13 bikes that could see an update in 2023 - Pinkbike

13 bikes that could see an update in 2023 – Pinkbike

Every two or three years you can expect to see prototype bikes in development rolling around races and trade shows, but that timeline seems to have slowed down if we recap the bikes we were planning on getting an update now. . This could be for a number of reasons, but the ones that stick out the most in my mind are the rate of change in geometry and of course covid supply constraints.

Watch our last test at the Bellingham field, which was packed with the latest and greatest enduro bikes. I wouldn’t say the geometry was the same because there were an outlier or two, but the numbers on the test bikes were very, very close.

Second, the global pandemic has slowed production of components, primarily drivetrain parts, meaning bike brands were/are at an impasse. They were eagerly waiting for the parts to catch up in order to release a new bike.


Santa Cruz V10

Whether planned or not, Santa Cruz has taken 2022 by storm by unleashing a bottleneck of new bike releases: the Heckler, Megatower, Nomad, Hightower, 5010 and, most recently, the Tallboy. have all received updates. One bike missing from this list is the V10. The 29-inch version was officially launched in December 2018 and the mixed-wheel version launched in July 2020.

Aside from some tweaks to the kinematics and geometry via machined alloy components, the carbon frame elements have not seen any changes since then. It’s not like either bike slowed down its riders, with Jackson Goldstone earning multiple first-place finishes. Even so, don’t be surprised to see Santa Cruz release a new V10 soon.


Commencal Meta P003.1 and Flame (?)

This one seems like a dead giveaway. Commencal appears to be revamping their full-suspension lineup to mimic what they learned from the success of their latest downhill bike. They’ve already hooked us on the bait of a new Meta, but we’ve seen Commencal affiliate Cécile Ravanel rock a shorter travel whip as well, dragging Pauline Ferrand-Prevot through racing lines on cross-country World Cup course.

Considering Commencal just released the mixed-wheel Meta SX, it’s unclear how this line will evolve since no stats on the prototype were shared. The Andorran brand only builds its frames with aluminum tubing, which means its lead time from paper to production could be much shorter than its carbon rivals, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see both configurations on the program for 2023.


Specialized Demo, Enduro and Kenevo

Another juggernaut in the world of gravity mountain bikes is Specialized, which has yet to fully unveil its prototype downhill bike. Finn Iles picked up his first World Cup win aboard a prototype at the 2022 Mont Sainte-Anne World Cup while teammate Loic Bruni picked up his fifth World Championship win using the demo current. The new rig is very different from the current 4-bar FSR design that hit the scene in 2020.

Likewise, their Enduro model might also be live for an update. We don’t expect too many changes there, as it uses a finely tuned suspension layout and already has a SWAT box, but it could take more geometry tweaks like its engined sibling, the Kenevo SL.

Speaking of eMTBs, the full-power Kenevo has also been around since 2019. A carbon version of this monster e-bike with an updated motor and battery system would surely lose weight.


Devinci Wilson

Devinci released the Spartan HP last year and we spotted an aluminum mule at Crankworx under the freerider, Cam Zink, that probably has over 160mm of travel. They also weren’t afraid to show off a prototype of the Wilson with a turnbuckle until the end of 2019.

Currently, the Canadian brand manufactures the Wilson’s aluminum frame components at its Quebec factory, but this 29-inch bike hasn’t seen a product revision since its launch in 2019.


Norco Aurum and the view

Another Canadian brand that still invests in downhill bikes and isn’t afraid to build aluminum prototypes. We’ve seen two-time Canadian National Champion and Norco engineer Kirk McDowall ride exactly one of these project bikes three times in the top-40 at the World Cup this season. It’s likely to be a new Aurum, Norco’s dedicated downhill bike, which is different from the reconfigured lineup their team has rocked at World Cups over the past two seasons.

Norco’s popular 150mm travel sight could also go under the knife to see some changes. The enduro bike’s mid-stroke capabilities are hard to fault, but if it’s received and updated, it’s not hard to imagine it going through a high-pivot transformation like did range.


Scott Gambler and ransom

I loved it when Scott owned the infamous “looks like a session” comment, referencing the similarities between their Gambler and Trek downhill bike, then turned it into a bike giveaway contest. It was impressive, but so is the 35 lb weight of the bike.

Where do you go from there? The Gambler already has two sets of flip-chips that allow you to use either rear wheel size and change the suspension progression. We saw Scott play with high pulleys and kingpins early in this trend, but it’s unlikely that much more weight could be lost.

Another due model that has remained the same since 2020 is their 170mm-travel Ransom. One way this long-travel, svelte-looking enduro bike could change would be through greater integration. Scott pulled off this move with their cross-country bike, the Spark, by hiding the rear shock in the seattube/bottom bracket junction – Henry Quinney, Pinkbike technology editor and PBR mechanic, wouldn’t like nothing more.


Rotate Phoenix

We now know the Grim Donut V2 has to be the fastest, most capable bike in the world, but could it actually be the new Pivot Phoenix in disguise? Definitely not. Would a new Phoenix get a vertically mounted shock and stretch the geometry a bit more? Most likely.

As it stands, Pivot’s downhill platform is the last in their family to receive a new suspension layout. The size also reaches a reach of 485mm on the extra large, which now matches the large frames of most manufacturers.


Yeti SB150

August 2018 is a long time ago, but Yeti was on the pulse and the SB150 is still scoring podiums at Enduro World Series events. It took about four years to spot a new iteration of the iconic turquoise enduro bike, but there was this version floating around the Crans-Montana EWS pits. Sure, it will be slower and longer, but how much more can it cost?

I would have guessed that the second version of the SB150 would use the impressive 6-bar suspension found on the 160E eMTB, but I was wrong before. Whatever this new Yeti is nicknamed, it still uses the Switch Infinity system.


giant glory

The biggest bike producer in the world seems to be slowly moving towards a new Glory downhill bike. We’ve spotted plenty of prototype models at World Cups in recent years, but they haven’t produced an updated version since 2018. That was a time when 27.5-inch front wheels were still used at World Cups. World Cups.

With seasoned and notable veterans like Remi Thirion, Giant doesn’t stand still – it just takes its time. Lowering is just a drop in the bucket compared to the number of units sold in other segments, so I wouldn’t expect to see the investment in a carbon frame. Obviously, the prototypes that Thirion rode have been updated since that 2018 and 2023 model could bring a new kind of glory.



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