Friday, August 02, 2013

Friday News And Views: More "News Season"

Velocity "Dually" profile
I have to admit that when the Surly Krampus came out, and I rode one at Interbike, I figured there would be a fair number of components and bikes hitting the market by now that would capitalize on the craze the Krampus obviously created.

The components and bikes never materialized though. Well, a few rims, maybe, but nothing else beyond a few custom built bikes surfaced that all used Rabbit Hole/Knard combinations. Well, that trend is about to be changed.

Velocity let me know quite awhile ago that they intended to come out with a bigger rim than the P-Blunt. (Formerly the P-35) That rim is 35mm wide and at the time, was the widest, easily available mtb rim out there. (Sure- there are some trials rims and small run-small company projects out there, but these are not widely known.) Then the Rabbit Hole came along and at its 50mm wide size, it cut a line between the 65mm Large Marge and the P-Blunt. Now Velocity will have its own product in this "mid-sized" area.

The Dually will be only available in 32 holes and in black ano or silver polished at first. More "options" will appear later, as in anodized colors, more drillings, and I would assume the 27.5" size as well. (700c and 26" only at first.) The rim should find a home with riders looking for a narrower, lighter rim for fat bikes or for an an alternative to the Rabbit Hole for the 29 X 3" Knard tires. These are done up in Velocity's own tubeless ready format, and while I do not know if a Knard will play nicely with it, there are a few bigger 29"er tires that will. It will be interesting to see how those tires might act on such a wide rim.

The Fasterkatt
45NRTH has announced a new boot, which I think is a great idea. Trouble is, it will be a big scrum rush to get the first shipment, and if the Wolvhammer is any indication, you'd better be on the front if you want these. But we'll see how that goes, won't we..... Seems as though the QBP way is to put out minimal product, whip up a demand, and leave a lot of folks wanting in the end while stock is out till the following year.

Anyway, a cycling shoe with a built in bootie. It has been done before, but not as fully and with such technology brought to the fore as with the Fasterkatt. The Fasterkatt is weatherproofed with a waterproof membrane, sealed off bottom, and a waffle insole that features wool and a reflective layer of aluminum. They claim your feet won't get wet and will stay warm down to about 25°F

Traction is enhanced with a new outsole made from "micro-glass" enhanced rubber. Two bolt cleats only with a provision for toe spikes as well. 45NRTH made a big deal about these being cyclo cross shoes, but I see these as being great commuter shoes and gravel grinding footwear for the colder months.

 I personally hate booties because they are not part of your shoes and always are shifting around when you get off the bike for any reason. They never line up with my cleats, fouling my pedal entry, and in snow, they pack up underneath with ice and snow and you know what that ends up doing. That's right, your feet get ice cold and you are miserable. Did I mention I hate booties?

I have pretty warm feet, so these may end up  being a shoe I could wear right down into the teens on days it isn't windy. I am pretty sure I would like these, and maybe I will have to pinch my pennies to get them.......well, that is if they are available when I am ready to buy, that is!

SRAM X0-1 Introduced
SRAM introduced the expected. X0-1 is basically a slightly heavier XX-1 and otherwise is functionally the same as its premier sibling. This is the SRAM way of doing things: Introduce high end product, then trickle down the benefits over time through to the lower groups in the range. Gotta have it now? You'll pay the price.

Interestingly the media keeps "wondering" if SRAM will trickle this down to lower groups and lower price points. Why wouldn't they? Shimano has nothing like this, and as long as Shimano has no response, the market will belong to SRAM. I fully expect that we will see the 11spd 1X concept to go down to at least X-7 levels.

Interestingly, the X0-1 is using the "old" 94BCD for the crank. 94/58BCD is something I was asking for years ago for 29"ers. In that bolt circle diameter scheme, you can mount a big ring down to a 30T easily, and 20T granny gears are easily mounted as well. It was a popular bolt circle diameter in the late 90's and was super versatile, but of course, it was in a five bolt pattern back then, and not the four bolt pattern used now.

3GR: Happening again from Gates Swimming Pool parking lot at 8:30am. We have been getting in about 40-50 miles depending on where you ride from. I've been getting home about 11:30 or a bit before, so it doesn't take all day.

See ya soon here, but in the meantime, have a great weekend and ride yer bikes!


Matt said...

"Seems as though the QBP way is to put out minimal product, whip up a demand, and leave a lot of folks wanting in the end while stock is out till the following year. "

Yes, this. It's why I don't own any QBP bikes... seems some in particular are only in stock a couple months out of the year.

oldmanandhisbike said...

I saw those 45N shoes recently and it looks like a great idea. may have to get a pair for winter riding this year!

Exhausted_Auk said...

Hope to make 3GR tomorrow.

Michael_S said...

GT, you're full of it today! Good news that is. I'm dying to get a new ECR or maybe get a custom bike built for the Knards. I like the Dually's and would go that way over the Rabbit Hole. "We" do need another tire in this size too.

Steve Fuller said...

The new shoes look nice, but I can't really justify them since I already have a pair of Wolvhammers in my closet.