Archive for July, 2006

Fan Pic!

July 31, 2006

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WTB Exiwolf vs. Maxxis Ignitor

July 26, 2006

George Wisell of Bike29.com:

WTB Exiwolf and Maxxis IgnitorThis is probably one of the most heated debates in 29er land, which one of these tires is better [WTB Exiwolf or Maxxis Ignitore]?

It is a question that is just as hard to answer as the chicken and the egg quandary.
While the jury is out on which tire is better, I do have some opinions on each.

Exiwolf or Ignitor?

keep reading…

Slingshot Farmboy 29" Promo Package

July 25, 2006

Slingshot Blog:

Special Farmboy 29″ Promo Package

Package includes: Slingshot Farmboy Frame, Sibex Titanium fork, Velocity 29″ disc wheels

Promo Price: $1,450! (retail price: $1,975)

Price good till August 1, 2006

sizes: 16″, 18″, 20″

Frame color: black with green/white decals

Promotion is subject to availability of products

Promotion is web special only. Call Slingshot 888-530-5556 or email info@slingshotbikes.com for details

I'm quoted at a fake Swobo press conference

July 23, 2006

So along my normal bike related web surfing I came across a blog post from the Swobo blog that was a mock press conference of them announcing their startup of a bike line. I’m reading through it and low and behold, I apparantly was present to ask a question at this fake press conference. Wow I’m famous, people are quoting me and I didn’t even know it!

Tire range growing on both ends

July 23, 2006

The two most recent 29″ tires actually going for sale have been pleasing the XC race-oriented riders and weightweenies : Kenda Karma 2.0″ (labelled 2.2) and Stan’s NoTubes The Crow 2.0″.
More agressive trail riders have been frustrated with the WTB Exiwol 2.3″ for quite some time, as it’s probably the narrowest 2.3″ on the market, and just not up to the task people would like to use 29″ers for. They want more.
Now Panaracer has sent out pre-production samples to VIP 29″ riders of their new Rampage 2.35″ tire. First official (www.mtbtires.com) specs say that it’s got a 2mm wider casing than the previously biggest 29″ knobby, the Bontrager XR 2.25 front. No official Rampage pic I could find yet, sorry.
But the Rampage makes an even greater difference with it’s tread. There IS a tread, and a big one.

A quickly growing part of the 29″ world is keeping it’s fingers crossed for this to be a next big step in finally using bikes such as the Lenz Behemoth and Ventana El Capitan to their full potenial. Some may even try this relatively light (800g, folding bead) Rampage for Pro DH racing.

Unique about Panaracer : they fully endorse their tires to be used tubeless with NoTubes setups, where most other companies have that void warranty..

Expected in shops by September, the Rampage will hopefully enable agressive riders to also really taste the big-wheel advantages as already established in XC.

In the mean time, UK based Halo is announcing a 2.35″ tire offering in 29″, but that will likely not materialize before the end of the year.
Halo
Halo 29″ tire in the making.

Crooked Cog Podcast – Episode #1

July 20, 2006

We have just launched the brand new Crooked Cog Podcast. You can check out the first episode now where I interview Tim Jackson, Brand Manager of Masi Bikes. Be sure to leave your feedback on the site!

Update: Cannondale "Caffeine" 29"er

July 18, 2006

I recieved confirmation today that Cannondale is going to introduce the much anticipated 29″er hardtail bike we all have seen and heard rumors about in mid September. Originally the working name for the project was “F-29″, but in an effort to distance the model from the traditional 26” offerings, Cannondale has chose the name “Caffeine” to grace the top tube of its first 29 inch wheeled bike.

Some of the spec highlights include a Lefty Speed Bonded DLR2 with 80mm of travel, a SRAM X-7 trigger shifter set, SRAM X-7 rear derailluer, an LX front derailluer, FSA crank, Avid BB-5 brakes, and Exi Wolf 2.3″ tires. The approximate price for the new hard tail is $1599.99. Color choices will be the white/ orange/ blue Cannondale Team Bear Naked livery, or Raw aluminum.

We applaud an introduction of a new geared only 29″er, and especially one with a new suspension choice, (albeit a proprietary one). This should prove to be a popular interoduction. The word is that production numbers will be small at first, because Cannondale is testing the waters with this new introduction. If they see big numbers and quick turn arounds on the 29″er Caffeine, who knows? Maybe we’ll see other offerings out of Pennsylvania.

29er Wheelsets?

July 17, 2006

I am trying to figure out what wheelset to purchase for my 29er. What do people think about the American Classic and Stans No tubes wheelsets?

— Ryan

Stan's NoTubes Crow tires, first of an era?

July 16, 2006

I just got in my pair of Stan’s NoTubes The Crow 29×2.0 tires, I’m stoked.

On my older NoTubes ZTR rims they’re around 48mm at 30psi, pre stretching, I expect them to get really close to their 2.0 designation in a day or two.
Being a weightweenie I lucked out getting 2 copies under the claimed weight of 470-510g : 931 or 933g depending on which scale I use.

Second lightest set I own : Kenda Karma’s with somewhat similar tread and casing, 1070g for the pair. And those already felt way light and snappy, plus fast rolling. These just might be better on all accounts.

The Crows are unique in oh so many ways :
* 20-40psi recommended pressure (typically you see 30-60)
* 26″ and 29″ models developped simultaniously
* 6 rows of side knobs for every 7 rows of centre knobs
* Way lighter than any other 29″ tires, but not super narrow like many 26″ race tires
* No-Tubes specific : easier to live with if you were already using tubeless, a big added performance boost otherwise
* Reinforced beads to make this possible on the 29″ version
* First new high-end tire brand to hit the market in years

Till recently, especially before the Kenda Karma came, 29″ tires really didn’t roll faster than 26″ race tires, by lack of fast 29″ treads. The Crow might bring us speed of a new level, that takes away the last technical advantage that 26″ers were holding.
And weight…which 470g 26″ tire really ofers a lot of grip and rolls fast? Very subjective, but there aren’t many.

I’ve not been able to ride my Crows yet, but everywhere on the web we hear that they seem to grip more than one would expect after looking at the low-profile tread, and roll faster than the low recommended pressures.

It’s really a new philosophy in tire making, and yet again it took Stan and his crew to make it happen. A huge 5-figure investment to order 2 tire molds in Taiwan, some 12 months beore the first $40 tires can be sold. Super coll that stan committed to immediately make a 29″ version, at a time when there’s so much controversy around using 29″ tires without tubes.

If even half my expectations about these tires hold true (the signs are all still there), they will change the way outsiders look at 29″ bikes. Faster rolling : more than ever. Slow accelerating : due to which added weight? Grip : still comes naturally.

I’ll be trying to carry out some scientific rolling tests using gravity as the perfect referee. To be continued.

2007 Rig

July 14, 2006

Well here it is, after cracking my first purple frame last sunday I got my new frame with in three days. Check out the new race x lite fork. Will get to race it this sunday