Stephanie Obasi photographed by Oye Diran.
Gnarly rock gardens, fast berms and so much flow you would like to buy it breakfast the following morning… The Kronplatz marries all that with the sickest trails, awe-inspiring views and breathtaking scenery, rendering it the ultimate testing ground for the Design & Innovation Award 2018.
How can you really evaluate a product without getting your hands on it and getting it dirty? Looking and talking simply won’t suffice; it’s a question of rolling up your sleeves, testing, tuning and testing again. This is how the Design & Innovation Award distinguishes itself from the hordes of other awards. More than just your average discussions, the DIA testing team spent 16 days in San Vigilio, Kronplatz in Italy’s South Tyrol region to push the industry’s latest products to their limits. This year’s testing saw snapped chains, broken frames, wheels, tubes, shifters and tires – all in the name of science, of course.
Beyond being a haven for winter sports, the Kronplatz is well suited for summer riding holidays. With rock gardens, berms and trails with endless flow dropping in every conceivable direction from vast picturesque mountain plateaus the Kronplatz has a healthy menu to satisfy the appetite of any rider.
The Herrnsteig is probably the most hyped-up trail at Kronplatz and is the most brutal test for brake fade, handling at high speeds, and the stiffness and consistency of air-sprung suspension. Dropping 1,300 metres in its 8 km route, its newest built variants – dubbed ‘Hans’ and ‘Franz’ – present the ultimate testing conditions to push the limits of handling, suspension and the skills of the DI.A test crew.
Hot or not? We had countless mid-ride discussions to relay info on the bikes.
Thoughts on the day’s testing were collected each evening before everyone prepped for the next day’s ride.
Our test routes were so sick that it’s only fair to share them with you as GPX files. Each ride starts from the lift station in Reischach, where you can get the cable car to the top of the Kronplatz.
Insanely long and packed with big, fast turns, this 8 km trail drops a full 1,300 metres of elevation and is crammed with alternative trails that you can drop into from the original line. Take a left or right when you spot them – we were stoked with ‘Hans’ and ‘Franz’ which had perfect natural lines and sharp steep sections where you’ll need some skills.
GPX download Herrnsteig
Starting from the same spot at the top of the Kronplatz, you can’t miss the Furcia freeride route that heads off in the opposite direction. It has a ton of manmade berms and some swooping natural sections as you let off the brakes towards the south side of the valley. After a drop of around 500 metres of elevation, you can head back up with the cable car or ride the nicely packed gravel track.
GPX download Furcia
Find more information on the Design & Innovation Award 2018 and all awarded products in our special issue in the digital app format. Download the app for iOS or Android to read all articles on your tablet or smartphone.
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Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture (2013)
“In this hip, accessible primer to the music, literature, and art of Afrofuturism, author Ytasha Womack introduces readers to the burgeoning community of artists creating Afrofuturist works, the innovators from the past, and the wide range of subjects they explore.
From the sci-fi literature of Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, and N. K. Jemisin to the musical cosmos of Sun Ra, George Clinton, and the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, to the visual and multimedia artists inspired by African Dogon myths and Egyptian deities, the book’s topics range from the “alien” experience of blacks in America to the “wake up” cry that peppers sci-fi literature, sermons, and activism.
With a twofold aim to entertain and enlighten, Afrofuturists strive to break down racial, ethnic, and social limitations to empower and free individuals to be themselves.”
By Ytasha L. Womack
Get it now here
This completely self-sufficient, lightweight mobile home makes remote living feasible practically anywhere. The bug-like shell of the SCARAB houses every necessary amenity for modern-day living – including an on-board kitchen, a shower and lavatory, sleeping bunks, adaptable storage and work areas, freshwater holding tanks, an on-board water filtration system and battery cells. Eric Wang designed the SCARAB to be constructed using methods and materials used in the aerospace and nautical industries.
The hull of the SCARAB is made from reinforced carbon fiber, which makes it lightweight and highly-impact resistant. The height-adjustable leveling base makes the house adaptable to any terrain configuration, as well as in shallow waters up to depths of 8 feet (2.5 meters). It can also be anchored further away from the shore thanks to the pontoon base included in the design.
A unique system of rotation locks hold together the four major panels of the hull. Any damaged parts of the house can quickly replaced without compromising the structural integrity of the SCARAB. The interior floor panel conceals a large matrix of battery cells as well as an emergency backup generator.
Freshwater holding tanks and an on-board filtration system can sustain two occupants for up to two weeks. Clean air and optimal temperatures are ensured through the use of a centralized air-filtration and climate control system.
Via Yanko Design