Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday News And Views

26 X 3.8 on L- 26 X 5.2(?) R
Pushing The Limits Of Fat:

In the world of fat bikes, there is a certain contingent that wants to see the "next biggest thing", (pun intended), for whatever reasons. So, it was perhaps inevitable that someone would punch out a tire bigger than the enormous Bud and Lou tires. That tire appears to be the Snowshoe 2XL, (don't get hung up on that name just yet, it may change), and is made by Vee Tire.

Early numbers given by one of its promoters, (likely slightly idyllic), are that this tire measures a true 5.2 inches in width on a 103mm rim at reasonable fat bike pressures. It also was reportedly 32" in diameter, and weighs north of 1600 grams with the studs.

Keeping in mind that this is a pre-production tire, and that there are  no current bikes to fit it, here is my take on such a beast of a tire. First off, the weight seems mighty optimistic. A Surly Lou tire weighs 1580 grams, and this tire is supposedly bigger. Hmm...... Could it weigh as little as they claim? Maybe. If it does, it's got a mighty thin casing.

Secondly, the diameter is out of hand. If it is 32", (and I think it almost has to be taller if it truly has a 5+ inch width and isn't a really flat profile), then you will have to be a pretty tall person to fit this. Making a size Medium with these tires will be a challenge and forget about Small or XS sizes. The 29+ rigs and current 4.8" bikes are already pushing limits in this regard. Keep in mind that those sizes are 31-ish inches in diameter.

Finally, although the promoter of this size claims that there will be a "new 11 speed system" available to work with this tire, it is admitted that only 1X systems and this, as yet unknown 11 speed set up will work. So, you need a proprietary drive train, by the sounds of it. It's hard to imagine that too many folks will be itching to get on with a bike with limited choices that apply to it for such things. Maybe I'm wrong there.....

I think this idea is using the wrong rim diameter. This needs to go to a 24" standard where overall diameter would be more in line with current fat bikes. That said, you're still dealing with a really wide bottom bracket, (minimum 120mm), and likely a compromised drive train. Will it take off? I think what we are seeing is the extreme ends of the fat bike progression, and likely things will settle back to 4-5 inch wide tires and bikes that fit them.

Trans Iowa V11:

Time for a bit of an update on all things Trans Iowa here. First off, I have yet to hear from about 17 folks on the e-mail I sent out two weeks ago. I will be posting those names next week once I get back to the ranch, but if you have not gotten the e-mail, or don't have a clue what I am talking about and you are signed up for T.I.V11, hit me with an e-mail and I'll get you taken care of.

Next up- We're down to 110 official riders. Please let me know if you cannot make it to T.I.v11 if you are signed up. My volunteers and I would appreciate that very much. A side note here- I have no transfers, waiting lists, or the like. So, if you are thinking you wanted to get in and you aren't, well you aren't. Wait till next time please.

Finally, on a more fun note- I have a special shout out to Don Daly of the Dirty Dog Racing Pack. He's doing a killer banner for the pre-race and I think we'll be taking it around to the different checkpoints and finish line as well. I won't spoil it, but it will be instantly familiar and will be a great addition to Trans Iowa V11.

Other than that I am all set to roll on April 12th for the final look at the course and then verify that the cues are still good. Then it will be on to printing them up, separating them into three groups, and getting my kit for the event together. Hopefully a little "tune up" work on the "Truck With No Name" will happen, because it needs it badly. After that, it's on to T.I.V11......

Have a great weekend!


JW said...

I read that it was actually 5.65" on a 103mm rim...!

Guitar Ted said...

@JW- And that was at 20psi, no? That isn't a realistic user expectation for use. Almost no one will ever run that tire, (if it comes out) at 20psi. Therefore, any measurements at that pressure are pretty useless.