By Andrew Juskaitis
BLACK OUT -vi- 1: to become enveloped in darkness; specif: black out date: A set date at which exclusive press release information can be released to the public;specif: utilized to protect current inventory from abandonment in premature anticipation of the next model year;see also: screwing the manufacturer over and killing bike shop sales.
While not one to complain about the goings-on at other cycling publications, I’m about to (briefly). Two weeks ago Manitou presented the media with a sneak-peek at its 2004 product line which we lightly reported on, but I adhered to the requested black out Date [see above] whichManitou set as March 1st and kindly skipped all the details. Unfortunately,our European counterparts at a British publication saw it in their bestinterest to break the blackout date and post their findings as a “WorldExclusive.” That’s like saying you won Paris-Roubaix, even though you wheeliedacross the finish line onboard a Honda XR650 motorcycle.
Regardless of my sour grapes, here’s the (Exclusive North American!!!!) scoop anyway:
For late 2003/early 2004, Manitou has developed a long-travel, singlecrown fork (1 1/8 inch steerer only) which incorporates its SPV valvingdamping system. SPV stands for “Stable Platform Valve” which is designedto quell pedal-induced suspension bob, but still remain active to trailimpacts. It’s the technology found it Manitou’s Swinger shocks (found mostcommonly on Giant’s VT freeride line). And yes, you’re right, that’s thesame technology that Progressive Suspension uses in its 5th Element andCurnutt developed (first) for its XTD shock (found exclusively on Foesbikes).
The new fork is called the Minute, and is targeted at freeride/epicriders looking for a long-travel fork that doesn’t bob under heavy pedaling,but is there when the terrain gets rough. The new fork has been reinforcedin critical areas (the crown, arch and lowers) to handle rough use, butoverall, weights on the line have been kept surprisingly light consideringtheir travel and intended use (all weight under four pounds). Oversize30mm stanchions are used throughout the three fork line. All forks sport a maximumof 130mm of travel.
Breaking down the line, the coil-sprung Minute One features a rangeof 100 to 130mm using Manitou’s new Wind Down adjuster which provides externallyinfinite travel adjustment (like RockShox’s U-Turn adjustment, but thespring rate doesn’t change with Wind Down). The air-sprung Minute Two andMinute Three offer 100 or 130mm of Rapid Travel selectivity. All forksfeature SPV valving which is designed to activate only when the rider encountersrough terrain, not under regular pedaling forces.
Interested? Prices should be a bit more than Manitou’s current Black Super which translate into the $500 neighborhood. Still interested? Check out Issue #5 of VeloNews for the inside scoop–something you won’t find in any other print magazines for two months.
In other news, in last week’s column, I made mention that Lennard draggedme out of my cubicle to a Nuggets/Bulls game to meet with coach Bill Cartwright.Not for the love of basketball, this trip was made in order for L-Trainto size-up coach Cartwright for his new custom bicycle to be produced byZinn Cycles. I also quoted Cartwright as saying he had a real love forthe sport of cycling and that if he couldn’t have been a pro ball playerhe would have chosen pro cycling as his second sport of choice. I alsomight have mentioned the fact that I neglected to burst his bubble by informinghim he would have been the tallest/heaviest pro cyclist of all time.In response, I received quite a few inquires as to who exactly was/isthe tallest/heaviest pro road cyclist of all time. Leave it to our ownJohn Wilcockson to create the official definitive VeloNews Big& Tall Pro Cyclist Hall Of Fame list:ROAD RACERSMichel Zanoli (Nl) 6ft 7.5ins (1m97) 200lbs (91kg)Bernd Gröne (G) 6ft 7ins (1m96) 191lbs (87kg)Marcel Sieberg (G) 6ft 4 3/4 (1m95) 163lbs (74kg)Mario Scirea (I) 6ft 4.4ins (1m94) 178lbs (81kg)Jan Valach (Svk) 6ft 4.4ins (1m94) 172lbs (78kg)Magnus Bäckstedt (S) 6ft 4ins(1m93) 198lbs (90kg)Remig Stumpf (G) 6ft 4ins (1m93) 191lbs (87kg)Eros Poli (I) 6ft 4ins (1m93) 189lbs (86kg)Ed. Van Hooydonck (B) 6ft 4ins (1m93) 174lbs (79kg)Tom Leaper (Aus) 6ft 4ins (1m93) 172lbs (78kg)Jérôme Neuville (F) 6ft 3.5ins (1m92) 187lbs (85kg)Patrick Eyk (Nl) 6ft 3.5ins (1m92) 183lbs (83kg)Tom Boonen (B) 6ft 3.5ins (1m92) 176lbs (80kg)Dave Mann (GB) 6ft 3ins (1m91) 190lbs (86.3kg)George Hincapie (USA) 6ft 3ins (1m91) 169lbs (77kg)TRACK RACERSCarsten Bergemann (G) 6ft 5ins (1m96) 213lbs (96kg)Ken Carpenter (USA) 6ft 4ins (1m93) 230lbs (104.5kg)Sören Lausberg (G) 6ft 3ins (1m91) 226lbs (103kg)
Marty Nothstein (USA) 6ft 2ins (1m88) 215lbs (97kg)Are there other giant pros that you can think of? Drop us a lineat WebLetters@7Dogs.com