ENDURO Readers’ Survey 2018 – These are the Winners

In our annual reader survey we asked you for your wildest thoughts, your irritations and your ideas – and more than 28,000 of you participated – thank you! By taking our survey and helping us to make ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine even better, you had the chance to win one of two shiny new dream bikes and here are the lucky winners!

Liteville 301 MK14

Congrats to Silvio A. (47) from Italy, this is your prize!

The 14th generation of the Liteville 301 holds on to the legendary design of the model series but gets a big bag of updates. The fully integrated EightPins dropper post catches the eye immediately, offering up to 220 mm adjustment range. The build kit with high-end Syntace Parts and proven RockShox suspension leaves little to be desired. Shifting and braking are taken care of by Shimano’s XT, with 160 mm travel front and rear the Liteville 301 is ready for some rough terrain.

Value: € 5,640


Congrats to Kimmo T. (53) from Finland, this is your prize!

The CAPRA has been a bestseller in the enduro segment since its inception, now YT added a 29er version. The YT CAPRA 29 CF features RockShox suspension and powerful SRAM CODE RS brakes. For shifting YT relies on the E*thirteen TRS+ cassette with 511% gear range, Race Face and E*thirteen parts complete the package. The new CAPRA is the ideal partner for all of you who won’t take any compromises on downhills and still want to reach the trailhead with the power of your own legs.

Value: € 3,699

The winners have been informed by email and replied already, so if you happen to share the name but haven’t had any contact with us, it’s not you, sorry.

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Seven Protection Sam Hill Knee review – Knee pads for legends?

A lot has changed in Sam Hill’s equipment since moving his focus to the EWS, pulverising his competition there instead of the World Cup downhill circuit. Seven Protection has developed a knee pad especially for hard enduro stages, the new Sam Hill Knee, and we’ve had a chance to review them for you.

What do you do if you are one of the best riders in the world and can’t find the right equipment? You create your own signature product. In the case of Sam Hill, in addition to grips and pedals, you’ll be able to get knee pads now too. He worked side by side with the guys and girls of Seven Protection. They took the Transition Knee and developed it further, becoming the Seven Protection Sam Hill Knee. The goal: a lightweight knee pad that offers a lot of protection, is well ventilated, and can be worn all day long without slipping.

With the Sam Hill Knee, Seven Protection got rid of the Velcro straps, using a long sock made of stretch material instead. Together with silicone strips that “stick” even to sweaty skin, the Sam Hill Knee is prevented from slipping. Even when pedalling for hours or in the event of a crash, the snuggly fitting protectors remain in place. The pressure of the thin material is distributed evenly over a large area and after a few turns of the cranks, you’ll forget that you’re wearing them.

When you first put them on, the edges of the protective pad made of visco-elastic foam are somewhat unpleasant, but once you warm up, your body heat helps them to take the shape of your knees. All around the foam is an additional ring made of protective material, which is particularly useful in protecting the inside of your knees when smacking them into the top tube of your bike.

On super hot days, it can get a bit steamy under the Sam Hill Knee, and the length of the sock, which extends approximately to the middle of the thigh, doesn’t help with ventilation. A shorter version for warm weather would have been nice. But at least you won’t get the unstylish gap between your shorts and kneepads. The thin protector also fits under full-length bike pants, or jeans when you’re at the pump track.


While wearing the Seven Protection Sam Hill signature pads won’t make you as fast as the living legend, at least you’ll be well protected when you crash trying to take the inside line. The most important thing about a knee pad is to wear it. The Seven Protection Sam Hill Knee is comfortable as well as stylish, and you will forget you’re wearing them after a few turns of the cranks.


– comfortable
– don’t slip, even when you crash
– available in four sizes


– the length of the socks can get annoying

Weight: 340 g
More info at: 7protection.com

Price: € 89.99

The post Seven Protection Sam Hill Knee review – Knee pads for legends? appeared first on ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine.

2019 Specialized Turbo Levo e-bike first ride review

The Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Carbon in Storm Grey and Rocket Red. Photo by Harookz / @Harookz

What is it

Three years ago, the Specialized Turbo Levo e-bike was introduced with 140mm of travel, plus tires, and a motor assist system that was better and more integrated than the competition. Three years later, the Turbo Levo is still very relevant — but the competition has caught up. The 2019 Specialized Turbo Levo is v2.0 of the landmark bike and it addresses three years of ideas, suggestions, and complaints about the previous model.

