24/05/2012 | 10 comments
We tested Labyrinth’s excellent Agile trail bike back in issue 117, but now we’ve got our hands on their flagship DH bike…
Labyrinth may well be a tiny French company but as we’ve already seen from their Agile that doesn’t mean that they’re not capable of taking on the big guns. Despite being so small they are also fully committed to supporting riders on the World Cup circuit, mainly because they realise the value in getting feedback from the likes of Remi Thirion and Sabrina Jonnier. Although only recently released to the public this Minotaur has actually been in development for several years and last year Remi proved that it’s no slouch on the race track.
As you can see it’s a pretty neat looking bike with a super low centre of gravity. The ‘Adapt Link System’ which the suspension utilises is just a fancy name for a single pivot with a rocker linkage, but there’s nothing wrong with that as several of our favourite bikes use this kind of design. Using a rocker linkage allows Labyrinth to tailor the leverage ratio throughout the 8″ of travel, something that wouldn’t be possible with a plain single pivot design. They have chosen to give the first 3.6″ of travel a very low leverage ratio in order to maximise grip and small bump compliance, and then the middle part of the stroke (3.6″ to 7.2″) is pretty much linear to cope with bigger impacts and give good pedalling characteristics. The final 0.8″ of travel is then very progressive so that you won’t be bottoming it out all the time. Pedalling characteristics are improved even further by having the main pivot located pretty much bang in line with the top of the chainring.
Because the Labyrinth have tucked everything away and made everything look so neat it’s a little difficult to see exactly what is going on, but hopefully the photoshop masterpiece below (created by our work experience lad Ben Winder, who also took all the photos) will give you a better idea of what’s connected to what.
Link ‘A’ (all the blue line, it’s one piece) is the main rocker link which is attached to the front triangle via pivot ‘D’, and then this is pulled by link ‘B’ which is attached to the rear triangle at pivot ‘C’. It’s as simple as that.
The rear end comes as standard with dropouts that give a chainstay length of 445mm, but there is the option of swapping these out for some that shorten it to 438mm.
The back end…low and neat, just the way we like it.
This shot of the frame in the team finish gives you an even better idea of how neat the design is. The carbon mudguard keeps the shock and those linkages out of the firing line, plus it’s good to see a replaceable ISCG mount. Internal cable routing at the front helps the appearance of the bike even further, and there are no nasty tight bends so shifting should be nice and crisp.
Look out for a full test of this bike in a forthcoming issue of the magazine, but in the meantime here’s a few more spec’s…
Tubing: 7005 Aluminium with T4-T6 Heat Treatment
Rear Travel: 8″ (200mm)
Rear Shock: BOS Stoy or Stoy RaRe Option
Headtube Diameter: 1″1/8 – 1″1/5 Tapered
Headset Type: Semi Integrated Tapered
Recommended Fork Travel: 8″ (200mm)
Seat Tube Diameter: 31.6mm
Rear Brake Mount: Postmount
Rear Axle: 150mm x 12mm
Bottom Bracket: Standard 83mm
Chain Guide Fitting: ISCG 05
Dropouts: 2 Sizes Available (for 445mm or 438mm Chainstay Length)
Maximum Rear Tyre Clearance: 26 x 2.7″
Frame Weight: 4.7 Kg
Sizes: Medium or Large
Colours: White, Black, Polished or Team Version (White & Red)
Warranty: 2 Years
Effective Top Tube Length: Medium 570mm, Large 590mm
Head Tube Length: 130mm
Headtube Angle: 63.5°
Seat Tube Angle: 70°
Seat Tube Length: Medium 382mm, Large 432mm
Chainstay Length: 445mm (Optional 438mm)
Wheelbase: Medium 1185mm, Large 1205mm
Bottom Bracket Height: +15mm
Frame Only (no shock): £2095.00
Frame and Stoy Shock: £2549.00
Frame, Stoy RaRe Shock, Extra Dropouts and Cane Creek Angleset: £3125.00
Frame, Stoy Shock and Idylle Fork: £3799.00