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Prototypes Spotted: New Products coming from Hutchinson, Bontaz & EXT Suspension

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In addition to the prototype Rockrider XC and enduro mountain bikes we spotted at Roc d’Azur, and all the other cool bags and gadgets, there were a few prototype components hanging around.

Here’s the scoop on upcoming Hutchinson road, gravel & mountain bike tires, brakes from an auto supplier, and an inverted EXT suspension fork…

Future Hutchinson road, gravel & MTB tires

Hutchinson has a lot in the pipeline. They’re testing new construction and tech for the Olympic athletes, with the Skeleton (rear) and Kraken XC tires running on Julia Gregoire’s BH.

The Kraken will be coming in 2.4 for next year, and a full XC line reboot is planned for 2024. There’s also a completely new down country tire coming next year.

prototype hutchinson Griffus enduro mountain bike tires

prototype hutchinson Griffus enduro mountain bike tires

Pro EWS racer Isabeau Courdurier is testing new versions of the Griffus. The tread pattern looks the same as the current version, but they’re always tinkering with casing construction, materials, and rubber compounds.

prototype hutchinson tundra gravel and tubeless road bike tires

The Hutchinson Challenger tube-type road tire is out now, but a tubeless version that’ll be made in France and be higher end will come out next year and replace the long-running Sector, which was one of the very first mass produced tubeless tires and a very popular model for them.

The Tundra gravel tire was introduced earlier this year with 700×40 and 700×45 sizes, but will grow to have a 700×50 option in 2023.

Prototype EXT ERA Upside Down fork

prototype EXT Racing ERA upside down inverted enduro mountain bike fork

No specs, no details, just a prototype EXT inverted long travel mountain bike fork on display next to the recently updated ERA V2 enduro fork.

prototype EXT Racing ERA upside down inverted enduro mountain bike fork

But a closer look reveals some interesting details. The top caps appear to have pressure relief valves, helping you equalize internal chassis air pressure with atmospheric pressure, a good thing when you’re riding a lift.

One side is likely the air valve cap, and on the other are separate high- and low-speed compression damping adjuster knobs.

prototype EXT Racing ERA upside down inverted enduro mountain bike fork

The dual-crown design and long lower legs suggest 180-200mm travel and downhill and bike park intentions. Fender mounts look standard.

prototype EXT Racing ERA upside down inverted enduro mountain bike fork

A lock-in 20mm thru axle and oversized brake mount support the long travel action. A separate rebound compression knob sit underneath, and the other side appears to have another knob…or air valve cover.

EXT uses a dual positive air spring design on the ERA, but with both valves under the top cap. Here, the top cap is too small to hide two Schrader valves, so it could be that you fill one from either end, or they let you customize the negative air spring. Or maybe even something else. This would give Extreme Shox two forks to go with their bike-specific-damper rear shock assortment.

Bontaz getting into the bicycle brake game…maybe?

prototype Bontaz hydraulic disc brakes for mountain bikes

Never heard of Bontaz? Chances are they’re making your car (or Caterpillar truck) work every day. They’re suppliers to virtually every major auto brand and produce subassemblies used in hydraulic functions. Surprisingly, that does not seem to include vehicle brakes, but, you know, hydraulics are hydraulics, right?

prototype Bontaz hydraulic disc brakes for mountain bikes

I caught them talking to a major bike brand about their prototype mountain bike brakes, shown here in early concept and production testing versions. The plan is to offer 2- and 4-piston models to OEM customers starting in June 2023, with a wide array of design and finish options to fit commuter, cargo, mountain, and e-bikes…basically anything with a flat handlebar.

They say they’re not necessarily introducing any groundbreaking new tech, just that they’re applying their expertise to the growing e-mobility segment since more and more of their automotive customers are looking at alternatives to the car. So, why not leverage those relationships and grow into new segments, amiright?

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137 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, these new products from Hutchinson, Bontaz, and EXT Suspension have my curiosity piqued! Cant wait to see what they bring to the table.

    • Those Hutchinson tires might look cool, but Ive had better experiences with other brands on my MTB. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. Happy trails!

    • Seriously? Upside down forks have been around for years. Its not a new concept. Do some research before you spout off, buddy.

    • I hate to burst your bubble, but Bontaz has been promising game-changing bike brakes for years now, and all weve seen are empty promises. Dont get your hopes up too high. #SameOldSameOld

  2. Seriously? Its just tires, not a revolutionary invention. Dont get your hopes up for mind-blowing features. Theyll probably just be another overpriced gimmick to make you think you need them. Save your excitement for something worthwhile.

  3. Wow, these new products from Hutchinson, Bontaz, and EXT Suspension have me all intrigued! Cant wait to see what they have in store for us!

    • Dont hold your breath! These companies have a track record of promising groundbreaking innovations, but delivering mediocre products. Its all hype and no substance. Dont get your hopes up for anything truly game-changing from them.

