Stevens was showing a bunch of new things from city bikes to an e-bike with automatic NuVinci shifting, but what first caught out attention was the fattening up of their mountain bikes (while still churning out a new 9kg carbon hardtail), and some updates to the cross bikes (including the race-winning Super Prestige Disc that we tested last cyclocross season). Not to be left out were bikes for the asphalt, and we picked up on two extremes: a gearbox driven urban monster with 2.4″ slicks over to the Ventoux road machine in either disc or rim brake variants. Get all the details with us after the break…
We previewed the new fat Whaka+ this summer, but got a bit more detail and the 3400€ asking price on this 27.5″ bike. With a claimed weight of 14.7kg (32.4lb), in order to fit the bigger 3″ Nobby Nic tires Stevens had to develop some new chainstay yoke forgings that went on to lighten up all of the 2016 full-suspension bikes. At 140mm of travel, and with the wide plus-sized tires, this becomes the most plush of Stevens’ All-Mountain trail bikes that still get 2x drivetrains like this XT front XTR rear combo.
Like all 2016 Stevens full-suspension designs, the Whaka+ gets a Boost-ed rear end for more stiffness, and clever internal routing throughout, even for the rear brake (albeit a hassle to setup or change).
The Sledge Max 27.5″ is a new top end enduro bike in the Sledge line-up. At 3700€, the 13.9kg (30.6lb) bike comes spec’d with a 170mm fork and 160mm of rear travel. It gets an XT 1x setup with an 11-42 cassette to handle the ups and downs, and a smart Magic Mary front/Hans Dampf rear tire spec for balanced grip. The Max and the rest of the Sledge frames get the Boost updates, as well as the lighter and smaller forgings at the bottom bracket and dropouts that shed around 400g overall.
All of the new full-suspension bikes also get a new plastic chainstay guard that is compatible with mounting Bionicon’s lightweight single or double friendly B-Labs C-Guide chain retention device.
Stevens’ fat bike gets even fatter for 2016 with a new paint job.
Besides the orange-accented camo paint scheme the new Mobster XL widens to take 4.8″ tires, now spec’ed with Jumbo Jims on house-branded Oxygen SB-80 hollowed-out rims. It also gets low-rider rack mounts up front and standard mounts in the rear, and a big spaced out derailleur mount to shift up front.
The 1400€ double butted 6061 aluminum frame gets a matching unicrown fork and comes in at 15.1kg (33.3lb) with its Deore/XT drivetrain and Tektro Auriga brakes. The 4″ tire version Mobster from last year also carries over into 2016 unchanged, a little bit lighter than the XL with less rubber weighing it down.
While their other bikes got fat the Sonora SL gets light. This top end Sonora SL Di2 weighed in at 9.02kg (19.9lb) for a large 29er. Spec’ed with an XTR Di2 double, the 6700€ bike uses 29″ wheels for the M, L & XL frames, while the S goes 27.5″ (and a claimed 8.9kg/19.6lb.) Adding to that, a more affordable Sonora ES version will also be available for 2016 that adds about 150g due to a different layup design in the same mold with less expensive carbon.
For a premium urban bike, Stevens introduced a new rigid P-Carpo, with an aggressively shaped aluminum frame and fork, specifically built to accommodate a Pinion 9-speed gearbox at the bottom bracket. The 3000€ speedster uses a Gates Centertrack belt drive to put the power down to fat 29×2.4″ Schwalbe Big One slicks. An optional Streetkit will be available to bolt on with integrated lights and fenders.
An e-version – the E-Carpo – gets a similarly styled frame (unfortunately cluttered by its battery), by replacing the Pinion gearbox for a Bosch motor and the singlespeed rear hub with an automatically shifting NuVinci Harmony internally geared hub.
Super Prestige Disc & Valor
All the cross bikes get updated frames for the 2015/2016 race season. The carbon Super Prestige Disc (3000€ mechanical Ultegra) bike and its canti version received just updated paint schemes for this season, but also got new spec with DT Swiss’ all-around R24 wheels and the softer, grippier white compound Challenge Grifo open tubular (clincher) tires. Unfortunately, one thing that looks like it doesn’t stay for 2016 was the option to swap out the clincher wheelset for a set of tubulars at the dealer level (although that may carry over and just not be advertised anymore.) On the aluminum front the bikes have all dropped a couple hundred grams, with the Vapor leading the bunch with a spec just like the Super Prestige. It’s built with an Ultegra 2x setup and house brand alloy wheels for 2000€ and an even 9kg (19.8lb) weight, just 400g more than the top bike.
Ventoux & Ventoux Disc
The Ventoux and Ventoux Disc haven’t got much of an update for 2016 other than new paint jobs and spec, but we haven’t really covered them much before, so they are worth a few pics. Both bikes get quick handling race-inspired geometry but tubing shapes and carbon layups that favor longer rides. We’ve gotten a chance to spend a little time riding the disc brake version, and can attest to the quick feel of the bike, but see it as more stiff than advertised, although mostly in a good way. It definitely leans more towards feeling the road, than the plush feel we see on the current trend in endurance bikes.
Both bike versions are available in Stevens’ Custom Bike program that lets buyers configure their ideal build online and then send it to their local dealer to order. The 10-step online process gives a lot of options and makes it easy to put together a dream bike outside of most budgets, or keep it more realistic.