Thursday, April 26, 2012

Innovate or Replicate

Merriam Webster:
Innovate: to introduce as or as if new
Replicatebeing the same as another (duplicate)
Sometimes the line between the two is pretty fine.  Can something look the similar and be totally different, or if it looks the same, does it work the same?  While I enjoy watching the patent legal battles between Samsung and Apple... this is something cycling runs into all the time... everything is made from the same big five carbon manufacturers so how do you be different?  Slowtwitch recently did a great article on "Patents Effects on Tri Products".  Having been part of the cycling community the last 12 years, I like to notice when somebody tries to bring something genuinely new to the table.
A recent "innovation" has been the 'aero road bike'.  For me, it's the absolute best of both worlds and it seems like each company has one now and it's tough to see who's best.

Cervelo forged the path with the Soloist. For me this the S1 is one of the fastest bikes I've ever written back in 2002... loved it.  Now with the new carbon offering of the S5, it "looks" the most aero, but is it really the best?  The price point is certainly as deep as the rear wheel cut-out and for me, something of this price should be ready to rock a road race or a tri 'out of the box'.  However the needing to buy a second seat post with a steeper seat angle is a little bit annoying.  For $2800 for a 1250g frame they can't throw in an extra seat post (let alone $5,900 for the VWD FRAME)?  It doesn't end the world but would be a bit nice.

Here's the next most famous / newest aero road bikes:
BH - G5  //  Bianchi - Oltre  //  Blue - AC  //  Boardman - AR Road  //  Canyon - Aero CF  //  Felt - AR Series  //  Fuji - SST  //  Litespeed - C1  //  MCipollini - RB1000  //  Kestrel - Talon SL  //  Ridley - Noah  //  Specialized - Venge  //  Scott - Foil  //  Stevens - SLR  //  Time - Ulteam  //

Fuji Aloha 78 Degree SeatpostPersonally, I have a Fuji SST 2.0 from 2009 and it has served me well.  The fit hasn't always been my best friend.  Usually I like to race a 56cm frame, but was often on a 120 - 130 stem, so opted for a 59cm frame to try and "have more frame under me".  This lead to two learning experiences.  1) if it ain't broke don't fix it... 2) Fuji is an innovator.  Check out this seat post - moves the seat clamp from 73 - 78 degrees.  So while I can race road at 74, when it's tri time, I can move myself ALL the way forward and save the legs for the last run.  #genius

What do you think of Aero Road bikes?  Got one? Want one?

1 comment:

  1. In 2005, I had a Kestrel Talon SL and it fit me great, it was fast in every way and I loved it.