XDS Boss 2.0 | Matte Black/Blue | Performance MTB 2019
Now $1,499 $1,999
Brought to you by Ivanhoe Cycles Hallam
If you're considering the Giant Talon, Specialized Rockhopper or Trek X Caliber, then the XDS Boss must also be on your short list of mountain bikes. We explain why...
XDS BOSS 2.0 (2018)
When it's black, you know it's getting serious. That was the thought when we first gazed at the new XDS Boss 2.0. It's a seriously good looking bike, but its beauty is not just skin deep. The Boss 2.0 is the avid enthusiasts' mountain bike; superb suspension, brilliant wheels and the latest Shimano Deore wide range gearing. By the end of this preview, you'll be as well informed as we are about the Boss 2.0.
The Boss 2.0 is the bike for the rider thats been shredding on a crappy old hard tail and wants to get something much nicer. Or, if you've never tried mountain biking but would like to, and want to start with something that's upper-end recreational. Of course, the Boss 2.0 isn't just for mountain biking. If you crossover and do Rail Trails, family rides and adventure rides, the Boss 2.0 will happily do these too.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE FRAME DETAILS
So, XDS has been at the forefront of aluminium and carbon fibre frame production for years. They are the go-to guys for some of the largest brands in our industry; because they have access to some of the best aluminium forming techniques, and their capacity to manufacture serious amounts of bikes. As such, whatever they build under their retail brand tends to be very, very high quality.
Such is the case with the Boss mountain bike range. All share the same level frame, with varying degree of parts, depending on how much you value quality. The Boss frames use a triple-butted aluminium; there is 3 wall thickness to each tube section (most bikes at this level have 1 or 2, single-butted and double-butted, respectively). Engineering a triple-butted frame requires a better understanding of the loads the frame is subjected to; the material is removed from areas where it's not required and added to areas where it is, delivering a better strength to weight ratio.
Further frame enhancements also mean the frames looks super sharp and clean; internal cable routing hides ugly cables and minimises cable maintenance, and the smooth welds make the frame look like it's been made from carbon - you just can't see any joins. Rarely, if ever, do we see this level of attention to detail because it's too expensive for mainstream manufacturers to do.
FURTHER FRAME ENHANCEMENTS
Other frame features that are equally, if not more, important are the use of a tapered head tube and a thru-axle system to hold the rear wheel in place. Both these features are employed to deliver better handling and control to the rider. The head tube tapers from 1.5-inch to 1.125-inch at the top of the head tube. The reason why we use a tapered head tube is it can accommodate larger tube profiles - stiffening the frame and stopping it from twisting under power. In the flesh, you'll see how the down-tube has a distinct rectangle-square transition, this is to prevent unwanted flex in the frame.
New for 2018 is a thru-axle rear. A thru-axle is like a super-sized axle holding the back wheel in place more securely. Why for? Thru-axles improve the Boss' torsional stiffness; less flex throughout the frame translates into more control. The bike isn't twisting and flexing through corners, over tree roots and rocks, therefore delivering more control, more precision.
SUSPENDED WITH ROCK SHOX
Rock Shox has been at the forefront of suspension performance for many years. The Rock Shox Reba RL not only looks stealth, it's supple and precise in it's steering. It's their mid-level cross country fork; better performance than average and easy to tune. The Reba RL features air pressure, rebound and lockout. Construction is designed to be light (1,575 grams, compared to around 2,000g for Suntour forks); Magnesium lowers, aluminium crown and upper tubes. A QR15 thru-axle stiffens the front of the Boss 2.0 to deliver better control. The bigger axle means less flex, more precision and better control.
A neat air pressure chart on the fork leg allows riders to fine tune their pressure range. We'd initially set the Reba RL up for 20% sag; a nice balance of suppleness without feeling too spongy. Rebound determines how quickly the fork responds after it's been compressed; too quickly and the fork feels like a pogo-stick and too slow, the Reba feels sluggish, unable to cope with repeated impacts. Rebound on any fork should be set fast enough so that it responds to impacts fast enough to return to its neutral position (sag).
