|Velocity does all these rad ano colors plus a very industrial looking "Mill" finish|
I've built bicycle wheels since 1994. Right from the get-go I have laced up Velocity rims. They have always been a great rim to work with, albeit a tad on the "soft" side as alloys go. But that isn't all bad. Just different.
Well, Velocity now does a rim brake model called the Quill which I got to handle recently. A friend of mine wanted a 700c set in silver laced up to go on a Rivendell Atlantis. I have to say that they were some of the best rims to build with I've ever used. In fact, most recent Velocity rims I have built with have been really stellar to build up.
The really cool thing about Velocity USA is that, as their company name suggests, they manufacture their rims right here in the USA. They even do their own anodizing, which allows them to do a rainbow of colors in many of their rims. The newest deal they have on offer now is the Quill rim brake rim in the 650B size. That's a great rim, and as I said above, I just built up a set in 700c which went together almost too easily!
Anyway, a shout out to Velocity USA for making great product here in the States. I highly recommend their stuff.
|The Trust fork, a linkage style affair, is VERY different.|
Their have been different ways to absorb trail/road inputs to the front end of a two wheeled vehicle than your typical telescopic design since forever. Motorcycle design really was rife with various oddball forks for years. Just research vintage "Indian Motorcycles" sometime and you'll see all sorts of weirdness involving leaf springs, linkages, and odd hydraulic dampers.
So when bicycle designers went off road and were looking for a way to better manage bumps, these ideas were plumbed to see what might be best to get on a bicycle. There were air bags, elastomers, upside down telescopic forks, linkage forks, and leaf spring forks made for mtb's all during the 1990's. I own, not one, but TWO- AMP linkage forks which I rode in the 90's, so I am familiar with how they work. I also have a bit of experience with Girvin Vector linkage forks and Lawhill Leader forks.
So, why linkage? Well, they have the ability to be designed in such a way that they resist brake dive and remain constant in their trail figure throughout their travel. This is revelatory when you ride a linkage fork. So, why don't we ride linkage forks if they are so superior?
Actually, that's an easy question to answer. It is because the focus of early linkage fork design was primarily on light weight and anti-brake dive. The attributes of durability and overall suspension performance were secondary to these goals. Therefore, linkage designs suffered from constant bushing and damper issues. Plus, they looked weird. They were hard to market to an audience that was equating off road abilities with motorcycle technologies. And as you probably know, there aren't very many linkage forks in moto cross.
So, basically the linkage fork has been a design without proper treatment, (German Answer aside), since forever. Dave Weagle, the suspension designer behind Split Pivot, DW Link, and others, has now applied his know-how to front suspension. The result is the Trust. A 130mm travel linkage design unlike the predecessors in that ALL aspects of design were addressed. Of course, it comes at a cost with such a high tech-low production model fork. You'd better sit down for this- $2700.00 clams. Ouch!
Maybe in the future the prices can be brought down, but regardless, this is actually an innovation in tech which I find very interesting. Imagine this in a shorter travel configuration for gravel. You might say, "But we already have Lauf." I hear you, but the Lauf is undamped, has issues with independent leg movement, and is not tunable. This would solve all those issues and be just as light. Time will tell.... And yes- it is butt ugly.
|Start line- 2015 Dirty Kanza 200. Before "The Take Over".|
The Life Time Fitness purchase of the Dirty Kanza events has prompted a lot of debate and speculation both here on the blog and elsewhere. A recent "Outside Magazine" article explores this topic which you can read here.
Author Aaron Gulley asked several event promoters and the staff of the DK200 about this subject. One of those referenced in this post by Mr. Gulley is me. I find this subject intriguing and I have wrestled with it for many years.
While the format of "Friday News And Views" is not sufficient for me to get all my thoughts down about this, I am going to make a few comments today here. Some of what I say sharp eyed readers of this blog will have read before. Some of these thoughts may be new.
First and foremost, while there is a big effort from the DK Promotions team to make this about "the future existence of the Dirty Kanza", make no mistake- They didn't need Lifetime Fitness to make that happen. The DK Promotions team has already led by example here and shown that they can make this work year after year. The idea put forth is that Lifetime guarantees the future in terms of quality of experience, but in reality, a good team, recruited and trained also could have done this within the existing DK Promotions structure.
The Lifetime Fitness deal does another important thing, which I alluded to previously and which is also pointed at in this linked article- that being that there is an equity take away for people retiring from the event production company. Jim Cummins is quoted as he speaks in the third person here as saying, " I just turned 60, and one of these years, Jim Cummins is going to decide that he wants to just go out and ride his bike....." Of course, he follows it up with the "guaranteed future" idea right afterward, but the point being is that his, (and I would assume future employees/directors) exit from the company will be one which is rewarded in some fashion. Otherwise, why bother? They could "insure the future" of the DK 200 without going the corporate route. But then again, maybe they didn't want to do it that way.
But beyond that, the point about riders feeling like the DK200 has been "killed" by the sale of the event is only really a thing because we seem to feel that if an event experience we have is monetized, it cheapens our previous experiences and "takes away" from the event. Marketing can also be thrown in here. You start marketing the event to sponsors, corporate entities, and city businesses and it seems that this is a signal that filthy lucre is infiltrating the "purity" of the event experience.
This seems like a disconnect when riders applaud infrastructure and details like timing and scoring, finish line hoopla, and stuff like that. I mean, as I stated in the "Outside" article, this kind of detail costs a LOT of money. You are not going to get that for free. I think riders "get" that, but they still bitch about events "getting too corporate". Thus my take that it is a disconnect. It is an irrational, emotional issue that is very complex.
But I've gone on too much on this already. I'll have more to say later...
Have a great weekend.