By Jon Hornbeck
PHOTO(S) OF THE WEEK
This is a busy week for new bikes as the top manufacture’s look to release their new or newer versions in their line up prior to the start of the Tour de France.
Cannondale came out with the all new SystemSix which they claim is the fastest UCI production bike available, and Specialized updated their Venge with disc brakes and other new features. We hear there may be some other new bikes debuting this week as well.
Cannondale announced the launch of its newest road bike, the SystemSix. Designed as a complete speed system, this race-bred machine is the lowest-drag, most efficient, all-around fastest UCI-legal road bike on the market today. Not only the fastest in the wind-tunnel, not only the fastest for a select few riders in a select few scenarios, but the SystemSix is the fastest road bike for anyone interested in going faster anywhere.
“SystemSix is the result of a ground-up design where each element is optimized in pursuit of speed,” said Nathan Barry, Cannondale Design Engineer. “Aerodynamic drag is the single greatest resistive force that riders have to overcome so it is important to everyone, not just racers. SystemSix delivers more speed, to more riders, more of the time.”
FIRST RIDE: ORBEA GAIN E-BIKE
Days after attending the launch of Orbea’s new carbon fiber Gain e-road bike in Sun Valley, Idaho, we were back on our local SoCal roads in Griffith Park pedaling up some hills on our good ol’ fashioned pedal bikes. As we rounded a corner past the train rides, we were suddenly passed by a pack of eight riders, two who were riding e-bikes. As we quickly sat on their wheels to steal some speed I rolled up to one older gent and asked him what he thought of his shiny red Trek e-bike.
Without hesitating, the guy looked at me a with a big, broad smile….“IT’S A GAME CHANGER!” before he preceded to go on and tell me what’s become a very familiar story. “I’ve been riding road bikes for years. I retired when I was 60 and kept riding. But when I turned 62 it just got a lot harder….turns out my heart had some ailments that riding my bike was not helping. I got an e-bike and I’m back riding with my friends again. Today we’re doing a 40 mile ride. The e-bike has been awesome!”
ITALIAN FACTORY TOUR: SELLE SMP
There seems to be a trend here in Italy which is that Italian’s really mean it when they say Italian made and family run. Selle SMP was officially started in 1947 by the late Martimo Schiavon which is now currently run by his two son’s Franco and Maurizio.
The brand initially began as a saddle maker for the OEM’s, but in 2004 there was a turning point for the company as they introduced aftermarket saddles to their line up. Focusing on a great product though, a first look at the Selle SMP saddle and you would know instantly that it isn’t like any other saddle on the market.
FROOME IS BACK AND FULLY CLEARED
British rider Chris Froome was cleared of doping allegations on Monday and authorized to compete in the Tour de France after organizers lifted a ban on the four-time winner. Kenyan-born Froome, 33, said he is now looking forward to attempting to win a fifth Tour de France which gets underway on Saturday.
ITALIAN FACTORY TOUR: GAERNE
An iconic brand through out the cycling industry, Italian made Gaerne shoes are as family run as you can get with their factory just right next door to the house where the owner still lives today.
At 86 years old, founder Ernesto Gazzola still walks into the factory everyday to work and over see his product which he first started back in 1962 with the help of two family members which has now grown to a 55 employee business where they sell 79,000 shoes per year.
Based in Coste di Maser in the province of Treviso which is a distinct sports district for Italian made shoes, Gaerne is growing with their family run professional factory with one goal in mind, to make a great shoe.
VIDEO: VITTORIA FACTORY TOUR
LIMITED EDITION FACTORS
Like last year at the Tour de France, Factor collaborated with AG2R La Mondiale captain Romain Bardet to create a unique bike that would propel him to the top step of this year’s race. But for this year’s Tour, all of the AG2R riders will also be aboard limited-edition bikes; the O2 Champs-Élysées.
Each of the two special edition bikes will be available as a rim or disc brake chassis and will come with color-matched Black Inc Water Bottle Cages and painted-to-match Black Inc one-piece handlebar/stem, in addition to Factor’s standard chassis spec with a Black Inc Seatpost, and CeramicSpeed headset and bottom bracket.
O2 BARDET LIMITED-EDITION
Limited to 200 pieces, the O2 Bardet Limited-Edition was designed in collaboration with the French cycling star with twofold goals of raising funds and awareness for the Romain Bardet Children’s Charity and inspiring Bardet with a colorway unique to him. A portion of all proceeds from 02 Bardet chassis will be donated to his charity.
Similar to the O2 Bardet, the O2 Champs-Élysées chassis shows carbon fiber through its clear-coat, in addition to the celestial blue metallic paint. The O2 Champs-Élysées is limited to just 100 pieces, and like the O2 Bardet, it’s available in either a disc or rim-brake spec with painted-to-match Black Inc Water Bottle Cages and a Black Inc Barstem, in addition to the other finishing bits from CeramicSpeed and Black Inc that are standard on all FACTOR chassis.
O2 Bardet Limited Edition Chassis: $5,499 • Choice of handlebar width + stem length for Black Inc Barstem • 0 or 25mm set-back Black Inc Seatpost • Painted to match Black Inc Water Bottle Cages • Ceramic Speed headset and bottom bracket
O2 Champs-Élysées Limited-Edition Chassis: $5,249 • Choice of handlebar width + stem length for Black Inc Barstem • 0 or 25mm set-back Black Inc Seatpost • Painted to match Black Inc Water Bottle Cages • Ceramic Speed headset and bottom bracket
Romain Bardet Limited Edition Replica Bikes: $18,460 • Chassis #1-10, exactly as raced by Bardet • O2 Bardet Limited-Edition Frameset • Mavic Cosmic Ultimate T Wheels • Continental Pro Limited Tubular Tires • CeramicSpeed Oversized Pulley Wheel • Shimano Dura Ace DI2 • SRM Carbon Cranks with PC8 head unit • Fizik R1 saddle • Mavic Comete Ultimate Shoes
Well, that’s all for this weeks Mid-Week Report. Be sure to check back every Wednesday to see the latest news, views and products that have come our way. If you have any questions, comments or requests, let us know: letters@RoadBikeAction.com