By Seb Kemp
Well, unless you were living under a rock, you couldn't have missed the fact that the first World Cup of 2012 took place last weekend in South Africa.
As is usual with early season races, technological development was the hot topic. For several weeks leading up to this race there has been mounting speculation as to what shiny new bicycles and sparkling components we would see come from the endlessly creative minds within the bicycle industry. Then as soon as the teams began unpacking boxes at the race venue there was a stream of leaks, which fed half-truths and guesstimations on a grand scale.
One of the most widely leaked scoops was that Scott had a new DH bike on show. The e-engineers went into melt down musing on the internal butting of the top tube, why black may have being used and, like some village fete game, attempting to guess the weight of the bike just by looking at a low-resolution picture of it. In the hyper-speed world of the internet, the word prototype seems to mean significantly less than ever before. Things are very hard to keep secret or hidden when we can upload spy photos from our phone to millions of viewers almost immediately. For some, prototype just means for sale….
Scott was far more guarded about the fact that a 650b-wheel-sized alien was here on earth walking amongst us than they were about their DH bike.
As you can see, after the media blew it last week (see #NOTT13) some chaps tried to catch up but Adrian Montgomery from ScottUSA was handling things entirely different than he may have done with the DH bike.
In the end, regardless of whether Kabush was on a 29er or not (I wasn't there to take photos because I live within the internet), the men's XC race was won on a bike with 650b wheels.
Or was it?
Looks like it was. But don't quote me on this….
Jon Cancellier (the shadowy figure behind the SRAM Blackbox program) was there. Sven was there, as was Leov. So how can we know? Well, until Scott feeds us some "spy" shots upon which to speculate further then we just don't know.
And what do we know about this wheel size? Piggy in the middle? Goldilocks porridge? Best of both worlds?
Oh, there it is. From the horse's mouth.
Just as 29ers seem to be getting widely accepted (see #NOTT – 29 Tweets) we will be seeing a whole new chapter of the same old rhetoric from both sides of the debate. Haters will hate and converts will continue to try and convert the rest of us. I'm yawning already.
Bike testing luminary and part of the fabric of the UK mountain biking world, Steve Worland, has fast become my number one source for soothing logic on twitter.
Another person who entertainments and illuminates the world of twitter almost non-stop is Craig 'Stikman' Glaspell.
Someone else who mourns the loss of 4X.
A follow up tweet to those people who tweeted that things will be different this time. Follow @stikmanglaspell for the funny feed.
And like every week, let’s try to defuse the palaver with something a little more lighthearted.