Industry Nine will offer wheelsets featuring HED's new tubeless ready carbon fatbike rim. The HED rims use a double well design to keep the tire from migrating between the rim flanges while airing it up. The HED/Industry Nine wheelset uses I-9 hubs and aluminum spokes and it is assembled there as well. Weight is pegged at 1730 grams for both wheels, which is feather light among fatbikes, and the price is $2650 a pair.
Thomson flashed this prototype one-by crankset with a sturdy bash ring. The construction and quality are tops, as usual. Reportedly, the crank arms are forged in Taiwan, and afterwards, sent to Thomson, where they are finish machined and assembled to Thomson's aluminum axle, hardware and chainrings. There is no firm price or release date.
Scott co-developed its new RC ProTec jersey and short for road racing, but we expect that the nearly indestructible, ceramic coated, carbon fiber-reinforced, Super-Spandex will appear in some form on mountain bike kits next year. The ITD ProTec material is from Schoeller Textiles and it is produced by surrounding carbon filaments with ceramic and then knitting them together with elastic yarns in a specific pattern that resists tearing and abrasion, yet allows for a breathable, two-way-stretch fabric. Watch the video.
WTB launched a 27.5-inch rim and tire combination that may revolutionize short-travel 29er trailbikes. The system is built around its new tubeless 2.8-inch Trail Blazer tire which, when fully inflated, measures about a half-inch shy of a typical 29er. The greater width of the 2.8-inch carcass fits most 29er frames and all 29er forks. The 27.5 format offers additional mud clearance and because it is slightly smaller in diameter when compared to a true 29er tire, the Trail Blazer will fit between the chainstays of almost every frame. WTB's Scraper rim measures 45 millimeters inside and 50 millimeters outside the flanges and it comes with a dedicated WTB tubeless system. WTB will soon offer a dedicated 29er version of the rim to fit 29-plus tires as well. Trail Blazer tires weigh 900 grams and cost $67.95. Scraper rims weigh 698 grams and prices are not finalized yet.
Kristofer Henry's 44 Bikes 29er hardtail easily fits WTB's 27.5-inch Scraper rims and Trail Blazer 2.8 inch tires. The only hint that the wheels are actually 27.5 is a little extra clearance under the fork arch. The WTB system provides the same rollover attributes off a 29er, with the added comfort and traction of a larger-volume and more aggressively treaded tire than would be possible or practical with a true 29er wheel.
Saris went to great lengths to explore alternatives to its wireless, hub-mounted PowerTap system. Pressure pads in the foot bed of a cycling shoe proved to be quite accurate, but as the rider tired, the foot position would migrate and the data would not read consistently. Crank-mounted power meters created problems with customers who were brand loyal and wary of alternative cranks or sprockets. Saris also experimented with strain gauges and telemetry inside pedals and cassettes before settling on the rear hub as their best option. Strain gauges can be seen wired to the perimeter of the pedal's stub-axle. Current flows through a zig-zag pattern etched from gold foil, a few thousandths of a millimeter apart. As the part stretches microscopically under load, the foil labyrinth is pulled apart or compressed, which changes the strain gauge's resistance.
A look at the sealed electronic business end of the PowerTap mountain bike rear hub. The dome conceals a wireless transmitter, a battery and a torque-tube-type power meter.
OneUp's latest edition to its modest one-by product line is a narrow-wide chainring that fits 104mm bolt circles. Options are even-numbers between 30 and 36 teeth. Spacers are included with rings from 32t though 36t that allow customers to use their stock hardware, The 30t is threaded and has an integrated spacer. OneUp says that they profiled the back of each tooth with a chamfered relief (lower left) that sheds mud caught in the chain. By flip flopping the rings and switching the position of the spacers, riders can find a perfect chainline using one-by, two-by and three-chainring cranksets. MSRP is expected to slot between $45 and $50 USD.
RNT's Flex Fit pedal allows the foot to rotate around the gold circle at the end of the pedal axle in a controlled arc, up to 16 degrees - eight in either direction - to enable the rider's foot to remain plated while maneuvering.
Kali Protectives had two expanded cut-away helmets on display to illustrate the different technologies used in their construction.
The wild looking construction of the Jones titanium fatbike is configured to allow the frame to flex over bumps without robbing power from its rider. There is a fast-growing Jones cult and all of them are quite happy with their machines.
