It's Friday! Sadly, I've had a splitting headache the past two days that is bad enough to blur my vision... so this will be a short post with minimal commentary...
These were all over the place! In Friedrichshafen, where we stayed as well, the bike racks were full of these. They are free loaners and pretty darned cool. Lots of people were using them too... so if anybody from Interbike happens upons this post... hint, hint...
Cinelli stills makes some of the prettiest looking bikes around. All of their carbon bikes were simply stunning. I will always have a soft spot for these bikes... even though (just like my bikes) they are now made in Asia (along with several Colnago models and other Italian brands... but I digress).
I have to admit a soft spot for the Orbea bikes too. This new TT rig is pretty slick, even with all the weird angles. In some ways, it hardly looks like a bike... but it's still cool. The most unique feature was the saddle with built in bottle holder for the tri crowd. I wish I'd taken a better picture of just the saddle... because it is pretty wild looking.
Now for some of the cool bits and pieces...
In case you haven't heard (if you've been in a cave or under a rock), SRAM has a new component group coming... it's light (less than 2000gm), it's expensive (more than Dura Ace) and it's dead sexy!
It's been a while since I've gone on a SRAM bender... but it's time to do it again. This stuff is amazing! Truly... the shifting is super smooth and precise. The shifting bugs in the front shifter (lack of ability to trim the front derailleur to prevent chain rub) has been fixed, the bearings are ceramic (lighter and smoother- but durability is debatable), the crank is lighter and stiffer, the shifter reach is adjustable, the cable routing can be in front of or behind the handlebar (like Campagnolo) and the entire group is lighter. I can pleasantly say that I have had nearly zero issues with my Rival group that I began testing last year. The shifting has remained very precise. The wear has been very good. The only complaint I've had so far has been with the crankset/ bottom bracket- the seals are so tight on the bearings that the crankset does not seem to spin freely and has not loosened over all the months of riding and the non-drive crank arm was constantly loosening. I fixed the crank arm issue by regreasing the contact points and retightening very tightly, however the BB still feels stiff. That said, I am still very happy with the performance of the group and am anxiously awaiting the chance to get my hands on a Red group to test on an extended basis.
Nearly every road brand at the show offered a Red equipped bike. Last year, when the Force and Rival groups first came out, that was not the case. Clearly SRAM has made their case and gained some serious industry support. I have very good friends at Shimano and absolutely love the product they and Campagnolo produce... but SRAM is doing a lot of the right things and Japan and Italy need to really pay attention to what the folks in Chicago are cooking up.
All of that said, it would be foolish to ignore the big dog on the block, Shimano.
The new carbon Dura Ace crankset is awfully pretty... but rumor has it, it will be very not-cheap.
Another rumor has it that the cranks are very, very stiff though.
On top of the really cool stuff that Shimano does, they have the PRO branded parts as well. These are parts designed by the Europe side of the Shimano family... and they are awesome. The stuff ranges from simple bars and stems to incredible wheels and other accessories like sunglasses, etc. It's a big product offering.
They make some really danged cool stuff and I hope to get my mitts on some of it to beat up on. You never know what might end up on a bike...
Ok, I surrender. The headache wins and I am calling it quits for now.
More later... I promise.