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Asymmetric design

Stratos XCO Mountain Bike - Silverback Bikes

Asymmetric design: If the forces in the bike aren’t symmetrical, why should the bike be?

On a bicycle, the drivetrain is mounted on the right side, the brakes on the left side, and the suspension (usually) around the centre. When riding, the environment influences the wheels, and consequently the suspension and frame. When braking, it inflicts major forces on the left side of the bike, whereas acceleration and pedaling affect the right side of the bike.

Asymmetric design does away with the conventional stigma that a frame must be mirrored from drive side to non-drive side.

Reinforced where it’s needed, lightened where it isn’t – allow for a frame that is just as stiff, but lighter.

Asymmetric tubes allow for the dispersion of shock forces between the top tube and downtube. At the riding sag point most of the shock forces are directed along the top tube. At suspension bottom-out, the rear shock rotates and shock forces are split between the top tube and downtube via the single sided support strut.

XC Mountain bike ft asymmetric geometry - Stratos CF SBC - Silverback Bikes


Support Strut (Shock brace) redistributes bottom out forces between the top tube and the downtube, which in turn is triangular for a more regular force distribution. By reducing peak stresses at points in the frame, the entire bike can be constructed lighter.

Power delivered through the drive train is drive-side bias. Braking on disc rotors are non-drive side bias. To add to this, your average rider does not have equal power output in both his or her legs, but we’ll stick to the design points we have control over as designers.

On a full suspension bike, this becomes even more important to have ‘balanced’ kinematic through the middle plane of the frame, that is not bias toward the drive or non-drive side. The drive side sees long periods of loading, of relative low to medium force. Where the non-drive side sees momentaneous loading, of a far higher magnitude.So very different forces – localized to a specific side.

Larger bearing used on the drive side, which has to contend with chain forces as well.

“Quickdraw” bottle placement. Presents the bottle to the rider, where it can be seen and easily staken/stowed. Clint Eastwood didn’t carry his gun in the middle…

The Stratos is strongly based on this philosophy with profiles favoring strength towards the non-drive side.

Nothing in nature is symmetric. Riding forces are not symmetric. Why should your bike be?

View our full range of Asymmetric bikes HERE

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5 Mountain bikes under €1500

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Choosing a mountain bike is tough! There are so many things to consider. We thought we would help you out, by compiling a list of bicycles to consider when you are on a budget. Here is our value for money buys that will get you to shredding in no time.


Stratos AL5 (€1499)

The Stratos AL5 is a value packed dual suspension mountain bike. Featuring the same highly capable suspension platform as our top-end xc racing bikes. The AL5 is an affordable introduction into racing. Equipped with a standard metric shock, tapered head tube as well as a 150mm dropper post, therefore this bike is easy to upgrade as your riding progresses.

This dual suspension mountain bike has a 120mm front fork. This caters for the evolving cross-country course and the growing trail riding movement. It also gives confidence on technical terrain. 

Spec highlights:  RockShox Judy Silver, Internal dropper post ready, asymmetric frame design, Surface rims and Surface alloy control parts

Competitor Pricing: €1400 – €1700

Read more about this bike: Ready, set, Stratos AL 5.0 

Silverback Stratos AL5 Mountain Bike


Stratos AL5


Slade Trail (€1399)

If riding trails and going downhill fast is more your thing, the Slade Trail is what you should be looking at. Featuring our sweet spot geometry, this bike promises uncompromising climbing and prowess descending. Tyre compatibility is 27.5×2.8″ or 29″ up to 2.6″ wide, giving plenty of setup options and creating our most versatile hardtail ever. 

The Slade Trail’s slightly heavier brother, the Slade Comp comes in at €899. The major difference between these two mountain bikes being the fork and the wheelset.

Spec highlights: Dropper seat post, RockShox Revelation Fork, Internal Cable routing, 1X11 Shimano drivetrain

Competitor pricing: €1500+

Silverback Slade Trail Mountain Bike
Slade Trail


Stride SX (€849)

The Stride SX features all the elements of a high-end mountain bike at a fraction of the price. The brand new 12 Speed SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain, give this bike a competitive edge over other mid-level bicycles. Designed with a slacker head angle of 67.5 degrees, this bike inspires confidence. It also guarantees improves handling over the technical terrain that modern cross-country tracks offer. 

Spec highlights:  Sram SX Eagle, Internal Dropper post ready, POP geometry, tubeless ready wheelset (rim tape and valves in the box)

Competitor price: €999 – €1120

Silverback Stride SX Mountain Bike


Sola 1


Sola 1 (€1499)

If you are interested in cross-country racing and you cannot justify the spend on carbon. We suggest you have a look at the very capable Sola 1.

