Monday, August 18, 2008

A Few Observations From The Weekend

With the Trek Show behind me now I have a few observations to make concerning the aftermath and reactions I have seen so far. In no particular order, here they are......

A Bike Ride Sooths All Ills: Some of you industry types will relate to this. There is a lot of fun to be had looking at bikes, talking about bikes, and having bikes as part of your daily job, but riding a bike........ Ahhh! That's where it's at! I got out on the KMFDM (Karate Monkey Fixie Death Machine) yesterday and had a good one. What a relief from all that walking around Monona center and the windshield time to and fro. Whew!

Fisher Road Bikes: I suppose this will be the biggest story out of the Trek World show. I thought it was an odd thing for Trek to do, but after thinking about what some of the Trek and Fisher guys had to say about it, it makes sense. It makes sense in a sort of twisted, non-roadie way. I can totally get into it, if they pull off what they intend to do for 2010, when I hear the real deal will hit the show room floor. It should be a wild ride. As for the line up for '09? Uhh........yeah, the lack of time to get this done shows. I would say, "Don't pass judgement based upon 2009 stuff. Wait till 2010 product rolls out. Then we'll see what cards they are holding.

That said, the '09 stuff is solid, work horse road bike material. It looks flashy, like a Fisher should, I suppose. The highlight for me? The Presidio cyclo-crosser. True Temper steel and cantilever braked goodness. A real cyclo-crosser. Hopefully they can get it out before September is over!

No Carbon Fiber Single Speeder Fo You!!: The employees of Trek and Fisher dealers were offered a special price to get a limited edition Superfly single speed frame, Fox fork, headset, stem, and seat collar. I mean it was a smokin' good deal. One time only, and would not be sold to the public. Exclusive, cheap, carbon fiber........mmmmm! Yeah, well...........I passed it up! Yep! I showed restraint. You can call me nuts if you want to, (and you would if you knew the price), but I have my reasons for letting that one go. And no..............I ain't sharing all of them! I'm just going to say that I am holding out for something spicy that I hope is coming down the pike soon. That's all I'm gonna say!

Bontrager Shoes and Clothing?: In another stunner, Bontrager is now a shoe and clothing company. Sounds goofy? Well, I can't argue that, but the stuff is the real deal folks. I tried on the shoes and they are top notch. They even fit my skinny lil ol tootsies, which in itself is a marvel. Bontrager claims that their research led them to this foot bed/insole concept that they believe will fit the vast majority of riders out there. I say, if they can fit me, and some of the more normal footed brethren out there, mission accomplished! I was impressed.

The clothing was well thought out, but more importantly, it looked like stuff you would want to wear. Nothing goofy, no weird colors, no crazy logo emblazoned jerseys. Just sensible looking stuff. The shorts benefited from the Inform saddle project and their chamois showed it. It doesn't look anything like what I've seen before and features some high tech procedures. It will be interesting to see what riders think of them.

Commuter Me This Riddle, Batman: Commuter bikes are the rage all over and Trek/Fisher are all over this segment. Some bling-a-riffic fluff, (District) and some serious, (Allant) was shown. What wasn't widely known was that Fisher showed a select few dealers a long bike concept called a El Ranchero. Okay, long bike cool, ,,,,,name? Umm, did these guys steal the idea file from Salsa? That name isn't a Fisher kinda name. In fact, it makes m hungry for eggs with green sauce for some reason. is a cool concept and with the right mods, I like the bike. It needs a bit of tweaking though, before it is ready for prime time. You can check out some shots of this rig here. Why doesn't Fisher, or Trek for that matter just do a straight up version of this and get it out there? I don't know, but now is the time, and this is the place.

What's Up With That 29"er Line?: Well, not much news there. The Mamba is a new sub-grand 29"er and it looks pretty hot. The rest of the line gets dressed up in new graphics and colors with a few components custom colored to match. Nice.........but just that. I look for 2010 to be a pivotal year in the Fisher 29"er line. Other 29"er news came out of the Bontrager camp where I found out that a 29"er G2 version of the Switchblade carbon fork is in development and will be for sale by next summer. It's going to be an all new design too. The word is that the the old offset will still be supported too. Also, there was a new, all out, no holds barred racing tire shown called the XR 1. It will be a 1.90 wide tire with an Expert or Dual compound Team version available. Don't expect durability to be it's forte' as I heard that the race team said, "We don't care if it wears out in one race." You can check out my full report on this with pics here.

Okay, that's my take for this morning. First show of the Fall season done. Next up: Eurobike. No, I am not going. I'll just have to watch it all unfold over here like the rest of ya'all!

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