Archive for March, 2010

SUNringlé’s latest creations, the BlackFlag PRO and Charger PRO.

New Sun Ringle’ Wheelsets featuring Stan’s No Tubes BST Tubeless Technology!

  • Stan’s No Tubes BST™ Tubeless Technology >>
  • Premium Direct Pull Hubs with Japanese Precision Bearings
  • Wheelsmith Double Butted Spokes
  • Lightweight XC Wheel – 1585g / Pair
  • Available in 29er
  • Hubs are easily convertible to today’s axle standards – 20mm, 15mm and QR end caps included*
  • Wheels include Stan’s No Tubes Yellow Sealing Tape, Sealant, and Valves*

  • Stan’s No Tubes BST™ Tubeless Technology >>
  • Premium Direct Pull Hubs with Japanese Precision Bearings
  • Wheelsmith Double Butted Spokes
  • Lightweight AM Wheel – 1699g / Pair
  • Available in 29er
  • Hubs are easily convertible to today’s axle standards – 20mm, 15mm and QR end caps included*
  • Wheels include Stan’s No Tubes Yellow Sealing Tape, Sealant, and Valves*

Leave a Comment

SingleTracks: The “Answer” to Controlling Your Mountain Bike

Since 1987 I’ve owned mountain bikes from Yeti, Rocky Mountain, Cannondale, Giant, and Opus – and Answer bars have graced the cockpit on every one of them at one time or another. I still remember when MTB bars were measured against the performance of the Answer Taperlite and Hyperlite models.  Just recently I came across an old Answer mountain bike circa 1993 at my buddy’s shop (pics below – yes those are slicks… don’t ask).

I got a chance to chat with Tom Porter, Product Manager for Answer Products, and we discussed some downright sexy new products the company is introducing to the Gravity / 4X / DJ scene. It turns out he and I share many of the same interests and hobbies as well a passion for mountain bikes and the surrounding technology. Tom shared a bit of his background and how he came to where he is at today at Hayes Bicycle Group, home of Answer Products, Manitou Suspension, Hayes Disc Brakes, Sun Rims, Sun Ringle’ Wheels, and Wheelsmith Spokes.

As Hayes continued to grow, Tom’s next opportunity was in the acquisition and integration of all the new brands and products that are now part of the Hayes Bicycle Group. Once this job was complete and feeling a connection with the Answer brand, Tom has returned back to the product side of the business in his current position as product manager for Answer Products.  Just 15 months in, there are super cool components available and more great things coming!

Here’s what Tom had to say during our conversation.

How does Answer investigate and prioritize what has to be done to improve specific products?

We identify technology advances through the following process.

  1. Benchmark program of key competitor’s products and market trends.
  2. Internal FEA testing of models and extensive lab testing.
  3. Utilization of HTP (Hayes Test Program) Riders for the Research & Development of new components.

What kind of new products and other stuff are in the works for Answer?

We have a list of new components that we are launching throughout the year, starting off with the PRO Taper® Alloy Bars.

Pro Taper alloy bars (are made from a) new 7050 alloy material (using the) same proven (4×8 degree geometry). Rise was lowered and width increased based on market trends and rider feedback. Goal: Lower mass/quicker steering input & comfortable riding position in a bar that looks hot and has a reasonable cost.

Pro Taper Carbon bars: geometry same as the 720AM bars but 33% lighter! By using Pro Taper technology we can put the material in the bars where it is needed most: the clamp and the rise areas. Goal: Lightweight, strong, comfortable bar for all-mountain use that looks the part.

I noticed that the bars pictured above are more geared towards the trial / DH rider – do you have plans to produce a flat XC version?

Yes we have a Pro Taper XC straight bar in the works. 660mm carbon flat bar with 3 degree back sweep. This will be available in early summer.

Along with the bars I noticed that you also release a few stems.

We have two at present, the first one, the Rove DH is made from 7075 alloy material with multi-position 45-50-55mm offset (reach) which allows the rider to adjust the position of the bar. (The) short position allows the rider to get weight over the rear wheel for steep trails and the long offset allows the rider to get weight more forward over the front wheel and suspension to increase front end grip. It also has a 62mm wide face plate which creates a stiff stem & bar interface. At 150 grams it’s one of the lightest DH stems on the market. With a 30mm x 50mm bolt spacing, this allows you to fit the stem on all 2005 Boxxer standard forks as well.

You also sent over a pair of grips that I personally liked very much, did you want to elaborate on the grips?

Yeah. We worked with ODI on development of 2 new sets of grips. The cross section on the Fall Line XC has a profile from thin to thick to thin (an ODI first) that reduces hand fatigue dramatically.

