Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday News And Views

Titanium 29"ers: There seems to be a bunch of new titanium 29"er news afoot, some of which I have captured in my latest Twenty Nine Inches post. Note the comment in the comment sections as well from Motobecane. I find it interesting that it seems that titanium has become fashionable once again. The grayish hued metal is revered for its smooth ride quality and its ability to withstand oxidation (rust). However; as one frame builder once told me, steel can attain the same ride quality, be rust proofed, and cost half as much or less than a similar titanium frame and steel is more "tunable". That said, there is at least one titanium manufacturer that can draw any tube profile you want, but it will also cost you a small fortune to get it done. Still, the majority of titanium frames are going to be of the limited tube selection variety. I am not sure how big a deal that is, since I rode one of these straight guage titanium frames off road once and I thought it was a nice riding bike. Is titanium worth it? Hmm........I don't know. A lot of new titanium entries in the market would indicate that a lot of folks do.

Completion Of Builds Soon: I have posted a bunch on the OS Bikes Blackbuck recently and it is going to be ride able this weekend. Final details like cables and brake tuning are all that remain there. Beyond that it is about getting out to ride it and then start tweaking with the addition of some nicer parts here and there and swapping forks. That will come later. For now I will be happy just to ride any bike! This insane weather has all but shut down out of doors biking, but the good news is the weather is set to turn around. Anywho........this was about finishing bikes up. Yeah............... The Badger, that long, long ongoing build will finally see the end of that process this weekend also. Stay tuned next week and I'll post up final build pics of both rigs.

RAGBRAI Announces Route: Yes, that annual summer bicycle bacchanalia is set with a route for 2008. We already had a customer in looking for a new RAGBRAI bike too. I guess it is time to start hearing about " how epic" RAGBRAI is from all the clueless masses. You know, for them it is, but it is for all the wrong reasons. Most of which are conjured up in their heads. Heck, a monkey can ride RAGBRAI. It isn't that tough. Mindsets like these are why no one wants to ride their bike to work, or on errands because, know, only nutcases that do RAGBRAI can handle that sort of riding. (This kind of spew coming from folks that actually do ride bits of RAGBRAI) Reality is created for these folks, believe me. So, I was ruminating on all of this yesterday and came up with a truly sick, evil idea. Like the Grinch, when he thought of a plan to stop Christmas from coming, my face curled up in a devilish smile. I hurried over to the computer and tapped out a message to d.p., my partner in Trans Iowa. My idea? Read on!

I call it GrRBRAI. (Gravel Road Bike Ride Across Iowa) It would consist of riders that would be totally self sufficient, self contained, riding across Iowa on a route that ran in close proximity to the RAGBRAI route. Each day would be a stage that would be raced beginning at 6;00am. The winner of each stage will have self navigated the gravel road course using cue sheets ala Trans Iowa style racing. Then when each stage is finished at a RAGBRAI overnight town, riders would simply avail themselves of the ammenities already placed there for the cyclists coming into town. A seven day gravel road stage race with infrustructure already in place to accomodate cyclists. Brilliant! At least I thought so. was just a thought, so don't go off making any plans!

Oh yeah. The RAGBRAI route? Whatever! This gravel road idea is where you'll really see Iowa. Not that I am doing it. Just sayin', ya know?

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