Archive for the ‘Rumors’ Category

News And Rumors

August 27, 2009

It is time for another News And Rumors post, so without further delay, here are the latest tidbits to come across my desk recently…..

Cielo 29″er?- That’s Right!: Many of you who are fans of the handmade bicycle shows will recognize Cielo as the marque brought to life by Chris King. (Yes…..that Chris King!). Most examples of Mr. King’s handiwork have been in the form of classically inspired road rigs. Well, news has reached me that two Chris King employees will be cruising Eurobike next week on handmade Cielo 29″er single speed hard tails. One of those two belongs to Chris DeStefano, who was kind enough to forward a couple images to me.

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That is a new Cris King Inset in a steel frame with some cool detailing on the head tube, and of course, the head badge.

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S&S couplers make traveling with this bike a snap.

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And a view of the entire rig.

If you happen to be at Eurobike, be on the lookout for this one. (Thanks Chris for the pics!)

Thievery In Europe: Speaking of Eurobike, Santa Cruz, who planned on showing the new Tall Boy 29″er for the first time, had the rig pinched, (along with a slew of other cycling gear and bikes) from a U.K. warehouse where it had been shipped prior to the show. Word from Santa Cruz’s Mark Ferrentino is that this was the first complete, ride able Tall Boy in the world, so it won’t be easy to hide this carbon fiber rig. You can read the details here. Of course, if you have any leads on the whereabouts of this rig, get a hold of Santa Cruz directly: Tel: 831.459.7560
Fax: 831.459.7561

Blackbuck Gets Bigger and Smaller!: One of my personal favorite 29″ers, the OS Bikes Blackbuck, is rumored to be going back into production for another run of frames. Only this time there will be more than one size.

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If the original size didn’t fit you, maybe one of the two new sizes will.

Word is that there will be one size smaller and one size bigger than the original Blackbuck size, which I would characterize as a Large. Some may recall that there were a few 650B wheeled Blackbucks made in a size smaller than the 29″er, but this will not be done again. All the future Blackbucks will be 29″ers. So, if you are one of the lucky few to have grabbed a 650b Blackbuck, you have got a rare one!

Eurobike Next Week: This show, which has gained pre-eminence amongst the trade shows for bicycles, is grabbing more of the limelight when it comes to 29″ers. As previously mentioned, the first ride able 29″er Tall Boy was to have bowed here, and Niner Bikes new carbon hard tail is being hand delivered to the show to make its very first appearance to the public. surely there will be a few more tidbits, such as American Classic’s new wheels that are reported to be tubeless ready, and probably some other things we don’t know of. Check out this space next week for any bits we get forwarded to us in the coming days.

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Gary Fisher 2010 Rumor: Rumblefish FS 29"er

August 5, 2009

An anonymous reader has tipped us off via the e-mail link that Fisher’s newest full suspension 29″er, dubbed the Rumblefish, will be available for 2010 in two models. Here is what we know so far:

Rumblefish 1 & 2. Aluminum frame & swingarm(?), 110 mm travel rear ABP, 120 mm front thru-axle. Dual chambered Fox rear shock & linkage design like the Superfly 100. Think of a 29er Roscoe. The claim is that the Rumblefish is designed for more “technical terrain or more demanding rider”.

The Rumblefish 1 is slated to have a Shimano SLX drivetrain, the Rumblefish 2, a Shimano XT drivetrain.

When we know more we will post, but this will be a very anticipated rig. Rumor has it that it will replace the HiFi line. Stay tuned!

News And Rumors: Big Tires And Full Suspension Rigs

July 14, 2009

The news keeps coming on the 29″er front. This time we’re talking about big tires, long travel 29″ers, and new full suspension rigs. Take a look to see what the latest happenings are in the Wagon Wheeler Universe!

WFO_Complete_smallThe W.F.O. 9 is finally about to hit the trails!

W.F.O. 9 To Hit Trails Soon! In a few weeks, W.F.O.9 bikes with 5.5 inches of C.V.A. suspended rear travel will be hitting the trails. The bikes, as we have reported before, will signal Marzocchi’s re-entry into the 29″er fork market with the 140mm travel “44” model featuring travel adjust, a tapered steer tube, and a 15QR through axle.

