Welcome to Bikerumor’s Sneak Peeks, where we bring you the latest bikes and technology we’ve found floating around the web and socials. This stuff is fresh, so new it’s likely not available, or even official. From prototypes to concepts, these sneak peeks are a glimpse into the future…

Bombtrack Bicycle Co are currently developing their very first full-suspension mountain bike: the Cale XC, following their steel and alloy Cale hardtails. Scouring the social media accounts of the Bombtrack NZ folks, we can tell you this is a 100mm travel carbon XC bike running a single pivot suspension platform with linkage-driven shock. It’s likely the suspension also relies on a bit of vertical seatstay flex, too. We reached out to Bombtrack for comment; here’s what we know…

Bombtrack Cale XC Prototype

bombtrack cale xc

The Bombtrack Cale XC loaded up with Apidura packs ready for the Tour Te Waipounamu; a bikepacking race that runs the length of New Zealand’s South Island. This rig will likely take two full size water bottles inside the front triangle, when not full of custom-made bikepacking bags.

What you’re looking at here is an updated version of what Gosse van der Meer raced back at the Saariselkä MTB Stage Race and the 2021 Alta Via Stage Race where he took the top step. Bombtrack confirm that this full suspension carbon mountain bike is in development together with their XC, Marathon & Adventure racers, but the project is still in the very early stages.

Gosse will ride a similar bike at the 2022 UCI MTB Marathon WC, while another of Bombtrack’s supported riders, Nancy Akinyi, will take on Olympic and Commonwealth Games qualification aboard a similar bike and an existing aluminum Cale AL hardtail with a 120mm fork.

Bombtrack aren’t too forthcoming on details just now, stating they expect the 2022 race season to guide how the new XC bike is developed going forward.

bombtrack cale xc full suspension bike prototype

We’ve spotted two testers giving the carbon Bombtrack Cale XC prototype a thrashing on Instagram; @toby_bikes_roberts and @joeoutandabout. Joe (left in the above image) captioned his post, “Bedding in the new steed. Happily surprised by how well this short travel missile goes, turns long low and slack can be combined with 100mm travel to great effect”.

We notice that while Toby’s ride is sporting a Fox 32 fork, Joe’s has a Fox 34, suggesting that the team are testing a variety of travel combinations.

bombtrack cale xc prototype mtb

Beyond what Bombtrack were able to share with us, we’ve deduced that this frame runs a trunnion-mount metric shock and gets some form of ISCG tabs, likely for the mounting of a mini chain guide. It also looks like it will run a full straight 1.5″ headset which could lead to fully hidden internal routing in the future.

Bombtrack.com

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Bobinas
Bobinas
4 months ago

It’s not a prototype they’re developing. It’s a Flybike/Carbonda frame for sale to OEMs and consumers: http://www.carbonda.com/mountain/full-suspension/130.html

Russ M.
3 months ago
Reply to  Bobinas

Then they did clever little modifications though. Excited if such a wb and reach will actually become a standard in XCO one day. Don’t think so

Bobinas
Bobinas
3 months ago
Reply to  Russ M.

What clever modifications? Same frame as available online through the factory just painted. … That wb and reach is not that different then all the latest XCO bikes. Other than that it’s avail in 520 reach. Which def is a size larger than most any XCO bike on the market.

Marcellus | Bombtrack
3 months ago
Reply to  Bobinas

Here we go again with the open mold discusssion. A mold only defines the outer shape of the frame, but says nothing about lay up, fibres or most important the resin. With those bikes we are testing various suspension setups as well as different resins.

Bobinas
Bobinas
3 months ago

The article mentions nothing of an open mold and is written as if you’ve developed the bike from the ground up and are still working on it as if changing geo, etc. … Yes, you guys are requesting different layups and resins. That’s awesome. That’s what it should say since eventually people will figure out it’s an open mold bike. Also, I was responding to ‘they did clever little modifications’ comment. He doesn’t know about the layup or the resin or suspension testing. So what he said made no sense. I’m not hating on the open molds at all. Just think there should be more clarity when a press release drops about ‘developing’ a prototype bike. How are you guys getting on with the mid-stroke support for the rear?

Marcellus | Bombtrack
2 months ago
Reply to  Bobinas

Hello Bobinas
We haven’t written the article and we haven’t dropped a press release. In fact we actually would have preferred to keep testing this frame under the radar, but we also never forbid any of our riders to share pictures of developement samples, so when we were approached by Jessie-May we answered her questions and that was it. Sorry, I didn’t wanted to suggest that you were hating open molds, I would also appreciate if there would be more clarity industry wide.
So to clear this up, the above frame is indeed an open mold design.
Feedback from our riders was good so far. There is not a lot of progression in the suspension layout. Mid-stroke support is good, but fine tuning (reducing) the positive chamber and adjusting the negative chamber accordingly is very important.

Marcus This
Marcus This
16 days ago

when this will be available?

satanas
satanas
4 months ago

They should make the frame bags a production item.

alloycowboy
alloycowboy
3 months ago

@Bikerumor… You guys need to start hammering on drop link bikes as they are horrible at taking out torsional and lateral loads. The reason manufacters like drop link bike is because they are easy to design and manufacter.

The best design for short travel full suspension bike is the swing link bikes like the Canondale Scapel, Specialized Epic, and Canyon Lux as the swing link does a much better job at stiffening the chassis from lateral and torisional deflections. It also allows for pedal platform to built into the design for increased pedal efficiency. It was not by accident that these large companies adopted the swing link design after trying a multitude of other designs.

Marcellus | Bombtrack
3 months ago
Reply to  alloycowboy

@alloycowboy not sure if I understand correct, with drop link you are referring to a four bar setup and with swing link to a single pivot?
Both setups have their advantages, but you have to consider that the mentioned carbon frames use flex in the stays as additional pivot. This helps to save weight, but it makes the pivots less defined and dependened on the rider weight and input forces.
It has nothing to do with a pedal platform that distinguishes between high and low damping speed.

Bobinas
Bobinas
3 months ago

I think what he’s saying is that the drop-link (from the top tube) is less torsional/laterally stiff as compared to a swing-link like the current Specialized Epic. If this is true, maybe it’s because of the shorter link with a swing-link setup(?)

Marcellus | Bombtrack
2 months ago
Reply to  Bobinas

Personally I am not too concerned about the length of the link. Of course a shorter link can be build to the same stiffness with less material, but:

  1. I am not extremly concerned about weight and rather have a frame that is a bit heavier, but more durable.
  2. Two of the above mentioned bikes use a shock yoke, the third needs to place the link pivot far beyond the seat tube. All of this doesn’t help to increase the stiffness of the whole system or safe weight (whatever is of higher concern to the rider)

In the end the only thing that matters more than pivot placement is the shock setup and the rider itself. All current suspension layouts have their advantages and disadvantages, and can made working well or not. I don’t think that there is one superior layout, it is more a matter of riding style, taste and personal preferences.