The new 2022 Chameleon is a blank canvas, ready to go in whatever direction your imagination takes it. Spec’d with a mixed wheel, a 27.5 rear and a 29er at the front, the offering of gearing and component choice make it the perfect muse for freethinkers and freedom seekers alike.
Santa Cruz have made the Chameleon for riders who like to sculpt their ideal bike, and aren’t afraid to experiment. Whether it’s 29er or the mixed wheel (MX) , geared or fixed, multiple major configuration transformations are made easy via the interchangeable dropouts. The low slung top tube and progressive geometry means this bike blends into whatever surroundings you place it. From raucous short-cuts across town to skipping the city altogether. It turns itself to trail exploration with the flip of an Allen key, thanks to the triple-bolt cargo cage mount under the downtube and standard bottle mount within the frame.
Whatever the weather, however long the ride, wherever you’re going, the Chameleon is so endlessly customizable and adjustable that the only constraint is really your own mind and motivation.
The 2022 Santa Cruz Chameleon S MX Features
Fork: FOX 34 FLOAT Performance, 130mm of Travel 29″ specific. Grouspest: SRAM GX Eagle 12 Speed.
Crankset: SRAM GX Eagle 148 DUB 32T.
Brakes: SRAM G2 R
Wheelset: RaceFace AR Offset 30 29″ (f) 27.5″ (r) DT Swiss 370 Hubs,
FRAME Chameleon S MX AL Frame FORK FOX 34 Float Performance, 130mm, 29″ REAR DERAILLEUR SRAM GX Eagle, 12spd SHIFTERS SRAM GX Eagle, 12spd CRANKSET SRAM GX Eagle 148 DUB 32t CASSETTE SRAM XG1275 Eagle, 12spd, 10-50t CHAIN SRAM GX Eagle, 12spd BOTTOM BRACKET SRAM DUB 68/73mm Threaded BB BRAKES SRAM G2 R BRAKE ROTORS Avid Centerline 180mm HEADSET Cane Creek 40 IS Integrated Headset HANDLEBAR Burgtec Alloy Bar STEM Burgtec Enduro MK3 GRIPS Santa Cruz House Grips or Burgtec Bartender Pro Grip Minnaar FRONT HUB DT Swiss 370, 15×110, 6 bolt, 28h or E13 SL, 15×110, 6 bolt, 28h REAR HUB DT Swiss 370, 12×148, XD, 28h or E13 SL, 12×148, XD, 28h RIMS RaceFace AR Offset 30 29″ (f) 27.5″ (r) Rims SPOKES Sapim Race FRONT TYRE Maxxis Minion DHF 29″x2.5, 3C, MaxxGrip, EXO, TR REAR TYRE Maxxis Aggressor, 27.5″x2.5WT, EXO, TR SEATPOST SDG Tellis Dropper, 31.6 SADDLE WTB Silverado Medium Cromoly SL Fusion Saddle or WTB Volt PEDALS Not Included
Like its carbon sister, Rise Aluminum’s power comes from an EP8 RS motor, developed in an exclusive collaboration between Orbea and Shimano.
Orbea acted on the motor firmware to offer the most natural and efficient assistance as possible, eliminating drag and power delay that’s typical of conventional ebikes. The motor was also optimized to provide maximum assistance between 75 and 95 strokes per minute, the cadence at which the human body pedals the most efficiently and where we normally pedal our standard mechanical bikes.
This means that the harder we pedal, Rise responds instantly with more power, with a feeling of natural assistance.
Another unique aspect of the RS philosophy is its autonomy. Due to the lower power consumption, the lower weight of the bike and the greater dependence on the rider’s legs, the battery in Rise lasts about 50% more compared to a standard ebike. This translates into surprising autonomy for the 360Wh battery in the carbon models and a whopping 540Wh in the aluminum models with a completely redesigned battery.
Weight is another key to Rise and something Orbea invested many hours in to optimize the details of the models: frame, integrated battery, cable routing and push buttons were taken into account. Motor optimization through the Rider Synergy also allows for trail components to be mounted, which saves weight and enables the bike to handle like a mechanical trail bike.
The lightest in the category, also in aluminum
Natural pedaling and handling are the two aspects that differentiate Rise the most. To keep these characteristics intact in the aluminum versions, Orbea’s engineering team scrutinized all the details and invested many hours in development.
