Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday News And Views

pactbike Battlecat
The Evolution Of The Hardtail:

Just because I ride a lot of gravel roads these days doesn't mean I am not still watching what happens with mountain biking. One of the things I've noticed and that I cannot seem to get my mind off of is the move to longer, lower, and slacker mountain bikes with longer travel suspension forks.

The whole idea is intriguing to me. Most of these bikes are 27.5+/B+ bikes too, and I like that tire/rim combination a lot. Set up tubeless on wider rims, these wheels can give you loads of traction without the cumbersome acceleration a full on 29+ bike would have which keeps things fast, maneuverable, and over all, pretty fun. The over all diameter is slightly less than a 29"er, so you do lose certain nuances of a 29"er wheel. This is why I still think a 29"er with fat rims and fat rubber is also a good bike, just not a full on 29+ bike. 2.4"-2.5" tires is something I think is about right there. Trouble is that there are not a lot of tires in that size range. Anyway....

The point isn't about the tires, it is about the geometry. The long front/short, stubby stem set ups with sub 68° head angles. The shorter chain stays, low stand over height, and dropper posts. It is a different look and feel than where we have been with 29"er hard tail bikes, and those were so "XC-ish" for quite a while. I like this "trail-All Mountain" kind of hard tail, and so I find things like this, the pact bikes Battlecat, pictured above, and the Advocate Cycles Hayduke to be really interesting bikes. Then I wonder if you couldn't be in a similar ball park with the versatility of doing fat bike tires and wheels from time to time with a Surly Wednesday. Ah! It's all too much!

Besides, I have a nice Singular Cycles Buzzard already.......

The next project on my radar......
Standard Rolling Stock:

With the Project 1X1 bike up and rolling, it is time for another project to tackle. That has to be the wheels for my Twin Six Standard Rando. As I have mentioned before, I want to roll on some nicer, 11 speed compatible, disc brake hubs. I am aiming at obtaining some White Industries XMR hubs. I already have the WTB KOM i25 rims sitting there waiting to go.

As suggested by my cycling friend, Mr. Fuller, I am going with a "touch of color at the hub" and get the gold anodized versions to give the bike some pop off the base green powdercoat and black componentry. I'll likely go with black spokes and black nipples as well.

The WTB rims are tubeless compatible, so my plan is to wrap these wheels up with a nice set of tires, and the obvious choice will be the WTB Nano 40 TCS tires. Keeping it all in a system. I know it works and it will make the Standard Rando a great gravel road going rig.  I'll be posting about building those wheels when the hubs are procured.

Although the snow is all gone, it is still a day for the fatty.
Mud & Snow Tires:

The big snow we got last weekend is a memory washed away by warmer weather and rainy precipitation. The fat bike path I beat in last weekend was a worthy work that did what I needed it to do Monday, and maybe it was a mild benefit Tuesday, but I made it through on the 1X1, so it wasn't all that difficult. Of course, without snow, I shouldn't have to use a fat bike to get to work, right?


There are a couple of places where I have some serious mud to deal with, and that is where the fat bike to work idea starts to come into its own. Yes....there are long stretches where it doesn't make sense. However; the stretches of my commute that are prone to mud would make many of my other bikes grind to a halt, at worst, or really mess them up, at best. The fat bike has flotation over these stretches and makes running through the mud, (almost), no big deal. The newly added Dave's Mud Shovel will make that even better.

Okay, that's it folks. Have a great weekend and ride off that turkey!


sniffer said...

Have you seen the Breadwinner bad otis? That looks like one hell of a 27.5 hardball.

Guitar Ted said...

@sniffer- Yeah, it does look nice, but I don't think it handles B+ sized rubber, which is what I would want there. Still- very good in every other way.