The German lightweight carbon craftsmen at Bike Ahead have revamped their mountain bike wheels with new wider, asymmetric carbon rims that they lace into some crazy light trail & race wheelsets. With the rise of ridiculously expensive e-mountain bikes they’ve even developed some eMTB specific components, including wheels to handle more weight & torque, plus new seatposts & handlebars. Then to top it all off, Bike Ahead has taken the unique tech integrated in their mountain bars and curled it up into the new RaceBar, an ultra light road dropbar.
THEwheels XC-24 & XC-28
Bike Ahead has essentially two approaches to mountain bike wheels – one of which is to develop ultra light carbon rims that they either lace into lightweight wheels in house or that they give to select trusted partners to lace into complete wheels. They don’t actually make the rims available to regular consumer or industry distribution channels so they can keep tighter controls of wheel builds to ensure quality & safety of the finished product.
The latest carbon rims grow outward in width to include the new TheWheels XC-24 with a 24mm internal width and TheWheels XC-28 with 28mm inside, both with asymmetric profiles. Bike Ahead build both rims into wheeslsets with German Newmen hubs (standard or Boost), DT spokes & Prolock alloy nipples. The hook bead XC-24 (from 2200€) is geared towards XC & Marathon racing with weights as low as 1259g for a complete wheelset, and a rider limits of 95kg/210lb. The more aggressive XC-28 (from 2200€) gets a wide-radius hookless bead and is suited more for trail, all-mountain & even light enduro racing, with wheelset weights from just 1359g and a rider+gear limit of 105kg/230lb.
biturbo-E & THEwheels-E
Bike Ahead is also getting into outfitting premium eMTBs with super light carbon wheels. They’s taken their classic 6-spoke full carbon Biturbo and amped them up for the added stresses of e-bikes. With their 27mm internal width, the Biturbo-E gets a modified layup to deal with the extra weight and additional torque and is available for both 27.5″ (1349g) & 29″ (1459g) setups. They still are silly light, and offer pretty much any hub interface your e-bike could need with a rider+gear weight limit of 115kg/254lb and a 3300€ pricetag.
TheWheels-E keep the price a bit more in check, building off the same tech as found in the XC-28, beefed up for e-MTBs and the higher 115kg rider limit. Available with rims of either 27.5″ (1395g) or 29″ (1495g) diameter, both still build into super light trail-ready wheelsets for the same 2200€ price as the less reinforced trail wheels. And without any giant e-bike decals, that probably still makes them a reliable option for heavier or more aggressive trail & enduro riders looking to trim weight off the bike.
Bike Ahead’s latest post is the new TheSeatpost Setback, which takes their straight ultralight 2-bolt post and leans the shaft back for 15mm of setback. Adding setback to the post gave it a tapered profile at the head, while not affecting weight or price (or the 95kg rider limit). Available in 27.2 or 31.6mm diameters and 300, 350 & 400mm lengths, the 300€ post weighs as little as 112g (27.2 x 300) and tops out at just 145g (31.6×400). The post uses the same No Slip Application rubberized clamping area that requires lower clamping force to prevent slipping (this less risk of over-clamping & damaging the carbon.)
THEseatpost & THEseatpost-E
The setback post joins the straight post, and now the new TheSeatpost-E which again uses teh same NSA clamp area tech and the same shaping with reinforced carbon layup for heavier e-bikes and increased likelihood of sitting on the saddle through the rough stuff. The TheSeatpost-E adds about 30-35g of carbon to the standard post, but increases rider limit up to 115kg/254lb for the same 300€ pricetag.
THEflatbar-E & THEriser-E
TheFlatbar-E & TheRiser-E are the two new e-bike additions that join the standard TheFlatbar & TheRiser (and the flat TheDi2, top left), offering again more reinforcement. Here the e-version is built to handle more clamping force, not just to resist heavier bikes & riders and the occasional (inevitable?) crash with the hefty eMTB, but also more device clamping on the bars like additional e-bike displays.
TheFlatbar-E is available with 8.5°, 10° or 13° of backsweep (0 upsweep) in either 720mm (for the 8.5° only) or 750mm widths and 0mm or -9.5mm of ride thanks to the offset 31.8mm clamp. Weights range from 139-149g with a price of 230€. TheRiser-E bar gets 8.5° of back & 5° of upsweep to go with a 15mm ride for 240€. Both bar shapes feature the same rubberized NSA clamping area, option for UD or 3K finish, and generous 115kg rider limit.
Lastly the new TheRacebar brings Bike Ahead more into the road and gravel sphere after last year’s wheel debut. The all new road drop bar takes the same ultra light tech in their mountain bike bars and shapes it for the road. The bars get a smooth compact bend – 80mm reach, 130mm drop, 5° backsweep. The incorporate the same NSA rubberized clamping area tech, which here works both to help the stem clamp the bar with lower force, but also helps keep your shifters from rotating while not having to over-toque the hoods down to the bar. At 400€ TheRacebar comes in 420mm & 440mm widths (440 coming about two months later) with weight starting at just 159g for a 95kg rider limit.
All of the new components are available now direct from Bike Ahead or through regular retailers. Only TheRacebar is awaiting official release later in October 2017.