Dirt Demo 2015 did not offer much in the way of new or groundbreaking product, and if the brands displaying there did have an ace in the hole, they were saving it for the big indoor show this coming Wednesday. As a result Boulder City's outdoor bike show was crawling with media in search of shiny objects worth reporting – like sifting gold dust from the parched sands east of Las Vegas.
WTB's Happy Accident
We came across some high-volume WTB tires at the Breezer booth that caught our attention. The Riddler and Breakout are relatively new to the WTB catalog and are positively huge looking. They dwarf the WTB i25 rims that they were mounted to, but riders who prefer wider rims in the neighborhood of 30 millimeters should find the Riddler and Breakout to be a much better match. On the narrow rims, the edging blocks were rolled so far over the edge of the casing that few riders would be able to lean far enough to engage them. Throw those babies on wide rims, however, and the tread profile would be perfect. Can't wait to try a pair. WTB lists the 2.5-inch Breakout at 1110 grams, with an MSRP of $79.95 USD and the 2.4-inch Riddler at 868 grams and $67.95.
You May Not Know This Man, But You Should
Darryl Voss is not a name that is on the tip of the tongue of media hacks or rank-and-file riders, but he should be. Voss holds about twenty bicycle related patents that range from quick release through-axles to chassis and suspension configurations.
Voss was instrumental in Klein Bicycle's rise to prominence in the early days of the sport and later, he became one of the driving forces behind SR Suntour suspension. Voss owned and operated a magnesium and aluminum forging business in Taiwan and has been designing bicycles and suspensions behind the scenes for a number of high-profile bike makers. The chances are good that you have owned or at least ridden one of his designs.
At six-foot, seven inches, Voss is not easy to miss and, while it may seem improbable, he is a shredder on a gravity bike. He can talk the talk and walk the walk. So, one may ask, why is Darryl Voss a relatively unknown person in an industry that is rife with self-promotion?
Well, I can't answer that beyond knowing that Voss has always kept a low profile - and there is also the fact that he doesn't hang around in one place very long. The man spends a massive amount of time in Asia working with factories and suppliers that are involved with his designs, and also as a consultant to a number of bicycle makers there.
Voss is one of the sharper tools in the shed, and I always look forward to spending a few minutes at Interbike catching up, discussing current challenges facing the industry, and postulating where technology may be taking us in the near future. This time, however, Darryl was hiding something big, saying only that he will be revealing a secret project he has been putting a lot of energy into sometime this fall. I hate it when he does that.
Flat pedals are just Flat Metal? Xpedo was showing off a new super-wide flat pedal called the Zed. The low-profile concave platform measures 110 by 110 millimeters and it bristles with large, replaceable pins. MSRP is $99 USD.
Why Are These People Smiling?
Be Sure Your Chain is Fresh
KHS Steps it Up
Technical Riders Take Note
Onyx free-hubs use a sprag clutch
instead of a tooth ratchet that reportedly runs with less friction while coasting and engages more positively. Onyx hubs are guaranteed for five years, which should be great news for technical climbers who often blow through freehub ratchets in six months due to half-cranking up difficult steps and rock gardens. Rear hubs in all popular axle configurations run $445 USD and front hubs run $192 USD. A wild range of anodized and powder coated colors are available.
Master of the Epic Ride
And the Winner of the Wheel War is... Virtually every part was crafted by Keener - including the giant Lefty strut, hubs wider than beer cans, its one piece bar and stem, and the twin caliper mount for its Shimano Zee brakes. Tires are made by Vee Rubber and were originally intended for unicycles.