Syntace, the maker of high end German components have been busy this year, with new stems, handlebars and wheelsets. Their partnership with Liteville keeps growing, and they're revamping both of bike companies two models. Syntace has a couple of interesting new products for 2013 that are oriented towards the 29er crowd. The FlatForce stem has a negative 6 degree rise (-12mm), and comes in 44mm, 55mm, 66mm and 77mm lengths, and includes titanium hardware. It has the same rectangular shape and wide bar clamp as their MegaForce stem, which offers increased torsional rigidity, and for weight savings, it utilizes extensive internal sculpturing.
As an interesting side note, the Syntace design engineer got the idea for its shape when his child was watching Ice Age, and he saw the Scrat the squirrel (mix of the word's squirrel and rat), with his pronounced saber-toothed snout.
He got the idea for the MegaForce stem rectangular shape, when he observed a loaf of bread that his Wife was making, and he noticed how the risen bread naturally chose that shape. Sometimes designs come from the strangest places!
The Vector 7075 aluminum and carbon handlebars get a couple of new versions, and a name changes for each of the seven shapes, to designate their rise and material they're made from. The new carbon additions are the High 5, Low 5 and Low 10, which have a +5mm, -5mm and -10mm rise respectively, all of which are 740mm wide.
Syntace also has a new wheelset lineup, with four widths, ranging from 25mm, 30mm, 35mm and an ultra wide 40mm. The wheels will use an innovative spur gear drive hub, and will be equipped with Sapim X-ray spokes and alloy nipples. They'll cost around $1,200 a pair, and will weigh 1295 g to 1840 g, which is very light for wheels in that width. I am really looking forward to trying these wheels out, especially the W35 MX version, as their quality, longevity and engineering are always exceptional.
The Liteville bikes come in two versions, the shorter travel 301 and the burly long travel 601. They use Tuned Chainstay Length technology, and each frame size gets their own particular chainstay length. They have six frames sizes (XS,S,M,L,XL,XXL) and five chainstay lengths, as the medium and large versions share the same chainstay. At Eurobike, they introduced Scaled Sizing, which allows different wheels sizes to be used in concert with the pertinent frame size and chainstay lengths. This sizing system will allow 650B usage on the larger frames, although tire size might be a constraint.
The 140mm 301 retails for retail for $2,595, has a 66.5 head angle, 13.5" bottom bracket height, chainstay length from 16" - 17.3" (medium 16.5") and wheelbase of 42.8" - 48.3" (medium 45.4"). The travel can be adjusted to 160 mm via an optional suspension linkage plate. The 601 retails for $2,999, and has 165mm or 190mm of travel, and has an adjustable rear shock mount, so geometry can be altered by 1.5 degrees, so the 160mm mode goes from 65 to 66.5 degrees, and 190mm has 64.3 to 65.5 degrees in the 190mm mode.