Photo Friday

A day late. I was too busy riding! To be fair, this picture WAS taken on Friday =)

Enjoy the weekend folks. May the weather smile upon you and the trails be well swept.

Specialized 29ers take a win at the Sea Otter Classic

You can see the race takes place partly on the Laguna Seca road course, and later veering off into the trail section. It looks like an absolute blast to ride! Another thing to note is how smooth the XC courses are compared to our local trails. You can take a good look at the riders dragging the rear tire coming into downhill corners and then whipping the bike around the tight sections.

As a drinker of the proverbial 29er koolaid, it’s pretty interesting to see the wheel size making a move towards the mainstream. Personally, I like them because I have odd proportions that put me pretty much sitting “on top of” most 26″ frames, geometry-wise. As you hear one of the riders say, the bigger wheels really do provide a little boost in the flat sections. I have found myself punishing the local trail with a lot more speed and confidence than I ever had before (although most of this is due to a proper frame size)

Check out the video, and leave some comments.

-video courtesy of I Am Specialized

Crank Brothers New Titanium Pedals: Eggbeater 11

174 grams. Shiny.

This week Crank Brothers announced an entirely new product line, including a replacement to their 2ti and 4ti lines of ultra-lightweight mountain biking pedals. We managed to get our hands on a set of the outgoing 4ti, at a reduced rate, in order to see if they live up to the hype and flashy gold coloring. Still no verdict on the new ones unless Crank Bros decides to take pity on a budget weight weenie.

roughly 18 number 2 pencils, a.k.a an egregious abuse of scientific equipment

If you just have to have the blingingest and lightest pedals out there, consider throwing a set of these on your weeniebike.

How lightweight are they? Glad you asked. Let’s make some stupid comparisons: each pedal weighs about the same as 18 number 2 pencils…(I would have used jellybeans but Whitey a.k.a. C-Dub a.k.a. Chris Wellhausen ATE ALL OF THEM. THOSE WEREN’T JUST JELLYBEANS! THEY WERE PRECIOUS SCIENTIFIC EQUIPMENT YOU PIG.) Needless to say without the precise comparative analogy of jellybeans, we were forced to make do with office supplies.

The new pedals feature improved needle-style bearings and apparently better sealing to reduce the frequency of required rebuilds. My old Eggbeaters (steel model) are holding up fine a couple years later, though not nearly to a high level of abuse. The new pedals are 10g heavier but reported to be a lot more durable.

At the moment I am eagerly awaiting the sound of a postman knocking to deliver the “old news” 4ti pedals which I’ll throw on the scales and possibly on the bike, time provided.

The old pedals were no slouch, and I’m sure the new ones will be just as reliable, albeit a lot more sexy.

The old 4ti eggbeater: reportedly 167g for the pair

Notice how the construction of the new pedals seems to be a lot more seamless. The spring mechanism still looks pretty much the same, but the spindles are noticeably shorter, probably affecting “Q factor” (the distance between both your feet as you pedal. Road bikes tend to be narrow, MTB tend to be wider stanced). Indeed the major complaint a lot of people had on the 4ti was remedied in purchasing shorter spindles from crank bros. I’m guessing enough was heard that they just provided them from the factory now. Also the reduced length should reduce the effective torque on the threading and hopefully help the pedals last longer.

Check out the new and improved specs over at Crank Bros. They’ve got a whole host of new sweet gear for the mid-year.