Friday, April 10, 2020

Friday News And Views

Can you or can't you ride your bike here?
Shelter In Place Rules Confusing For Recreational Activities:

There was another level of ratcheting up the closures of businesses in Iowa due to the pandemic and part of the recommendations for closure by the Governor was that public skate parks were now off limits, along with public playgrounds. In some other parts of the country parks are being closed, and in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, County officials are ticketing non-residents for coming to trail heads and other recreation areas.

It seems that every State has different interpretations of what "shelter in place" means and that this can vary on the County level as well. Can you ride where you like? Depends. Best to ask officials before blundering into a ticket, or causing a social media storm over your ignorance and/or indifference.

It's the "new normal" and, frankly, it stinks to high heaven. No one seems to really know just what they can and cannot do. But really, it is pretty simple. Don't do anything with people outside your immediate family unit. Don't gather for any reason. Keep local and keep yourself at home when you aren't outside. Wash hands often. Don't touch your face.

Specific to cycling: Be self-supported. If you don't know what that is, you probably should stay at home. 

New, beefier Fox 38 - Image courtesy of Fox
 Fox Shox Introduces New 38mm Long Travel Fork:

I know I don't do a lot of 29"er stuff here anymore, (they really became "just a mountain bike" a long time ago, which is probably why), but news that struck me as being somewhat noteworthy came from Fox Shox this week. They introduced a new enduro/long travel single crown fork called the "38", which indicates the stanchion diameter on this all-new fork.

The fork comes in three travel lengths: 160mm, 170mm, and 180mm, all available in 29" wheel size compatibility. You may think, "So what, Ted! Enduro forks all are long travel." Yes they are, but you miss the point.

Consider that 13 years ago Fox didn't make any 29'er forks, (but soon would be releasing them), and that a mere ten years ago the thought of a single crown fork for any wheel diameter that had 180mm of travel was somewhat daft. Sure, they existed, but they weren't considered very good at the time. Now throw in the 29'er factor, well........ You would have been considered to be a dreamer. There was no way that was ever going to happen.

So, not only is the 38mm diameter a big deal, but the mere fact that we can casually accept that a 29"er fork in a single crown type model with 180mm travel exists is something pretty remarkable. Especially when we were vehemently reprimanded for even floating the idea that 29'er wheels would be good at long travel ten years ago by the 26"er/27.5"er folks.

And by the way, I don't count myself as being one of those dreamers as I figured it was a bit of a pipe dream too. I post this to show how wrong we all were and those that did believe it could happen are having their day now. I think it is awesome. Nevermind the fact that I'll never need or want such a bike that might use a fork like that. It is great for those that do.

One other noteworthy bit about this fork. It seems rather minute in the scheme of things, but this is another "why didn't we have this before now?" moments, in my opinion. That detail would be the step shoulder through-bolt. Essentially this detail makes it so the hub gets pressed against a shoulder on the axle on one side and the drop out on the other, leaving one leg of the fork to settle in on the axle with no sideways forces exerted on it by the through bolt. This allows for the legs of the fork to not be "bent" inwards to pinch down on the hub when the axle bolt is tightened. This in turn keeps the legs parallel to one another, and keeps any premature wear and binding at bay. Great idea! this should become standard with all through bolt systems.

Ridiculously wide flared drop bars? Why yes! Image from Curve Cycles.
 As If Flared Drop Bars Weren't Already Weird Enough: 

Flared drop bars- Some say ya don't need 'em, some say they are stupid. Well, if you happen to like them, Curve Cycling from "Down Under" has decided you should let yer freak flag fly high. That's because they have made a flared drop bar so wide you could land an aircraft on it. (Not really, but you get the idea- or you will in a minute)

Yeah, yeah...So Salsa Cycles has a really wide Cowchipper and Cowbell now, but these Walmer Bars go to 60cm at the hoods and a full 75cm at the ends. So that's wide my friends! And never fear! There is extra long bar tape for these bars too. (Good thing!) Interested? You can get them here in the US.

Now I'm not sure I'd ever want any flared drop bar wider than a Cowchipper or a Luxy Bar which were pretty much 46cm at the hoods when that was as big as those came. But maybe you do? Maybe for a sleep roll, or stuff sack which could nest in there? I don't know. I just know that I've ridden 44cm bars and those are okay, but a tic wider was better, and I might like a 48cm bar, but I've never tried one. Maybe I should.........

The Kegeti
 Looks Fargo-ish To Me:

They say there is not a lot new under the Sun, but just a bunch of variations on a theme. So, this new Lindarets "Kegeti" bicycle seems to fit that theme well. Cutting a very late model Fargo-like profile, this is a drop bar bike which can be fitted with a suspension fork, lots of accessories via many mounting points, and can handle a 29" X 2.5" tire.

Price for a frame and fork lists at $2250.00, which is about $500 less than a Ti Fargo, but the Ti Fargo is arguably more versatile, since it can do 27.5 +/29+ tires, the Fargo can be single speed, and this Kegeti can not. But that said, this is a pretty cool bike for those who are looking for such a beast.

This bike also features that new T-47 style threaded bottom bracket standard. That may seem weird but I think it is a step in the right direction, as Lindarets says, you do not have to compromise on bearing size when you go with a big pipe spindle bottom bracket like a 30mm which several cranks use, or the new SRAM DUB which is pretty close to that.

As far as I'm concerned though, this bike is kind of an ugly duckling. It just looks like the lines are messed up and the front end is too high. meh!  The Black Mountain Cycles La Cabra I showed last week looks a lot nicer to me, and that doesn't have the "jacked up" suspension corrected look, which I find weird looking on this Kegeti. That's just my opinion though. You may love it. It's okay.....

Thanks for reading. I hope you all stay safe and healthy. Have a great weekend!


grannygear said...

Ugly from the side for sure, but how does one get that handlebar height down where it belongs, especially in a smaller frame size(s)? A neg 20 degree stem? But that is ugly squared. Like those old Cannondale hardtails.

Guitar Ted said...

@grannygear - Oh yeah! It does look like those old Cannondales, now that you mention it! I hadn't thought of that. Now all I can think of is this bike with red bags emblazoned with "Volvo" in yellow and Tinker Juarez competing in the Tour Divide.

Doug M. said...

I demo'd a 29er with a 160mm Fox 36 fork a couple years ago, and to my surprise, it just felt like a bike. Really is amazing how far the concept has come in 10 years, and how different MTB has become in that time.