Cruising around Crankworx you’re bound to find new components on display, but one thing I always look forward to is the custom painted bikes! In this article we’ll take a look at two bikes from Trek and Norco with mind-blowing paint jobs, and look at some new components from e-Thirteen, Maxxis and Race Face.
The ‘Return to Earth’ Trek Slash
This year, Trek had a 2019 Slash painted up in a brown, gold and striped color scheme that reminded me of the age of shag carpets and faux wood wall panels.
The paint job was inspired by Anthill Films’ recent MTB movie Return to Earth, so a few logos were worked into the frame’s design. Trek and Shimano were the main sponsors of the movie.
The glitterbombed gold rims were my favorite part of the bike! Bontrager’s Line Pro 30 rims offered a nice deep profile to show off the blingin’ gold paint.
Not only was the paint job unique, but this bike features a full build of custom components including a Shimano XTR drivetrain and top-notch Fox suspension package. I’ll bet this is the first glittery brown Fox 36 fork you’ve seen!
This awesome retro Slash was created as a prize for Trailforks’ 30-Day Challenge, daring everyone to ride at least one trail every day for 30 days straight and record it all on Trailforks. The winner was a very lucky guy who’s currently living in Whistler.
Jill Kintner’s Queen of Hearts Norco Rampage
Over at the Norco booth, a special Rampage hardtail made for Jill Kintner was showing off a wild playing-card inspired pattern. After winning the Queen of Crankworx title five times (not to mention 22 US National Championships), Norco rewarded Kintner with this Queen of Hearts Edition custom 2020 Rampage.
The Queen of Hearts bike was painted by Made Rad by Tony (Tony Baumann), the same wizard who created Bryn Atkinson’s snake skin Range for last year’s Crankworx. To my eyes, the face near the head tube and queen of hearts insignia on the dropouts are two standout features within this wild design.
e-Thirteen handlebars and stems
e-Thirteen has jumped into the cockpit market, offering both carbon and aluminum handlebars and two new alloy stems. The new components, aimed at trail, enduro and DH riders, were just recently announced and I got a close-up look at Crankworx.
The new Carbon Race handlebar features a 9° backsweep and 5° upsweep, and comes 800mm wide with marked cut measurements to make trimming easy. 20mm or 35mm rise options are available. Weight is listed at 225g, and the retail price is $139.95.
The Carbon Race bar was bolted up to e-Thirteen’s Plus Stem, which is heavily milled out to shave as much weight as possible. The stem’s most unique feature is e-Thirteen’s two-sided clamp arrangement, which allows for a slim, clean shape around the back of the steerer tube. The stem has a 35mm clamp, no rise, and comes in 40 or 50mm length options. The Plus stem hits the scale at 145g and sells for $95.95.
The base aluminum handlebars (and a mid-level Plus aluminum model which is not pictured) share the same sweep, rise options and stock width as the Carbon Race bar. Weight for the base model is 405g, and the Plus model comes in at 280g. The Base model sells for just $34.95, while the Plus costs $69.95.
The base stem doesn’t have the nicely milled-out areas like the Plus, but shares its two-sided clamp design. It also comes in the same 40 or 50mm lengths, with zero rise and a 35mm clamp. It only weighs a tad more than the Plus model at 155g, but costs half as much at $49.95.
Maxxis Dissector Tire
Bikerumor checked out the Dissector tire when it was recently announced, but I stopped in for a hands-on look at Crankworx. I chatted with the folks at the Maxxis booth and got the scoop on the new tread. This dry condition downhill tire was developed with Maxxis’ team racer Troy Brosnan, and you’ll find it on his rear rim when he’s racing faster World Cup DH tracks.
Maxxis recommends pairing a rear Dissector with a grippy Minion or Assegai tire up front. The Dissector it designed to roll fast, but also has aggressive braking edges that stand straight up to bite into the trail. And, despite being optimized for dry conditions, I was told it sheds mud pretty well in anything short of thick, sloppy muck. Check out Bikerumor’s Dissector announcement article for all the details and specs.
Race Face Aeffect R dropper post and crank
Race Face decided to add an ‘R’ line within their Aeffect component range, and they had the new dropper post, remote and crank showing at their booth this year. ‘R’ stands for rally, and what sets them apart from the Aeffect versions is exactly what you might guess- They’re lighter and stronger.
The Aeffect R crank is forged from 7050 aluminum to make it stiff enough for enduro riding yet lightweight. It rotates around a 24mm spindle and holds its ring with Race Face’s direct-mount Cinch system. 165, 170 and 175mm arms are available in Black only, and the crank is compatible with BSA, BB92 and PF30 bottom brackets. With 170mm arms, a 32t alloy ring and no BB, the cranks weigh in at 632g.
The Aeffect R dropper post features a mechanically actuated hydraulic cartridge, which Race Face says is very reliable and easy to service. The post offers infinite seat height adjustment within its travel range. A sealed damping system, new DU bushing in the upper nut and a larger diameter upper tube increase the post’s durability and stiffness.
Available in 30.9 and 31.6 diameters, the Aeffect R post offers 100/125/150/170mm travel options. Weights range from 482-638g, and they come in Black only.
The new Aeffect R dropper post lever is a simple mechanical under-the-bar unit, but unlike the Aeffect lever the R version is also compatible with Race Face’s Turbine R dropper post. It uses a standard shifter cable and housing, and comes in Black.
The Aeffect R crank sells for $129, and the dropper post retails at $199 (but you’ll likely be adding the lever for another $40).