In part one of our 2011 QBP Frostbike Expo coverage, we brought you news of new tires, wheels, bikes and chainguards. In part two today, we’ve got some “braking” news, a new inner tube, and more scoops on new cyclocross frames.
by Tommy “Hurl” Everson
Lance Larrabee of TRP Brakes informs us that the company’s popular cyclocross V-brake (reviewed in Issue 9) is getting revamped with the reach of the brake arm being shortened from 90mm to 84mm. The company will show the new brake next month at the Taipei show. Also on display was TRP’s brake lever, the RRL singlespeed brake lever that we first saw at Dirt Demo in Vegas with a clean push-button quick-release on the lever body, both in black or silver with gumwall hoods. Technically, it’s not singlespeed-specific, and could be useful if you’re still sporting bar-con or downtube shifters.
The Stybar replica World Champion X-Night on display (as shown in part 1 of our Frostbike coverage) was impressive and just looks fast standing still. The replaceable rear dropout had me thinking belt drive or single speed, and sure enough, Planet Bike’s Marko LaLonde did, in fact, have custom dropouts machined to convert his X-Night to single speed last year at the Behind Bars Blaine Velo CX race. The triangle-shaped seat stays are also said to shed mud better, according to International Marketing Manager Eric Wallace.
Nick Margadonna, Sales & Marketing Manager for Michelin’s Bicycle Products, was showing an interesting “self-sealing” new inner tube, called the Protek Max. Uninflated, the tube looks like a knobby tubular casing, but when inflated the raised texture smooths out. Standard tubes, when punctured, have a “balloon effect,” whereas the Protek Max, with more surface area that is not under tension, has the opposite effect, “sealing” small punctures or nicks. While not cyclocross specific, it would seem to offer good protection for riders using clinchers and running lower pressures. You can be sure that the pit crew at Cyclocross Magazine will be putting them to the test as a follow-up to their pinch flat tests in Issue 9.
Jeff Frane from All-City showed off the company’s popular Nature Boy CX in a new limited edition Columbus Zona frame set, utilizing a press-fit BB30 and clearance for up to 38c tires, with a classic black and gold finish. The standard Nature Boy will now be available in a sharp navy blue withwhite fork tips and dropouts.
Salsa, as mentioned, showed off their Con Crosso complete bike, as well as the titanium La Cruz. The Salsa Vaya, although not technically a ’cross bike, is disc-brake only, available in steel or titanium, and would make an excellent all-’rounder for epic rides like the one featured in the “‘Round the Hood” article in Cyclocross Magazine’s Issue 11 in print.