A team of 19 engineers worked on this project. What they came up with is a special bike. It is a 150mm travel 29er based on the new Stumpjumper. It is significantly lighter than the old Specialized Turbo Levo and has much-improved battery capacity. It also has a powerful motor with much better controls, electronics, and overall integration.


These are the leaders of the Specialized Turbo Levo development team. They’ve had a team 19 in Switzerland working on the new e-bike for the last three years.

What Changed

Every aspect of the Specialized Turbo Levo has been improved. Here are the highlights:

  • Much lighter with lighter motor and frame
  • Modern, dialed geometry now in 29er format
  • New batteries with 40% more capacity with the same form factor
  • New electronics and app
  • Capable suspension matched for this weight
  • Better aluminum options and price options
  • Standard components and metric shock

The Specialized Turbo Levo finding traction through a loose turn. Photo by Harookz / @Harookz

New Specialized Turbo Levo Geometry

Taking a page from the Stumpjumper, the Turbo Levo is now a fully progressive trail bike that addresses the long and slack needs of today’s riders. They’ve lengthened the reach, kept the chainstays short, and maintained a low center of gravity. Next, the head angle was slackened for more confident descents and seat angle was steepened for climbing efficiency, with the saddle getting out of the way during descents. A new 160mm dropper was added as well as a flip chip so you can adjust your bottom bracket height and head angle to accommodate preferred riding style and wheel sizes.

Photo by Harookz / @Harookz

New Battery

The new Specialized Turbo Levo offers 40% more range than the previous version. The battery is now fully encased to protect it from the elements. They also strategically placed the cells to provide the Turbo Levo with an ideal weight distribution for better handling. And the Battery Management System (BMS) regulates battery health, protects it from overcharging (or under voltage), and ensures that you get as many miles as possible during the life of your battery and maximum battery lifetime.

The lower priced Turbo Levo e-bikes will come with a 500Wh battery, while the S-Works and Expert Carbon will come with a 700Wh battery. The 700Wh has 40% more capacity but weighs 750 grams more than the 500Wh option.

The Brains and Turbo Connect

Now better placed on top of the top tube, the switch and Turbo Connect Unit sits to connect the bike (via ANT+ and Bluetooth) to both the outside world and the Mission Control App. Mission Control can now customize motor characteristics, monitor your power use, control your range, perform basic system diagnoses, record, and upload rides. The on/off switch is in a much more convenient place for better access. And the switch and the battery level lights are now away from public view.

Specialized Turbo Levo. Photo by Harookz / @Harookz

Riding the Specialized Turbo Levo

The ride is impeccable! The descending performance is a few notches above the old Turbo Levo. First and foremost, the bike has been updated from old Stumpjumper to the 2018 Stumpjumper geometry and fit. So all the benefits experienced there carry over to this platform. Next, the platform has shifted from plus to 29er. This translates to a more planted, communicative feel in more terrain. It also opens up more options for tire brands, tread and compounds.

And finally, the weight is noticeably lighter. About 800 grams has been shaved from motor/BB area so the bike feels more nimble in tight, up and down terrain. Couple that with Fox suspension that is properly valved and supportive and it really climbs and descends with enthusiasm.

Specialized Turbo Levo descending a 2-mile limestone filled trail. Photo by Harookz / @Harookz

Mtbr test rode the Specialized Turbo Levo for two days in very varied terrain in Europe and this really is a complete, unprecedented package. The motor is quiet and it comes on and off almost incognito. Upon hitting the 20mph limit, it even knows if you’re coming up to it fast or just hovering around that point. Thus it knows whether to shut down early at around 18mph or let you go to around 20mph. With the light weight, big battery, remote switch, display and app, it offers an ecosystem that is unrivaled. Go simple or go fancy, it’s all available to you. And something pretty remarkable is the family of Turbo Levos at different price points. There are 5 bikes, from $4900 to $12,000, delivering a solution to most interested consumers.

Specialized Turbo Levo ridden by Martin Soderstrom. Photo by Harookz / @Harookz

Some Downsides

Nothing is perfect but we haven’t found a lot to gripe about with this bike during the three days we spent with it. One downside we’ll mention is this bike uses 1×11 SRAM with a 10-42 cassette. They did this to save weight since SARAM only allows the heavy Eagle NX 1×12 to be used on e-bikes.