WTB KodiaK 2.5 Inch Tire: Also featured and exclusive to Niner Bikes on the W.F.O.9 is WTB’s newest monster 29″er tire, the Kodiak 2.5″er. I have ridden early prototypes of this monstrousity, and I can tell you that it will not fit in many bikes available out there. It is a big, wide, heavy meat of a tire, but for its intended use, it is perfect. And this production version is said to be much improved. Niner Bike’s Steve Domahidy had this to say about the tire in a thread about the W.F.O.9 on mtbr.com:

They are 2.5’s with Super Track DNA rubber compound, inner peace anti-pinch flat, and Aramid bead (to save a little weight). We prototyped DH casing and wire bead and they were too tight to put on a rim and weighed too much. We felt like this was the best way to go for an all mountain/big hit bike. The tires will retail for $60 per tire and will be available through us directly or your local Niner dealer.

No word on exact weights, but expect this tire to be well in excess of 1000 grams, perhaps in the 1400-1500 gram each range. For aggressive, down hill oriented, “chunky gnar-gnar”, (Don’t ask!), this tire should be king.

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Rocky Mountain Altitude Coming Soon: The Rocky Mountain Altitude 29″er full suspension rig is in beta test mode on the East Coast at this very moment. (I hope to get some detailed ride info shortly) I reported on this rig in my Sea Otter coverage earlier this spring. The Altitude 29″er features 120mm of rear wheel travel with some very unique features such as the pivot at the drop out which is positioned on the chainstay in such a way as to avoid the Horst link patents, a tapered steer tube, and something Rocky Mountain is calling “Straight Up” geometry. The Straight Up philosophy is that the seat tube needs to have a steep static angle, (Rocky says 76 degrees) which sags into a proper seat angle when the rider is on the bike, (approximately 74 degrees).

The bike also features a hydro-formed tube set with a tapered steer tube and a widely flared seat tube where it meets the bottom bracket shell. This is done to provide a flex free chassis. The design of the seat tube forced Rocky Mountain to find another way to mount the front derailluer and they went the direct mount route.

The bike looks promising as an all day, endurance type of bike that should be quite interesting. Stay tuned for any further updates.

Finally, in a blog post on the possibilities for down hill 29 inch rigs, Bike Hugger invited some industry types to weigh in on the subject. In the post, a guy from Banshee Bikes identified as “Jay” lets on that they are working on a 29″er full suspension rig. He is quoted in the piece as saying, “Even at this moment Banshee is designing a 17.3” chainstay 5” travel 29r and the challenges to maintain those numbers are tremendous.”

While the challenges are certainly stout, it will be interesting to see what this gravity driven brand might bring to the table for a full suspension 29″er. This one will bear watching!

That’s it for this edition of News And Rumors. Stay tuned for further developments. (Hint: Something will be leaking very, very soon that will be a big news item in the cycling industry concerning 29″ers.)

More 2010 News And Rumors: Part III

July 9, 2009

Today we have some more 2010 news and rumors for you. Check out the latest that has found its way to my inbox…..

Superfly 100 specs: Here is how the 2010 Superfly 100 will be spec’ed out. This info was sourced straight from Fisher. Interestingly, it will use SRAM “Design Your Ride” touches and not a XX group.

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Frame OCLV Co-Molded Carbon main frame and rear swingarm, G2 Geometry, E2 Headtube, ABP, Topswing Carbon Link
Rear Suspension Fox Float RP23, Boost Valve, Air Pressure, 3-position ProPedal, External Rebound, 7.25 x 1.75″ custom race tune
Wheels
Wheels Bontrager Race X Lite 29 Scandium Disc, Tubeless Ready
Tires Bontrager XR1 Team Issue 29×1.9, 120TPI, Aramid Bead
Drivetrain
Shifters SRAM X.O Redwin
Front Derailleur Shimano XT Direct Mount
Rear Derailleur SRAM X.O Redwin
Crank Truvativ Noir Redwin Carbon, 44/32/22
Cassette SRAM PG990 11-34 9speed
Pedals n/a
Components
Saddle Bontrager Race Lite, superlight hollow cromoly rails
Seat Post Bontrager Race XXX Lite Carbon OCLV, Carbon Shaft, infinite adjust Carbon Bontrager head
Stem Bontrager Race X Lite OS, 7d rise, 31.8mm clamp
Handlebars Bontrager Race Lite Big Sweep, 640mm width, 12d backsweep, 31.8mm
Headset Cane Creek Frustrum E2 1-1/8″-1-1/2″, semi-integrated, cartridge bearings
Brakeset Avid Elixir CR Hydraulic Hydraulic Disc, 160mm rotors front and rear

Shed Fire Leaks Pics Of New Off Road Drop Bar: Well, I will admit that this isn’t really a 29″er specific part. However; many of us 29″er freaks are using “alt bars” and I thought this would be of interest here. Brant Richards, formerly of On One and now running his own design firm under the Shed Fire name, has released images of a new off road drop bar he is calling the “Luxy Bar”. Check out the following images of the very raw prototype bar. Certainly there will be refinements and tweaks, so be aware that the final production bar may differ slightly.

