Thursday, September 01, 2011

"Big" News: Part II

As promised yesterday, absolutely no Eurobike-trash today!

I did get a bit of news though, that I have to share anyway. Vee Rubber, a company better known for making tires for Huffy's, Next bikes, and other industries, has recently decided that they would rather be known as a high performance, bicycle enthusiast brand. To that end, they hired former tire designer and tireless promoter, Jim Wannamaker away from Kenda Tires. Many of that brands most famous tread designs were fruits of his labors.

Well, I have it on very good authority from Eurobike that Vee Rubber has shown a 26 X 4.0 fat bike tire!

This is a tire that does not have a connection with QBP. (Every other fat bike tire in existence does.) Why is that important? Because now other brands will be encouraged to make their own fat bikes without having to go to QBP for tires. It will open up possibilities, and that is a good thing.

Last June, I busted up my knee, and that got me to thinking: I need to get some body armor.  Well, I just did.

I came across these from a company called "G-Form" and they were intriguing. Not a protection that is sewn in, or a hard shell type of protection, but something that had the look of a wearable pad that moved with the wearer.

So, this pad comes with a new material that I am hearing a lot about lately. "Poron XRD" is a urethane based material that absorbs impacts and does so over and over again. I saw how the stuff was supposed to work, and the price was great compared to competing products, so I purchased these.

My first impressions are that these pads are really comfortable to wear. It was in the 90's and humid the day I received them, and they didn't feel like garbage sacks on my legs. That was somewhat surprising. Then I rode a bit with them on, and they are totally invisible while riding. In fact, I felt that they actually have some breath-ability. While not spectacular in this regard, I wasn't expecting anything at all. So something was going to be good, and the amount of breath-ability I did feel was a bit surprising.

They are flexible, and don't bunch up in an uncomfortable manner. In fact, I have been wearing them a lot just around the house to see if they would be uncomfortable, and so far, they are not. They pretty much are similar to knee warmers, as far as how they feel. Just not hot and sweaty.

I'll be wearing these at Interbike's outdoor demo and will be meeting the G-Form folks out there. Stay tuned for further updates....

I mentioned getting the carbon fiber fork for Orange Crush yesterday, and here is the result. The Bontrager Satellite fork was on close out for a ridiculous price, so it was pretty much a no-brainer. This is the same fork that came on Trek X-0 cyclo-cross rigs a few years back.

It might be a tad bit longer, and a tad bit lighter, but the thing I wanted was the ride feel. Is it there? Hard to say with my puttering around that I did on it yesterday. I had to stay home with my kids, who were off from school. (Not that I am complaining. I love spending time with my two kids!) So, there were no longer rides on gravel to report to you on.....yet!

That will be rectified this weekend, as I am slated to go visit Ben Witt and ride some.  So, gravel riding will happen, and Mukluk wheel building should also happen. Even some Mukluk test riding may occur. Stay tuned for that!

This is the last, big, warm weather holiday of the year. Stay safe! Have a good time, and ride your bicycles!


Fred Blasdel said...

There was already not only a QBP-independent fat bike tire, but a complete fat bike:

The 4" tires, 100mm rims, rim strips, tubes, 135mm front hub, and a complete 2-speed kickback wheelset are all available separately.

Guitar Ted said...

@Fred Blasdel: Actually, I have it on good authority that the Spider tire was not independent of QBP, it just was never sold directly through their distribution network. ;>)

It also is quite well understood by fat bike aficionados that the Spider tire is sub-optimal for snow riding in comparison to a Larry or Endomorph- The two tires that were out at the same time as the Spider was.

Not to mention that the J&B Importers bike was next to impossible to get for the first part of the year.

All the fat bike tires previous to the Vee Rubber offering were from the same factory as well. So, this is a big step in a possible direction of an increase in fat bike related frames and forks for fans of fat bikes.

Ben said...

I am jealous of the tire clearance on that BMC. How does the fork handle the XR1's? Safe clearance?

Looking forward to this weekend. Should be all sorts of fun.

Guitar Ted said...

@Ben: The clearance is pretty good. Probably about the same as the Black Mountain Cycles fork it replaced, or perhaps a touch more. Definitely more over the tire.

Looking forward cto this weekend as well, Sir!