Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday News And Views

I've been waiting a long time to get this out again!
Trail Time:

The days are nigh now that I will be out on dirt ribbons in the woods around the area. I have been off the single track for many months and I'm itching to get back on it again. One of the rigs I am excited about is the Singular Buzzard. I got a brief taste of this bike last Fall and early Winter, but besides a ride on gravel with my buddy, MG, the Buzzard has been mostly in roost for the cold months.

There may be a new fork in the offing for this rig, and I already swapped out the saddle for a WTB Pure V I got in trade from one of my teammates on the Gent's Race team. The next upgrade will be a pair of the new Ergon GE1 grips which will be a great change on this bike. With that dialed in, I have a couple trails on the radar I need to hit up around the area to see what the potential for this rig really is.

I also need a black stem. Well........need is relative. I think a black one would look better. And a wider handle bar too. I gotta look into that........

Kansas has a new gravel road event

The Pony Express 120 Gravel Dash:

I like to ride gravel roads and I also like history. The news about a new Kansas based gravel road event started coming through to me about a month or so ago. My interest was piqued, of course, but later on when I found out that the proposed route had historical touch points I was really interested. This is the sort of thing I really like about gravel road riding. History and dusty roads mixed together!

The Pony Express is kind of a weird point in U.S. History. It only lasted for 18 months and of those 18 months not all were done on the entire route. Technology was to blame. The old way was to portage the letters by horseback, which at first cost about 100 bucks per letter! The Pony Express was faster than the old stage coach way, (Ten days from St. Jo to Sacramento), but telegraph lines were going up and sending a telegraph was far faster and far cheaper. The idea of young men, generally in their teens, speeding across the Wild West was quickly romanticized and became part of popular lore. The famous Iowa born William "Buffalo Bill" Cody was a Pony Express rider and his rising fame also helped cement the Pony Express in the minds of the populace. At any rate, we're perpetuating the lore with a gravel road event nowadays!

Check out the event flyer here

The Bucksaw 2

Big, Fat, and Full Suspension: 

I've been contemplating the new Salsa Cycles fat bike full suspension design since it splashed onto the scene just a week ago now. I really am intrigued by this bike. Well........maybe by the idea of this bike and its potential for future bikes like it. That's probably more accurate.

I think the basic Split Pivot part is fine. I've no doubt that Dave Weagle put forth his best effort here and that the bike is executed in such a way that the suspension works decently. My doubts come in when I break down what the Bluto is. While I feel it may be adequate, I do not think it is Rock Shox's best effort in the same way that the rear suspension is Dave Weagle's best effort. I have heard whisperings that a better fork may happen at some point. I think that's where the Bucksaw will really work as advertised. When it gets what it desrves up front.

Sure, I get that this is the way it has to be to start. Heck, Salsa had to basically beg for this fork to be made for two years. (They said as much in their story on the Bucksaw's development.) So, you have a "decent" fork in the Bluto. Do you jump in now, or wait? It's intriguing. I really like the whole idea.

In my mind, it is a frameset buy. Why? Because I can spec better wheels and tires, which are a huge part of the fat bike's cost and performance potential. Salsa showed a prototype with Whiskey carbon fat bike wheels. This bike deserves them. Oh.......and they better be tubeless compatible. Sticking with 2011 technology isn't going to cut it with a bike of this nature anymore. Think about it. Even the Horsethief and Spearfish come with Stan's NoTubes rims. Any full suspension bike worth its salt has tubeless ready rims these days.

So while I really like the concept, I am not convinced on the total package's execution yet. Not on the surface of it as it stands today. But as they say, "specification subject to change". Hopefully it gets tweaked for the better here.

That's it for today. Have a great weekend! Get out and ride those bikes and find the Easter Bunny!

1 comment:

MG said...

Agreed, 100 percent... The Bluto is good, and it gets the front end going up and down, but inevitably we will have even better options in 2-3 years.

I think Salsa very likely nailed it out of the park with the frame though. I would love to try one out, but don't know if/how that'll happen. Of well...