Archive for the ‘29Rumor’ Category

The Future Of 29″ers: 2009 Report Card

June 8, 2009

Editor’s Note: This post first appeared on Twenty Nine Inches and is reproduced here for your viewing pleasure….


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…..

This Bontarger rear 29-3 tire is already available

This Bontarger rear 29-3 tire is 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…………

Sea Otter 2009: Report #2

April 16, 2009

Lots of things going on even though for most of the morning vendors and exhibitors were just getting around to setting up shop! Apparently they were told no work could be done on Wednesday. At any rate……..

The Foes Racing 2:1 B-29 will be produced if there is enough interest.

The Foes Racing 2:1 B-29 will be produced if there is enough interest.

Foes Racing showed this pre-production B-29 model that sports 4 inches of travel. Foes said that if he sees enough interest in the project that production bikes may start being made in the fall of this year.

The design could support the Curnutt AirShock or a Fox RP-23. The design is said to be a good performing design for cross country, marathon, or endurance racing.

Foes also showed a super cool commuter bike that we will post up on the Urban section here. It was a hydroformed aluminum bike that was nice looking. Also at the Foes tent was a trick wheel chair with independant suspension and teensy disc brakes.

This trick wheel chair by Foes racing has some teeny disc brakes!

This trick wheel chair by Foes racing has some teeny disc brakes!

Finally, there was a really cool trike for a lucky toddler with some amazing machine work.  Brent Foes is quite the craftsman.’


Duro Tires, which is better known for cheap, entry level “mart-bike” rubber is showing some tires that Duro’s Mike Sabin says will be turned into some serious high performance tires for the Big Wheeler set. Four treads will be available by late summer that will range from a faster, XC type traed to a blocky, aggressive type tread pattern. No word on widths or weights, but we will be keeping track of this developement.


Choose your color!

Choose your color!

Niner Bikes is officially announcing the long known about carbon fork line up here at Sea Otter. The forks are available in a wide array of colorways, one to match any Niner hardtail bike made now. The forks are quite striking looking and will certainly draw attention to your Niner bike, should you have one mounted up. No other news from Niner at this time as they are currently busy trying to fill orders for eager Niner fanatics.

The Niner tent had the tapered steer tube Fox, Marz, and Rock Shox forks.

The Niner tent had the tapered steer tube Fox, Marz, and Rock Shox forks.

Specialized’s Team tent had an Epic race 29″er being prepped as I was walking by early Thursday morning that was gone just a few hours later. Here are a couple views.

Unmarked  Reba with a tapered steer tube and Black Box crown

Unmarked Reba with a tapered steer tube and Black Box crown

Epic 29"er in the stand

Epic 29"er in the stand

The "Brain" of the Epic's rear suspension

The "Brain" of the Epic's rear suspension

Another look at the Black Box crown

Another look at the Black Box crown

More to come! Stay tuned!

The Latest 29″er Rumors

April 2, 2009

The rumor mill is cranking big time in the Big Wheeled World! You’d never know the economy was in the dumps if all you could see was the cycling industry. (Down a bit, yes, but no where near what reality in a lot of sectors is like.) Okay, enough about economics, on to the rumors!

A Tomac Bikes 29?: Here’s a head scratcher for ya. Tomac Bikes, which gets its name from John Tomac, consumate racer and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame member, is also associated with Kenda Tires. “Johnny T” having his signature on a 29″er tire design even. Then consider that Tomac Bikes is located in Lincoln, Nebraska, a place that you can’t swing a bat and not hit a 29″er rider in. (Don’t try the bat thing on your trails, please!) Thinking about all of thses things, why wouldn’t Tomac Bikes have a 29″er in the line up? Well, they haven’t……...not yet!

A reader of Twenty Nine Inches that wishes to remain anonymous has told me that a 29″er is being test ridden by Tomac Bikes now. It would appear that some sort of 29″er hard tail will make an appearance in Tomac Bikes 2010 line. Stay tuned…………

Something Titanium, Something “Lefty”, Something Oversized: It has been whispered in my ear by a very reliable source that there will be a hardtail 29″er going into production any day now that will be made of titanium. This particular model, (the name of which was not divulged) will have a BB-30 bottom bracket, and a Lefty front suspension fork. This sounds rather intriguing and you can be sure I will be on the story as details surface.

Titanium Fork Still On The Way: I’ve heard from a couple sources that a production titanium fork for 29″ers would be coming. That rumor had grown cold, but recently it was re-confirmed to me that indeed, production is going forward. When this fork might actually appear is not known, but I will report on any new as soon as it is available.

Bontrager’s April Fools

April 1, 2009

Press Release – Bontrager inForm® Technology Aids Armstrong’s Recovery



Lance Armstrong and Bontrager today released more details regarding Armstrong’s recent collarbone surgery. While it was previously reported that Armstrong’s right clavicle was screwed and plated back together after his March 23rd crash at the Castilla y Leon stage race in Spain, Armstrong and equipment sponsor Bontrager, jointly announced that he was the world’s first recipient of an inForm® CarbonClavicle™ Upgrade.

Originally slated to be released at the AAOS (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeon) Convention May 18-24th in Las Vegas, Bontrager moved up the launch date of the inForm CarbonClavicle to aid the return of Armstrong to the peloton.

