Sectors and EA90XD for Off-Road Adventures

Sector with Easton

Sectors on Easton’s for off-road adventure

The Hutchinson Sectors are best described as like putting radial, all-season tires on your sports car that’ll last 80,000 miles and probably not flat. Ride these on gravel, poor roads, and appreciate the bounce in the sidewall. For a commute, or road miles, choose the Intensives instead because they won’t pogo you down the road. I’m running the reinforced Intensives with the Reynolds for the pavement and maintained gravel, not forest roads or primitive conditions. When I rode with Reba this summer in rocks and dirt, where gravel is used to patch the severely washboarded road, these are the tires I wanted because they are dependable and tubeless. If there was ever a niche of a niche for a bike product to succeed in, it’s adventure riding where you don’t want to stop repeatedly for pinch flats.

For the particulars, though these tires say “28” they measure 27mm on Easton’s’ 24-25mm rims. IE, on Shimano rims (20mm) they’d measure 25mm at most. The EA90XD rims (wider than their road tubeless) are pumping up the volume. The tires look huge on the Eastons and while we set these wheels up for off-road they are the 11-speed, disc road wheel cyclists have been expecting. It took 2 months for a demo pair to get to us because of demand and they compete with Hed’s new tubeless, disc wheel that we want to ride too.

As I said about the Reynolds with clinchers, we don’t race tubeless in the Pacific Northwest course conditions, but you certainly could and the EA90XDs are a race-ready wheelset. Easton is marketing them for Cross, but we’ll take the easy to work on, bombproof design, and $900.00 price point for our next off-road adventure.

Black Friday for Cyclists

Workbench

They’ll work on your bike and sell you gear on sale today

Stop by your local bike shop for deals in store, like Elliott Bay Bicycles downtown and Cycle University in West Seattle. Online, check our recommendations from Amazon’s vast selection of cycling gear, including merino wool from Ibex, lights from Knog and our popular Purist bottles.

Thanksgiving 13

Hey it’s a holiday when even hard-working bike bloggers take a break, so here’s some filler content, a kid’s first ride. Into a tree….


We’re at Grandma’s house in Alaska enjoying the time off and hope you’re with family too.

Not Your Father’s Camera

The Single Lens Reflex camera is dead.

For the cyclist, this statement might not mean anything, but for cycling bloggers, this is very important. SLR cameras, the mainstay of photography since at least World War II, are about to vanish from the earth, replaced by something newer and (eventually) better.

 Anthony Wayne Supercross

Just as technologies like road disc brakes and ‘cross-specific groups herald big changes in the the way we connect with our sport, changes in gear have huge implications on how we cover things and how we present the cycling world.

A few products we’ve looked at recently show how very, very close we are to seeing a major shift in the gear we use to capture our sport, and how pros take pictures.

We’re not talking about the camera phone. We love the images that come from a smartphone, but we’re still way, way off from an era in which a phone can provide manual control over aperture and shutter speed and provide us with a variety of high-quality focal lengths to shoot from.

Instead there’s a big shift happening in the way a camera works, brought on by what’s called “mirrorless” cameras. Instead of using a mirror and an optical viewfinder (as do single lens reflex cameras) a mirrorless system uses just the LCD screen and/or an electronic viewfinder to compose an image and does away with the large mirror that’s in the heart of all SLR cameras.

After the Mud, Gravel with Reynolds Assault Disc

In the gravek

A versatile wheel on the road, dirt, and gravel

As the Cross season concludes and we’re mostly done riding in the mud and dirt for the season, it’s time for road with Hydro-R Disc and gravel. 11-speed wheels were not easy to find this Fall, especially for training and daily riding, but availability has improved and for the past few weeks, I’ve ridden the Reynolds Assault discs with Hutchinson Intensives. The Reynolds has an appealing price point at $1850 for an everyday wheel, at about a grand less than the Zipps we’re racing on. You can certainly race these — they have all the characteristics of a modern, fast wheel — but in Cross, we prefer tubulars to avoid pinch flats when running tires at very low pressure for grip and suspension effect.

On the road, I noticed this iteration of Reynolds addresses excessive hub play, with tighter tolerances, and they roll well. The tighter hubs and stiff build of the wheels avoids the “ting, ting” from rotors striking the pads when you stand up to accelerate. In crosswinds, the Assaults felt a bit more blowy than Zipps or Heds, but nothing intolerable or sketchy. On a long descent I realized, “hey no worries about a carbon clincher rim overheating with discs!” I also wondered if the rotor created dirty air negating the aero features, so I asked asked Reynolds about rotors and aero wheels…

Reynolds

No visible brake track, 24h front and rear drilling. MSRP $1850. A very versatile wheelset

We’ve been making a disc brake road/CX wheel for 3 years. This is the first disc specific road rim we’ve designed. Meaning no visible brake track and a different layup for the rigors of disc brakes with a 41mm deep rim and 25mm wide made specifically for a disc brake equipped bicycles.

Reynolds hasn’t put this wheel into a tunnel, but said,

The surface area increases at the hub, which can have a direct effect on aerodynamics and create a higher drag coefficient. The rotor slots should have little affect at speed. SLG—Swirl lip generator does work at the rim on the disc brake version just as the rim brake version. It actually helps offset some of the drag you get from the rotor. This is minimal since the SLG and the rotor are a good distance apart.

Expect that Paul Lew and his counterparts in the wheel business are in meetings about disc wheels now, towards the 15 model year. As Mark V observed when I attended the Hydro launch

Individually the changes to design that disc brakes allow will be fairly subtle, but in the long run the sum effect of all these changes will have a huge impact on bicycle design. What we’re seeing now is just the beginning.

That’s right and I’ve heard from an industry insider to expect calipers molded into fork legs.

In the sunset

Into the sunset and anywhere else you want to take these wheels

Disc brakes are the most significant change in my riding since indexed shifting. Charles M talks about that in his piece he wrote for us about a custom Sarto build for Hydro-R Disc.

Complimenting the Reynolds ride, are the Intensives, a very tough tire for all sorts of conditions, like this abandoned road I found. The adventure I found there will have to wait for another post. Time for vacation.

Abandoned Road Found

Abandoned Road Found

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