By Luke Webber in Fort William, Scotland
With most major new product announcements made at Eurobike the previous week one would think that there was little in the way of exclusive tech action around the pits this year in Fort William. However, there were still a number of interesting setups to see, provided you looked closely enough.
For the cross-country racers, this year's MTB World Championships were dominated by featherweight wheels using either carbon fiber rims or aluminum ones from Stan's NoTubes. The NoTubes ZTR-series rims have long been popular among elite riders thanks to their ultralight weight and easy tubeless compatibility. The readily available consumer versions are already shocklingly light at roughly 350g a piece, but rumors circulating around the pits suggested that certain riders competed on special 240g versions.
In contrast, some riders opted for tubular Reynolds Topo rims made from unidirectional carbon fiber. These were laced to Hope Pro III hubs with custom Dugast tyres for what was not only easily one of the trickest setups in the field, but one almost completely impervious to pinch flats as well.
DT Swiss launched a new carbon fiber road wheelset at this year's Eurobike show but stealthily debuted a mountain bike version at Fort William that was compatible with standard clincher treads. In a possible attempt to go unnoticed, the new rim looked remarkably ordinary and was almost entirely unmarked save for the 330g sticker and giveaway carbon weave. These were paired these with DT Swiss' new 190 ceramic hubs to yield another featherweight wheelset that at least appeared to be reasonably durable as well.