Vive le Tour!
To say this is one of our favorite times of the years is an understatement – we live for this. The first two days of racing have been phenomenal (though we feel horrible for how Cavendish went down). We spent the early part of stage one hoping that Jens would somehow pull it off. And we loved seeing the two American GC contenders not let Froome out of their sight during stage two.
With all of the excitement of the Tour, we almost forgot the tech! We covered Fuji’s new Transonic on Friday and we have plenty more to come this week. In fact, make sure to scroll down to check out Giro’s latest Tour tech. Next week we’ll take a look at more new equipment the pros are riding, which should find its way in to your local bike shop in the not-too-distant future!
This week the WiR is also examining the Guru Academy and looking at some very interesting research from Specialized.
For those visiting for the first time—welcome! One of our favorite ways to showcase our readers is our Readers’ Rides album on Facebook. You can check it out at http://on.fb.me/12jEqE3. If you would like to have your bike featured in our album just tweet us at @AeroGeeks, Facebook message us, or email us at info@AeroGeeks.com.
This Week’s Posts
Monday – Zipp Vuka Alumina BTA Mount – Review
Thursday – Cobb Randee’ – First Look
Friday – Fuji Transonic – First Look
Tour Tech – Giro Empire SLX
Old school sometimes finds its way back into some very high-tech equipment. In Giro’s case, they went back to good old shoe lace technology for its highest performing road shoes. Weighing in at just 175g (size 42.5), the Empire SLX is one of the lightest production shoes on the market. For comparison, S-Works’ Trivents weigh a claimed 280g.
The Empire SLX mates a one-piece upper (Teigin Evofiber microfiber) to an Easton EX90 SLXII high-modulus carbon sole. The replaceable heel pads utilize titanium hardware. The resulting shoe maintains a stack height of just 6.5mm.
Oh, and why the laces? The KDL Techno laces were developed for World Cup level soccer cleats. These aren’t your everyday laces—they’re lightweight, able to hold knots securely ,and resist stretching. Giro’s belief is that laces are easy to replace (even though they are relatively crash resistant and therefore don’t tend to succumb to much damage).
They will be available to the general public in the fall for an MSRP of $350.
The Fact and Fiction of Shaving Your Legs
For most male athletes, making the decision to shave your legs can almost feel like the ultimate commitment to the sport. We all put in the training hours and suffer through the sweat, pain, and tears. But for some reason, taking that last step to shave your legs always seems like the hardest. So why do we do it? For some of us, it’s to help heal faster after a crash. And for others, it simply becomes a race day tradition. But do we do it to be more aero? Conventional wisdom always said it made no difference. At the very best you’d think it might cut off a couple seconds. But lucky for us, Specialized decided to put this to the test in their new wind tunnel.
We have to admit we were a bit shocked by the outcome. I know we weren’t the only ones who questioned the results, but Specialized is continuing to stand by their data. Hopefully we’ll get secondary confirmation soon, but until then, keep those legs smooth!
It’s amazing how often we asked to recommend a purchase that will get you the best bang for your buck when you have a couple hundred dollars lying around. And our answer is always the same – have you had a professional fit? A professional fit is going to help you get the power to the ground more efficiently while helping to put you in the most aero position for YOUR body. Now of course a great fit is not easy to accomplish. It takes training and experience to do it right. And Guru is working to help ensure as many retailers as possible have access to that training.
The Guru Academy is a dedicated training center for Guru retailers to receive comprehensive fit science and education training. Guru’s goal is to help consumers not only buy the best bike for their body type, but to also continually enhance the rider’s position on that bike as their own abilities change.
Guru retailers typically offer two levels of service – Bike Finder and Optimization. Bike Finder allows you to demo any stock bike at the push of a button by accessing any model across categories (road, mountain, triathlon, recreation) in Guru’s virtual warehouse. Optimization is a more detail-oriented approach to fit, allowing the cyclist to try multiple saved configurations with the goal of ultimately selecting the best bike model for their preferred position. Both of these rely on Guru’s database of more than 100 brands and over 1,000 models.
Since we’re constantly swapping components, we all too often need to pause a ride to make a small change on the fly. Because of this we’re always on the lookout for small, portable tools to make the job easier. Fix it Sticks sent us their Replaceable Combination set this week. For those unfamiliar with Fix it Sticks, they’re an easy-to-use multi-tools that allow you to put quite a bit of torque into your bolts (something that’s typically not possible with other multi-tools).
Most triathletes have specific dietary needs and wants. We also tend to start our workouts at 4 or 5 in the morning, and then go straight from the pool or gym to the office. This usually means toting around a gym bag, laptop case, and lunch box. 6 Pack Fitness is looking to simplify that by combining the laptop bag with your lunch box into a single product that keeps your food cool for 8+ hours. To see if the concept works, 6 Pack Fitness sent us an Expedition 300.
Stay tuned for more details on both as we put the products through their paces!
- Scott Split – We finished our final ride with the Split this weekend. 80+ degrees with 90% humidity was a great way to see how the Split stood up to some serious weather conditions. Stay tuned for our final thoughts.
- TriRig Mercury – We set up Mercury on our Fuji test bike and were blown away by how intuitive it was. Easy to clip in and out and smooth as can be. We are going to need a few more rides before we’re ready to share our thoughts. But so far, we like what TriRig has created.
- Mavic Tri Heliums – The Heliums are all dialed in and had their first serious rides this week.
- Garmin Fenix2 – The comparisons between the 910xt and the Fenix started before we had even strapped the Fenix to our wrist. And while we are not quite ready to share our thoughts, we can tell you that the Bluetooth integration of the Fenix is phenomenal. Not only are we wearing the Fenix for testing, but it has also become our standard everyday watch.
- Vision Mercury 81 – Our thoughts on the 81s are coming this week!