First Look: Last Bikes’ Asco & Celos Look Seriously Quick

I must admit that Last bikes have flown a little bit under my radar, and I’m sure I’m not alone. They make a range of bikes designed for trail and enduro, engineered in Germany and largely made in Europe. They include some impressively lightweight bikes like the Tarvo, which they claim is the lightest enduro frame in the world at 2.08 kg.

Today they’re launching two new bikes for downcountry and trail use: the Celos and Asco. They share the same full-carbon frame platform but provide different travel to suit their intended uses. For downcountry duties, the Celos uses a 50mm stroke shock delivering 120mm of rear-wheel travel and is paired with a 120mm fork. Meanwhile, the Asco is equipped with a 55mm stroke shock, giving 130mm of travel, and is paired with 140-150mm forks. Both claim impressive weight, progressive suspension, modern geometry and a host of thoughtful features.

Asco & Celos details
• Intended use: Ddowncountry / trail
• Wheel Size: 29″
• Travel: Celos: 120mm F&R, Asco: 130mm w/ 140-150mm fork
• Full carbon frame with two layout options
• Downtube storage (Superduty layout)
• Claimed frame weight: 1.79kg (Featherweight Layup); 2.09 kg (Superduty layup)
• Size-specific chainstays and suspension kinematics
• Head angle: 65-65.5-degrees (Asco), 66.1-66.4-degrees (Celos)
• 6-year warranty and 3-year crash-replacement
• Price: full builds from 7079€ (Celos), 6599€ (Asco)
• last-bikes.com

Frame Details

There are two carbon layups available for either travel option. Last call these layups Featherweight and Superduty. The Featherweight option has a ridiculously light claimed weight of 1.79 kg but has a maximum rider weight of 100 kg and max fork travel of 140 mm. The Superduty layup is 300g heavier but is rated for 150mm forks and 120 kg riders, plus it has a downtube storage compartment. Last claim that complete bikes can weigh as little as 22 pounds (9.9 kg) for the Celos and 23.1 pounds (10.5 kg) for the Asco.

The Superduty layup’s downtube storage alone is surely worth the 300g penalty.

Frame details include a tool mount under the downtube, a large carbon frame protector with foam padding underneath, rubber chainstay/seatstay protectors, a threaded BB, internal tubes for the cables built into the carbon, SRAM UDH and a removable ISCG mount. The seatstays and chainstays are sculpted for heal clearance and they can accommodate a 203 mm rotor inside the seats lefttay.


Suspension

Last use a flex pivot in the seat stays of their carbon bikes, which cuts down on weight, part count and maintenance. The rocker link is positioned to minimize the flex required at the seatstay pivot so there are no worries about it fatiguing over thousands of flex cycles. The rocker link drives either a 210×50 mm or a 210×55 mm shock to deliver either 120 or 130mm travel, respectively. Otherwise, the Asco & Celos frames are identical.

Flex stays are becoming almost increasingly popular on short-travel bikes, but Last offer a couple of things you won’t find on many other bikes: size-specific kinematics and loads of progression.

Progression is usually measured by subtracting the leverage ratio at the end of the travel from the ratio at the start of the travel, then dividing by the initial ratio. In other words, the percentage drop in leverage ratio from 0% to 100% travel. But Last measure progression from sag to bottom-out, which is a much better way to gauge the bottom-out force for a given amount of sag. Measured in this way, they say the Celos and Asco have 32% and 34% progression, respectively, meaning it will take about one third more force to bottom out than a fully linear bike. That’s a lot more progressive than average. Although looking at the scale on the graphs they provided, it looks to me like the progression is about 33% across the whole travel range. That’s still more progressive than most though.
Size-specific suspension linkages have been done before, for example by Cannondale and Structure as well as Last themselves, but it’s still a rare concept. The problem it’s trying to solve is that taller riders have a higher center of gravity (even relative to the wheelbase of the larger frames they ride) and this makes the bike less stable – more prone to squat into the travel when pedalling, or rise out of the travel when braking.

The idea of ​​size-specific kinematics is to raise the main pivot in the larger frame sizes; this increases the anti-squat and anti-rise values ​​relative to keeping the pivot in the same place, which compensates for the higher center of gravity so the bike should perform similarly when pedalling and braking for riders on any frame size. Obviously, this assumes you know the exact center of gravity height for a typical rider on each frame size (which is a stretch) but it’s a step in the right direction.


Geometry and sizing

Last name their frame sizes after the height of the intended rider (in centimeters, because they’re German and Germans are sensible). I think it’s a commendably pragmatic way of sizing bikes, but remember that the recommended rider height is just a suggestion, not a requirement; at 190cm I’d probably take the 200.

Last also go in for size-specific chainstay lengths, with 6mm gaps between most sizes except for the smallest two sizes, where presumably clearance limits how short they can go. It’s still far from truly “proportionate” chainstay lengths, where the rear center grows by the same percentage per size as the front center (only Forbidden seem to be doing that), but it’s still going to give taller riders a bit more weight on the front wheel relative to a one-size-fits-all chainstay length.


Pricing and availability

Celos Framesets:

raw | without shock 4399€
raw | Fox Float DPS Factory Series 4878€
raw | Rock Shox SIDLuxe Ultimate RL 4758€

Asco Frame sets:

raw | without shock 4399 €
raw | Fox Float X Factory Series 4928€
raw | Fox DHX2 Factory Series 5118€
raw | RockShox Deluxe Select+ RT 4598€
raw | Rock Shox Deluxe Ultimate RCT 4668€
raw | Rock Shox Superdeluxe Select+ RT 4798€
raw | Rock Shox Superdeluxe Ultimate RCT 4848€
raw | Rock Shox Superdeluxe Coil Ultimate RCT 4899€

Custom Color from 599€

Complete bikes are also available and configured to suit the customer. This includes the choice of the layup option, the components and the decals. The ASCO starts at €6,599 while the Celos starts at €7,079. The Featherweight- and Superduty-layups cost the same and the Superduty-layup includes two downtube storage bags.

Bikes can be shipped or customers can pick up their bikes in Dortmund and get their bikes adjusted during a guided ride.

Both bikes can be ordered now and Last say deliveries will start in October.


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