Revamped ASR Carbon and all-new DJ from Yeti
Yeti Cycles' highly praised ASR Carbon cross-country frame will head into 2010 with the same front triangle as last year but an all-new carbon rear end. A claimed 50 percent leap in overall stiffness – with the same weight as last year – is expected to yield a quicker pedal response but also more precise tracking for improved handling predictability, especially in rougher terrain.
Like on the new ASR 5C trail bike, the new rear end sports symmetrical chain stays and also does without Yeti's long-standing flex pivot design, instead distributing the necessary movement across the entire length of the seat stays. More stoutly braced disc brake tabs should eliminate any potential brake shuddering issues, too, and the rear derailleur housing is internally routed for a cleaner appearance.
The best part, however, is that the price will actually go down from US$2,990 to US$2,700 – now that's what we call progress.
Yeti will also debut a wholly revamped DJ frame for 2010 with a far beefier hydroformed aluminum tubeset and a shorter and quicker geometry. The front end gets a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" head tube and bigger multi-shape profiles while the seat tube is now a squared-off bit for additional stiffness and strength and accepts a larger 30.9mm seatpost.
More changes are found out back with far bigger diameters throughout and new sliding box-section dropouts convertible for geared or singlespeed use. Suggested retail price is US$650.
Avid Shorty Ultimate cantilevers edge closer to reality
Avid has rescued its elusive Shorty Ultimate cantilevers from the pitfalls of vapourware with the introduction of a new version set for release around the end of this year (too late for 'cross season, unfortunately).
The new brakes are still ultralight at a claimed weight of just 115g per wheel (including the road-style cartridge pads) and will be offered in either wide- or narrow-profile configurations to suit particular rider needs or course conditions. Unlike the prototypes, though, the arms won't be convertible between the two geometries and they are now constructed in a sort of aluminum sandwich configuration instead of last year's bolt-together setup. Also, the original's cartridge bearing pivots are traded in for simpler aluminum bushings.
Spring tension adjustment has changed, too, from the original prototype's easy threaded arrangement (similar to what's used on the standard Shorty) to a simpler – and presumably lighter – cap system. A convenient barrel adjuster is integrated into one arm, too, and of course, titanium hardware is used throughout. Swiss Stop pad inserts will come as standard equipment.
Pricing is yet to be determined but Avid estimates they'll run somewhere between US$150 and US$200.