American Classic's founder and designer Bill Shook debuted his first carbon rim. The Carbonator rim measures 26 millimeters inside and 33 millimeters outside the flanges and is intended for XC/trail and enduro use. The tubeless inner profile features a unique down-sloping ramp that forces the tire beads against the inside of the rim flanges once they pop over the high point during the mounting process. Shook used this feature successfully for his road tubeless wheels and says that it ensures that the tire will not burp air, and that it prevents the tire from unseating after a puncture. American Classic supports Shimano and SRAM and offers the SRAM XD driver as well. Wheelsets reportedly weigh 1595 grams in 27.5-inch and 1679 grams in 29-inch. MSRP is TBD.
American Classic laces Carbonator wheels three-cross, with 32 butted spokes and aluminum nipples. Thick rim flanges protect against pinch flats and add a measure of impact resistance. The rim profile is the widest AC has offered to date and its negative-sloping tubeless profile can be seen near the rim flanges.
They said it couldn't be done. American Classic heard through the grapevine that SRAM was not going to license its large-flange Predictive Steering hub which is specific to the new RockShox RS-1 inverted fork. Well, here it is. American Classic one-ups Big Red with adjustable bearing preload and will offer the hub separately. Pre-built wheels will only be shipping to OEM customers until the hard-to-get RS-1 fork hits bike shops in significant numbers.
9point8's latest dropper post introduces a new take on mechanical actuation. The 125-millimeter stroke Fall Line dropper is infinitely adjustable, like its hydraulic counterparts, but the mechanism is a cable actuated "brake" that expands to lock the post in place. "There is a little more to it than that," was the only information I could pry from the engineers on hand. The mechanical action reportedly saves 150 grams over the hydraulically actuated Pulse, and it has remarkably few parts. Actuation is via a handlebar-mounted lever that ca be easily configured to the right or left side of the handlebar, and either above or below the grip. The Fall Line uses "stealth" internal cable routing and the cable controls simply thread out from the inside of the post for replacement or inspection. The housing threads into a special ferrule, so the user cannot yank the housing out of place and prevent the post from locking as happens to a certain competitor who's three-letter name I will not mention. Diameters are 30.9 and 31.6 millimeters and the price is $325 USD. Weight is TBD, but 150 grams less than the Pulse is around 450 grams, plus the mounting hardware.
Tapered cylindrical "keys" near the base of the gold-anodized shaft automatically take up side play. The cylinder at the lower left of the spring-loaded shaft is the brake mechanism which, reportedly, expands against the inside of the shaft. The smaller bits to the right of the brake shaft are the thread-in cable housing and barb attachment points. The Fall Line dropper is a beautifully simple mechanism.
Biomaxa hails from New Zealand, where it developed an effective chain lubricant using the natural oils from sheep wool. Thank heaven that they didn't choose goats, because the stuff is virtually odorless, it repels water and, unlike goats, it runs silently. The bottle has a inventive applicator that fits around the chain. Biomaxa also showed naturally compounded grease products, as well as a highly praised chamois butter, concocted with lanolin and natural preservatives from honey. Those searching for sustainable, effective, naturally based products will be happy to discover this startup from the Southern Hemisphere.
Full Speed Ahead launched a modest range of wheels at Whistler Crankworx this year and we got to see the XD driver and its six-pawl ratchet at Interbike. The ratchet ring has 27 engagement points, which are doubled because FSA offsets the pawls in sets of three. If you inspect the photos, you can see that three pawls are engaged, while three are poised half-way up the ramps. That works out to 54 clicks per revolution and 6.6 degrees between clicks. FSA notes that they designed double-width pawls for durability and designed the leaf springs to be nearly straight to reduce metal fatigue.
DT Swiss developed the Tricon three-piece hub to prevent high spoke tension from expanding the bearing sockets in the hub body. As it turns out, spoke tension can cause the bearings to get loose in a one-piece machined hub, so DT Swiss engineers designed thread-on flanges that uses a special bond which uncouples radial spoke tension from affecting the hub's bearing tolerances. Double-threaded spokes reportedly can be tensioned higher than J-bend types. Because Tricon rims are true, undrilled tubeless designs, the nipples poke through aluminum plates which fit into oval holes in the hollow rim. Magnets are used to pull the nipples, or thread spokes through most undrilled tubeless rims.
Ceramicspeed of Denmark, makes a full range of ceramic hybrid bearings for road and mountain bikes, which include headsets, bottom brackets and hubs. Ceramic bearings represent an opportunity to reduce weight and save energy at the same time. There were a lot of demonstrator items on hand to play with.
Reportedly, Gravity's Gradient carbon crankset is first constructed with a laid-up I-beam, which connects the pedal axle to the bottom bracket shaft. The arms are then finished-molded with an omni-directional carbon layup, visible throughout the structure, that provides torsional and impact strength.
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