Friday, September 15, 2023

Friday News And Views

Image courtesy of Pirelli USA.
Pirelli Announces New Offerings In SmarTube Tubes:

Pirelli offers its own version of a TPU tube, tubes that are not butyl rubber, as in traditional tubes, but made from TPU material which is much lighter and can be similar in characteristics to a latex tube but with far better air retention than a latex tube. 

Pirelli announced two new SmarTube offerings, but we are most concerned here with the SmarTube X as it has offerings in sizes for gravel/all-road bikes. 

SmarTube X in the 622-40/622-50 size (fits 40mm to 50mm tires) is three times thicker than the original SmarTube and therefore much more resistant to punctures. yet the tubes are far smaller when stored and take up much less room in a bag or jersey pocket than a similarly sized butyl tube does. 

Available in Schrader or Presta valves, these tubes should provide excellent air retention as well. Currently these are not quite yet available. ETA is set as the end of September. Pricing - SmarTubes are  $39.90/each. 

Comments: I find tubes to be useful in bikes I don't ride often, and I usually carry one on every ride, no matter the bike, just in case. So, these TPU based tubes are pretty nice from that standpoint of space savings, and weighing less. I have tried the Tubolito TPU tubes and have found that they seem to work well. 

Forty bucks a pop is steep, but for the sheer space saving and weight saving benefits, I could see it for someone who runs tubeless and needs an emergency bail-out option that may as well be minimalist if you have to carry that. I also see TPU tubes as being a nice way to get a tubed bike closer to tubeless benefits without going tubeless. You don't get the pinch flat resistance, but other than that, the more robust SmarTube X seems like a decent choice for those not wanting to do the tubeless dance. 

OMM's Basket (Image courtesy of OMM)

A Basket For The Old Man:

Old Man Mountain just released the news publicly about a product they were showing privately at the MADE Show recently. It's a new aluminum basket made to fit most of their current rack line. 

  • Stamped and welded aluminum construction is corrosion proof and designed to last.   
  • Molle compatible: Customize your basket with accessories designed for Molle mounting pattern.
  • Compatible with basket bags designed for “137” baskets.
  • Bolts directly to OMM Divide, Divide Fat, Elkhorn, and Pizza Rack for a reliable and rattle free connection.
I'll admit, I am not a basket guy, so a lot of those specs are lost on me, but if the thing bolts directly to an Elkhorn or Divide rack, then I bet these will be rock solid additions to most any bike. These are available now from Old Man Mountain for $80.00. (As are the Ponderosa Panniers and Juniper Trunk Bag I am testing now) For more on this rack, see HERE
Image courtesy of 45NRTH

45NRTH Risor Wool Gloves:

 I posted about it being "Light Season" earlier this week, and well....glove season isn't far behind! In that vein, I have been sent a press release from 45NRTH detailing a couple of their glove offerings. One of them caught my eye which is named "Risor"

The Risor is a Merino wool blend glove that will get you by on cool, Fall rides, but it's more than that. This is a perfect liner glove for a Winter mitten, or larger full-fingered gloves. So, it can be a three-season use glove and being that it uses Merino wool, it will stay warm even if you sweat it out. Well, mostly, as it does have a synthetic fabric outer layer to it. 

But that combination of fabrics does give a wool blend glove a longer lifespan, in my experience, so that's good, plus 45NRTH have put that synthetic fabric in places where it matters most for wear. I also like the length of this glove for keeping cold air at bay since you would be able to overlap that cuff with a long sleeved jersey, or jacket, or another glove. 

I guess I should also mention that 45NRTH says this glove is touch-screen compatible. In my experience most gloves that claim this are not all that compatible with touch screens, so take that with a grain of salt. But there- 45NRTH says these gloves work with touch-screens. 

Anyway, I always am on the lookout for nice liner-type handwear for cold weather and this glove looks like it is pretty well thought out. You can pick up a pair for $45.00. Plus, if black isn't your jam it comes in a nice light blue color as well.

Image courtesy of Wolf Tooth

Wolf Tooth Offers 12spd GRX Chainrings:

The "johnny-on-the-spot" award for this week goes to Wolf Tooth, who have offered 12 speed replacement rings for Shimano's new 12 speed GRX before almost anyone has even ridden the stuff yet. 

That's pretty amazing! However, the press release I got says that not only can you get 36T-46T round chain rings, but that you can get the same sizes in oval chain rings, plus Wolf Tooth is promising to have an expansion of offerings going up to 52T!

These rings feature Wolf Tooth's "Drop Stop" design and the GRX 12 compatible version is dubbed "Drop Stop ST", so don't mix that up with the various other versions available there for 11 speed SRAM, Shimano, Campy, and the rest. 

52 teeth rings, eh? Will we be seeing a time trial stage at Unbound using aero gravel bikes? HA! You heard it here first! 

Maybe Wolf Tooth could be persuaded to do inner rings for Shimano 2X GRX 12's and then I could get my preferred 46T/36T set up. Hmm.... Anyway, you can check out the details here on Wolf Tooth's site

Gravel with a friend...

Special Guest Gravel Grinding:

Today I should be out on a special ride with someone I haven't seen for many years. That will be going on this morning. Hopefully everything comes together to make this happen.

And you know, there is always the "if factor" and things may not pan out, but "if" they do, I'll have a special Country Views post coming up showing just who this individual is and where we rode. Hopefully.... 

Stay tuned on that one.

In the meantime, have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by to read "Guitar Ted Productions"!

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