The blue lever on the top control Reba's low-speed compression; each click firms the fork until it locks out completely. If you're riding undulating terrain keep the lever 2-3 clicks in from full Open so that it responds to impacts without feeling mushy under pedalling power.
NEW SHIMANO WIDE RANGE
We are super excited to see Deore go wide range. Shimano Deore has always been at the affordable end of the performance; the features without the high price tag. Every Deore component has been updated for 2018 to deliver better quality. The range on the rear cassette has also increased to 42-tooth, where before it use to be 36-tooth. For those that don't have the fitness to climb or if you're climbing serious gradients, the wider range will be a blessing.
Unlike some brands, the XDS Boss 2.0 uses a double chain ring paired to 10 sprockets on the rear. This will suit riders who are using their new bike on a combination of Rail Trails, bike paths and mountain biking because the gear range isn't limited.
The new Shadow+ rear derailleur also has an updated stabiliser unit. The stabiliser can be turned on; this stops the derailleur from moving excessively over rough trails, quieting chain noise and preventing the chain from derailing.
Wide rims, new sealed bearing hubs and straight pull spokes create a killer combination of strength, smoothness and control.
Compared to bikes like the Giant Fathom 29er and Cannondale Trail, the rims are much wider than we usually see at this level (a very good thing) at 30mm. Wide rims allow the tyre to spread out; housing more air volume for better comfort and therefore delivering more control on the trails. Also, wider rims can be used at lower tyre pressures without pinch-flatting as easily. For bigger riders, wider rims are a must because of their strength and stability.
Sealed hubs should be standard on all proper recreational mountain bikes. They're not though because they cost too much. So it awesome to see that XDS have used sealed hubs on the Boss 2.0. The big deal? They don't need any maintenance and they roll, really, really smoothly. Dirt, dust, mud and water doesn't get in and contaminate the smoothness of the hubs. Ever. Just don't high-pressure hose the hubs.
Straight pull spokes are stronger than J-Bend spokes; there's no bend and therefore there's no stress concentration. It also delivers a laterally stiffer wheel; for better control and traction.
Rock Shox Reba RL
Clean dirt from the upper tubes and wiper seals; this extends seal life and prevents lower leg contamination.
Every 50 Hours
Lower Leg Service; extends bushing life, reduces friction and restores small bump sensitivity.
Every 100 Hours
Perform Damper and Spring Service; extends suspension life, improves damping performance and small bump sensitivity.
Every 3rd ride lube your chain with Rock N Roll (Blue). This will keep gear changes smooth, and extend your chain service life.
- Item condition: New
- Availability: In-store
- Brand: XDS
- Category: Hardtail Mountain Bikes
- Gender: Mens
- Size: Large
- Frame in inches: 20"
- Colour: Matte Black
- ID: 105776434
- Material: Aluminium
- Riding Style: Cross Country
- Wheel Size: 27.5"
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano SLX
- Top-shelf X6 Ultralight triple butted aluminium frame; internal cable routing
- smooth welds and tapered head tube.
- Rock Shox Reba RL
- Latest Shimano Deore M6000 components.
- Double wall rims + Eyelets + Sealed Bearing Hubs
- Shimano E-thru axle rear for improved handling.
- Maxxis Ikon cross-country tyres.
S, M, L, XL
X6 Ultralite, Smooth Welds, Internal Cables, Tapered Head Tube
Shimano Deore M6000, with RT66 disc rotors, 160mm
Shimano HG-500, 11T-42T 10-speed
Rock Shock Reba RL, Fast Black, QR15, 100mm travel
Shimano Deore M6000, 36T/26T, external bearing, sealed
Branta Strive , 31.8mm, aluminium CNC
Shimano External BB
Branta 27.2mm, 400mm length
Branta, 31.8mm, 700mm wide, aluminium
XDS MT Cross-Country Pro, Straight Pull, Sealed Bearing
Shimano Alivio, 9sp
XDS double wall, super wide 30mm
Maxxis Ikon, 27.5x2.25"
Shimano Deore, Shadow
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