At DirtTRI we hold ourselves to a high standard. We are constantly pushing to maintain our cutting edge expertise on all aspects of Cross Triathlon. For us that includes being super fans of the UCI World Cup Mountain Bike Series… or, um…shall we say highly focused observers.
However, as we are American based a few products on the World Cup have caught our eye and left us wanting, and thus driven us to learn more.
Today we thought we’d share five bike brands which have lead us to dig a bit deeper and uncover more about these brands which were previously unfamiliar to us.
Thankfully, in Europe smaller brands see great value in partnering with up and coming talent. With any luck DirtTRI can help bring this mentality to Cross Triathlon as well.
Based in Przasnysz, Poland, Kross is distributed in Europe and Canada and boasts an internal R&D department and a staff consisting of “real life cycling enthusiasts”.
While the Kross hard tail XC bikes look comparable to anything on the market their Enduro and Trail models leave something to be desired for the Cross Triathlete. Bluntly, their too burly, and too much bike to be used as a full suspension XC bike. Hopefully we will see a XC full suspension soon from Kross.
Find more about Kross at: http://www.kross.pl/
Founded in 2008 in Avilés, Spain, MMR stands for Machines Made for Racing.
The MMR Factory Team offers a solid quartet with reigning Spanish MTB Champion, David Valero, five time Argentine Champion Catriel Soto, London 2012 Olympian Carlos Coloma, and U-23 Pablo Rodriguez.
MMR is available almost exclusively in Spain and Spanish territories. However, the do have some very interesting offerings including the Kenta 29 which looks like it would make a great Cross Tri bike.
Find more on MMR here: http://www.mmrbikes.com/home
It was Brit, Grant Ferguson’s impressive start and eventual 15th place a the Albstadt World Cup that caught our eye and piqued our curiosity to ask “what the hell is SUP bikes”?
Add to that the Superior Bikes sponsorship of the Superior/Brentjens Racing Team which is the brain child of Red Bull TV UCI MTB Series co-commentator Bart Brentjens and you’ve got the makings of a pretty well activated sponsorship.
According to the Superior Bikes website:
“Superior was founded in 1996. It took the brand another six years to grow up into an adult bicycle brand offering wide range of models. The biggest milestone was in 2002 when Superior fused under the BIKE FUN International company owned by a group of Dutch investors and bicycle enthusiasts. At this point the new era for the brand began. Over ten years to follow Superior transformed into one of the key bicycle producers on the central European market. Over the last couple of years Superior started to widen its presence on the European market expanding its business into more distant European countries and Russia.”
Like many European brands the Superior carbon hard tails look great, however the “Race XF” line of full suspension bikes leaves something to be desired for the Cross Triathlete, namely a quality carbon frame.
Find more about Superior Bikes here: http://superiorbikes.eu/en
FRM is an Italian company that seems to have a consistent presence toward the front of most European mountain bike races. However, we first noticed them at Sea Otter this year on the sharp end of the Men’s pro XC race.
Founded in 1990 during Mountain Biking’s first golden age, FRM “is a company made up of people with a passion: cycling.” Noticing a trend here? These small European brands are predominantly founded on the pure joy of the sport.
FRM boasts two foundational traits: the use technology to build lightweight bikes and componentry, and, they do it in Italy.
Offering a full range of off-road bikes, including fat bikes, as well as a wide selection of components, FRM is dedicated to the dirt.
Personally we’re stoked to see their XC race bikes are dubbed the Anakin line. Although it might be a good thing they’re Italian, we’re not sure if Disney and Lucas have rights to the Skywalker paternal name over there.
Find more about FRM here: http://www.frmbike.biz/cms/index.php/it/
We’re confident many of you have probably heard of STÖCKLI. However, it is still one of those brands that can slip under the radar.
However, in the Olympic year of 2016 the Swiss brand was obviously committed to not letting that happen. Somehow they managed to snag Swiss star Jolanda Neff, the women’s favorite for the Olympic Mountain Bike title away from arguably the largest bike company in the world, Giant. We suspect there might have been some National pride there.
Since then Neff has brought Swiss ski/bike company the European Championship and a World Cup win.
However, the STÖCKLI team is not all about Neff, fellow Swiss Mathias Flückiger is also a favorite to make the cut for the incredibly deep in talent Swiss Olympic MTB Team.
Aside from their athlete talent STÖCKLI‘s big draw for us is the STÖCKLI MORION RSC full suspension XC bike. This thing certainly ticks all the boxes of the perfect Cross Tri bike. We just hope we can convince the Swiss brand to send us one to test.