SRAM officially revealed their new 1x12 XX1 group, named Eagle.
In a nutshell, Eagle XX1 is not so much of a revolution as it is a maturation of the 1x concept. Imagine a 50T bailout gear added to the 10-42T cassette of the original XX1 and a lighter crankset optimized for XC combined with a very sophisticated chain construction. It is a flagship race gruppo that has gearing flexible enough for any sporting rider, not just professionals or people who ride less vertical trails. The direct-mount chainring takes 1x rings to the next level, addressing user complaints about noise and wear with the widely-copied 1st-gen X-Sync narrow-wide rings.
It is easy to say that SRAM is pushing 1x because they can’t make front derailleurs, but it is more accurate to say that rather than being inept at front shifting, they’ve just always been one step behind Shimano in that arena. With 1x, SRAM is making front derailleurs irrelevant. Sure, we can say that Shimano 2x10 and 2x11 drivetrains work great, and tell ourselves that SRAM is painting themselves in a corner by abandoning MTB front derailleurs. But 1x is the natural corollary to saturating the rear cluster with 12 cogs. Why would drivetrain designers add another cog if they weren’t going to ditch the front derailleur? Don’t try to say we consumers don’t need an additional cog. We probably don’t, but history predicts that we will buy it regardless.
If anything, the real reason for SRAM Eagle is that bike designers don’t want to build bikes with front derailleurs. Without accommodation for front derailleurs, bike manufacturers have a lot more freedom to design fatbikes, plus-size tyre bikes, and rear suspension. Consumers will buy 1x drivetrains because that’s what is going to hang on the new generation of bikes that have more tyre clearance, more travel, and are lighter. You can argue all you want about the virtues of front derailleurs, but that’s a conversation that only lives at bike shop water coolers and online forums, not bike companies.
That ship has already sailed.
XX1 Eagle groupset has a claimed weight of 1456gr and will retail for $1417. X01 Eagle (1502gr) will cost $1193. Expected availability for both groups is this June.
An incredibly fun two-week run of Belgian cobbled classics started today with Dwars door Vlaanderen, a semi-flat but challenging warm up to the hellish Ronde van Vlaanderen. However, the race almost didn’t happen after terrorist attacks ripped through the Brussels airport yesterday. Race officials considered cancelling the race, but it went on, albeit short a few riders. Giant-Alpecin couldn’t get their team into Belgium to start the race, Movistar had to field a stunted eight-man lineup, and Fabian Cancellara had to drive to the race from Switzerland.
Affinity Cycles, New York’s premiere track specific bicycle company introduced their new Anthem track bike today. The Anthem is welded using lightweight, aerospace grade air hardened True TemperOX Platinum steel. A distinct detail of the Anthem is a thin sleek integrated seat mast, and a proprietary seat post wedge codesigned with famed bicycle industry design engineer Aaron Panone of 44rn. Additional features include classic campy style dropouts, oversized downtube and a tapered head tube paired with an Enve fork. Shown in Bubble gum Blue, the frameset reatils for $1750.00 and complete builds start at $2750.00.
I was just explaining to my friend Martin how middle range bikes don’t get photographed like the high end ones do, and he shares a photo of his Giant Revolt 2. That’s a reasonably spec’d and priced trail bike at shops for under $1K. As the caption to his photo says, he bought the bike to ride the Boundary Bay Dyke Trail. Since Martin is getting back on the bike, expect to see more photos like the above. He told me he’s happy with it too. Probably going to change the saddle though.
Beer and bikes, right? Yep and here’s an event I just added to our calendar.
Beer lovers and cycling enthusiasts ride 42 miles round-trip, commemorating the eruption of Mount St. Helens
and it benefits The Hope Heart Institute, a Bellevue-based nonprofit organization dedicated to research, education and prevention of cardiovascular disease in the Northwest.
Redhook Brewery commemorates the May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens with the annual Haul Ash Tour de Brew, a 42-mile round-trip ride along the Burke-Gilman Trail from the Woodinville brewery to LTD Bar & Grill in Fremont and back.
Upon arriving in Fremont, participants over the age of 21 can quench their thirst with a cold pint before biking back to the brewery for the Post Pedal Party, featuring hot food, cold drinks and live music.
Haul Ash and the Post Pedal Party are open to all ages. Beer and wine will be available for those who are 21+ with valid ID.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Ride begins at 10 a.m. and will last approximately 2.5 to 4 hours.
Post Pedal Party lasts 12:30 to 5 p.m.
14300 NE 145th Street
Woodinville, WA 98072
Parking available on-site and in designated neighboring lots.
Participants can register online or on-site at Redhook Brewery in Woodinville.
Price ($40 preregistration, $45 day of ride) includes admission to the Post Pedal Party, two beer tickets and a Redhook messenger swag bag with Haul Ash pint glass, earbuds and Redhook koozie.
Family and friends can meet riders at the Post Pedal Party, with a suggested $5 donation to the Hope Heart Institute.
Covering the Sony World Photography Awards for the Mirrorless Pro, after the US winners were announced, I browed the rest of the shortlists. Those include
and from Russia, I spotted this beautiful BMX image by Dmitry Ivanov. It was 3rd Place in the Russia National Award. The caption or profile doesn’t indicated where the image was taken, but I guess a local BMX/Skate park like one nearby. The National Awards program honors and rewards the best single image taken by a local photographer and runs in 60 countries across the world from Argentina to Australia. It is open to photographers of all abilities and is part of the larger World Photography competition sponsored by Sony. Winners from each category will take part in the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London from April 22- May 8 and will be published in the annual Sony World Photography Awards book.
Today, Sioeye is releasing an unlocked 4G LTE action camera that connects directly to the internet to stream video instantaneously. Using the Sioeye Social Apps, people can view and interact with broadcasts, as they unfold. To which we say, “Holy dataplans batman!” The video, filmed in Seattle’s I-5 Colonnade Mountain Bike Park, is a vignette demonstrating how Sioeye’s connected device, live streaming service, and interactive mobile apps work together to bring viewers into the action, right as it unfolds. It features POV footage filmed on the Sioeye Iris4G by the dirt jumper who rode the course.
While welcoming competition in the action cam market and live streaming, that’s a lot of overhead to manage in the cloud vs. allowing the camera to connect to AWS or the cloud of your choice, even an API.
Built-in integration with the Sioeye Cloud™ live streaming service
High performance six glass lens camera module with protective coating
Configurable 150 degree field of view
F2.8 aperture with image circle of 8.0mm for better low light recording and enhanced video and photo quality
Integrated 2.0” LCD touchscreen
Barometer, GPS, and Altimeter experience sensors
4G LTE/3G/Wi-Fi connectivity (removable SIM)
Live streaming data usage is .33 GB per hour
Automated network optimization and video quality switching
480p live broadcast with optional simultaneous 1080p HD recording
1GB onboard storage and optional MicroSD card up to 64GB
High definition video recording of 4K & 2K at 30fps as well as super slow motion capabilities with 1080p at 30 & 60fps and 720p @120fps and more
Rechargeable Lithium Ion battery with up to 2hrs record, 1hr live stream
Selectable modes for 18/12/8MP still images, time lapse videos, and slow motion videos
iOS and Android smart remote control via the Sioeye apps
Rugged protective case (waterproof down to 197’) with specialized button-controlled user interface
MSRP is $499.00 and is available directly. Coinciding with the launch today, March 15, Sioeye is broadcasting live from its Seattle headquarters at 1:00 p.m. PDT. To participate in the live broadcast, download the free Sioeye Social App, and follow “SioeyeMedia.”