I just returned from attending Quality Bicycle Products “Frostbike”, which is a dealer open house/mini-trade show. Here are some tid bits and rumors I gleaned from the aisles of the show floor.

Prototype graphics on a 2010 Marzocchi 44 29"er fork

Marzocchi 29 inch “44″ model fork: I asked the Marzocchi rep about the upcoming 29″er fork that Niner spec’ed on their new W.F.O.9. Apparently, the 44 will be sold aftermarket towards the end of the summer/early fall. Expect it to be available with a straight steer tube in 1 1/8th” and with graphics similar to the prototype graphics above. The forks will ship in 140mm travel configuration, but will be internally adjustable down to 100mm. Spacers to do the conversions will be supplied with each fork. The fork will have lock out, (no word on a remote) , rebound adjust, and will feature a titanium negative spring. The 44 will feature the new “15QR” through axle standard developed by Fox and Shimano. This fork is expected to be retailing at $799.99 or there abouts. Too rich for your budget? Then the second model 29″er fork from Marzocchi may trip your trigger. Yes, two models for 2010 will be available. The “33″ will be essentially a 44 model with less expensive materials and a simpler damper. Travel will be identical to the 44. Price? We’re hearing around $450.00.

Hope's new hub for an upcoming 29"er wheel

Hope Complete 29″er Wheelset: Hope Technologies had some wild looking 3 bolt and 4 bolt disc brake standard hubs that featured straight pull spokes for 26″er wheels, but for 29″ers, they showed the gunmetal ano hub that they intend on making into a complete wheelset, prebuilt for sale. No word on pricing or weights as yet. We did hear that there were no plans to make it 20mm or 15mm through axle though.

Edge Composites and Geax Working Together?: we’re hearing that there may be a collaboration between Edge Composites and Geax in the works regarding tubular 29 inch rims and tires. Geax is said to be in the initial prototyping stages of a Saguaro based tubular tire in 29 inch diameter. Edge has prototyped a rim, and it is said that the two companies may hook up on a project to bring these products to market. We’ll keep our eyes open for more as things develope.

Speaking of Geax…: We’re told that a 29″er Gato tread tire in a “true 2.3″ is on it’s way. The Gato is said to be a fast rolling, aggressive tire for various trail conditions. We’ll be keeping an eye out for more on this too.

And more tire news: Continental tells us that the Race King will be in for most folks racing seasons, or in other words, about three weeks. The tire will be a “true 2.2″ and will feature the unique tread pattern of the familiar 26″er Race King. Also, we’re told that a Rubber Queen 29″er variant is on the drawing boards. Finally, the long awaited Hutchinson Toro is now in stock and ready to ship out to bike shops. Twenty Nine Inches has one and will report on this tubeless ready knobby in the coming days.

Hell Freezes Over?: In a stunner, we heard that Giant is finally going to offer 29″ers in 2010. Yes……..Giant! And not only that, but we’re hearing that they are jumping in with a suspension bike that will feature a tapered steer tube, as Niner started doing, (and we expect many others to do for 2010 models). No other word on model types, or whether or not we’ll see a full suspension model out of the box. Stay tuned for more on this as we learn it.