Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday News And Views

So....When Does Registration Happen? 

Okay folks......remember when I said I didn't want to get a bunch of you pinging me about registration Have you bothered to actually read the Trans Iowa site's "Details & Registration" page?

Many of you have, but guess what? Some of you have not. Some say that getting in to Trans Iowa is as hard as the event itself.......really? Try reading and following directions folks. It isn't all that hard. Maybe I expect too much........

Sorry about the mini-rant. Now on to a bit of TIMP news, and the very last attempt which will be starting this Saturday at 9:00am. For all the SPOT tracking fun you can stand, go HERE. Greg Gleason, the T.I.V10 champ, is gunning for a sub-24 finish of the 380 mile course. Can he do it? Will the weather allow for it? Keep clicking the link to see!

Yep! I got a B+.
Plus Sized Madness:

 The B+ thing I've been talking about? I will be testing it out to see if there really is anything to it here soon. I have some ideas that I think would be great for such a concept, but the B+ thing needs to "measure up" to expectations first.

The components to make the experiment happen showed up this week. I'll be using some of my own hubs, Chris Kings, and lacing them up to these Velocity Blunt 35's and there will also be another wheel set in the makings to try these out on as well.

The idea of B+ is that you could have a voluminous tire, (2.8"er), that would fit into a 29"er frame to allow for a "mid-fat" experience without having to buy anything but wheels and tires. My take on it is that this might be a great idea for a fully rigid chassis that might work well comfort-wise as a bikepacking platform, or as a rigid single speed bike with give. We'll see soon enough.....

The "madness" is all this wheel size nonsense. It's confusing and isn't really well understood. I was chatting with my boss yesterday and we thought it would make more sense if rim size and tire sizes were kept totally separated. For instance, if this were the case, all mention of "29"er", 27.5, B+, 650B, 29+, or "fat bike" would all go away. Here's how we see it.....

You take the ISO rim size- for instance, 584. This describes the diameter, then you add rim width, say inner rim width, since that's all that really matters with disc wheels and tubeless set ups. That gets you everything you need to know for dimensions on a rim. You'd have a 584/25mm, let's say. Then take the tire and use the ISO diameter again- (584 in our example)- so you simply matchy-match those tire numbers with rim numbers. Then you add in the overall width of the casing, (which most of the time is an approximation anyway), and then you know if said tire is a match for said rim. So 584 X 52mm, let's say. Manufacturers could simply say a bike is set up with 584's, or 622's. It'd be pretty obvious if it were a mountain bike or road bike, I think. And make everything be measured in millimeters!

I's a pipe dream.

Rather Tamland-like
Another Gravel Bike:

Many long time readers know about the Tamland by Raleigh from my posts here about that bike. (If you don't, this post explains it all) The ideas behind the Tamland were also put to work on a U.K. Raleigh offering, and will appear in aluminum for 2015 as the Raleigh "Willard" model. Raleigh is owned by Accell Group, and they have several brands. So it wasn't that big of a surprise when I came across another rig that seemingly is in the Tamland's genetic pool, if you will.

It is in the Torker line for 2015 and the model is the "EM 50", which sounds like a farm implement model designation or something. is looking like a good budget entry into a bike that was designed for gravel riding and exploratory back road shenanigans. MSRP is $1250.00 and it is equipped with a Sora gruppo and disc brakes.

Another Gravel Tire:

The Panaracer "Gravel King 32" (courtesy of Panaracer's Facebook feed)
 Last year Panaracer introduced the pretentiously named "Gravel King" tires and rolled out a 23mm, 25mm, and 28mm size range.......for gravel? Really?!!

I am sure that almost all the guys and gals that ride gravel that I have met at Trans Iowa or elsewhere would not even consider a 28mm tire and certainly not a 23mm tire as being king of anything but pinch flats, but there ya go. A company jumping on a perceived trend and missing the bulk of the market altogether.

Well, now it seems that the "Gravel King" has crept on to the radar screen for gravel riders since Panaracer has announced a 32mm wide version of this tire which is minimum width, as far as I am concerned, for any reliable gravel going tire. It's got kind of an odd tread pattern, but who might just work. I've ridden Panaracer Pasela tires on gravel and Bruce Gordon Rock & Road tires, (made by Panaracer) before and they are decent enough tires, so I would expect similar results at minimum for wear and ride feel. I just wish Panaracer would have paid attention to the 32mm to 42mm range, which is where the king should have its realm, ya know?

Okay folks, it is the last weekend of Summer! Labor Day weekend here and most of us have a three day hootenanny to look forward to. Get yer bike on and keep the rubber side down!


MG said...

Yeah... For a tire called "Gravel King" you'd think Panaracer would have chosen a size gravel riders actually use. If it's smaller than 38c, I'm not interested unless it's a tire for my road bike.

Peter Tubbs said...

While the Gravel King may be too narrow for the crowd on this blog, it would be a great fit on a crushed-gravel-that-gets- soft-when-wet like the Katy trail.

If that was a regular ride for me and the fam, it would get a look.