Friday, July 03, 2020

Friday News And Views

New Spinergy GXX gravel wheels
Spinergy Launches New Carbon GXX Gravel Wheels:

Last year I got to test out a set of Spinergy GX gravel wheels with the company's famous PBO fiber spokes. The wheels presented a different take on spokes which, in my view, do have a positive effect on ride quality for the gravel rider.

The one knock on the Spinergy offerings, in my view, was that their carbon rimmed model featured a now-too-skinny inner rim width. Well, now Spinergy has introduced a wheel set which addresses this shortcoming and more with the Carbon GXX wheels.

The new GXX features a trendy 24mm inner rim dimension and a foam-filled carbon rim construction, which Spinergy claims is more adept at absorbing gravel road induced vibrations than a typical carbon gravel rim would. Claimed weight is around 1500gms and the MSRP on the GXX wheel set is marked at $999.00USD.

The aluminum version which I tested actually weighs slightly less, so I suppose the benefit here would be that foam-filled carbon rim damping claim. Same PBO spokes, so no change there. The hubs are now Center Lock, but otherwise the same. It would be interesting to compare and contrast the new GXX with the GX wheels. I happen to still have those GX wheels around as long-term test mules, so it could be a possibility.

No- It isn't 2000 calling. These are making a come-back in 2020!
Shimano Announces Retro-RAGBRAI Footwear Comeback:

If you could suddenly transport yourself back about 20 years to late July in Iowa and find yourself on RAGBRAI, you would have noticed a bunch of the folks you were riding with were using a new cycling specific sandal from Shimano.

Back in the day, I remember a Shimano shoe representative telling us that Shimano almost killed off the sandal because the only place it ever really sold was in the Mid-West. Outside of RAGBRAI, it was dead to the world, for the most part, according to this man, and I've heard similar tales since. Eventually, Shimano did discontinue these and introduced another model in its place which featured three straps and that was immediately panned by the folks who had purchased the originals.

Many went as far as patching up their old Shimano sandals with shoe-goo and pieces of glued on rubber on the soles until they were rotting away. I recall several cyclists locally that swore by the things and were heartbroken when they finally had to give them up. But, as they say, "That was That", and time marched on. I figured these things were simply a footnote of the past. But oh no! I was sooooo wrong!

Apparently, according to the Shimano press release, a pair surfaced recently in Vietnam, of all places, and they were in supposed "mint" condition. (Odd word that- "mint"- to describe an object in pristine condition) Anyway, supposedly these odd sandals fetched the princely sum of $900.00 at auction, prompting Shimano to take a closer look. Apparently, Shimano feels it is worthwhile to issue a reproduction of the sandal for sale coming available in late October of this year. Available in sizes 38-48, the retro-tastic sandals are to retail for $130.00, but will be available only once in a limited run.

The Tweet sent out by Sea Otter announcing the cancellation of the 2020 event.
 Sea Otter Cancels for 2020:

Sea Otter, which had been postponed until September of 2020 from its original April date, has now completely called off any event for 2020. least in the real world. 

They did announce a "Sea Otter Play" digital based event where virtual trade show booths will be shared and event challenges folks can do on their own where they live are going to be issued. Part of the ride challenges will be a fundraiser for COVID-19 relief efforts.

The "Sea Otter Play" event will happen virtually online in September.

Comments: Not at all surprised by this what with the uptick in cases this Summer. But what I take away from this announcement is two things. First- Does holding virtual trade shows work? Let's say there is some measure of success to be tangibly felt in terms of impact and dollars from holding a virtual show. If that turns out to be the case, what becomes of having live events like trade shows in the future? There is a lot of upside, in terms of cost savings, to the industry to have a show be virtual and not 'in-person' where travel expenses, shipping, and booth production costs could possibly be eliminated. Of course, there is the intangible, personal face-to-face thing, which is hard to deny, but.....

It's an intriguing idea, and considering how this pandemic is radicalizing our world, I don't think this idea is all that far fetched.

Secondly- If Sea Otter, a big social gathering and racing scene, is cancelling, what do you do if you are one of those bigger gravel events, like the soon-to-be renamed DK200? My take is- and especially for the DK200- is to just call it all off. I see no reason at all to risk having COVID-19 shared amongst unwitting riders who then take it home to who knows who. Small, locally generated gatherings? Maybe. I'd say under 100, have no pre-event gatherings or post-event gatherings and provide staggered start time options. But you know, do what ya gotta do folks. I'm just a guy in Iowa......

I've cancelled anything for 2020. I'm almost of the mind that someone on Twitter said they were considering. That being to never again go to any gravel event that decides to go ahead with a 2020 event. In cases like the old DK200, it is unconscionable to think you can have upwards of 2000 plus folks (if they would come anyway) in Emporia, Kansas and expose those citizens to whatever possibilities of COVID-19 all these folks bring with them. I think that is reckless thinking to feel that any event on that scale, or even a tenth of that scale, could get away with that idea without causing some issues.

That's all for this week. Have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend- if you are coming here from the US. otherwise, keep the rubber side down and get in a ride or three!

1 comment:

graveldoc said...

I totally agree with cancellation of DK events. I know many participants in the past have come from the Kansas City area which is a Covid hot spot. Would seem like a storm waiting to happen. I know Emporia has relied on the event for added revenue but that won't do any good if many of their citizens fall seriously ill. Hopefully everything will level out soon and all can look forward to a better 1021.