Saturday, June 30, 2012

Maxis Ikon Initial Tire Review

At first glance, the Maxxis Ikon tire looks like a Kenda Small Block 8 with larger knobs. That is, of course, essentially what it is, but that's not a bad thing. The SB8 is a good tire and an excellent tread design- why not make a similar tire that is a bit bigger and grip-ier and see how that works? Excellent is the answer, and too bad for Kenda that it wasn't them.

The Ikon is a race tire and Maxxis is clear about that, but it is designed to be a high-volume race tire and therefore only comes in a 2.2 size (26 or 29). It is a proper 2.2 also, not like some of those bull shit 2.2's that end up smaller than a 2.1 from other manufacturers.

The sidewalls feel appropriately thin, but not scary, and the whole tire feels very solid once mounted. It snapped right into place on the tubeless American Classic wheelset and with one dose of sealant, has lost very little air since mounted.

I'm riding on the 26x2.2 with the "EXO" sidewall protection. Of course it is not being used for racing, but for trail riding, and I have to say that it has held up well. I only have 4-5 good rides on it, but a number of other tires have shown trouble in less time than that. The traction these tire have is quite good. It is much better than I thought it would be, but obviously not up there with some of the burly trail tires out there. They roll fast though and are light as you can hope for on a tire like this. The published weight was 550 grams and mine came in at 560 grams.

If you are looking for a high-volume race tire, or a fast tire that can double as a light-medium duty trail tire- this is a good candidate. I don't know how long they will last on trail duty but if they can get through another 12-15 rides, I'd call that a fair deal.

Charlie S.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Crisp Titanium with Leonardi Racing Fork

I came across this at the Bespoked Bristol (a UK hand-built bike show) website the other day and the Crisp frame is very nice, but the fork by Leonardi Racing is very cool.

John Whyte had a similar linkage design on his PSRT series bikes but this one takes it a step further by making it a lefty design. This Italian stuff is hard to find on the internet, much less read about, so I don't know any details but I would love to try one. Oh well.

Charlie S

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mountain Biking Stuff

There seems to be a lull in the mountain biking world right now. I hope it is because everybody is out riding and just getting it done. Regardless, there has been a dearth of excitement and I have been tired and still partially injured, so My blog has suffered (not that it's that great).

First of all, the 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest is coming up in a few days and it is one big mountain biking party. I am excited for the event and to see all my friends (especially Alex who has moved to Flagstaff). Next year it is going to be the 24 hour endurance championship so it will probably double in size. If you haven't done a 24 hour race- this is a good one to start with.

Next: a picture of Kip on Poco Loco which is riding really nice,

and somebody built a lovely connector from Poco over to the top of Otero across a small chunk of the "VERBOTEN" territory- it's illegal, but convenient.

Riding the North Foothills today, I saw some cool insect action- some type of ground dwelling Bee had hatched its way out of the ground and was very busy flying in and out of the holes they had dug.

Some other flying insects (horsefly?) seem to be getting in on the action but I couldn't discern what was actually going on.

Lastly, I converted my Cross/Commuter/Frankenbike back to its originally intended form- a 29er singlespeed. I went full rigid to see if I can be as bad-ass as the guy we rode with in Sedona a few months ago (not possible), but it did end up very pretty and very light at 18.75 Lbs.

Yes, I'm spoiled. Cheers.

Charlie S.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

SRAM 1x11

I haven't seen a lot of cool stuff from the bike bike industry lately, but the new 1x11 drivetrain from SRAM gets me kind of excited. I wouldn't want it on every bike I have but I like the idea.

It has a massive rear cassette (10-42) and a proprietary derailleur to make it work.

It will have the XX designation so it will be high-end, although it doesn't sound like there is much weight savings by the time you add it all up, but in the name of simplifying the bike and not having to deal with a front derailleur, it sounds like win.

You won't have to run a chain-guide on the front due to a special chain-ring design. Notice the wide teeth below.

We'll see, but I'm going to give it a shot.

Charlie S.