Friday, November 30, 2018

Friday News And Views

The FS-i hard tail in throwback 90's Team Edition colors.
Cannondale Issues Throwback Scheme:

Throwbacks. You know, NFL jerseys, NASCAR paint schemes, reissue vintage shoe designs, etc.... Everyone is doing the nostalgia trick these days. So, bicycle companies were ripe for jumping in, and why not? Some of these old liveries were pretty classy.

Take the heyday of the 90's NORBA era Cannondale Team frames. That simple, yet classy looking red with yellow lettering was easily recognized back then as being Cannondale's colors. Cannondale decided to reissue this classic scheme on their top end hard tail 29"er frame with a painted to match Ocho Lefty fork. You can squint your eyes and see Tinker Juarez big ringing it up a climb, right?

All it needs to finish it off is a Magic Motorcycle crank and a negative rise stem. Boom! Don't forget the skinwall tires.

There is another color available on this frame, which is the late 90's/early 00's Team Blue, which I never liked all that much. Too bad they didn't stick with red. Oh, yeah.......this is very limited and very expensive. But you probably figured that out already.

12 speed, Eagle compatible bar end and thumb shifters. Image courtesy of
Eagle Compatible Microshift Bar End And Thumbshifters Debut:

I get that some of you out there are big fans of Eagle wide range 1X set ups. I came across this story at and figured I would share it here. Basically it is the Microshift bar end and thumbshifter models tweaked to be used with 12 speed Eagle cassettes or Microshift's own cassette.

The story goes that you can use these as index shifters or as a friction shifter. Not sure how that would go as a friction shifter, but hey! In a pinch, it would get you back to the shed. Plus, these sorts of shifters are the kind of component that would survive in the worst sorts of conditions where others might fail more easily. I'm a big fan of this sort of thing myself.

As of now there are no prices or availability on these components. They were shown at the recently held Taipei Cycle show which is a show for the industry to get a handle on what is available to spec on future models. These likely will be offered separately and perhaps even a company like Gevanelle will get on board and do a version with the TRP brake lever.

It's really PINK!
There's A New Sealant In Town:

Tubeless tire sealants come and go. I've tried so many that I cannot remember them all. Probably every type you have heard about and some that you haven't heard about. Anyway, most of them are not worth the bother. Some were really good, but for whatever reason, they never got off the ground. One in particular I liked was GEAX sealant. It came in an aerosol can kind of like a mini whipped cream can. It sealed punctures like nobody's business. But many people never heard of it.

Of course, you have your Stan's. The stuff all sealants are judged against. The upstart Orange Seal is probably #2 on the list, and then there is........everybody else. That Finish Line stuff? Pfffft! Don't even try it. Not even close to being as good as Orange Seal.

But I tried a new sealant to me recently that has impressed me. Muc-Off is the brand name and No Puncture Hassle Tubeless Sealant is in the game now. You can read my linked review for the details.

But here we go again- will this even ever get on people's radar? Sealants are "not to be messed with", so folks just default to Stan's. Ya gotta hand it to them. They have really cornered the market on sealant, and Orange Seal, while a big contender, is still a long ways away from dethroning Stan's. To get a foothold in the door isn't easy, but I sure hope folks give Muc-Off sealant a try, if only because they have a nice packaging set up which is reusable and a couple other neat tricks.

The Almanzo 100 and concurrent events are changing venue.
Bombshell Announcement On Venue Change:

Friday night at midnight the Almanzo (Read: Chris Skogen) events announced a venue change was in store. Citing the philosophy embodied in the statement "......we don’t go where we’re not wanted.", Skogen let on that the city of Spring Valley had an exchange with him that was "...less than welcoming". He then went on to say that he had contacted Preston, Minnesota, a town on the course for the last nine years, about hosting. Apparently they already do a town festival on the weekend of May Skogen has chosen to run the Almanzo and they were not capable of providing enough support for an event the magnitude of Almanzo. Apparently, negotiations are underway at this point to hold the event in Northfield, Minnesota. This would be approximately 80 miles away from Spring Valley.

Comments: This is a major shift in the Almanzo. It has traditionally always been a Southeast Minnesota event, which started originally in Rochester, Minnesota, and moved to Spring Valley after about four years.  The move means that assuredly almost none of the original courses for the Almanzo 100 will be in use again. No mention was made regarding the Royal 165 or the 380 mile Alexander courses which also originated out of Spring Valley. It would be pretty incredible if all three courses were changed before next May, but again- no word on this yet.

What is interesting is that now the starting town, assuming that all negotiations and plans go forward with Northfield, will only be about 40-50 miles from the Twin Cities, which always was Almanzo's biggest draw as far as riders which attended the event was concerned.Attendance will probably be higher as long as the weather is not heinous, given that Skogen continues with his "no limits" roster, which he has doggedly held to for quite some time.

