It’s been awhile now since we have run a rumor post, so here we go with some jiucy tidbits for ya’all to chew on.

Fork Action: While the Reba’s re-do has caught all the attention, Fox hasn’t been sleeping. It was quite obvious at Sea Otter that a 120mm version of the F-32 in 29″er guise was being ridden by a few companies on prototype rigs. The black fork is coming soon and will be on trail any day now. What isn’t widely known is that a tapered E2 type steerer tube model is also coming. Of course, this can only mean one thing. A new Fisher FS platform! Look for news on a Fisher long travel rig to be leaked in the coming weeks. I have no idea what it might be, but Fox isn’t making this fork for anybody else yet, so I am quite sure it will be seen gracing the front of something new from Gary Fisher Bikes.

Remember Marzocchi? Yeah, one of the first 29″er suspension choices is coming back with a new design for 29″ers in 2009. I would suspect that they will focus on longer travel, through axle type product, since this is their strength in 26’er forks, but we shall see.

Wheels and Tires: The tires just keep on coming! Look for Geax’s Saguaro to show up in a tubeless ready version any day now. Michelin? I have heard that they also will be offering a tubeless ready version of something soon. Bontrager should be rolling out something fat and corpulent to grace the front of that rumored Fisher rig, and several other tires are in the pipeline there. Tubeless ready, of course. With the Olympics coming up, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see a carbon rimmed Race XXX Lite TLR wheel set either. WTB is rumored to be readying some new shoes and probably will show something at Interbike this fall. Of course, the huge, fat all mountain /free ride tire accidentally shown at Interbike last fall is still in developement with proto-types still being tested in several secret locations.

New Rigs: When will Niner’s titanium bike hit? It can’t be long now. And how about that W.F.O.9 long travel rig shown at Interbike last fall? Well, it should be due to be seen again now sometime soon since the J.E.T. 9 project is now complete and out the door. Fisher redesigned their entire line up last year, but again, I have heard rumors of something new in a longer travel rig. Look for at least a sneak peek next month. Other companies are also hard at work on longer travel rigs. Interbike 2008 will be the Year of the Long Travel 29″er. You heard it here first. At the other end of the spectrum, carbon fiber frames will proliferate. I suspect at least three new plastic fantastic rigs will debut at Interbike with at least one of them being a convertable frame that will be single speedable.

The Newest 29″er Trend?: It isn’t long travel 29″ers, carbon fiber frames, or some fancy new fork. Nope! I will take a stab and say that off road touring/long distance rigs with 29″er wheels will be the next big trend in big wheels. Not just for aspiring Great Divide racers, these bikes will be the “utility 29″er” with capabilities for touring off road, commuting, and real mountain biking all wrapped up in one frame. Not “monster cross”, but similar. Maybe I’m crazy, but I really see a ground swell for this sort of bike.

Okay, that’s my take. We’ll see what actually shakes out in the coming weeks and months. It should be a great ride! Stay tuned!