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Monday, August 16, 2010

The ultimate marketing con job?

Got to love these comments regarding high tech bicycles in relation to this article


Bastards the lot of them.......

This tour of France is the ultimate marketing conjob.....

Lets see how they go on their dandylion race bikes, IF they only have the ONE bike for the complete trip, with the ONE set of wheels and tyres for the whole trip; AND they have to carry all their own spares for the entire trip - and repair their own flats......

I was at a Wanky bike shop a while back - and the bike shop dude goes, "See these racing bike sun glasses - they cost $350".

I said "See these excellent quality light weight wrap around impact resistant industrial safety glasses - they cost $7".


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Half a century ago steel framed bikes were pushing the 9 kilo weight. And that was with Campi cranks etc. Remember those solid classics? HEAVY but forever stuff. The components anyway, though the frames i rode were pretty amazaingly durable what with my downhill and beach trashing. Anyway, what have we progressed? ah the price we expect to pay has broken all records and, ah....we've given up lots of durability for a few grams off here and there. In my mind the only weight woth paying to remove would be the spinning wheels- tires and rims. The flywheels parts. I'm not into plastic bearings weekly and that sort like i see so many kids shelling out for.

And the real point was to agree with BAS that the recumbent, or in any case the velo (enclosed) is the logical direction. The relevant fact is that at 20 mph over 90% of a cyclists blood sweat and calories are spent fighting the wind. Only the small remainder is internal and tire losses, chains over the wheels of deraileurs etc. Yes, 9/10 of our energy is thrown to the wind. But cyclists seem to be very traditionally hidebound. Any new material as long as its a diamond frame or such and open to the vagaries of weather. Same mindset as those my age who suddenly need Harleys or little red Italian spotsters etcetcetc....ego and image. My apologies to the simplicity folk who haul groceries etc and tour. And a laugh at the 20-30 something testosterones who try to run everything down on our local paths while pretending they are very important raciners in training. Its that sort that keeps cycling from progressing and growing as an alternative to the car . By keeping design stodgy, they inhibit real market growth.

But at least they pay FULL retail ey?

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Maybe the rider should be put into an aerodynamic package too if streamlining bike frames makes any sense. Just consider the following: at 30 or 40 K/mh forward speed a crosswind of 10 to 15 K/mh throws off the headwind enough to change the direction from straigth forward (as in the windtunnel) requiring different aerodynamic shape to remain efficient. Add the disturbance in the air of the riders legs and body and you have a turbulent situation in which any reduction of drag due to aerodynamic shaping is mostly lost. At the speeds we cycle its better to look at mechanical efficiency. Aerodynamic shaping is more a cosmetic aspect, where a rider might gain half a second because he feels he has an advantage...

A real aerodynamic advantage can be had with a recumbent bike. But these dont look good and the international professional cycling crowd has banned recumbent designs. Why? Beause recumbent bikes are really much more logical and would throw international competition into turmoil.

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