September 19, 2021
  • September 19, 2021

Field test: 2022 We Are One Arrival – Efficient and effective

By on September 11, 2021 0
ROSE BIKE FIELD TEST

We are an SP2 arrival


Words by Matt Beer, photography by Tom Richards
When We Are One gave us a preview of what appeared to be a frame mold, we knew we had to get our hands on one. It’s hard to talk about everything We Are One builds without mentioning their dedication to sourcing materials as locally as possible. Their new bike, intended for the enduro market, the Arrival, sings the same tune. Everything from hardware and paint to carbon sheets comes from within a five hundred mile radius.

Their first foray into frame building encompassed a wide range of driving styles. He’s ready to crash or rush. The 152mm of rear wheel travel and 160mm fork are aggressive enough to tackle Enduro World Series races, but won’t shy away from backcountry races.

Arrival details

• Displacement: 160 mm at the front / 152 mm at the rear
• Wheel size: 29 in.
• Hub spacing: 157 mm
• Head angle: 64 °
• Seat tube angle: 77 °
• Range: 475 mm (SZ2)
• Base length: 437 mm
• Sizes: SZ1, SZ2, SZ3
• Weight: 32.04 lbs / 14.53 kg (with test tires)
• Price: 8,899 USD
weareonecomposites.com

This fully double-bonded carbon frame is specially designed around 29 “wheels, without any geometry or kinematic adjustment. In other words, there is no trade-off between a steep seat angle or a loose head tube and the suspension has been tested and adjusted relentlessly.

We Are One has also jumped on the size name bandwagon. Since the field test took place the denomination has been changed from M / L to SZ2, but the range remains the same at 475mm. They also paused the start button on what would be an SZ4 frame, which we mentioned in the introduction to the bike. Currently, there are three sizes suitable for riders from 5’3 “to 6’4”, which seems a bit of a stretch for those on opposite ends of the height spectrum. The range figures are traditional however, starting at 450mm for an SZ1 and increasing from 25mm per size to 500mm for the SZ3.

For the SZ2 and SZ3 there are two options for the length of the dropper post. Our SZ2 bike was fitted with a 170mm dropper, which left 25mm between the top of the seat clamp and the bottom of the post clamp when fully inserted. I’ve never had a clearance issue, but this intermediate link pivot interrupts the seat post insertion depth, which could be a problem for riders with a shorter crotch or a different downward position.

Up front there was a 100mm head tube and 37mm BB drop, creating a short stack height and an aggressive, forward riding position. Henry and I both found ourselves using the 20mm spacers under the stem and replacing the 25mm riser bar with a 35mm bar.

It is advisable to set the smaller 185mm x 55mm trunnion rear shock to 23% sag, so that you won’t kick rocks and the anti-squat stays in the area for transmit a maximum of watts. For my 73kg weight, I had to run 240 PSI in the Float X2 which could leave heavier runners to exceed the pressure limit of 350 PSI.

Geometries such as a 64º head tube and an effective seat tube angle of 77º are pretty standard these days, but the Arrival is versatile and doesn’t hold up in rough terrain. Chainstays increase proportionally from 437mm on the SZ1 and SZ2 frames to 441mm on the SZ3.

Other attributes of the frame are the double row bearings on all kingpins, which are housed in the links, not the carbon, a threaded BB and… gasp, Superboost rear hub spacing. I’m not sure why this is such a hot topic, as the bike comes with its own premium wheels. This specification reduces wear on the larger sprockets by keeping the chainline straighter on this wide hub and combines with a narrow Q factor of 52mm.

Inside the beautifully finished Cerakote raw to matte frame are insulated foam tubes for the cases. This method replaced guided internal routing for a reason: quality carbon compaction. Internal guides can prevent compaction during carbon molding and leave voids, which can be areas of stress build-up.

As far as workmanship goes, all of the threaded mounts and axles feed replaceable keyed alloy nuts, not carbon except for the BB shell and proprietary brake mount. This mount bolts directly to a 180mm rotor for the strongest and most durable design. Unsurprisingly, the frame is backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.

What’s really interesting is their crash repair program. We Are One offers to repair the frame without profiting financially from the service. It is actually more expensive to repair the frame element than to replace it, which shows that they are aware of their environmental impact. They also assemble Arrival in Kamloops without plastic wrap or zip ties and practice reusing packaging from other component manufacturers.

