Lunch Anyone?: A couple days ago I posted about the new long travel/ big hit 29"er scene that is emerging. I mentioned that Lenz Lunchbox bike pictured on that post and said that it wasn't really available to the general public yet. Well, it turns out that is wrong, wrong, wrong! Actually, the story on that bike is that it is available as a regular model from Lenz now. The Lunchbox, named after a favorite set of trails called the "Lunch Loop", was put into production shortly before Interbike. The first small run was eagerly snatched up, but as they chip commercial says, "We can make more". So you really don't have to know anyone special, go underground, or use a secret handshake. Just contact Lenz Sport to order your very own long travel 29"er frame.
More Rumblings From The Coming Storm: As long as we're on the subject of long travel/ big hit 29"ers, I have heard more evidence of their impending arrival on a mountain near you. Seems that parts are being developed at an accelerated rate to make the genre' happen. Rims, tires, forks, and of course the frames to mount them to are now being tested. I can't say who, what, or where, but trust me: It's coming! This is interesting from the standpoint of what the "B" wheels were supposed to help "solve". Namely, the supposed problem of not being able to easily make a 29"er long travel bike work out. Well, from what I'm hearing, it can't be too much of a problem, or these companies wouldn't be hard at work trying to bring this stuff to market already. The proponents of the "B" wheels better hurry up and get some tires and rims done up double quick for AM/FR/DH or 29"ers will make that "B" size a moot point very shortly.
Shimano XT 29"er Wheels: Yep! If you missed that during Interbike coverage, Shimano is indeed going to bring a 29"er version of it's XT wheel set to market in '08. It's supposed to be a grown up version of it's 26"er wheels (scroll down for info at the link). If that is true then expect a lower spoke count, XC type rim with a center lock rotor attachment and tubeless compatibility. Stories on the prototype shown at Interbike indicated a late summer release, but my sources are saying no. Look for the XT 29"er wheels to be debuting at Sea Otter in April of '08 when Shimano has big release scheduled for new components.
.......And A Fork?: Shimano is also going to be introducing it's own carbon fiber rigid front forks for 26"ers and 29"ers under it's PRO brand component range in '08 as well. I took a close look at the currently Europe only 26"er "XC" model which bears a striking resemblance to the White Brothers/Fetish/Origin 8 forks, which we know are all the same manufacture. The fork crown in particular is a dead ringer for those 29"er forks mentioned. Hmm...........looks like that Asian manufacturer hit a home run with that catalog fork!