Friday, May 10, 2024

Friday News And Views

Image courtesy of Chris King

 News Of More Speeds And Plastic Tubes Today

Chris King Announces Gen 4 Hubs:

The venerable component company, Chris King, has announced an evolution to their hub range. The new Gen 4 hubs feature the same style drive system but it is now compatible with all current drive types without needing to be completely different for each type. 

The streamlining of the drive and axle systems will reduce costs in manufacturing, and this will be passed down to consumers as a lowering of the retail price. Not only that, but now drive systems can be changed by consumers at a lower cost. For instance, it used to cost $380.00. Now, riders using Gen 4 hubs will pay only $80.00 for a switch to a different drive system. 

For more details see Chris King Precision Components site HERE

Comments: This is good news for Chris King fans or anyone that might want to support the brand. As long as the durability and quality control remains at a high level, this should help the brand going forward. 

I like Chris King stuff, but whoo!  They are an expensive brand to get into. Their Ring Drive system is pretty bomber though and I found that the hubs are very worthwhile as an investment into a component that you can maintain and keep going for years and years. That even despite heavy abuse. The press release even stated that the free-coasting resistance has been lowered with the new Gen 4 design, so that's even better news.

Image sourced from Google

Shimano Rumored To Be Introducing 13 Speed Wireless Dura Ace Soon:

It's all over the internet - Shimano's long rumored move to 100% wireless shifting is going to happen and with that will come an extra cog. Thirteen to be exact.

Shimano has often filed patents just ahead of releases of new group sets and with Dura Ace needing a refresh it makes sense that this might happen. Additionally, the Tour de France often sees new groups introduced unofficially, or officially, and so this rumor lines right up with that. 

Comments: As I have oft told the story here, I will not delve into the full details, but I have been aware that Shimano has had working group sets up to and including 14 rear cassette speeds since 2010, (or before that, most likely). That they would periodically march out something new with an extra cog out back is not a surprise to me. 

But at some point you reach a place of diminishing returns and\or a place where no further technical advances can be made within the current parameters. Keeping in mind that 130mm rear spacing,(excepting the road disc specific142mm) has been around since the late 1980's for road bikes and you can probably guess that something will have to change radically for any further additional gears past 14 speeds. 

Can that happen? Will that happen? I would guess that we will know the answer in less than ten years from now. It's a no-brainer that we will see 14 speed cassettes in my opinion. This jump to 13 will last a few years, maybe five, and then you will see the 14's coming out. And what about SRAM? 

Stay tuned next week for more on their offering. 

Gravel Amplifier: Prairie Burn 100 -

Next month, on June 8th, the Prairie Burn 100 and 5K run will occur, starting in Downtown Grinnell, and utilizing the fantastic gravel roads surrounding the area. 

This year the loops are all new. That's right - loops. You will ride approximately 25 mile loops each ending back in Grinnell and if you want to continue, you can, or you could just hang and have some fun with the other activities scheduled for that event in Grinnell. Those include a beer garden, food trucks, a farmer's market, and live music by the Surf Zombies.

To learn more, see their website: Registration is $50.00 and you can sign up HERE

Note: I have no affiliation with this event and I do not benefit if you use the links from here in any way.

Continental Tires Gets Into The TPU Tube Game:

Continental announced on Wednesday that they now have a range of TPU tubes for 700c tires and wheels ranging from sizes that will work with 25mm all the way through to 29"er sizes. 

Their TPU material and construction of the tubes is all done in Germany using the highest quality materials and processes. This is reflected in the use of clear TPU which Continental also claims is free from imperfections that can occur when TPU is dyed. You can read the full press release on Conti's website HERE

Comments: One thing that surprised me about TPU in general is something I saw on the press release that stated that "TPU tubes must never be used in conjunction with rim brakes. Excessive heat exposure can lead to a sudden loss of air pressure." I don't recall seeing this stressed regarding TPU tubes before and it comes as something of an alarm to me as I run a TPU tube in my Karate Monkey which has rim brakes currently. Something to consider there if you have long hills or will be riding in such an area and you have rim brakes and TPU tubes.

That's a wrap for this week. Have a great weekend and Happy Mother's Day to those who celebrate that.


Owen said...

There are other manufacturers (Pirelli, Schwalbe, Rene Herse) who rate their TPU tubes as safe for use with rim brakes. I've used Pirellis on a rim brake road bike for months without issue, including fast, technical descents (2000' in ~5 miles where I'm averaging 40 mph) and the rims are definitely heating up. Perhaps Continental TPU tubes specifically aren't rim brake compatible, but it seems strange to make a blanket statement like this about the technology when it's not true. There are definitely TPU options for rim brake riders riders looking to do things "by the rulebook."

Nooge said...

Continental’s claim is poorly worded. It’s not that all TPU tubes are not suitable for rim brakes, it is specifically Continental TPU which is not suitable (neither is Vittoria Ultra Light). Several manufacturers state that they are suitable for rim brakes, including Schwalbe. Tubolito standard Road tube is suitable for rim brakes, while their extra light S-Road is not. So it mainly seems to come down to the TPU material thickness. When the TPU is extra thin (~25g, to reduce weight and rolling resistance), it’s going to have less strength, which makes it more likely to fail at high temperatures and pressures spectated with rim brakes on long steep descents. The standard thickness (~40g) TPU tubes have the extra strength to handle rim brake usage since they have more safety factor on the strength.

Guitar Ted said...

@Nooge @Owen - Thank you for your detailed responses. It does seem strange that Continental would make a statement like that which reads like a condemnation of competitor's TPU products used in a rim brake situation.

I, as stated in the post, have been running the WTB TPU tube in my rim brake Karate Monkey with no ill effect, but I would quickly add that I have not done any long, extended down hill with a lot of long braking involved which would increase the likelihood of heat related issues.