Friday, April 30, 2021

Friday News And Views

New Shimano "Linkglide" 10 speed group. (Image courtesy of Shimano)
 Shimano Introduces A New E-Bike (HPC) Specific Group:

With the popularity of electric motor enhanced bicycles a problem or two has arisen which was something I saw coming a long time ago. That is that with the electric motor's 'instant torque' application, wear and tear on drive train parts is increased. (Not to mention tires, wheels, and even saddles) This has resulted in consumer's finding out that their fancy-pants 12 speed MTB HPC (Hybrid Powered Cycle) rig goes through parts a lot faster than their normally powered friend's bikes do. 

So, for several years now manufacturers have been "beefing up" parts which the industry has spent billions of dollars on and decades of R&D trying to make strong and light. Because electrified power is a lot different than human power and since, you know, power conservation isn't as imperative from a designer's standpoint, we can add the beef and it won't matter a lick. Well, other than making stuff last longer. Shimano is simply following the market here. 

Another interesting tidbit that was part of this story reveals how HPC rigs are making it 'easier' to ride bicycles, but that a lack of rider skill has proven to be an added design liability when making components for HPC's:

"We (Shimano) noticed that less experienced cyclists ride in the same gear, sometimes under excessive torque, for long periods of time, which puts strain on their drivetrain. As well as that, riders who shift under torque also cause excess wear and tear and ultimately a loss of drivetrain performance. "

They are being nice here, but the message is clear: HPC riders ride differently, so we needed to beef up the parts. Because if they were riding traditional human powered bicycles, they couldn't get away with the lack of technique which is necessary to ride and power the bike 100%. Oh, and none of this 10 speed stuff is compatible with anything else, so far as I have read. Of course, it wouldn't be.......

The Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H tire.

The Pirelli Tire For Bikes That Run Gravel:

Pirelli - That name always meant 'European sports car racing" to me. I saw the banners at the big motorcycle races. I knew Pirelli made a trialsin tire for bicycles. (I actually have an example of one), but today? No one had heard of Pirelli bicycle tires until recently. 

I know that the tire brand Clement was revived by Donn Kellogg who licensed that name from Pirelli. Of course, Clement made some hay with the early gravel scene and the Xplor MSO tire. Things went along well with that relationship until Pirelli released the news that they were coming back into the bicycle tire market. That decision precipitated the split between Kellogg and Pirelli and resulted in the the rebranding of Clement to Donnelly. 

So now I am wondering what the heck is going on with Pirelli? They released some road racing tires and some urban cycling tires.  But nothing was happening on the gravel tire side. So some time goes by, and now here we have Pirelli gravel tires today.

So, I figured that this was something I needed to check out. I got a set via Andy's Bike Shop, ( paid for with my own moolah, natch!), and I have them set up on my pink Black Mountain Cycles MCD. (You can read all the pertinent details on these tires here) That bike has plenty of room for tires at 45-50mm depending upon what rim you use, so I knew that even if these 45's stretched, I'd likely be okay with the BMC MCD. 

And stretch a bit they did! They actually measure up to 47mm now, and I'll be honest, that's okay by me. I was really liking the 47mm Teravail Rutlands I had on there before the Pirellis and I really wasn't wanting a narrower tire, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. So, as they seem to be about the same volume as the Rutlands, I am happy. Plus, the Cinturato is not really very rounded off, or 'peaked' in its cross section, which I happen to prefer as well. 

If you don't want, or cannot fit a 45-47mm tire, Pirelli offers this in a 40mm and a 35mm, or go 650B X 45 or 50mm! Choices. It's good......

A week of Trans Iowa memories burning into my brain.
The Week Of Trans Iowa Memories:

This week has been rife with memories popping up on Facebook of the 14 years worth of Trans Iowa events I have done. That is because the last full weekend of April was the traditional time for Trans Iowa to be held. Only one Trans Iowa, T.I.v5, was run in May, so most everything I see on Facebook this week is something Trans Iowa related. 

And it isn't just things I've posted, but things I 'liked' posted by others as well. Some folks have even shared their memories that have been popping up on their feeds over the past week, adding more T.I. memories and images to my vast trove of collected stuff. It is an emotional roller coaster of stuff coming at me every day for a week. 

I don't recall this being as intense as it has been this year. Maybe Facebook's algorithm for the Memories section doesn't kick in until something gets a certain age on it, I don't know, but this seems new to me this year. I suppose it is kind of a bummer too because some of this new material popping up could have worked well in my "Trans Iowa Stories" series. In fact, I did garner some bits about T.I.v13 and 14 which I will be integrating into the series when the time comes. 

I have noted that certain Trans Iowa events seem to have a lot of Facebook content (v10, v13, v14) and others not so much. And of course, early Trans Iowa events have almost nothing, although I did score a great T.I.v2 image that will get used for a special post about Trans Iowa vets. The Facebook thing was never a big deal for me to keep up with most years. I was too busy running the event and I figured that if I managed to get any Trans Iowa radio posts up, I was doing well. 

However; for v10 I kind of went all-in because I thought, (actually I had totally planned on it ) that it would be the last Trans Iowa. So, I wanted to throw out as much content as I could, kind of in a 'last hurrah' fashion, seeing as how I'd never be doing that again! Ha! That didn't work very well, did it?! 

But now it is really over and the world turns on......

Riding Gravel Radio Ranch Episode #79:

The latest Riding Gravel Radio Ranch podcast is up now. My co-host is Andy, and we gab about the latest news and goings on in the gravel world. We may not always agree with each other, nor with you, but it seems that we have found an audience that enjoys the show as I have been getting some positive feedback of late. 

I know that the world is weary of podcasting dudes, and I get that. But it isn't like we suddenly cranked this up during the pandemic either. No, we've been doing this for a long time. We just were not very consistent with it until 2020. 

That's when I made it a goal to get the podcast coming at more regular intervals. We used to put the Radio ranch out whenever and sometimes not until months had passed by. Ben Welnak, the originator of the podcast, used to have me on as a guest way back when. So, this podcast has been around, in one form or another, since 2013. The thing is, by 2019 we only had 37 episodes up in six years. Now we have added 42 episodes in 13 months! So, it may seem like we just came on the scene, but we actually kind of just got the thing in gear! 

I'm pretty excited for Episodes #'s 80 and 81 because we have guests scheduled to be on, which is always fun. So, stay tuned for that. Also, if you have any criticisms or accolades, please hit me up. I'm sure we can use some suggestions and comments if you care to share.

That's all for this week! Have a great start to May!


Adrienne Taren said...

I just picked up a set of Pirelli H tires as well from my local shop, so will be curious to hear your thoughts! Had never even heard of them, and my normal tires had no availability (surprise), but I liked the look of the tread.

Boudin said...

If the 650b x 50 Pirellis plump up closer to 53 or more, I would be psyched. Only one way to find out…

DT said...

I've really been digging the RGRR lately, especially the Function or Fashion? segment!

Guitar Ted said...

@DT - Thank you!