Wednesday, September 30, 2015

2015 Interbike: Bikes, Part 3

Notice the textual length of these posts getting shorter? Yeah, there is not doubt, it is "bikery (bikes, components, accessories, and all the tom-foolery that goes with those) overload." Thankfully, short or not, this is the penultimate post, another miss-mash of bikes.

Folding bikes, like those by Dahon, continue to evolve with increased rigidity at the clamps, higher rated componentry, and even larger wheel sizes.



Norco. Whether a road bike, cross bike, or mountain bike, they not only catch my eye, I purposely seek them out now. Shown here, the Search (road) and Threshold (CX).





 An elegant looking pivot for something intended to be thrashed around in the dirt. Ellsworth Epiphany


Nino Schurter's Scott


The Co-motion Siskiyou - Reynolds 725 steel with, new for 2016, 650b through axles. My eyes were especially drawn to the stay "yoke". Rather than the tubular stays welded to the b.b. shell, as it typical, they merge into a "yoke" for added clearance.



The RX Team, by BH


SSCXWC



When I noticed the way Lynskey are setting their name and model plates onto the down and top tubes, I thought, "wow, that is a nice touch of class". Then I remembered my right knee often rubs against the top tube and wondered if the raised lettering and set-screw / rivet heads would become an annoyance. I would probably take my chances just to own a Lynsky.


Alan - yet another Italian manufacturer of custom, handmade bicycles. Did you know that in 1972 they were the first maker to produce an all aluminum frame made from aerospace grade metal?



Tuesday, September 29, 2015

2015 Interbike: Bikes, Part 2

A few more bikes, for your approval, or not.

The BMC Gran Fondo GF01comes accoutered with Ultegra Di2. You know it is a nice bike, but I am showing it for another reason; one of the trends I took note of this year was a prevalence of flat, matte finishes. I kind of like the look in this case, but in others (primarily grey colors) the finish gave the impression of cheap plastic. Maybe it is just me, but I will be interested to see if it lasts more than a single season.


The Liv Lust. I notice quite a few out on the trails.


The Invite is another Liv bike. A season or two ago I would have called this a cyclocross bike, but these days "all road" or "adventure" seems to be a more common designation for anything that isn't "cross-specific". That said, does the clearance between tire and frame look a bit tight? Might be better in dry conditions, somewhat less so in mud?

Moots' very first mountain bike was named the Mountaineer. This prototype of the ultimate adventure bike was revealed ahead of a limited edition run to become available in early 2016, and is coupled with the 25th year YBB suspension.




Good to see the wide range of Yuba cargo bikes on display one again. Included was the Eurobike Gold Award winning Spicy Curry





The Rocky Mountain Altitude already allowed riders to ride as aggressively as nerves would let them. New for 2016 will be a 15% stiffer frame and BC2 (Bushing Concept 2) pivots which are oversized, lighter, and stiffer with grease ports for ease of maintenance.




Austiran company KTM has been building bikes since 1964 - road, mountain, cyclocross. You don't really see too many of them yet, but KTM dealers are coast to coast


The bike of Sir Bradley Wiggins

Sunday, September 27, 2015

2015 Incycle Hammer Time

Late in the month of September, indeed it is Hammer Time, and there were plenty of blows to go around. In fact, and though the usual categories were out pounding the pedals, there actually seemed to be a mere two groups of riders - those doing the pounding, and those receiving a pounding.

Rocket Man - seriously, #349 flew up this riser by the lake far faster than anyone else, as if he did have rockets strapped to that pack. It was one of those times I could only smile at the guy he just passed, and guess we were thinking the same thing - "nothing to be done about that."


The much maligned first lap mechanical




That's gotta sting, but the bike seems okay.

Every so often I will read about how, like the "late, great Rock 'n Roll, mountain biking has one foot in the grave; the clattering over rocks, like a death rattle deep in the lungs.  At best, some people say, the sport is but a weak shadow of its former self. 