Using race geometry, this lightweight aluminium mountain bike frame gives the rider great stiffness for maximum pedal power. The 12X Sram GX Eagle gives you plenty of gear range, ideal for the steep climbs and technical descends a cross country track offers. 

If 12 speed drive-train doesn’t excite you or your budget is tight, you can always consider the Sola 2 selling for €1199). The major difference between these two bikes being the drive-train and heavier wheels on the Sola 2.

Spec highlights:  Sram GX Eagle, RockShox Judy Silver, Thru Axle dropouts, boost hubs, Internal Cable routing

Competitor price: €1100 – €1500

Silverback Sola 1 Mountain Bike


Spectra Elite


Spectra Elite (€1099)

Utilising similar geometry to the Sola range, the Spectra is also a Cross-country platform. This bike is designed to give maximum pedal power in testing conditions.

Unlike the Sola range, the Spectra uses a QR axle and a 2×10 Shimano Drive-train. 

Rest of the products in the Spectra mountain bike range are all below €1000.

Spec highlights:  RockShox Judy Silver RL Fork, Internal Cable routing, 1×11 Shimano Drivetrain, boost hubs

Competitor pricing: €1120 – €1180 

Silverback Spectra Elite Mountain Bike




 #SilverbackBikes #BornToBeFast

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Women’s nutrition

Silverback Fairtree, ABSA Cape Epic prologue


It is obvious that there are physiological differences between men and women. Have you ever thought about how this affects our nutrition when on the bike?

Here is a list of key differences between men and women and how to manage it:

  • A recent study has shown that women riders process 25% more carbs from a sports drink than a male rider.

Carry adequate fuel during your training sessions. Thus be sure to eat or drink a sports drink containing carbs every 30-45 min

  • Carbo-loading doesn’t work for women as it does for men. Our bodies don’t have the same ability to store glycogen, turning the carbs into fat rather than energy.

Eat a healthy meal before your ride. Something like: peanut butter and syrup sandwich, oats or a lean cut of meat and veg (be careful not to overeat, you will want to be able to move). 

Eating fewer calories than you burn, might be necessary to lose weight but counting calories often lead to low energy levels. It is essential that you eat enough to fuel yourself especially on longer rides.

Use a calorie counter app like FatSecret or My Fitness Pal to track your calorie intake.

Mariske Struass warming up for the ABSA Cape Epic
Mariske Strauss


Women athletes are prone to iron deficiencies, especially during their menstrual cycle. This can lead to impaired muscle function, reducing performance. 

Increase the amount of iron-rich foods you eat like red meat, spinach, legumes, etc. 

Calcium is essential for the proper functioning of our heart, muscles, and nerves. The female body is prone to having lower levels of calcium than men. So, ensure you are getting enough calcium in your daily diet. 

Have 3 – 4 servings of dairy or calcium-rich foods daily. Some examples: milk, green leafy vegetables such as broccoli.

Jennie Stenerhag warms up for Cape Epic
Jennie Stenerhag

#SilverbackBikes #BornToBeFast

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10 Reasons you need a fatbike

fatbike, fat bike, beach, Mozambique

We have compiled a list of ‘must ride’ places around the world, that only a fatbike is suited for.


Silverback Fatbikes, Ireland

1. Explore the beaches of Ireland

The Wicklow coast of Ireland stretches the length of the country providing 60kms of spectacular scenery. The coastline covers soft sand, loose rocks, and puddles making it the perfect challenge for a fatbike.


Silverback Fatbikes, Northern Lights in Finland


2. Watch the Northern Lights in Finland

Originally designed to ride in the snow, the 4” tires of a fatbike allow you to ride in spectacular places like the Finnish Taiga, along frozen lakes and through prehistoric forests to explore the untouched wilderness of Lapland. Book a night in a glass igloo and experience the Northern Lights, one of the world’s most incredible natural phenomena.

3. Experience paradise in Mozambique

Mozambique is the ultimate African beach getaway, pristine white sandy beaches, warm Indian ocean away from the madding crowds.

fatbike will allow you to access remote beaches. Take along a mask & snorkel, a fishing rod, surfboard or even just a picnic basket. If you are lucky, you might even encounter a turtle.


Pedalling through the coastal paradise of Mozambique – Getaway


4. Indulge in Swiss Chocolate

Home to the annual Snow Bike Festival, Gstaad is perfectly equipped for fatbiking adventures. Fatbiking is permitted on the existing hiking routes and trails include some exciting downhill runs. After a day in the snow you can sit in front of the fire and try out the locally produced chocolates.


