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NAHBS News: Mountain – Boo:

Riding Discipline – Mountain

Boo Bicycles

Boo RS-M29 – bamboo tubes and carbon fiber joints This Boo RS-M29 is the company owner’s personal race bike for the 2012 season. It is meant to be the highest performance 29er Boo has ever created. The full carbon seat mast, oversize down tube, and Press Fit BB30 are designed to optimize the lateral stiffness of the frame. The bamboo tubing has been carefully selected–only the most mature and dense stalks are used. The wall thickness is minimized through a hand-boreing process to eliminate the younger inner material and reduce the weight of each tube while maintaining most of the tube’s strength. The RS-M29 is designed specifically for the K-Edge-modified Shimano Dura Ace Ki2 with only a rear derailleur and single front chainring. The single rear derailleur cable is routed through the Lefty steerer tube and enters the frame inside the head tube. It is not seen again until the rear derailleur, as the battery is integrated into the Lefty’s steerer. A custom carbon fiber single front chainring (32t from Fibre-Lyte) is coupled with a Lightning carbon crank and Experimental Prototype carbon chain guide to minimize weight and maximize stiffness. The 11-36 XX rear cassette enables the racer to tackle steep climbs and roll gradual fire road descents alike. Because no front derailleur is necessary, traditional shifters are not mounted. Instead, custom-made and wired buttons are hidden underneath each grip: right selects a harder gear, while left an easier one. The removal of the front derailleur, the shifting aspects of the levers, and the cables that go along with it results in a significant decrease in mass, as well as reducing the possibility of a dropped chain. The racer no longer needs to look to see if he or she is in the big ring and no adjustment is necessary. The rear brake cable is integrated into the top tube and actually pierces the seat tube before exiting to the rear brake along the seat stay. The frame’s lines are uncluttered by shifting and braking cables, focusing the bicycle’s purpose and distilling its components to the bare minimum. The full-carbon 34.9mm seat tube and seat mast increase the frame’s torsional rigidity and drivetrain responsiveness. The bending stiffness of the seat tube is one of the largest factors in the frame’s lateral stiffness, and the full-carbon tube is stiffer than a normal Boo bamboo stalk. However, the seat tube is not directly connected to either front or rear wheels, and therefore does not negatively affect the ride quality–this is one of Boo’s greatest design requirements for the RS-M29. The drastically oversized top tube and head tube are implemented to resist the greater torsional loads placed on a 29er’s frame by the wide handlebars, large wheels, and strong 180mm front brake. The head tube is sized specifically to run a Cannondale Lefty front fork natively–the Lefty is renowned as the stiffest, lightest all-out XC race fork on the market and is a key feature of this RS-M29. The travel is quite plush, the steering precision is unmatched by any other fork on the market, and its form truly follows its function. The Boo RS-M29 is the culmination of over three years of design refinement and testing in professional races around the US. It is not simply a bamboo bike–it is a bamboo-carbon fiber hybrid which melds both manmade and synthetic composites to optimize the racer’s experience, no matter what the conditions.

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