The 2016 Rotwild X1 is a new all mountain/trail bike with 140mm front and rear travel and a few tricks up its sleeve.
The idea was to build a new frame concept with compatibility for both 27.5 and 27.5+ on the same bike without compromising performance in either setup. Add to that switchable chainstay lengths and headset angles, and you’ve got a bike can be tailored to the ride at hand.
Rotwild’s reps say the characteristics of the different tire widths is significant, with the plus size offering massive traction and more comfort over rough stuff, but the thinner, lighter tires being more agile and responsive. Makes sense, and they didn’t want the rider to have to make a one-time choice between the two since we all ride trails of different types.
They do this by using a switchable axle insert, with the longer chainstay position being mainly for the plus sized tires.
The bike comes with long and short inside parts, and the outside chips just rotate 180º. It also includes a long brake adapter and spacer for the short position to keep the caliper properly lined up with the rotor. It also ships with this Anti-chainsuck ring (left) that mounts to the crankset to keep the chain from grinding into the BB shell if it drops off the inside of the chainring.
It’s got a Boost rear end with spacing for a 27.5×3.0 tire, and Schwalbe is working on a plus-sized tire in exactly that size.
Hydroformed tubes keep the head tube area strong but light since it doesn’t need gussets. It’ll ship with the Fox 110mm 34 Boost fork on all models, then you’ll just need to swap wheels if you want to go between tire sizes (or stretch/squeeze the other width tire on whatever rims you get).
Up front, they let you further tweak the riding characteristics from -1.5º to +1.5º using a headset of their own design.
Each 1.5º change has an effective head angle change of 1.3º due to the whole bike getting a bit lower. The bikes will ship with a 0º upper cup, and top models of the bike will include the +/-1.5º offset cups. That part will be available aftermarket for lower models.
Linkage system is completely new, providing a mostly linear compression. The leverage ratio is actually regressive at first to counteract the softness leading into the sag. It has an overall lower leverage ratio to work with the Fox Float EVOL shocks, which helps heavier riders still be able to take advantage of the higher volume shock.
They developed their own bearings with wider flanges to improve stability, and they put two of them at each of the Horst Link’s rear pivot. The bearings are used up at the shock mount, too, which helps keep it very stable so there’s no binding or flex there that could prevent the shock from working smoothly.
The frame has full internal cable routing with Sideswing compatibility and a swingarm-mounted e-type front derailleur mount.
There’ll be four trim levels, all using the same frame. Final specification will be announced at Eurobike, and expect them to ship in November 2015.
While they didn’t have a large enough demo bike for me, I heard a few others say they were impressed. They had bikes set up with both regular and plus sized tires, and the photos above and below show the visual difference.
There were also a few bikes floating around with a prototype inverted fork, check here for details on that.
They’ll offer an e-bike version, too, which uses their integrated battery and motor units to keep all the pivots in the same place as the regular model.
It’s the same design they’ve used on their other e-bikes, giving similar performance regardless of whether you have pedal assist or not.