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All The Hype That’s Fit To Be News

There’s been a flurry of activity here, and we’re going to get you caught up with a quick and dirty edition of what’s new:

A/ CycleOps PowerTap 2.4 SL Disc – The long awaited CycleOps PowerTap SL 2.4 Disc hub is now available for sale, and we anticipate our first shipment in early April. We’re told availability will be lean at the outset, and demand has been heavy.

B/ 650b – Life is all about compromise. Sometimes it’s best to meet in the middle. For the last few years the debate has raged 26′ or 29′ wheels. 29er naysayers complain that 29 inch wheels are hard to get moving, and are too heavy. The Cult of 29 argues that 26er wheels don’t provide enough traction, don’t roll as easy over obstacles, nor attain the speed that a 29er wheel can. It sure seems like it’d make sense to meet in the middle to get the best of all worlds -- at least that’s what the godfather of the 650b movement, Kirk Pacenti, argues. It sure got our wheels turnin’ -- we’ve been having a bunch of fun toying with wheels on undeserving frames, attempting to digest the new wheel diameter, and determine if the compromise argument is true. Thus far, we’ve found the wheels easier to spin, and the gearing selection much better, but we look forward to getting our hands on a frame truly intended for a 650b wheel.

That brings us to our next project bike: the soon-to-be-released 650b especiál, Ventana El Bastardo. The first 650b project from Ventana, El Bastardo, will be a 5′ bike based largely on the 26-inch-wheeled El Ciclón. It will be available in Gloss White or Ferrari Red in even sizes ranging from 16 – 22. All the custom colors will be available with the standard caveats -- upcharge and a wait. While we’ll likely have ours at the end of March or so,and we expect to be shipping them to customers around Sea Otter in mid-April. We’ll report back with all our impressions once we give it a thorough thrashing.

C/ E-thru Update – We reported earlier that the E-thru (15 x 100) axle standard will be introduced on the 2009 Fox 32 series cross country forks, which we expect to put our hands on at Sea Otter in April. Shimano, who pioneered and is openly licensing the standard, has announced they will offer a full range of XT and XTR hubs and wheels. The standard claims to provide 15% more stiffness than a conventional quick release axle without the penalty of added weight. We’re hearing whispers that indicate DT Swiss will release E-thru compatible product as well.

D/ Intense deals always go fast – But these are among the fastest yet: Intense Spider XVP and Spider FRO complete bikes are on factory authorized supersale for a limited time. Mavic wheels, Rock Shox fork, SRAM X-9/Shimano XT blend. Save 25% or more. Click here for details.

E/ Going, going, gone – Turner has announced the retirement of the ultimate cross country rocket, the Nitrous with the most recent production run. We were lucky enough to score the last few frames produced, but we’re down to just a couple mediums and a large.

F/ New Arrivals – Our loading dock has been the place to be the last few weeks, booking the arrivals of many long-awaited products:

Bam. That’s it for now. See you next time.