A hammer is a great tool when you need to deliver some blunt force, but there are plenty of times when it's one of the last things you should be reaching for. Removing and installing sealed bearings is one of those times, although I can't blame anyone for wanting to smash things with a big ol' hammer when a reluctant to leave bearing is being a PIA.
Leapower had this clever bearing puller in their booth for exactly those times.
Leapower's kit uses a castle-type tool that fits over the bore to allow the bearing to be pushed out from the opposite side, but what about if you're dealing with a blind hole or tricky location that won't let you get a tool in behind the bearing? The answer is this neat collet tool that expands out to grab the inner bearing bore, thereby letting you literally pull the old bearing right out of the hole from just one side.
This isn't a new idea - what is anymore? - but Leapower's kit is a nice all-in-one solution for common bearing sizes used for mountain bike pivots.
I mostly only do this mountain bike thing so I can play with tools. There are roughly a million different multi-tools out there, with about a million different ways to tighten and loosen the same bolts. Airsmith had this hybrid chain tool and bit carrier in their stand that's just one way to do it, with the separate bits slotting into a holder that's then tucked up into the handle.
Being clumsier than a drunk newborn calf, I'd probably drop and lose the bits pretty quickly, but I'd at least have a little stash spot in the handle for candy after that.
Who remembers when a fresh set of carbon fiber wheels was newsworthy? I barely can, but it's especially ho-hum these days as it seems like every brand has some sort of black rim that cost a lot and looks the same. And then there's Quai. These are their new ISOS 33 Enduro wheels that can be had in either 29'' or 27.5'' sizes, and as you can tell, they don't look anything like other carbon rims out there. Quai says that their rim design isn't just to be different or for low weight, but rather for spoke tension.
The high/low stepped rim is said to mimic the effects of the tall/low flanges that you'll find used on rear hubs in an effort to have the drive and non-drive spokes be closer in tension. Ask a wheel builder what one of the keys to reliability is, and they'll likely talk to you about equal spoke tension. People have been doing things like tall/low hub flanges and offset drilling patterns on rims to this end for a long, long time, but Quai claims that their stepped rim design is a more effective way getting the job done.
The 29'' ISOS 33 Enduro wheels are said to come in at 1-800-grams, and the 27.5'' diameter is about 230-grams lighter.
Back to bearings, this time with Enduro Bearings' US-made puller that looks more like jewelery than a tool. This one is made for bottom brackets and the bearings that are used in them, and it employs a split collet to grab the bearing and extract it from the bore.
At $215 USD, these things aren't exactly inexpensive, so you'll either have to really have a fetish for quality tools or be at a bike shop that will make use of it often.
I'd probably give up donuts before I took a pass on using party posts, and that's especially true when it comes to today's long-stroke options. Funn is taking things up a notch (a notch is precisely 50mm, by the way) with this prototype, 220mm-travel dropper that makes all the 170s out there look a little stubby. It isn't guaranteed to hit production, though, as there aren't a ton of frames out there (at least not yet) that have a short enough seat tube for such a long-stroke dropper, besides Mondraker and a couple of others.
Internally, it's similar to their current offering, the UpDown, so it uses a similar twin-tube cartridge that skips the usual IFP (internal floating piston) found inside most other designs out there. Being much longer than the current 150mm UpDown, Funn has beefed up the internals to cope with the extra leverage, and it's a safe bet to assume that the stanchion has received the same treatment.
Funn also had an entire frame made by a rapid prototyping machine, so while this yellow stunner sure does look nice, it's not actually rideable. Companies will often print an entire frame using this method to check things like cable routing and clearances, and also to see what their design is going to look like in the flesh before picking up the welding torch or sheets of carbon fiber.
Most of us can agree that titanium probably isn't the best material to be building a full-suspension frame out of, with aluminum and carbon fiber generally being easier to work with - and stiffer - than the pricey gray stuff. But I don't give a toss about either if the frame ends up looking like this full-suspension creation from BaoTi. Never heard of them? Me neither, but a little Google'ing revealed that the Chinese company has its hands in all sorts of industries, from aerospace to cookware to the medical world. I'll ruin it for you right now, though: BaoTi makes stuff for other brands to sell, so you probably can't get your grubby paws on the beautiful creation above unless someone puts their own brand name on it.
The very nice people manning the BaoTi booth didn't know much about this full-suspension frame, but it's easy to spot the dual-link design that sees both links rotating in the same direction. The shock is compressed between the two links, both of which are also titanium, to deliver however much travel this thing has. Geometry? It probably has some of that. Weight? Yeah, of course. Price? Probably a lot by the time it gets to consumers.
They also had what appeared to be a titanium version of Santa Cruz's old Bullit on the wall that looks even sharper in my opinion.
Am I wrong for not caring at all that a titanium full-suspension frame is kind of silly? I mean, this thing could be so flexy, have a 120-degree head angle, and no water bottle mount but I'd still want it.