The recently debuted aluminum version features a completely redesigned 540Wh battery, developed by Orbea, who rethought the distribution of the 21,700 cells, the housing arrangement, the wiring and the brackets to find a battery that is as optimized and lightweight as possible and with one of the highest energy densities on the market.
For the frame, Orbea selected the best materials and applied the most advanced manufacturing processes, just as it does for its highest-level carbon frames. Thanks to the double- and triple-butted, hydroformed tubes, the team optimized the thickness and shapes of the tubes and reinforced the most delicate areas. In other words, it saves weight where you don’t need material and adjusts the stiffness in the important areas.
In effort to give the highest level of attention to the new aluminum version, Orbea applied its polishing process to the frame. This technique smooths the welds at the tube joints, matching the aesthetics of a carbon frame. In fact, it’s difficult to discern the differences between an aluminum frame and carbon frame. This process also increases aluminum’s fatigue resistance in critical areas.
All this design and development work has resulted in an aluminum frame weight of merely 3.4kg — just 100g more than an Occam aluminum frame and 2kg lighter than most aluminum ebikes on the market. The total weight of the new aluminum Rise is an impressive 19kg for the top-of-the-range model and 20kg for the entry-level model.
Orbea Aluminium frame with fully integrated battery and internal cable routing
Fox Float DPS Factory Shock Controls the 140mm of rear wheel travel
Fox 34 Float Factory Fork offers 140mm of plush suspension travel
Shimano XT 12 speed drivetrain for slick shifting
Race Face Turbine-R30 TLR 29” wheels for rapid rolling
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Colours: Orange/Black, Anthracite/Black, Mouse Grey/Sky Blue
The Orbea Rise Rise H10 is available with 0% APR finance
Shred’s Brain Box Noshock boasts its Its ROTATIONAL ENERGY SYSTEM™ (RES)—the lightest and thinnest solution for addressing rotational forces. It then pairs that with their integrated honeycomb-cone-structured SLYTECH™ Foam to create a synergy for combating linear and multi-directional forces.
When we opened this we were presented with a drawstring carry bag and a custom fit system, which is basically two sets of padding, a thick and a thin so you can get the perfect fit.
The helmet itself has an adjustable visor and a lot of vents for great airflow.
The things we loved about this helmet were the weight and the air-flow. It never gets too hot like some other full-face helmets. We also have a lot of confidence in its proven technology, so when the shit hits the fan we know we are have the best protection.
SHRED. ROTATIONAL ENERGY SYSTEM™ | Patent-pending technology that manages the effects of rotational accelerations to the head on impact by allowing a relative movement between the helmet and the head through the use of ultra-thin, multi-directional absorption units made with an elastic layer.
SLYTECH™ SHOCK ABSORPTION | A patented honeycomb cone structure made of SLYTECH™ Foam is integrated into the EPS impact absorption element to allow impact energy to dissipate in multiple directions for optimal safety.
XT2® | Anti-microbial technology that uses silver to provide permanent odor protection.
VENTILATION | Strategic system of 15 vents to channel the air from the front of the helmet to its back, preventing the head from sweating and goggles from fogging.
CUSTOM FIT KIT | An additional set of thicker pads and ear pieces to fine tune the helmet’s fit.
CONSTRUCTION | Fiberglass Hard Shell | Integrated SLYTECH™ NOSHOCK honeycomb | 15 vents | Adjustable visor | Plush interior padding
CONSTRUCTION | Fiberglass Hard Shell | Integrated SLYTECH™ NOSHOCK honeycomb | 15 vents | Adjustable visor | Plush interior padding
As riders, we are all guilty of the gluttonous sin; we never stop striving, never stop pushing, enough is never enough in the hunt for the ultimate. It’s a constant push for bigger, longer, rougher and faster with ever increasing demands on the performance and capabilities of our bike. The pursuit is endless.
It’s a motto that athletes like Sam Hill live by. The new Nukeproof Giga is the embodiment of this idea; Designed to be the ultimate hard-hitting Super-Enduro weapon for when you just need more.
The Giga is a seriously capable machine, with 180mm (27.5”) or 170mm (29”) rear travel; the Giga is a monster truck of a bike that has travel in reserve for when you need it. But to pigeonhole it as a point and shoot machine would be a disservice as it is so much more capable than this might suggest! Due to the way that it uses its travel; the Giga gives you the feel of a big bike, yet the versatility of a modern super-enduro bike. The Giga has a dynamic and confidence inspiring ride to help you push your limits in all kinds of terrain. It’s equally at home at big mountain technical enduro stages of venues like La Thuile, as it is lapping the biggest lines in the Whistler bike park.
