Friday, June 14, 2024

Friday News And Views

Image courtesy of Esker Cycles
 Hey! It's New Bike Day On The FN&V!

Esker Cycles Introduces The Smokey Ti:

Esker introduced a new bicycle on Monday called the Smokey Ti. It is a long travel, hard tail, titanium framed bicycle with signature Esker features. 

Designed around a 160mm travel fork, the Smokey Ti also features Esker's Portage drop outs which can be used to adjust your wheelbase or to set up the bike as a single speed. 

The Smokey Ti has a slack head angle of 64.5° and comes in four sizes. Frames are $2.500.00, and adding a fork to that brings you to $3,100.00. The single speed complete starts at $4.200.00 and geared completes start at $4,500.00. Contact Esker Cycles for more options. 

Image courtesy of Salsa Cycles

Salsa Cycles Updates Stormchaser Model:

Salsa Cycles announced yesterday that the new edition of the Stormchaser is now available. It comes in the traditional single speed issue with a new "Storm Grey" color. This version costs $1,799.00. 

The geared version has an Apex Eagle set up, a Rock Shox Rudy suspension device, and a dropper post, all in a Berry color for $3,199.00. 

The Stormchaser has copious tire clearance, (It will easily take a 700 X 50mm tire), and has the Class 5 VRS stays which give the rider some comfort in the rear end of the bike. The tension for the chain in single speed mode comes via the clever sliding drop outs Salsa developed for this model. 

The Storm Grey single speed. Image courtesy of Salsa Cycles

 There is a frame only option in black as well for $1,249.00. It includes a carbon fiber fork, head set, Stealth Dropper Post routing, abrasion plates, and rack and fender mounts. See your Salsa Cycles dealer for details. 

Image courtesy of Otso Cycles

Otso Cycles Announces Hoot Ti Trail Bike:

Otso Cycles announced on Tuesday of this week that they now have a hard tail, long travel, slacked out mountain bike of their own called the "Hoot Ti". As the name suggests, the frame is made out of titanium. 

The frame features 3D printed titanium drop outs and chain stay yoke. The 65° head tube angle on the Hoot Ti is optimized for 140mm travel fork, but Otso worked with Fox to get a 36mm stanchion version made to increase stiffness and lateral rigidity of this fork. The fork features Fox's new Grip X damper, 44mm offset, and bleeders on the lowers. Otso had Fox make the fork with black lowers and black anodized stanchions as well. 

Otso allows for a 150mm travel fork, but cautions against anything longer than that or shorter than 140mm. They claim the geometry will be altered too much affecting the intended handling of the design negatively.  

The Hoot Ti frame can be had for $3,300.00 with completes starting at $6,100.00. See Otso's website HERE for more details.

Image courtesy of Pilot Cycles

Pilot Cycles Debuts Completely 3D Printed Titanium Frame:

Pilot Cycles asks the question, "Have you ever seen a completely 3D printed road bike?" Well, there it is! Pilot, a Dutch company, have claimed to have made the first rideable, tested road bike made completely out of 3D printed titanium. 

The idea was driven by a desire to find a way to make a more sustainable frame for lightweight purposes than what carbon fiber is, but have it be competitive with carbon in performance. Pilot Cycles claims to have achieved this goal. 

You can read about the details HERE

The model is called the Seiren, and Pilot claims that by using titanium in this way, the bike can be tuned for ride quality and performance, just as with carbon fiber. Titanium can obviously be recycled into another titanium product, but recycling is very difficult with carbon fiber. 

Comments: One would suspect also that the titanium frame might be more durable, and in testing this has been the case so far. However; we don't know what "real world" lifespan for 3D titanium is just yet, as far as cycling goes. It's all too new to know this. But again, even if it isn't quite the "forever titanium frame" that your drawn tube titanium is, it can be recycled. 

