restaurant, which ties together a laid back atmosphere with fine food. You won’t need to dress up for dinner either – this region is very au fait with sports attire. After all, it also has to deal with the neon brazenness of skiers each winter.

In the heart of the Dolomites

During the approach to Olang, the landscape outside the car window will entrance you – rocky mountain peaks, lush meadows and cascading waterfalls. But it’s only when you’re out on the bike and moving at a slower pace that you can truly appreciate its beauty. On a road ride to Lake Misurina, Gregor sat up and soaked up the view over the lake that staged the speed skating competition at the 1956 Olympics. From here, you have what is perhaps the greatest view of Drei Zinnen. Despite lasting hours, the ride that Gregor had picked from the programme seemed to pass in a bit of a blur and before he knew it, his group was being led back to Olang along the smooth tarmac of the Dolomites. As the switchbacks unfolded ahead of him, Gregor was already envisaging a way to get Adi and Anton up to Lake Misurina too. He knew that they’d love it as much as him.

As you may have gathered, Olang isn’t a far-flung, remote destination, where adventure is synonymous with extreme risk-taking, but fortunately, most bike-mad families aren’t looking for that. Diverse and different days usually make for a good holiday and we can confirm that Olang delivers exactly that. Dear Olang, we’ll see you again next year. Hopefully, by then, Anton will join us on the trails. And if not, it doesn’t really matter because you’ve already brought the #familybikebalance into alignment.

For more information about Olang and the Dolomites Bike Weeks head over to:

This article is from ENDURO issue #040

ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine is published in a digital app format in both English and German. Download the app for iOS or Android to read all articles on your tablet or smartphone. 100% free!

Highs and lows at the Vuelta a España: EF Gone Racing

The stages ticked off, the bad luck continued and the pressure built. The EF Gone Racing film crew arrived at La Vuelta a España to an EF Education First team that was knocking its head against a seemingly impenetrable wall. But, as you’ll see in the episode, they never stopped believing, and that helped make …

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Summer Send-Off — 35% or more from Competitive Cyclist

Summer Send-Off from Competitive Cyclist

When the leaves start to change and when the trails dew-covered for the morning shred, you know what’s around the corner. Fall doesn’t mean the end of riding by any means – actually its one of the best seasons to ride. Changing temperatures mean cool weather gear gets a chance to see some daylight and the changing trail conditions keep riders on their toes. Best yet – it means sales and new gear from Competitive Cyclist. Check out all the tires, jackets warmers and even a frame or two in the Summer Send-Off sale. We’ve searched through the sale and pulled out some items we thought you’d dig – so check it out and get shredding for fall!

 YETI CYCLES SB5.5Turq Mountain Bike Frame – 2018

SALE 35% Off $2,275.00 from $3,500.00

Yeti Cycle’s finger on the pulse of mountain biking is pressing down harder than ever and they have been in the game just about as long as anybody else. Trends come and go and designs advance to ultimately allow riders to push their limits and go faster on more difficult terrain. The 2018 SB5.5 Turq is the culmination of everything Yeti has learned in over 3 decades of building frames. The suspension design on the SB5.5 gives it the ability to happily pedal and climb with XC bikes but the geometry pushes its capabilities in gnarly terrain that Yeti’s Enduro team will occasionally call into action for EWS races. This 5.5 frame carries the Turq appointment, which is plenty burly enough to handle tail-gate shuttles and rugged trails, yet light and agile enough that you’ll forget how durable the frame is. The SB5.5 Turq construction contains the highest quality carbon fiber that Yeti uses allowing it to precise layup the carbon.

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E*THIRTEEN COMPONENTS LG1 Plus All-Terrain 29in Tire – 2018

SALE 50% Off $29.76 from $59.95

If we said your trails get a little damp, that would be an understatement. You’re used to riding slick roots, wet rocks, and dank, loamy dirt packed with mossy patches, and so you’re on the hunt for tires that can keep up with the trails that you call home. Designed for the post-work riders, and weekend warriors alike, e*thirteen components crafts the LG1 Plus All-Terrain 29in Tire for confidence and grip on trails that pack in the moisture more often than dry out. Unlike its LG1 Race counterpart, the LG1 Plus comes with a dual-compound construction that’s better at all-around traction than unfailing stickiness, making it a smart choice for a range of conditions. Featuring e*thirteen’s Enduro casing, the LG1 Plus is as prepared as its race-minded sibling to rail berms and switchbacks hard without folding over. 

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DONNELLY MXP Tire – Tubeless

SALE 39% Off $42.92 from $70.00

Designed for virtually any condition, the Donnelly MXP Tubeless Tire maximizes versatility for cyclocross racers encountering everything from moderate mud to grassy fields, hard-packed dirt to smooth pavement. This tubeless-ready tire sits at 33-millimeters wide, allowing you to drastically drop tire pressures for greater traction and bump compliance, regardless if you’re cross racing or just putting in some training miles on your favorite stretch of back road. This all-around cyclocross tire features a more classic tread profile, except for a few modern updates like precise flex grooves along the center for course-conforming grip, alongside aggressive side knobs for added stability and acceleration out of corners. 