The suspension is designed to be super supple off the top, whilst being supportive in the mid stroke and progressive throughout the rest of the travel. The anti-squat is optimised to ensure the Giga descends like a hooligan yet behaves itself on the climb back to the top for the next run.
The suspension platform is based on the same horseshoe driven linkage as our award-winning Dissent downhill frame, albeit now with a 2-stage main pivot flip chip. Using an eccentric axle system, riders can alter the Kinematic progressivity; so the bike can be tailored to suit the conditions on the trail with only an 8mm allen key.
Both settings have a super supple beginning for small bump compliance. They also both have good mid-stroke support for better cornering and pumping. Like the Dissent, the progression drops off in the end stroke to prevent mid-stroke harshness or spiking and allows more tuning options with volume spacers.
The + Progressive setting can be used to add shock progression on a coil set up just like adding a volume spacer to an air shock. The added suppleness is also good in wet and slippery conditions.
The Giga Frame is constructed completely from UD 700/800 Carbon fibre. This allowed us to optimise the stiffness and compliance of the frame parts individually. The front triangle has been tailored for stability and precision, whilst the rear triangle was designed for compliance to help tracking and provide grip. Another bonus of the carbon rear triangle is that it has a lower un-sprung mass for ultimate suspension performance.
Available in 5 sizes (Small to XXL) in either 27.5” or 29” wheel size, there is the perfect fit for everyone. The frame geometry is Long, Low, Slack and Steep as it is based around our saddle offset principle, which ensures the seated riding position is tailored across all sizes, with steeper seat angles on bigger frames. The Seat tube is also designed for maximum seat post insertion to allow maximum drop.
The Giga is also sculptured to fit a 750ml water bottle (carbon bottle cage included) as well as an accessory mount under the top tube for emergency trail tools. All models also feature an integrated rear mud guard and plenty of clearance for up to 2.5” tyres. The frames feature a clear paint protection kit as standard with 3D contoured rubber downtube, seat and chain stay protection.
Spanish bike brand, Orbea have introduced unpainted carbon frames to their lineup. We will see this colour option in the Oiz, Alma, Orca OMX and Rise e-bike.
Carbon-fibre does not corrode like metal does and many people love the purist look of raw materials without being covered in paint so we believe this will be a growing trend.
On top of looking great there are actually slight performance benefits too. Orbea claims that up to 100 grams of weight can be saved which doesn’t sound much, but on bikes like the ultra-lightweight Alma XC hardtail those grams make a difference.
As beautiful as raw carbon-fibre looks, it can scratch badly, so investing in a clear adhesive layer of protection would be something to consider.
Made from a sturdy Nylon composite with 4140 hardened CroMo Axle and amazing grip with tuneable steel pins.
Introducing the new DMR V11 Pedals. For those that favour the durability, compliance and affordability of composite pedals, the new benchmark choice from DMR is here.
• Large platform area 105mm x 105mm
• 19mm thick
• Low profile body with concave foot bed
• Tuneable pins with outer Moto Pins for serious grip
• Strong 4140 Cro-Mo black steel axles (9/16″) with 6mm hex key fitting
• Fully serviceable for long life
• Weight 450g/pair
The V11 is moulded with the same proven shape as the multi award-winning Vault pedal, providing a huge platform with DMR’s unique concave shape that allows your foot to sit deep into the centre for supreme grip. The V11’s durable glass reinforced nylon body features eleven replaceable steel pins each side for rock solid grip. All pins are secured with captive locknuts for ultimate durability. Outer pins are Vault Moto pins that sink deep into your shoe, keeping your foot well and truly planted. The V11 is fully rebuildable with the same proven internals as DMR Vault pedals, guaranteeing ride after ride with no-nonsense performance.
To purchase these or just check-out the colour options, click here.
As winter draws closer here in the UK the weather has been getting wetter and the trails muddier. One advantage of this is that we finally got to try out the Soaza MTB Goggles given to us by Shred. Here is what we thought…
We went for the clear lenses for maximum visability, so they can be used all year round if we wish. We were impressed by the Shred Soaza MTB Goggles wide viewing angle, clear lens and “Super Anti-Fog” technology. My biggest pet hate with most goggles is the steaming up, but these goggles didn’t seem to suffer from that at all and when wearing them you forget you have them on.
