Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday News And Views

New shoes on Project White
Tubeless Tire Technology For The Road: Not Quite There Yet-

I've been going through a round of swapping out tubeless tires on several of my off road rigs lately. It is a pretty dialed in process now days. You either have a Stan's, or Stan's-like type rim that you put a non-tubeless tire on and convert it to tubeless, or you have a UST based, or UST-like type rim which you put just about everything else tubeless ready onto. At least things are shaking out that way, if they are not quite there yet.

For example, I set up some WTB Nineline tires on Deore XT wheels, and all of this is UST based product. You mount the tire, add your sealant, and pump it up with a floor pump. Pop-pop! Go for a ride, you're done. No "shakey-shake", no special goo on the rims, nuthin'. That's "pretty dialed", if you ask me.

Of course, some set ups are still a bit more fussy than that, but not a lot. With a few exceptions, tubeless systems for 29"ers have come a long, long way in the last few years. This isn't the case with road tubeless. Not at all.

The Bontrager system looked promising. TLR rim strip, new sealant, and tires that were purportedly dialed in and I figured the system was a no-brainer. I know the TLR system in and out from having used it since 2007 on 29"ers. It works great on that side of things. However; a customer came into the shop, asked if we could see why his rear tire kept leaking down. I saw sealant all over his spokes. Weird! I aired up the tire, checked for leakage with soapy water, and what do ya know! Thousands of tiny pin hole leaks on the sides of the casing. Double weird! If the tire had enough sealant, and the tire is indeed a TLR design, (which it was), there is no way it should have pin hole leakage. A non-tubeless conversion, yes- but not a tire meant to be tubeless. I dinked around some more with it, but quickly came to realize that this tire needed warranty action.

Come to find out that Trek has asked that all TLR road tires be warranted, and you can not get them from Trek as of now. So nice of them to let us know that. So now you know, and road tubeless goes back to the drawing board again.

Component change...
Gravel Mutt: Not Quite There Yet-

Well, the Gravel Mutt is going to take a small step backward, unfortunately, and get its head set changed. The purple anodized American Classic head set is just not fitting correctly and won't tighten up. Bummer....

So, I am going to go with the Campy head set I have , I guess. The original head set would work if I  still had the upper bearing/race! I don't know where that got to in all of the hullabaloo when I tore apart the 520, and I have not seen it around.

So, barring any crown race sizing discrepancies, the Gravel Mutt should soon be sporting a nice, shiny new Athena head set. If, for some reason that does not work, then I will probably source some cheapo steel head set to just get the thing out there and ridden. That Brooks saddle is begging to be broken in! I don't know if I will get this done in time for this weekend's 3GR, but I am going to try. I have ridden it a bit and it should be an "okay" rig at the least. We'll see after a good, proper long gravel ride happens.

Surprisingly, this bike seems to have a taller bottom bracket than my Black Mountain Cycles bike! However, the head angle seems slacker. I haven't measured anything yet. I will get around to it soon. My iPhone 4s has one of them fancy angle finder ap doodads. Guess I'll be putting it to use!

(L-R) G. Foster & GT -Image by M.Lemberger.
Guitar Ted's Health: Not Quite There Yet-

My wife, who is an RN and works in the medical field says that I have/had a viral sickness the last week or so. Okay- she isn't a doctor, but she usually knows her stuff. I described my malaise over the past couple weeks and what happened at GTDRI and she flatly stated, "Well- you've got a virus!" 

I know I haven't been "right" in a while, but last weekend and the first few days of this week were downright tough. Of course, this heat isn't doing me any favors either. So, I've been taking extra rest, only commuting on the bikes, and Saturday will actually be the first "big" ride I've had since last weekend. Hopefully I will do okay.

So, there will be a 3GR  Saturday, and we'll go from Gates Swimming Pool parking lot again, if anyone else is interested. may as well just keep riding from there since I've been doing that all year anyway. 8:30am is the time, and route from Gates rounds out to about 30 miles. More if you ride to and from, so you could get a decent mileage day if you want.

That's all. Hope everyone has a great weekend of riding.   


Irishtsunami said...

What brand are the handle bars on the Gravel Mutt?

Guitar Ted said...

@Irishtsunami: Those are the much asked about, some want 'em but can not get 'em Ragley Luxy Bars.

As far as I know, these will never be produced again. I asked the designer, Brant Richards, if he might look into doing these as an On One branded bar, but I have not heard anything further on that.

Irishtsunami said...

Thanks (for nothing)! It looks like the only real options are the Midge and the Wood Chipper? Any other suggestions?

Guitar Ted said...

@ Irishtsunami: Ha! Well, you are not the only one that wants those Luxy Bars back in stock again, I'll tell you that.

Well, there are several others, hard to get, and basically rip-offs, or variations on the Midge, mostly. Soma has something, and Nitto has some cool ones.....IF you can track one down.

Specialized has the Awol coming out, a "Fargo-like" bike, and the specs say their bar is flared. Maybe that will pan out to become another good choice.

Really, Cowbells from Salsa are nice too, but those are basically tweaked roadie bars, so if that isn't your cup o tea, I can see why some one may not like them.

Steve Fuller said...

Unhappy you are sick, but glad that there was a good reason for you not feeling so great last week. Small consolation I guess?

Unknown said...

Regarding road tubeless. I've been running a set of Black Flag Pro (Stan's bead socket)and 28c Panaracer T Serv tires for a number of months now without a single issue. I think the 'race' tires will be of an issue, but some of the thicker/durable city tires solve the sealant-seeping-through-the-sidewall-issue well. No flats and riding them at 80psi has been an enlightening experience. Ride is butter, even on gravel, and cornering grip is unreal even in wet conditions.