Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Wednesday News And Views

 NOTE: There has been a lot of news percolating up since last week's "FN&V" post which I didn't want to hold over a week for this Friday. So, you get a rare "Wednesday News and Views"! I hope that you all enjoy it!

Did this KHS catalog entry reveal the new mechanical 105 group?
Possible Shimano Mech 12spd 105 Leak:

Last week several cycling websites were speculating over an image and spec sheet first revealed on "Bicycling" which showed a KHS road bike with what would appear as a 12 speed mechanical 105 group. 

Sleuths pointed to the brake/shift levers as evidence here and that the spec list shows a heretofore unknown Shimano part number for them. Many of the other 12 speed parts like the chain and cassette could be crossovers from other Shimano 12 speed groups currently in production. 

Comments: That Shimano would do this makes sense with current offerings and historically, as Shimano often "trickles down" range topping tech features to lower tiered group sets over time. So, as far as the existence of this, I find it completely plausible and probable. 

But the unsaid things here bear thinking about. If true, the 12 speed 105 mechanical group set completes the demise of 11 speed road based componentry from Shimano's range unless there is also a new Tiagra or equivalent new level road group in the wings. Could it be that Tiagra and Sora will be 11 and 10 speed groups? This would also make sense, and it would spell the complete demise of 9 speed from the Shimano performance range. 

It also bears watching in terms of a new GRX which also could be a 12 speed group. If GRX doesn't go to 12, then that would remain as Shimano's lone 11 speed offerings that could be purposed to the road side. 

Also, keep in mind this Shimano news (found at the bottom of that FN&V post) which could also be a part of all of this. 

Note; Image of the KHS bike is assumed to have been the one found on the KHS website that has since been redacted. 

Snip from Amprio's homepage.
SRAM Purchases German eBike Motor Company:

Also last week, it was reported that SRAM has taken ownership of a German based eBike motor company called Amprio

SRAM has been working on an eBike motor design as seen by this report filed last Summer in "Bicycle Retailer and Industry News". While the motor shown in that report does not appear to be similar to that image I have shown from Amprio's webpage, that really doesn't mean anything. 

Comments: Shimano has a multi-year leg up on SRAM when it comes to motorized bicycle parts and engines. It only makes sense that SRAM would push into this segment of component design and manufacture and especially so with the booming eBike/HPC market world-wide. SRAM, although off the back in terms of an offering in this segment, has the advantage of having a complete drive train/brake/wheel offering already in the range ready to go here. Other automobile and independent companies in this market cannot say that. In fact, it is rumored that when this motor is released by SRAM it will come complete with an electronically shifted and controlled group that will all run off the single battery for the motor, thus cutting down on batteries needed to run an electronic based bicycle, (moped, motorcycle.... You decide.)

Alec White of White Industries (Image courtesy of White industries)

White Industries Takes Over Rolf Prima/Astral:

White Industries, makers of US manufactured hubs, cranks, head sets and more, announced last Friday that the company had taken ownership of Rolf Prima/Astral, the wheel maker based in Oregon. 

The companies will remain as separate entities for the time being with Rolf Prima/Astral owner Brian Roddy moving on to "other ventures" for the future. 

Comments: I like White Industries hubs a lot, and I have a set of their cranks on one of my bicycles which work great as well. I've used their hubs on wheel builds and I own a set which are on my OS Bikes Blackbuck currently. I have always been pretty impressed with their goods. 

Rolf Prima has been making wheels for quite some time. Their "Paired Spoke" technology was pretty well regarded, (Bontrager's take on the design? Not so much), and Rolf Prima continues to make well regarded wheel sets. With the addition on Astral a few years ago, traditional wheel sets in aluminum were also made available. Now with White Industries, who were already making the hubs for Rolf's premium wheels, they will have a nice synergy and offerings for the future.

 That's a wrap on this Randomonium

No comments: