WTB 2009: The rest of the story
We were fortunate enough to join WTB in Downieville for their 2009 product launch a few weeks back, but we had to keep a lid on the details until today. As promised, we’ve got the scoop for you below:
UST Tires – WTB has always had top-notch tread designs, and durable tires, but apart from the Weirwolf UST, their tubeless offerings have been practically non-existent. That’s all about to change for 2009. The WTB Wolverine tire, popular with the XC race ranks, will be offered in two UST widths: 1.95 (698g) and 2.2 (795g). The motocross inspired, all-mountain WTB Prowler MX tire will get UST offerings in new widths: 2.1 (820g) and 2.3 (1069g). While we weren’t able to independently verify the weights, WTB stated that they took ten tires, weighed each of them, then averaged the amounts to derive the amounts. Unfortunately, as the UST offerings aren’t expected to market before Christmas 2008, we’ll just have to wait.
New Tire Widths – WTB is introducing new widths for a number of tires in 2009. The Prowler MX adds a 2.3 (820g), The WTB Dissent tire gets a 2.3 in both the Race (828g) and DH (1217g) casings, and the Wolverine adds a 1.95 Race at a reported 498g. Wow. We expect to see most of these sometime after Interbike.
Vigo Carbon Saddle – Aimed at the emerging XC marathon market, the Vigo Carbon Saddle provides lots of surface area and some additional padding. It’s 143mm wide at its widest, making it easy to control with your thighs, and 280mm long, allowing the rider to get up on the nose for those nasty climbs. Despite having additional padding for long days in the saddle, the Vigo Carbon SLT saddle reportedly tips the scales at just 210g. The Team version, with Nicro rails replacing the SLT version’s titanium, sacrifices just 5 grams at 215. We expect to have these in hand prior to Interbike.
The amount of interest in the new 15QR standard (15 x 100mm) introduced by Fox on their 2009 32-series forks has amazed us. While it is Fox, and it makes great sense on one hand -- 15 percent increase in torsional stiffness (twisting action), and a 25 percent increase in transverse shear stiffness (bending action), it is a new standard in an arena full of standards. There was no doubt that we were impressed by its performance, and were quite frankly surprised by our ability to perceive the difference in stiffness between the 15QR and a standard lower. However, with loads of options for 20mm thru axle hubs and wheels readily available, it was tough to gauge how the market would react.
It’s been a steady stream on inquiries since the forks were released. Unfortunately, up until now, there’s been no hub availability, making the forks we have in stock practically useless. We’ve just received notification that our Shimano XTR HB-M978 Centerlock hubs are in route to us, and we expect them early next week.
And more good news on the Industry Nine front -- reportedly, they are finalizing their 15QR adaptor for the All-Mountain hub (with the Enduro adaptor to follow shortly behind), which will allow those of you who currently have any Industry Nine wheelset with the All-Mountain hub to convert your wheel to accept a 15QR fork.
We expect the Shimano XT HB-M778 hubs to come along sooner than later, and word on the street is that we’ll see DT Swiss 240 hubs somewhere around the end of the month. Mavic also made a splash when they announced they’ll offer a 15QR version of their SLR wheelset for 2009. Options -- gotta love ’em.
Intense Demo Bike Sale
Looking for a great deal on a trail bike? Well look no further. The time has come for us to retire our Intense Spider XVP, Intense 5.5 EVP and Intense 6.6 demo bikes. Don’t worry though -- we’ll be freshening up the demo fleet in the coming months with the new trail bike and more. Click here for a detailed list of what’s available.