Another great thing we found was that they were quite small in size and therefore able fit all of our variations of full-face and enduro helmets. The grippy rubber on the strap also did a good job of keeping the goggle firmly in place whilst riding.
For those of you who wear glasses, one of our crew found that they could be worn over his glasses, which is rare for most goggles.
Personally these were the best goggles I have worn. I usually have many issues with goggles and avoid them was much as possible, but these were a revelation! Great fit, great visibility, great anti-fog protection… what more could you ask for! They also come with a nice drawstring bag which doubles up as a cloth to clean your lense.
Currently only have the pink in stock, but they are 50% off at the moment. Keep checking back for new stock and new colours.
The NukeProof Reactor 290 ST factory 29er Mountain Bike is a limited edition lightweight, short travel version of the Reactor that is designed to tackle serious miles efficiently and comfortably, for all day fun in the saddle.
Crosscountry/backcountry/upcountry/downcountry: However you define it, the Reactor ST does it all and everything in between! It just might be the most versatile bike we have ever made.
The Nukeproof Reactor 290 ST; a limited edition lightweight, short travel version of the Reactor that is designed to tackle serious miles efficiently and comfortably, for all day fun in the saddle.
With a 130mm fork combined with 125mm of rear suspension, the Reactor ST combines the best of an enduro bike (long, low and slack) with the best of an XC Race bike (lightweight spec and efficient suspension) to create a sprightly yet seriously capable machine.
To optimise the weight, strength and stiffness, the Reactor 290 ST Carbon frame features a full UD woven carbon fibre frameset (Including chain and seat stays).
The Reactor ST features a 66.8° (66.3° Low) Headangle atop a 76.3° (75.8° Low) seat angle across a 460mm reach on a Medium frame. We also offer the frame in Large and X-Large sizes. The Reactor ST frames feature the same “flip chip” design as the regular Reactor frame to adjust the geometry from “Trail” to “Rail mode”.
Trail – As the name suggests, this setting is best suited for trail riding. It is for riders who get as much enjoyment from the climb as the descents.
Rail – The Rail setting turns the Reactor ST into a more aggressive machine, dropping the bottom bracket 6mm and slackening the head angle by half a degree. It is there to maximise the descending capabilities.
To ensure the bike could climb as well as it descends, we designed the 4 bar horst linkage to have higher levels of anti-squat for climbing gears but lower levels when you drop down the cassette. This means that the bike can behave itself on the climbs but when you get it up to speed, it turns into a trail hooligan.
The combination of low anti-squat and progressive rate give ultimate small bump compliance (removes rough trail and root chatter) with good mid stroke support for cornering/pumping and end stroke progression for aggressive riding. Balanced anti-rise figures allow the Reactor ST some squat when braking hard, maintaining rider position and providing a good amount of pressure through the tyre to ensure traction. The Reactor ST is designed to reward the rider and ensure you get that stoke factor in on any ride.
The 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Comp isn’t just a trail bike. No, its your shred sled ripper, built to full send down the gnarliest of trails. Rocks, roots, jumps, drops? Theyre no match for the EVO Stumpjumper.
SEND IT! That’s right, not too stiff, not too soft…. this bike slaps!
These days we can make a frame as stiff as the day is long, but it turns out that’s not what feels good on the trail. To be one with the bike requires engineered compliance in the frame. Specialized call the EVO frame a “Sidearm” chassis. See that asymmetric strut that flows along the right side of the shock between the top tube and seat tube? That’s the Sidearm and it’s an integral part of the EVO frame, minimizing twist and allowing us to deliver a very specific feel that unifies the frame from front to rear. Sidearm design not only delivers the ride quality you crave, it does it while using the absolute minimum of material, rendering a frame that is strong, lively and exceptionally lightweight.
We’re lucky to be riding during the Golden Age of mountain biking. We have access to more trails than ever, built with more diversity than ever, riders are progressing and nailing what was previously impossible, and now the new Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Comp has evolved to meet the demands of modern riders. Delivering unprecedented control, capability and adjustability, along with unexpected climb-ability, it tames any terrain from chundery jank to progressive high-speed flow and modern big hits. It’s your seat in the eye of the hurricane. And that’s good, ‘cause when shit starts flying on the trail, you’ll be zen in the middle of the mayhem.
CONTROL AND CAPABILITY
The EVO Comp brings control and capability to every rider, every style, in every trail scenario. This bike serves up so much control, you can pick lines you never even saw before. And in those inevitable pilot-error situations, the EVO is your auto-correct for blown lines and your insurance policy for misjudged hucks.
