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Jul 032009

Those that follow my blog or at least know me as 29er guy will remember 8 months ago when I wrote my first impressions of my Gary Fisher HiFi 29er. I loved the bike, but couldn’t help but wonder how much nicer it would be if it were a few pounds lighter.

I had been riding a Superfly hardtail for a year and loved the way the carbon bike climbed. I sent an e-mail to my “inside guy” at Fisher saying how much I liked the full suspension HiFi, but how I also thought it was the perfect platform for a carbon 29er.

Well low and behold the SuperFly 100 is born. The first “spy photos” of the bike are all over the Internet and it looks great. The bikes shown have the RockShox Sid fork and rear shock, but my guy at Fisher says the bike will probably be speced with the Fox F100 RLC and Fox rear shock.

I hope to see the new Fox 15mm thru axle fork, as I think this would really help the handling of this big wheeled bike. Dont worry, 29er guy will be one of the first to have this new beauty and I will keep you all posted.

Jul 032009

Trek Bikes and El Camino Bike Shop announced an all-new 6 Series Madone, the stiffest, lightest, and fastest Madone yet. Unveiled to the world against the backdrop of the Col de la Madone—the storied climb where seven-time Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong has tested his pre-Tour fitness since 1998, and the climb for which the Madone is named—the new 6 Series Madone establishes a new benchmark for total performance, pushing the boundaries of road bike design and integration with a host of new technologies, including the latest addition to Trek’s proprietary OCLV Carbon family, OCLV2.

“The 6 Series Madone represents another major technological milestone for Trek,” noted Trek’s Road and Triathlon Brand Manager, Nick Howe. “We’ve been working on this project since before the release of our last Madone [in 2007], and have been through 70 design iterations before we had a product worthy of the Madone designation. To be able to introduce the bike in the place where it received its name is very special for us, and we’re excited about sharing it with the world.”

“There are new ideas integrated into this bike,” noted seven-time Tour de France Champion and Trek athlete, Lance Armstrong. “This is next generation stuff. The Madone has evolved, and we’ve ended up with something that’s the lightest, stiffest, fastest, best bike that I’ve ever ridden. I think there’s no doubt that the equipment we’ll ride in this Tour de France will be far and away the best equipment in the peloton.”

“With this new Madone, we have everything…all the technology at our disposal,” added 2007 Tour de France Champion, Alberto Contador.

Pivotal to the development of the new 6 Series Madone was a Trek-pioneered engineering approach called Load Path Design. Using sophisticated data acquisition hardware mounted to a specially equipped Madone, Trek engineers were able to collect the “data stream” created by an actual rider riding down an actual road. Analyzing this data gave Trek engineers the most accurate picture possible of the real-life forces affecting a road frame, which then allowed them to design a frame with those forces in mind. The benefit of Load Path Design in the new 6 Series Madone is a frame that’s not only 150g lighter, but also 17% stiffer at the head tube (for laser-sharp, predictable handling) and 43% more vertically compliant at the seatmast (for all day riding comfort).

The 6 Series Madone also brings to market the latest OCLV Carbon innovation—OCLV2—which offers unprecedented quality control, exquisite ride quality, and the world’s best strength and stiffness values per frame weight. OCLV2 is built around three Trek-exclusive technologies that, together, make OCLV2 the most advanced carbon in the industry: Stepjoint™ technology; Resin Right™ technology; and Net Molding™ technology. Thanks to Stepjoint™ technology, the 6 Series Madone’s lugs join together perfectly, with no excess carbon, and with consistent tube wall thickness throughout. The joints are stronger, the ride quality consistent, and the fit and finish impeccable. Resin Right™ technology gives Trek ultimate control over the resin distribution in 6 Series Madone frames, for consistent compaction and the elimination of fiber irregularities. Finally, Net Molding™ allows Trek to trim frame weight by building Precision Fit Sockets™ for the bottom bracket and headset bearings directly into the frame itself, as well as create ultra-consistent lug dimensions for superior 6 Series Madone frame alignment.

Up front, the 6 Series Madone uses the industry’s first asymmetric steer tube fork. Built using the same No90 construction technique as the current 5 Series Madone, which utilizes carbon’s inherent straight-line strength to make an extremely strong, incredibly lightweight fork, the 6 Series Madone’s new E2 Asymmetric fork features an oval, rather than a round steer tube, providing an 18% improvement in lateral stiffness and a 15% improvement in vertical compliance. The result is a fork with an unparalleled combination of steering precision and road-smoothing comfort.

