Archive for May, 2007

More 29"er Rumors

May 31, 2007

Here at Twenty Nine Inches we get a lot of tidbits and juicy teases from time to time. Here are some we actually can talk about! Believe me when I say we get even more that we’re sworn to secrecy on!

#1. “The Big Fatty” tire that is supposed to be something around 2.6- 2.8 inches wide is incognito as of now, but I’m betting that a certain someone is currently riding prototypes around Grand Junction CO as we speak. This tire will be the thing that unleashes a whole slew of AM/FR/DH 29″er mania. See #3 below for more of what I think about that.

#2. SRAM/Rock Shox is being super quiet about any new 29″er fork developements, but I know there is a longer offset Reba out there being tested and with the other manufacturers jumping in, it makes sense that Rock Shox might up the ante with a longer travel, all mountain 29″er fork. The appearance of the meatier tire and beefier wheelset above means a fork can’t be far off, me thinks!

#3. I’ll start a rumor here and say that the 29″er market will see more FS designs from bigger companies for ’08. Also an expansion from others will be seen in the hardtail front suspended market with price points going well below the $1000.00 mark. The new Spinner and RST front forks in the 29″er flavor will help this become a reality. The FS market will be going longer travel, AM/FR and even a DH bike or two will be seen at Interbike.

#4. It’s been whispered that Raliegh is considering an upspec’ed XXIX+G. The thinking is that the frame would be Reynolds tubing, possibly 853 and it would be hung with an XT parts kit. Raleigh is experiencing swift sales of the geared model and a higher spec’ed mate for ’08 would be a great addition to the line up for those looking at a better/lighter hardtail. I say, bring it on! If it rides any better than the current XXIX+G frame it’ll be a winner, hands down.

Interview with Karen Brooks of Dirt Rag Magazine

May 29, 2007

I recently did an interview with the new editor of Dirt Rag Magazine, Karen Brooks, on the latest episode of the Crooked Cog Podcast.

Check it out…

Dirt Rag Magazine Karen Brooks

Sun Ringle' Introducing New 29"er Wheelset For '07

May 29, 2007

I have some limited information regarding a new offering from Sun Ringle’ in regards to a new all mountain type 29″er wheelset named “High Rider 29er” The wheel set looks to have a wide rim, wider than most I’ve seen, but there is no way of knowing how wide exactly from the picture I saw. Only the weight was given for the set, which is 2485 grams, also an indication that this is a wide rim.

This joins the already available Disc O Flea 29 inch wheelset from Sun Ringle’ which is aimed at the XC crowd at 1785 grams for the set.

More info as I can dig it up.

Craters of the Moon NZ

May 26, 2007

This pic was taken at the famous Craters of the Moon trails in New Zealand

Black Sheep High Lite

May 25, 2007

Here’s my Black Sheep High Lite

This is the first build.
BS – Frame, fork, seatpost
Salsa stem
White Indus. Cranks
Brooks Swift saddle

and more.

Big Wheeled Ballyhoo Update

May 24, 2007

We are getting closer to the Big Wheeled Ballyhoo in Decorah, Iowa this coming June 23rd-24th. Here’s the latest dirt on what’s goin’ down!

Right now the trails are being primped and readied for all you big wheel lovin’ freaks to come and enjoy. Volunteers from the Decorah area under the guidance of the Decorah Human Powered Trails Committee are hard at work grooming and clearing the demo loop and the other trails we will be using to give you a guided tour of the finest trails in Iowa.

The demo loop looks to be about 3-4 miles in length and will include some rocky, rooty, technical sections along with some good climbs and descends. Great views overlooking the city of Decorah and the Upper Iowa River are awaiting you there too.

We have some demo bikes already showing up and being assembled. Look over to the right in the sidebar and click the Big Wheeled Ballyhoo icon for a list of some of the companies bringing bikes for you to check out.

Make your plans to come and join us. We have lots of trails, lots of bikes, and lots of fun waiting for ya’all. Check it out!

More Cannondale Rumor Updates

May 22, 2007

If you missed the last Cannondale rumors post, you can find it here. Today, I want to add some updated information I have gathered concerning Cannondale ’08 29″ers and nip a couple of other things in the bud before they blossom!

First, the single speed 29″er is indeed coming and will definitely be front suspended. In all likelyhood it will be a Lefty, since developing a 29″er specific Headshok would require a whole new R & D run with more testing. Why mess with it when you already have a really good front suspender that works for 29″ers?

Secondly, the earlier rumor had it that there would be two versions of the F-29 Caffeine 29″er. Basically two different spec levels. Well now I have it on good authority that it will in fact be four different spec levels. That’s good news from a choice standpoint. No word on spec particulars, but it would stand to reason that a full on, blingeriffic F-29 with the highest spec Lefty would be a part of this line up.

