Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday News And Views

It seems that 29+and fat bike stuff was the order of the day at I-Bike '14
Interbike '14: 

Well, if this Interbike is anything like the last eight, today will be a slow news day. Exhibitors will have their hands on the plugs, ready to pull them and pack up to get the heck outta that place they've been stuck in- likely for over a week now. It's "Consumer Day" at the show, so a little something new there, but we'll see how it goes.

Of course, with today's immediate digital connectivity, one can sit wherever they want and "see" everything of note, since it gets uploaded within about two hours of the doors opening on Wednesday. After that, it's rehash time, and small oddities and by Thursday evening, you've seen it all. All without being sullied by the swirling, sucking vortex of The Strip. There wasn't a whole lot to get excited about either.

So, it seems that fat bikes are a "thing" like the 27.5"ers were last year and the year before. Fat bike tires being introduced by the bucket loads and not just a "me too" model to fill in the void. No- we're looking at two widths, two levels of quality, tubeless compatibility, studded, dual compound, and folding and wire beaded fat bike tires from several companies, and even a new 29+ tire or two. Mentions of B+ models coming as well.

Dual suspension frames with fat tires were introduced by the smaller companies. If we see Salsa sell a bunch of Bucksaws, and these smaller companies selling rigs, it'll draw out the big guns and next Interbike could get real interesting. But who knows? There may be another niche trend by that time. Gravel going cycle trucks, that's what I'm hearing............

Trans Iowa V11:

Recon plans are being worked on, and a sketch for the entire route has been done. Getting out in the field soon will reveal much. I have a funny feeling there will be a major revision and several minor ones, but we'll see. I have a "back up plan", a "Plan B", if you will, that could be used if this new route doesn't pan out, and "Plan B" was originally the front runner, but things changed. Stay tuned......

Okay, so Registration is being fine tuned and an announcement will come at the end of the month. Keep your eyes peeled on the Trans Iowa site  for that particular announcement and afterward the fine details will get discussed over here. 

Part of what I am going to change has to do with how many of you have finished a Trans Iowa out there. Kevin Doggett, himself a T.I.finisher, likes crunching numbers and did a whole slew of data for me and this jumped out at me....

 "Over the 10 years of Trans Iowa, a total of 334 different riders have made 647 attempts. 
Just 153 of the 647 attempts have been successful.  That is 23.6% or a little less than 1 in 4. 
The 153 successful attempts have been made by 107 different riders.
" (Note- emphasis mine.)

You know, out of 120 spots available, finishers could take the lions share if I kept things unchanged. So- you know already that will be getting tweaked! 

Project 26- Still rollin'

 Utility Rig:

I think everyone needs a "townie". You know- a utility rig. A bike that you don't have to worry about maintenance for, one that you "just hop on and go", no need for special shoes- or heck, even a helmet. (I know some of you will bristle at that notion, but that's how I roll sometimes.) 

Anyway- remove all barriers to use, that's the point here. My Project 26 rig is that bicycle for me. I threw some lights at it and a set of old Jaand panniers which make this my most useful bike in the stable. I can just grab and go with Project 26. I air up the tires and wipe it down now and again, but with its super simple, sturdy build, it doesn't need much attention. It's always ready to go at a moment's notice. 

So it gets the lions share of short travel errand duty for me. Convenience store runs, grocery getter, and mailing out smaller items- it's all in the Project 26's wheelhouse. Bigger items go to the Xtracycled Schwinn I have, but this one can handle a lot of stuff. 

It's not perfect. Not by a long shot. It needs a front roller cam stud turned down, but I don't own that tool, and I don't have access to one. It needs wider fenders, since these barely clear the Continental Winter Contact tires. My replacement for the original saddle on here is better than the original, but a Brooks Pro isn't really ideal. Still need to get that B-67! The wheels still roll smoothly, but the spokes are rusty and need cleaning up. Maybe a rebuild on the wheels is imminent. 

But those things are overlooked when I am popping wheelies over curbs, going across a patch of grass, or smoothing down a side street. It's just an awesome, useful steed. It may not be much, but I don't think I'll ever part with this one.

Okay, that's a wrap on this edition of Friday News And Views. Have a safe and fun weekend- hopefully on two wheels! 

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