Friday, September 08, 2023

Friday News And Views

The new Maxxis Reaver. (Image courtesy of Maxxis)
Maxxis Introduces New Reaver Gravel Tire:

Earlier this week Maxxis revealed a new gravel tire called the Reaver. It is a semi-slick, low center tread affair meant for "racing", as Maxxis puts it. 

It is available in two sizes: 700 X 40mm and 700 X 45mm. All can be had in either black wall or tan wall versions. 

  • 120 TPI tubeless ready casing
  • Dual compound
  • EXO sidewall protection

Reaver tires are $70.00 each and can be purchased directly from Maxxis HERE

Comments: I like the looks of this tire a lot. I wouldn't peg it as just a racing tire though. Low tread in the center is fine. Think about it. Your are riding on crushed rock, (that is - IF you actually are riding on gravel), and tread is generally useless there, with one minor exception. That being outer tread blocks. If they are designed correctly they can act as a bit of a stabilizing element to the tire, and they can aid in cornering, of course. Additionally they can also have the effect of making the tire present as more of a flatter surface in cross section to the gravel, aiding in flotation, instead of cutting into the gravel. 

It could be a winner on Iowa gravel, but not because it is a "racing tire". 

Garbaruk Road/Gravel crankset (Image courtesy of Garbaruk)

So That's What It Is! -

Back in June, when I was at the Unbound week and attending the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame ceremonies, I was asked by Jason Strobehn if I would be willing to be interviewed for the "Gravel Family Podcast". I agreed and when I was there that morning to get interviewed I noted this young man on a single speed zipping around the area. He had several anodized bits on the bike, none more striking than this purple chain ring on some crank that was unfamiliar to me. I couldn't take my eyes off it, but the identity of the crankset was a mystery to me, until this week.

Social media to the rescue! On "X", or whatever that is now, (formerly Twitter), I saw a story on Garbaruk's aluminum crankset and when I saw the star-like, minimalist chain ring, I knew I'd seen that before. It is the crank and chain ring I saw in Emporia last June. 

Garbaruk claims that this aluminum chain ring and crank are as light as carbon without the downfalls of carbon. They claim that there Road/Gravel crank with a 42T ring weighs in at an astonishing 480.5 grams. You might be thinking it is prohibitively expensive. Not really, I think anyway. The rings are sold separately, but if you bought a 42t ring and the crank arms you'd be in for $505.00USD with free shipping. Not too bad. 

Oh, and you can get these in several anodized colors, so that explains the blindingly purple chain ring I saw in Emporia! Mystery solved.

Bontrager's OCLV NEXT rim (Image courtesy of Trek bikes)

Thermoplastic Carbon Rims: The Future Of Carbon Rim Manufacturing?

 Yesterday the newswire for cycling was ballyhooing these new OCLV NEXT carbon Aeolus wheels from Bontrager. I searched the web and found the source information on Trek's website and many of the claims and features being made started to sound familiar.

Where had I seen this before?

Well, as it turns out, a very similar idea was released early this year by Chris King. I talk about it here in a February "FN&V". The new technology is made by a company called "CSS Composites" and this is the company making the rims for Chris King. But are they the same company making the Bontrager rim? I thought maybe Trek developed their own thermoplastic manufacturing process, but maybe not. Here is a line buried way down the page on the wheels from Trek's site:

"Aeolus Pro 37V and 49V wheels are assembled in Waterloo, WI, with rims manufactured in the United States and global components like DT-Swiss Aerolite spokes and DT-Swiss Pro Lock nipples."

Note: emphasis is mine. So.......if they actually were making the rims, wouldn't you think they would say exactly that? The wheels "are assembled in Waterloo, WI" indicating that Trek does not actually manufacture the rims. So, are they CSS Composites made rims? I'm guessing, "Yes" on that one. 

If this stuff is the bee's knees in rim manufacturing, at some point we're going to see them coming from the Far East, and much cheaper. Time will tell.

Single Speed Nerd-Out On The Podcast:

We had a request to do a single speed specific episode of the Guitar Ted Podcast so the latest episode is just that

Check that out at that link or wherever you get your podcast feed from. Tell a friend, leave a rating, and like and subscribe and all that. I and N.Y, Roll would really appreciate it. 

In the episode I give my take on the ultimate single speed (for me) gravel bike. I chose a Twin Six Standard Rando Titanium frame to base my build off of. But if I had to pick the single speed gravel bike that was my favorite that I had ever ridden? Well, that would be the bike in the thumbnail there, the original copper-colored Stormchaser. 

That bike would fit 29" X 2.0 tires and it rode fantastically well with those bigger tires. Plus, that copper color was stunning. Butit wasn't all roses. That fork? WOW! Was that fork a jackhammer or what? I definitely would rock a Redshift ShockStop stem there. OR- Find a better fork! 

Anyway, give that episode a listen and let me know what ya think there.

That's a wrap for this week! Have a fantastic weekend and thank you for reading Guitar Ted Productions!!


Tomcat said...

I know this is anecdotal, but I've got a bike set up with centerpull brakes (surly steamroller) and a bike with cantilever brakes (surly crosscheck). Both of those bikes have unbelievably comfortable front ends, and on both of those setups I don't have a tire any wider than 40mm. Based on the few data points that I do have, I'm coming to the conclusion that disc brake forks are simply built to overcome torsional forces of the braking system. Whereas, rim brake forks don't have to be as overbuilt due to the braking forces being symmetric.

I'm not sure if that's a correct way of thinking. There's also a lot of other variables going on here. Like these forks are steel, lugged forks as opposed to the carbon fork you have mentioned in your post. I haven't ridden a carbon rim brake fork before, but I am curious to try one out.

Happy friday, GT!

Guitar Ted said...

@Thomas Claver - Actually, you are on to something with your analysis. Disc brake forks, and disc brake carbon forks in particular, are made to be VERY rigid to avoid breaking and failing, as well as to remain stable torsionally.

The rim brake fork can dispense with a lot of that stiffness and obviously, the brakes are mounted a lot nearer to the fork crown, which typically is very stiff anyway.

You might notice on your cantilever braked Surly that the fork can be seen to be working, or fluttering, back and forth as you ride. This energy gets dissipated along the legs of the fork and at the fork crown.

Conversely, you will see much less of that sort of good flex in a disc brake fork. What happens here is that the energy gets transferred up the fork, and dissipated either at the fork crown/head tube, or the top and down tubes flex slightly, or both things happen at the same time.

You can check this out on a disc brake bike by paying attention to your handlebars over rough patches. Since energy from the road is getting dissipated by the top and down tubes, (on carbon bikes especially), the flexing will make the handlebars oscillate. You can feel this in your arms as your hands travel in the oscillations along with the bars. Your forearms will shake violently, if it is bad enough, and your shoulders will take the really sharp hits you aren't ready for.

That's why I like a ShockStop Stem. They reduce that effect of the oscillation to a great degree and allow me to ride more comfortably. Obviously, we'd all be better off with a cantilever braked bike on gravel if those stems like the ShockStop did not exist.

Carbon cantilever forks theoretically *could be* nice to ride, but no one is investing in that technology for gravel bikes. The one fork I did try, a carbon Bontrager Satellite canti fork, was not very nice. Not saying there isn't one out there that would be, but I never could find that when I was looking back in 2012 or so.