Northfield stands to benefit greatly. At the time Almanzo happens, the two local colleges should be done with classes. (Or close to it), and there shouldn't be any issues with filling all the spots in the local motels. Camping is being discussed and the local economy stands to benefit greatly from the weekend. How the locals will take it is quite another thing, but we'll stay tuned on that and see how it goes....

That's all I have this week for FN&V. Have a great weekend! Enjoy Global Fat Bike Day, if you are so inclined.


Unknown said...

That's great about Almanzo. SE Minnesota smells terrible so moving it out of the farmlands a bit is fantastic. Also the drive from Minneapolis was too long.

S.Fuller said...

The drive from MPLS is too long? Cry me a river ;)

A venue change will be good IMO. Keep things new and give old timers a reason to come back and see a new portion of MN

jkruse said...

What's with the "UV torch" included in the Muc Off kit?

Guitar Ted said...

@jkruse- The sealant glows under UV light, so you can use the light provided in the kit to identify where leakage might be happening on your tires.

Rydn9ers said...

Finally the industry is listening to those of us who want a sealant that will seal punctures and we can take to our next rave! Unce... unce... unce... unce... unce

Doug M. said...

That Muc Off sealant looks interesting, will likely try some. Hoping for something that lasts longer than my home-made stuff (Keith Bontrager formula).

CrushinGravel said...

Chris Skogen should not be speaking for all of the Almanzo faithful when he says we don’t go where we’re not wanted. He acted alone and with the integrity of one who would steal his own artifact from a museum that he clearly gave it to. He walked away from the Almanzo 4.5 years ago, declaring “I’m done, in the words of a parent, it’s gone off to college” and gave it to the people, the people ride the Almanzo and the people of Spring Valley, who in turn, embraced and grew the Almanzo. After his hiatus, he re-appears on the biking scene and offers to help the city run the race in 2019, only to turn his back on the city that grew the vision in a highly suspect move over a fully refundable security deposit to use the Community Center for registration and says he’s moving the races to Northfield. The city of Spring Valley was gracious, despite his dishonor, in their comments, yet he continues his storytelling that the city of Spring Valley didn’t want the Almanzo. Which is far from the truth. Putting on a race like this is a losing proposition for any city financially, but the city soldiered on year-after-year because of the joy, victory, triumph, defeat and gratitude that it brought to all the riders and volunteers who have made it such a success. Mr. Skogen should take a look in the mirror and reflect on this selfish act that has cast a less than positive light on the city of Spring Valley and its townspeople; who are the rightful guardians of the races, and let the Almanzo faithful and people of Spring Valley decide when the run is over. Of course the people of Northfield and the cities are stoked, but when a stolen piece of artwork, that is the Almanzo, shows up on your streets, know that it was wrongfully re-acquired by the artist who created it. There is a right way and a wrong way; there was no honor or integrity in what he’s done and the dark shadow Mr. Skogen has cast on the gravel scene through his dishonorable, premeditated and shameful actions.

Guitar Ted said...

@Unknown- Since this post, I have read througha thread on Facebook that would seem to give some credence to your grievances in regard to ow the conversation between the city and Skogen went and was reacted to. I suppose it is a "he said-she said" that will never be completely understood except that it was what precipitated the end of Spring Valley's run with Almanzo.

My heart goes out to places like Cherry Grove, which has a Community Center which garnered a free will offering which was a significant boost to its budget for keeping the place up in 2018. The smiles of the caretaker as we left from the checkpoint last Spring told a story of joy and hope that is now dashed.

But that is but one of the small stories involved in the uprooting of Almanzo from Spring Valley.

At any rate, it is what it is now. I doubt there is any going back.

And as for the future, you can decide to support this, or not. Going forward the enthusiastic rider support I think Almanzo is going to get regardless of how the situation with Spring Valley was handled will quickly overshadow the negative consequences of Mr. Skogen's decisions.

CrushinGravel said...

Thanks Guitar Ted, a small group of us is still planning to ride the old course from SV on the traditional date, call it a Rally to Ride or Same Race New Face, whatever it is, it’s the right thing to do to show our support and thank the City of SV for a dedicated and exceptional 9-year run. As the date approaches, we’ll get some social media posts up to let folks interested in joining us know; perhaps those who have never completed the full route want a chance at redemption. We’ll reach out to SV to let ‘em know we’re out there, although I don’t think it’s against the law for us to park at the High School and roll out from there on our own. Heck, the city may be already planning to continue the tradition since that’s their traditional weekend for Wilderfest any way. That would be great. If the City of SV wants to give the race/ride a new name, that’s awesome too. Skogen already burned the Almanzo start line stakes...perhaps prematurely. P.S. If the caretaker from Cherry Grove CC is at the traditional check point we’ll make it worth his while, we always do...where else can you get an m&m covered banana with a Jack n Coke chaser to refuel with for the last 24 or so miles. Need all the fuel we can get to conquer that pesky Oriole Hill. Time to pull up our bootstraps and soldier on. Trout out