Specialized’s other rationale is the motor assist should be enough to allow riders to climb most hills with a 42-tooth cog. But in use, we found ourselves in the lowest gear a lot during the test rides and having to switch to a higher boost mode.

Another downside is the expensive and lightweight models (S-Works and Expert Carbon) are only spec’d with the heavy 700Wh batteries. So much effort was spent lightening the bikes, yet these big batteries add about 750 grams of weight. They’re great for range but are overkill on 90% of the rides, especially weekday jaunts. It would be great to have a choice of batteries. And we would love a 350Wh battery option to get this bike closer to 40 lbs.

And although the new 160mm travel Specialized dropper post is much better than the outgoing one, it is still undamped and indexed/noisy. Quite usable but not at the level of a Fox Transfer, BikeYoke Revive, or some of the other top dropper posts out there. And finally, the motor area looks quite big and tall. The reason is the motor has been tilted skyward to allow a battery entry/exit point at the bottom.

Power switch and brains of the system. Photo by Harookz / @Harookz

Price Points

One of the great things about this bike is there are 5 different price points. Thus many more budgets are allowed to participate. Here’s a rundown.

S-Works: $12,000
Expert: $8200
Comp Carbon: $6900
Comp Alloy: $5900
Base: $4900

Marketing manager Vernon Felton explains some of the frame nuances.

For more info on the new bike head to www.specialized.com. For an in-depth Q&A, click over to Page 2 of the Mtbr Specialized Turbo Levo first ride report.

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Goodyear Bicycle Tire Sealant Unveiled

Goodyear bicycle tire sealant

A $10 150ml bottle of Goodyear bicycle tire sealant is said to be enough for two 29×2.6 tires.

Add Goodyear to the long list of outfits offering tire sealant for bikes. The new Goodyear Bicycle Tire Sealant will be available in late September in 150ml bottles and sold to shops in boxes of 12. Price per bottle is $10.

The 150ml bottle was a carefully selected size — larger than some other single-serve bottles — to meet the needs of the modern rider, offering enough sealant in a single bottle for two 29×2.6 MTB tires or four 700×25 road tires,

Goodyear bicycle tires

Goodyear has also launched some solid looking MTB tires this year.

When paired with its off-center spout for ease of use, Goodyear Bicycle Tire Sealant is a smartly packaged puncture prevention tool. Goodyear’s first foray into tire sealant is claimed to prevent punctures up to 6mm while effectively operating in temperatures as low as -30 farenheit.

All tire sealants have a limited lifespan and Goodyear wants to be sure that users are getting the most from their sealant, which is a part of the impetus behind the single-serve bottle. Goodyear Bicycle Tire Sealant has a shelf life of up to 18 months and an optimum operating effectiveness of up to seven months.

Goodyear bicycle tires

Goodyear has made a big push back into the bicycle tire game this year.

The new Goodyear Bicycle Tire Sealant joins an expansive array of new mountain and road tires that were launched back in April.

Learn more at www.goodyearbike.com.

Goodyear bicycle tire sealant
Goodyear bicycle tires
Goodyear bicycle tire sealant
Goodyear bicycle tires

The post Goodyear Bicycle Tire Sealant Unveiled appeared first on Mountain Bike Review.

2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released

2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released

The 2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line is here and there’s some great looking gear.

The 2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line has been released and features their new weather-resistant gear designed for cold weather conditions. The collection includes a new waterproof yet breathable DBX 5.0 All-Mountain jacket, jersey, and shorts gear set, a Windblock, soft-shell 4.0 jacket, a lighter 2.0 jacket, and 2.0 Windblock gloves.

The new Leatt jackets are now more fitted compared to previous models and feature a unique Magnetic Hood System. All models are available in three different colorways, ink, ruby, and black with minimal logo branding and reflective printing for better night visibility on some.


Leatt DBX 5.0 All-Mountain Gear

The 5.0 gear set offers the highest level of coverage in the outerwear line and both the jacket and the shorts are made of HydraDri four-way stretch material. HydraDri is a new a three-layer fabric developed exclusively by Leatt that offers comfort due to its flexibility and it has 30.000mm/23.000g/m² waterproof/breathable properties.