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As you can see, there is sweep to the extensions and they are longer than the current Midge Bar extensions. Also, the bar will initially be available in a 583mm or thereabouts. The sweep on the extension is 120 degrees from the plane of the top section. Also noteworthy is that the clamp diameter is 31.8mm and that dimension will be extended across the entire top section of the bar. No word on availability or on pricing as yet.

Santa Cruz Tallboy 29″er We’re hearing that Santa Cruz’s Rob Roskopp was quoted as saying the new Tallboy 29″er will indeed be at Interbike, the annual U.S. trade show for cycling held in the fall. He also tipped off that the frame will be under 5lbs weight in carbon fiber. Pretty impressive. We’ll be looking forward to seeing this at the fall show.

Ellsworth Carbon Fiber 29″er Tony Ellsworth of Ellsworth bikes was showing off a new 26 inch wheeled carbon fiber hardtail frame and let on that a 29 inch version would be forth coming. No word yet on what the frame details will be or where it will be made, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for this one.

More 2010 News And Sightings: Part II

June 29, 2009

This post will be image free, unfortunately, but the information is hot off the presses and without further fanfare, here we go!

Cannondale 2010 Models: We reported earlier that Cannondale will have two models of carbon fiber hardtail 29″ers coming out for 2010. Dubbed the “Flash 1” and “Flash 2” these are reported to be the lightest 29″er hardtails ever. Expect big price tags as well. We hear that the 26″er version is $8800.00. Alongside these models will be the aluminum hardtails. I have seen a sneak peek of these and here is what I can relate from the viewing I got.

There will be five aluminum models. The “29er 5” will be red and single speed. It features a rigid carbon “White Brothers-esque” fork, Avid mechanical brakes, and Kenda Smallblock 8 rubber. The “29er 4” model is geared, features a standard fork with big decals that say “Duece” (Perhaps the new RST model?), Deore trigger shifters, and hydraulic brakes in white. This model is flat black. The next model……you guessed it…….. the “29er 3”, is white with red graphics, has SRAM trigger shifters, Avid Juicy brakes in white, and a Lefty fork done up in white to match. This model also gets TruVativ Stylo handle bars. The “29er 2” is a moss green color, has SRAM X-9 looking drivetrain components, white brakes again, TruVativ bars, and a Lefty with lock out. All the aforementioned models have Smallblock 8 rubber. The next and highest model in the aluminum range is of course, the “29er 1” and is raw aluminum looking with what appears to be an XT kit, including brakes. The big news here is the wheels which appear to be Stan’s ZTR Arches shod with Racing Ralph rubber.

All aluminum models seem to share a brand new frame design with heavily manipulated tubing. (Hydro formed?) and even the seat stays are flattened with the intention of giving a more comfortable ride. These are all emblazoned with “Flash” decals which would lead us to believe that the carbon models will also feature these flattened stays. The graphics are similar to last years models with some minor changes.

More on these models as we get the info. We’re also hearing that Cannondale is going to make 1 1/8th steerer versions of its unique Lefty fork. No word on any aftermarket sales.

Update: I have now seen an image of the Flash Carbon 29er 1. It will be a SRAM X-0 bike outfitted with Avid Elixir CR carbon brakes, a Lefty Carbon at 80mm travel, Lefty SL front hub with a DT Swiss 240 rear hub laced to Stan’s ZTR Arch 29″er rims shod with Racing Ralph rubber. It is black, but I couldn’t tell if it was a nude carbon finish or not. (The spec says “Race Red”??) The graphics are different and more in line with Cannondale’s other 26″er hardtails. No price has been determined for the Flash 29er 1 as of yet. Also, I am told that the 1 1/8th Lefty is actually an aftermarket adapter kit and that the Lefty will not appear on Cannondale’s rigs with the smaller sized steerer.

Easton Wheel News: Twenty Nine Inches learned today that Easton will be releasing all new mountain wheels which will be UST standard compatible. This includes at least one 29’er model in the range, (dubbed “Haven”), and it is likely all models will be UST type. This is a trend which I personally have been advocating for pre-built wheels. Hopefully we will bring you more news about these wheels soon.

