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Tazers, Gear Boxes, and Computerized Hubs

My oh my, how far mountain biking has come since the days of Klunkerz …

SRAM’s TruVativ HammerSchmidt

The SRAM buzz machine has us talking and wondering once again about their upcoming introduction of TruVativ HammerSchmidt, dubbed ‘a revolution in transmission technology.’ With the keyword being ‘transmission’, it didn’t take long for the gear box term to surface. Gear boxes have been discussed and tested for many years now, most notably by the folks at Honda. However, Honda dissolved their dominant team a few months back, and simultaneously announced they had abandoned pursuing the mountain bike market. Enter SRAM. While early indications are that SRAM’s design differs greatly from Honda’s, they see a market, and feel they have a design that they can bring to market. HammerSchmidt Information has been otherwise elusive, but through some McGarrett-like detective work, we’ve managed to land a few details:

  • The gearbox will be a two geared system, available in either a 12 or 14 tooth differential.
  • There will be two versions -- one using the Stylo crank platform, the other using the Hussefelt.
  • It will require that the frame have ISCG tabs for mounting.
  • It will utilize an ISIS bottom bracket.

So when is Hammer time? We’re told Fall 2008.

CycleOps PowerTap 2.4 SL Disc

We had a nice surprise the other day -- a package arrived, and low and behold, inside was a pre-production sample of the CycleOps PowerTap 2.4 SL Disc Hub thanks to our friends at CycleOps. We’re going to log some serious hours on it in the coming weeks, and provide a full report. A coin flip decided that we’d first lace it into a Stan’s Arch 29 rim (DT Swiss Competition spokes), resulting in a stiff, strong, yet respectably lightweight 4.5 pound wheel including the Hutchinson Python Tubeless Ready tire and sealant (and the CycleOps proprietary rotor.) The identical wheel -- save for the PowerTap hub -- had been previously laced to a DT Swiss 240s hub & Formula 160mm rotor, at a savings of approximately 250 grams.

We’ve had one brief ride on it thus far, and it already has us thinking about the way we ride. The data differs greatly (due to the nature of rider input) from that of our road PowerTap. The changes in cadence and spikes in power are far more drastic. We’re looking forward to spending more time on it to really assess the data.

Don’t worry, we’re going to lace it in a 26 inch wheel as well. In fact we’ve got some fun ideas for 26 v. 29 comparison that we’ll be sharing.

Dispelling the Rumor

With the recent launch of the new Intense web site, we’ve fielded many a call regarding the Tazer Vp. The Intense website fails to display it as one of the models in the 2008 lineup, which has led to the questions as to whether the Tazer is being phased out of the lineup a la the Uzzi (which interestingly does appear on the revamped site.) The answer is a definitive ‘No.’ Intense currently has no plans to discontinue the model. Intense has no images of the current Intense Tazer Vp available, making it difficult to present on the site, and the next production run is a ways off.