Friday, February 09, 2018

Friday News And Views

Could a Woodsmoke be made of wood someday?
Got Wood?

Years ago Trek pioneered the use of carbon fiber in bicycles. Their "OCLV" carbon was just another way of saying that their carbon was made to be more dense with less void areas. Of course, now everyone is doing their carbon that way. The less void areas in the layup, the better.

Now comes word that a couple of researchers have developed a "super wood" that has properties that rival steel and titanium for strength. (see article here) This is still very much a developing technology, and there is no way to know for certain if a bicycle would ever be considered as a use for such a product.

But what struck me was that the wood became "super" when the voids were taken out of the equation, much like when carbon fiber was being experimented with. The other thing was that chemicals are still part of the process to get the end result, so whether or not this is something that would be environmentally sound in as far as the idea goes is another issue. Yes- the source material is renewable, but the process is still maybe a risky deal. Hard to say at this point- again, this is very new.

Whether or not this gets anywhere and then, if it does, whether or not bicycles benefit from it, well......who knows. It is an interesting possibility to consider at any rate.

Upgraded but still awesome for Winter

Mesa MP Goes Sub-Zero:

Many longtime G-Ted Productions readers know that I am a big fan of Fyxation Mesa MP pedals. I have had a set on my Ti Mukluk that have to be something like 5 years old. They are certainly showing their age, the bearings are looser than they were, and the pins aren't quite as sharp as they used to be, but they are still kicking!

So, as far as durability, these pedals have shown me that they can handle the rough stuff. Since I got those first Mesa MP's, I have outfitted four other bikes in my fleet with some version or another of these pedals. They present, in my opinion, one of the best bangs for the buck in terms of flat pedals that you can get. Plus, as a Winter pedal, the nylon/plastic construction doesn't create a heat sink which could drain the heat out of your feet in cold weather. Not a good thing to have happen. Metal pedals do that- these won't. 

Now Fyxation has announced the Mesa MP Subzero pedals. These are an "upgraded" version of the Mesa MP's I so like. Here's a run down of the feature set:
  • High impact nylon body built to take abuse
  • Smooth running sealed bearing and DU bushing
  • Electroplated cro-moly spindle
  • Electroplated stainless steel replaceable pins for added grip with shoes or boots
  • Nylon body doesn't suck heat out of your feet like alloy pedals do
  • Installs with 15mm open end wrench or 8mm hex wrench
  • Pin Spec - M3x0.5 x 7.5mm
  • Spindle Thread: 9/16
  • Height: 14mm
  • Width: 105mm
  • Weight: 351g/pair
  • Color: Black/Black, Gray/Black, Black/Blue, Black/Orange
I'll be getting in a set to try out soon, so stay tuned for how they work out for me.

The Lezyne XL Caddy rear seat pack.
Bag Testing:

I got this Lezyne XL Caddy rear seat pack in a kind of bizarre, Christmas gift way from Lezyne's new media marketing honch. It came with an aluminum puck, which was supposed to be a paper weight, that was in a tin can like it was this ultra-luxurious gift dealio. 


Anyway... This bag is another of the several that you'll see now coming around due to all this "rackless touring" stuff that people are calling "bikepacking". I don't see these bags doing the Tour Divide so much as I see them as a way to carry stuff without having to bolt on a rack to a bicycle, which is kind of a permanent commitment. Rear seat packs are so easily taken off and put back on again that they could go from bike to bike easily. This may be just what you need to make any of your bikes a a degree. 

Of course, nothing beats a rack to make your bike a real pack mule, but much do you want to carry? Generally speaking, a seat pack will handle all you want short of groceries for a week. Anyway, it is a viable, easy to implement option. Nothing is perfect.......

Okay..... back to this bag! It has a couple of shaped, inner "wall supports" that keep this bag from looking like a sad "California Raisin". If you insist on that perfect, kidney shaped look 24-7, loaded or unloaded, the XL Caddy is your jam. I'll have more on this bag later. While I don't know that the marketing honch in question sent this along to me to be reviewed or not, that's what I'm gonna do. So, yes....this was sent as a gift. Regardless, I'll give my unvarnished opinion on it soon.....

Okay, it's snowing here and that means more FAT BIKING!

Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

Steve Fuller said...

Seat bags at that 5 - 7.5L capacity range hit a really useful spot for me. Big enough to be useful, but not so big that they are easy to overpack. If one chooses their equipment wisely, they are the perfect size for long rides with varying conditions (I used similar models from a now defunct manufacturer for TI 9 and Porcelain Rocket on TI 10). They don't have much if any sway either.