Pinion has a new shifter! It's not a trigger shifter! I thought that I'd get that out of the way at the start, but their revised twist shifter does look much sleeker than what they've been using up until now. The biggest difference is the cable routing: The old shifter (below on the right) used to route the two cables straight out from the front of it, which could make the front of your bike look cluttered if you also like to have brakes or a dropper post.
Instead, this new model has the cables coming out parallel to the handlebar, thereby making things look much, much nicer. It also sports a new grip design, an anodized aluminum indicator ring, and what appears to be larger and less-likely-to-strip hex-head bolts to clamp it onto the handlebar.
I can get behind all of those changes (they address many of the shifter complaints I had in my Zerode Taniwha review
), but are we ever going to see that trigger shifter? It hasn't been ruled out, and Pinion has been working towards a trigger shifter for years, but because of how the gearbox mechanism works and how the indexing is in it rather than the shifter, they say that it's way, way more difficult than people think it is.
Have you ever seen inside of a Pinion gearbox? I mean, if they can design that complicated yet completely reliable thing, they could surely do a trigger shifter if it were a possibility, so I'm inclined to agree with the Germans on this one. You know, it'd probably be easier to do if they were to use electronics... Just sayin'.
You might have seen Tag Metals' nifty 'Speed Alignment System'
a few days ago that, while sounding like something high-tech is really just two clever slots they've machined into the back of their stem that would theoretically line up with two vertical lines that suspension manufacturers may or may not put on their steerer tubes. Tag had a bunch of other new bits in the booth as well, including their T1 carbon wheels that can be had in 29'' or 27.5'' diameters.
Carbon wheels from a brand that has 'Metals' in its name? Well, with a 28.6mm internal width, 24mm height, and 445-gram weight for the 27.5'' version, the rims look pretty straightforward to me, and Tag say that they're more focused on reliability than coming up with something flashy that may or may not be needed. The rims are a proprietary shape, and they're laced up with brass nipples and Sapim's Race spokes. At the center are Tag-branded hubs that feature interchangeable axles and tilted-in flanges for better spoke alignment. MSRP is still up in the air but they'll be somewhere around $1,600 USD.
Tag's pedals are in the same vein as the wheels: Not the lightest, not the flashiest, but with a focus on durability. They're obviously not going to be the thinnest pedals out there with that approach, but inside the 20mm tall, dual-concave body is a full-length axle with two large sealed bearings out at the end instead of those silly micro-sized bearings that belong on an RC car.
They're available in two different platform sizes, too, with a smaller option that Tag says is ideal for US 4 to US 10 sizes and a larger platform for those with flipper feet.
I spent a lot of time in this booth, solely because nearly every square inch of their wall space was covered in different headtube badges that they've made. How many can you recognize?
Remember that carbon fiber run bike from a few days ago?
The one with the carbon wheels? Here's a better look at the all-carbon fork, steerer tube, and stem that sits on top of it. The aluminum bolt that runs down the center of the stem to attach it to the steerer is also what clamps the handlebar, thereby saving even more weight.
This whole assembly felt like it weighed about as much as a sheet of paper when I picked it up, and it's apparently quite sturdy (for a child or 2ft-tall adult) due to its long-fiber construction. Almost cool enough to make me want to reproduce.
More stuff for the wee ones, this time from ODI. The Ruffian Mini Lock-On is just 100mm wide, or about 30 to 40mm shorter than most full-sized grips, and it's essentially just a shrunk down version of what you or I would run. It even sports the exact same diamond grip pattern, too. The flanges put it in BMX territory, but those are easy to trim, and you can choose from a zillion different clamp colors, just like with the adult grips.
You can even get custom laser etching for an extra $3.50 USD, which you pretty much have to do. Imagine being a little grom and having your name on the grip collars?
The Foss booth pulled me in from a few kilometers away because cutout... Like a crow to something shiny, really. Magnetically controlled clutches aren't a new idea, but I'm inclined to think that they'd be much more common if they worked well over the long haul.
Anyway, Foss' hub uses two DT Swiss-esque ramped clutch plates that want to be together thanks to magnets, and the idea is to drastically lower the drag compared to a more traditional system that's always in contact. That angry bee noise that a lot of us love so much is awesome, but it's also the sound of resistance.
Would you be interested in a series of articles looking at the small and often unrecognized bits and pieces that keep our bikes rolling? Because if so, the bushing bosses at Igus would certainly be included in that. I imagine some would struggle to get excited about what Igus produces compared to all the other flashy stuff on bikes, but we'd all be screwed without these slidey bits inside of our forks, shocks, and other places.
This glorified hairnet is definitely not enduro-approved, or approved for anything, but I do like the classic look. I inquired about a MIPS version or if they had a full-face in the works, but it doesn't sound like that's in the cards. Anyway, here's the helmet for everyone who chooses style over safety... Good luck and Godspeed.
No one needs
ceramic bearings for their bike, but that doesn't mean that I don't want some. Enduro Bearings had their Eagle 12 Speed Pulley System on display that includes two replacement pulley wheels and also an idler wheel, each one using different spec XD-15 ceramic bearings that are best suited for the job. They're also saying that it isn't just smoother, easier rolling bearings that help, but also that the large diameter aluminum centers add a bunch of rigidity, which in turns makes the shifting feel crisper.
Price? $299 USD, so they will essentially double the price of your high-end SRAM derailleur, which will be a hard pill to swallow for most riders. That said, Enduro Bearings claims that this kit will outlast your derailleur so you can move it to the next one, and that the Eagle 12 Speed Pulley System is actually quite a bit less expensive than some other ceramic options out there.
Here's something that might be able to make those titanium full-suspension frames made by BaoTi
look even nicer: Custom engraving for when having your own fancy titanium frame just isn't fancy enough. Picture ordering up your lust-worthy Ti frame and being able to send them a file with your (or someone else's) art that you'd like engraved onto it.
I don't have a clue how much it costs as I couldn't get any information out of them, but I do know that I need this.