Saturday, March 03, 2007

Saturday News and Views

North American Handmade Bicycle Show: This is the weekend for custom builders to show their wares at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show out in California. Check out the beautiful rigs. It seems this years theme is one piece stem/bar combinations. More to come, but this will get your appetite whetted.

Michael Browne's "Trek" From Dirt Rag: In a surprise, Michael Browne, the former editor of Dirt Rag, is moving to Wisconsin to dedicate his life to the pursuit of the perfect cheese! (No.....not really!) He is actually taking the reigns of Brand Manager for Trek's mountain bike division. His arrival may or may not have something to do with my next entry, which has to do with a concept that Michael has written in favor of before.........

Trek 69er Fuel? A Reality?: Reading that Trek's Travis Brown indeed was riding a Fuel 69"er at Mas O Menos a few weeks ago in Texas. If indeed Trek decides to make this model a reality, it will fit right in with their new Brand Managers philosophy, but will only add to the model line one more overpriced "experiment" bike. A bike that a curious consumer can assemble easily on their own to try it out for far less of a financial setback. Again, not knocking the concept here, (although, admittedly, I'm no fan of the idea at all) I'm just saying it makes zero sense. None. Especially when the money is on a Trek 29"er, and not the mixed wheel size format. If Trek really wants to set a new standard, then they should build a fleet of.....

650B Mountain Bikes: Yes! The newest, (not really, it's been done before) wheel size that really is the best of "both worlds"! The new 650B bike by Pacenti has some surprising details. Parts like a Cane Creek rim, what appears to be a WTB Nanoraptor, and a promised tread from Panaracer. This seems as though it's a serious attempt at the mass market, as opposed to just a custom show bike whim. It'll be interesting to guage the reactions to this bike. I'll say this: It looks good, it'll be better than a 26"er at most things, and it'll appeal to all those who just gotta be at the "cutting edge" of bicycle design. Which is funny, because I've owned an early 80's Raliegh Tamarack that had the wheel size as standard. Although I will say, no tires like the ones on the Pacenti existed before this, which will truly make this iteration of the 650B bike a legitimate off roader. Take your "69er", or whatever you want to call it, this 650B bike has more potential in my eyes than any mixed wheel format bike ever would. Will it take off? Who knows, but my feeling is it'll certainly add to the confusion over what wheel size to choose for the average trail rider.

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