Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Delta 7 Sports - The Sexiest Bike(s) on The Planet?

Last year, Delta 7 Sports created quite a buzz on the Interbike Expo floor with the unveiling of their IsoTruss® mountain bike, the Arantix.

They returned this year with a road version of their IsoTruss® frame, the Ascend. Like its off-road brethren, the Ascend is plenty light (1.8 lbs), stiff, indestructible, and see-through. It drew plenty of interested onlookers, including the riders of a certain professional team that shall remain nameless because the team already has a bicycle sponsor for next year.


Nevertheless, whatever excitement Delta 7 Sports’ entry into the road market may be generating, the Arantix continues to draw praise and has helped set the company apart from all other bike manufacturers. Don’t get me wrong, there are other manufacturers out there that make great mountain bikes. But similar to the impact that the introduction and utilization of carbon brought to the performance road industry, the innovative IsoTruss® frame has upped the ante for those who make mountain bikes.

As a result of my “working media” status, I had the opportunity to test ride the ultralight and super stiff Arantix at Interbike’s Outdoor Demo Days. Given the number and quality of the reviews that the bike has already received, I was both excited and a little anxious to climb on.

Back in the day, I used to be a more than competent mountain biker, having ridden around the Midwest as well as taking on areas in and around Moab and Fruita. But any skills that I may have acquired in my youth have slowly deteriorated since I began concentrating more on the road and velodrome. And with the events of last year’s Outdoor Demo Days still fresh in my mind, I didn’t feel at all confident taking the Arantix out on the very technical portions of the Bootleg Canyon trail. So I enlisted some help. By happenstance, I ran into Sheena Johnson, manager of Downtown Bicycles in Fort Lauderdale, FL, who was a great help in reviewing some bikes for us last year.

At the Delta 7 Sports tent I checked out the 29er version of the Carbon fiber/Kevlar IsoTruss® bike although I knew that the ride quality may be a reflection of the size of the wheels rather than the frame, as 29er's are known to be a bit more forgiving than a bike set up with traditional 26 inch wheels. Sheena was first up to take the Arantix, kitted out with Shimano’s XTR grouppo, through its paces. Her initial impression was that of a bike that was “confident in the technical sections, and tracked and climbed well.”

I decided to take the Arantix out on the same section of trail that bucked me off last year; partially to help me exorcise some demons but also to give the Arantix a true assessment of its ride quality. I have always enjoyed riding a hardtail, and although I sport a dual suspension currently the hardtailed Arantix really made me appreciate what I once had while providing me with many of the same qualities of riding with a rear suspension.

After taking in Sheena’s comments, it was hard to definitively say whether the wheel size, or the stiffness and lightness of the frame (2.6 lbs) gave the Arantix it’s distinctively smooth, maneuverable, and fast ride. But what we both agreed upon was that the bike was markedly strong in all areas; a combination that other manufacturers will be hard pressed to match.

Having read how well the bike descended, I also took the Arantix on the road course, given that I didn’t have the desire nor the proper gear to attempt a downhill bombardment. The bike truly did descend like a rocket and had me wishing that they had made their Ascend available for testing as well.

An hour and half later, I returned the Arantix back to a relieved group of Delta 7 employees who thought I might have ridden away with the flagship of their company's ever growing stable.

All in all, with previous praise ranging from “floats like a butterfly,” to “...the most responsive hardtail we’ve ever dropped the hammer on. The iso-truss guys should pitch their design to NASA because this bike takes off like a space shuttle,” I was left (and frankly challenged by Delta 7 Sports' Vice President of Marketing, Lester Muranaka) searching for something original to say about the Arantix.

My initial thought was to compare it to the best aspects of all the bikes that I have ever ridden. But then a more appropriate comparison revealed itself on, of all things, the cover of GQ magazine, Megan Fox. Like the tattooed starlet of Transformers fame, who other publications have touted as “The Sexiest Woman on the Planet,” the frame exudes both a sexiness and toughness all in one. And once you're seen on the Arantix you'll finally understand what it feels like to be that seemingly unapproachable knockout, like Fox, as time after time people pointed in our direction and whispered in a wanting fashion about the “Sexiest Bike on the Planet.”

Current MSRP for the Arantix frame is $4,895 (a significant drop from the $7,000 price tag when Mountain Bike Action (October 2008) reviewed the bike).

Photos: Leonard Basobas

1 comment:

Delta 7 Sports said...

Rock start treatment is definitely fun. The Ascend (road bike) will be available for demo at Outdoor Demo East later this month.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Delta 7 Sports - The Sexiest Bike(s) on The Planet?

