Monday, February 03, 2020

Gravel Grinder News: Bouncey Stems And Rubber Bits

More rad Riddler> Yes! Meet the Raddler.
WTB Tires Introduces The Raddler: 

One of WTB's more popular gravel tires is the Riddler. It's got edge knobbies and little centralized "zits" down the middle, Generally speaking it rocks gravel and smoother, hard dirt. However; some folks were wanting something a bit more. Something that had a higher "rad" quotient. WTB thought about it. More? Radder? Wait!......

We'll call it the Raddler!

Or something like that, is how I imagine it went, maybe...... Anywho.....

The Raddler comes in 40mm and 44mm sizes in blackwall and skinwall. $59.99 no matter. Both 700c. Tubeless, of course. 

The tread is bulked up and features deeper lugs, bigger knobs, and a more aggressive look. WTB says it still rolls like the dickens. Well, I will be finding out, as I have a set of these to test for (Note- I did not pay for the tires. they are sent to for review. I was not paid to write this post and I always strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout.

So, with that bit of business taken care of, I am excited to try these out. Actually, it is a good time to get a hold of a tire like this. Late Winter riding generally calls out for something with a bit of bite to the tread. Stay tuned for the lowdown coming soon.....

More boing for your bars.
Kinekt Announces Kickstarter For Suspension Stem:

Kinekt, or Body Float by Cirrus Cycles, the folks that brought you that parallelogram suspension seat post I have had in the past, now have a companion piece in a stem featuring similar design.

The stem features a coil sprung parallelogram which is tunable for rider weight and preferences with three springs, which are included in the package. The stem is available in 90mm, 105mm, and 120mm with a 7° rise or a 100 X 30° rise model. I couldn't find anywhere that said the stem in 7° could be flipped for a negative rise, like the Redshift Sports Shock Stop can be, but maybe I missed that. By the looks of the design, I'd guess the answer is that it wasn't intended to be run in a negative rise.

Early reactions to the stem are that it reminds people of the old Girvin/Soft Ride product from the 90's which also had a parallelogram design. That old design was susceptible to some pretty bad brake dive when hitting the binders hard. Hopefully Kinekt took that characteristic out of this new offering.

 Another New Riding Gravel Radio Ranch Podcast:

Whoa! Hold on to your britches, 'cause we recorded another Riding Gravel Radio Ranch podcast last Wednesday. I know, it's crazy times, but it is true. Not fake news here!

Ben and I discuss news and reviews on the site and then we dive into the big dust-up over talk that the UCI wants to get involved in maybe putting on a Gravel World Championships.

It's a pretty good show, and I think it should make for a good listen. Plus, afterward Ben asked me about doing something a bit different in terms of an audio offering. I won't say too much just yet because it still is in its nascent stages. But if all goes as we think, it should prove to be an interesting way to share more of my work, both from here and from Riding Gravel.

Okay, that's all for this edition. Thanks for reading!


Anon said...

While the trend is wider and more aggressive tires, I wonder how many folks are going the other direction? I borrowed a bike not too long ago that had fairly lean 38c tires, and I was pleasantly surprised by the perceived bump in speed. At the same time, I felt just as comfortable as I do on wider, cushier tires. At this point I think I'm willing to absorb a few more bumps from the smaller tires in exchange for the extra extended effort needed to drag a bigger, heavier tire around.

Guitar Ted said...

@Anon- It all depends. That's why there are so many different tires. However; science says wider, plusher tires run at pressures that traditionalists would scoff at are faster, more comfortable, and less prone to flatting, (if you run tubes), than skinnier tires. Rims are a critical factor as well. Too wide is just as "not good" as too narrow. What is right? Too many variables exist for me to say what is right for your particular situation versus anyone else's.

Note: You said "perceived bump in speed". This is what leads many to like higher pressures, narrower tires, and skinny rims because they "feel" faster on gravel or rough roads when science says that they are not.

In the end- you do you. If you are going to enjoy riding more because your 38's make you "feel faster", well then by all means- do that. I encourage experimentation though, and with an open mind you may see some other valid ways of doing it as well.

Thanks for the comment.

Anon said...

GT, I forgot that I had left a comment here. For the record, I usually run 42c tires and have ridden everything from road 23c to 2.35 Ikons. I the 2.35 are noticeably slower and heavier, enough so that I can safely eliminate them as they are just too much. I'm much less certain about things in the 38-44 range. Time will tell I guess. One thing that I have noticed is that most tires are pretty darn nice these days. When I started riding gravel, there were not many choices, and no gravel specific tires at all. I think I settled on Schwalbe Marathon Extreme in those days. I no longer remember the size. Tough tire, buy heavy and clunky.