Category Archives: Product reviews

Product reviews

Two videos you have to see

The first video is a slickly-done Rapha/Team Sky promo on… rice cakes. Apparently that’s what fuels their team. Rice cakes and annoying piano solos.

The second video? Let’s just say it has a good time with the first and leave it at that. Choke your way through the first, then make sure you’re not eating anything that’s going to harm your keyboard when you gag on the second.

I found these videos on Joe V’s blogsite (Joe V is the head of all-things product at Trek Bicycles).

I love my bike, but it’s time to upgrade!

The maiden voyage of the bike I'm retiring, 10/25/09, on Ebbetts Pass
The maiden voyage of the bike I’m retiring, 10/25/09, on Ebbetts Pass. It won’t quite make it 5 years to its final ride.

Are bikes like dogs you’ve owned? Defining a period of time in your life? Maybe that’s what makes my present bike special; it represents the period of time in which my son, Kevin, went from ambitious but pudgy emerging cyclist to blazingly-fast (to me) climber. And my daughter, Becky, went from having some issues at school to honors-student at graduation and near-rockstar status at the shop. For political reasons I can’t push the shop rockstar thing too far as I’ve got a great crew overall, but she’s getting a great sense of how it all pulls together. And during that time my wife has gone from weighing quite a bit more to weighing quite a bit less! Ultimately dogs, and bikes, pass on, but are remembered together with the times you lived through with them.

Approximately 35,000 miles on my 2010 Madone 6 Project One and it’s time. Time to replace absolutely positively the best bike I’ve ever owned… and I’ve owned quite a few over the years. Not sure what more I could ask a bike to do than this one has done for me. But aside from a lot of wear & tear (a testament to the durability of Shimano Dura-Ace; I’ve replaced only a large front chainring and a few rear cassettes, in addition, of course, to quite a few chains), it’s now 3 models behind, and it’s time to enjoy the many improvements.

The new bike will not appear too much different from the old, with a very similar color scheme (black frame, green decals) and the wheels will actually move on from my prior bike to this one (Aeolus 3 carbon clinchers with less than 20,000 miles on them; they replaced earlier Bontrager XXX versions that lasted 33,000 miles through two different bikes). It will however feature a new one-piece bar/stem combination, and the latest & greatest 11-speed Dura Ace electric shifting. I’d considered going with mechanical, but after putting all those miles on the original Dura Ace electric shifting system, with nary a hitch… and never having to replace a broken cable… I’m spoiled. Staying with the program.

And now I have to wait until the middle of September. That’s right; a show owner who’s supported Trek for 25+ years has to wait in line, just like everyone else. It’s going to be really, really cool. I’ve ridden our stock floor bikes and they’re pretty darned awesome. Wonder what its first “real” ride will be?

Click on the photo for a complete description of my new bike, all the specs, everything.
Click on the photo for a complete description of my new bike, all the specs, everything.

What happens to my old bike? That’s the sad part (not really, unless you’re the type who never gets rid of their old bikes; I used to be that person). Trek has a loyalty program for all who own a carbon Trek bike; if you turn the frameset in (you get to keep the parts), you get a 20% discount on a brand new bike. Trek’s thinking is that your current bike might have a lot of wear & tear on it, has probably been through a couple of crashes, and it makes sense to get it off the road. Nobody inspects it to see that it actually was crashed, but few haven’t been. So the old frame goes back to Trek and literally gets ground up and recycled, while you get a new bike at a hefty discount. Please note this program could disappear at any time; there’s no formal written policy with a time frame. While it’s here, if you have the opportunity and need, take advantage of it!