Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Don't call it a comeback.

Back in 1988 when I started working for Bruce Gordon Cycles he had just started building his Rock 'N Road bikes which were cross type bikes built around his own Rock 'N Road 40C tire.  He also made cable connectors so you could swap bar/stem set ups between road and mountain without having to adjust your gears.  Pretty slick.  I road one of these bikes with flat bars for a couple years while I worked there.  Rode it everywhere I rode my mountain bike.  But at the trade shows shops couldn't wrap their heads around the bike.  "What am I going to do with that? It's not a mountain bike and not a road bike", they would say.  I'm pretty sure that was the point.  And who would come into Bruce's shop checking out the Rock 'N Roads?  Wes Williams, father of the 29r, who will tell you that Bruce's bikes were an inebriation for him.  So here we are almost 25 years later talking about "Monster Cross" bikes like they're something new.  The good thing about this resurgence has been that Bruce decided to make his tires again.  This time Panaracer is making them in Japan for him and they're lighter and a little fatter than before.  The first ride I did on the new ones was aboard my Dirtbomb on a 70+ mi ride with lots of road and lots of fire road climbs and save for the severe suffering, the ride was amazing.  The Rock 'N Road tires are really the best dual purpose fat cross tires out there.  Not too buzzy on the street and super-traction on the dirt, both climbing and descending.  Kudos to Bruce for going out on a limb all those years ago and also for bringing these tires back!  

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