For $ 8,899 USD, the Arrival comes with the SRAM XO1 mechanical groupset, Fox Factory suspension, Magura MT5 brakes, Chris King helmet, SDG dropper post and Vittoria Mazza tires. Of course, you’ll find their famous Union carbon rims paired with Industry 9 1/1 hubs and Da Package carbon bar and alloy stem combo.

The Limitless version costs $ 10,999 with a full SRAM XX1 AXS wireless drivetrain and dropper post, Magura MT7 brakes, I9 Hydra hubs and is finished with the same We Are One parts mentioned in the other version. That’s a steep entry-level build price, but we’re talking about high-end components on a carbon frame made in North America.

Right now, complete bikes are the only option, but there are production plans to offer rolling chassis and Push 11/6 shock absorber options.

Escalation

Surprise – the lightest bike of the lot was also an efficient climber, both on the track and in the efficiency test. Yes, there is an up switch, but it really isn’t necessary. The bike would just go forward when you stepped on the pedals, not up and down, due to this link setup. Don’t let this undermine the Finish’s descent capabilities, as we’ll discuss that shortly. When pointed back and forth up the hill, rear wheel traction was plentiful and maintained excellent performance over small bumps.

You might think that the BB’s large drop would lead to cranking and awkward navigation on uphill tech roads, but this is where the 23-25% sag suggests meaning. I like to preach on bikes that retain their geometry, or at least front-to-rear balance, and the Arrival is one of them. This makes the timing of pedal strokes predictable as you put the power down or rush through the features of the stepped trail.

I found the steep seat angle and lower bar height to be an advantage when climbing, and I was repeatedly surprised by the Arriving’s ability to climb ridiculously steep inclines. The shorter rear center made the limit of traction a bit easier to find, and I was able to shift my weight accordingly, while keeping the front wheel from shifting.

Descending

Immediately, when I jumped on the Finish line, I felt like I was my two points of contact; hands and feet were close to the ground, as if I was on a brisk slalom bike. At slower warm-up speeds, it was noticeably lighter and more agile, like the YT, compared to the bigger hitters in the fleet. I was eager to throw this thing into high speed berms, but I also had some initial reservations about how the lesser displacement and low body position would play out on the steeper, rougher trails. Did we mention how fast the trails are at Sun Peaks?

I have to say that I was blown away by the ability of the Arrival on serious downhill trails. Of course, the limit was a finer balance to the pace of the race than the longer travel and longer wheelbase of the Range and Force Carbon, but this suspension really gave the Finish some muscle. There was no shortage of stability thanks to the heavy compressions and brake bumps, which contributed to the confidence levels.

In those areas of heavy braking, the bike remained active and the double-link suspension did not squat or firm the suspension. I was really impressed with how this little rear shock did everything so well, including those noiseless singletrack sections. The Float X2 helped the right amount of kinematic progression. No, it’s not a high pivot, but the axle trajectory seemed to push the wheel apart without using a lot of travel. Feedback from the drivetrain was minimal, both in terms of pedal rebound and noise.

The only place I noticed a bit of feedback was at slower speeds on a single technical track above the roots, but I think it was more about my level of engagement and my body positioning. The Finish definitely rewards a runner who charges.

While it can chase welterweight enduro bikes on rough downhill trails, there is a limit. It still has some elements that keep it on your line, but you’re asking a lot of 152mm of travel from full downhill runs. It is more demanding to ride at these speeds on longer sections of physical track, but it can be done with a little more focus and skill.

When Mike Levy asked the question “Which bike would you choose for an EWS season?” », I was divided between the Finish and the specialized Enduro. The main differentiator would be the fatigue factor. With the Arrival’s shorter trip and speed-hungry attacking character, he could be more physical on the longer race stages. The 170mm front and rear travel Enduro slightly forgoes the ability to duck and squeeze through tighter corners, which the Arrival loves and our timed tests have proven. Otherwise, both bikes feature contemporary geometry and respectable weights, making them the best candidates for enduro racing.

If you were to give me a bike to go anywhere on the planet, I would pack my bags and pack an Arrival. There would be very little terrain I would avoid on this bike. Its full suspension attributes and geometry adapt well to all types of trails. It has that rally car responsiveness that would suit driving destinations with a heartbreaking technical single track, topped with plenty of bends and jumps to knock down; Bellingham, WA, Bromont, QC, and of course Kamloops, BC are a few areas that come to mind. The Arrival is a versatile enduro bike that impressed us with its eagerness to follow some longer touring bikes.


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