2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released

The DBX 5.0 jacket design includes patent-pending Magnetic Hood System. This unique construction is made up of four magnets. Three are sewn in the jacket (between the shoulders, at the neck and on top of the hood, close to the visor panel), and one additional magnet with adhesive tape can be stuck to the helmet.

The Magnetic Hood system allows you to either fold the hood back and out of the way when not needed, to keep it in place while riding, or to fix the hood securely to your helmet ensuring that it stays fixed on your head, even when riding at high speed.

2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released

The DBX 5.0 shorts have a tailored fit with a seamless seat that moves freely on the bike. The 3D-shaped knees further avoid snagging during pedaling, even when you wear knee protectors.
The all-weather 5.0 jersey completes the gear set with Windblock arms, chest and sides yet the back is breathable with a moisture-wicking material.

Finished off with a dirt, water, and stain resistant fabric coating, this gear set is ideal for some of the toughest weather conditions. The 5.0 jacket is priced at $200, shorts are $120, and the jersey is $75.

2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released

Leatt DBX 4.0 All-Mountain Jacket

Constructed from a soft-shell, four-way stretch material with a dirt, water, and stain resistant coating, the 4.0 jacket will shield you from general bad weather. Offering a tailored fit, the jacket is windproof, breathable and has adjustable front and rear ventilation. It also features Leatt’s new Magnetic Hood system and shoulder/elbow Brush Guard to keep your backpack in place. The 4.0 jacket retails for $140.

2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released

Leatt DBX Jacket 2.0

The 2.0 jacket is the lightest in the outerwear bike line – so light and compact that it folds up into its own chest pocket. It is still tough, however, and is made of a four-way stretch 5.000mm/5.000g/m² waterproof/breathable material with a dirt, water, and stain resistant fabric coating and X-Flow mesh inner lining. Leatt still calls it a wind jacket, because the fabric might be waterproof, but the seams are not tape sealed. It is also equipped with the same Leatt Magnetic Hood System. The 2.0 jacket is priced at $100.

2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released

Leatt 2.0 Windblock Gloves

This glove’s Windblock upper will shield your hands from colder weather, while the super slim MicronGrip palm will give you great handlebar feel, excellent wet and dry grip, and it is touchscreen compatible. The palm is further reinforced with silicone grip print and the upper with microinjected 3D Brush Guard on the pinky and knuckles, offering abrasion resistance.
These gloves retail for $35.

2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released

Explore the entire 2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear line at www.leatt.com.

2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released
2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released
2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released
2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released
2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released
2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released
2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released
2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released
2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released
2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released
2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released

The post 2019 Leatt Bike Outerwear Line Released appeared first on Mountain Bike Review.

Video: Mike Hopkins backyard bliss

Mike Hopkins backyard bliss

If we all could be so lucky as to have this in our backyards…

Looks like backyards in the theme for Monday’s video uploads. We already posted the latest Raw 100 with Richie Rude doing his usual trail smashing thing (in his New England backyard). Now here’s the latest from Mike Hopkins and Scott Secco, where Hopkins does some serious shredding while exploring his backyard, which happens to be British Columbia’s finest backcountry zones. Oh to be so lucky. Some absolutely amazing footage here.

Check out more videos on Mtbr.

The post Video: Mike Hopkins backyard bliss appeared first on Mountain Bike Review.

Richie Rude Raw 100: Back to the backyard

Richie Rude Raw 100

In this Richie Rude Raw 100 video, the EWS star does some serious trail smashing.

Check out this latest Raw 100 video from Red Bull where two time Enduro World Series champion Richie Rude sets his sights on blazing a new trail in the northern tip of New England. The idea of this Richie Rude Raw 100 is to plant a seed for future mountain bike riders and bring world class MTB race events to his backyard at Burke Mountain.


Read the Mtbr review of Rude’s Yeti SB150 enduro race bike.

Raw 100 is a video series designed to highlight the talent and creativity of filmmakers. It’s said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, and this series celebrates that. The rules for each video are simple: 100 seconds in length, no slow-motion footage, and no music. By having to work within these limitations, filmmakers have to shake up the box and put their creativity on blast.

More time to kill? Here’s a few more edits from the Red Bull talent pool.



