The big news in the Rocky Mountain booth was the new Blizzard fat bike, but they were also attracting a lot of attention for this one-off prototype Sherpa. When Rocky Mountain got wind of a prototype 27.5×2.8 tire that WTB had produced, they built this bike based on a customized 29er.
The bike is all set for some wild adventures with a custom paint job, a dynamo front hub powering a USB plug, and a set of custom frame page from Porcelain Rocket. No word yet if it will enter production, but based on its reception if the tires happen, the bike will happen.
Over in the Pivot booth, the big news was the new Phoenix carbon downhill bike we first spied in prototype aluminum form in our factory visit (see Issue #176). The new Phoenix takes all the current downhill trends to the extreme, with 27.5 wheels, a frame weight of just eight pounds, 204mm of travel, full internal cable routing, a 107mm press fit bottom bracket shell.
The head tube angle is a super-slack 62.5 degrees with another .75 degrees of adjustment possible with different headset cups. All in you’re looking at 33.8 pounds and $3,299 for the frame and fork. Bikes should be available by the end of summer.
When you work with a family of athletes as talented as the Athertons, you can pump out some pretty amazing products. After sampling the latest GT Fury that Rachael and Gee used to dominated the 2013 World Cup season, brother Dan wanted a smaller version to campaign in the Enduro World Series. The new 165mm-travel Sanction uses the same Independent Drivetrain found on the Fury, and while it is built to be pedaled up hill, the lack of a front derailleur mount means its real business is going down.
The 66 degree head tube angle is paired with a long front center design built for super-short 35mm stems and a long wheelbase, despite the 17.5 inch chainstays. The Athertons are such fans of the long front center that they have been spotted testing a zero stem on their Fury downhill bikes.
The frame should be available in early fall for about $1,999. The white bike pictured is a prototype with some notes marked right on the top tube.