This go round we feature some news and rumors from “across the pond” and beyond. Check out the newest tidbits to have crossed the Twenty Nine Inches desk here:

A new Alfine with 11 speeds is set to bow in late 2010.

Shimano Goes To 11: No, not on a derailluer set up! The ever popular Alfine, which some users have pressed into off road duty with the current 8spd version, will gain three more gears in it’s newest incarnation, lose a bit of weight, (reportedly), and be operated by the trigger shifter shown here which will have some features found on Rapid Fire shift pods including Rapid Release and Dual Release. Also of interest is the reported switch from grease for internal lubrication to an oil bath type. Shimano is shopping this version around now to some European bike brands, but you can expect this to show up on U.S. shores later this year as a 2011 product. We’re guessing it will be a hot product on commuter rigs, but with a range of gearing that reaches a bit lower than current Alfine, this will certainly end up on some mountain bikes as well. Will it work for a 29″er? That is yet to be determined.

Update On Euro-Carbon Rigs: The carbon fiber craze has been seen on 29″ers before, and now European brands are starting to jump in. We reported that On One is one of these brands last week. We have some questions in to On One headquarters which we are hoping we will have some answers to shortly concerning this project.

The “other brand” we mentioned is actually not new to carbon fiber 29″ers at all. In fact- they were the first brand to bring a carbon fiber rig to market with big wheels. Orbea is the name, and a re-designed Alma is the subject of this news. Stay tuned for exclusive details on this mid-2010 model coming soon!


New Euro Source for 29″er Goodness: We were tipped off that a new European based source for 29 inch bicycles and products is now up and running. Touting themselves as an “e-shop dedicated to 29ers”, you can find plenty to get your 29″er up and running there including frames from Niner Bikes, tires, forks, wheel sets, and more. You can check out the site here at The site is in English, Dutch, and French languages.

Schwalbe To Intro Two New 29″er Treads: We also were tipped off that Schwalbe is going to introduce two new 29 inch sized treads already in the catalog in 26 inch sizes. The Rocket Ron and Nobby Nic are to be made available soon. No word on exact sizes or when, but our guess is Sea Otter.

Schwalbe’s Markus Hachmeyer has this to say about the Rocket Ron: “This Rocket fulfills racersโ€™ wishes all at once: Low weight and a lot of grip โ€“ both straight-line power and traction in curves – and it works just as well in wet or dry conditions. The lugs are widely spaced and provide a great self-cleaning action as with Racing Ralphโ€. (quote from Schwalbe’s website) Schwalbe’s Nobby Nic is its test winning tread design with a bent towards grip, but in typical Schwalbe fashion, claiming to have good low rolling resistance.

No word on what, if any, technologies Schwalbe possesses will be applied to these tires in 29″er sizes, but judging from Schwalbe’s past efforts we would not be surprised if they were fairly basic.

(Thanks to the 29Squadron for the tip)

As always, stay tuned for any further news as we get it………