To celebrate our 40th Anniversary and the launch of our new Santa Cruz, CA factory, we’re shipping the first 40 Exie’s with a special anniversary build kit. Each component was hand-selected by our CEO and Head Weight Weenie, Hans Heim. Over the past year, Hans has put over 4,500 miles on his prototype testing various components.
Naturally, the first bike to come off the production line was destined for our Founder and Director of Good Times, Scot Nicol. We laser etch the anniversary number on the top tube of each 40th edition frame and Scot received 0⁄40.
Since he loves to prank us, we decided to laser etch a few easter eggs on his personal bike. You can find his nickname on the opposite side of the top tube and his favorite hashtag on the bottom bracket.
The rest of the frame is “stock”, except for a small 40th-anniversary decal applied to the downtube. The same decal is present on the anniversary bikes raced by our EWS team earlier this season.
The 40th Exie build kit features the 60g Hyperstem from the Italian wizards at Extralite. The stem weighs half of what a “lightweight” stem normally weighs at about two-thirds the weight of a Deck of Cards. This engineering marvel is tough enough to carry an enduro rating, even though it’s one of the lightest stems available.
Suspension duties are performed by the new Fox 34 Stepcast which weighs an unbelievable 3.30 lb / 1496 g. While a Fox 32 Stepcast would have been lighter, we didn’t want to compromise performance. We picked the 34 because it kicks ass and the fact that it’s amazingly lightweight is a bonus.
For wheels, we laced our Ibis S28 rims to Industry Nine Hydra Hubs in a lovely shade of blue. At 405g, the rims are light enough for cross country use, but tough enough for trail riding. Capable yet light. Can you sense a theme?
Sharp eyes may notice the mismatched tires. While some may consider it a cardinal sin, it comes down to performance. Up front, the 2.4” Maxxis Rekon Race delivers the highest traction-to-weight ratio of any tire in the universe. OK, we made that up but you get the point; lightweight, excellent traction. It’s paired with a Continental Race King in the rear, which actually is the fastest tire we’ve ever tested.
According to Hans, “The rear of the Exie supports about 65% of your weight, so you can get away with a higher traction and slower rolling front tire as only 35% of your weight is on that end. Our rear tire spec is incredibly fast and saves 10w over similar rear tires. It provides a disproportionately large savings in rolling resistance.”
Drivetrain duties are performed by Shimano’s crisp-shifting XTR drivetrain. There’s nothing that performs on the same level when shifting under power at race pace. When it came to cranks, there was only one option.
The Cane Creek eeWings not only look spectacular, but they are super strong, stiff, and lightweight. Over the years, Hans has broken half a dozen lightweight cranks. In addition to being fragile, these products tend to creak after a few months of regular riding. However, his original set of eeWings are still spinning smooth and quiet after 4,500 miles of KOM-chasing abuse.
Perhaps the coolest individual component on our 40th is the custom Bike Yoke 125mm Divine SL Dropper. Normally, the SL is only available as an 80mm dropper. At 405 g (for a 31.6mm post), it is the lightest fully adjustable dropper post on the market. We begged them to deliver a 125mm version and they did. Just for us. And just for this bike.
With a generous amount of tire sealant, a 2021 Stepcast (which is 146g heavier, the new forks just arrived), trail-capable wheels, and a dropper, Scot’s personal bike weighs 22.7 lbs. The parts chosen for this special anniversary build reflect our design ethos: they’re tough, durable, and also happen to be lightweight. The end result is a dream-worthy build that can be ridden hard for years to come.
Of course, when we say we built 40 of these special bikes, we kinda mean 50. We made an extra 10 for employees and bike shop owners. You can tell these are extra special (emphasis on extra) because these are labeled 0⁄40, 41⁄40, 42⁄40 and so on.
All 40 (er, 50) units shipped from our warehouse last week. If you’re very lucky, you may find one at a dealer near you.