If you are a mountain biker mud and dust is a part of the game. It doesn’t matter how regularly you wash your bike, dirt gets into just about everything.
To prolong your dropper seatpost’s lifetime and to keep it running smoothly, a regular service is required. This is something your local bike shop can do for you but if you prefer to do it yourself. Here is a video that explains how to service and maintain your Surface Dropper seat post.
We suggest you wipe down your seat post after every ride and monitor the ‘feel’. If your dropper starts feeling a bit sticky, its time for a service. Most likely about twice a year but if you have been riding in very muddy, wet or dusty terrain, we recommend opening up your seat post and checking that its still clean inside. If not, its time for a service.
Stratos AL models fitted with the Surface Dropper Seatpost:
When you are ready to move over to full-suspension bike or you are looking for a fast-rolling 29’er to flow over technical trail sections… look no further. The Stratos AL 5, based on the Design & Innovation Award-winning Stratos CF SBC, will be the perfect gateway bike into the world of dual-suspension mountain bikes.
This lightweight aluminium frame features BURST Pivot, our ground-breaking linkage driven single pivot suspension platform and a purposefully designed asymmetric frame. In short, this bike is designed to use its suspension to its full potential, cuts down on maintenance and puts out maximum power with every pedal stroke. To find out more about the Stratos platform, read this article: Ready set Strato AL5!
What makes the Statos AL 5 an excellent value for money bike is the combination of progressive frame technology and quality components. This dual-suspension mountain bike is equipped with a 120mm Rock Shox Judy Silver fork, X-FUSION 02 Pro shock and Surface Alloy Symmetrical 29″ rims. However, if you wanted to upgrade in the future, the Stratos AL frames if happy to be customised.
Our favourite features
Full-length dropper post compatible
Adapted geometry caters for both weekend worriers and racers
Features all our favourite features from top-end bikes
Fits two water bottles in the main triangle
Lifetime frame warranty*
The Stratos AL 5 is available in sizes Small to Extra-large
and all sizes are able to fit two water bottles in the front triangle. A handy
feature if you are considering longer marathon rides or races. The AL’s
geometry and suspension travel is slightly more ‘relaxed’ than that of the
carbon version but this offers a more balanced ride to weekend warriors and
So, if you are looking for your first full-suspension mountain bike, look no further. The Stratos AL 5 promises to the ultimate value for money mountain bike.
The Sola platform has been a part of our collection for many years. This performance hardtail has dominated cross-country tracks right across the world but has recently received some game-changing upgrades.
The hydroformed frame of the Sola 1 ensures a lighter bike that doesn’t sacrifice any strength. With the cross-country courses becoming more technical, our designers have improved the Sola’s geometry to be more race-focused. This means the bike is designed to inspire confidence and the rider will be more comfortable over longer rides. The frame is finished off with internal cable routing and can fit an internal dropper post.
“The Sola 1 has been immense and has not let me down in the slightest. I am looking forward to many many more kilometres on it.”
FC Eagle DUB 7k Stylo 175mm, 34t
SRAM GX Eagle 12 Speed 10-50t, 500% Ultra-wide Range
12.36kg (Medium Frame, with tubes, without pedals)
This is the bike for you if…
You are a weight-conscious cross-country rider looking for a bike that is ready to be raced on the XC course. The Sola 1 is fitted with quality components but can easily be upgraded as your riding progresses. With the Sola 1 you will be investing in a race-ready mountain bike that won’t break the bank.
So, you are trapped inside and can’t even get on your bike and go for a ride? Not only are you worried about losing your fitness, but you are tired of sitting in front of the TV. Going to the gym is not an option, you don’t own a stationary trainer and space is limited. Getting exercise during this time is important as it will strengthen your immune system and improve your mental health. Therefore, we have compiled a list of strength training exercises you can do at home and with no equipment.
Importance of strength training and how it helps endurance
Strength training is not only important for bodybuilders but for us, cyclists to. It helps develop strong bones and keeps your body healthy and mobile for daily activities. If you haven’t been mixing your riding up with strength training, now is the time to start.
If you own resistance bands, weights or have any items you
can use as a weight, feel free to use them. Otherwise focus on your form, doing
a high amount of repetitions and feeling the burn.
When you think of cycling, you automatically think you need to train your legs, but a strong and stable core is an essential part of your performance on the bike. Believe it or not, but a strong core plays a role in the power put out by your legs. Therefore we suggest these two core exercises to help you strengthen your core and obliques:
A great exercise to strengthen your obliques and improve your balance on the bike. You can easily make this a bit harder by holding a weight in your hands.
When you are cycling you are putting downforce one leg at a time. Similarly, lunges are done one leg at a time. With so many different types of lunges available, you can improve your balance at the same time: 13 different lunge variations.
