Thursday, June 19, 2008

11 Speed Campy -thoughts on the unveiling.

I am a Campy guy and was looking forward to the offical release of the new groups. Like most people the odd photos of the brifter that were on that bianchi freaked me out, but I had no choice to wait it out. Well plenty of coverage is out know and here are a few things that make me nervous.

1.Acronyms. Never a good sign and the new groups have C.U.L.T, E.S.P, and U.S.B. Sounds like BS to me. If they didn't work for Van Halen, Acronyms are not going to work for you.
2.3D graphics on the bora wheels-how does that help aerodynamics? At least dimples on Zipps came with some sort of windtest data.
3.New photos of the brake levers are much nicer than the ones that surface on that Bianchi, but the cutouts in the carbon levers? Maybe an attempt at a throwback? Not feeling it. Metal got drilled cause it was "heavy", that's why you started making metal parts in CF. Is there a functional purpose or does it just give the lever a better place to snap in a crash?
4.New chains every what? 1000 miles? New cassettes how much more frequently? Until the benefit of old #11 is established this looks like a money grab by decreasing longevity of the parts. The saying goes, "Light, Strong,Durable-pick two". Campy is already claiming the chain is "lighter and stronger" so you know what is missing.
5.The C.U.L.T bearings tragically come from a German company called Ina-Fag. Say that one out loud.
6. The price of Record is almost irrelevant to me as it is unlikely I will ever ride it, but coming up with a group that will cost 17% more than Record? That is crazy.
Cyclingnews and Velonews have all the pictures.
Won't really know til I ride it which won't be soon unless it's on a demo bike. Campy addressed the bottom bracket and brakes last year and this year hit the shifters which were due for some love. As for 11 speeds? The jury is out, but if I have to buy chains more often, that extra gear had better make me the fastest old cat 5 in history.....

Frank Schleck crash footage is insane. The footage is also on the Gazzetta della Sport page, Belgian commentators are superior in my opinion expect for the string of "mama mia's" that one of the Italians lets go after Frank goes over the rail.

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