Silverback Fatbikes, Switzerland


5. Have fun in Dubai’s sand dunes

With the monster tires of a fatbike, you can now explore areas of the desert previously off-limits. With sand dunes as far as the eye can see, a fatbike can provide endless fun. Book a night at one of the Desert Safaries and spend the night under the stars.

Take along the S-Electro FAT to maximize the fun.

6. Tour Canada in any season 

No longer are you limited to riding trails in the summer, fatbiking allows adrenaline junkies to continue their riding through all seasons. Several bike parks are even creating fatbike dedicated winter trails.

7. Enjoy the beaches of the French Riviera

The French Riviera, known as one of the most incredible coastlines in the world with its pebble beaches and Crystal clear water is a perfect fatbike playground, allowing you to ride on the beach and through the coastal villages. You can not get the same views from a car, a bus or a train.


Silverback Fatbikes, French Riveria


8. Do the Yak Attack in Nepal

An eight-stage mountain bike race like no other! The Yak Attack takes place in the Himalayan mountains and is one of the highest mountain bike races in the word. Weather conditions vary from hot and dusty to freezing cold with possible snow, the perfect playground for a fatbike.


Silverback Fatbikes, Himalayan Mountains\


9. Ride the Skeleton Coast of Namibia

Known as the worlds largest shipping graveyard, the Skeleton Coast stretches the length of Namibia’s west coast. Most of this magnificent cost line is not accessible by vehicle and travelers wanting to experience the area need to do so by small aircraft. Taking along a fatbike so you can explore the dramatic desert and coastal scenery up close and personal.

With over 500km of the desert landscape to cover the S-Electro Fat will help you cover more mileage in a day.

10. Complete the Iditarod (or at least part of it)

Now, this one might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it will truly be a once in a lifetime experience… and it’s only doable on a fatbike! The Iditarod is one of the most challenging experiences following the 1000mile route of a sled dog race in Alaska. The Iditarod can now also be completed on a fatbike.


Silverback Fatbikes, Alaska


Looking for more great adventure stories? Why not read: Bike Packing: Solo in his Sola

#SilverbackBikes #BornToBeFast

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Explore Dubai by bike

Known as a world-class shopping destination, with fast cars and ultra-modern buildings, Dubai is not known as a sporting capital. We do however know that there is no better way to explore a country than on a bicycle. Therefore we have compiled a list of recreational cycling routes to help you explore the city.

Explore Dubai by bike
Explore Dubai by bike

Jumeirah Beach

The Jumeirah Beach Bike path is a relaxing ride that runs along the beach with spectacular views of the iconic Burj Al Arab. The 2km path starts at Jumeirah Public Beach is extendable to a 14km ride by continuing to Umm Sequemm.

Our pick: Stride 29 MD & Spyke 24 Rigid

Jumeirah Beach
Jumeirah Beach

Dubai Canal

Keeping to the impressive architecture seen in the rest of the city, Dubai Canal is no different. The 3.2km long man-made canal includes running tracks, footpaths, cycling lane that showcase scenic views of the city.

Our pick: Stride 27 MD

Dubai Canal
Dubai Canal

Mushrif Park

Mushrif Park has a 5km dedicated cycling track that loops around the outer edge of the park. There are some interesting landmarks and café’s in the park where you can stop to rest your legs. The tarred track takes you through the dunes so expect some sandy patches.

Our pick: Stride 29 Sport

Nad Al Sheba Cycle Park
Nad Al Sheba Cycle Park

Nad Al Sheba Cycle Park

The Nad Al Sheba Park offers you the choice of 8km, 6km or 4km loops, perfect for riding circuits. The tracks are well lit at night, so we suggest you grab your night light and a picnic basket to watch the skyline of Downtown Dubai.

What we love about this spot is the 850m skills course for children, which is great for teaching little one’s road safety.

Our pick: Strela Sport & Spyke 20

Al Qudra Cycle Path
Al Qudra Cycle Path

Al Qudra Cycle Path

Situated in the Dubai desert, the Al Qudra cycling track is one of the most popular places to ride in the UAE. Track distances vary between 18km and 86km, taking you through spectacular landscapes of rolling sand dunes.

Our pick: Strela Elite

Riding sand dunes in Dubai
Riding sand dunes in Dubai

Sand Dunes

If you just want to have fun and do some exploring, we suggest you take a fatbike and go ride in the desert. The oversized tyres of a fatbikes can roll over almost everything and in this case will float through the sand effortlessly. Go further and explore more by getting an e-fatbike. 