The main muscles you use when pedaling is quadriceps, hamstrings and your glutes. When you do squats, you use the same muscles. Get your heart rate up by doing jumping squats or jumping onto a box. 45 Squat variations
Another great single-leg workout that will get your quads burning! Simply step up onto a chair, a wall or a step.
Fully body exercise
The dreaded burpee is an excellent total body exercise, that will improve your balance, power and agility. It will work your legs, glutes, core, chest, arms and back whilst getting your heart rate right up.
It has been just over a month since the Design & Innovation Award committee announced the Silverback Stratos CF 1 as mountain bike of the year for 2020. AND we are still celebrating! Our latest video captures the award selection process, as well as highlighting real-world racer feedback.
Why are we so proud? / Reason to boast?
The Design & Innovation Award is the only award in the cycling industry that ignores marketing and technical jargon. A team of experts put every product to the test, pushing them to their limits on the toughest terrain. The Swiss Alps to be exact! Having a Design & Innovation Award logo on our bike is truly an authentic seal of approval. Not only did they like the concept, but the Stratos out also preformed all the other mountain bikes on the market.
Read the Design & Innovation Award Juror’s verdict HERE
What makes the Stratos so unique?
Our latest linkage driven single pivot suspension, called
‘Burst Flex’, features an oversized tapered pivot and flex rear stays. This
eliminates additional bearing sets and cuts down weight. Except for being
lighter, the unique trapezoidal asymmetric frame design is optimized for
stiffness and strength. This means that every ounce of power put into the
pedals are working to drive the bike forward.
Find out more about the design and testing process of the Stratos HERE
The proof is in the titles
Current cross-country junior world champion Luke Moir has
been riding the Stratos SBC for over 6 months now. When chatting to our content
team, he described the bike as a climbing bike that “climbs like a hardtail”
and descends like his enduro bike on the downhills; “it is just a bit easier,
to throw around”.
Jennie Stenerhag, 7 X Swedish national marathon champion,
rode the Stratos for the first time in preparation for the 2019 ABSA Cape Epic.
After two weeks on the bike, Jennie fell in love with it.
“It is basically a climbing bike, it has helped me a lot with that”
Looking to buy a mountain bike but not sure how to choose one? We have compiled the one and only list you need to consider when buying a MTB.
Choosing a frame
Start off by deciding what kind of riding you will be doing. Frame geometry differs, depending on the discipline it is designed for. Have a look at these common forms of mountain biking below and see which one describes you best:
Bikes featuring this geometry, like our Stride Range is designed for the recreational rider. The kind of rider who will be doing light off-road riding or commuting. These bikes inspire confidence while descending and positions the rider in a comfortable riding position.
Cross-country, marathon or XC riding usually includes a mixture of terrain like singletrack, gravel roads and technical trails. XC bikes are designed with aggressive angles, placing the rider’s weight over the pedals, allowing every ounce of power to be transferred to the pedals. If you are planning to do long rides, endurance races or race your friends to the top of the hill, this bike is for you.
Just to clarify, all-mountain bikes can ride off-road, it just depends on to what degree. Trail bikes are for those riders who like to bomb down a hill or test their skill on technical, rocky terrain (as fast as they possibly can). The geometry of this bike is slacker than that of a cross-country bike, making it comfortable for the ride down but a bit sluggish on the climb. Trail riders are usually not concerned with speed going uphill as long as they get to have fun on the way down.
Only if you are planning to ride very technical, steep terrain with big jumps and drops, should you consider a downhill bike. These bikes are not suitable if you are looking for an everyday bike as they are heavy, and downhillers usually push their bikes to the top of the hill.
Getting the size right
Selecting the right size bike is essential, as a matter of fact it can affect your entire riding experience. Most manufacturers have a size chart available on their website. This guide is created by the brand to help you choose a bike size according to your length. Although this is usually pretty accurate, it still depends on your own comfort. If a bike is the wrong size, it will affect your power and ultimately your speed. It can also put unnecessary pressure or on joints which can potentially lead to injury.
Ask your dealer for a test bike. Even if he doesn’t have the exact model available for testing, take out a similar bike from the same manufacturer.
The wheel size debate
With so much information/debates on the internet regarding MTB wheel sizes, we thought we would keep it brief. Here is a summary of each wheel size and its strengths.
26” – Ideal for kids bikes and dirt jumpers
27.5” – Quick acceleration, lighter wheels and nimble
29” – More efficient, better traction and rolls over anything.
Carbon vs aluminium
It is very easy to be lured into the world of carbon fibre bikes however it might not be the best possible bike for your budget. Even though carbon is the clear choice of mountain bike racers across the world, it is important to keep 4 things in mind:
How important is saving weight to me?
What is the difference between the carbon and the alloy model?