FRM Rims: Our European contributor, chris_geotech filled us in on some goings on over in Europe regarding 29″ers. One of the new developments is a FRM rim that is tubeless compatible. It looks as if a test will be in the works and Twenty Nine Inches will hopefully be able to bring you the results. “chris_geotech” also tells us that work on Geax’s tubular 29″er rubber is still progressing and that something may pop up in late summer as a prototype. Stay tuned for more on these European stories which we hope to bring to you.

Superfly 100 Meets With JHK’s Approval: In a bit of racing news, we have learned that Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, who recently won the Winter Park Series XC event last weekend, was quite pleased with the performance of the new Superfly 100, which will likely see duty in an upcoming event. That will likely be the National Marathon Championships next weekend. (Firecracker 50). News is that it will get an upgrade to SRAM’s new XX group, so if you are around next weekend, keep your eyes peeled for this rig and JHK.

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Oh……did I say “no images”? Well, I have to throw in this one of super-wrench Matt Opperman. Known as “MattO” , JHK and the rest of the Subaru/Gary Fisher Team rely on his skills to attain their peak performances week in and week out. As a mechanic myself, I have to give a fellow “wrench” some props!

That’s it for this edition of 2010 news. Stay tuned for more as Twenty Nine Inches gets it.

The Future Of 29″ers: 2009 Report Card

June 7, 2009

Back in January we were all dreaming of warmer weather and raging some single track. We were also dreaming about what equipment we might be doing that on. Here is the post where I made some prognostications and gave some thoughts on just where all this 29″er stuff might be headed. Now that we are six months into 2009, let’s see how I have done so far…..

bonty29-3-09-008Racing tires like this Bontrager 29-3 rear are already available.

Racing Tires and Wheels: I have pretty much hit the nail on the head here, I think, just judging from what I see here being tested. New tires and wheels have certainly made a splash already in 2009. I think we will see the meatier treads following now, but the reason for that will be coming up yet, so keep reading!

Carbon “Fork” Print: The carbon forks are slow in coming, but they are coming. Bontrager’s new Switchblade, which now will finally be available in G2 Geometry (51mm offset) and “regular” offset (46mm) is hitting the warehouse later this month, I am told. The Niner carbon fork should be hitting trails any day now, and Soul Cycles fork is still in development, but should see the light of day soon as well.

Will there be more? Probably. However; this segment will not see the development that suspension forks have already and are going to soon. The tapered steer tube is already a staple of many 2010 bike designs, and the 15QR through axle looks to be the “QR killer” I spoke about back in January. Look for the existence of longer travel forks to start leaking out here this summer.

On Gearing: The Deore level 11-36T cassette has already been announced in 9 speed. Now with the development and introduction of SRAM XX, look for more options in 10 speed wide ratio gearing to be introduced by Shimano in the fall. New XTR will show up as a 2 X 10 group with a wide ranging cassette to compete with SRAM for mtb dominance. I suspect that even an XT option will surface as well. This would explain the lower level 9 speed casette we saw introduced earlier and why it isn’t a higher level cassette. 2 X 10 and to a lesser extent, 2 X 9 set ups will be the hot ticket going into 2010. On the opposite end of the spectrum, look for something in a 9 speed triple with 20/30/42 chainwheels to surface as well.

A Word About Carbon: We’ll see more carbon fiber rigs and we have already seen a fair number debut already. Who will drop in the 29″er bandwagon with the black magic? My bet is that Trek, who is strongly rumoured to be entering in 2010 with 29″ers, will be offering it’s highest end hard tail with big wheels and carbon construction based upon the Madone road bike. There will be a carbon/aluminum composite from Giant, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least two to three more carbon frames show up with big wheels from several manufacturers, including Santa Cruz.

A Word About Titanium: Don’t forget about this grey wonder metal. I am reasonably sure that something is going to surface made from the metal with 29″er hoops on it. I have seen at least two titanium bikes come as far as rideable prototypes only to get axed in the end, but I’ve a feeling there will be something coming out that a lot of folks will find surprising.

A Word About Full Suspension: We haven’t seen the last of the new FS designs for 2010 yet. The aforementioned Santa Cruz will debut something this fall, Fisher Bikes, which has showed its hand with the Superfly 100 isn’t quite done yet, and if Trek is bowing with 29″ers, don’t be surprised if they show up with a big wheeled FS rig. But that’s not all folks, I know of at least two more FS 29″ers waiting in the wings, and more are coming. Long and short travel. Stay tuned…………

Sneak Peek: Gary Fisher's New Carbon Fiber Full Suspension Rig?

