Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday News And Views

T.I.v14 Registration Update:

The first phase of registration for the 14th Trans Iowa was completed Wednesday. There were six spots available which were not claimed, so I am pushing those down to the Vets & Finishers classes which now will have 61 slots available to fill before I would require a lottery. Last year I didn't have to do that. Maybe I won't have to do that this year. Hard to say. But if the Vets and Finishers don't add up to more than 60, there will be open spots getting kicked down to the Rookies. I'll know more on October 18th when the Finishers and Vets window for registration closes.

So.......yeah! Did you see that Dan Hughes, (T.I.v13 winner), Greg Gleason, (T.I.v10 overall winner, T.I.v 12 co-winner), Walter Zitz, (T.I.v12 co-winner), and Eric Brunt (T.I.v8 overall winner), are on the roster? Plus Mark Johnson is signed on in the SS/Fixed category, as always, and is a threat to win the overall as well as the SS/Fixed category. Sarah Cooper is signed on, but she will not be racing for the Open Womens category, as she is going to give it a go on a tandem with veteran/finisher/super-volunteer Steve Fuller.

Interesting field so far in terms of the competitive, pointy end of the T.I. field. It will be cool to find out who amongst the finishers and Vets comes back, and ultimately who will be the new gun coming out of the Rookie class.There is always someone or two that ends up pushing the front of the race every year.

"Ultra-premium" tire levers "optimized for carbon fiber rims"? How did we do tire removal without these?
Spendy Levers:

Silca is now a US owned and operated company and when they came out of the gates with that track pump for $400- plus dollars, I figured it was just a stunt to get attention and then they would go back to being reasonable. But ohhhhh nooooo! I was very wrong about this. In fact, everything Silca has proffered since then has made me shake my head in disgust and disbelief. The latest is a pair of $18.00 tire levers.

Eight. Teen. Dollars!

The marketing blather may as well not exist after I saw the price. Look....... I've been a mechanic in a bike shop setting for nearly 20 years. Tire levers are not an issue for carbon fiber rims unless you are using metal ones or are hamfisted. I've been working on taking tires off and installing them on carbon rims for well over a decade. Any ol' lever will do the job, (again, as long as it is not metal), and my current favorite is the Pedros levers. Did you know that you can buy three sets of Pedros tire levers for the price of a pair of Silca ones? Oh......and if you can mount a tire without levers, you should. Many times you can.


Question: When will the Wallmart family buy Silca like they did Rapha? These two brands were made for each other.Those Walton boys oughta look in to that. Otherwise I don't see the point here. That sort of money for tire levers is just goofy.

But they will probably sell out by the caseload. Meh!

Ignore that "Clement" branding. It's "Donnelly" now.
 Big Gravel Tire:

So, many gravel tires that exist are in the 35mm-45mm size range and for good reason. Most "gravel/all road" bikes won't fit anything bigger than that. At least in 700c sizes. Cyclo Cross bikes? Fahgeddaboudit. 

However; now there are a few rigs sporting capacity for up to 2" wide 700c rubber. And let's not forget that many Fargos and the like are used for gravel travel and those bikes might benefit from a bigger tire which is a gravel specialist. 

So, there are not many tires that fit the bill for fast, voluminous casings, and that have a modicum of traction for the hard packed dirt sections. The MSO tread design does have what many riders like, and about a year ago, Donnelly Cycling introduced the 700 X 50mm MSO with a tubeless ready casing. Then it was still Clement, and the tires I have to test are branded as such. That said, going forward they will have Donnelly branding, but they will be the same tire. I don't have a bike with a "gravel specific" geometry that fits these so they will likely go on the Fargo Gen I bike with a tubeless set up.

I hope to get that done this weekend but I also will be testing a different sealant combination so I may not have everything in hand until next week. Hint: It will be a competitor to Stan's Race Day sealant.

Okay, more soon..... Have a great weekend!


 

3 comments:

Kevin Collings said...


It'll definitely be a good year to listen to Trans Iowa Radio!

S.Fuller said...

I gotta admit, I had a bit of an "open jaw" moment when I saw the entries come in for the Open and SS men's field. I have a feeling there's gonna be a lot of hard punches thrown up front. Super excited to see how the rest of the field fills in. Here's to having two solid diesels ready for our tandem by April.

Rainier Wolfcastle said...

I liked the ride of my MSOs back in 2012 or whenever I had them, but they had serious QC issues and neither mine nor my friend's were round.

If these are round, tubeless, and light they're going to be a top contender for my Otso Warakin's new gravel tires. (Other options are Thunder Burts and Soma Cazaderos)