News

Introducing the Maiden

August 05, 2015 Words By brian.

After nearly four years of development, we’re proud to launch the Maiden. With the freedom to design on an extended schedule, it represents the cutting edge of our technology. Its all-carbon frame was designed from the ground up to perform at the highest levels of World Cup racing, bike park blasting, and big mountain freeriding.

Details

  • Travel: 200mm (F), 200mm (R)
  • Full carbon frame, link, chainstay, and seatstay 

  • Optimized for 26” or 27.5” wheels with Equalized geometry 

  • Four bar Smoothlink suspension 

  • Pipelock collet axles lock into the frame for stiffness 

  • Oversized Enduro MAX type bearings for longer bearing life and higher load capacity 

  • Integrated frame protection: molded downtube guard, shock fender, chainstay protector, and bolt-in fork bumpers 

  • Di2 electronics compatible with internal stealth battery port 

  • Internal cable and brake routing 

  • PressFit BB107 bottom bracket, drop-in IS42|52 headset, 157mm axle spacing, ISCG-05 tabs 

  • Sizing: S/M/L/XL 


Suspension

Rate Curve

We tested a wide range of suspension systems during the Maiden’s development. Many four-bar downhill bikes have very low rising rates (<20% slope). They have good support at sag, but require harsh-feeling higher spring rates or progressive air shocks to avoid bottoming under advanced riders. On the other end of the spectrum, some virtual pivot bikes have very high rising rates (>70% slope). They have great small-bump sensitivity and don’t bottom out easily, but they wallow and lack support at sag.

The Maiden’s rate curve sits between those two extremes with a 40% slope. It starts low enough for small-bump suppleness, ends high enough to avoid bottoming, has good rider support at sag, and allows the use of a lighter coil spring. We also tuned the progression to rise at a near-constant rate for more predictable response and more effective shock adjustments. The result is lively, supple suspension performance. It eats up chatter, pops off lips predictably, and reacts well when pushed aggressively.

Pedaling & Chainstay Growth

The Maiden puts power to the ground efficiently, thanks to a high level of anti-squat (75% with 27.5 wheels at sag) and well-supported suspension.

Chainstay growth is minimal (26mm with 27.5” wheels or 21mm with 26” wheels), and we pushed that growth deeper into the travel to further improve small bump performance while achieving the axle trajectory we were looking for. 

Braking Characteristics

Our engineering team spent a lot of time improving traction and control under braking, because more efficient braking makes you faster. Our patent- pending Autonomous braking resists both compression and extension under braking—remaining active through the majority of rear wheel travel and allowing the bike to react to ground forces rather than braking forces.

The Maiden achieves its braking characteristics by balancing anti-rise (35%), caliper counter-rotation, and instantaneous inertial brake transfer values. Our virtual swingarm begins far behind the bike, lengthens backwards through infinity as the bike compresses, and ends in front of the bike. This long virtual swingarm is the key to avoiding the “grip-slip” phenomenon displayed by other bikes, especially single pivot designs.

The effect is striking: there’s more travel available to soak up terrain under braking, there’s more traction, and there’s less hand-fatigue. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Geometry

We worked closely with our gravity athletes throughout the bike's design and testing phases, and drew on Thomas Vanderham's personal settings for the bike's low centre of gravity, balanced reach, and aggressive geometry. 

Adjustability & Adaptability

There are advantages to both 26” and 27.5” wheels in DH applications. Rather than just putting larger wheels into an existing design and compromising steering dynamics, we created the Equalized Wheel Concept. By using a headtube spacer in conjunction with a second rear axle position, this system allows riders to choose their wheel size while maintaining optimal BB height and fork trail.

We tuned our new RIDE-4 system to adjust geometry while affecting the suspension curve as little as possible. This allows for subtle track-to-track geometry changes in 1/4° headtube angle increments with minimal effect on your shock tune.

SEE ALL MODELS HERE. AVAILABLE LATE OCTOBER.

Previous Feature Launching the Maiden Earlier this month we headed to Retallack Lodge with Thomas Vanderham, Wade Simmons, a bunch of lucky Rocky Mountain staff, and a few key media to officially launch the Maiden.
Next Feature An Idiot's Guide to Bikepacking on Snow Skyler Des Roches continues to push the boundarys of where tires make tracks when he and Knut Kitching take a couple of Blizzards into the glaciers and snowy mountain passes of the South Chilcotins in the early Summer, by night.