May 28, 2009

So rumors have been spreading like wildfire that Gary Fisher Bikes was developing a new 29″er full suspension device. Even Gary Fisher himself was found to be hinting around about it on Twitter a few days back. Now it seems that a couple of images captured at a Wisconsin cross country event have surfaced that show the bike in question. Not much is known at this time for sure, but speculation is that this is the lightest frame Gary Fisher Bikes has yet produced and that it is full carbon fiber produced in the U.S.A. Stay tuned for more as we learn it………….

The bike on the right is the one in question.

The bike on the right is the one in question.

Again, look to the rider on the right side of the photo.

Again, look to the rider on the right side of the photo.

Editor’s Note: The original photos are sourced from here, and are credited to “mountaingoat 99”.

News And Rumors

May 20, 2009

Brant “Tweaks” The Name: Due to a technicality, Brant Richards of Shedfire Design has decided to go from using the name ‘tweak” for his new line of bicycles to “Ragley”, which was the working model name for the titanium frame we reported on earlier. So far, Ragley has three versions of it’s long travel hardtail in the works. One each in aluminum, steel, and titanium. These bikes are 26″ers, but a 29″er model is in the works. Stay tuned.

Santa Cruz Confirms Carbon 29″er: In this report from Bike Radar, Santa Cruz Bikes owner, Rob Rosokopp confirms that the 29″er, (or at least one model) will be made in carbon fiber. Stating that chassis stiffness was a main priority with regards to designing a 29″er, we can expect a stiff, solid frame with the signature VPP suspension to be seen “sometime before Interbike”. Stay tuned for any further developments.

Scott To Enter With 29″ers For 2010: From an anonymous source, I have learned that Scott has two hardtail 29″ers in the works to be released in the fall. These two bikes will be in aluminum and are just the tip of the iceberg for Scott and 29″ers. I am told that there exists a very strong possibility that a geared carbon fiber hardtail is in the works that would tip the scales at well below 20lbs. Look for more details to surface in the coming months.

RST Revamps M-80 29″er Fork?: I have heard also that RST has a new pre-production version of a 29″er fork going out to testers soon. Is it the revamped M-80 picked as one of the Top Ten Products by this site for 2007? We will be very interested in this development. If the new RST fork makes some improvements over the old model M-80, it would be a welcomed product and most likely a big hit. As always, we will bring you any further news as it is received.

Santa Cruz 29"er Project In The Works

May 15, 2009

It was revealed yesterday in a post from Santa Cruz’s blog that the long time 29″er hold out is working on a 29″er project due to be unveiled “before Interbike”. This would become a 29″er that most mountain bikers not into big wheelers will look to as a litmus test on the format. Santa Cruz has long been highly regarded as one of the premeir trail bike companies with models from the Bullet to the new carbon Blur XC all raising the bar along the way in the eyes of many mountain bikers.

Citing the lack of suitable trail worthy components, Santa Cruz says 29″ers have been on their radar but considered not up to snuff for them to make one. Now they claim since the materials technology, component design, and ride performance are all at a high level for 29″ers, they are going to jump in the 29″er market with a bike that will not only get them on the bandwagon but one that will be “hijacking the damn bandwagon“, in their words.

Not many details are available at this time, but the indications are that the bike will be a full suspension model with VPP suspension. Squeezing out much more than 4 inches of travel with a VPP 29″er will require some trickery not seen before, so I do not look for anything beyond that travel for the rear. Santa Cruz states that “… the challenge of packaging some decent suspension into a bike and still having a manageable chainstay and wheelbase length” is important, so getting these attributes from a VPP design is going to limit travel expectations.

Some rumors are floating about also that Santa Cruz will offer the 29″er in aluminum and carbon. This would be a big surprise if true, and it is doubtfull that going into the 29″er market for the first time that they would commit to a carbon 29″er out of the box. This is pure conjecture though, so don’t take that as gospel. It’s just my opinion on the matter.

At any rate, this will be a big development in 29″ers and will bear watching closely as the summer months set in. Stay tuned!

Specialized Announces 29 Inch Wheeled Epic

April 14, 2009

It finally happened. A rumor that had been floating about for several years appears to be true and will be unvieled at a special press conference tomorrow. Look for the full story on the bike from our Sea Otter coverage and be sure to jump over to our new sister-site, The Cyclist and check out more than just big wheeler coverage there.

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The companion story and another pic are here.

The Epic 29″er will most likely see immediate action under X-Terra World Champion, Conrad Stoltz, as it has been rumored that he has requested Specialized make a 29″er version of the Epic. Interestingly, Conrad will be appearing at Sea Otter. Look for more on this bike and more Thursday from Laguna Seca Raceway and the Sea Otter Festival.