|Gates Carbon Drive Center Track|
The Belt, or The Chain: I just posted a new write up on Gates Carbon Drive Center Track here, which you can read. In it, I discuss the good, bad, and the ugly about the new version of "The Belt". Short version: I like Center Track. It is all "gee-whiz", cool factor, and high performance wrapped up in a carbon embedded belt that looks like it came off a '72 Chevelle street rod. (In fact, if it whirred like a supercharger, it would be off the charts rad.) The thing is, it costs like a custom part off that '72 Chevelle street rod, and still doesn't have a lot of choices, or a good way for anybody to tension the belt with any certainty.
The Smart Money Is On "The Chain". nuff said
|Foundry Bikes "Router" 29"er carbon rig|
The Smart Money Is On: Later. Why? Because there may be too many made, and the market may not support that. Plus, who knows about some of these, whether they will ride well, have decent tire clearance, or be single speed-able. (That last one was a joke, kind of.....well, maybe not!) Market forces and availability, decent performance, single speed, or no....too many questions. Get an established brands bike with a few years under their belt? Sure, otherwise, I'd wait and see what happens. Might be advantageous.
|Intense Cycles Spider 29|
The Smart Money Is On: Yes Why? Because (1) Quick Releases for mountain bikes, and particularly 29"ers, are dead. Get wheels that have thru-axle capability front and rear now, or be sorry later. (2) Forks will be mostly tapered steer tube models, especially for 29"ers and longer travel mtb bikes in general. May as well get on that train now. (3) Get a dropper seat post. You don't know you need one, but you do, and the FS frames of the future will all be routed for them. Go ahead. Buy one, use it, and tell me I'm wrong.
Go Tubeless Now Or Later? Really, is this even a question? If you've not tried a tubeless set up yet, you should. The difference in performance is palatable. Is it better than tubes? (wait for it....)
The Smart Money Is On: Now Why? Because almost every wheel that comes out from here on out will have some sort of proven way to be made tubeless, and the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
Like my old boss at the car repair garage, who was floored back in 1997 when I told him bicycles still used tubes, we should all be just as flabbergasted in the coming years if we meet a mountain biker that still is using tubes in his tires.
Ditch the tubes now folks. There is no debate any longer that tubeless is safe and easy, and the way of the future.
Well, that about does it for this edition of "The Smart Money Is On...." Stay tuned for future editions of this little game when the fit takes me....