What's on tap this week?

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If the question is in regards to what's coming out of the beer faucet at Mike's house, not much for long is the answer. Proper cx race prep and recovery last weekend demanded that we try like mad to finish what was there. We got pulled before our last lap, but we're proud of the effort. As to why my legs just weren't all the way there on Sunday, I'm sure I have no idea...

In addition to the normal flurry of wheel builds we have to get out the door (thankfully there still is a flurry, as this period is usually about the nadir of our sales every year), we're looking at tubeless interfaces and lacing patterns this week.  Grails have been have been rarer than hen's teeth but Stan's seems to be catching up with demand so we'll be building a few sets to test two things in particular: how does a 20+mm bead seat width work with road tires, and what's the ideal setup for cx tubeless with these babies?

Got lots of building and test riding to do

On other fronts, we'll be testing some different lacing patterns in a steel cage match. Specifically, we want to see if there's anything to this 2:1 lacing. We'll build otherwise identical rear wheels, one with 24 spokes laced 2:1 (16 on the drive side, 8 on the nds), and one with standard 28h 2x/2x lacing. Not in response to any issue we're currently having, but it may hold some promise so we're looking at it to judge for ourselves. Look for some news on that later in the week.  

What started off 25mm is now 26.2mmMike's several hundred miles into his road tubeless evaluation and enjoys it quite a bit. Smooth riding (at least in context of the treachery of Beach Drive and environs), no flats, and good road feel.  The tires, 25mm Hutchinson Fusion 3s, which started life exactly at their stated 25mm width, have now grown to 26.2mm width. This is an entirely normal phenomenon for tubed or tubeless tires, and is something you should have in mind when evaluating tire/frame clearances. 

The Kenda Kwickers should be a fortuitous choice for this week as the forecast is for rain through the week. Saturday's race should be a real laundry-fest, and I am decidedly NOT a mudder.  Wheel/tire setups for DCCX last weekend were Clement PDX front and rear on Blunt front rim and Arch rear for Saturday, with a Kenda Small Block Eight on an Iron Cross rim subbing in for the rear on Sunday. 25 front/29psi rear both days. The PDX were phenomenal in Saturday's "every surface variety under the sun" conditions, while the SB8 was maybe a little quicker on Saturday's drier track. The SB8 suffers on loose climbs but is otherwise crazy fast so long as it's dry.

The other big news from the weekend is that I might, maybe, sort of had a bit of a disc-brake epiphany on Sunday. There was an off-camber right the you approached going about a billion and six mph, shooting downhill into a sharp-ish left flat turn, after which was a very short uphill, into another off-camber downhill right. Done correctly, you could carry your original momentum all the way through this series and just float up the little uphill. Done poorly, you had to pedal hard to go anywhere at all on the short up part. In a great "well, let's just see how this works" deal, I followed two guys into the thing and braked way later than they did, skidded the rear into the off-camber right and took the inside on them, then held the outside through the left and gapped them decisively on the up. It was actually pretty sweet. 


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  • Mike on

    So you've had good luck with the PDX tubeless? Everywhere I've read says that they are hard to setup and prone to burping…

  • Dave on

    Thanks for the tip, and is be surprised if you weren't much more perceptive of different tires than you think. They're pretty easy to feel. This current round of tinkering is more about interface/fit (esp for cx), and the road one is more about "how does a 23 or 25 work on a rim with a 20+mm bead seat width." I can see us taking a position on cx tires/brands simply due to the fit situation, but I think in road we're always going to try to make what works for you work better for you. That's seemed to be where we've done our best work to date.

  • Rob on

    If goofing around with road tubeless tires give the the Bontrager R3's a shot. While I would have never thought that I could tell the difference between one tire or another I've definitely liked the ride quality of the Bonts more than the Fusion's (both tubeless at 85r 80frt).

  • Dave on

    I love them. Just did a first ride on Grails with Kwickers, set up per Stan's team – one wrap yellow tape + sealant. No way with a pump, compressor even took a second to get them blown up. They were air tight prior to sealant install (with injector thru valve stem), and aired easily with a pump after sealant install. Hard off cambers at 24/28 no problem at all. Kwickers look way skinny compared to PDX even though caliper says 32 vs 33mm for PDX.


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