The DH grip features thin material and allows for easy hand position changes. Goal: consistent feel / sticky grips / with proven lock-on mechanism.

What other products are in the works. Will you have a seat post or something along those lines?

We have a seat post patent from many years ago that we have been reviewing. Once the above process (#1 above) is completed we will move forward with development of a new Answer seat post.

Are you planing on any other colors in the up and coming year?

Yeah. White is now available in the alloy bars and you might see a new gold bar that looks like the Hayes Prime Brake set to launch this June.

Wrapping up

Keep your eyes peeled for these and other cool products from Answer in the very near future. Not only have they come back, but from what I have seen I feel that there are going to be a few folks out there stepping up their game as well…

Leave a Comment

Singletrack.com Factory Tour: Titus Cycles

Just over a month ago, Singletrack.com had the good fortune to visit the Titus Cycles workshop in Tempe, Arizona.

It’s a compact space in a tidy industrial park, bathed in Arizona’s characteristic sunshine. Engineering, customer service, and marketing offices occupy the front of the building, and warehouse space for fabrication and bike storage rounds out the back.

Our tour guide, Marketing Manager Jeff Titone, said that Titus was still settling in to some degree, having just moved into this space a year ago. The shop used to be half a block away, but the company was growing and needed more space.

“We were pretty aggressive last year,” said Titone, referring both to the move and to a host of new designs now available for the burgeoning 2010 riding season. At Interbike last fall, Titus showed several all-new carbon fiber mountain bikes including the FTM Carbon and a redesigned X Carbon. Also new for 2010 are the Rockstar 29er bikes, which are available in aluminum or titanium.

The H-Men: Two Halves to a Whole


A Titus team: Industrial designer Chris Holman (left) and engineer Ron Hoffman (right) pose with early models of some of their projects.

Titone introduced us to the guys who make new designs happen for Titus. The dynamic duo of Ron Hoffman and Chris Holman are largely responsible for the new bikes, in both form and function. Holman is an industrial designer and Hoffman is an engineer, and together the pair brought the new bikes to life.

“We both have a passion for two wheels and come from motocross,” said Hoffman. The two have been working as a team for the better part of eight years, and started their own company a few years ago. They’ve been working for Titus for almost two years, and the fruits of their labors are apparent in the new bikes.

This two-man team’s past experience with design and engineering doesn’t fully register in the context of a small bike frame shop, at least at first. For example, Hoffman started as a contract engineer with big projects in the motorsports industry, including working on a Nissan engine for Indycar racing. Names like John Deere and Goodrich also come up, when they talk about their various exposure to different technologies and materials from other industries.

However, Hoffman points out that “a good design process is a good design process.” With strong fundamentals and knowledge, he said, “You can design almost anything.”

“It’s been fun to look at technologies and see how they apply to bikes,” Hoffman added.

In tandem with Holman, he’s seen and done enough in the engineering world to bring a fresh pair of eyes to the mountain bike drawing board.

Engineering an Engine Bay — or a Bike Frame

The results manifest in sometimes surprisingly simple ways. For example, riders of the original FTM frames complained of creaks and noise. Hoffman knew from his motorsports experience and engine development work that flat panels in structures can act like the diaphragm on a loudspeaker, amplifying noise. Therefore, the new FTM Carbon was designed with graceful curves and almost no flat sections on the main frame.

Sure enough, on a test ride of the new FTM Carbon later in the weekend, we discovered that it was impressively quiet and muted.

Two brains really ARE better than one

Tag-team partnerships are the quintessential stuff of American folklore. Like Bonnie and Clyde or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, craniums seem to work best in pairs.

It’s no different at Titus, where Hoffman and Holman synergize to create a whole that’s greater than the two halves.

“Together we do things that neither one could do on their own,” said Holman, adding that in attacking things from different angles, the two work out problems more easily. “We run into different roadblocks because we look at things just slightly differently.”

“We count success if everyone has a voice,” added Hoffman.

Clearly, with bikes like the X Carbon and FTM Carbon leaping off the drawing board and onto the nearby South Mountain singletrack, Titus is headed in the right direction.

Leave a Comment

Titus 2010

The new 2010 Titus Frames – Fireline Ti, El Guapo, and FTM are now available. Click on”Titus Cycles” under Products link for all the specs and features of these frames.

Titus Fireline Ti
All new for 2010! This titanium frame is almost to beautiful to ride, just look at, it’s gorgeous! What really makes this frame special is the hydroformed front triangle. Using this process Titus was able to make complex shapes that increase stiffness and strength without adding weight. Out back the convertible dropouts allow for changes from geared to single-speed drivetrain with ease.

