Friday, July 29, 2011

Dealer Camp New Products Report 5- Yeti SB66, XT brakes: Revelations of the Show

So many people are interested in the new Yeti SB66.  At first look, Fahzure was unimpressed by the seeming complexity, weight and lack of necessity.  Who needs an arcing swingarm pivot? This is different from the aforementioned arcing shock driver, though maybe these folks should get together.

 Well, my preconceived notions were dead wrong.  Not only Fahzure, but Flo and several others remarked about the total neutrality of the suspension with respect to pedal forces. Almost unbelievable.

At first, I assumed that it was an I-drive ripoff.  While similar in mechanics and action, rather than rotating the bottom bracket to compensate for increasing effective chain growth, under compression, as does an I-drive, the SB66 (Switch Bike 26 in Wheel, 6 inch travel) Switch Technology arcs the main pivot to change the axle path and control chain growth.  Through the initial phase, to about the sag point, the axle moves slightly rearward and up, followed by an upward and froward arc in the later two thirds or so of it's travel. A very robust rear end keeps torsional and lateral loads in check.

Yeti will next be working on a "59" or is it "95?";  a 29er with 5 inches of travel.  Recognize that short-mid travel platforms are probably optimal, as this mechanism would grow in size as suspension travel increases.  While not impossible to overcome, the mechanism is near the BB clusterf**k, creating space limitations, and other travel options might require different bearings and dimensions, as well .

Yeti Joe is always hanging with the finest folk. 

Many bikes, like this Intense, featured the new XT brakes:
Now you can go ahead and poo-poo the brake 'cause of its cheesy Deore-esque blackness, but then you'd be poo-pooing blackness.  What really matters is they way they work especially when combined with larger rotors (Fahzure has ridden XTR's, but always with pah, pah, pinner rotors).  The braking performance is nothing short of phenomenal.  1 finger levers and a massive increase in power meant a total retuning of finger modulation.  With $45 pads cooling fin pads, ICE rotors, and a redesigned master cylinder, who needs 4 pot calipers?  A very worthy upgrade. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dealer Camp New Products Report 3-SRAM, Pivot, BH, Fuji

The buzz around SRAM as a responsible partner in growing the bicycle industry was very strong at the Dealer Camp.  You and your kids will probably appreciate SRAM's efforts at supporting cycling without knowing it. What you will know about is what's new from SRAM, like this SID 29er:

 New rotors, with consistent, even, standard sizing (140, 160, 180, 200mm) including the pinner 140 XX:
Air bubble in your SRAM brake after hanging it? New master cylinder porting eliminates the trapping of that bubble (found on all Elixer models):

I've been slow to check out Pivot, mostly because Pivot has been slow to build the kind of bikes I like to ride.  Not anymore:
This tight little dirt jumper frame retails for $500:
The Mach 5.7 Carbon has been the most popular mountain model in the Intermountain west. I rode it and it was delightful in a typically DW fashion:
BH, Pivot's road sister, has specialized in carbon for years. Bottom bracket shells are getting enormous. "BB386";750 grams/56cm:

It was a bit disappointing to go by the ASI family of brands tent and find no SEs or Breezers, but I really liked this Fuji bike.  Good colors, spec, pricing and a Horst link:

There were several Asian hydraulic brake models that I had not seen.  This one looked cool:

Tektro Auriga Pros, I think:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hump Bike-A Dealer Camp Find, Innovation for Innovation's Sake

 You may have seen the previous  post where I mentioned a Best of Show bicycle collaboration between Twin Six and Handsome.  This guy:
Yes, this guy:

William Matheson made this bike for the Austin Handbuilt show:

The nickle plated steel tubes are svelte and have a soft, Ti look.  The top tube is a bonded carbon tube.  Single speed (?) or geared. I really wanted to love this bike but the central technological feature is an arcing shock driver path that would seem to be largely, falling rate (combined with a coil?).  How about making it rising rate (like 6-3 o'clock); or slightly falling then rising for a super squish machine (7:30-4:00) with big drop potential:
Altogether, it seemed like a lot of work in order to overcome the single pivot limitations(?) on shock rate. Nonetheless, William Matheson, craftsman, has created a unique bike whose technology we look forward to seeing further developed.

Dealer Camp New Products Report 2- Giro, Blackburn, Felt

Giro has diversified its product line, recently adding shoes. Fahzure doesn't find SPD shoes all that interesting and the Freeride shoes are not yet available (2012). Giro did have some new offerings in helmets and gloves, first up the Feature, $90.  Can you say Trans Alp, brah...this would look good on Van Dine.

