Campy EPS is about SRAM

Getting over my “servo-motor meh” about Campy EPS to write something and it’s this from an earlier tweet. Retweet

It’s a long way from a media launch in Sicily to a bike shop near you. Campy’s success is tied to local bike shop mechanics, they working that channel?

There’s an Elephant Graveyard for Bikes and kit from failed launches, cause the companies and the industry didn’t vet it with the bike-shop gatekeepers. Campy’s electronic shifting could install itself and warn you with a text message when the chain is about to fail. Not without the support of your mechanic, it won’t.

After a Jungle Pedicure, Tarzan take Jane to Bike Graveyard where servo motors are worth their weight in ivory

This opinion has nothing to do with a platform choice. Drivetrains works so well these days, at the high end, it doesn’t matter which you pick – it’s a matter of what you like and, ya know, “do what’cha like.”

I’m talking ‘bout how Campy’s relevance waned with their decisions to require, special and super expensive tools and relegate themselves to the disposable income bracket. They also don’t play well with others, so you’re not just switching wheels and cassettes back and forth, like I do now between Shimano and “all-caps” SRAM. Mac and PCs play better together. Campy pwns your bike at a cost higher than Di2. Their tagline could be, “for the 1%.”

Despite the cost and extravagance, it’ll sell from mail order, a few high-end shops, and Euro-equipped bikes we’ll never see cross the pond and arrive here in the States.

I’m sure it works great too. I raced on an Di2-equipped Felt at CrossVegas and was unable to break it (I tried repeatedly, just like rodding the piss out of rental car out of the Vegas airport and to the hotel), but I still can’t justify the price. Even though, I was amazed at how well it shifted under maximum, muddy, grass load.

The economics of the industry have put Shimano and Campy at the high end of the market fighting for the mindshare of those that can or want to afford it. Meanwhile SRAM serves the working man and woman at the local level.

So when SRAM does servo-motors, electronic shifting will matter to a broader market, cause they’ll deliver it OEM and on schedules that’ll match product manager’s needs. The success of SRAM wasn’t and isn’t specific to it’s loud, aggressive shift style, it’s because they ship.

Carbon-wrapped servo motors, like an Area 51, alien-tech, vibrator for your bike Photo: Campy

Then, you’ll see electric drivetrains at the Tuesday Worlds and the Cat 4 Masters Cross race. Just look at that all-carbon shifter with motors in it! Consider what it’ll cost to replace it or that it doesn’t work with all your wheels.

More importantly, how quick you can get a replacement, when you crash into turn 1 of your local crit. Shimano has notorious problems with Di2 availability, even though they’ve banked the company on it.

Campy EPS is like this automatic wine bottler opener. You don’t need it, the mechanical “rabbit” works really well, but you want it. Right? Photo: Brookstone

So, I said what I wanted to. Do you want it? Scouring the web now for the first available one and placed a pre-order at your shop?

Mark V’s Ming Tran

Mark V’s a competitive guy and he was having none of it, when he realized I had a supremely pimp CX bike this year from Parlee.

Behold the Ming Tran!

Mark V's Ming Tran

All carbon everything

That’s a Redline Conquest Carbon team stylized by Mark V and he’s been working on it ever since the Parlee arrived at Hugga HQ.

ming tran

Corn dog eating is a head game for her real plan to kick your Imperialistic Dog Ass

Ming Tran is an America-destroying skateboarder who eats corn dogs and Mark’s bike is corn dog heavier than the Parlee CX H. I’m immediately ordering lighter pedals to make sure it’s a pound!

Davidson Switch CX Parts

Also makes for a nice, metal shot and highball glass

A couple of key parts to the new Davidson Switch CX arrived yesterday and are shown here on a stool in Davidson’s bike shop. That’s a HUGE head tube and OS bottom bracket, a 44 ID head tube and press fit BB30 shell, to be exact. Both are internally and externally relieved titanium and will get welded to Feather Tech tubes with Paragon dropouts. The dropouts will allow a switch between single and geared modes.

The Switch is a concept bike we’ve been working on and a Cross iteration of the Modal. That’s another concept bike for travel that accommodates fixed, single, geared drivetrains.

While I’m into beating up 15 pound bikes, Ti is still very relevant and especially in Cross. We’ll get light and stiff with the tubes and that naturally sprung ride that carbon can’t deliver.

Paragon had some issue with its CNS machine, so these parts arrived late for 11, but maybe I’ll have the Switch out before the season ends. It’ll get built-up with maximum bling with help from our bros at ENVE, SRAM, and lots of discussions with Bill D and Mark V.

A Tall Cargo Bike

That works and was built by Toms Cargo Bikes.

Uploaded by tomscargobikes.com | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

The Parlee Went Weeeeeeeeee!

First this happened

hugga down

Man down! Photo: DBCPhoto

Then this

Suffering and then some

and it went blurry for the rest of the race with a constant chase of these guys.

blurry

All a blur in that race looking up and ahead

I’ve got a curse at Steliacoom. That’s a local, legendary course, and I’ve crashed twice there this season. On Sunday, 45 seconds in and at turn 3, a racer in front of me loses his front wheel. I rode over him, launching off his hip, and onto the ground. After taking a pit lap, I raced with course-tape-guided tunnel vision, and an angry stomach, until someone told me to stop.

What I learned in that race is if you’ve got anger to work out on the bike, the Parlee CX H will take every bit of it, and ask for more with a loud weeeeeeeeeee on the descents. When hugga went loco, I took risks, drifting the turns and driving it for a who knows what placing. Only after backing it off, did I realize how well the bike worked. Cause a good cross bike, a great one, pulls focus from itself to you.

View from the cockpit

This Parlee ain’t no Fondo bike. It’s a modern cross bike. One I’ll race on, and punish, for the rest of the season. It’s on loan from Ben at Parlee, as a demo, and it’s gonna go back a different bike. Psychologically damaged, I predict.

Note: Thanks again to Redline, Tim, and Joe for the help in the pits.

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