Also, all the F-29 frame production will be U.S. built. You might be wondering why I would write that. Well, it’s because Cannondale is going to source some 26″er frame production from Taiwan. Again, no 29″er stuff will be made outside of Bedford, PA. I just wanted to make that clear before someone speculates that these new hardtails due out in June are an indication of where Cannondale is going with the new F-29 models. This doesn’t make a hill of beans difference to me personally, but I realize some hold U.S. frame production in high regard. (Even though everything bolted/mounted to that frame is from overseas! Hmmm……..) Anyway, that’s another post for a different forum.

So, a little more comes to light about the Cannondale 29″er line up. It is reported that the ’07 F-29 far exceeded their expectations, so this is reflected in an expanded lineup for ’08.

Willits WOW Fork: First Impressions

May 20, 2007

Willits WOW Fork

I have mounted the Willits WOW Fork on the front of my Raliegh XXIX+G. It’s been tested so far on some rutted, rooty, and rough single track. Here’s my first impressions and some info on the fork.

The moniker, WOW stands for “weird or what” and is a great jumping off point for discussion on this steel fork. It has a classic “old skool” look with it’s unicrown construction and curved blades, but that’s about where the familiar territory ends. One of the first things you notice is how the blades bend backwards from the crown and then sweep forwards. (It almost looks as though you made an unscheduled head on meeting with the imoveable object) Then there are the hooded drop outs that look pretty stout and heavy. The disc brake mount is a beautifully curved piece that sweeps into the left fork blade higher up than any other disc brake mount I have ever seen, presumably to help distribute stress along a greater area.

Once beyond the looks, the fork didn’t seem all that heavy in the hand. To be sure, it’s CroMoly steel, and no featherweight, but it didn’t feel anywhere near the territory of say, a Karate Monkey fork, for example.

This was evidenced by my weighing of the fork with an eight inch steer tube, star nut installed, and headset race at 1080 grams. Lighter than the On One Superlight steel fork it replaced and about 100-150 grams more than the carbon forks I have tested.

The first ride or two was a bit different because I could sense that there was some flex that was taking the edge off things but I couldn’t see the blades flexing backwards as I have observed with the carbon forks I have tested. Could it be that the fork was truly flexing vertically? A true single track thrashing was in order! Perhaps then I could decipher what actually was being transmitted to my hands.

As I said, the trail was very rutted and rough. A perfect venue to test out the claims of vertical compliance. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the fork was taking a big edge off medium trail bumps and really felt good in little dips and “g-outs”. I then had a bit of a reminder about steel forks from “back in the day”.

I had a steel hardtail in the late 80’s that had a CroMoly steel, curved bladed fork. It was a flexy fork that would “load up” in a corner and release it’s energy all at once, throwing you to the dirt if you weren’t ready for it. Well, the WOW fork absorbs trail chatter just fine, but that energy has to be released and when it comes out, it does so with no rebound control. That means you might be in for a wild ride if you can manage to get the fork to suck up a big enough bump, like I did. (And yes….I did go down!)

Once you realize that this is how the fork works, it’s either a blessing or a curse, depending on your trail. This day’s ride was a ride full of medium, to higher frequency trail chatter that was custom made for this fork. The higher fequency stuff was still transmitted and not muted as a carbon fork would do. This gave me a feel for the trail that a carbon fork can not. Carbon feeling dead in comparison. As an aside, my tires were Weir Wolf LT’s at 30psi front and rear. Obviously, tire choice is a big influence on how this fork will feel.

I’ll put in more rides on this fork and come back with some more thoughts in a week or two.

Willits WOW Fork On Test

May 17, 2007

Twenty Nine Inches has recieved a Willits WOW Fork to test/review. It’s a steel unicrown fork designed to have “verticle compliance”, which should soften the trail chatter somewhat. Is it as good as a carbon fiber fork? Is it light? Does the concept even work? We will attempt to answer all these questions and more as we ride this unique custom fork from one of the fathers of the 29″er movement, Wes Williams.

Stay tuned for a detailed look at the specs and our first ride impressions coming in a couple of days!

Pictures of Specialized 29ers

May 16, 2007

Got these pics of the Specialized 29ers from an anonymous source…

Here’s the dropout. Notice that the disc caliper moves with the wheel, so that you don’t have to adjust your disc brake each time you adjust wheel tension.

Specialized 29ers

Here’s the Stumpjumper 29er. Lots of good tire clearance, and front derailleur clearance. $1600-1800 bike, and frame only for $880.

Specialized 29ers

Here’s the Rockhopper Disc 29er. $700-770. This one’s gonna be hot at this price.

Specialized 29ers

The Rockhopper Comp Disc, at $990.

Specialized 29ers

Here’s some more detail of the seattube, with radiusing to optimize front derailleur placement.

Specialized 29ers