On top of being a demo event, the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival is a place to walk the gravel and look at what new goodies the exhibiting brands have to offer. Since it’s early in the season, some of these are products we haven’t gotten our hands on yet, so we were eager to stroll around and see them in person.
DT Swiss F535We tend to see DT Swiss suspension more often in settings that are decidedly XC, given the forks’ 32-millimeter stanchions and carbon crown/steerer options. And we picture them on bikes that are decidedly European given DT’s penchant for remote lockouts. But the F535 is poised to change that, and it's not just some sort of matte-black rebranding effort. The F535 gets 35-millimeter stanchions, massive tire clearance and an overall burlier chassis for all of its 130-, 140-, 150- and 160-millimeter configurations, each available for both 27.5- and 29-inch wheels. But there are some remarkable upgrades under the hood as well. Like the Push ACS3 hop-up kit for existing Fox and RockShox forks, the F535 uses a hybrid air/coil spring assembly, combining the small-bump sensitivity of a coil and the light weight, tunability and progressivity of an air spring. Speaking of progressivity, the compression damping has the unique feature of increasing resistance as the fork goes through its travel. Three stages of increasing damping helps keep you afloat when you’re in deep. And, of course, the F535 is still very Swiss. It's got a few beautiful design elements. Flush-fit plates cover the less-often-needed controls at the crown, and the damping knobs are T-10 screws instead of protruding thumb knobs. Luckily, a T-10 wrench is hidden inside the ‘QR’ lever that locks into the axle. Oh, and one other very Swiss feature is the F535's $1,550 price tag.
Troy Lee Ruckus and Skyline Youth
Most of the functional updates made to Troy Lee's apparel lineup are a year old by now, but when your name is synonymous with style, you've got to keep it fresh. New prints were on display at the Troy Lee booth, including the Ruckus (left) and Skyline Youth (right). Both collections are assembled using Bluesign-approved material. Bluesign is an organization that coordinates the evaluation and monitoring of the textile industry for healthy and sustainable environmental practices. A Ruckus jerseys start at $60 and Ruckus short start at $110 without a liner, while the Skyline Youth shorts will run you $65 and the youth jersey will go for $50.
Osprey Seral and Siskin 8
If you dig that Troy Lee style, but a full matching kit is just too much, Osprey partnered with the iconic icon to spruce up its Seral hip pack. The Seral is the big brother to the Savu we recently tested, but it's designed around a 1.5-liter lumbar bladder instead of two bottles. The 427-cubic-inch Troy Lee edition Seral pack goes for $95. But if that's not quite enough for you, the Siskin 8 is a traditional mid-sized pack with a 2.5-liter bladder, 488 cubic inches of space, goes for $115 and also packs that Troy Lee cachet.