Posts in the category Industry News

2016 Axle Standards, Part 1: Rear 148mm Thru Axle Coming Fast & It’s About More Than Just Better Wheels

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Just when you thought things might be settling down for a bit, with 650B wheels all but taking over the mid/long travel segment, 29ers owning the XC field and 26″ bikes relegated to entry level, youth and gravity bikes. Alas, the 148mm thru axle that seemed to be a novelty when introduced on Trek’s 2015 Slash and Remedy bikes may soon be ubiquitous.

But why?

Surprisingly, there are a lot of reasons why this makes sense. Ones good enough to actually justify the annoyance of another axle standard that’ll require new hubs and new frames to take advantage of. Ones that will make mountain bikes better in quite a few ways. And while most companies we talked to wouldn’t provide details of their own forthcoming products on the record, some would speak in generalities. We have it on good authority from some of the biggest parts suppliers that the 148mm axle standard will become the major new feature of 2016 bikes from almost every major company. SRAM is on board since they’re providing the wheels for Trek’s new Remedy 29er, the first bike to use Boost 148. And Norco told us outright they’re “planning … a couple of new platforms to use this standard.”

Here’s what we learned…

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Be on the Look out for Counterfeit 695 Carbon Frames

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The latest version of “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” comes to us from Look Cycle. Stating that the sale of counterfeit 695 and 695 Lite frames recently came to their attention, Look is warning against purchase of Chinese copies. Closely resembling the Look 695, the bikes are not actually made by Look and will not be covered for defects, quality issues, or frame failures. Look stresses that since there is no control over the quality of the frames, the counterfeits post a safety threat to the rider.

After a quick search online, the frames in question are fairly easy to find and include a large amount of information copied directly from the Look catalog. Look recommends purchasing their bikes only through authorized dealers and distributors and asks for anyone with uncertainty towards the validity of a frame to email Look at siteinternet@lookcycle.fr.

Sneak Peek: Louisville Mega Cavern will House World’s Largest Underground Bike Park

Louisvill mega cavern bike park mtb bmx underground cave  dirt jump (5)

Beneath the streets of Louisville, Kentucky, there lurks a monster. But this is no horror story, it’s one of dreams. Specifically, the wild dream to turn the largest cavern in the state of Kentucky into a multi-faceted business park that will soon be home to the largest underground bike park in the world. What sounds like an absolutely insane idea comes to us from co-owners of the Louisville Mega Cavern, Jim Lowry, Tom, and Don Tyler. After all, as Jim told us, their motto is “you have to be a little crazy.”

Crazy doesn’t begin to describe the Mega Cavern itself. Opened in the 1930′s by Ralph Rogers as a limestone mine, the man-made structure had been mined 24 hours a day for 42 years straight. When the digging was complete it had left a massive cavern with 4 million sq. feet and over 17 miles of passage ways. Considered to be the largest building in the state of Kentucky, the decision to turn the Mega Cavern into a business park required the creation of new building codes due to the out-of-the-ordinary circumstances.

After purchasing the cavern in 1989, Jim and his partners began a recycling operation inside in 1992 which still runs to this day. It wasn’t until 1999 that they started building offices inside for local businesses to lease, which now accounts for a half million square feet inside the cavern. Before any businesses moved in, the owners were faced with an interesting dilemma. The ceilings were so high -more than 90ft in some spots- that prospective customers came in and couldn’t picture the space being utilized, so they left. Eventually, enough dirt was brought in to raise part of the floor 62 feet, leaving a 24 foot high ceiling which was standard for warehouses at the time. Above the 24 foot high ceilings, there is another 26 feet of solid limestone – enough for geologists to call it one of the safest places in Kentucky. So safe, in fact, that it was one of the largest fall out shelters during the Cuban Missile Crisis capable of housing 50,000 people, and still acts as a safe haven for vaults and other storage today.

Even though the cavern has a massive heating and air conditioning system, Jim said it’s never used. With a nearly constant 58º F temperature, body heat and heat radiating from computers and equipment is enough to keep it comfortable. That makes it ideal for an indoor bike park as well as the zip line and ropes course since it remains warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Considering how little we actually saw of the cavern, it’s hard to process just how big it really is. One of their biggest attractions this time of year is the Lights Under Louisville – a 1.2 mile drive through the cavern in the family vehicle to see an expansive display of 2 million Christmas lights. Even though they are adding a 385 thousand square foot bike park, it seems like they are just starting to scratch the subterranean surface…

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#BikeStartup: 3 Steps to turning your big idea into a product cyclists will love

The various prototypes of the Fortified Defender

The various prototypes of the Fortified Defender

Slava Menn is a serial entrepreneur and CEO of Fortified Bicycle.  He loves biking, building, entrepreneuring, and teaching.  In this monthly series, he shares his team’s hard-learned startup lessons with aspiring entrepreneurs.

