Friday, May 19, 2023

Friday News And Views

Shimano RX6 Flint Hills Edition "Moonlight" Shoes:

Shimano recently sent me a pair of these RX6 gravel shoes from their Flint Hills Edition collection. They look so much like RX8's I thought that they were RX8's at first! But no - they are different. Very subtly different. 

The shoes feature a greenish hue on one side which I guess is supposed to be a rendition of "moonlight" in a dark night sky. To me it seems more like the sickly greenish hue of the flowers described by Tokien when he wrote about the Morgul Vale

But "moonlight".......okay. 

Anyway, they are pretty cool shoes and the really neat detail to my mind is the course trace which is supposedly based off of the DK200/Unbound. 

I'm going to pop a set of cleats on these soon and I'll be back with what I think makes these different from the RX8's I have and really like. The differences are subtle, as I said, but how that translates during riding, I don't know yet. So stay tuned....

Inventory At Record Levels Spells Deeper Discounts At Retail;

Keeping an eye on the cycling scene at retail and wholesale has been quite the roller coaster ride for the past several years. A recent report from "Bicycle Retailer and Industry News" has revealed that we are in unprecedented times. 

According to the report authored by Rick Vosper, the cycling industry is "sitting on three quarters of a billion dollars of inventory." For some context to that, inventory levels pre-pandemic were far less. The report claims that current levels are at 181% of those that were reported in 2018. 

Translation: We've never seen anything like this before. 

According to the article, even deeper discounts than have been offered are probably going to occur, depending upon weather and economic activity. If the industry is still in trouble in August, we may see crazy days-like deals on bicycles and accessories. 

And the fall-out from that, if it happens, will be historic as well. Stay tuned.....

More Gab About Bikepacking:

N.Y. Roll and I just released another "Guitar Ted Podcast" this week. The subject was bikepacking, once again, because we feel this is becoming more of a thing with gravel riders. 

The racing part is becoming more and more about mid to elite level athletes and many are feeling events are focusing more on these riders and leaving the rest out. It used to be about overcoming a challenge, stretching yourself, and fun for everyone. 

Now? It's becoming more about results and how the event makes you feel at the finish line. The challenge part is being neutered and in some case, removed altogether in the name of ......whatever. I'm not sure why an event like Unbound would dismiss time cut-offs, but yeah.... 

Anyway, all that is not a lot of people's idea of "fun" anymore so they have taken up camping, overnights, and mixing it in with cycling in rural areas which is low-key, can be a challenge in a new, different way, and be as long or short as you want it to be. 

So, we thought some more gab about bikepacking was in order. You can listen in here if you like, or wherever you get your podcast feed from.

That's it for this week. Get out and ride! Thank you for reading Guitar Ted Productions

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