Saturday, November 04, 2017

Minus Ten Review- 44

The long discontinued WTB Sout (L) and a Maxxis Ignitor.
Ten years ago on the blog I was going through the registration process for Trans Iowa v4. Remembering how badly I wanted to stop Trans Iowa after v3 due to several reasons, I recall a post here from 10 years ago that reflects my feelings about one of the reasons why I wasn't too keen on doing another TI. Here's a snippet of what I posted back then.

"A personal note: If you are just toying with the idea of T.I.V4 and are not really sure you would do it, but are going to get your foot in the door just in case.......don't do it! Don't even bother registering. You'll most likely drop out, and thus waste a lot of resources and time on my end. We have had drop outs the first two years, (T.I.V2 most notably because of the weather), but nothing approaches the scale of last year/this past spring where a full 64 people dropped out after being registered! That's right, half of the registered field! 35 didn't bother at all to say they wouldn't show up last April and I had their cue sheets ready, race packets ready, and had what little swag readied for them too. I worked several hours with my family helping out to get that done and they stiffed me. Thanks! (grrrrr!!)

So, yeah.....that kinda cheeses me off and frankly was one of the reasons that T.I. almost didn't happen again."

Since the T.I.v3 debacle, I had figured out ways to get the riders to tell me that they weren't coming earlier than the night before the event, or worse, to not even show up at all. I had gotten things to where a two to four "no-show" rate had become the norm.

Until last year! 

I had about a dozen folks drop off the roster the last week before T.I.v13, and once again, that "really cheeses me off". Anyone on the T.I.v14 roster should take note.

I also had three sets of tires from WTB to test. Way too many for one rider to do before Winter hit, so I asked a then friend of mine, Rob, to help out with that. I used the WTB Stout, a big, burly tread with a tough, heavy casing. I thought it was an awesome tire, but once again, WTB was waaaay out in front of reality when it came to 29"ers. Today had a tire like this been offered in a TCS tubeless ready version, no one would bat an eyelash. The weight would have been seen as normal, the big, burly casing, desirable, and these would really help an all mountain/enduro 29"er rig in technical terrain.

Trouble was such bikes did not exist yet ten years ago beyond a few oddball rigs from Lenz or other small builders. So, what riders wanted then were fatter tires, but to also have them be lighter weight. A conundrum that bedeviled the 29"er tire market for years until trail riders started using wider rims and the need for burlier tires was rekindled. The result in the end was that many folks turned their backs on the three burly WTB tire choices, the Kodiak, the Dissent, and the Stout, and all three were fairly quickly discontinued. Only the Dissent found any real popularity, and that was from the few riders who were daring enough to ride longer travel 29"ers ten years ago.

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