Every year we make a pilgrimage to a place that we get a ridiculous amount of our daily wares from. The fine folks at Quality Bicycle Products do so much good for our local cycling community it’d be difficult to cover it in one blog post. Frostbike is their annual show in which they get to bring together all of the parts that make QBP and invite dealers to come say howdy.
It was a show full of old friends, new friends and all sorts of goodies to touch, weigh, ride and photograph. If you’re looking for the full set of photos you can find them here. And swing on by to chat to Aaron about all the cool new things coming our way this year!
You might remember our First Impressions of the Xerxes (found Here). We were quite taken with it’s revolutionary way of dealing with icy, slippery streets and paths. So how has it fared after most of a Minnesotan Winter? Not to mention the thaw/rain/freeze/snow cycle we’ve recently found ourselves trapped in.
I’m happy to report that the 45NRTH Xerxes has performed above and beyond the call of duty. As a self-proclaimed year-round Roadie, this is close to (if not) the perfect tire. That said, there are many different conditions and needs that a ‘typical’ Winter Commuter might have. Let’s run those down after the cut –
45NRTH has brought something new to the Studded Tire game. How about a tire that works equally well on ice as it does on pavement? How about a tire that doesn’t ride like a rock and sound like a swarm of angry bees? Welcome to the Xerxes.
It’s a cross tire first and a studded tire second. It’s flexible like a normal tire – even the wire bead 27 TPI version we’re stocking can fold in on itself. You’ll also notice that despite it’s 140 stud count (fairly high up there for a 30c tire) the studs are evenly spaced on either side of the center tread. This, I’ve noticed, leads to two advantages which both have to do with the tire’s suppleness.
1. Crank that puppy up to about 70 or 75 PSI and you’re not going to hear a peep out of those studs. Why? They aren’t directly in contact with the road anymore. The center block lifts them up, lending it to behave almost like a standard road tire. Less rolling resistance than any other 140 studded tire I’ve come across – which isn’t saying a lot – but sure is nice.
2. Let out that air and get down to a 30 or 35 PSI and you’ll talking full on contact (most of the time). You’ll start to hear the studs and here’s the best part – the casing moves and conforms to the terrain. Like I said before – A CX tire with studs. The studs help you out on the glare ice, but when you hit the bumpy stuff you’ll still feel comfortable (or at the very least stay upright).
It’s not perfect for everything, but it gets pretty darn close. It also requires a little more attention than the average studded tire, which is just fine. Just like a CX tire variable pressure is the advantage and it’s been a learning experience figuring out what works for what conditions.
At then end of the day for 90% of what an average MN Winter contains, you’re going to be set with these guys. They excel at the usual clear roads/trails that we’re lucky to have, and help you out if you happen to come across a nasty patch or two.
But as 45NRTH is based locally, we shouldn’t have expected any less! Bravo! Full review up on the Blog shortly.