Our pick: Scoop & S-Electro Fat

*Temperatures in Dubai can be hot and humid thus remember to drink plenty of water and always wear a helmet.

Read our top pick of destinations to ride with a fatbike: 10 Reasons you need a fatbike.

#SilverbackBikes #BornToBeFast #BestInClass

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Mariske Strauss crowned African MTB XCO Champ!

Mariske Strauss on the podium at the SA XCO


Silverback rider, Mariske Strauss won the elite women’s race at the African MTB Cross-Country Championships. The race took place in Windhoek, Namibia, on Saturday the 13th April 2019.

She completed the six-lap course in 1:23:39 ahead of Cherie Redecker(1:25:39) and Candice Lill (1:26:33).

Mariske Strauss, South Africa, XCO
Post-race interview with Mariske Strauss

Photo: Ulla von Holtzz

“It was a challenging course, but absolutely fun. The track had loads of climbing and technical descent,” she said after the African mtb.

“The relay before the race was a good wake up for my leg, I felt super strong and ready to race. I led from the start which was fun to do.”

South Africa, Luke Moir, XCO
Luke Moir representing South Africa

Silverback rider, Luke Moir was unlucky. He picked up two punctures on the course, resulting in a fifth-place finish.

“I was super confident going into the race African mtb race. I posted a really good lap time during the team relays the evening before.”

“Unfortunately, I suffered on the fourth lap where I suffered a major puncture,” adds Luke.

He completed the race in 1:04:23 in the Junior men’s category.

“My Silverback Stratos handled the terrain very well. Now I am looking forward to the race season ahead of me,” adds after race at the African mtb race says Mariske.

Mariske has one more race in South Africa before she heads to Europe again.

#SilverbackBikes #SilverbackRacing #BornToBeFast

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S-Electro Gravel

S-electro Gravel Ebike - Silverback Bikes


With its roots in gravel, the S-Electro GR encourages exploration without reservation. Going further and doing more, is not a question of if, but when. Fitted with a Bafang M800 drive unit, it offers the best of integration, while maintaining minimum weight compromise. Complimented by 11-Speed Apex, the drive system boasts 250W mid-drive power with variable assistance modes.  Accommodating up to 4 bottle cages, fender and rack mounts, the S-Electro Gravel is ready for any journey.

  • With an integrated battery
  • Integrated rack and fender mounts on frame and fork, as well as kickstand mount on seat, stays.
  • BAFANG M800 Mid Drive Motor 250wh, 55N.m
  • BAFANG 200Wh capacity, 3,5Hr recharge time.
  • 4x bottle compatibility – 2 on fork and 2 in front triangle.
  • Gravel focused geometry with responsive steering and improved stability
  • Increased wheelbase for better e-system weight distribution and balance.
  • Wheel Compatibility – 700C and 650B – Max tyre sizes 700C x 40C and 650B x 1,6”.
  • Super light SBC Cardon Fork.

Do you have a love for adventure but not convinced that you need an E-Bike? Then check out our new carbon gravel bike: Siablo CF

#SilverbackBikes #EBikes #BornToBeFast

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Stratos proto-tested at the #untamed ABSA Cape Epic

Stratos XCO Mountain Bike - Silverback Bikes


With the unveiling of our new XC race machine, we put in place a testing and development process to put the platform through its paces. From top-level UCI racers, through aspiring amateur riders.

Design Ideation.

A clean slate is where Thomas, the engineer behind the Stratos started.  This was essential to not limit himself to updating existing designs and suspension layouts. Rather to create something truly great and innovative. The design and development of a brand new concept is something that brews in the mind of a design engineer for some time, before he puts pen to paper.  Stratos started with the intended suspension feeling. Small bump sensitive and big hit capable, but to pedal efficiently without being locked out, and to make a challenging design brief even more so, to use full available travel without wallowing.

Silverback, advanced design, technologie

Advanced design

The design process starts on Linkage, a suspension design program and then moves on to Solidworks, an engineering program. On Solidworks the shapes and kinematics are fine-tuned and flow test analysis can be run on the frame to pre-empt stresses.

Our engineers then work with the factory to meticulously work out the carbon selection and layup for optimum strength and stiffness to the least possible weight.   The frame has to pass rigorous lab testing before the first riding prototype rolls out of the factory.

Design, Silverback, Stratos

Performance-driven innovation.