While I don't have the numbers to either refute or corroborate those assertions, there is evidence to suggest that the core of the sport is as strong as ever. It is evident virtually any weekend a race is held. You can see it in the promoters who direct all their free energies into organizing the local race, or race series, in the retailers and other bicycle industry who throw in their support year after year and, of course, you see it in the racers themselves, who toe the line from the beginning of January to the end of October (and contrary to popular belief, mountain bike riders do not hibernate the final two months of the year). 

I sense that things are getting off topic now, and though it is a topic I may want to examine in more depth, it is best to save it for another time. For now, lets just say, I witnessed no lack of determination during the morning's race. As long as people continue to realize the true value and rewards of spinning a pair of knobby tires, mountain biking will be just fine. To everyone who persevered to the end under, sometimes adverse conditions, congratulations. See you all at Glendora's South Hills Park in a couple weeks.

The one hundred twenty-eight photos in the Flickr album are about a quarter of the number I took. The photos are not a complete catalog, but are representative of all the others taken during the day, so if you don't see what, or who, you were looking for in the album, let me know and I will see what I can find. If you see a photo you like, feel free to download it (credit where credit due, of course). You can also contact me via email and I will gladly send a full size jpeg file of the image.

2015 Interbike: Bits and Pieces, Odds and Ends, Part 3

It has been a pleasure photographing the Luna chix at the early season mountain bike races over the years, as well as the occasional appearance for a cyclocross race (and in the case of one, on the road as well). So, it was added pleasure to see them - Catharine Pendrel, Maghalie Rochette, Georgia Gould and Katerina Nash - at Interbike in the EVOC booth.


Over in the Asian Pavilion area was a display of various award winning components from the Asian equivalent of Interbike. Some, like this Light Handle are interesting concepts with good intentions, but in its displayed form, seem rather limited. I am also a little wary, cautious that some politician would see this and wonder why turn signal lights are not already required.


Others, like this folding handlebar are clear functional right now.


Cyclelogial makes some nice teeshirt designs. I was hoping to get one of those vamos shirts that dude is wearing, but by the time I got over there for one, they were sold out. Cyclelogical makes bags as well.

Alright, this one is a little biased; you already know my fondness for Vittoria shoes. I wear them on the road now, as I have done in the past. Since I need some new mtb shoes, well… you get the idea. To make them even more attractive they come with Vibram soles. When I was a wee lad hiking boots with vibram soles were the be all, end all; if yours didn't have that little yellow logo, forget about it.





I will let you in on a little secret, though they are legendary, I have never had a desire to own, let along ride on, a Brooks saddle. Until now. This racing saddle, the Cambium C-15, would put me on the rivet, if not back on it.


Brooks. Beauty out of a simple, everyday object. But are they available for presta valves?


Fizik shoes for both road and mountain may be the most classically designed shoe out there.

I don't think I would have any qualms about riding these Cobalt 3 wheels on my 29er. By Crank Bros.


Don't have a dropper myself. Probably has something to do with that no-downhill-ability thing. If I did, though, I might be tempted by the Highline, again by Crank Bros.



I was hoping that Charlie Kelly would be at Interbike so I could pick up a personalized copy for the library. Expect a full review in the near future; initial impressions, though, are that this is a very amazing book, and I am looking forward to reading and viewing the history in its pages.


There were two components/accessories I came close to awarding Best of Show this year, one I already shared - the Litelok. The other is the Lauf Carbonara fork. I don't do any of that crazy downhill stuff, so never really need all that front suspension that my bikes have. Additionally, of course, all that suspension (whether oil or air) requires some maintenance. And they add quite a bit of weight. Not so this fork by Icelandic company, Lauf. The Carbonara is the heaviest of the companys' three models, yet at 2.43 pounds it is not heavy at all. Lightweight composite, zero maintenance and with 2.35" of travel, seems pretty darn nice for anything other than above-average technical trails. The suspension comes from those leaves, each made of military-spec high performance S2 glass fibers, both flexible and impact resistant - the same material used in the armor of tanks. The forks come with a five year warranty. Be sure to click that link for more info.

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