Image courtesy of Ritchey Design/John Watson

Ritchey Design Announces New P-29 Hard Tail:

Ritchey Design announced yesterday that a newly designed P-29 hard tail frame is now available. Using proprietary triple-butted Logic steel tubing this new frame updates the old P-29 with Boost spacing and a capability to handle a 120mm travel suspension fork or a 500mm axle to crown Boost rigid fork. 

The frame can handle up to a 2.3" 29"er tires (depending upon rim choice) and has stealth dropper routing as well. The color is called "Dirt in Blood" and the frame retails for $999.00USD. 

Comments: This is an interesting 29"er frame and I love a few things about it. First is the color and the name of the color which is pretty cool. But practicality-wise I love that this bike is steel, and that it is so inexpensive. Furthermore; I love that Ritchey sent out a press release showing multiple builds of this frame and a couple used Ritchey drop bars. 

I don't like the tire clearance, but 2.3" is plenty for gravel and single track around here. That said, if I were looking to add a MTB to the Guitar Ted stable of bicycles I would strongly consider this one.

Victory Ride Tomorrow!.

Tomorrow will be the 50+ mile "Victory Ride" which was conceived of by Warren Weibe and facilitated by N.Y. Roll as a ride to celebrate 'something' and myself, I guess..... I'm not sure what this is about, really, other than Warren wanted to come up and spend some time with me on a bicycle ride. Maybe I'll get clarification on that and report back Monday. Oh! Yes, there will be a report here

I do "know" of about 10-11 of us that will be planning to show up. You may be coming too? If so, the route file from Ride With GPS is HERE

Otherwise I have not much more to say about this here. Of course, it is self-supported, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU!, and NO DROP rules are in effect. There likely will be a 'surprise visitor' rider, and maybe more than one. N.Y. Roll and I have our ideas on who that may be, but tomorrow will tell the tale.

Weather looks.....adventurous. Perhaps there will be some moisture. Hmm..... Stay tuned for the report to see how it all went on Monday. 

Until then, thanks for reading Guitar Ted Productions and have a safe and happy weekend. Ride those bicycles!


Pedro said...

Hi Mr Guitar Ted!
Why do you say you don’t like the tire clearance on the Ritchey? Thanks in advance!

Guitar Ted said...

@Pedro - The tire clearance on the Ritchey seems outdated, especially with a Boost rear axle spacing, which originally was developed so designers could accommodate wider tires. Added to this is the current trend in XC racing for wider tires, up to and including 2.4"ers which obviously would not fit the new P-29.

If this bike had come out 15 years ago, the clearance would have been spot on, but in 2024 it seems off.

Ben W said...

I have a Ritchey Ultra that states 2.4" inch tires as the max, but I'm guessing I could get 2.6" in there and still have room to spare, depending on how aggressive the knobs are on your tires. So I'm guessing that 2.4" may be fine on the P-29. I also saw a sneak peak of it that happened after sea otter and they had 2.4" tires on it in the pictures, but again, looked like a less aggressive knobbed tire. Can't find that post now. I think they're just overly cautious in what they publish based on the variability of tires that are out there.

Guitar Ted said...

@Ben W - There is actually a CPSC regulation that states that "max tire size" must also include at least 3mm - 5mm* of space around the tire at all points. So, by that definition you probably could put a wider tire into the P-29, but rim width will also play a factor along with tread design, as you stated.

*I could be a little off on that spec for the clearance regulation, since I am going off memory there, but I think we all get the point.

I still would not be impressed if a 2.4" tire 'just fit' in there, because in 2024, that should not be an issue for this sort of bicycle, in my opinion. Otherwise I think this bike is awesome.

Ben W said...

@Guitar Ted - Yes, agree completely with you that I'm not impressed with them giving a 2.3" max width. I like my 2.4" tires and wouldn't want to have to stuff that in. Even the modest mountain biking I do, I'd stick with the ultra. The ultra also allows the 27.5 x 2.8" tires, which is really fun.

PS - Still riding your Sawyer regularly! Just needs new brakes right now which I'm working on.