Gear

Tech Report: Previews of coming attractions

Well, the holidays are certainly over – here at VeloNews, we're hard back at it. I'm working on putting together our second Buyer's Guide, which means I'm up to my eyeballs in catalogs, price sheets and unreadable-image CDs. Our guide isn’t one of those all-inclusive publications, providing the brand and make of every single bicycle on the market – instead, it’s a selective compilation showcasing what we feel are the crown jewels and best values of 2004. So far, it's obvious that most of our pro-level road bikes incorporate carbon into their frames (if they’re not entirely built of carbon).

By Andrew Juskaitis, VeloNews technical editor

Well, the holidays are certainly over – here at VeloNews, we’re hard back at it. I’m working on putting together our second Buyer’s Guide, which means I’m up to my eyeballs in catalogs, price sheets and unreadable-image CDs. Our guide isn’t one of those all-inclusive publications, providing the brand and make of every single bicycle on the market – instead, it’s a selective compilation showcasing what we feel are the crown jewels and best values of 2004.

So far, it’s obvious that most of our pro-level road bikes incorporate carbon into their frames (if they’re not entirely built of carbon). But surprisingly, our workhorse models and even some of our affordable bikes use carbon seat stays, chain stays or both. If you’re interested in purchasing a full- or partial-carbon road bike at a relatively affordable price, 2004 looks to be your year.

And we have another treat for you in this year’s Buyer’s Guide. We’ve sent associate editors Jason Sumner and Neal Rogers to research the darkest regions of the professional riders’ world – their garages. It’s amazing what some veteran pros have stashed away: memorable old bicycles, ancient racing jerseys, their first pair of riding shoes, even a cool car or two. Sumner just reported back from Scott Moninger’s well-organized Boulder-based garage, while Rogers is off to sunny Southern California to catch a glimpse of Brian Lopes’s much-fabled warehouse/master garage. Look for the complete photos and stories in the 2004 Buyer’s Guide, due out February 23.

Testing top toolboxes
Speaking of buying, we just received the very first Pedros Master Tool Kit 2.0 in the United States. Between stints on our Buyer’s Guide, we’re also busy testing advanced tool kits, including the Pedros and the venerable Park Tool PK-57 Professional kit. Along with these two heavy hitters (both weigh more than 32 pounds and cost more than $600), we’re also taking a look at the much-more affordable Performance Spin Doctor Advanced Mechanic Tool Kit, which seems a great value option at about $100. For our complete report, see the next issue of VeloNews, due to start landing in mailboxes on February 9.

Keepin’ it short this week, but I’ll be back soon with a more in-depth report on the latest road, mountain and motorcycle technology (just kidding about that last bit).