Sunday, July 27, 2008

Super Record...

This bike was one of the bikes I really wanted to ride while at the 2009 Specialized launch. The 2009 S-Works Roubaix SL2, it just happened to be a bonus that one of two bikes available equipped with Campagnolo Super Record one was a SL2 in my size!

The new Roubaix SL2 borrows some key technologies last years Tarmac SL2 - over sized lower bearing at the headtube/fork junction, Specialized also moves the bearing upward in the frame to transfer the load directly into the downtube and allows for a smooth transition at the fork crown. This gives the Roubaix SL2 a much more precise front end. I feel that the new front end and carbon layup schedule gives the Roubaix SL2 a very much needed boost in performance. The front end is more precise and the bottom bracket is much stiffer resulting in better energy transfer to the cranks and a livelier feeling frame,while retaining its unmatched vertical compliance. That said the Roubaix is still more of a Cadillac cruiser style bike, perfect for some of this guys rides - long gravel road grinders with plenty of climbing and a few heated sign sprints. The longer wheelbase of the Roubaix gives it a very stable feeling, the flip side of that is you really need to think about setting up this bike for turns - more of a carving feeling vs. the point and shoot feeling of the Tarmac. That said the new Roubaix just may be the perfect bike for a lot of riders out there - unbelievable all day comfort with a performance pedigree that will make you ride faster than you ever thought you could!

Super Record. Well it lived up to all of my expectations! I was on the fence about the appearance/ergonomics, but refused to have an opinion until I had held it in my hand. Campagnolo nailed it on the lever shape it is obvious they thought about and looked at how cyclist ride when on the hoods. They inward sloping hook on the hood melts into your hand and feels very natural, it makes you feel like you could ride tempo at the front of the peleton all day long. Campy also redesigned the lever itself by increasing the length, providing a more ergonomic sweeping motion to the shift lever, and a nice hooked end to the brake lever that is easier to reach in the drops. The front derailleur is further refined form the previous Quick Shift version requiring even less force to shift while maintaining a very precise feel. 11 speed say what you will, but it didn't miss a shift. I didn't stop to count the cassette to see the range, I never felt out of gear climbing the pass towards Vail with a standard 53/39 up front and could tell the closer gear spacing while shifting through the flats. Do you need 11 cogs on the rear, well no you really only need one, but 11 allows for a closer ratio with quicker shifts. Everyone thought 10 speed was too much and durability would be a factor, but that hasn't really been the case, so time will tell if 11 speed will rule the road. One thing is for certain, I am waiting to see the inside of a the new levers to find out if I can put a 10 speed index ratchet in to retrofit it to my current 10 speed drivetrain - those levers RULE!

A surprise on the Roubaix SL2 was the wheelset. I didn't catch it until I was returning the bike, but it was equipped with the yet to be released ALX tubeless wheels. This is a joint project between Specialized and Campagnolo. The wheels utilize a Campy tubeless rim, Specialized spoke pattern and DT Swiss made hubs. Campy uses their magnetic inserted nipple system to keep the rim free of holes. Specilaized will be the first company to offer a complete wheel and tire that are road tubeless compatible when these hit finally hit the market. I thought I was riding a tubular wheelset the entire time of my test ride on this bike the ride was that nice. I had ridden a different Roubaix SL2 previously so I new it was the wheels and not the frame I was feeling. I was pleasantly surprised to find out they were tubeless. This was my first ride on road tubeless and it did feel like I was riding nice tubulars, handling and comfort were noticalby better than my previous ride on the same bike with standard tires. As road tubeless gains speed it will become a very viable option in the market much as MTB tubeless has once rim and tire options have caught up with the technology.

Stay tuned for some info on the new Carbon Epic...

Monday, July 21, 2008

But this one goes to 11...

So I am lucky enough to be at Copper Mountain for the 2009 Specialized Dealer Product launch. Today was my lucky day - SUPER RECORD ROUBAIX SL2. Yep I rode it, rode it good. You will have to wait until I get back for all the juicy details, but lets just say you should start saving your pennies now. If it is possible to retrofit 10 speed internals into the levers - Oh Man I will be in heaven. I also rode a Tarmac SL2 with new Dura Ace 7900 - underwhelmed by the group and wowed by the frame. Pics and such when I get home.

The 2009 Specialized line looks good so far, lots of carbon and trickle down technology, but still not a "race platform" cross bike. No new 29"er platform, I was really hoping they would pull out an Epic 29"er. If all goes well tomorrow I will score a ride on a 2009 Epic even if it is a baby wheel bike it still looks sweet.

mmmm super record.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I WILL podium at the Cross State Championships.
I WILL finish in the top 5 in the Masters Overall Series.
I WILL finish in the money at JingleCross.

...there I said it.

...more importantly I believe it.

What are your goals? Keeping them to yourself doesn't count. Tell someone, write it down where others can see, this gives them life and makes you more motivated to succeed.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Over/Under LT intervals in the rain at 6am. Ahh I love riding in a warm rain!

Kit order number two is going in soon. If you need some Jackalope in your life find this guy, chase someone down wearing the kit, or hit me up. But you better act soon, this is the last time to get the first edition My Wife Inc kit. Cross season is coming get yourself ready.

enjoy the weather.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


I hear the timing of this tire is not going to be good for cross season. Sounds to me like they will not be out in time for the start of the season, also sounds like the tread may still be a prototype at this point.

Still on the search for some more info on the Challenge Fango tire...

Someone needs to make a 23mm wide 32 hole aluminium tubular rim - wouldn't that be nice.

Cross season is coming time to hunt down all those "necessities"

enjoy the hunt..

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

So this showed up...

A couple of weeks ago this showed up on my doorstep. What exactly do you do with such a thing? It has been hanging up at the shop with the jerseys from the teams that we sponsor. I feel a little like it should have a giant asterisks on it, really can there be a Cat 4 state champ? I raced half the season in the fours but couldn't cat up so I raced with the Masters. I was still 5th overall in the the series for Cat 4 after only doing half the races. I am glad to see they changed the upgrade rules for cross - but what effect will it have on regional series. Any racer who is doing well points wise in a series, especially in the 4's and 3's, should most likely receive an automatic upgrade before the series is over. (2 wins = auto upgrade)

Whatever the case may be I was the fastest that day in that race and as a result I got a jersey.

So as my friend Shope would say "Now what?'

Well it's time to make some goals for this season. I accomplished what I wanted last year and the plan started earlier this year. I am focusing on having another productive season with some good results.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Buy Local...

I have dubbed July my personal "Buy Local" month. Working in a locally owned independent bike shop I have to deal with "internet shoppers" every day who make purchases online then come to me to install or fix problems with said products, which I do with a smile and a fee. When, if they had made the purchase at the shop they would get the smile free of charge. So it got me thinking about my own personal buying habits. I am not an internet shopper, but I due frequent a chain grocery store and restaurants, Target, etc. What about the little guy who passion isn't bikes but pizza, coffee, baking, selling hardware supplies, or what have you. They face similar issues to the LBS, squeezing out buy mega marts and the intraweb. So I have made the commitment to buy locally all month. I am trying to make it exclusive for the month of July. The general conception about small locally owned businesses, is they are more expensive. I am not so sure this is the case, many big box stores lure you in with loss leaders to make you think you are saving money everywhere in the store, when in fact you may not be. Sure you have to think about where you are going to shop, but that is part of the adventure to see if all of your needs can be fulfilled by a local proprietor. The misses wants some new curtain rods, where does one buy curtain rods locally?

think about where you are going and who it may effect - support your local businesses, for a day, a week, a month, it's good karma!