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DSC06876Vittoria (think Geax in MTB speak) tires has a new 29″er trail/enduro tire called the Morsa.  We have an early version to ride and report on but this one we have is a single tread compound.  The final versions will be 4C as in 4 distinct compound zones in the tread of the tire.  I was told Vittoria is the only company who can do this.  Pretty cool.  Also, in the pic you can see the A.P.F. (Anti Pinch Flat) layer in the sidewall of the tire (a red color in the cut-away).  What was interesting was how much stability that brought to the tire casing.  With very little pressure in the tire, and with it mounted on a rather average width rim, I could stand beside the bike and, with the brakes on, lean it over sharply and push the tire into the grass at an angle.  I could barely get it to roll over at all.  Interesting to see how the tire rides with that kind of sidewall support.

As well they are using Graphene in the super fancy and quite expensive 29″er tubular race rims.  Graphene might be the new darling of the composite industry as it is incredibly strong, stiff, and light, although I have read it is very costly and supply is an issue. Still, 1400g for a 29″er wheel set is pretty light, not to mention the way a tubular tire/wheel rides and corners.  I do not expect to see these on trail any time soon, not in my neck of the woods.  With the cost at around 2 grand and the nature of dealing with tubular tires, etc…not too practical. But if you ride like Nino or really, really want to, then here you go.

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Bomboloni:  Italian for Donut, or so I was told.  That is hilarious.  The Bomboloni is a full figured gal in 29×3.0″ (or 26×4.0″ or 27.5×3.0″) and with a 120 TPI casing it is 970g in 29+.  The sipes cut in the tread alternate directions and the ramps in the tread blocks are stepped to increase grip in packed snow.

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Endura brought a bit of Scotland to Sea Otter (with Nessie emblazoned t-shirts, no less) and was showing their summer line of MTB goods.  Here is the new Singletrack Lite short (no liner included) for an MSRP of $94.99.  Closer fitting at the leg than a baggy designed for more aggressive trail use (less room for pads), this one has a lighter material with some stretch to it (note the big back panel that also has stretch built in).  Nice summer trail short for XC or general purpose trail riding.

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DSC06899RST Rogue Plus suspension fork for 27+ tire sizes.  RST typically brings products to the market that are solid, well built, and less costly, albeit heavier than the competition. But with bikes and bike parts getting increasingly costly and perhaps out of reach for the average bill paying household, the quality fork you can afford is the best fork for you…grams be hanged.

The Rogue Plus is a 34mm stanchioned fork with RSTs OCRC cartridge damper.  It uses a standard air spring system, nothing too crazy.  Travel is 120-160mm and it looks beefy enough to handle that. It is 110 Boost for the front hub standard and will handle a 3.2″ tire with no issues (the pic is a 2.8″ tire on a 52mm Hugo rim).

At 5.1 lbs (all in…oil, etc), it retails for $585.00.

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Bill Shook, creator of some fine wheel systems, talks to the French press (not coffee related).

American Classic builds very understated yet very, very high performing wheels.  Solid engineering and exacting execution makes for good stuff.  I am still amazed at how wide an application the Wide Lightnings have as I have run them on an AM hard tail, a FS trail bike, and now a high end carbon racing hard tail, all with different tires to match the build.  Same wheels though.  Crazy!

DSC06915Here is a cut-away shot of the American Classic Carbonator 29 Tubeless rim.  The intent was strength and a high level of impact resistance, hence the bead hookless rim and thick wall thickness.  It does have a slight bead seat taper though.  Not as wide as the more current trend (26mm internal…33mm internal) so you might need to run a bit more PSI with this wheel set.  Still, it’s bomber looking and the way AC builds with a higher spoke count that what is trendy, I bet this is a wheel set for an entire race season’s use.  When you see a rim wall that is darn near 4mm thick, that is tough looking.

As well, they were showing hubs for road that are spec’d for the Shimano Disc brake systems using the Ice Tech rotors and Centerlock attachment.  The 9mm front axle shown will not be production, but it will use the approved 12mm standard that Shimano has blessed.

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