Over the next few days I want to focus in on a few new products that caught my (camera) eye at the Interbike trade show. Alot of these won't be 29"er related because I'll be covering those items over on Twenty Nine Inches. Do check that site for my take on some of the new sleds fit for big wheels.
That said, here is one rig I have to mention here! The Salsa "Mamasita" Scandium/ carbon frame. It got my "Best of Show" designation for the 29"er category at Interbike. Here's why: First off, it's a great looking bike! Salsa has some really good graphic design on all of their bikes and the Mamsita was no exception. Secondly, this is a very smartly designed hardtail utilizing some high zoot materials in a very logical way. Take for instance the carbon seat stays. Sure, there were other carbon rear ended 29"ers at the show, but you could tell that the Mamasita had a purpose for using the material other than the bling factor. I'm not saying the others didn't have a purpose for using carbon fiber, it's just that it wasn't obvious that it had a purpose. The Mamasita's purpose for it was readily evident. Vertical compliance and strength. There's more, the Scandium down tube that was clearanced for suspension fork control knobs, (Reba) and integrated cable stops in the left seat stay for brake lines. This design was well thought out. Plus, it wasn't some goofy "I can be single speed-I can be geared" hardtail. It's purpose is clear. Geared racing XC machine. Period. I like that! Commitment........it's a word too oft not applicable to 29"er designs these days.
So, Mamasita got "Best of Show" for those reasons and more. Check out the Mamasita yourself come Spring '08 for sub $850.00 for the frame. Available at any independant bike shop with a QBP account.
Next up we have this! It's a carbon fiber suspension seat post! This is a prototype post that Ergon, yes.....ERGON the grip people, are developing. I saw this post in action and all I could say was "Wow!" It has two parallel carbon "fork blades" that blend into a round cylinder shape for the seatpost part. The two "blades" are then attached to an aluminum head that has two pivots and the seat rail clamp on top. When a rider sits on the saddle, the post remains stationary. But when the rider bounced on the saddle, the posts "blades" flexed and the saddle moved rearwards. The pivots on the head kept the saddle parallel with the ground. It works to absorb smaller trail impacts and to take the edge off of sharper impacts. The rider moves slightly rearwards during bump absorbstion, much like you would on another companies popular suspension seat post. (Cane Creek)
Anyway, I thought this post was amazing and it shows you another of the thousands of amazing uses for carbon fiber. By the way, there was no price or availability date set for release of this post. I'll keep you all up to date on any further developements on this product.