I love the smell of tires in the morning, smells like victory
July 1, 2008
Smelly tires and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are as much a part of mountain biking as dirt and oil. At least they were over the weekend as gear retailers showed their wares in a Deer Valley parking lot.
Kenda, a manufacturer of tires and tubes, had perhaps the most unique of all the products; a scented tire. The infused rubber gives off a fragrance, similar to pine, noticeable from at least a few feet away. Kenda designed the tire in the hopes of creating a product appealing to women. Automobile tire companies, said Jim Wannamaker, North American marketing director, have set a precedent of scenting tires for better aesthetics and bicycle manufacturers are simply following suit. Especially, when tires heat up, continued Wannamaker, they tend to emit an odor unpleasant to bicyclists with sensitive noses. Kenda’s newest tires can maintain their scent for nearly six months. They should hit stores in October.
Kenda was just one of many vendors that hit Deer Valley along with the hundreds of professional and semi-professional over the weekend for the National Mountain Bike.
The gear village set up just outside the Snow Park Lodge at Deer Valley and adjacent to the long-distance finish line in the upper parking lot. Vendors from across the globe demonstrated gear for virtually every aspect of mountain biking. Some of the tents also served as team pits where mechanics fixed bikes and talked tech.
Even easier on the nose than Kenda’s latest tire was the newest from Clif Bar. The "Dipped Mojo," a revamp of the older "Mojo," an amalgamated nut bar with organic nuts in a sweet, crunchy base, tastes almost identical to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This dipped version features nuts similar to a regular Mojo, but the matrix is a softer jam-like substance and the entire bar is dipped in a light peanut butter. The new bar is being introduced around the country.
At almost the same weight as a Clif Bar, but designed for an entirely different purpose, Magura’s latest hydraulic braking system could be the lightest brake on the market when it hits soon. The 299-gram brake, the Marta, integrates magnesium components to save on mass as well as stainless steel rotors more wavy than round, similar to a motorcycle components. Despite its light weight, the brake is sturdy enough that a Magura team downhill cyclist took it out on the downhill course.
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Cyclists looking to drop even more weight on their rides can also upgrade to Northwave’s latest shoe. The Carbon Raptor SBS integrates a unique buckling system that ratchets to a close like a ski boot. The shoe for clipped pedals also has a full carbon shank and aerated chassis. In its design and sleekness, the Raptor shows that the gap between road shoes and mountain shoes is narrowing.
Not everybody had to see a gear vendor to get the latest in technology. Many of the riders, sponsored by one or more bike companies, sported the latest in gear on their bikes and showed them off to fans as they cruised downhill or endured cross country races.