Finally, the new 6 Series Madone takes the integration concept started by the current 5 Series Madone to the next level, and beyond. The industry’s best cable management system allows the 6 Series Madone to shift flawlessly and brake better, all while preserving the 6 Series Madone’s smooth lines. New DuoTrap sensor technology places the computer sensor directly in the frame itself, for unbeatable aesthetics and seamless integration with most ANT+ wireless computers, power meters, and other compatible devices. And built-in compatibility with Shimano’s new Di2 electronic groupo means the 6 Series Madone offers the industry’s best Di2 integration without modification.

Available right now El Camino Bike Shop the 6 Series Madone is offered in four models (the 6.9, 6.9 WSD, 6.5, and 6.5 WSD), three fit platforms (Pro, Performance, and WSD), and is fully customizable through Trek’s Project One program. From frame color, to drivetrain, all the way down to cable housing color, Project One puts you in the designer’s seat, letting you build the 6 Series Madone that’s perfect for you.

May 212009

The Belt Drive Trek SOHO is finally here. We have had one on back order for more than 3 months. We diligently check with Trek each week to see if they are available. We checked on Monday like we always do and as usual – No Availability. But I am happy to say this morning the FEDX truck came by and dropped off our first SOHO. It feels like Christmas at El Camino Bike Shop. Will is even thinking about this Belt Drive for his SS Superfly since he saw the VeloNews article about Travis Brown’s prototype cyclocross bike.

To recap our first review, Trek has two Soho models. The Soho S ($599) is a straight-forward single-speed bike, built with simplicity in mind. The higher-end Soho ($989) has an intriguing belt drive set-up paired with the internal gearing of the 8-speed Shimano Nexus 8 rear hub. Using a Gates C-Drive carbon composite belt, Trek bills it as “brutally tough yet cleaner than any chain you’ve ever owned.” According to their website, “The belt drive is a carbon fiber composite belt reinforced to prevent stretch. The worry-free, lube-rejecting, lighter-than-any-chain-you’ve-ever-owned belt also produces a ninja-like quiet ride.”

What this means to you:

  • One, no lube means no grease stains on the pants, which are a big deterrent if you’re on your way to the office.
  • Two, removing the toothy sprocket and the adding a belt guard means your new SOHO shouldn’t get torn up.
  • Third, these belts have an advertised lifespan of three years, as opposed to the typical one year life of a chain. Plus, they require no lube, so they’ll take less time and money in maintenance.
  • Finally, unlike past failed belt driven bikes, this one has teeth built in so there is no slippage, regardless of weather conditions or how hard you pedal, key for dodging cars at rush hour.

We should have the bike built this weekend and we will get some shop pictures of the bike and we will start reviewing the bike from a Shop perspective…

 Posted by at 12:17 pm
Apr 282009

Nice views of a 12 lb Trek Madone in Velonews

This funky flat bar, belt driven Trek Madone road bike is claimed to weigh less than 12 pounds.

Trek engineer Ray Waxham has long been a fan of the Gates Carbon Drive Systems (CDS) belt. Trek has incorporated belt bikes into its urban and cruiser line, but has yet to offer a high performance singlespeed. While not meant for sale to the public, the project Madone bike that Waxham built for the office indicates the potential of belts for track bikes or other carbon road frames.

The CDS belt cannot be separated to pass into the rear triangle of a bike, so framebuilders must design compatibility into the frame itself. Waxham earned his first patent by creating an eccentric rear dropout that can be used on bikes with carbon stays. He incorporated the dropouts into a Madone road frame and went on to build a singlespeed flat bar road bike.

The bike as built is claimed to weigh around 12 pounds, but could likely be even lighter with more aggressive spec. Currently it sports a Bontrager RXXXL carbon wheelset, Dura Ace 7800 crankset, and in a nod to both funk and gram-counting, it uses remote levers from a Crankbrothers Joplin seatpost as brake levers.

Click here for more pictures

 Posted by at 7:55 am
Apr 202009

El Camino Bike Shop has been having fun with the new Electra Townie Sport 105. Here is a review from Bike World News

….Some of our regular readers may be shocked that we would review a cruiser. Rest assured that we love all kinds of bikes here, and that we know that a road bike is not ideal for every situation. That said, we do love speed, and a cruiser can be, well, anathema to the idea.

Not this cruiser.

While the Townie Sport still features Electra’s upright, foot forward ergonomics, it also offers a level of performance that will satisfy many….

Click here for the article

 Posted by at 6:07 am