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I'm going to Trekworld

by Carl Brewer last modified 2007-09-12 22:04
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Pete from Cycle Science is sending me to TrekWorld

Trekworld - eh?  Trekworld is a two (or three, if you have the luxury of an extra spare day) day Trek Bicycles 'love in' (to use the IT industry term for a conference/marketing brainwashing session).  Stuff to be covered is details of the '08 range of bikes and bits that Trek do - including all the other brands - Lemond, Gary Fischer, Giant (heh ...) and sales training and so on.  I'll miss the demo day, I can't afford three days during the week, that's for sure, but I'll get the rest of the stuff.  This time I hope Mr Sales Guru from Clarence St Cyclery (the company/LBS that is Trek Australia) who is the same bloke who came down to Melb last year or early this year,  spends a little less time talking about how he used to be a twat but is now a Really Nice Guy, and a bit more on actual sales techniques.  Last time, from a two hour talk, about 45 mins was useful, and the food was good. This time, it's costing us Real Money to go to the talk, so it'd better be high on content and less on hot air! And, the food had better be good! And (Mark G, if you're reading this?) I EXPECT a t-shirt!

I'm hoping to finally be able to take an '08 Madone for a thrash, due to a minor comedy of errors I missed out on riding the one that was down here for a couple of weeks - got to look at it, but not actually ride it.  And yes, it looks pretty snazzy, but how it rides I can't say yet.

The demo day will also allow LBS people to play with a Powertap, I bet they don't get the chance to look at the way 10 speed cassettes dig into the alloy freehub bodies!  And I bet also that TBA don't know if it'll work with a Garmin 705 or any other ANT+Sport devices.  That could be a good question to ask the techies if any of them know much about Saris's stuff.  Here's a free tip, get CyclingPeaks, and ditch the Saris power software unless you have to run it.  Cyclingpeaks has a crap licence (you have to pay twice if you have two PCs, which is wrong) but it's way more advanced than the Saris Power software.

I may get a chance to ask someone who knows about the protocol, but I doubt it, it'll probably just be Trek people saying 'look at the new dualie, it's got ubershockers and megabearings  and is better because we moved the pivot....' or something.  MTB'ers are still lucky in a way, their equipment hasn't matured to the point where road and track has - we know it's not the bike that makes you faster, but MTB riders aren't there yet so they get to get really excited about some new feature, and think it'll actually make them faster or better riders etc.  Us roadies have no such illusions! Our bikes make gradual improvements, they get a little lighter, a little stiffer, a little more compliant where we want comfort in one direction but stiffness in another, but we know they are no faster or significantly better handling than the good bikes from 20 years ago.  Of course, the marketing people will spin otherwise, but that's the truth of the matter.  The big changes in road in living memory was the introduction of carbon as a frame material and the STI lever.  Other than that, most roadbikes are essentially the same as they were 20 years or more ago, the geometry that works, works and the differences are minor.  Tom Leaper won most of the A grade track races last summer at BBN on an ancient steel dunger and Jamie Goddard wasn't far behind, on another old steel dunger.  Legs and lungs ... that's what matters. 

I'm amazed (not really ..) that Ride magazine and the other road cycling mag have pages and pages of new bling that will only make riders faster by lightening their wallets and letting them pose more at Cafe Wanker, but they've never thought to do a review of coaching services - something that can actually make a real difference.  Maybe if they did a survey of what's around, who offers what, and at what price etc. Maybe if they did a dummy coaching client and found out what the different coaches offer?  That would be of real value to aspiring cyclists, I think.  What're the odds?

You can feel differences in frames and bikes, of course, but they rarely make a real performance difference, just a comfort thing, generally, but sometimes at the expense of handling, soft forks may be comfy for example, but on a high speed descent ... scary ...

So what else is going on?  While up in Skid-yer-knee I'll catch up with Hari and we'll go for a ride (matching powertaps, what fun!) and hopefully he'll be able to find me a reasonably flat place to put in an hour or two and a few little sharp hills to do some sprint training on. Maybe on an '08 Madone, maybe on mine - it depends on how generous TBA is with their '08 stuff.  I'm hoping that Trek have some posters or other material we can use to show punters why Trek bottom brackets are better (cutaways, and cutaways of other brands to compare - that was an eye opener at the tech talk we got last year - Scott BB's are full of foam filler, for example) or other such things.  I'm a fan of hard data and testrides, not marketing spin and bullshit!

DISC tonight, after Tuesday's sprint training and a reasonable chunk of more targeted training I think my kick is improving.  I'd really like to get a power meter on the track bike so I can see what's really going on.  Nath's using my Powertap at spin and it's been great to guage his improvement, we've found 200 more watts in two months, and much better duration and it's let me see what we've needed to target and see if we're really making any differences.

On a side note, Spinopsys is going away - Phil Gomes is going to a video blog on poo-tube.  IMO, a mistake, but time will be the judge of success or failure of that venture. Once the novelty of video production wears off, will Phil have anything interesting to say and will he have an audience? Most of his blog consists of commentary on lifted stuff and links to other blogs, how he goes with video, where that's much harder to do, will be interesting.


UPDATE I'll get to ride the '08 Madone on Thurs morning for a bit, but not Thurs night, so I'm taking either my old 1400 or the P1 up with me to get some riding done. 

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