CAPABILITY AND STABILITY
Available in six style-specific sizes, the 2021 Stumpjumper EVO sets the benchmark for progressive trail geometry, delivering DH capability never before found in a 150mm bike alongside lively climbing manners. How? The generous cockpit gives you the room you need–centering you on the bike, optimizing traction and corner control. The low bottom bracket, slack headtube angle and reduced fork offset keep things stable in the rough, while giving you the freedom to destroy the turns, float through them, or nail the inside lines. A steeper seat tube optimizes power output and puts your weight over the front while climbing. And short chainstays keep things flickable and nimble.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SWAT™ DOOR
The SWAT™ door on the Stumpjumper EVO Comp is a masterpiece of carbon fibre construction and spatial optimization. A simple pull and twist of the water bottle cage opens into a cavernous downtube storage compartment. There’s 15% more room than before–enough room to store 22oz of life-giving water in an included, specifically designed bladder. Or some tubes and a rain jacket. Or folded up slices of pizza. Or multiple bananas (careful with that last one). Because the engineers can tailor the layup of the carbon fibre, putting material where it is needed most, they can also design in this easy access storage compartment with zero compromise of chassis strength or stiffness. How good is that?
To be the Ultimate Trail Bike means to rule in any rider style and in any terrain. Its a big ask, Specialized have delivered the most adjustable geometry they have ever offered on a trail bike.
HEAD ANGLE: Adjustable between 63° and 65.5° via unique eccentric headset cups with three settings. So, whether you’re riding steep and seep, low speed technical trails, or something inbetween, you can tune your EVO trailside in minutes to match the terrain.
LONGER: To keep your centre of gravity down and thereby keep stability high, the EVO bottom bracket is always low. But now, you can fine tune BB height by 7mm by swapping the Horst Link Chips.
DOWN IN FRONT: The steeper seat tube angle, reduced offset fork, and forward-biased riding position keeps power to the pedals,and keeps thesteering quick and nimble while climbing. Instead of a sluggish climbing compromise, the EVO’s pedal-happy geometry makes easy work out of getting to the top, so you’ll be energized and ready to send thedescents.
SHRED IN SCILENCE
You won’t realize how much chain-slap was slapping your ride until it’s gone. Oh, the joy of silence! With a new proprietary chainstay protector, it makes the drivetrain now virtually silent by disrupting the sinewave of an unchecked chain clattering away in the rough. The result is the transcendent silence of one hand clapping.
Vitus have released the 2021 versions of their popular hardtails the Nucleus and the Sentier. We delayed this article as they got sold out within the first week…. so we waited until they became available again!
The Vitus Nucleus and Vitus Sentier have won best in their price range every year for the past 4 years running so we always have high expectations for their new releases.
Vitus Nucleus 2021
Lets start with the budget-friendly Vitus Nucleus. The Nucleus is simply unbeatable at its price point. It is the perfect bike for any beginner yet is capable enough to keep up with you whilst you gain experience and progress to more gnarly trails.
Prices start at £549.99 for the VR and go up to £699.99 for the VRS. You can choose between the 27.5 inch or 29 inch wheels and the price stays the same for both.
But lets get to the fun stuff! These bikes are known for their great frames which have brilliant geometry. On top of that add quality components such as an SR Suntour XCR air fork, a 1x drivetrain (an excellent Shimano Deore for the VRS model) and a decent set of tyres, it is levels above its competitors. Usually finding a bike at this price range with a reliable, lightweight air fork and 1x drivetrain is difficult, but the well-made frame with perfect geometry means this frame is good enough for a much more experienced riders. It has the potential to last you forever, simply upgrading the components as you improve over the years.
The Sentier is the bigger brother of Nucleus. Like the Nucleus, it is a nimble and playful but with slightly different geometry and a big step-up components. The more expensive VRS version comes with a Fox 34 Float suspension fork, Shimano XT 1×12-Speed groupset with Shimano SLX hydraulic disc brakes. Plus, its wheels and Schwalbe tyres are Tubeless Ready and it’s equipped with a Brand-X dropper seatpost.
The Sentier is generally considered one of the best bikes in it’s price-range and has won multiple awards for best in category over previous years.
As you can imagine, these bikes are popular and sell quickly, so grab one whilst you can. They are sold at Chain Reaction Cycles and Wiggle only. If they are sold out then keep checking regularly as they seem to constantly restock.