  4. Dont get your hopes up too high. Most prototypes end up being watered down versions of their initial promises. Its all about marketing hype and disappointment. But hey, I hope Im proven wrong and you get blown away by these crazy features.

  5. Wow, these new products from Hutchinson, Bontaz, and EXT Suspension sound intriguing! Cant wait to see what they bring to the table.

    • Seriously? Who cares about tire designs? Its just a tire, not a piece of art. Spend less time geeking out over tires and get a life. #priorities

  6. Wow, these new products from Hutchinson, Bontaz, and EXT Suspension have me super intrigued! Cant wait to see what they bring to the table.

  7. Are you seriously suggesting that brakes are irrelevant because of some fancy suspension and upside-down fork? Thats just reckless and dangerous. Brakes are a fundamental safety feature on bikes, and no amount of tech can replace them. Dont put yourself and others at risk.

    • Seriously? Drooling over tires? Get a life, dude. There are more important things to be excited about than some pieces of rubber.

    • I totally disagree. Hutchinson tires are overrated and dont live up to the hype. There are much better options out there for shredding trails. Dont waste your money on them. #NotImpressed

    • I tried those Hutchinson tires once, and boy was I disappointed. They didnt live up to the hype at all. I ended up switching back to my old favorites. But hey, maybe youll have better luck. Happy shredding!

  8. I cant wait to see what crazy inventions Hutchinson, Bontaz, and EXT Suspension have up their sleeves! #TechGeekExcitement

    • I hate to burst your bubble, but dont get too hyped just yet. Companies often promise big things, but their actual products might not live up to the hype. Lets wait and see if Hutchinson, Bontaz & EXT Suspension can truly deliver something worth getting excited about.

    • Are you serious? Bontaz has been known for their innovative and reliable bike brakes for years. Maybe you should educate yourself before making ignorant comments.

    • Haha, good luck shredding gravel with those overpriced Hutchinson tires. Ive had way better experiences with other brands. Save your money and go for something more reliable.

  9. Wow, these new products from Hutchinson, Bontaz, and EXT Suspension sound absolutely mind-blowing! Cant wait to see what theyve got in store for us. #innovation

    • I hate to burst your bubble, but these companies are just following the same old trends, not breaking any new ground. Dont get your hopes up for anything truly innovative. #marketinghype

  10. Wow, these new prototypes from Hutchinson, Bontaz, and EXT Suspension look seriously intriguing. Cant wait to see what they bring to the table! #BikeTech

  11. Wow, these new products from Hutchinson, Bontaz, and EXT Suspension look pretty interesting! Cant wait to see what they bring to the table.

    • Are you kidding? Brakes exist for a reason, genius. No matter how indestructible your tires are, they wont save you from crashing into something. Safety should always come first, unless you enjoy being reckless.

  12. Oh man, those new Hutchinson tires look sick! Cant wait to see what they bring to the road and gravel scene. And that EXT ERA Upside Down fork? Mind-blowing! But Bontaz in the brake game? Hmm, Im not sure about that one. Lets see how it turns out!

  13. Wow, cant wait to see what these prototypes bring to the table! Hutchinson, Bontaz, and EXT Suspension are definitely stepping up their game.

    • Hutchinson may claim to have it all, but lets not get carried away with hype. Quality matters more than quantity. Ill reserve my excitement until I see how their tires actually perform on the road, gravel, and MTB trails.

  14. Wow, these new products from Hutchinson, Bontaz, and EXT Suspension have me super intrigued! Cant wait to see what they bring to the table.

  15. Wow, these new prototypes from Hutchinson, Bontaz, and EXT Suspension have me intrigued! Cant wait to see what they bring to the table.

    • Ive seen my fair share of hyped prototypes before, so forgive me if Im not as excited as you are. Lets wait and see if they truly deliver on their promises. History has taught us to approach these things with caution.

    • Well, if youre expecting tires to magically transform your rides into epic adventures, I hate to burst your bubble. Its your skills and determination that truly make a ride epic. So, focus on improving yourself instead of relying on fancy tires to do the work for you.

  16. Cant wait to see what crazy innovations Hutchinson, Bontaz, and EXT Suspension have in store for us! Exciting times ahead!

    • Ugh, not another overhyped product. Hutchinson tires are just like any other brand, all talk and no substance. Dont get your hopes up, theyll probably disappoint just like the rest.

    • Are you serious? Tires that teleport you to the moon? Thats the most ridiculous thing Ive heard all day. Dont believe everything you read, buddy. Stick to reality. #notbuyingit

    • Futuristic tires arent just a gimmick, mate. They actually enhance performance by improving grip, reducing rolling resistance, and increasing fuel efficiency. So yeah, they do make a difference. Keep up with the times, will ya?

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