Last year, Delta 7 Sports created quite a buzz on the Interbike Expo floor with the unveiling of their IsoTruss® mountain bike, the Arantix.

They returned this year with a road version of their IsoTruss® frame, the Ascend. Like its off-road brethren, the Ascend is plenty light (1.8 lbs), stiff, indestructible, and see-through. It drew plenty of interested onlookers, including the riders of a certain professional team that shall remain nameless because the team already has a bicycle sponsor for next year.


Nevertheless, whatever excitement Delta 7 Sports’ entry into the road market may be generating, the Arantix continues to draw praise and has helped set the company apart from all other bike manufacturers. Don’t get me wrong, there are other manufacturers out there that make great mountain bikes. But similar to the impact that the introduction and utilization of carbon brought to the performance road industry, the innovative IsoTruss® frame has upped the ante for those who make mountain bikes.

As a result of my “working media” status, I had the opportunity to test ride the ultralight and super stiff Arantix at Interbike’s Outdoor Demo Days. Given the number and quality of the reviews that the bike has already received, I was both excited and a little anxious to climb on.

Back in the day, I used to be a more than competent mountain biker, having ridden around the Midwest as well as taking on areas in and around Moab and Fruita. But any skills that I may have acquired in my youth have slowly deteriorated since I began concentrating more on the road and velodrome. And with the events of last year’s Outdoor Demo Days still fresh in my mind, I didn’t feel at all confident taking the Arantix out on the very technical portions of the Bootleg Canyon trail. So I enlisted some help. By happenstance, I ran into Sheena Johnson, manager of Downtown Bicycles in Fort Lauderdale, FL, who was a great help in reviewing some bikes for us last year.

At the Delta 7 Sports tent I checked out the 29er version of the Carbon fiber/Kevlar IsoTruss® bike although I knew that the ride quality may be a reflection of the size of the wheels rather than the frame, as 29er's are known to be a bit more forgiving than a bike set up with traditional 26 inch wheels. Sheena was first up to take the Arantix, kitted out with Shimano’s XTR grouppo, through its paces. Her initial impression was that of a bike that was “confident in the technical sections, and tracked and climbed well.”

I decided to take the Arantix out on the same section of trail that bucked me off last year; partially to help me exorcise some demons but also to give the Arantix a true assessment of its ride quality. I have always enjoyed riding a hardtail, and although I sport a dual suspension currently the hardtailed Arantix really made me appreciate what I once had while providing me with many of the same qualities of riding with a rear suspension.

After taking in Sheena’s comments, it was hard to definitively say whether the wheel size, or the stiffness and lightness of the frame (2.6 lbs) gave the Arantix it’s distinctively smooth, maneuverable, and fast ride. But what we both agreed upon was that the bike was markedly strong in all areas; a combination that other manufacturers will be hard pressed to match.

Having read how well the bike descended, I also took the Arantix on the road course, given that I didn’t have the desire nor the proper gear to attempt a downhill bombardment. The bike truly did descend like a rocket and had me wishing that they had made their Ascend available for testing as well.

An hour and half later, I returned the Arantix back to a relieved group of Delta 7 employees who thought I might have ridden away with the flagship of their company's ever growing stable.

All in all, with previous praise ranging from “floats like a butterfly,” to “...the most responsive hardtail we’ve ever dropped the hammer on. The iso-truss guys should pitch their design to NASA because this bike takes off like a space shuttle,” I was left (and frankly challenged by Delta 7 Sports' Vice President of Marketing, Lester Muranaka) searching for something original to say about the Arantix.

My initial thought was to compare it to the best aspects of all the bikes that I have ever ridden. But then a more appropriate comparison revealed itself on, of all things, the cover of GQ magazine, Megan Fox. Like the tattooed starlet of Transformers fame, who other publications have touted as “The Sexiest Woman on the Planet,” the frame exudes both a sexiness and toughness all in one. And once you're seen on the Arantix you'll finally understand what it feels like to be that seemingly unapproachable knockout, like Fox, as time after time people pointed in our direction and whispered in a wanting fashion about the “Sexiest Bike on the Planet.”

Current MSRP for the Arantix frame is $4,895 (a significant drop from the $7,000 price tag when Mountain Bike Action (October 2008) reviewed the bike).

Photos: Leonard Basobas

1 comment:

Delta 7 Sports said...

Rock start treatment is definitely fun. The Ascend (road bike) will be available for demo at Outdoor Demo East later this month.