Here are the latest tid bits that are either news or rumors that have crossed by my monitor of late. Take a look at these items from Niner, Velocity Rims, and more….

Niner showed this pre-production carbon fork at Interbike in 2008

Niner showed this pre-production carbon fork at Interbike in 2008

Niner Announces Dates For Unveiling Of Carbon Fork And More: Today Niner Bikes sent e-newsletters announcing the date of the unvieling of the production version of the new carbon rigid fork that we got a glimpse of at Interbike last fall. A formal unveiling is scheduled for Sea Otter in the second half of April. In other Niner news, the e-newsletter details the production version of the revamped R.I.P. 9 which will be coming soon. Some changes were made to the production frame which include a redesigned hydroformed top tube that eliminates the gusset plates that were on either side of the pre-production frame and joined the top and down tubes. Now the frame is joined at the top and down tubes for some length before both join the head tube by means of the new hydroformed shape. Neater welds are also reportedly to be seen on the production frames. Finally, their is a new color for the R.I.P. 9 (or should we say, “no color”!) which is “Raw”. This replaces the “Moondust Gray” that was shown earlier as one of the new colors. Niner is taking pre-orders through their dealers on these new R.I.P.9’s now.

Velocity Blunt Pro wheels

Velocity Rim News: Recently I had heard that the 650B version of the Velocity Blunt rim had been retooled to fit the Pacenti Neo-Moto tires better. I also was aware that there have been complaints about the 29″er Blunts fitting poorly, so I shot an e-mail to Velocity U.S.A. and found out that the 29″er Blunts have been changed too. Here’s part of the reply I recieved: ” We have scrapped all under sized rims and we started fresh.” I also found out that Velocity plans on expanding the available colors and graphic schemes for the Blunt rims. Again, from the e-mail I recieved: “They are available in several colors, and you can (expect) to see some powder coated image Blunts soon…Wood Grain, Snow Camo, Skulls and more.” Furthermore; there is wheel news to share from this e-mail as well: “New for 2009 is the Blunt Pro wheel set. Any color Blunt rim, ultra light ATB disc hub, Sapim CX-Ray bladed spokes, alloy nipple, weighing in UNDER 1700gm.” (An image of a white rimmed set can be seen above)

Katie Compton To Test 29″er Tubulars?: I got a tip today that Katie Compton, National Champion and World Cup winning cyclo-crosser, will be testing some tubular 29″er tires and wheels soon. The tires are said to be from Challenge, who are also working with Edge Composites on a mountain bike tubular tire tread to work with Edge Composites tubular 29″er rims. Compton is riding a Primus-Mootry bike partially made from Edge Composites manufactured tubing and rides Edge wheels in competition. Starts to all make some sense, doesn’t it? We will try to keep tabs on this as things develope.

Titanium Rumors: In rumors on the magic grayish metal, a frame that has been prototyped in two different forms and was sheduled to be put into production as recently as last December has been killed. Due to constant delays, the company which had planned the 29″er hardtail has now pulled the plug on that project. However; a titanium 29″er rigid fork is still in the pipeline from this same outfit, so stay tuned, as we hope to get a sample for testing when they do become available.