Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bigger, Better, Faster, More!

Oh great. I wonder what this is going to mean for us? I can't wait to blow the bead off of a rim at 120psi. People have been asking about tubeless for road for years, ever since the mtb stuff came out. Weights will be similar (if not identical) to tubed systems with the added convenience of carrying a spare tube if you get a flat. Is it supposed to be lighter? It ain't. Is it supposed to be more compliant? Open tubulars are the best riding tire (on a clincher rim) so far. Easier to mount? (Says so on the website). I doubt that something with a tighter bead seat diameter will be easier to mount. Just because you don't have to worry about a tube doesn't make it physically easier to get the tire on the rim. AND when you get a flat and need to put that tube in there on the road, when you are tired and sweaty, will be that much harder.

I'm a contrarian. It's just who I am. Stuff that I want and like gets way less criticism although I would like to think that I am kinda fair. That's human nature. If I'm proved wrong about these things (which doesn't bother me), I'll be the first one to start buying it and filling the shelves at the shop with it.

One cool thing, no doubt, is the carbon fiber bead. The kevlar was too weak (go figure) to make a lightweight tire so they had to figure something else out. Not only will that stiffer bead make it stronger, it might also find its way over to other tires. Maybe we can see stronger and lighter mtn bike tires. It would be nice to get some 29'er tires down a few hundred grams for the boys and girls out there. Hell, the dh market is always looking for lighter AND stronger. Here's hoping that Hutchinson has the presence of mind to pull this technology into other products.

Oh, and the new Rock Shox Totem forks have dropped in. They are available in coil, air in 1.5" and 1 1/8" steer. I hope I can find a way to get one of these on a bike this year. Again, I'm hoping that I can run one of these on a 6" travel bike. I'm stoked about the new e150sl on the Enduro SL but I'd rather have a light and stiff single-crown. I'll do some research and see if Brandon gives his approval. No point pissing off the guy who will be ok'ing your warrantee issue, right?

Of course, the next issue is that I can't get a Enduro SL frame without the fork. And who's going to take that off of my hands? Fat chance. I could be wrong.

Can't get the damn photos up again. I needs me some bloggerphotoviagra. Ok, we're good.

The fork that I'm in love with right now is the revelation 426. Shawn just plopped that sucker on his Sworks stump 120 and he loves it. The fork that I WANTED didn't exist yet. It does now. The Lyrik is basically a thru-axle version of the Revelation forks. 6 inch travel thru axle is the way to go for aggressive, big-guy xc riding, which is what I do. Which is what most of us do.

Rock Shox continues to up the ante for almost all categories of suspension forks for 2007. Fox redesigned some forks but no major technological advances or models. Manitou continues to be buggered by issues with dampers, Marzocchi uses ETA and TAS which are goofy and take too much time to mess with (if you ask me). Rock Shox forks are easy to jump on, dial in and ride.


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