Friday, October 06, 2017

Friday News And Views

And so it begins..... #TIv14 registration started this week.
Trans Iowa v14 Registration Begins!

The post cards, which Trans Iowa has utilized as a way to register for the annual event since V3, are beginning to roll in to TI headquarters. (NOTE: If you want to know all the registration details, check the "Featured Post" on the right margin and click the title, "Trans Iowa v14 Registration Details") The first two cards rolled in on Thursday, and I suspect many more are on their way and will arrive today and tomorrow. 

The first wave of registration is for the past winners and riders of six or more Trans Iowas to get in. There aren't too many of them, and of course, not all will avail themselves of the opportunity to join in all the gravel games planned for next April. So, I suspect perhaps a few spots might roll over to the next wave of registration, which begins Wednesday next week, and will be for past Veterans and Finishers of Trans Iowa post Trans Iowa v8.  I decided that if any individuals hadn't bothered to be back and try Trans Iowa since Version 8 that they likely weren't coming back. That said, the third wave of registration, also reserved for Rookies to Trans Iowa, is for them. Enough has changed since v7 that the event will be pretty new to those older racers anyway. 

The registration won't be as exciting on my end as it was in those days when people were sending me flowers, gifts, and booze, but the post cards are all I really need anyway. It works, it is tradition, and it is simple. I don't see that the process is broken and I don't get many complaints about it either. So, it still is fun and as long as it does what I need it to do, I'll keep doing it that way. I'll post some finer examples if I get any soon.

27.5 carbon fat bike rims from Whiskey Parts.
Will 27.5" Fat Kill Off 26" Fat?

About two years ago now Trek decided to roll out 27.5" fat bike wheels. It was an introduction I didn't see coming, but then again, I haven't gotten much right about fat bikes anyway. I said 170mm rear ends were going to stick around and well.......y'all know how that has gone. I said that we would probably never see single wall, cut out carbon fat bike rimes and well.......they exist now. So whatever I thought about the 27.5" fat bike wheels is probably not worth my talking about and not worth your reading about.

But now that they exist, and now that other companies are jumping in, I have to wonder if that eventually spells the end of 26" fat. I am really curious about how 27.5" is going to work out, but I have heard it can be the bees knees. If other riders start choosing that bigger size over 26" fat stuff then I think the days of 26"er wheels are really going to be numbered. 

But that will take time, if it ever happens. In the meantime, just go ahead and assume I am wrong about that too. 

In the meantime, I was made aware of a new 27.5" carbon fat bike rim from my friend, Ben Witt, who happens to be the head honch over at Whiskey Parts. The No. 9 carbon rim is typical of many of the other Whiskey Parts rims, double wall, and tubeless ready, of course. These would lace up into a really sweet set of wheels for a 27.5" wheeled fat bike set up. I'm looking in to maybe switching over to 27.5" fat bike stuff, and these rims could be a good start on my way to that. 

We'll see........

Better than your Zip-Loc baggie? It's certainly more high tech!
 It's A Pouch Thingie:

I was just made aware of a high tech "pouch" gizmo that basically does what a sandwich baggie does, only, I guess, even better? That's what they say anyway.

It's called the "Multi Pouch" and comes from Spurcycle. Yes.......the same company that does those bells. This does the job of keeping your smaller, flatter valuables, like bank or credit cards, or that anachronism called cash, from getting wet and from getting lost. 

It's light, bieng made from that Cuban Fiber stuff, and it can be folded in a couple different ways, making it a versatile choice for packing with other things. It's light, and it is somewhat transparent, soyou can actually see what you packed in there. Anyway, I thought it might actually be a better deal than going through Zip-Loc baggies left and right. Those don't seem very durable to me.

I could see this being useful as a wallet, or a small paper map case, or as a place to stow smaller bits and pieces for........whatever, that you don't want to lose in a bigger bag of stuff. For under $30.00, it is a lot more expensive that the "dirt bag way" of using Zip-Locs, but it seems maybe a bit smarter. Maybe. 

Have a great weekend and get out there and ride those bikes.


JR. Z. said...

I have to wonder; If you're thinking about 27.5" Fat carbon rims, why not go with the OG Bontrager Wampa? At least the Wampa, as I understand it, has the same unbelievably easy-to-work-with rim bed as the Jackalopes. I have switched exclusively to (26") Jackalopes (despite their being much more fragile than I care for, though the Wampa solves this problem, I'm told) simply for the truly back-country serviceability of the tubeless system.

Guitar Ted said...

@JR. Z- I'm not sure that you can buy just the rims. I'm not a fan of Bontrager branded hubs, despite what they say about them, so the complete wheels are not an option for me. I'd rather build with a set of DT Swiss fat bike hubs for this project.

If the Wampas are available as a rim only, then yes- I would consider those.

Ari said...

Would the blacborrows then handle a 27.5x 4"?????

Guitar Ted said...

@Ari- Yes. The new mid-tail design comes with 27.5" X 4 stock. I believe the old Blackborow will handle that size as well.

JR. Z. said...

@GT - The Jackalopes are not listed as rims on Bontrager's website, but are available as replacements from any Trek dealer (and are covered by Trek's warranty). I haven't asked about the Wampas, but I don't see why those would any different of a situation.

I agree with you on the hub front. Wasn't real impressed with the Bonti offerings. DT's are what I built for my dad's ICT. Would get those for myself in a heartbeat.

@Ari - Just about any bike that can handle 26x4.5-5" tires will handle 27.5x4.0" as they're narrower (obviously), yet approx. the same height (760-770mm dia. range).

Trek920 said...

Check out Zpacks pouches ( Many sizes to choose from, good prices, and trail tested by many ultralight backpackers. All products made in USA as well.

Guitar Ted said...

@JR. Z- Okay, I have found out that Wampa rims are indeed available sans hubs and spokes. :>) However; they are $150.00 more than the whiskey rims. (Ouch!), so I would have to think long and hard about that. I have time to consider my options, so no hurry.......

bostonbybike said...

The new 27.5" fat standard comes with 3.8" wide tires, which means such wheels have about the same diameter as 29"+ wheels. This still makes sense.

But this makes me think that the future of 26" fat bikes is with 4.8-5.0" tire width, because putting such large tires on a 27.5" wheel would make them enormous and very heavy. For very wide tires 26" wheels are still a better choice and it's likely going to stay that way for a while. Unless of course, everyone starts riding 36er bikes some time soon...

Guitar Ted said...

@bostonbybike- Actually, you may be surprised to know that the Farley 5's we have on the shop floor here have Barbegazi 27.5 X 4.5 tires. A size large runs right at 33lbs with flat pedals installed. This is with a middling spec and Sun Ringle' Mulfut rims. Trek claims this wheel/tire size works as well or better than a 4.8" tire on a 100mm rim. This is the intriguing part which I referred to in my post today.

So, that's about par for the course on an aluminum framed fat bike. I don't think weight will be a factor in this.