Keywords: 27.5,27.5+,650+,bike of the month,land rover bike,,one+

BOTM: Defender TWOxONE - part 3

Marc Gasch - 30-Dec-2016
Before going to the specs details of the BOTM Laufender, a few notes about the build:

First about the tires, due to a mistake and tight deadlines, Igot a set of 27.5x2.8" Plus tires, but those are not the ones you really want to use if you want to go Plus. Using 3.0" tires (or even 3.25") gives you a slightly better wheel diameter and thus better handling.

On top of that, if you can already fit generous 29x2.4" tires in the XC set-up (as you can on the ONE+), going to "only" 2.8" on the Plus set-up is not that radical a difference. With the 3.0" or 3.25", you REALLY get a different animal altogether.

I know it's tempting to go 2.8" because of the weight reduction that fits this type of light frame, but the weight difference isn't that big and the ride difference is. So we recommend you stay with at least 3.0. If you want to go Plus, go Plus!

The wheelset comes from Ibis, the brand that started widening their rims couple of years ago and that I also used on some of my other bikes with great success. Even if not targeted for Plus bikes, but for Enduro bikes with wide aggresive tyres, the new Ibis 742 offer a 41mm external width with an internal 35mm size.

The Ibis wheelset is not as wide as other brands offering Plus specific rims up to 45 or 50mm, but wide enough to support a 3.0" tire, especially on a XC-Trail lightweight bike that is not going to suffer as much violent G-outs as a Enduro bike cornering on a DH at 80km/h. So far, so good, and pretty light at 1.600 grams for such a wide and strong rim. The sound of the Industry Nine hubs is magic with their 120 points of engagement, and they roll like butter...

About the fork, the new Lauf Boost model has improved one of the main complaints, which was the lateral rigidity. The new Boost model offers much more lateral stiffness than the previous one, and we think it's a good choice for an all-terrain-Plus wheels bike like this. Whereas on a 29 x 2.1 tyre, the Lauf can be unforgiving on some situations, the added contact surface and comfort that the Plus tires offer go along perfectly with the character of the Lauf fork.

Of course, it still has some limitations, especially when things get super rough on rocky downhills, but you get other advantages, like obviously a lighter bike. But also, and more important in my opinion, a feeling of "lightness" in the front of the bike, that makes you want to play more with the steering. You need to get used to it, but it works pretty well in some terrains!

Regarding the Ergon post, I am still not sure about his one after a few moths of use. On the one hand it provides a softer ride, absorbing vibrations and hits from the ground to your back. But on the other hand it also provides a bouncy feeling, that makes you go up and down if your pedalling motion is not perfectly round, which is not easily accomplished on a mountain bike in rocky terrain.

Same as for the Lauf, this seatpost doesn't have any kind of rebound control, so that movement is not easy to control. To be honest, Ergon designed this post for Road and CX use, where the hits and rocks doesn't make the seatpost move that much, and it only has to absorb vibrations and minor bumps. I think it is better suited for that, but we are always trying new things and wanted to see how it worked on a mountain bike.

Why not SRAM Eagle? Well, this is my personal bike, not a demo or tradeshow bike. I had some new 11 speed parts laying around at home, so I had to use them... Just got a new XX1 crankset and shifters and the bike was ready to go, so it made sense. If money was not a problem, I would go for Eagle, with a more extended ratio so you don't sacrifice any gear on the higher or lower part of the shifting range.

Well, I hope you like my bike, now if you'll excuse me, I have to go for one last ride in 2016!

Component Model
Model ONE +
size Medium
color "Pastel Green" on RTP frame
headset Cane Creek 42/52
fork Lauf 29" Boost with custom paint
stem 3T Team Stealth, 70mm, -10º
handlebar 3T Flat 740 Limited
handlebar grip ODI Vans special edition
seatpost Ergon CF3, 27.2
saddle TIOGA Spyder Stratum
brakes Shimano XTR
rotors Shimano
shifters SRAM X01 black           
crank SRAM XX1, 175mm
BB SRAM pressfit
chainrings Absolute Black 32T Oval
rear derailleur SRAM X01
cassette SRAM XX1, 10-42T
chain SRAM XX1
wheel Ibis 742 Carbon
hubs Industry Nine
rims Ibis 742
tire WTB Ranger 27,5x2.8 (3.00 recommended)
Weight 8.4 kg

Comments & Questions

Where can a person on Vancouver Island, Canada find a dealer? I'd like to test drive this bike.
Post #1 of 7. Posted by Robert on 31-Dec-2016 08:42:53 GMT in reply to blog [0<--1288]
We only have as many dealers as we can manage without needing to grow the company. That means no dealer at this point on the island and the closest would be in Vancouver.
Post #2 of 7. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 31-Dec-2016 19:16:34 GMT in reply to post #1 [1288<--1290]
You mentioned that you'd go at least 3.0" tyres, even 3.25". I thought the ONE+ could only fit up to 3.0" tyres? How wide CAN it fit?
Post #3 of 7. Posted by Putra on 31-Dec-2016 23:26:35 GMT in reply to blog [0<--1291]
Well, most 3.0" tires actually measure less than 3", and we even have measured a 3.5" tires that turned out to be less than 3.0" in reality. So it all depends on how honest the tire maker is and what rim you use. And then it's a bit of common sense on how much clearance you want, this will be different for somebody living in a dry area than somebody often riding in muddy or clay conditions.
Post #6 of 7. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 04-Jan-2017 19:42:10 GMT in reply to post #3 [1291<--1296]
Finally to rear that someone had the courage to use the Ergon 27.2 post on a mtb. (Not recommended by Ergon/Canyon) Nice that it didn't brake in the 6months of use but if it's really that bouncy with pedalling then the Syntace P6 Hiflex would be a better choice i think. Nevertheless is this a real stunning bike.
Post #4 of 7. Posted by Bjorn on 01-Jan-2017 08:02:42 GMT in reply to blog [0<--1292]
I'm military wouldit be possible to ship to APO?
Post #5 of 7. Posted by Anthony Iglesias on 01-Jan-2017 14:26:16 GMT in reply to blog [0<--1294]
We have before. To be honest it was a while ago but if you're willing to work with us to organise it, we'd gladly do that for you.
Post #7 of 7. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 04-Jan-2017 19:43:19 GMT in reply to post #5 [1294<--1297]