Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday News And Views

Fat Bike News: I like "fat bikes". These are the "snow bikes" that you may have seen like the Pugsley from Surly Bikes. I have a Salsa Cycles Mukluk here already, and love to ride it around. Now there are going to be even more of these bikes available than ever before. I reported on the as yet unseen Moonlander from Surly, and now, here is another contender. This from the unlikeliest of sources, but perhaps not, On One:

Just A Prototype....for now!
On One has brought in some new and old blood which has re-energized the company and I look for more good things than just this fat bike. This is an idea broached by Shiggy, he of mtbtires.com fame. Shiggy got ahold of me several months ago and was asking a lot of questions about my fat bike. So.....I figured something was up. Then Brant Richards, (he was one of the originals of On One, left for a bit, and now has come back), posted this on his "Shedfire" blog yesterday.

Anywho....this is still a design in flux. It features a 44mm head tube, which is huge, but would accommodate a tapered steer tube fork. Also, and maybe more importantly, it would accommodate an angle set head set. Brant says this may get a slacker head tube angle than it has. Shiggy is calling it a "rock crawler". I like all of it!

Does the world need another fat bike? Look at this thread from mtbr.com and tell me you wouldn't want to do something like this. (Warning! You might be late for something because of all the awesome imagery in the linked thread!)

Look for more details on the On One frame coming this winter. I hear it may not become available until later winter or spring at the soonest.

With this, the new Moonlander, a Mukluk 2, (a better spec'ed aluminum framed Muk), and a titanium frame only Mukluk coming soon, the fat bike availability will be skyrocketing in the coming year. Will folks bite? You should think really hard about it, because it is more fun than you can imagine!

The Quick Release Is Dead! I've written before about how the "QR" is going the way of the Dodo Bird. But have you thought about whether or not we need through axles? Some companies are not convinced.

An Example of a 142mm X 12mm Through Axle Rear.
Specialized is one such company that does have through axle equipped bikes, but also does an oversized axle end cap design which they have said is stiffer than a 15QR front axle in their testing.

So, could we have such a device for the rear of our bikes and get through axle stiffness? I mean, take a look at what the actual interface is on the inside of a quick release and the frame. Not much contact area there, is there?

Quick release designs have pretty much been unchanged since the days of steel road bike frames from the 30's when Tulio Campagnolo designed the first one. He had no idea that there would be 6 inch travel mountain bikes. See what I mean?

Now, here you can stop and think about the Maxle, a SRAM/Rock Shox product, or maybe look at White Brothers Loop fork's 15 QR axle, and see some very familiar "qr-like" features. While they do not work entirely like a regular quick release, it doesn't take much imagination to see how "oversized quick releases" based on the same idea as a regular 9mm quick release could be done.

DT Swiss does another take on the traditional "QR" with is RWS type "ratcheting" skewers. These are really nice as well. I would combine the features of an oversized axle with a RWS-like function for a modern take on the regular "QR" that would basically render the "thru-axle", (threading into another bit on a fork or frame), unnecessary.

All we would really need then is bigger drop outs. Hey- If BMX-icans can do it, so can we. It's high time road bikes got in on this deal, by the way.

Yes: You Need To Add Air

The Air Commandments: Lately we have had a rash of "issues" at the shop where I work concerning folks that didn't realize that bicycle tubes and tires need to have the air topped off occasionally for proper performance and safety.

Yes- really!

So, as odd as it may seem to many of us, I can not assume that all my readers are aware that you have responsibilities as a cyclist to your tires and their care and feeding. Without the proper tire husbandry, your tires and tubes will wither and die, leaving you bereft of the innumerable joys of cycling. To aid in your understanding of your immense responsibilities towards your helpless tires and tubes, I offer these "Air Commandments". (Of course, much like the Israelites from biblical times, you will not follow these commandments and will anger the "air god" who will punish you with ultra-high roling resistance and permanently flat tires due to pinching.)

Thou Shalt Check Air Pressure Before Every Ride: To maintain your ride characteristics that bring ultimate nirvana, you must check your air pressure before each and every ride, or suffer accordingly.

Thou Shalt Own A Pump And A Gauge, And Know How To Use Them: Presta or Schrader, "Bar" or "psi", every rider should know the ins and outs of their tubes and tires, which are the most important thing on your bicycle besides yourself. Without properly functioning rubber, you ain't gettin' nowhere! Get to know a floor pump with a good gauge. You won't ever be sorry you did.

Thou Shalt Know How To Repair A Flat Tire: Duh! This one is a "no-brainer". (Or would you rather walk five miles because you don't want to get your hands dirty?)

Okay- do these and be happy. I say again- Rejoice! You will always be prepared and have tires that roll everlasting. The End!

Okay folks! Have a great weekend. Ride your bicycles. Have fun!



3 comments:

Courtney said...

4th air command :

Thou will us Stans and check Mountain Bike Tires with Thumb and not air gauge.

Johann Rissik said...

That Icelandic trip is something to dream about. Thanks.

Doug said...

Air Command...Love it!! Being an Air Force brat it would seem only natural that I would take to this...I am pretty darn finicky when it comes to air pressure. When I started mountain biking in the dawn of the 80's the tire was all the suspension we had. I dialed in my tire pressure with all the care one would lavish on a Titanium Who Brothers Fork, and I still do. On the road or in the dirt, a part of my preride routine is topping off my tire pressure, which is customized for the road surface, the temp, the elevation, and my mood. I love my new Silca locking valve head, by the way.