After 2 long weeks of Kona coverage it is time to wrap it up. So lets start by saying a big congratulations to Patrick Lange and Daniela Ryf. What they each accomplished this past Saturday was nothing short of amazing. Both of their records will stand for years and years to come. (And since we are the AeroGeeks make sure to check our Patrick’s and Danielas winning steeds!)
We also have to take a moment to congratulate Cameron Wurf who broke the men’s Kona bike course record on board his new Pinarello Bolide TR\TR+.
And to everyone else that finished Kona this year – just amazing! A close friend of the AeroGeeks finished her first Kona on Saturday and what she said speaks volumes:
HUGE respect for these pros. Unsure how they get out on this course, year after year, and perform as they do. It’s a beatdown.
And this was on what most considered the best conditions of Kona ever. So to those that crossed the line to the voice of Mike Reilly – a big congratulations from the AeroGeeks.
The Kona Bike Count
But before we sign off we wanted to dive into the Kona bike count. For those not familiar, every year at bike checkin a group of industry experts came together to tally the makeup of all 2,500 bikes to check-in on the Kona Pier ahead of the Ironman World Championship. Triathlete.com helped organize this year (and had the details for last year as well). There has already been quite a bit of press on how Cervelo won this year yet again – but Canyon and QR made some big moves.
So instead of rehashing that we decided to dive into some big moves in both wheels and helmets. First up wheels.
The big movers here were SwissSide and DT Swiss (who coincidentally share a wheel shape), both of which more than doubled their counts on the pier. Felt with their in house brand made an impact as well (though we take that to really be a sign of how many people bought Felt IAs this year).
Similarly Bontrager had a huge jump as well. They make some fabulous wheels but unfortunately most end up as factory OEM vs aftermarket so like Felt we imagine this is showing just how popular the Trek Speed Concept is.
Going the other way was Zipp. With a 15% drop (287 wheels) we were pretty surprised. Zipp has always been a mainstay of triathlon and has continued to roll out new products year after year. And while they aren’t cheap – neither are the DT Swiss and SwissSide wheels that seem to have picked up for them this year. We are definitely curious to see if this is a trend or just a blip. But we will have to wait 51 weeks for Kona 2019 to know the answer to that.
On the helmet side Rudy Project stole the show with 444 helmets and for the 8th year in a row won the helmet count.
But Oakley is the real winner. Last year they were a non factor but this year they already had 52 helmets on the Queen K. (Though we are curious if some of them may be helmets given to AG winners from 2017 Kona).
Louis Garneau and Casco had near 25% decreases this year which like Zipp was a pretty big surprise. The LG P-09 is considered one of the best aero helmets out there so to see a 28 helmet drop does make us wonder where exactly those helmets went.
Another helmet drop that surprised us was Catlike dropping from an already small 20 to an even smaller 14. The Catlike Rapid Tri is both one of our favorite aero helmets on the market and the Chrono Aero stands out as well and both are known as a helmet that routinely tests well in the tunnel. So it comes as a surprise that they are trending down.
So that’s a wrap for Kona. Over the past 2 weeks we shared almost 20 articles detailing the gear and new releases on the island. This was by far our biggest coverage ever – and the biggest week of launches we have seen yet. Next week we will return to our regularly scheduled broadcasting so keep your eyes on AeroGeeks.com as we kick off a number of new reviews and share the latest gear with you!