Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday News And Views

Wait! 180mm of travel?!! In a 29"er fork?!!
From The "They Said It Couldn't Be Done" File:

29"ers were slagged off ten years ago as being only worth it if you were in to XC, single speeding, or short travel full suspension bikes, and let's face it, who wants anything to do with those things? If you were a dreamer back then, you wanted to see the day when a long travel big wheeler was made for big trail days. But, you know, they all said "No way!".

Well, then you had all that business with "enduro", which by the way, is that even a thing now? Anyway, there was that distraction for a few years. Then 29"ers sort of had a renaissance of sorts when the engineering finally caught up and big wheeled, longer travel rigs began to appear at enduro events and started winning them. Now it would appear that the unthinkable has been achieved- that being a super long travel 29"er fork.

Rock Shox just announced some big trail forks ahead of Sea Otter and one of those is a Lyric fork that has a maximum travel of 180mm in 29"er form. (According to a site I read the news on) That's crazy. If you would have suggested such a fork for 29"ers even five years ago, you'd have been laughed off the face of the earth.

So, if you've been listening and reading what I have said about product intros here, you know that things like a Rock Shox Lyric fork for 29"ers is not being made as just an aftermarket option. No, these are going to show up somewhere on someone's production bike with big hoops. So, apparently saying "it will never happen" means that, "hold on, sooner or later you'll see it" in "bike speak", because there it is. The thing they said couldn't be done.

Shape My Grips bar grips are.........interesting.
Shape My Grip Update:

Well, after a few hundred miles of Shape My Grip usage, I can say that I feel I know these as well as I am going to. I ran them at the Renegade Gent's Race and afterward on gravel and commutes.

Shape My Grips says that these are vibration damping add-ons. Hmm......... I don't know about that. Maybe they are, but I cannot say I can tell any differences. I can say that they do offer more control and that they do make for a unique gripping experience that might be right up some folks alleys.

I could totally see how they might be a great thing on wet, muddy rides and especially for cyclo cross where a bit of control added with a secure grip might  be a good thing. People with larger hands might really like something like this to fill up their big paws more than a puny, round tube might otherwise.

One thing that I noted which seemed counter-intuitive was that the part that fitted into the curved part of the drops, the grip oddly enough dubbed "CURVE", was all forward of the bar. In other words, any part of the grip that might enhance comfort was all concentrated in your finger side of the grip and not on the load bearing, vibration absorbing palm side. That seems like a missed feature opportunity.

So, these might be cool for some of you out there for more control, or maybe for a secure grip enhancement, but I have to question any benefit due to a vibration reduction that these are said to provide. I think you'd be better served by dropping your air pressures a bit in your tires to get a noticeable gain there.

Banjo Brothers bags- Top Tube Bag on Left, XL Saddle Trunk on Right
Bag It:

Banjo Brothers is an outfit based out of the Twin Cities that does value packed, bang for your buck bags that happen to work really well. I know, because I have used Banjo Brothers bags for years. They sponsored a couple of Trans Iowas, back in the day, and most recently, I used one of their seat packs on my Fat Bike Century. That trunk bag is very similar to the XL Saddle Trunk they sent over for test and review recently, and I have beaten that thing to death over the Winter, but you'd hardly know it. Well, that is, if I cleaned it up! It's rather dirty right now.

Anyway, this new XL sized behemoth bag is 800 cubic inches of seat bag packing possibilities, and I aim to find out how much stuff it can handle and how well it handles it. That will require me doing a sub 24hr overnighter or two, I suppose.

Oh darn!

The top tube bag is a much larger, more spacious, and easier to use top tube bag than their previous version which was barely big enough for my old point and shoot Fuji x-7 camera.This one should work out fine. I'll have more details on the bags and a review later. I will say that the bag comes equipped with enough strapping that you should have no issues strapping it to even the widest top tube/down tube junctions. I don't really have bikes like that, so I'll likely shorten mine up. You can always cut off what you don't need, but adding on is something else altogether.

Disclaimer: Shape My Grip sent over the SMG BAR TOP and CURVE grips at no charge for test and review. Banjo Brothers sent over the Top Tube Bag and XL Seat Trunk at no charge for test and review. I am not being paid nor bribed to write these reviews and I strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout. 

Have a great Easter Weekend!

1 comment:

Scott said...

Nevermind the 180mm Lyric. If you follow World Cup level DH, rumors have been swirling that some riders will be 29er DH rigs this season.

Here is one of the latest updates.

Bottom line, if 29ers are adopted by World Cup level DH riders the case will be closed which I will assume would make GT completely vindicated.