It's getting close to the time when news of '07 product is going to be coming out, ( as I posted recently) and Trek is the first to rock the boat and rock it in a big way!
Rumblings of a tubeless system for 29" tires has been heard from the bowels of the Trek Empire for a couple of years now with promises that they would finally come out with it.....someday. Well, that someday is closer now that Trek has announced the existence of the product in an official press release on cyclingnews.com. Here is the "meat" of the news excerpted from that link:
"Naturally, Bontrager will offer several new tubeless-ready 29er tires to mount on the new hoops, including its extant Jones ACX and Jones XR tread patterns as well as a new Dry X. When combined with Bontrager's Super Juice sealant, the new wheel and tire combo is said to drop a whopping 315g from last year's Race Lite 29 wheelset and standard tubed tires."
The news also tells of a new rim that is tubeless compatible to go along with the system. If the system works as advertised, this will be a huge advancement in the 29"er format and should bring performance levels up a few notches. There will be alot of people watching this developement very closely!
Finally, in a bit of an ironic twist, Trek engineers working with Answer Manitou suspension people have developed a new suspension fork offset for 26 inch wheeled bikes! Ahhhh! Say it ain't so, Gary! We needed that on our 29"ers way worse than you needed that on your Genesis 2 geometry for your 26 inch wheeled rigs. 43mm. of offset in a suspension fork would be pure gold in a 29 inch format. I can only hope that there is some secret 29"er fork in developement from Manitou waiting in the wings to really take advantage of this new crown offset. In fact, I'm willing to bet that there is such a fork coming. It just makes way too much sense for there not to be such a fork.
Good news! Now we'll have to wait to be able to actually get our mits on the stuff. Any bets out there? Fall '06? Next year? Ya gotta be careful when it comes to Trek. Usually later than sooner with them!