When buying a mountain bike, cyclists often ask if a dual suspension bike is better than a hardtail. However, there is no is no right or wrong answer to this question.
Hardtail bikes do not have any rear suspension, making them lighter, more responsive, easier to maintain and a bit cheaper.
Dual sus bikes, on the other hand, have front and rear suspension. These bikes are more comfortable on longer rides and smoother on the downhill but need more maintenance and can be heavier.
Stay away from entry-level/cheap forks and shocks because servicing/ replacing these can be expensive. Rather invest in a midlevel hardtail than a cheap dual suspension bike if your budget is limited.
Before buying a mountain bike, think about what kind of riding do you see yourself doing regularly? Buy a bike that you can see yourself riding for a while, that can easily be upgraded as your riding improves.
For example, if you enjoy cross country racing but you also enjoy a technical challenge, you might want to install a dropper seat post at a later stage. So, choose yourself a bike that can take a dropper post.
Keep in mind that technology in the cycling industry changes rapidly and you don’t want to be stuck with a bike that you cannot customise to your riding style.
We often have riders contact us with questions about carbon fibre bicycles or components. With these products being quite a bit more expensive than aluminium, cyclists like to ask if it’s worth it and is it that much better?
We asked Silverback’s carbon specialist, Eduan Kruyswijk a couple of questions to help us better understand the material.
How long will a carbon bike last me?
Carbon does not fatigue like aluminium. However, uncoated carbon fibre and the impregnated resin can weaken over time by exposure to Ultraviolet light. For this reason, many carbon frames are painted with either and opaque paint or something with UV protection. Provided, you don’t subject the bike to fire, a hit big enough to break it, or put a notch in the frame or fork, it should last a very long time.
Do carbon bikes break/crack easier than aluminium bikes?
Technically no, but a break or crack can be more catastrophic on a carbon fibre bike than an alloy bike.
To get more into detail… The Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) is a material’s maximum stress it can take before it breaks. The UTS of carbon fibre is 3500 [MPa], yet Aluminium is 310 [MPa].
On the other hand, carbon is weaker in the plane perpendicular to the direction of the weave. Unlike aluminium that has homogenous characteristics in all directions. This means, that carbon fibre has weaker compression characteristics than Aluminium.
Can you feel a carbon bicycle flex?
A Carbon Fibre frame does flex, so does any other frame on the market. However, stiffness varies and can be manipulated during the lay-up. This is done through modulus-choice, weave type and wall thickness of the local area.
Does sunlight affect carbon fibre?
Yes, as mentioned in the first question, uncoated carbon fibre and the impregnated resin can weaken over time by exposure to sunlight. So, its best to store your bicycle out of the sun.
Is it risky buying a second-hand carbon MTB/Road bike/Wheels?
Yes. If you do not know the history oft he part/frame, it can be risky. Inspect all parts to ensure they are structurally sound and uncompromised. Your local bike shop can help you with this buying decision. Take in the bike/part and have them inspect it before you purchase.
How much weight can you save by purchasing a carbon fibre bike?
There is no right answer here. It is greatly dependant on the manufacturing of both frames respectively. Carbon Fibre generally uses less material and has more features integrated into the structure. As indication, the density of Carbon Fibre is 1800-2000 [kg/m3] where Aluminium 6061 is at 2700 [kg/m3].
Are carbon wheels worth it?
Carbon Fibre wheels are generally stiffer than the Aluminium wheel equivalent. Stiffness influences the ride characteristics, providing more direct road feedback. The drivetrain response is more efficient though a stiffer wheel structure.
Be critical of your bicycle requirements. A carbon frame is a performance part and usually has a specific application. Since its inception in cycling, in the 1980’s, Carbon Fiber has established itself in the industry as a performance material of preference. The technology has become more common and thus more affordable to the consumer.
A carbon frame is only as good as its manufacturing and construction. A frame of highest quality is a worthwhile investment.
Do carbon fibre forks break easily?
The simple answer is no. The strength of a carbon fibre structure is highly dependant on the quality of manufacturing. A carbon fork manufactured, free from defect and without construction anomalies, is capable (with a safety factor) to withstand demands placed by the rider under normal use conditions.
Find out more about the carbon fiber used in our bikes HERE.
RIDE ALMOST EVERYWHERE, ON THE ROAD AND OFF IT. RIDE MORE & GO FURTHER!
With its roots in gravel, the S-Electro Gravel 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.
WHAT MAKES THE S-ELECTRO GRAVEL GREAT?
SBC Carbon Fork
Integrated rack and fender mounts on frame and fork, as well as kickstand mount on seat, stays.
BAFANG M800 Mid Drive Motor 200wh, 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 Carbon Fork.
FREQUENTLY ASKED ELECTRIC BIKE QUESTIONS.
How long will the battery last me?
