Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday News And Views

All the engagements
Industry 9 Introduces New Hubs:

Industry 9, the high engagement, colorful, US made hub company from North Carolina introduced a new, high engagement hub this week. You maybe saw that somewhere on social media. If not, it is a new, closer tolerance hub that engages slightly quicker than the old ones.

Kind of a big deal, but in the grand scheme of things, it is a minor curiosity. That said, you'd think that the Pope had declared he was an atheist, by the reactions I saw, and I think that is just weird. Some folks declared you should just buy another, "instant engagement hub" from another US company. Some said the math was wrong that I-9 used. Some folks said the new hubs would have more drag......yada,yada,yada...... 

Here's my take: High engagement hubs are okay as long as they are (1) strong, (2) free rolling, and (3) don't weigh a lot. Otherwise, I could care less what the engagement is, what the degrees of free play is, or what have you. Why? Because I never have failed to make a move, climb a hill, or accelerate due to "lack of engagement". Now, I have had free hubs slip, pawls crap out, and bearings go bad. Those are far, far higher on my list of concerns than "free play" or whatever. But don't get into it with someone who is a free hub zealot. Sheesh! 

Oh yeah. Noises. Free hub "clackety-clack". Some folks get bent about the noises, or lack thereof. Honestly, I usually tune that out if it exists and don't mind if it doesn't. I've got far more important things to pay attention to when I ride, like wild flowers, the clouds, how the Sun hits that field "just so", and getting up the next hill. Your mileage may vary. 

But yeah, I like anodized hubs, US made stuff, and wheels. So, I may be getting a set of these this year.

Salsa Cycles twitter account posted this yesterday.
New FS Bike From Salsa Cycles On The Horizon?

In the cycling industry there is a concept called "product cycle", in which a certain concept or way of making something serves the market and then is "retired", redesigned from the "ground up", or what have you. The full suspension line up from Salsa Cycles seems to have run its course, judging by the lack of available product, so it seemed reasonable to think yesterday that a teaser seen on twitter was the harbinger of something new.

Words can be hints as well as images, so the text on the Tweet I saw referred to "rustling" and of course, you probably remember the Ponyrustler FS bike Salsa did for a few years. Yes.....that could as easily be a way to put us off the trail too. I realize that. But none the less, here we have a hint at something new coming soon.

You know, Frostbike is coming up next weekend, right? Well, there is a good chance that whatever is being hinted at here will be revealed then. If it isn't ready, then I'd say Sea Otter would be your next best release date. But I am betting Frostbike will be the venue that will be the reveal for whatever the heck it is we're looking at here.

Frostbike! Ah......the memories! I recall the good times well. I haven't been to a Frostbike for several years now. The reason being is that my workplace is in charge of the "getting registered" bit and never happens. So, once again, I will not be at Frostbike. Just know that it is beyond my control to do anything about that these days.

Waterloo is to be commended for at least attempting to look out for cyclists and peds.
Taking Care Of The Citizens- All Of Them:

Multi-use paths, (bike paths), are great. Recreation is important, but many communities are just now figuring out that plain ol recreating doesn't promote long term healthy lifestyles. (generally speaking here) However; practical, purposeful routes- routes that actually are useful and take you somewhere and back again- really do help communities get more healthy. People are apt to use routes to schools, stores, and work places more often than recreational trails and therefore they become healthier, they reduce "traffic", and cut down on gas and oil use. That is great to see happening where it is happening and all, but if you don't maintain routes in Winter, then everything comes to a screeching halt.

This goes for pedestrians as well. If you think people stop using routes for foot and cycle traffic in Winter, well, you haven't seen all the tracks I'm seeing out there. Tracks of people, bicycles, people with walkers, carts, and people with small children in strollers. There are a LOT of people that cannot, won't, or don't often drive a motor vehicle. I know it seems crazy, but it is true.

That's why I find a bit of pride welling up inside me when I see how well Waterloo, Iowa takes care of its paths in Winter. The image here is from my commute on Thursday morning, just two short days after a major snowstorm. Nicely done! I was able to make it to work by bicycle easily since the City of Waterloo has chosen to take care of its people. Thank you!

And that is a wrap for this week. I hope y'all have a fantastic weekend!


Unknown said...

Instant engagement is nice on a fat bike to get going again if you have to touch your foot down in deeper than expected snow or just regular ratcheting of the cranks. Not a deal breaker for southerners and I don't get it for road/gravel bikes.

The silence I totally understand. I9 Torches sound annoying. It's like listening to fingernails on a chalkboard coming out of a boombox speaker on an otherwise quiet trail.

Doug M. said...

Winter path maintenance is a blessing! My little village runs a Bobcat mini-plow on the sidewalks with varying results, better than nothing.

Michael said...

There’s some room for improvement, but Eau Claire, WI does a good job of getting the multi-paths and sidewalks plowed.

Back when I lived in a fairly libertarian place in the inner mountain west, getting around by bike or foot after a big snow was always a nightmare.

S Sprague said...

I was wondering when Salsa was going to replace the Horsethief/Pony Rustler/etc frame with something more "modern" in geometry. I loved my HT but wanted something more. Looking forward to the new bike!

Great to hear that Waterloo cleared the bike path. Our only obstacles are trees and flooding here in Sacramento. Most of the time, our bike paths are kept clear in the parkway.

I do like my pre-Torch I9 wheels but don't miss the buzzing sound. I used to think Chris King's were loud! Ha! Now, I enjoy the quiet buzz of a CK hub!

Enjoy the weekend GT!

Tman said...

Rapid City has the bike paths plowed BEFORE the roads even! And I miss Frostbike, have not been there since we introduced Strider several years ago. Pretty sure we said howdy that wknd.

teamdarb said...

This winter maintence thing is a huge key to success of paths that actually goes some place. The lack of winterization just makes it more time consuming later in the season. The same can be said to bicycle lanes protected, open, and wide shoulders. These are last prioritized in many areas. I recall having a plow supervisor tell me to hitch a ride instead of complaining. That was quickly turned into an apology once made contact with the local pedestrian and bicycling organization. They turned the observation over to a larger group, who then started researching regional practicies. I often wonder how many folks use these recreational path do so quietly struggling without realizing they have a voice? I wish the paths had posted signage directing users with real contact information in key points, not just the name of the trail or linkat the start or end.