Good Month / Unhealthy Month: DH Bike Evaluations, Prototypes, Theft, and Litigation

DH bike fans

DH Bike Week was great

New Zealand racing drivers

The New Zealand Brigade operates a full season domestically while the rest of the world is closed

New Zealand held its national championships last weekend with Sam Blenkinsop and Jessica Blewitt taking wins in DH and Anton Cooper and Sammie Maxwell leading the way in XC. New Zealand has been fortunate to host national races while many other countries are still being hit hard by Covid and lockdowns. (The exception to the “Good Month” label here is Ed Masters, who sadly broke his pelvis at his National Champs. We hate to see the eagle injured and hope he’ll get well soon.)

Before that, the 3rd and 4th round of the New Zealand National DH Series took place in Nelson and Coronet Peak together with the NZ Open DH this month.

The freeriders and hooligans in New Zealand seem to be having a great time now too, if the Vanzacs’ new video is any indication of that.Versatile high pivot bikes

Dreadnought, Highlander, mysterious prototype

Forbidden made waves this month with the Dreadnought, the Druid’s long-legged big brother. The Dreadnought feels like a big bike, but it cannot be strictly categorized. This makes it a versatile option for riders who want to take their trail bikes to the bike parks.

Before either of us had a chance to forget about the dreadnought, another brand came out with an extensive version of their high-pivot trail bike: Deviate’s Highlander 150, which uses a new rocker link to change the geometry and move on to the already existing one drive. existing Highlander 140.

What us to …

Recognize prototypes

Sneak peak into the future as well as a glimpse into the past

We looked at a new prototype that could be a Devinci thanks to the sharp-eyed Pinkbike user Tonkatruck. The design of the split pivot suspension is similar to the recent iterations of Troy and Marshall. Devinci first made a high pivot bike in the early 2000s, so it wouldn’t be remotely shocking to see Devinci bring this bike out.

In the other direction, in which the dust has settled and there is no more speculation, this month we also looked back at downhill prototypes that never made it into production. Those prototypes actually include Devinci’s High Pivot Wilson (another clue to the prototype puzzle above), as well as two Yeti prototypes, Cannondale’s dual-shock downhill bike, and the iconic Honda G-Cross RN-01. These are bikes that I wish I had seen in person.

SRAM patent attorneys

Fox has won a critical round in a series of patent battles

The U.S. Patent Litigation and Appeals Committee recently teamed up with Fox in a lawsuit that began in 2015, the bicycle dealer reported. It started when SRAM sued RaceFace (owned by Fox) for two patent infringements related to SRAM’s X-Sync technology. (Then, in 2016, Fox sued SRAM for multiple patent infringements related to the suspension, although that lawsuit is currently more or less on hold due to Covid and is only tangentially related to the chainring’s history.)

The technology in question combines narrow wide alternating teeth with teeth that are offset for better chain retention. While neither idea is new, SRAM claims that the combination offers a unique solution to a problem that needs to be solved. RaceFace disagrees and makes similar chainrings without licensing SRAM’s technology.

The debate moved slowly as SRAM’s two patents were reviewed. The discourse then continued between Fox, SRAM, the patent authority and an appeals court. The patent agency upheld both of SRAM’s patents in 2018, then an appeals court sided with Fox on one of the patents, finding that the board had and did not defend SRAM’s claims regarding factors such as the long-standing need for the invention had properly checked whether the patented technology is “obvious”. In light of the appeal court’s decision, the board sided with Fox this time and found that SRAM’s claim was invalid.

Given the back and forth and the amount of money both sides spent on the issue, we can safely say that the war is far from over.

Bicycle theft

The EWS racing driver Martha Gill had two motorcycles stolen in a break-in of a delivery truck

Martha Gill had two Marin bicycles stolen from people who had broken into her van while it was parked in front of a shop, took her bicycles, and sped off on her mopeds with the bicycles on their backs. The motorcycles are a Marin Alcatraz and a Marin Alpine Trail Carbon. Everyone in the Sheffield, UK area is encouraged to share their post on social media to bring the bikes home.

Unfortunately, Martha is not alone when it comes to stealing her bikes and there is sad data showing that bike theft has increased during the pandemic, likely due to a number of factors: First, there are more bikes available to steal. Second, there are more new riders in the sport than there were two years ago, and these riders may not yet know how to keep bikes safe. In addition, the shortage of bicycles has pushed up prices in the used market, making it attractive for thieves to purchase bicycles for sale.

Remember to always write down your bike’s serial number, register your bike online if that’s an option, and keep your bike in an indoor / locked / monitored / painful break-in location as much as possible.Cyclists falling through ice

Why do people keep doing this?

Just do not.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I have access to a bike and some ice too, but I plan to keep my tires on firmer ground. I recommend it to you too. The first incident was in January when two U21 EWS racers and a friend failed, but a vlogger named Lucas Brunelle followed that month.

“I ride my bike the same way I ride stocks. It’s in my nature to take high risks and high returns,” Lucas said of the risk.

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