Stevens bike introduced several new bikes at Eurobike from some fancy touring and commuting bikes to e-bikes, but a couple jumped out at us. First the 140mm Whaka above is a nice looking 4-bar enduro bike that offers a pretty broad range of affordability in an aluminum platform. Then there was an aero disc-brake road bike called the Arcalis that Stevens claims to actually be a comfortable, almost endurance type bike. Lastly as euro cross season approaches and the top riders are soon to be making their way back from Cross Vegas, some updates to the World Cup level Super Prestige look to make it even more capable on the race circuit.
Hop past the break for some full-on details…
Fozzie Bear’s favorite enduro bike comes in three trim levels all with the same 29er aluminum frame. We’re told the bike has relaxed trail-based geometry, with short chainstays to counter the longer big wheel issue. Standover is pretty low for such a long-travel 29″ bike, but the small 16″ frame sizes still had to be dropped down to 27.5″ wheels to make them manageable for smaller riders.
All three bikes use full Shimano drivetrains with direct mount derailleurs and 203mm/180 mm brakes. Cable routing is mostly internal with a big open downtube port. The bikes get standard 100/15 and 142/12 thru-axles. The Whaka Max with new mechanical XTR goes for €5000, with the XT Whaka ES at €3000, and the XT/SLX mixed bag Whaka for €2300.
The new Arcalis brings together aerodynamic shaping, disc-brakes, and comfort into one interesting road bike. The first two are pretty self-explanatory, but the third relies on a special proprietary aero carbon seatpost that incorporates a large elastomer and thinned down upper section designed to flex. It is probably necessary since aero bikes aren’t know for comfort, but Stevens also cited the dropped seatstays and a thinned section of the seat tube above the bottom bracket as also helping vertical compliance. We’d be very curious to see how the bike rides.
The aero frame and fork include full mechanical/electronic/hydraulic internal routing, with the fork getting a shaped crown that integrates smoothly into the transition to the downtube. We liked the looks of the swept chainstays, but were also happy to see that tire clearance should be good for 28mm+ tires.
The single €2700 Arcalis Disc bike is built up with mechanical+hydraulic Ultegra/R785 160mm disc brakes with Ice-tech pads. It comes spec’d with 25mm Conti GP4000s tires on the tubeless-convertible DT Swiss R24 Spline wheels. The wheels have Center-Lock hubs, but curiously neither the display bike or catalog info we got included Shimano’s Freeza rotors.
The Arcalis Disc is one of several of the road bikes eligible for Stevens’s unique custom program that allows an affordable component customization process through their dealer network. The program lets you build out a fully custom setup, or can be used to simply tailor fit with different crank lengths, and stem and bar sizes.
Super Prestige Disc
The Super Prestige has earned a good reputation on the European pro race scene and had been one of the early European disc-brake bikes available (although most make stuck with the canti version to race on the continent.) This new version for the 2014/15 cross season makes just a few changes to increase ride quality and ease of use. The big change is the replacement of the previous integrated seatpost with the more comfortable conventional 27.2 mm option. This makes transporting the bike easier, allows cross racers to pick a more flexible post if they want, and also made Stevens rework the seat cluster a bit to further refine rear end compliance (while still managing internal routing.)
To combat the accumulation of Belgian mud, we were told the frame was also given a bit of reshaping at the bottom bracket to increase mud clearance and slightly reduce the mud shelf effect. Plus the outside of the driveside chainstay was apparently thinned a bit to make more room for chainrings and all that lovely mud and grass that likes to fly off the spinning rear tire into the spinning cranks. I’m pretty sure you couldn’t spot the difference unless you had the old and new bikes sitting next to each other, but minor improvements are good too.
The Super Prestige give a bit of customization with 2 standard spec options with either mechanical €2700 or electronic €3400 Ultegra drivetrain, both with hydraulic disc brakes and aluminum clincher wheels. Or DT carbon tubular RC38 wheels are an available upgrade for about €1000 more.