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PIRELLI Cinturato Velo Tire – Tubeless Ready

SALE 41% Off $40.99

The 145-year-old company Pirelli created quite the buzz when it announced that it was reentering the road cycling tire market again earlier this year. We were excited for sure, and if you’ve followed motorsports at all, you’re familiar with its success in auto and moto races across the globe. As we glanced over the PZero Velo range, we had one question, where are the tubeless tires? We were assured it was in the works and sure enough, the Cinturato Velo Tire is the tubeless-ready tire from Pirelli, blending puncture protection, ride comfort, and top performance. Pirelli uses its SmartNET Silica compound for less rolling resistance, exceptional handling and grip, especially on wet roads, and long mileage. 

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ZIPP Tangente Speed R28 Tire – Clincher

SALE 46% Off $34.99

While Zipp has long held a stellar reputation for churning out aerodynamic wheels, you may be less familiar with the fact that this company also makes tires. First introduced in 2007, Zipp’s tires were originally laser-focused on aerodynamics, which left a bit to be desired in the rolling resistance and handling categories. With the Tangente line, Zipp’s focus has shifted to creating fast-rolling tires with supple grip to rail corners. The Tangente Speed R28 Clincher Tire boasts exceptional traction in both dry and wet conditions and a wide profile to roll smoothly over rough roads. Billed as a race-ready tire for days when the road isn’t pristine, the Speed R28 utilizes a plush 220 TPI nylon casing and a beefy 28mm width to soak up the bumps.

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SEALSKINZ Dragon Eye MTB Glove – Men’s

SALE 66% Off $23.98


Hot days and rough trails are harder on your hands than your legs sometimes, and you can’t afford to have things like missed shifts and raw, bleeding thumbs disrupting your hours on singletrack. The Sealskinz Dragon Eye MTB Glove takes a less-is-more approach with a sleek, padding-free design aimed at giving you grip and dexterity on the bars without boxing-glove bulk. The synthetic suede palm is responsible for grip, and it’s backed up by an anti-slip liner to hold your hands in-place inside the glove. Added touches like articulated knuckles, Lycra fingers, and an improved thumb design work to give you the same freedom of movement you’d have without gloves, while the completely waterproof outer liner protects your hands from weather and wind.

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RAPHA Classic Wind Check Jacket – Men’s

SALE 69% Off $64.98 from $209.95

When your rides start early, and showers are in the forecast, don the Rapha Classic Wind Check Jacket and take to the tarmac with concerns of cool breezes brushed aside. This classic-styled jacket takes Rapha’s traditional Classic Wind Jacket II and elevates its aesthetic with iconic style from the golden era of cycling, with a checkered flag design that wraps the torso, hinting at its 1960’s flair, back when cyclists wore wool and were held as style icons. But the jacket isn’t all form over function, and its DWR coated nylon construction proves it. The jacket breathes and moves with you, with a tailored cut designed just for being on the bike, hitting at the hip in the front, with a long drop-tail hem in the back to keep you covered from showers. Bonded seams and hems reduce the bulk for a smart, easy-to-pocket jacket, while a bonded lower-front pocket secures your valuables.

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GORE WEAR C5 Partial Gore Windstopper Insulated Jacket – Men’s

SALE $84.97

The C5 Partial Gore Windstopper Insulated Jacket from Gore Wear is a hybrid of sorts. It’s slim and form-fitting enough to fit like a jersey, but it provides insulation and warmth that’s typically reserved for heavier jackets. Gore places PrimaLoft Gold Insulation in critical areas that maximize warmth on cold days and chilly descents. It’s very low-bulk insulation, so it won’t interfere with your position while on the bike. Adding a barrier against the wind and precipitation, Gore fortifies this jacket with its own Windstopper membrane that’s windproof, water-repellent, yet still extremely breathable. A tall, close-fitting collar further keeps cold drafts and precipitation from reaching your core.

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ASSOS winterBootie_S7

SALE 71% Off $39.97 from $139.00

While Assos has a multitude of seemingly complicated shoe coverings to choose from, these are easy to explain. They’re the direct descendant of Assos’ legendary airlock bootie. The Assos winterBootie_S7 is aimed at the same temperature range and does everything the now-discontinued airlock did, only better. To start, Assos employed the strataGon fabric for its enhanced waterproofing and breathability. It handles nasty weather better than airBlock, and ultimately, it leaves your foot more comfortable over a long duration. This new fabric’s success hinges on Assos’ new flexible membrane. Incredibly, the membrane closes down its microscopic pores when cold and opens them up when warm. 

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