Friday, April 05, 2013

Friday News And Views

New Rock Shox Pike
They Said It Couldn't Be Done:

It wasn't long ago that pundits and big wheel critics were saying , "You can't make a 29"er long travel bike work. It will be just all wrong."  Then they said that it would never happen with 29"ers, since 27.5"ers were the way to go. Now while I will agree that for some shorter folks, it doesn't probably present the best option, it now seems that there is no limits to making the trail/AM rigs folks were clamoring for since about 2006.

Long travel up to 150mm is now a reality with the newest Rock Shox fork that revives an old name, "Pike". It also seems that Rock Shox is being asked to make this in "all sizes", meaning 26, 27.5 and 29. That tells me something right there, but we'll let that go for the time being....

Of course, having forks out means that companies are going to put them on 29"ers. The first example out is Specialized's Enduro chassis, which will likely see something like the Pike on it at some point. Maybe a revised FSR rig? However that may be, you can bet that Specialized won't be the only company using one of these. It has been rumored that Trek is doing something in the 140mm rear travel realm on a 29"er. They almost came out with a Roscoe a couple of years ago, but it was aborted, and I'll bet the idea was revised and this fork will become a part of that chassis. We'll see...

It also will be interesting to see if many companies use this on the long travel front, slack angles, short rear ended hard tails, like Diamondback's Mason, and others like Canfield's rigs, Niner's rumored AM hard tail, and others. As far as that is concerned, these rigs really demand places to ride that challenge the rider. Typical trails are child's play with these long legged hard tails.

Renegade Gents
Renegade Gents:

Tomorrow I will be waking up quite early to jet out of town to the Renegade Gents Race that starts just north of Ankeny, Iowa. The event is a team race, wherein the team must start together, go through a checkpoint together, and finish together. Teams are made of five individuals, and the teams are handicapped by the organizers as to abilities.

My team is getting a very early start time, so I assume we're on the low end of the totem pole when it comes to "abilities" in terms of speed. We do have some other abilities though, and one of those is having fun. The last two years have been a blast, and I suspect this year will be no different in that regard.

So look for a Renegade Gents Race Report on Sunday, or maybe Monday. I'll have some hi jinx to report about, if I know my team mates at all, that's for sure! That and the weather could get interesting again this year. Stay tuned.....

Project White: Muddy

Not Quite Ready Yet:

Wednesday I hit up the Green Belt and was looking for mud. I wasn't disappointed either. One thing I should mention here is that river silt, sand, and debris from the past year in the form of dead grass and leaves makes for a wonderfully sticky gumbo. It packs onto tires so well you usually stop within a few feet to several yards of getting into it.

Now I was running mud tires for a test for Twenty Nine Inches, and I got further down the trail than that, but eventually the gumbo wins and I walked/rode back out slowly. The trails are not quite ready yet, but I did get my testing finished. (You can read all about it here.)

Project White will now be getting some different wheels and tires. I think I want to go with something pretty beefy and trail-like. I also tweaked the saddle position a bit and that has been great. Now a twinge shorter on the stem, maybe a wider bar, and I am there. Once this bike gets squared away, I am going to focus on the small projects in the Lab, get them cleared aside, and then it will be full on to reviving the Karate Monkey.

Okay, I hope everyone is seeing some outdoors riding time now. Enjoy and keep the rubber side down this weekend!

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