Check out more videos on Mtbr.

The post Richie Rude Raw 100: Back to the backyard appeared first on Mountain Bike Review.

First Ride Review – FOCUS SAM 2019

The FOCUS SAM was left pretty much untouched over the last five years – but this has changed now. With its modern geometry, the F.O.L.D. rear-end and 170 mm of travel the second generation of the FOCUS SAM wants to do exactly what the old version was – only better. We’ll tell you how the new enduro rig from FOCUS performs on the trail.

FOCUS SAM | 170 mm/170 mm (f/r) | 13.00 kg | € 5,999

The most striking update on the new FOCUS SAM is the F.O.L.D. rear-end which FOCUS first implemented on their all-mountain-rig the JAM in 2016. From now on the SAM will benefit from all of the advantages of the F.O.L.D. kinematics too. A “two-phase characteristic curve” is the main idea behind this concept. In the first phase – up to a 35% of SAG – the characteristic curve is degressive and should therefore ensure a sensitive response. In the second phase from 35% of SAG upwards the curve becomes progressive and gives the rear-end sufficient reserves to deal with big stuff and fast-consecutive hits – the interaction between FOCUS’ MAINLINK and GUIDELINK rockers allows for the unique characteristic curve. Since the links are placed directly on the shock the rear-end can be built from one single piece. This significantly reduces the unsprung mass and since the shock and the rocker are sitting in a low and central position it also allows for a lower centre of gravity – as it should be.

The new SAM is aimed especially at those bike-park riders who don’t shy off big jumps and drops and always dare looking for playful lines even on the toughest terrain. The new SAM has now 170 mm of front and rear travel and comes exclusively with 27.5″ wheels. According to FOCUS this wheel size should provide all the manoeuvrability and agility you ever need. Team riders Olly Wilkins and Geoff Gulevich took it to the next level and rode the massive jumps of the Audi Nines Event showing us what the new SAM is really capable of.

The main frame offers enough room for a bottle cage – unfortunately size S frames can only accommodate small bottles. Tall riders and long-geometry aficionados will be disappointed to hear that the SAM is only available in the three sizes: S, M and L. Compared to its predecessor the new full carbon frame of the SAM is 400 g lighter and our M-sized test bike only weighs 13 kg.

Finally some water
A bottle holder can be mounted on the down tube of the new SAM

FOCUS SAM 9.9 in detail

The second generation of the FOCUS SAM will be available in two versions. We tested the FOCUS SAM 9.9 which retails at € 5,999 and comes with a full carbon frame. This version features a RockShox Lyrik RC2 fork with Charger 2 damper which works extremely sensitively and swallows even the nastiest of knocks. A RockShox Super Deluxe RCT shock controls the rear-end and beautifully harmonises with the fork. Same as with the cheaper model the FOCUS SAM 9.9 features a SRAM GX-Eagle groupset.

Fork: RockShox Lyrik RC2 170 mm
Rear shock: RockShox Super Deluxe 170 mm
Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC
Drivetrain: SRAM GX-Eagle
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem: BBB 55 mm
Handlebar: BBB 780 mm
Tires: MAXXIS HighRoller II 2,5” (vorne)/Maxxis DHF 2,5” (hinten)
Wheels: Race Face Turbine

The heart
The F.O.L.D. rear-end of the JAM is now also used for the FOCUS SAM
Interesting choice!
The Minion DHF at the rear…
… and the Maxxis Highroller II on the front might look a bit odd at first glance. The combination actually works really well
750 mm instead of 780 mm
The strong bump at the end of the Race Face grips steals a good 3 cm of bar-width

A set of SRAM Guide RSC brakes takes care of the braking – in our opinion the more powerful CODE RSC model would suite a bike in this category better. The weight difference of 1.5 kg between the two versions is ascribable partly to the carbon rear-end and partly to the light Truvativ Descendant carbon crankset. Both bikes run a MAXXIS Highroller II tire in the front and MAXXIS DHF on the rear, both in 2.5” width.

Nice and quiet
The long chainstay protector gets rid of annoying chainslap noises
The internal cable-routing ports and the striking top tube have become a design feature over the years


The more affordable version of the SAM 8.9 retails at € 3,999 and features an aluminium swingarm and FOX suspension combo with a 36 FLOAT Rhythm fork and FOX VAN performance shock. A set of SRAM Guide R brakes are in charge of stopping the bike and a SRAM GX-Eagle groupset takes care of the shifting.

