Friday, January 15, 2021

Friday News And Views

 Sea Otter Moves date To Fall:

In a short statement sent to media via e-mail on Monday, Sea Otter confirmed rumors that it was going to move its traditional Spring date to Fall for 2021, citing COVID issues. The statement read as follows:"After recent discussions with health and permitting officials, we’ve determined we will not be able to conduct an event in May."

The new dates are October 7-19th, 2021 and the event will still be held at Laguna Seca raceway near Monterey, California. 

Comments: As of this writing California is in strict lock down due to a rise in COVID-19 cases recently. While there is a vaccine being distributed, it is widely accepted that most people will not have gotten vaccinated before late Summer at the earliest. 

Sea Otter has become the de-facto consumer/trade show/exhibition since the demise of Interbike. Traditionally the mid-April date was used as a way for companies to introduce new product. With shortages due to COVID-induced demands causing supply short-falls, it was dubious as to what, if any interesting products would have actually been there for introduction. Waiting until Fall may actually prove to be advantageous in this regard. Plus, many more North American dealers could go and make this an Interbike replacement of sorts. 

Road Boost rear spacing is a thing now. Focus Atlas 6.8 image courtesy of Focus.
You Knew It Was Coming, Didn't You?

I have said for years that the next big innovation/evolution in road bike standard would be the move to a wider rear spacing standard. Well, it appears that Focus, a brand some may know from cyclo cross or MTB, has made 'Road Boost' a thing now with the introduction of the 2021 Atlas gravel bike range. 

First things first: Up until now, all road bike based bicycles used a 130mm rear overlock dimension standard. This determined not just the spacing between the faces of the inner rear drop out where the wheel axle interfaced with the frame, but it also determined where the rear derailleur sits in relationship to the crank set, and essentially, it limits what a designer can do with regard to tire clearances, frame members, etc. When through axles became ubiquitous, this standard did not change, excepting that a through axle fit differently, so the dimension was listed as 142mmOD. Through axles did not fundamentally change anything else, just the way wheels were attached. 

Now with 'Boost' spacing, designers can take advantage of the moving of the drive line outboard a bit. The rear axle is wider now at 148mm, so that 'pushes' the cassette outward that much more also.  This removes barriers to wider tires and still having traditional frame member bits like straight chain stays instead of drooped ones, or elevated ones, to get short chain stays, wider tires, and crank sets all a space to 'live in'. 

You'll note that the Focus Atlas 6.8 has Shimano GRX cranks. Those cranks were set outboard from traditional road bike crank set chain line to allow designers to get wider tires in, so yes- In a way the Focus Atlas is the first all Boost road bike. I suspect it won't be the last. 

Gravel Worlds Registration Opens Tomorrow:

Get ready, get set, GO! Gravel Worlds registration opens tomorrow at 8:00am CST. Hit that link and it will take you to the 2021 registration site on (I post that as much for my convenience as anything, just to be forthcoming!)

Gravel Worlds will have the 150 mile, 75 mile, and 50K distances available which are the traditional distance offerings from recent years. The 50K is a 'non-competitive' ride, by the way. All rides will start and end at the Schilling Bridge Cork & Tap House in the Northwest area of Lincoln, Nebraska on August 21st, pandemic pending, of course. 

I have gone on and on about this event, and I have participated in this event many times, but if you are new and wondering if Nebraska is even worth considering, I can give you my hearty recommendation. The terrain is HILLY! The weather will be hot, humid, and there most likely will be wind. The gravel has a sandy consistency which can make for some interesting handling characteristics at times. But more than anything, Gravel Worlds is a snapshot of what made the genre famous and attractive. That being that the event has a definite grassroots feel, the people are welcoming, the locals have a hand in making the experience more like visiting relatives, (good ones, the ones you have fun with), and overall Gravel Worlds just encompasses everything good about gravel riding. Go do it. You won't be disappointed. And hopefully we will be able to "go do it"!

G-Ted Productions Notes:

Okay, once again, this is probably going to get mentioned regularly for a while here, so if you've seen these announcements already, please bear with me or skip over this section. 

  • Quick Links To Series Posts: Just a reminder that now you can look at any "Trans Iowa Stories" post or any "Touring Series" post by clicking on the page link for each series. Those page links are under the header here. (Look above, just under the main page image) Each newly published "Trans Iowa Stories" post will be added as I go along. 
  • Archived Drop Bar Articles: I also finally figured out how to publish page header links with these series posts which meant that the long hidden drop bar page got published there as well. The page was set up a long time ago and I quit working on it when Blogger changed the formatting here over a year ago on the backside where I work on stuff. So, now that I have that figured out I will be adding links to more G-Ted Productions drop bar posts as time goes on now. 
  • G-Ted Productions Merchandise: And finally I will remind you all that t-shirts, stickers, mugs, and more can be purchased with the "G-Ted" icon at the link for my daughter's Redbubble site which you can find under the "My Events and Web Sites" header in the far right column here on the blog. Remember- I don't make a penny off that, it helps support my daughter's art habit. She gets a cut from sales there. 
  • C.O.G. 100, Events Announcement: Just to make sure you are all aware- First off, the C.O.G.100 is no more. Gone, se ya later! N.Y. Roll and I decided to cut bait and close down the event since we cannot in good conscience hold it with the pandemic going on. And since that is the case, I took the opportunity to end my involvement in events promotions. I've been at this since late 2004, so it is high time to move along now. So- no C.O.G.100 ever again. If and when N.Y. Roll wants to do something I will post about that here. 
That's about it! Have a great weekend and try to get out and ride if you can.

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