Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.
By Matt Pacocha
Campy’s Red Shifters
Red is, and always has been, the color preferred by Italian auto racing teams, says the Italian bicycle components manufacturer Campagnolo. And using this symbolism Campy will turn the Record shifters it supplies to its professional teams red. The letters on the shift bodies of both shifters will be changed from white to red.
These shifters made for professional use only have ‘very stiff special springs’ that increase the input force required to make a shift. Campy says that its professionals have specifically asked for the stiffer, crisper shift action because it helps them feel the shifts even in the hardest moments of a race.
The company will not offer the red shifters to the public because, it says, that a professionals’ needs are “very different from the needs of the amateur cyclist, which are fully met by standard Ergopower shifters.” All other components of the professional Record shifters will remain the same as in the consumer version.
And speaking of RED
Last week SRAM’s pr and media manager, Michael Zellmann, paid a visit to Lennard Zinn’s garage to outfit both Lennard and me with the first production samples of SRAM’s new Red group. After three rides on the production parts, I concur with my initial assessment of the pre-production group after riding it in the Austrian Alps just prior to the Eurobike trade show this past August.
The shifters are vastly improved over Force in their shape, feature set, and action, while the new PowerDome cassette a perfect example of SRAM’s out of the box development and the elegant finish brings SRAM another step closer to eclipsing its rivals. Currently, VeloNews has three Red groups in testing with the goal of producing comprehensive review for our annual Buyer’s Guide.
In addition to Lennard and me, VeloNews editor, Ben Delaney (or “Ben Boonen” as we affectionately refer to him), is also putting time on Red. I’ve told him to “try and break a chain.” You see we, here at the magazine, aren’t quite convinced that there’s merit in the professional peloton’s current aversion to the manufacturer’s chains. We’ll let you know how things turn out in a couple of months.
You know that you’re a bike magazine editor when…
You’re more show than go and your race rig wows professional mechanics. Cyclocross season is the perfect time for the industry folk to get out and suffer on their bikes, just what Matt Opperman, Subaru-Gary Fisher’s head wrench, does every fall. Though he was on just as snazzy of a rig, equipped with Bontrager’s Race XXX Lite carbon tubulars and Tufo tires, he felt the need to give my ego a couple of jabs. Reason being, I showed up to Red Rocks Cyclery’s final cyclocross series race this past weekend on Mavic’s new Cosmic Carbon Ultimates wrapped in Dugast rubber.
While Mavic-supported racers, including Tim Johnson, Jeremy Powers, Jesse Anthony and Lyne Bessette, have been racing their Ultimates on dry days with Dugast’s Typhoon tires glued to them, I chose to mount a set of Dugast’s Rhino mud tires to mine. Since the Ultimate has no spoke holes and its valve hole is sealed, there is no way for water and muck to penetrate the rim and very little way for it to contaminate a tire’s base tape.
This paired with the rim’s 40mm depth makes it perfect for cutting through mud, sand and snow. Granted it’s not realistic for most to race ’cross on a $2750 wheelset, but it’s a darn good test of the wheel’s durability and once the season finishes up, we’ll put on some slicks and give them a good go on the road before we work up a piece about them for the magazine.
Sure my ride was trick, but what about his?
A couple – or should I say the couple – Heather Irmiger and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, of Opperman’s star racers were doing some cyclocross racing at the same Red Rocks Cyclery race I attended this weekend to spice up their off-season training this weekend.
Both won their respective events, not to mention that Horgan-Kobelski took the cake of showing up this tech guy with his ultra exclusive prototype wheelset. He started the race on his steel LeMond Poprad with Bontrager’s Jones ’Cross but flatted at the race’s halfway point forcing him onto his Gary Fisher Superfly 29er. Horgan-Kobelski and Opperman have been experimenting with wheels this fall with the end goal of reducing his 29er’s heft. Though the Superfly carbon frame is the lightest in Fisher’s line, the bike’s weight is still limited by some of the associated 29er components.
The prototype wheels he’s currently testing are comprised of Race XXX Lite Center Lock mountain bike hubs laced to specially drilled Race XXX Lite road rims, the wheels are finished with 45mm Dugast XL Rhino tubulars — you can’t get more exclusive than that.