Fork: FOX 36 Float Rhythm 170 mm
Rear shock: FOX Van Performance 170 mm
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Drivetrain: SRAM GX-Eagle
Seatpost: Kind Shock E30-i
Stem: BBB 55 mm
Handlebar: BBB 780 mm
Tires: MAXXIS HighRoller II 2,5” (vorne)/MAXXIS DHF 2,5” (hinten)
Wheels: DT Swiss E1900

The geometry of the new FOCUS SAM

As far as the geometry goes the FOCUS SAM wants to be “long and flat” in a modern way. However the Germans deliberately renounce the sort of extreme geometries we’re used to see from brands like Pole, NICOLAI or Bold – the chainstays are therefore super short with a length of 428 mm. At 64.8° the head angle is one degree slacker than its predecessor; This is meant to inspire confidence especially on steep and fast terrain. The reach has increased by 8 mm and is now 460 mm on a frame size L. However the new SAM gained a whole 2 cm of stack. Since the bike is relatively short both on paper and in real life we recommend you choose the larger size if you’re an experienced rider and happen to find yourself right in between sizes.

Size S M L
Seat tube 400 mm 425 mm 450 mm
Top tube 581 mm 603 mm 623 mm
Head tube 106 mm 115 mm 130 mm
Head angle 64.8° 64.8° 64.8°
Seat angle 75° 75° 75°
Chainstay 428 mm 428 mm 428 mm
BB Drop 13 mm 13 mm 13 mm
Wheelbase 1,170 mm 1,195 mm 1,221 mm
Reach 420 mm 440 mm 460 mm
Stack 600 mm 610 mm 623 mm

The FOCUS SAM 9.9 in the wild

As soon as you swing your leg over the saddle the FOCUS SAM makes you feel at ease! Straight away the centred riding position and low bottom bracket inspire tons of confidence. As soon as the trail steepens-up and the chain is under tension the SAM proves that it can also climb pretty well – even when riding longer climbs you won’t have to deal with annoying bobbing or tiresome loss of power. If you push forward the saddle a little you’ll sit comfortably above the bottom bracket and won’t get the feeling of pedalling from behind. When the climb gets really steep and technical however the short chainstays and high stack of the SAM become a drawback. Why? The front wheel lifts off the ground.

 Once you’re sitting on the FOCUS SAM you feel at home!

On the downhill the FOCUS SAM feels very agile and playful. Instead of heavily dragging itself from corner to corner the SAM feels lively and playful, nimbly shredding through corners and quickly following direction changes despite its 170 mm of travel. Thanks to RockShox’s superb suspension combo the SAM feels like it’s glued to the trail and delivers good traction in combination with the Maxxis tire-setup. The DHF at the rear is particularly enjoyable – this may not be the ideal option for long pedalling sections on tarmac but calls for well-controlled power slides on the trail. The F.O.L.D. rear-end of the FOCUS SAM gave us a bit of a headache on our test-trails: If you leave the shock compression in the open mode the rear end works sensitively and responds to the slightest imperfection of the trail. Unfortunately this also causes the rear-end to rush through its midstroke with bigger hits and when riding corners with lots of compression. But as soon as you take off a few clicks of compression the rear-end loses sensitivity. After one day of testing we found our sweetspot at 30% of SAG with 4-5 clicks from open.

 With the FOCUS SAM no jump is too big, no drop too deep and no highline too high

When riding berms and flat corners you feel nicely centred and firmly integrated between the wheels – the low bottom bracket is mainly responsible for this. Having said this you should still be very careful; the lively character of the SAM causes it to quickly react to steering inputs in corners. We would have loved to have a little more stability especially when cornering. The FOCUS SAM feels particularly comfortable on long bike-park sessions with large jumps, nasty drops and tall berms. In these scenarios the SAM’s progressive rear-end and airtime-predisposition will put a massive grin on everyone’s face. With the new FOCUS SAM no jump is too big, no drop is too deep and no highline is too high.


Both FOCUS SAM 9.9 and 8.9 will be available from mid-September for respectively € 5,999 and €3,999.


