Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thursday News And Views

There are many things that don't quite tie together to talk about today, but as usual, the theme is cycling. So, here we go....

<===Image courtesy of Hayes Brakes' Twitter feed.

In the first of what is sure to be many new developments  for cyclo-cross brakes, Hayes Brakes released this image of a mechanical disc brake caliper they are calling the "CX-5". The description was that this is a polished, anodized, lazer etched and lightweight mechanical brake that will work with road levers.

I expect to see Shimano, SRAM, and others follow suit, and I also expect almost all of these will be mechanical disc brakes to start out with. Why? Because developing another line of hydraulically actuated brakes incorporating the lever body as a master cylinder/shifting mechanism will be a huge financial and engineering undertaking. Besides, the market for such levers is an unknown at this point, so without OEM support for such a project, I don't expect to see hydro road disc brakes with master cylinders in the shifting mechanism anytime soon. That's why most of the hydro brakes on CX bikes have used Bowden Cable actuated remote master cylinders tucked under the stem.

I'm not saying hydro drop bar levers won't come out, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see something pop up this fall as a prototype, but full on "brifters" that are hydraulic for the masses are a ways off yet, I think. Maybe just a lever will show up? I think that is more reasonable to expect.

<===Images courtesy of Raleigh's Twitter feed.

Raleigh is in the midst of their 2012 catalog shoot, and there are some sneak peeks of their line up of 29"ers showing on Twitter.

This is the 2012 XXIX, which looks relatively unchanged from the 2011 model with the exception of the paint scheme and tires. I'll be honest, I am not a fan of this bike's geometry, and that steel fork is the most brutal device for holding a mountain bike wheel this side of a Klein Attitude.

And here is perhaps the entire 2012 29"er line up on one bike rack from Raleigh. Rumor has it one of these is carbon. (I know.....I am shocked too!)

I am not sure what Raleigh is doing, but at one time, say......three years ago....when they had the XXIX Pro Reynolds 831 framed bike, and the hints of a 853 Reynolds single speed frame were being bandied about, well, then I was pretty stoked. Unfortunately, the XXIX got hacked so they could put a belt on the thing, and the 853 Reynolds stuff is gone. Too bad. I wish Raleigh had the same kind of vision for the mountain bike line as they do for the road bike line up. At least they are doing decent, relatively inexpensive aluminum 29"ers right. So, whadda ya say Raleigh? Hows a bout a "Heritage XXIX+G" in steel with a single speed option featuring that awesome geometry you used to do?

 Holy cow! That Specialized Blacklite Command Post I wrote about here? Wow, does that make a big difference!

<===Command Post in  "Descender  " mode on the Big Mama.

I decided to give the thing a try on a steep chute at Cedar Bend I haven't gone down before, and it made going down child's play. Crazy! Just getting that saddle down and out of the way opens up a whole nuther dimension to riding that I wish I had jumped on sooner now. Likely folks reading this that have been on dropper posts are chuckling and shaking their heads, but if you are one of those that have never tried one of these, you really ought to. It makes a huge difference in how well you can go down.

In fact, I can tell you right now after one ride that I'll never go without one of these on at least one of my bikes from now on. That's how much of a difference it makes. Now whether or not the Specialized Command Post cuts the mustard or not is yet to be seen, but it is pretty good. I am thinking right now it is just a matter of learning something new, and making a few tweaks. We'll see.

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