Last month we discussed how haters will tell you not to start a company and why you should do it anyway.  Then we covered the first three lessons for launching your business:

  1. Turn your pain into a product idea
  2. Figure out if others need this product
  3. Do so qualitatively first (talk to people) then quantitatively (surveys)

Now that you’ve completed the first three lessons, you’re so confident the world needs your product that you start mass-producing thousands of units, right?  Not so fast…

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Friday Roundup – Bicycle Bits & Pieces

  • Spin Cycle: Cleaning Up With Investors After Bootstrapping A Business by OPEN Forum. Each week, MSNBC’s Your Business features experts to share their secrets for improving your business. This week they featured Wash Cycle Laundry in Philadelphia.
  • Trek Travel is now offering their lightest road bike, the Trek Emonda SLR™ to their fleet. So now when you’re touring with Trek Travel in the rugged Alps of France or Italy’s Dolomite Mountains you’ll have the option to upgrade to the lightest production road bike ever built.
  • Kogel Bearings is offering 20% off store wide on their web site www.kogel.cc until December 24 . Use code ‘HOLIDAY20S’ at check-out. This offer extends to IBDs as well. Shops can contact Kogel Bearings via info@kogel.cc to take advantage.
  • Access to sweet singletrack in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests may be in jeopardy. Please Comment on Timber Production, Wilderness Designations, and Management Prescriptions in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests by January 6th, 2015 by going to this email address: NCplanrevision@fs.fed.us and let them know you that do not support USFS timber production in areas of the forests with heavy recreational use.
  • Increased travel costs and a desire to become healthier are fuelling a revolution on the roads. Lots of people are cycling and as a result professional drivers need to become more and more aware of how to act around this new wave of vulnerable road users. The UK’s leading Cycle Training Organisation…BikeRight! who train over 20,000 individuals each year in cycling safety and maintenance have launch a new series of training courses aimed at shared road use in the urban environment.
  • Beginning in April 2015 Phil Brotherton will spend roughly 3 months travelling across 12 countries to raise money for the Royal British Legion and the German Volksbund. His journey, The Trail of Poppies, will cover 3500 miles whilst leaving a trail of 2015 Poppies as a sign of remembrance to all who died from both sides in the Great War. You can also follow Phil’s preparation and progress on his Facebook page.
  • The awesome features of TICKR X and TICKR RUN are now available on the Wahoo Fitness App for Android! Be sure to download the Wahoo Fitness App in the Google Play Store.
  • Gravel Grinder News has merged with Riding Gravel. After a lot of work on both sites separately, Guitar Ted and Ben Welnak, have brought their collective works together into one source for riders. Follow this link for more details about the merger.

Fox Factory Holdings Buys Race Face & Easton Component Brands

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Looks like Fox is using some of that IPO money for something fun, acquiring Race Face and Easton Cycling.

Race Face owner Chris Tutton reopened the brand in 2011 after the original ownership brought them close to bankruptcy. Then,  earlier this year, Tutton purchased the Easton Cycling branch of Bell/Riddell/Giro. Since then, the products from both brands have been pretty stellar, in particular the Cinch cranks from Race Face, which must have presented a very attractive package for a brand that might want to add some carbon fiber to their offerings (or, at least, we can hope!). Fox fork with carbon crown and steerer anyone?

Full PR after the break…

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Friday Roundup – Bicycle Bits & Pieces