The Lithium-Ion has a shelf life of 10 years however depending on how you use it, the battery should last between 2 and 5 years.
How long should the S-Electro Gravels battery last on a ride?
How long should the S-Electro Gravels battery last on a ride? The Bafang M800 Mid drive system has 5 modes and support can be indexed incrementally. If you use the battery only on ascents and when accelerating within the speed limit, it will be suﬃcient for longer trips for up to 150 km.
Can I fly with my E-bike?
Sadly, the Lithium-Ion battery used on e-bikes are not allowed on an airplane. Aviation regulations state that you can not fly with a battery exceeds a capacity of over 160WH. If you are wanting to do a e-biking adventure in another country, we suggest you hire a battery for a local supplier.
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.
What size wheels can I use on the S-Electro GR?
The frameset is compatible with both 700C large volume tyres and 650B tyres. It is designed to ﬁt a maximum size 700x42C and 650Bx2.0” tyre. For long distance riding, over moderate to easy terrain we recommend 700C tyres. While 650B tyres are more suitable for shorter rides with demanding terrain.
How long does it take to charge the battery on this electric gravel bike?
This system has a charge time of 3.5 hours to100% capacity.
Is it easy to maintain and clean?
The Bafang M800 motor is completely sealed and does not require any maintenance. Other than that you can wash the bike with soap and water just like any other bike. Just remember, spraying water on a bike at high pressure, will force water into places you don’t want it and grease out of places where you need it.
Bike Check with Romanian National Cross-country mountain bike champion Eszter Bereczki
19-year-old Eszter Bereczki from Oradea, Romania basically grew up on two wheels. She started racing in the big league with her father at the age of 13. Since then Eszter has collected four national titles and won numerous local events.
1st place – 2019 MTB XCO National Championship
1st place – 2019 MTB XCE National Championship
1st place – Romanian Cup at CX 2019
1st place – National Championship CX 2017, 2018, 2019
1st place junior – MTB XCO Balkan Championship 2017
1st place junior – MTB XCO National Championship 2017, 2018
It is no surprise that Eszter chooses to race Silverback’s flagship hardtail, the Superspeed SBC. This carbon hardtail features our Monoburst technology where the seat stays joins the top tube without connecting to the seat tube. This helps to absorb the bump forces into the top tube and allows the seat tube to flex a little for added traction and comfort. If you want to read more about the Superspeed, click HERE.
Eszter Bereczki’s Silverback Superspeed
Frame: Silverback Superspeed SBC Carbon
Fork: FOX 32 SC Factory
Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 Eagle
Brakes: Shimano XTR 9100
Wheels: Mavic Crossmax Pro Carbon (Boost front and back)
Tyres: Maxxis Aspen 2.25 EXO
Saddle: Pro Griffon AF
Seat Post: Kind Shock Lev Integra 272
Handlebar: Syncros FL1.0 SL (720mm)
Weight: 9.5kg (with pedals)
Eszter’s Superspeed is fitted with a SRAM XX1 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain. She is using the ROTOR 2INpower crankset, which measures power output on the crank axle. Her 34T oval chainring helps her maximise her stroke where power is produced and reduce resistance there is no power.
She prefers an aggressive riding position therefore she uses a short stem of 60mm with a negative angel of -17 degrees.
Even though Eszter Bereczki is a cross-country specialist she rides with a 65mm Kind Shock dropper post. This helps her to better navigate technical single track by shifting her weight behind the saddle.
Eszter’s Superspeed SBC is kitted with carbon Mavic Crossmax Pro wheels that weight in at 1510 grams for the pair. Currently, she has the Maxxis Aspen 2.25 EXO tyres on her mountain bike but changes it up depending on the weather conditions.
Thank you to Dan Mazilu, from Freerider.ro for providing us with the information and images for this article.
We are incredibly proud to announce that we have once again won the BikeToday.news Readers Choice Awards. This year for Best mountain bike with the Stratos SBC. Not only that, we have also taken the win for Best Company.
In last year’s BikeToday.News awards, we received the best mountain bike award for the innovative Monoburst technology on the Superspeed SBC.
After being launched in March, the Stratos SBC has not only been winning races but also the hearts of biking enthusiasts around the world. The unique asymmetric design proved to be a hot topic right from the reveal, getting attention from all over the world. We are proud to have gained so much recognition in such a short time period. Read more on the Stratos’s asymmetric geometry HERE.
The Asymmetric design dissipates load based on magnitude and position, levitating stresses where it’s most concentrated. Oversized tapered pivot and Burst Flex suspension makes for a stiff, responsive, extremely light and agile race bike ready to trounce any terrain.
We thank you for your ongoing support! Our team continuously aims to push the envelope with our product as well as our service. Readers choice awards like these encourages us to continue our journey to be Best in Class.
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