Codeveloped between Haibike and Tune for road applications the new QC12 quick release thru-axle aims to speed up and simplify wheel changes for the shift to road discs. The new axle is exclusively available on Haibike’s new lightweight, high-modulus race bike the Affair for 2016, after which the standard will be opened up to other interested manufacturers.
Follow us past the break for some detailed pics of the top-spec Affair, plus some technical background on the QC12, as well as a new carbon cross bike from Haibike, and their over-the-top road racing, high-speed e-bike…
The Affair is an all new bike for Haibike with race-oriented geometry in a curved, sloping frame design. While quick handling was important to the design team, the bike was built for comfort over long distances. Its top version – the 10,000€ 8.80 – gets a Dura-Ace Di2 build and light parts throughout, befitting the price tag.
For wheels, the Affair 8.80 goes with Bike Ahead’s super light RoadRunner disc-brake 6-spoke carbon clinchers, and although the show bike got 140mm Brake Force One rotors on 6-bolt hubs, the production bike will get Shimano Freeza centerlock rotors. The new 330g fork has generous tire clearance around the 25mm Schwalbe Ones. The fork was developed to benefit from the new axle and uses a 1.5-1.25″ tapered steerer and reverse drop outs (RDOs) to increase comfort while keeping steering stiffness and precision.
The Affair will come in 5 sizes with seattubes from 46-58cm in at least two spec levels. The 8.80 and a cheaper 8.50 with Ultegra Di2 for 3000€ will be available later this fall, while a couple of caliper-braked versions include 105 and Red builds. The bike includes a built-in chain catcher and flat-mount brakes.
The QC12 thru-axle is produced by Tune and works with a keyed dropout to catch the end caps of the hub, so the axles can be slid in without the need for threads. It works with a simple cam that allows the axle to be inserted into the hub no matter the lever position. It then locks in place, and gives an audible click that confirms that it is in place. Then simply close the lever to tension the system, and its done and secure.
In order to remove the axle, you first open the QR lever and then push in the button on the driveside end of the axle (red on the two photos at right.) When you press in the release button, the internal pawls retract, and the axle can be taken out. It promises to be light and require a simple step molded into the fork or frame. The system is quite simple and will make a nice addition to more bikes for 2017 after the exclusivity ends.
On the cross front, Haibike had their updated Noon carbon crosser. Set up with a SRAM Force 1x drivetrain with Hy/Rd brakes, and DT R24 clinchers the Noon 8.50 will sell for 2800€ and weigh about 8.6kg.
The Noon sticks with quick releases with forward facing dropouts front and rear. Its rear end uses relatively flat seatstays that come together in a wide, reinforced bridges to keep the back stiff. At the front, the bike gets a carbon tapered fork with a carbon steerer, but gets an aluminum inserts at the crown and inside the legs for fender (or rack) mounts. Two other lower priced Noons are also available in aluminum with the same fork, the 8.30 with a Rival build at 1700€ and the 8.20 for 1400€ with a 105 double at 9.9kg.
On the super e-bike side of things Haibike was introducing their new 8000€ Xduro Race S Pro e-bike. With its 45km/hr (28m/hr) top speed it falls into the category that gets a license plate, and lights in its home Germany.
The bike-like-object starts with an aggressively hydroformed aluminum frame with some pretty interesting looking shaping, and then gets built up with Zipp 303s and a Force1 Hydro groupset. The motor and battery are by Bosch with a 350W power output. While I don’t expect we’ll ever cover this type of e-bike too seriously, we couldn’t pass on sharing a few pictures of the crazy thing, which thankfully gets classified in Europe as more motorcycle than bike, which isn’t all that surpring with its 18.7kg weight.