Saturday, August 26, 2006

Book Report

I spent some time reading the Trek propaganda on the Fisher and Bontrager parts available for '07. Here are a few of the salient features that I found by ferreting through the info.

Slack Angle: The seat tube angle listed for the Super Caliber Race Day 29"er and the Caliber Race Day 29"er is a bit on the slack side at 72 degrees. Not a super surprise on a full suspension bike, but did you know that the Ferrous 29"er has the same 72 degree seat tube angle? That's a bit surprising, but of course, the info I read could be wrong. Anyway, I think that it's a bit interesting and rather old skool for the Ferrous to have that seat tube angle. Reminds me of my '92 Park Pre Team 925 that had parallel 72 degree head and seat tube angles.

Rig Available As A Frameset: Fisher doesn't really advertise this, but you could really upgrade that Monocog or other el-cheapo 29"er single speed with a Rig frameset. The frameset comes with a cool Bontrager SwitchBlade rigid fork too!

Tubeless Ready: Bontrager is finally advertising it's much rumored Tubeless Ready tire technology as being available for 29"ers. Here's the dealio: Bontrager ACX, XR, and a new tread pattern, the Dry X are all "Tubeless Ready". That means the bead of these folding tires has been designed to lock into the hook on Bontrager Tubless Ready rims in a more positive manner. That means that if you choose not to use a tube, you can rely on the tire and rim not to let you down by blowing off. The next step to getting the Tubeless Ready system up and going is to use the Super Juice sealant which causes the inner casing to "seal" up and retain air better. Plus, it's a sealant for punctures too. Once the Super Juice has a chance to cover the inside of the tire, the system is ready for tubeless duty on your favorite 29"er. Bontrager claims a significant weight savings over standard tubeless tires because they do not have to add extra butyl rubber to the casing to seal up the tire from air leakage. That's the Super Juice's job in Bontragers system. It's lighter, and there's how you save weight.

Availability Issues: The Fisher 29"er availability was pretty sketchy for '06. Trek says that this was due to a larger than expected demand and parts availability snafus. Trek claims that they are building more frames than in '06 to cover the forecasted demands and that the parts availability issues are solved. Look for better representation of Fisher's 29"ers on your shop's floors for '07.

Sizes Run Large! Looking at the geometry charts, I noticed that the effective top tube lengths and minimum/ maximum cockpit lengths on the Fisher 29"ers were putting me on medium sized frames! That's pretty surprising, since I've been large or bigger in most sizing scales since,...........well, since Junoir High School! Better check the sizing on a Fisher carefully before you purchase!

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