The new FOCUS SAM is the successful evolution of a classic. With its many clever details it will put massive grin on the face of all bike-park riders and airtime lovers And with its drive-neutral rear-end the SAM won’t kill you when the lift isn’t working. If you’re looking for your next race bike the FOCUS SAM might not be the right choice – the lack of stability in high-speed sections are mainly responsible for this. Considering the price tag of the respective versions we would have expected a higher-quality spec.


– Weight
– Suspension
– Fun-factor!


– Composure
– Price
– Only available in three sizes

For more information head to: focus-bikes.com

The post First Ride Review – FOCUS SAM 2019 appeared first on ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine.

Pivot Shuttle Ebike Review


What is it

The Shuttle is Pivot’s attempt at creating the best EMtb that has ever existed. It is a no-holds-barred assault into a ride quality and weight that has not been seen before in this class.

With an open canvas, Chris Cocalis chose a carbon frame with 140mm of travel designed around the Shimano Steps E8000 motor. It is based on the excellent Mach 5.5 as it sports 140mm of DW-Link rear travel and 150mm front rolling on 27.5 Plus 2.8 tires. The Shuttle has the best components available giving it a weight of 46 lbs and a price of $10k.

4000 foot climbs feel like 1500. But the descents are not compromised now.

  • first-rate ride quality with short stays
  • nicely balanced suspension
  • lateral stiffness
  • climbing prowess and with suspension not sagging
  • 46 lb weight
  • Shimano system and its ample torque
  • build and craftsmanship
  • new, ideal geometry
  • no drag motor
  • long dropper post allowed
  • $10k price with no lower options
  • difficult to replace battery mid-ride
  • Shimano system and its quirks
  • Starts shutting off at 18mph in higher boost modes
  • Too much shifting gears and motor modes
  • Dropper location is forced to be over the bar

Pivot Shuttle with specially made DT wheels

The ebike scene?

The last three years have seen a dramatic shift in ebike use around the world as riders have come to see its benefits and overcome some of its downsides. Europe has seen a dramatic shift in usage and sales as well over 30% of mountain bike sales now (over $2k) has shifted to ebikes. In the US, it remains a controversial topic but the landscape is clearly changing as folks are test-riding ebikes and starting to purchase them.

As many as 60% in the US now plan to purchase an ebike in their lifetime.

The Pivot Shuttle and most ebikes are in the Class 1 category ebike with 250 watts of pedal assist power. In the SF Bay Area, three of our local trail networks were legalized to eBikes this year and we’re happy to report that not much happened in terms of conflict. Riders and other users seem to be getting along normally with more participation from new cyclists.

Pivot is firmly committed to riding ebikes only where they are allowed. And they are working with trail groups and land managers to educate and promote the responsible use of ebikes.

Integrated Battery

Shimano internal E-8000 internal batteries are big and heavy, up to 25% bigger than their external ones of the same 500wh capacity. Thus for the Shuttle, Pivot chose to use the external battery but hid it in downtube for aesthetics and frame stiffness concerns. What they came up with is a remarkable engineering feat with switch and charging ports that are sealed yet accessible. The frame is slick with an elegantly tapered frame. There are no accommodations for a water bottle though and changing batteries is more involved, taking about 10 minutes.

Pivot Shuttle motor is the Shiman E-8000 with 70nm of torqu

Shimano Motor

We think the Shimano motor is one of the best and most usable systems today. It has the ideal, most usable torque outputs in the market. Climbing is always manageable at any cadence on even the steepest hills. The motor is one of the smallest on the market with a narrow Q-Factor allowing no-compromise frame design. Its great strength is it doesn’t interfere too much with pedaling and assists it quite well.

But it has its quirks. With the Di2, the system will not shift unless the motor is turned on. And every time it’s turned on, one cannot touch the pedals at all since it’s calibrating the torque sensors. The motor mode selector takes the place of the front shifter and thus takes up left, under-bar dropper lever space. The motor engages and disengages to assist and that is quite noticeable as it kicks in, especially in higher boost modes. Shutting off assist at the 20mph limit is very seamless but it does start to occur at 18mph.

Pivot Shuttle carving through rocks

The Shimano display is nice and tiny and centrally located by the stem. We only wish that the system can be turned on right there. Instead, the rider has to feel around under the battery and press a discrete button.

