Posts in the category Prototype

PBE14: Santana Goes Really, Really Big with Cirque Fat Bike Tandem!

Santana Cirque fat bike tandem prototype mountain bike

The great thing about smaller shows like Philly Bike Expo is the laid back atmosphere, where we have time to hear the stories behind more than just the latest and greatest. Last time, Santana’s owner, Bill McCready, gave us a fantastic materials science talk. This time, he had less to say, mainly because this monstrous bike was built in his absence.

Santana leads group tandem tours overseas. On their last trip, while they were nonchalantly letting participants play around on the BionX equipped e-tandem shown at the bottom of this post, his employees were busy welding together this prototype fat bike. The expo was the first time anyone else had really seen it, and it was hard to miss…

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Spotted! Prototype TRP Hylex 11 Speed Di2 Compatible Shifters and Hydraulic Brakes

TRP Hylex Di2 11 speed drivetrain shimano electric hydraulic ben Berden (2)

In early 2012 when disc brakes were really coming on strong for road and cross, TRP was working on a project called HyWire. Combining the braking power of a full hydraulic system with built in Shimano Di2 shifting compatibility, HyWire was looking like a very attractive option. That was until Shimano went 11 speed and left companies like TRP in the dark. Without support for the new shifting standard the trail for HyWire went cold.

In the mean time TRP has been working on awesome road and cross disc brakes like the Spyre and HyRd, leaving us to think the Di2 project was dead in the water. That is, until we spotted this latest prototype on one of Ben Berden’s Raleigh RXC Pro Discs. Appearing to be a modified version of their HyLex single speed hydraulic levers, it looks like TRP might be closer to an 11 speed Di2/hydraulic lever set than we thought…

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Prototype Ritchey Timberwolf Long Travel Hardtail Mountain Bike Spotted

Prototype Ritchey Timberwolf long travel hardtail mountain bike

Photo: Ritchey Logic Facebook Page.

Looks like Ritchey’s expanding their steel mountain bike collection with the new Timberwolf. It’s not the first time it’s been spotted, and we’ve pieced together a few details from comments here and there. Word is it’s designed for a 140mm fork, which means it must get a tapered headtube…and from the looks of these pics, it’s a beauty of one, too!

Other early information includes a 67º head angle / 71.5º seat angle, 180mm rear rotor post mounts, 30.9 seat post and  QR/12×142 convertible dropouts. The pic above shows it on the trail with 27.5×2.35 tires, so it’s got clearance and it’s 650B. This pic and the next popped up on their Facebook Page over the past couple days, but then an anonymous tipster spotted it headed out for a ride, giving us a much closer look at the bike…

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Factory Tour: The Garage Shop & Growth of Gamut USA

Gamut Chain Guide

The word Gamut means broad or far reaching, and judging from the Gamut’s presence at all levels of racing, it’s easy to imagine they’re a large corporation. Yet despite the polished website and big name sponsored athletes, Gamut is actually a small, rider-owned company.

Their idea for a better chain guide came about because Co-Founder Juan Graziosi wanted a lighter & more reliable solution for racing. Working in conjunction with his father Ed Graziosi, a machinist, they fabricated a working prototype in their garage. The idea would have likely ended there, but soon friends and fellow racers wanted guides as well, and selling the home made components quickly became a way for Juan to offset the cost of racing. The project began to look like a viable business venture when older brother Mateo and riding buddy Michael Poutre joined to to help crank up production and craft a business plan.

Today, Gamut continues to produce a large quantity of their products in the garage where Juan and his father created their first chain guide. Learn more about the process after the break…

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BeBop Launches Wearable Smart Sensors, Coming to Cycling Clothing Near You?

BeBop Wearable Sensor & Controller with Smartphone

Sometimes it takes someone from outside an industry to come up with something revolutionary. When it comes to wearable data collection, BeBop’s entry into the world of flexible smart sensors stems from their experience with musical instruments. Keith McMillen is the founder of KMI, an instrument company out of Berkeley, CA that specializes in MIDI controllers and keyboards that have already been using a similar fabric sensor for years.