“The original intent of the Bontrager inForm line was to use medical research to aid us in creating better cycling contact points, such as saddles, shoes, and grips. But when we did the research into the most common cycling-related injuries, the broken collarbone proved to be an area where we could  actually help cyclists get back on the road sooner,” relates John Balmer, head of Bontrager Development.

The CarbonClavicle, available for both left and right shoulders in four male sizes and four WSD (Women’s Specific Design) sizes, is an actual carbon fiber replacement of the clavicle. Developed with the aid of Sports Medicine Specialist Dr. Mark Timmerman, a Bontrager consultant, the inForm CarbonClavicle has greater shock absorption, greater impact strength, and a greater tensile strength—all while being grams lighter than the OEM bone.


“The installation on Armstrong was completely coincidental. But I must admit, the Bontrager marketing team was doing high-fives when we heard about Lance’s crash. It really was a marketing god-send. I mean, could there have been a better way to launch the new Bontrager medical Upgrade line?” explains Chris Clinton, Bontrager Marketing Manager.

The installation procedure is substantially quicker than the conventional collarbone repair procedures of stabilizing, drilling and pinning, as this is a full replacement. Essentially, the broken bone is completely removed and the CarbonClavicle is anchored in place. Armstrong’s procedure took approximately 30 minutes and will reduce his recovery time from 3 weeks, to 5-7 days for the sutures to fully heal.

The delay in releasing details was due to an extended approval process with the UCI, which has now ruled that since this piece is structural yet provides only minor aerodynamic advantage over the traditional ‘bump’ of a healed broken clavicle, it falls with the current parameters of the UCI rules.

Future sponsorship plans include full support and pre-emptive upgrades for the full Trek-Livestrong U23 team. “These guys are early in their careers, and if averages apply to the team, we think we can prevent about ten or more future breaks across the 12 members of the team,” adds Clinton.

Backed by Bontrager’s best-in-industry 5-year warranty, inForm CarbonClavicles will be available through referrals from Trek and Fisher dealers exclusively. Retail prices will be set by the retailer.

For more information, visit Bontrager online at

News And Rumors

March 30, 2009

Well, with the spring time weather starting to come around to many areas it seems that news and rumors are springing up with the grass! Here are some of the latest tidbits that I have heard out on the wires……

A Specialized carbon 29"er hardtail?

A Specialized carbon 29"er hardtail?

Specialized Carbon Hardtail 29″er: A reader of Twenty Nine Inches was kind enough to forward these spy shots taken at a California race venue recently showing a Specialized carbon fiber hardtail mountain bike sporting 29 inch wheels. Nothing more can be said for certain, but several things stand out upon examination here.

The head tube bears a striking resemblance to the tapered steer tube road models, as does the entire frame with its gracefully curving top tube flowing into the seat stays. One can only surmise that we are seeing a tapered steer tube fork here that bears some resemblance to a Fox fork. Interestingly the bike is leaned against the trailer on the drive side, but that crank bears a striking resemblance to Specialized’s two piece FACT carbon crank.

When we asked Specialized for a response, all they said was “…<em>good catch</em>.” We did learn that there is a “mini-launch” of some bicycles just prior to Sea Otter planned by Specialized and no doubt the new rigs will be on display at the Specialized Team truck at Sea Otter, so we plan on catching up with this new rig at that time.

Crank detail

Crank detail

GEAX is still working on a tubular 29"er tire.

GEAX is still working on a tubular 29"er tire.

GEAX Tubular Saguaro Under Development: The GEAX tubular tire development continues and here we have our first photo of a prototype 29″er tubular next to a 26 inch version. GEAX is working very closely with Edge Composites on making sure that these tires and Edge’s rims work in perfect harmony with each other. Expect to see some prototypes being raced at certain venues throughout the summer. The tire is not expected to be anywhere close to being ready for sale to the public until <em>maybe</em> mid-2010 at this point.

Titanium Bike Cancelled: We have been saying for months that a titanium hardtail was scheduled to be released for sale by a U.S. based company in a 29″er format but that bike has been scuttled now. There are no plans to bring it to production. Reasons for the snuffing of the project were mostly related to the downturn in the economy late last year and a hesitancy by dealers to commit to such a pricey, niche market frame.

Fox Does QR15 29″er Forks For 2010: We have had confirmation that Fox Racing Shox is bringing the QR15 through axle to market in 2010 for 29″ers. No word on travel options or models as of now. This isn’t surprising, as to not bring a through axle fork into the 29″er range would be suicidal for Fox’s 29″er sales. We’ll be peeking around the pits at Sea Otter to see if we can spot some early production models. Fox has sprinkled future product around at Sea Otter before, and this year should be no exception.

Shedfire Designs “Ragley” Titanium Frame

March 28, 2009

Brant Richards, former designer extraodanaire of many On One products and now working his own design company under the name “Shedfire”, has released an image of a Lynskey Performance Design built titanium frame. Will it make it to “big wheel status”? We don’t know as yet, and we don’t know the new brand’s name either. It wouldn’t come as a surprise to find this or something like it being made as a 29″er from “The Nameless Company” though. Stay tuned!



 Little is known about the “Ragley” titanium hardtail. Even the brand name is a mystery!

 We’re following the updates as they occur on Twitter and have learned that if this design makes it to big wheeled status, it most likely will be in aluminum.

Stay tuned for any further updates and perhaps the actual name of this new brand from the mind of Brant Richards!



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March 28, 2006

We are excited of the upcoming venture and what the next years will bring to the cycling industry!