The citified Reverb comes with a removable demi-visor and quick-fit, auto-adjust occipital lobe retention, $60: 

Giro gloves now have a pad that wraps from the outer palm to the back of the hand, good for Kung Fu fighting:

Best of Show =this Sweet single speed crosser was the most inspired bike at Dealer Camp, found at the Blackburn booth (note rack w/ integrated lock holder):

Waterproof pannier (he said it "pan-yeah"...when did the Tour end?), $80 ea:

New lights, the Scorch 2.0 with 230 lumens ($95) and the Super Flea ($45) w/ aluminum heat sink and double the lumens of the Flea:

These Blackburn racks aint your daddy's Blackburn (MTN-1) rack...disk compatible, super duty, seatpost mount (w/ pump holder):

Blackburn U-locks have a hexagonal shackle that will not twist open when cut, cable are Kevlar sheathed:

Also, Best of Show this purple suede saddle on the Felt BMXer (click to covet):


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dealer Camp New Products Report 1-Ibis, Dakine, Cole, Easton

Dealer Camp is a bicycle retail trade show that takes place at the Deer Valley resort and offers plenty of opportunity to get a real feel for products.  The outdoor venue, copious demo fleets and adjacent lift served trails make for a casual, but informed atmosphere.  Seems like most everybody who was there really rides a lot.  Fahzure loves to ride, but is on injured reserve (scaphoid and rib) so is able to wear the reporter hat and get you the scoop on new goods.

First, Chuck's latest spew, the Ibis Mojo SL-R, a tricked out and lightened version of the Mojo SL, the SL-R features Maxle drops, larger tube profiles and a tapered headtube.  Frame weight, sz medium: 5lbs.  They are made using a secret sacrificial core process that results in optimal resin content and a minimum of seams in the layup schedule. Long awaited they will be available to consumers in about a month (place your order today!). For now, this is one of eight in existence, Marshall says it rides sweet:

New from Dakine is the Pace, a lightweight $65 short out of a breathable poly material:

I like this color/pattern which is featured in both the Prowess and Siren women's short:

Cole Wheels has, since its inception, designed wheels without J-bend spokes.  New this year, they've moved away from double threaded spokes, to headed straight pull spokes that interface with the hub through a barrel, which perfectly seats the spoke and transfers its angular pull on the hub. Also, straight pull spokes are easy come by:

The downhill hubs don't use the barrel spoke head seat technology, but they do look moto:

Also utilizing straight pull spokes, Easton continues to make a diverse line of tubeless ready wheelsets:

Easton has refined the line with full component offerings in each group. Their bars show different thicknesses and layup schedules depending on intended usage. Carbon EC70, Haven and Havoc; Aluminum Havocs, Top-Bottom:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Intense Cycles-Carbon Debut @ Dealer Camp

Intense Cycles has been carrying the torch for race driven, USA designed and built products for two decades from their home in So Cal. You may remember them from the Shaun Palmer days or, perhaps, their more recent collaboration with Chain Reaction Cycles and sponsorship of  Kovarik.  Intense was amongst the first companies to embrace hydroforming, now ubiqutous in high end aluminum bikes, and, seen here on this pretty M9:

Marzocchi Ti Spring on a Manitou shock, I'm not afraid to mix gin and tequila, either:

How about a good all arounder like the Tracer:

Marzochi 55, are these forks to be trusted again?  I sure hope so, cause nickle plated stanchions are cool:

New XT: ice rotors, cooling fins and much more blackness, coming soon:

 Jeff Steber, craftsman and owner of Intense, and I had a long discussion about the arc of production in the global economy.  For the first time, Intense will be building their frames (or frame components) in Asia.  Jeff sees this both as an opportunity to focus on what the company does best (incorporating race feedback into design) as well as the opportunity to grow as a craftsman and engineer (he welds every week).  Here is the fruit of that effort, the Carbine:

5.5-6.0 inches (140-160mm) of VPP directed travel 5.5 lbs in a medium and, stiff.  I took the bike out of the stand and stood a foot on the swingarm, inducing lateral force (this is always a tricky thing to try and pull off, the Intense folks obliged, graciously).  It seemed to have the same stiffness as the Tracer (which is no 5.5).  Svelte braces:

USA machined and installed hardware:

They also come in black:

Look for Intense to keep pushing the envelope as the develop their own carbon prototyping and engineering facility.

Cool Tools- The coolest of tools

The instant I saw this, I knew I had to have one.  Colin was cool (what else could he be) enough to give me his personal one:

It's got a pressure gauge, pump and nozzle.  I've already started to think of the mods possible. What is it?  The Orbit Arizona Mist personal mister of course:

Why is it cool? 1. it is only about $25; 2. you can use it as a water bottle; 3. a few pump strokes get you minutes of mist; 4. it really works.

Orbit, a Utah company, has donated thousands of personal misters to troops in Iraq. On our ride over the weekend, one of the Posse members had an allergic/asthma attack.  I'm pretty sure that the mister saved the ride.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Kona Demo Days @ Deer Valley- A Schwilly Good Time

One of the best hosts and most dedicated to the fun to be found in the mountain bike can be found in Willy Warren, Kona representative for UT and CO.  Willy can connect with anyone:

He has super cool personal bikes like this Ute, which he wheelies like nobody else:

This one has custom rack and fenders. You can get fenders like these from Honey Skateboards:

Also on hand the Operator, Kona's DH/Extreme FR platform:

Doc and Terry from Superco hooked up with homie Flo, 10002 represent!

While normally not to be trusted, these guys antied up and made sure that everyone had a good time and that Willy got on the road safely.