Titus FTM
The FTM is a lightweight trail and all mountain bike that does not sacrifice stiffness or performance, with it’s reliable and efficient Horst Link supension system.

Titus El Guapo
Lighter and more nimble than most dedicated big-drop, big-hit bikes, the new El Guapo all mountain bike is a whole lot more plush than the fast-twitch behavior of XC oriented bikes. The bike will allow you to climb easier and descend faster. The El Guapo can easily be built up under 30 pounds and ridden as a supremely confidence inspiring trail bike. With a slightly more heavy duty parts kit, it is very capable of running with the big dogs in chairlift country.

Leave a Comment

FTM Carbon Review – Mountain Bike Action

Titus Carbon is in the Cards!



The Mountian Bike Action Wrecking Crew just finished putting the all-new FTM Carbon through its paces and they absolutely loved it. Some of the highlights include the following quotes; “The FTM loves tight, twisty, singletrack and doesn’t lose its zest for corners when the speed increases…We are still shell-shocked that the aluminum FTM unseated the Titus Motolite in out trailbike hierarchy, and here we are, ten months later, moving the FTM Carbon a slot in front of its aluminum brother…Yes, we love this bike, and you will too.”

Read the full article here.

Leave a Comment

Answer PRO Taper Handlebar shootout on Pink Bike

Choices: A Look At Seven Handlebars

The second installment of our look at cockpit controls brings us to handlebars. Some are wide and some are narrow, some are tall and some are some are short, but there are enough options out there that everyone should be able to find something that they like. Inside we’ll take a look at seven bars that span the gamut of sizes: the Atlas FR and SIXC carbon riser bar from Race Face, both Answer’s DH and AM ProTaper bars, a neat flat and wide option in Gravity’s 777, a sleeper fromBontrager with their Rhythm Pro, and Specialized’s 179 gram Enduro riser bar.

You may have caught the grip comparo a few weeks back that kicked off our three part series looking at cockpit components. While we certainly didn’t have every grip option out there as there are just so many, the choices we showed you spanned the range of thick and thin, or Lock-on and traditional. Below you’ll find much the same with the seven bars that we’re going to show you. There are a couple lightweight options that will also help lighten your wallet, along with some wide bars that will help widen your stance. The shape of a handlebar can greatly effect a bike’s personality. Too wide or two thin and there are bound to be some negative consequences. Likewise, picking a handlebar with the proper amount of rise and sweep that suits you and the riding you do is very important.

Answer Protaper DH Bar

  • Made from 7050-T series aluminum
  • 0.5″ low rise shown (1″ rise also available)
  • 780 mm/30.7″ width
  • 4° up sweep
  • 8° back sweep
  • 31.8 mm clamp diameter
  • 335 grams
  • Color options include white, red, gold, black

Just like it’s little brother, the ProTaper AM, the DH version shown above is available in four color choices and comes with the same comfortable 4° up sweep and 8° back sweep combination. Where the DH model differs is in the rise department with a nearly flat .5″ option on top of the standard 1″ rise that is common. Answer also tacked on over 2″ of width to stretch the DH out to a massive 30.7″. Again, at only $100 CAD it is hard to fault the ProTaper DH. Pick your favorite color and watch out for those tight trees!

Answer Protaper AM Bar

  • Made from 7050-T series aluminum
  • 2″ high rise shown (1″ rise also available)
  • 720 mm/28.3″ width
  • 4° up sweep
  • 8° back sweep
  • 31.8 mm clamp diameter
  • 320 grams
  • Color options include white, red, silver, black

A lot of riders will remember the ProTaper name, and for good reason. There was a time when the ProTaper bar was the go-to choice for loads of serious riders. The ProTaper name is back and in a few flavorings, one being the ProTaper AM version shown above. Total width is just over 28″ which will keep everyone but the trendiest kids or those with mega wide shoulders happy, and there are four color options to pick from. Above is the 2″ rise, but I can see a lot of riders preferring the lower 1″ option. Drawbacks? Certainly not a weight to brag about, although there should be no doubt that the ProTaper is as solid as they come. The ProTaper AM should be a great bar for the money.

Leave a Comment

Tiong Hin close from 16/3 – 23/3

Dear Customers,

Kindly take note that Tiong Hin close from 16/3, Tue – 23/3, Tue 2010. Business will be resume on 24/3, Wed 2010…

For any inquiries, please email us @ jialong84@live.com. Thanks

Regards,
Admin

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »