I'm going to interrupt the Carl Buchanan interview "series", ( Yes, this has become a small series! I have TWO more installments left to post!) for some news and commentary from the world of 29"ers.
Dave Harris' 29" vs. 26" Test: Dave Harris, who is an endurance racer, has had a keen interest in what wheel format is "best" for racing. He has dived into the testing of these two wheel sizes deeply enough that it would make most of our heads spin! (It does mine anyway) The results, as they stand so far, have gotten a ton of response on mtbr.com, and now, on cyclingnews.com. My take on this study and the attention to it is this: Calm down everybody! People are way too"up in arms" about what Dave is saying. My point is, if you actually read what he says about his own study, you would realize that it is about him and how efficient he is on the two wheel sizes. Not necessarily a deal killing indictment on 29 inch wheels in general. The only "bad" thing I could possibly see coming out of this is exactly what has already happened, that is, people not being objective enough to see that this is valid stuff........for Dave Harris ( and possibly a few other people) but not everyone. Relax people!
Fisher Rumors: It has been posted on mtbr.com's 29"er forum that Fisher has some plans for '07 concerning some new bikes and parts for 29"ers. These rumors are reportedly from Ryan Atkinson, who is one of the top Fisher honches. It appears that Fisher may possibly introduce a steel hardtail, and another, lower priced version of it's Race Day 29"er Super Caliber bike. In the parts department, we might possibly finally see the results of Bontrager's work in the tubeless tire and wheel technology for 29 inch wheels, as well. These rumors from Trek tend to be taken with a grain of salt here at Guitar Ted Labratories. I've seen too many of them not come true when they say they will. That said, it looks like they are doing everything that they can to be the number one 29"er company at the mass market level. Cool!
Niner Bikes Keeps It Rollin': Niner Bikes, a recent start up company based in California that is dedicated to 29"er proliferation, has announced three new models to be introduced at the Sea Otter Classic. The most widely anticipated of these models is the as yet un-named 4" travel full suspension bike. Niner has been pretty aggressive in it's model introductions and has been rather sucessful, so far. I think it's pretty amazing when you realize that most of their sales are direct, internet driven ones and not so much "brick and mortar" type.
That's it for today! Gotta make an early morning meeting at the shop. Have a great weekend, go for a bike ride, (whether it be 26 OR 29 inch wheels, Right Dave?!), and look for more Carlos the Jackal interview material over the weekend! Later, ya'all!