The resultant design is dictated by performance, function-driven innovation. It starts with an asymmetric frame with a single oversized tapered pivot utilizing angular-contact headset bearings for durability and superb stiffness. A single piece carbon rear triangle with Flex-stays means fewer pivots and so less weight and less maintenance. User-Centred design means that the bearing choices and even tools needed for servicing are off the shelf items and easy to find in any bike shop.

Silverback Stratos, Bicycle, mountain bike

The proof is in the ride.

Real-world testing is ultimately needed to make sure that all the tests and design ideation creates a synergy. 

What in the world can be a better testing ground that putting the bike through initiates in the #UNTAMED ABSA Cape Epic, ridden by world class racers?

624km, 16650m Climbing, 8 Days. Two Teams. Stratos Prototypes.

“Celebrated for its testing nature, the Cape Epic’s 16th edition will cover 624 kilometres and total 16,650 metres of climbing. That equates to nearly riding up two Table Mountains per day, for a week.” Business Insider

Jennie Stenerhag racing her bike

Stratos Excels.

Thomas spent time with the riders at the Epic as well as inspecting the bikes after every stage to assess the condition of the bikes.

All Stratos bikes survived the Epic with not a single frame mechanical issue! And the rider feedback is crucial for continuous development for other SB bikes and the Stratos platform.  Strauss and Stenerhag took two podiums during the race.

“Descending with the Stratos is super flowy and responsive. I can really throw the bike around, pushing my limits” – Mariske Strauss, Silverback Racing

“The bike is light and climbs like a machine. It floats over rocks and roots, saving me energy when I race.” – Jennie Stenerhag, Silverback Fairtree

ABSA Cape Epic, Silverback Stratos

Pioneering user centred development.

Silverback also pioneered a new step in the bike testing process. We are launching a Global Pilot Program. 40 riders from across the world will actively partake in the testing of the new bike. Giving valuable real-world feedback to designers.

Silverback Test Pilot, Stratos

Winning races need a lot of luck, choosing the right bike makes you luckier.

“It climbs really well and feels light, and is agile on the descents – a true Race bike” – Nicola Rohrbach, Silverback SBC

“it shaved seconds off my downhill times – over my enduro bike!” – Luke Moir, Silverback Racing

Best In Class Bikes.

Stratos is born and bred for racing at the highest level, and crafting the right tool for the job relies on the right people and processes. Silverback has both in place to deliver the Right Bikes at the Right Price.

#SilverbackStratos #BornToBeFast #SilverbackBikes

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Silverback SBC withdraws form ABSA Cape Epic


We at Silverback Racing value the health of our riders more than race results. Based on the recommendation of a medical professional, we made the decision to withdraw team Silverback SBC, from the 2019 ABSA Cape Epic.

Konny developed health issues on Stage 3 that led to lower back pain. To continue with the race would be at the risk of a prolonged time period off the bike and possible long term nerve damage in his back.  Nicola will return home to focus on his coming race season.

True to the nature of the #Untamed ABSA Cape Epic, Silverback SBC has had an unpredictable race, with Nicola puncturing 2 days back to back, first on Stage 1 (but still finishing 10th overall on the GC) and then stage 2 (dropping them to 32nd overall on the GC) and having to fight back to an overall 26th place after Stage 3.

Silverback Fairtree

Mariske Strauss and Jennie Stenerhag is currently in 4th place on the UCI Womens GC and riding consistent with the aim of getting back on the podium.  Strauss & Stenerhag continues racing and will still have our full support during the last stages of the ABSA Cape Epic.

Silverback’s new Stratos XC Race bike platform R&D testing is part of Silverback Racing’s goals for Epic.  With our Design Engineer assessing the bikes after each stage, and spending time with the riders, vital insights gained from the Epic will be used for R&D purposes, as well as setup recommendations for when the Stratos platform is market bound, meaning a better bike.

“We are sad to pull out of the Epic with our mens team. However Konny’s immediate and long term health is more important than completing. We should not lose sight of what we achieved already – racing the toughest MTB race with prototype race bikes, the feedback from racers to engineers and the confirmation of design theory, product quality and geometry of our bikes.  A win for Silverback BIC Quality”

– Marthinus Kruger, Team Manager, Silverback SBC. .

Rohrbach with an overwhelmingly positive Epic history, teamed up with Looser, a marathon specialist, with the aim of adding to his Epic achievements. Read the full team announcement HERE.

Nicola’s Epic history:


-GC 2nd

-5x stage wins


-GC 3rd

-2x podium


-CG 5th

-2 x stage wins

Silverback SBC, ABSA Cape Epic
Some days just don’t work out as planned