  • The first international mountain bike race in Sri Lanka was held in November with participants from 14 countries. The Rumble in the Jungle is Sri Lanka’s premier mountain bike stage race and takes riders from hot and humid jungles, through mountain hugging tea plantations and across the islands highest plateau. Check the video above for some of the highlights.
  • If you live in the Asheville, NC area and would like to donate a little bit of your time to help out Trips for Kids WNC then volunteer to help wrap gifts at REI. Trips for Kids WNC will be there for two weeks prior to Christmas and could really use your help.
  • Orbea.com is Orbea’s new sales channel, offering benefits to both users and dealers. For right now, their online store is operative in UK and Germany, offering users the whole range of Orbea products at a click and delivering them through our dealers in these countries.
  • La Fuga is the leading tour company for truly memorable European cycling escapes. And this Friday, December 5th they’re hosting a Christmas Party to celebrate an amazing year of cycling and their busiest year ever. Drop in any time between 4pm and 9pm for nibbles & drinks. There will also be a free prize draw with some cool cycling prizes. Their address is: 49 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HX
  • And if you’re in San Francisco this Friday, December 5th, then visit The Mission Workshop at their Valencia Street store for their housewarming party between 6 and 11 PM. There will be an exclusive previewing of their fall/winter Advanced Projects Outerwear and Acre Series Apparel.
  • Registration for the Five Boro Bike Tour opens on January 20th so mark your calendars so that you miss out. The Tour itself is May 3rd and is an amazing way to see New York. Visit bikenewyork.org for more information. We’ll post more reminders for this great event as the date approaches.
  • OneUp Components is giving away a narrow-wide chain ring a day until Christmas. Just like them on Facebook to enter.
  • FSA/Vision is supporting the CYCLING FOR ARMENIA PROJECT, which is raising money for charity to help fund a much-needed children’s hospital unit in Armenia. Their goal is to raise €500,000 for the cause and by making a donation of 10 euros and you’ll be automatically entered into the drawing to win one of 11 autographed bikes donated by ProTour teams.
  • After years of pressure including a Care2 petition with 83,000 signatures, Clif Bar agrees to disclose country of origin for its cocoa. The Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.), a vegan food justice organization, pressured Clif Bar for years and now the countries where their cocoa comes from can be found listed HERE.
  • PeopleForBikes has officially united 1 million Americans in support of better bicycling! PeopleForBikes set out in March 2010 to unite one million voices in support of a better future for biking and believes that people, wherever they live, should be able to bike safely and comfortably and enjoy the many benefits of bicycling—for health, recreation, the economy, the environment, community and sustainability

 

Absolute Black Oval SRAM Direct Mount Chainrings Now Shipping, Race Face Cinch Versions & More En Route

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Absolute Black’s ovalized direct mount chainrings for SRAM cranksets are finally shipping, with the company founder telling us they’re flying out the door as fast as he can make them. Check the tech specs in this post.

For current orders, the rings should be in the post, filling everything placed before December 1. Marcin says another batch arrives in two weeks to fill any orders since then, but that’s only the beginning. He’s working on the SRAM direct mount 34-tooth size now, and that’ll be followed by a 28-tooth 64BCD oval ring for those wanting really, really low gearing up front.

Also in development is an oval narrow/wide chainring that’ll mount directly to the Race Face Cinch cranksets. Marcin said he’s only planning an oval ring for the Cinch system since Race Face already makes some (very good, in our opinion) round chainrings. It’ll be 32-tooth only for starters, but, well, you can see where’s going…

In other news, Absolute Black products will now be available in the U.S. through BTI, which should ease shipping costs and speed up delivery for those of us stateside. Comments from both companies below.

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Interview: Dave Weagle Explains How He Keeps Making Suspension Better

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Following Ibis’ recent release of the all-new Mojo HD3, which uses a fifth generation dw-link suspension design, I got to thinking: How exactly does Dave Weagle go about improving a suspension platform that’s already so well received?

So I asked him.

His answer is long because there’s so much to it, and it’s different for every bike. After all, his companies have licensed or designed suspension systems to Ibis, Pivot, Turner, Evil, BH, Devinci, Salsa and others, all of whom make very different types of mountain bikes. So we started out talking generalities before diving in to specifics, using several different bikes as examples.

Weagle’s designs go beyond the popular and more widely known dw-link and Split Pivot. He also developed the Delta System, which is owned by Evil, a brand that Weagle started with friends, then sold and now consults for. Split Pivot and dw-link are technologies he created, and are both run as separate corporations who have their own customers.

BIKERUMOR: What’s your role with the companies you design for?

WEAGLE: Sometimes it’s limited to suspension licensing, sometimes it’s consulting on geometry and sometimes I get to develop a complete bike’s geometry and suspension as a whole package. It’s not often I get to do all of it together, but it sure is fun! Of course, if everybody let me do that, everyone’s bikes would look like mini-downhill bikes! So, variety is good, because not everyone wants the same thing.

Although I license technology for each of my partner’s bikes, I really enjoy the design aspect, so one licensing requirement is that I personally develop all suspension kinematics for all of my partner’s bikes. It’s a great creative outlet, and one that I get a lot of enjoyment out of. I like to say, “No one product can be everything to everybody.” I like mocha and you might like vanilla. That only means that we are both right, and we both like ice cream. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with having a preference and it’s a lot of fun helping such diverse brands actualize their preferences through the technologies I’ve developed. I pretty much have the best job in the world.

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