|Kona Raijin Prototype: (Image Courtesy Kona Cog blog)|
Signature Lynskey design touches abound here, and one starts to wonder when the brand on the down tube starts to lose its meaning. Sure......it's got a 69.5 degree head angle, but beyond this, what is really any different than a Lynskey or a Salsa Cycles offering? Not a whole lot.
Now, I realize I am riding a Lynskey made rig, and I have ridden a few others made by them. They do great work. My point isn't that "Lynskey is bad", my point is that if you are bothering to have one manufactured by them, you might want to somehow make a strong visual distinction from the "standard issue" Lynskey cues. I don't think anyone would bat an eyelash at first glance at this bike if it had a sandblasted Salsa Cycles logo on the down tube. Ya know?
That said, I am sure the Raijin is a cool riding rig. Gotta wonder what the chain stay length is here. I noticed its screaming non-disclosure in the blog posted specs. One other possibly telling cue: The rear tire is a Maxxis Ikon. Not a voluminous, wide tire. Maybe that's all that would fit with mud clearance with the sliders pulled all the way forward as they are here. If so, that won't fly too well with the forum-freaks. We'll see.
Well, that is why things like the new WTB Frequency rims are going to be cool. These are looking like some pretty well thought out rims here. The bead seat is optimized more toward the UST side of things, and the sealing tape and sealant is right from Stan's playbook. Solid, reliable stuff there.
Then WTB's design work is added on top. "I-Beam" extrusions have been a feature of WTB rims since the late 90's. I used a set of Lazerbeam rims once back in my 26"er days and was really impressed with the lightweight/toughness combination they exhibited. I would suspect that the 29"er version, with current refinements, would be as good if not better. WTB also optimized the spoke drilling angles and added the "Unbendium Bulge" for strength. Good, smart stuff.
Anyway, these are available now in 26 or 29 inch versions with 19mm or 23mm inside rim well dimension variants to choose from. MSRP on the 26 and 29 inch versions are $75.00 and $80.00 respectively. Now you know.
|On One Scandal 29: Image courtesy of shedfire|
You know the bike in the image doesn't look like a Lynskey. It looks like an On One bike. You know this from the signature seat stay arrangement.
So, ya know......that's what I am talking about. Get something unique out there. (Whoa! Never thought I'd write that about 29"ers, but they are mainstream now days.) The Kona Raijin isn't really much to crow about in terms of its looks. It does have some unique stats, but I dunno.......
Maybe I'm wrong here, but it just strikes me as a bit "ho-hum".
Okay, well.......enjoy the non-winter! Get out and ride a bike, take some pictures, and have an adventure.