The battery indicator is a 5-bar display and that is a very limited system. With two bars left, for example, the rider cannot tell if the system as 21% or 40% battery charge left. More resolution would have been very useful here.

Pivot Shuttle weighs less than most at 46.3 lbs without pedals

Suspension and Geometry

Head angle is 68 degrees and seat angle is ok at 74 degrees. Chainstays are fairly long at 460 and reach is long enough for a medium at 453. It got us through many, many big descents in our local area safely and with a smile, especially after we replaced the front Nobby Nic with a big Maxxis Minion.

Components and quality

Pivot chose some of the best components to make this the top dog int he emtb world. Shimano 4-piston brakes, Fox Transfer, Maxxis tires, Fox suspension are the notables.

The internal cable routing is flawless appearance and performance. Watertight and rattle free performance keep these electrical components safe from harm and out of mind.

Pivot Shuttle battery is in a special hatch

Key Features
  • Cranks: Shimano E8000 Drive Unit , BT-E8010 500Wh battery w/FC-E8050 Hollowtech crankset and 34T chainring – 170mm
  • Shock: FOX Float Performance Elite DPX2
  • Fork: FOX 36 Performance Elite 29/27.5+ 150mm 110QR
  • Brakes: XT M8020 4-piston
  • Shifter: XT Di2
  • Wheels: DT Swiss/PIVOT Custom EB1550 40mm eMTB specific design
  • Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5″+ x 2.8″ TR (front), Maxxis Rekon 27.5″+ x 2.8″ TR Silk-Shield (rear)
  • Weight: 46 lbs
  • Price: $9999

Pivot Shuttle battery is integrated in downtube

Mtbr’s Take

It just rides so well, like no ebike before it. There are many, many moments where one forgets it’s an ebike as it descends and carves singletrack just as a good mountain bike. And sometimes, there are even moments where it seems to perform better non-ebikes because the weight plants the Plus tires firmly into rough terrain.

When it’s time to climb or traverse home, one is pleasantly reminded that it is an ebike because the suffering is adjustable. If your experience is like ours though, you’ll end up riding more, maybe a lot more. It’s that good.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 4 Flamin' Chili Peppers
Price: $9999
More Info: https://pivotcycles.com/en/bike-shuttle-2

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Ritchey Ultra returns after 30-year hiatus

Ritchey Ultra Returns

The Ritchey Ultra is meant for fun first.

If there’s one thing Tom Ritchey knows, it’s dirt. When he first designed the Ritchey Ultra hardtail mountain bike he knew it would appeal to riders who demand specific ride characteristics and dirt slaying — and that was in the 19080’s!

Ritchey Ultra Returns

The new Ritchey Ultra frame will retail for $999.

Well, good design withstands the test of time, and the latest iteration of the Ritchey Ultra is a prime example. Like its predecessor from 30 years ago, the new Ritchey Ultra occupies a unique ride space for cross-country riders looking to get rowdy and go big.

Ritchey Ultra Returns

Headtube angle is a modest 68.5 degrees and the frame plays nice with 120mm forks.

The Ritchey Ultra is designed around an 120mm travel fork and can accommodate 29er or 27.5+ wheels, with max tire width at 2.4 and 2.8 respectively. Other features include internal routing for a dropper post, boost 148×12 rear spacing, ultra-light forged and machined tapered head tube, and an integrated 1.5” tapered drop in headset.

Ritchey Ultra Returns

The Ritchey Ultra has no problem getting a little loose when the situation calls.

Frame material is Ritchey Logic aluminum tubing, and available sizes are S (15″), M (17″), and L (19″). There’s also a replaceable stainless steel derailleur hanger, and the bike can accommodate 1X or 2X drivetrains. Frame color is Sierra Slate. Price is $999.

Ritchey Ultra Geometry: Click to Enlarge

Ritchey Ultra Returns

Learn more at us.ritcheylogic.com.

Ritchey Ultra Returns
Ritchey Ultra Returns
Ritchey Ultra Returns
Ritchey Ultra Returns
Ritchey Ultra Returns
Ritchey Ultra Returns
Ritchey Ultra Returns
Ritchey Ultra Returns
Ritchey Ultra Returns
Ritchey Ultra Returns
Ritchey Ultra Returns

The post Ritchey Ultra returns after 30-year hiatus appeared first on Mountain Bike Review.