Posts in the category 29er

Factory Tour: Seattle Based Hampsten Cycles Builds Steel, Ti, And Now Carbon

hampsten cycles fabrication shop

While Oregon seems to be mecca for custom frame building, there is no shortage of exemplary builders located throughout out the North West. For those in Seattle, one of the best options is Hampsten Cycles. Over the fifteen years they’ve been in business, their frame construction has been subcontracted out to various industry luminaries including Kent Eriksen, Parlee, and Moots, but they’ve recently brought everything under one roof.

Today, all Hampsten Cycle frames are built in house by Max Kullaway, who has welded thousands of frames for high profile builders including Merlin and Seven Cycles, and fabricates his own bikes under the name 333Fab

During a recent trip through the PNW, I stopped by their small workshop to get a closer look at some of the beautiful bikes Hamspten cycles produces from a two car garage in a quiet residential neighborhood in Northern Seattle.

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IB14: Sarma Doubles Up on Carbon 29+, Introduces new Aluminum Vortex Fat Bike

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While the majority of fat bike companies are based in North America, Sarma Bikes continues to put out some impressive equipment by way of Siberia, Russia. Now being imported to the U.S. by a new distributor, the products should be easier than ever to get a hold of which is a good thing – Sarma is blowing up. After introducing the first ever double wall carbon 100mm rim, Sarma now has their sights set on 29+ and has a new Naran carbon rim to prove it.

Technically Kuroshiro is also offering a carbon 29+ rim with a box section, though as far as a true double wall carbon rim the Naran is it. Available as an individual rim, Sarma is also offering two 29+ Shaman builds complete with a Bluto suspension fork. Carbon may be the most buzz worthy, but Sarma also has a new option for the more budget conscious with their new aluminum Vortex fat bike frame. Details next…

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IB14: Michelin Sizes Up with 28mm Pro 4 Endurance Road Bike Tires

Michelin Pro 4 28mm  (1)

Road tires are at an interesting state of development. Many riders are starting to trend towards wider rubber even on the road, but then the definition of road riding is evolving. Thanks to the growing popularity of “gravel” ride, races that include dirt roads, and more people taking the path less traveled, tires are often being subjected to new abuse. Already an ideal size for many gravel or dirt adventures, the 28mm tire has become a favorite since it will fit in many standard road frames and some caliper brakes adding a bit of additional capability.

In developing their new Pro 4 Endurance tire, Michelin wanted to offer a 28mm tread but also a durable tire that would keep flats at bay. To that regard the tire features a reinforcing layer that claims a 40% increase in puncture protection compared to the competition while a dual compound rubber provides long wear and excellent cornering grip.

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IB14: Jeff Jones Goes Big with Jones Plus 29+ Model, New Steel Spaceframe, Headset, more

Jeff Jones 29+ 275+ adventure bikes  (6)

The latest creation to come out of the Jeff Jones workshop is a 29+, but Jeff is very quick to point out that this isn’t your average bike with big tires. Jeff mentioned that the inspiration for the bike came while riding some super heavy cargo bikes in Asia that still handled well in spite of their exceptionally long wheelbase. While the Jones Plus also has a long wheel base, the fork and frame have been designed together to provide a super comfortable and stable ride that retains its quick handling.

Jeff also had the newest version of the Jones steel Spaceframe and Truss Fork on hand with 27.5+ wheels which will be an option, but he personally still prefers the larger 29+ wheels and tires. All together the new wheel options mean there are 4 different tire configurations possible with Jones frames making them even more versatile than ever before…

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IB14: TwinSix Standard Bicycle Collection Debuts – 29er, Cyclocross, Rando & Fat Bikes

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After years of frame collaborations with Raleigh, Handsome and others, TwinSix let loose in early August that they were working on a collection of bicycles, giving us a detailed look at the Standard Fat titanium fat bike. That one’s shown at top, and hit that link for the full details.

Sitting in front of it is the Standard 29, their Reynolds 853 steel hardtail. It’s suspension corrected for a 100mm fork to have a 70.5º head angle. Chainstays are reasonably short (17.32″ / 440mm) while leaving room for a 29×2.35 tire. Ride the metal past the break for more details, pics and models…

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IB14: Cantitoe Road Showcases New Carbocut Saw, Hi Tech Trelock Light, & More

CarboCut Saw Cantitoe Road

Cantitoe Road is the exclusive distributor of Effetto Mariposa in the US and an importer of all things awesome. As such, they always have cool stuff to play with. This year, the first thing I was asked when I stopped by the booth was if I wanted to cut a rock with a saw? I’m more of a table saw kind of girl, but the display was impressive none the less.

The tool they were using is the new CarboCut saw, which has a 10″ Tungsten Carbide blade, and is designed for cutting carbon composites. That said, it will also make quick work of steel, ceramics, geological samples, etc… READ MORE ->

IB14: Panaracer Debuts Gravel, Fat Bike, Cyclocross & New Mountain Bike Tires

2015-Panaracer-Pacenti-Pari-Moto-and-Comet-hardpack-gravel-bike-tires

Remember back when Panaracer’s Smoke and Dart were competing with the WTB Velociraptor set for your hard earned dollars and only IRC’s Mythos XC gave ‘em a run for your money? Yeah, it was a long time ago, but the brand used to be hot.

From the looks of their latest offerings, they could be again. The 2015 collection bringing options for all the hot categories, offering up gravel/dirt road tires, fat bike tires, cyclocross tires and an updated version of the FirePro that maybe, just maybe, could pass as an enduro tread.

Shown above are the Comet Hardpack (front) and Pacenti Pari Moto tires for adventure/gravel/dirt road bikes. The Comet has been available in 26″/27.5″/29er sizes ranging from 1.95 up to 2.25 widths, but now it gets a proper 700x38c size in both folding and wire beads. Claimed weights are TBA, but they have a rounded profile for predictable grip at any lean angle.

The Pacenti Pari Moto gets two versions of a 27.5″ slick. One’s for pavement, the other gets a puncture protection strip to guard against gravel and other off road pokey things. Width is 1.5″, and it’s available in all black or with gumwalls. Weight is 300g.

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Another Epic Press Release Video From Transition, Now Featuring Ponies and Giddyup Technology

Transition recently announced a brand new suspension platform and a four brand new bikes for the 2015. We’ve covered the tech and first ride review here, and the different models here, but you’ll want to hit play on this video anyways….

IB14: Litespeed Introduces T5 Gravel and Disc Models, Multi-wheeled Pinhoti MTB, Plus the New Quintana Roo PR6

Litespeed t5 gravel bike disc road Pinhote Quintana Roo PR6 (2) copy

While the Litespeed T5g is related to the T5 road bike that’s been around for some time, you’d hardly know it by looking at it. As Litespeed’s interpretation of a modern day gravel bike, the T5g blends the performance of their T5 titanium with big(ger) tire clearance and disc brakes. Compared to their Ti CX bike, the T5g has more of a relaxed geometry better suited to long days on the bike no matter what the road surface. Don’t need clearance for meaty tires but still want the performance of disc brakes? Litespeed is also offering up the T5d, which is a disc brake equipped version of the road focused T5. Together the three bikes provide a titanium option at an attainable price no matter how you want to ride.

Out in the desert Litespeed was also showing off  their Pinhoti hard tail which is compatible with multiple wheel sizes. That and their sister company Quintana Roo’s new PR6 Superbike after the break…

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