Friday, May 20, 2022

Friday News And Views

Apidura Racing Handlebar Pack Image courtesy of Apidura.

Are Handlebar Packs becoming A Thing For Racing?

Last year I tested a handlebar bag from Craft Cadence which wasn't listed as a product for racing, but I suppose you could use it for that. It was a nice handle bar bag, but it had one issue I did not appreciate. The bag rested on the head tube on its bottom edge causing paint rub-through. 

I didn't think about it again until I came across this idea for a handlebar bag from Apidura which is listed as a product for racing on gravel.

I have no axe to grind with Apidura, and the idea for a bag like this is a valid one which I think is interesting. However; it would appear to my eyes that Apidura made the same mistake that Craft Cadence did with their design and allowed the bottom edge of the bag to contact the head tube of the bicycle. I really have a hard time thinking that this Apidura bag would not provide similar results to the Craft Cadence bag I tried. 

And furthermore, Apidura suggests that this is a good idea for racing? Hmm...... Not from an aerodynamic perspective, it isn't. I think perhaps long, unsupported cycling trips are where something like this shines. Somewhere that aero issues are not such a big deal. Or- Maybe the "racing" part of the name is merely there to make us think we are faster if we use such a bag? Anyway, I don't see this idea catching on with folks that are at the start line of gravel races. Top tube bags and half frame bags make more sense to me if you need storage space off your body. 

And yet there is that paint rub-through thing happening (possibly) with a bag design like this. Hmm.... Fix that and I'm interested. 

Update On Trans Iowa Stories:

As I wind down the telling of the tales behind the final Trans Iowa, I am starting to see where this is heading as far as exactly how I will wrap up the Trans Iowa Stories series. 

Originally I thought I would be done.."by late Spring or June", but that was overly optimistic, as it turns out. I think I'll blast right through June and July will probably be the month when I wrap up things. Maybe this will dip into August.

Then it is going to be a deal where I have to figure out a book, or someone suggested an audio reading of the series. That could easily be done via podcast. We will see when I get there. I have to wrap things up first.

I wanted to give you readers a heads up who have found that series interesting. The end is near! Ha! Anyway, after that series wraps up I am going to do one on the Guitar Ted Death Ride series of events which won't be quite as long, I dare say, but no less interesting. So, don't despair if you like gravel road riding tales. I have more and the GTDRI will have several interesting ones. I may even delve into routes and route finding philosophy. The other feature that many do not know about the GTDRI is that the ride figured into recon for Trans Iowa several times as well. 

So look forward to that later this year.

The Esker Ti Japhy frame.
Esker Goes Ti:

News broke on Tuesday of this week that Esker is releasing titanium versions of their Japhy and Hayduke titanium models. The following is from their press release:

We focus on building the best riding bikes, continually improving, and tuning our ride quality with the various material and design components. When we decided to bring out our hardtail models in titanium, we concentrated on keeping the qualities that riders and reviewers love but took it a step forward by designing the bikes from scratch and using seamless, butted, and cold-shaped 3/2.5 titanium tubing." Said Esker Founder and CEO Tim Krueger.

The Japhy is the 29"er model and can take tires up to 2.8" wide. The Hayduke can do either 27.5 or 29"ers, but is aimed more at the 27.5" user. Both titanium frames will feature 'versatile braze-ons', a custom titanium chain stay yoke, and will come with a bead blasted finish with rainbow anodized graphics. Frames will ship with a Wolf Toth through axle, rocker style "Portage" drop outs, Wolf Tooth seat collar and head set. Cost for a frame set is $2300.00USD and both bikes can be set up as completes. Learn more at 

News photo image showing container broken into.
Another Theft Of New Bikes:

Authorities reported that on May 12th a 40 foot container filled with new bicycles from Merida was broken into at a trucking facility near Felixstowe, Southampton, UK. Thieves broke the seals on the container and reportedly made off with 133 bicycles. 

Several bicycle industry media companies reported on the theft. It is another in an alarming trend seen since the pandemic-induced demand and supply chain issues have made getting bicycles difficult. Furthermore, those issues and the current inflationary climate make it so that thieves can turn these bicycles over on the black market for a handsome profit. 

Authorities are asking consumers to look out for any suspicious listings of Merida models including Big Trail 400 & 600 models,Scultura 400's, and Speeder 100 bikes.  

The facility where the theft occurred has security cameras and everything was done according to protocols concerning the container handling. Thieves still made off with most of the 210 bicycles in the container. 

DeMarchi Dues Ex Machina Portals jersey. Image courtesy of DeMarchi
Is This The "New Rapha"?

My opinions and impressions of Rapha in the beginning of their run as a cycling clothing provider were that they had a penchant for romanticizing  the 'classic' road cycling past. Their clothing was a reflection of that, being a stylized interpretation of classically inspired clothing, but with a modern take. 

Let me know if you think I got that wrong, but that is my impression of what Rapha was all about. 

Now days I feel like that feeling of romanticized classicism of mostly European road racing has been muted, if not lost, in Rapha's presentations of recent times. They still have a premium price, that hasn't changed. To be fair, Rapha has its own look and feel. They sponsor current semi-Pro and Pro road teams. And they offer fully modernized looks alongside their very simple signature looks. Good stuff, I am sure, but it is different than it was in their beginnings. 

So, I bring this up because DeMarchi, and Italian manufacturer of high-end cycling wear, just launched a US portal for their merchandise. Ironically their Heritage Collection is kind of what Rapha was hearkening back to with their original range, but Demarchi isn't taking an inspiration, and trying to interpret that. DeMarchi is just presenting their past, which is, perhaps, a bit more authentic. 

They are expensive as well, but I think the historical look is interesting and a fun way to enjoy the history of cycling. Of course, DeMarchi has a full line of cycling clothing to choose from, including stuff listed under the ubiquitous "Gravel" category. So, if you aren't into the historical deal, then you have other choices.  

But come on now- You gotta admit wearing a jersey that says "Dues Ex Machina" is pretty cool. 

That's a wrap for this week. I hope you all get in a ride or two and stay safe! Thank you for reading Guitar Ted Productions! 


DT said...

Definitely looking forward to the GTDRI series, maybe even moreso than the TI series. I would say mostly because I feel like I've heard some of the TI content before, but not nearly as much of the death ride stuff!

Guitar Ted said...

@DT - Thanks! yes, there is a lot of untold story stuff which will be fun to share. I am looking forward to it as well.

Zed F. said...

I don't race, but I got a small Topeak Compact bar bag after a loose Velcro strap from my saddle bag ate a hole in my favorite shorts. I'm not going back.