Although there was no overall winner at the Faster Gran Fondo, RBA's
Neil Shirley rode in with locals Eric Marcotte (Elbowz) and William White. Neil did the deed aboard a new BH G6
test bike equipped with 2013 Shimano Dura-Ace.
Besides Cervelo, the Faster shop is also a big dealer for the Canadian brand, Guru. This titanium Praemio R
was parked out in front was doing a good job catching eyeballs. Guru makes two titanium models with the R starting at $4500.
If ever there was an example of some beautiful craftsmanship, it would be the detailed effort that went into the dropout on the Guru. Fabulous.
James Kramer is the founder of the Faster bike shop
and as you can see with his equipment choice, he likes to go fast. James and his staff worked their butts off over the weekend - thanks to all. Look for a close-up report from inside his truly amazing bike shop soon.
The majority of roads in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area are long and straight. Despite some strong wind gusts, the morning start time provided the perfect temperature for riding.
It was a beautiful morning start for upwards of 500 riders at the Faster Gan Fondo.
My Look 675 test bike strikes a southwest pose at the first rest stop.
SEEN IN THE PITS
Back in the late-90's, Litespeed was on top of the titanium game. This beautifully maintained Ultimate (with its concave seatstays) was running a Look carbon fork and Spynergy wheels.
Two weeks ago I attended the Dempsey Challenge in Maine and was surprised to see an old early 90's Cannondale mountain bike with the cantilevered chainstays. In Arizona I found the road bike equivalent.
And no, the Cannondale chainstays, which were intended to lighten the frame by allowing for shorter seatstays, are nowhere near as elegant as those found on the Guru (top).
Mike Giraud was previously an aerodynamacist at the A2 wind tunnel
. Now he's works for Blue bikes
and he rolled out on this sweet custom painted model that was paying homage the Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen.
Ah, you don't see many of these around on the roads these days..maybe because you never saw many of them around when Trek first launched them back in 1998. Borrowing a (front triangle) frame design from their wildly popular Y-Bike mountain bike, the Trek Y Foil
was an attempt at the triathlon/tt market. This bike is also still running the early Rolf paired spoked wheels.
For some reason there was a surprising number of old Kleins participating in the Gran Fondo. Like all Klein bikes, this Quantum Pro
was made from aluminum (a thin wall, stiff material that pre-dates carbon fiber). Gary Klein
was also a big fan of internal cable routing long before it became fashionable with carbon bikes in the last few years.
Hanging out at the expo after the race, somebody leaned over to me and said, "Hey, Zap, that's what you're probably going to look like in ten years." I took one look at the guy's outfit and said, "I hope so."
THE FOUR FACES OF BOB ROLL
On the day before the ride, the Gran Fondo's master of ceremonies, Bob Roll showed up at the Faster shop to autograph copies of his book, Bobke II.
Wherever he goes, Bobke is always a hit with the ladies.
Bobke invited Neil and I out for dinner on the night before the ride. No local Mex for us...it was over to Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak House
where Bobke delighted himself with a glass of bubbly, a (bigger) glass of some 2005 French Burgundy wine, and to top it all off, Kaspian Sea caviar. Although we didn't believe him, Bobke assured us that it was the ultimate pre-Gran Fondo meal.
Out on the road, Bobke impressed many with his mean sprint...something he attributed to the "muscle memory that I still have from racing the Tour in 1986!" Bobke was aboard his custom Guru with Reynolds wheels, Zipp cranks, Deda 35 handlebars, and Shimano drivetrain.
Scottsdale is definitely a city that understands and appreciates all things aero. As such, event co-sponsor Reynolds wheels is doing their best to fulfill the needs.
AND JUST BECAUSE WE COULDN'T RESIST...
One of two fathers of the aluminum bicycle frame (Cannondale was the other) Gary Klein was an interesting guy. He was smart, he always packed "heat" in his fanny pack on rides and above all else, he had a good sense of humor. Although he started in the road bike market, the Klein brand became more popular in the dirt world with riders like Tinker Juarez aboard. Like himself, his bikes were always colorful and unique. After Trek bought, and later killed the brand, Gary went back to his home state of Washington to undoubtedly do something worth talking about. We miss Gary Klein.
Here are some old Klein bikes
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