“BeBop is a natural step for KMI, where we have diligently tuned fabrics, geometries, and production processes allowing us to ship over 1 million sensors to some of the most demanding musicians in the world,” said Keith McMillen, Founder, KMI and BeBop Sensors. “All musical instruments are essentially sensors with forms of acoustic processing attached.  The same care and creativity used to build our instruments will serve well for our non-musical customers as we expand into the wearables market.”

Now with over 1 million of the sensors in current use, Keith is taking his sensor and eyeing a new market – anything that can be worn. Unlike any of the sensors currently on the market, the BeBop sensor uses a proprietary and patented monolithic design that is capable of measuring all components of movement including bend, location, motion, rotation, angle, torque. In addition to monitoring various physical vitals the sensors can also be used as wearable controllers for smart phones. Answer calls, change tracks, volume, etc. all while the phone remains in your pocket.

Obviously the sensor is just the beginning as it will take clothing manufacturers integrating it into their products for it to be really useful. But what are the possibilities? Try on a few after the break…

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IB14: Stages Adds XTR M9000 & FSA Road Power Meter Cranks, Major Support Updates Coming to App

Stages Power Meter crankarm for XTR M9000 mountain bike group

Stages Cycling continues to add more options for their single-sided power meter attachment, the latest being models for current FSA road cranksets and the all-new Shimano M9000 XTR group. The latter will be available in January and retail for $899. Since it’s on the non-drive side, it can go on any of the 1x, 2x or 3x setups.

For road, a lot of bikes come spec’d with FSA cranksets, and now you can match them up with either MegaExo (24mm) or BB30 crank arms. Stages offers their power meter mounted to the FSA Energy Alloy non-drive crankarm and the BB30 model will fit any modern BB30 FSA spindle. The MegaExo one will fit current MegaExo carbon cranksets, but only 2014-and-newer alloy models. Their website has full details on the product page. Retail on these is $699.

Their app is also being updated to add a lot more support options and FAQ’s to help get your system set up properly with whatever cycling computer you’re running. More on that, plus a history of their prototypes, below…

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EB14: Saris Powertap Adds Disc Hub, Plus New Complete Alloy Wheels and a Look at Past Prototypes (Updated)

Saris Powertap Disc brake power meter hubs

Last year, Wheelbuilder.com introduced a titanium XD Driver Body for the Powertap Mountain Bike hub, which was something they helped develop. The issue was decoupling the braking forces from the drive forces to get an accurate power reading and not mess up the strain gauges.

What’s new is that the G3-based disc brake Powertap hubs are now available in either 24 or 28 spoke drillings, down from the original 32-hole MTB versions. They recommend 24 count for road and cross, and 28 count for mountain bike builds.

UPDATED: More tech and weight info added for new disc brake hub below, plus specs for DT Swiss rim wheels.

The disc brake rotor is proprietary, necessary to mount a disc where their electronics typically sit. They say heat from the rotor won’t affect the power reading since the strain gauges are totally isolated from the outside hub shell. READ MORE ->

EB14: New Ritchey WCS Trail Wheels, 35mm Bar & Stem, Lightweight Carbon Road Components, Teasers & More!

2015-Ritchey-WCS-Trail-650B-mountain-bike-wheels

As usual, Ritchey’s tradeshow booth was littered with new products for both road and mountain bikes, along with a prototype part. Technically, it’s a teaser to a possible prototype, but we’ve put the pieces together and it’s looking good.

As for production parts, the new WCS Trail 650B mountain bike wheels bring their wider, tougher component line to the middle sized wheel market. The hubs are convertible between QR and thru axles front and rear -including 20mm for the front- and the freehub can be standard or XD Driver. Disc mounts are Centerlock, sitting on forged hubs rolling on oversized sealed bearings. Inside width is 25mm.

Roll through for closeup photos on this and plenty more…

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IB14: Prototype Boardman SLS Endurance Road Bike and Carbon Wheels, Plus Mercedes AMG F1 Edition Air 9.8

Boardman SLS Endurance Road Frame  (1)

Known best for TT bikes, British brand Boardman had a prototype endurance road frame on display at Interbike. It features road specific geometry, disc brakes, clearance for up to 30 mm tires, and a stunning metallic paint finish. Get past the glare and roll on down for more details… READ MORE ->