Today the Wide Open product kicks off. Wide Open kingpin Matt Whitaker has shifted the launch from the regular location of Rotorua, and so we're currently set up in the Copthorne Resort in Queenstown where it's a clear, sunny day. Tomorrow we head up to the Skyline gondola for a day of riding and sandwiches.
First up is the Gravity Lite crankset. It's now in a new 7050 grade aluminum. It's hollow-forged, which makes it light and super solid. Brook MacDonald has been running them on his World Cup bike this season.
Chris King was new to Wide Open this January. All Chris King product is made in-house, which means they're able to maintain higher levels of environmental awareness. All the swarf from the machining processes is retained and recycled. The hubs and bottom brackets have a five year warranty, and are very simple to service. They don't use sealed bearings, so it's easy to pull them to pieces and pack them with new grease (the BB has a tool that allows for easy grease replacement). BBs are available in both steel and ceramic bearing models for both SRAM and Shimano crank configurations.
MRP 2x guide. Caleb has had one on his bike for a while, and it's a charm on the now very fashionable two chainring configuration. Under 140g weight (with skid plate; you can remove the skidplate to save another 40g). Plus they're available in a bunch of colours.
ODI are still one of the strongest players on planet grip. This photo doesn't really do justice to the assault on your eyes that the fluoro orange Troy Lee grip brings.
ODI also have these excellent fork bumpers to replace your boring old stock bumper. They were designed by Brent Foes (Wide Open head honcho Matt Whitaker used to work for Brent back in the day). There are models for the three major manufacturers (888, Boxxer and 40s), in four colours. They're slightly lower profile than a stock bumper, so you'll get a slightly tighter turning circle. They've also got loops so that you can easily zip-tie a raceplate on.
Tioga have a new addition to the Psycho Genius range. The Venture is available in sizes up to 2.5", and has a more open tread pattern than last year's version. The model we saw had a super-soft rubber compound that will be stickier than a sticky thing. Tioga also have the zero pedal, possibly the world's thinnest flat pedal. It's 7mm at its thickest point.
Finally, we've got Marzocchi. Marzocchi has sorted the quality issues that plagued their line-up from a couple of years ago. The 2011 888 Evo Ti and 55Ti were really well regarded by us here at Spoke. The 2012 888 Evo Ti now comes in white, with a new compression shim stack. But most interestingly they're now running an international standard (Boxxer) bolt mount pattern, so you can fit aftermarket stems.
Matt has flown all the crew in for the week. Expect to see more killer shots from Team Wide Open over the coming months.