|The Hutchinson Touareg. a tire I really liked.|
News reached me earlier this week that Hutchinson Tire has pulled its products from the North American Market. I have to say that this comes from an industry source and that this is a fairly reliable person. I have also seen distributors close out remaining Hutchinson stock lists and that's also another indication that this story is probably true.
Comments: I was gutted, to be honest, when I heard the news. Why? Because the Touareg, Hutchinson's newest gravel tire offering, is really pretty good. I happen to enjoy it on gravel, and it is one of the most reliable, easy to get along with tires for 'just riding' in a tubeless format that you could get.
I also find it rather odd when a company makes a 'big push' to get into the North American market with new product intros, marketing to reviewers, and thus to readers/riders, and by making a foothold in with distributors. They advertise in the media/social media realms, and they push reps to talk about the products. All that to pull the plug within a year, or as in some cases I'm aware of, less time than that. It just seems like these companies think that they can swoop in and take away a bunch of cash right out of the gate, when in fact it may take a commitment of years to make any headway. I feel that Hutchinson just cut off their own nose here by pulling out, in my opinion, far too soon. But what do I know.....
This may have to do with supply chain issues, raw materials shortages, or some combination thereof. In that case, it is understandable, but still pretty sad. That said, as I mentioned, I've seen this game played before in much better times as well. It still baffles me.
|Remembering Odin's Revenge- This was from 2014.|
These 'book of faces' memories deals bring up some things sometimes that I have kind of forgotten about, but - at least in this sort of case- it is a good thing social media does. In this case it was a memory of being at Odin's Revenge, a grassroots gravel event which once was held in West-Central Nebraska.
Odin's was held out of a town named Gothenburg, so now maybe you might understand the connection to Norse mythology. Anyway, the point is that I- and many others who were daring enough to try this event- have some awesome memories of riding in this unique area.
Not only that, but the way it was put on is something that only the people who were involved could have done, or ever will do. It is an unrepeatable experience. See- I liken these sorts of events to a family invitation to a shin-dig at the family farm. They invite you in, it has an intimate, unique flair which the 'family' imbues upon it, and you partake of the offerings - or not- and come away with an intensely unique experience that cannot be duplicated, imitated, or reproduced by any other 'family'. Each has their own flavor, if you will.
And Odin's had a very unique, tasty, and intoxicating, (literally and figuratively!) flavor. I am not going to wax on and on with tales of my adventures out there. However; I will point out that if you have a chance to do a unique, small, grassroots event, you may want to really try to make it to that particular event. It will be sure to have its unique 'flavor' and you know- it isn't going to last forever. You've got a window of opportunity- on your end or on the event's- and when that window closes?
That event, or your ability to do it- or both, is gone forever. Such was the case with Odin's. The event directors just decided to stop it one year and that's that. I am glad I made it to a few of the versions of that event during its run. Obviously, I am speaking from a rider's viewpoint, but I have the unique perspective of having been 'that guy' that shut down a few events as well. So, listen.....I think I have a good perspective on this. Go. Do those smaller events, those unique, grassroots types of deals. Do them this year. Or if they are Spring events- next Spring then. That is- if you care about experiencing great times and supporting these folks that pour their hearts into their events.
That's what I think about now when I think about Odin's Revenge. A unique flavor put out by passionate, committed people that cared deeply. Thank you for what you did for us. You know who you are.....
Stan's NoTubes Updates Rims;
I recently was remarking how Stan's old trail rim from the 00's, the Flow, was originally only 28mm outer rim width. Well, that was three generations of Stan's rims ago now as Stan's NoTubes has introduced a new range of "MK4" rims.
The big news here is a new design of the offset spoke bed idea and new, wider inner rim widths. Of course, the Flow carries on as the top of the range trail/enduro/DH rim offering and is now at 30mm wide for an internal rim width.
My attention is on the Crest rim here, as that is the rim Stan's designates as their 'gravel' category rim within their range. That rim has a 25mm internal rim width, so that is right in the pocket for what I am seeing from the industry in terms of 'gravel' rim dimensions. (Again- why are we so stuck on calling this category 'gravel'? It's very limiting and, really, pretty ignorant, but whatevs......) The Crest MK4 rims are about 400 grams each, have a welded seam, and go for $129.00 each, according to the press release I was sent.
Comments: Stan's presents a different option with this rim for all-road, adventure type riding. That offset spoke bed is unusual in this category, but not totally unheard of. Stan's also says this rim is available now, so it isn't vaporware, apparently. That's nice to hear in these times, but I have not tried to get these, so I am not 100% on that claim by Stan's.
I'm not a big fan of Stan's rims due to their insistence on using a slightly larger bead seat diameter than anyone else in the world. It works for some tires, and it doesn't work well, or at all, for some others. Stan's did this originally for tires that were not tubeless ready so one could convert them to tubeless, but in 2021? Unless I hear otherwise, I am of the mind that Stan's use of this slightly oversized bead seat diameter is unnecessary anymore. But besides that, good stuff here.
That's it for this week. It is a big holiday weekend in the USA, so please be careful out there! Get some riding in and have fun!