Friday, April 05, 2024

Friday News And Views

5DEV direct mount chain wheel as shared on their social media.
 The Colorful Edition of the FN&V!

Fashion Plates?

I've been noticing a trend of late on social media. Bicycles with derailleur drive trains being shown with 'pie plate' style, solid chain wheels as 1X drive rings. 

I first noted this back in 2022 at the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame shindig in Emporia, Kansas. I noted a Stormchaser single speed with a brilliant purple, solid chain wheel. 

Then I found out that Absolute Black does a 'pie plate' style ring, which is supposedly aero. It is a rather stark, unusual offering from this company known for its more open designs and industrial looking offerings in several anodized colors. 

Now I am noticing a few custom bikes being shown on the Insta that have silver colored, solid chain wheels. Okay.....something is going on here. I suspect that some more offerings in this style will appear at Sea Otter soon.

I don't know if I am a fan though. Color me jaded by years of working on cheapo BMX kids bikes, but these look like a gussied-up department store bike component. It's hard for me to take the 'pie plate' look seriously. But that's probably just me. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Image courtesy of Wolf Tooth.

Wolf Tooth Announces New Colors For SS Cogs:

Now for the other end of the drive train, you have Wolf Tooth announcing new colors for their line of single speed cogs. Gold and Orange are being added to their other offerings in the range. 

These are aluminum, of course, but Wolf Tooth also has a stainless steel single speed cog offering for those of you who want the longest lasting cogs and don't care about fashion. (Ha!) 

Comments: I am happy that someone out there still believes in making single speed stuff. That kind of went away for a while there in the last ten years and for a while I was worried that I'd be scrounging for parts for my several single speed bikes. But Wolf Tooth must be selling these things, otherwise they would not introduce more colors, I would imagine anyway. 

Now I know where to go to replenish the look on my Campstove Green Karate Monkey when I wear out a cog, or want to change gearing, and want a green cog! 

Image courtesy of Wheels Manufacturing.

Wheels Manufacturing Offers Anodized BB-30 Options:

Now on to the bottom bracket! Wheels Manufacturing recently added anodized color options for their range of bottom brackets for 30mm spindles. Now available in seven anodized hues for BSA 30, T-47 internal, T-47 outboard, and PF-30 variants. 

Prices are $100 - $124.00 each. You can check them out HERE along with all their other bottom bracket options. 

Comments: I've used Wheels Manufacturing bottom brackets for repairs and personally for years now and have found them to be very good quality options for a decent price. The anodized colors are just icing on the cake here. 

Image courtesy of Chris Skogen's social media

Almanzo 100 v3?:

Monday a surprise announcement from Chris Skogen, the founder of the seminal and legendary Almanzo 100, came out, via Skogen's Instagram page, announcing that the Almanzo 100 was coming back. 

This would mark the third come-back for Skogen and the second time for the event to come back as well. (A timeline of events documenting the retiring of the Almanzo 100 name and original event can be found HERE

In the announcement, Skogen indicated that the 100 mile event would occur this May on the 18th. Other details are yet to be released, but this post will be updated when and if those details become available. 

The announcement reads as follows, taken from Skogen's Instagram:

"***WE’RE BACK***

That’s right, we’re bringing Almanzo back!

WHEN: Saturday, May 18th - 8:00am
WHERE: Starting location will be announced here on May 11th
WHAT: 100 mile self-supported route (no drop bags, no outside support, no GPS)
WHO: Everyone
WHY: Because

See you in a few weeks!!

#nerd #party"

Comments:  Mr. Skogen has been known to make surprise, unexpected announcements at odd times regarding the Alamanzo and its satellite events. (See link above) On April 2nd he posted again saying this was "real" and that he is, "Taking another swing at building community in and around the bike space."

 UPDATED 4/7/24: Mr. Skogen posted on Saturday on Instagram a list of gravel events with some designated as events he will attend. Quoted: "I’ll be at the events in BOLD." One of those events he marked in bold, on May 18th, is The Heywood Ride, the ride that Mr. Skogen handed over to the organizers of The Heywood, when it was called the Almanzo,  and asked that they not use the name "Almanzo" for it. So, they came up with "The Heywood Ride".

So, is the Heywood going back to being called the Almanzo

Stay tuned........

Kit for a Cause Jersey image from Gravel Worlds social media.
Jersey To Benefit Cancer Causes:

Gravel Worlds announced recently that they are offering "Kits For A Cause" now through their jersey vendor, Voler USA. 

The first is a design by Kevin Wilkins that features dogs biting one another with a sign on the rear that says "Chase me!"

All profits from the sales of the jerseys are going toward cancer survivor @kevinwilkins and the organization Grind For which has a mission to provide financial assistance to cancer patients and their families when traveling long distances to doctors and hospitals.

You can check out the kit and order at this link:

Orders for this kit close on April 15th. Gravel Worlds says there will be other efforts similar to this in the future.  

The Guitar Ted Podcast Sponsored by The Spinistry:

A new episode of the Guitar Ted Podcast is up now. In this one N.Y. Roll and I discuss the celebrations of last place, the Sardine Tool, and N.Y. Roll's experience in Texas recently where he rode the Red River Riot.

You can listen to the episode by clicking THIS LINK

We are working on new episodes concerning tires and their construction, how gravel roads are made and why, and more. If you have any episode ideas, let me know in the comment section. 

Thanks again to The Spinistry for their continued support of The Guitar Ted Podcast and check out their Gravel 1000 challenge which anyone can engage in from any location. You can find out more about this challenge by clicking THIS LINK.

That's a wrap on this colorful edition of the FN&V for this week. Have a great weekend and thanks for reading Guitar Ted Productions!


Stevenator said...

Seeing Almanzo scheduled for May 18th (out of the blue, without supporting details) on the same date of they Heywood Ride (an event planned out well in advance with growing numbers). Both historically in the same geographic region. This is making me form an opinion about Chris Skogen.

Dan Buettner said...

Shanna at Endless Bikes makes some gorgeous singlespeed components.

Owen said...

I'm totally with you on the Fashion Plates. Always thought they screamed either "BMX Toy" or "Aero Dork Too Obsessed With Marginal Gains." But more seriously: I know we're supposed to like Wolf Tooth stuff because it's made in Minnesota, but aluminum single speed cogs seem like an epically bad idea: twice as expensive as cro-mo steel and not likely to last even half as long. Or maybe I'm missing something?

Curious about your experience with the Wheels BBs, to the basic ones last longer than stock Shimano outboard cups and if so how much? I'm running standard BSA.

Guitar Ted said...

@Owen - The Wheels BB's were always better than the stock outboard bearing Shimano ones the shop typically used back when I worked there. I typically could onl;y get one season out of a Shimano outboard bearing while the Wheels Manufacturing ones last up to three times longer or more. YMMV.

If you kind of want to put this whole thing to bed and have a BB that lasts and lasts I'd take a look at the Enduro MaxHit outboard bearings. Spendy but well worth the money. They are made in a very different way than typical outboard bearings.

Tman said...

You could see several Pros in Paris Roubaix riding solid chainrings this last weekend. Expect to see a following

Guitar Ted said...

@Tman - I noted that in the tech galleries I have seen. I imagine you will be spot-on with the imitation idea there.