The full suspension XC bicycle segment has been among the fastest growing in recent months. The proliferation of long-distance events and the changes made to cross-country circuits have converted these bikes into the perfect ride for most users. So much so that the current number of models available in the market is enormous. However, comparing them, seeing them and getting hands-on experience with them all in the same place is tough. Unless, that is, you come to the Sea Otter Europe in Girona on 8, 9 and 10 June.
XC and bike-marathon are highly popular categories in Europe, and the brands coming to Sea Otter Europe know that very well indeed. That’s why the range of models on show will be rather unique. There will be bikes for all tastes and budgets.
Cannondale and its Scalpel model will attract a great deal of attention because the brand has made a huge commitment to the Sea Otter Europe. That said, almost all of the biggest brands will be present at the festival. Scott was huge in 2017 with its Spark, a model that is just as important now as it was then and that, thanks to the media coverage by Nino Schurter, is still an important benchmark for the industry. When looking at the new products in 2018 from Specialized, the new Epic is undoubtedly highly significant. This different twist on the Brain concept has a new suspension system that leaves the FSR concept behind to become lighter and more efficient than ever. Trek remains committed to its successful Top Fuel model, with a rear suspension system full of high-end technology. From the RE:aktiv suspension to the ABP system. All in pursuit of a suspension system with the best performance.
From France comes the Lapierre XR and its spectacular lines. Sunn has also joined the full suspension XC party with the eye-catching Shaman, the model being trusted to return this brand to the market position it once held.
As regards the Spanish companies, they all know that XC riders outnumber all others in Spain and that’s why they all have top-of-the-line models on offer. BH has its Lynx Race Carbon, successfully ridden by its World Cup team. Berria will have its first full suspension XC bike – the Mako, a bicycle that took them into a new niche market. We already know that Massi is working on its next version of the Aire —the Aire SL— which you’ll no doubt see ridden by its official team riders at the Super Cup Massi on the same weekend at the festival. The new Kenta from MMR is one of the largest projects ever undertaken by the brand, backed by its spectacular competition team. MSC and its Blast stand as the affordable option for getting into the full suspension world.
From Germany, Bulls will have its Wild Edge. This brand is known for its outstanding performance at the best stage-based events on the planet through its official competition team. Also from Germany, Cube has the attractive AMS 100, with a highly competitive weight as its main selling point. Focus and their O1E are present in this bicycle category with a model offering a well-crafted rear suspension system.
KTM is bringing its popular Scarp, with 90mm of suspension aimed at being lightweight and competitive. Thanks to Hermida, we all know the Merida Ninety Six, the model regularly ridden by the famous biker since he retired from professional XC.
From among the Italian creations, Olympia and its recently released F1X for this season will take centre stage. Also from Italy, we will see the “exotic” FRM Anakin and the Protek 29FSTeam, both genuine works of art in carbon. The Titici Flexy Full Suspended FS will not go unnoticed by anyone thanks to its peculiar upper tube and for being a brand that produces less conventional designs.
The Canadian company Norco has added the Revolver model to its arsenal as a weapon for modern XC, while their US neighbours Moots are bringing their exclusive softail Mooto X YBB as their main attraction.
The best thing of all is that not only will you be able to see all these bikes at the same time in the expo area, but many of them will be available to test ride as part of the significant demo programme at Sea Otter Europe. Furthermore, a circuit with genuine BTT sections will enable you to reach your own conclusions about how they perform in an authentic mountain bike environment.