Modern geometry, Calfee’s hardtail, and the World Cup calendar: Pinkbike Digest

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What’s going on in the mountain bike world? The Pinkbike Digest showcases the top dirt articles from our mountain bike sister-site, You’ll get coverage from racing, tech, and some fun storytelling along the way.

Interview: The UCI’s Simon Burney on how the revised World Cup calendar came to life and what it means for racers
By: James Smurthwaite

Simon Burney is the manager of the off-road division at the UCI and has been one of the guiding hands behind World Cup racing for years. Despite the hard-felt impacts of COVID-19, Simon and his team have been able to reschedule the World Cup season and will hopefully be helping to deliver a rapid-fire volley of races from September to November this year to still give us our World Cup fix under trying circumstances. We spoke to Simon about the difficulties of pulling together this season from scratch and what we can expect from the double-header weekends.

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First Look: SRAM’s new GX drivetrain offers 520% range
By: Mike Levy

If you’re a bit of a tech dork like me, you probably get more excited by the latest dream-worthy drivetrain than by the far more common mid-level stuff. It’s not our fault, though — the best tech, the most weight-saving features, and likely a dash of carbon or titanium serve as irresistible bait for easily distracted gearheads everywhere.

Despite this, we’re all aware that the cost-to-performance ratio doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially so if we’re talking drivetrains. And given that there are far more mid-level than dentist-worthy bikes on the trails, we should be paying more attention to the drivetrains that come on those mid-level bikes.

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Calfee shows off upcoming California-made carbon hardtail
By: Dan Roberts

Calfee is a California-based brand that has been in business since 1989. They make a range of components from carbon fiber composite and their frames have a unique and instantly recognizable aesthetic thanks to their alternative use of materials and construction.

If you’re brave enough you can even use your own hands to turn one of Calfee’s DIY bamboo kits into a frame, with the brand providing the materials and all the instructions you need. They also offer carbon repair options for damaged composite frames, and boast a wealth of knowledge from their thousands of repairs.

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Video: The basics of modern mountain bike geometry – the explainer
By: Mike Levy

You’ve probably heard it said before: Geometry is the single most important factor in determining how your mountain bike will perform. It’s not the only piece of the puzzle, of course, as your tired, over-worked suspension and worn-out tires also count for a lot, but it’s geometry that takes the biggest slice of the what-matters-on-your-mountain-bike pie chart.

Let me put it to you this way: Adding the latest Kashima-coated, 17-way adjustable suspension to your 2005 Big Bouncer won’t do much beyond giving you more dials to turn before you bounce over the handlebar. But give that ‘ol rig geo from 2020 and it’ll instantly be easier to ride and far more capable, stock suspension notwithstanding.

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Randoms from the VR Taipei Cycle Show 2020
By: James Smurthwaite

If someone said we could go to the Taipei Show without the jet lag, long days and bowel-troubling lunches at Mos Burger, we’d normally jump to it without a second thought. The show may have been cancelled this year, but rather than sack it off completely, the organisers have still put on a VR version to display the winners of the World Design Guide Awards that they hand out each year.

This means you can tour around rooms including ‘Gold Award Winners’, ‘Bikes and E-Bikes’, ‘Smart Service’ and ‘Parts and Components’ to check out some of the interesting bits and pieces on display from the comfort of your kitchen table.

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Video: Belgian cobbles with Joe Parkin, Mark Scott and Alex McGuinnis in ‘Creepy Fatigue’
By: Sarah Moore

Back in November of 2019, an Instagram message popped up from Mark Scott. “Me, Krunk Shox [Alex McGuinnis] and Santa Cruz are planning a little road bike trip to Belgium in January. We thought it’s something that you’d be interested in being part of.”

The answer was simple: “[Expletive deleted] yes.”

Back in the ‘80s, before Mark, Krunk and Santa Cruz bikes were even born, a 19-year-old me went to Belgium to become a bike racer. Back then, if you were an aspiring North American bike racer of any note, you went to Europe to hone your craft. You could absolutely race bikes in places other than Europe, but it was most definitely the world center of cycling.

Watch the video here.

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