Tuesday, March 24, 2009
How long into the Bouledogue tout noir's 2009 racing season would it take before we marked up our first win? Thirty minutes or the duration of the first women's race of Kevin's Crit Series, a week-long escapade into south side bike racing.
It was only appropriate that the women's race came down to a duel between riders on sister teams: Janette of the All Blacks and Sophia of team Tati (supported by the tactical genius of Tati's J ). Although Janette did the early work, it was Sophia who ultimately split the field with a well-timed attack. As Janette dragged the lead group of three around the course, concern grew that she might be burning the candle wax at every end. But those thoughts were incorrect. During the last lap Rho managed to attack, get caught, and (with perfect advice from team mates Val and Josh) won the sprint by several bike lengths.
Rho recapped the final lap: "The bell rang. I kept pushing through the wind, rounded the corner...and powered. I knew it'd be me or Sophia at that point... saw Val screaming by the final turn. I took it sharp, put my head down into the wind, and hammered. Looked like I won."
Half Acre Cycling deserves much credit for putting the Kevin's Crit Series together. It was a smart, fun, and well-timed idea; and we can't thank you enough for taking the time to put it all together.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
While inspecting the latest shipment of team bikes for team all black, my attention was immediately drawn to what is probably the best aluminum bike on the market and the best-kept secret in bicycle manufacturing today. I love carbon-fiber bikes, but the Storck Vision Light is the most drool-worthy frame drawn from the element with a standard atomic weight of 26.9815386(8).
The tubes are brawny and do not feel as if they are made out of soda-cans like many other aluminum bikes. It has an anodized black finish that is very durable and white graphics that make for a stunning and timeless look. Storck also uses a type of double-pass welds that no other bike company can do. As a result, the welds do not need filing, which results in a much stronger joint.
With all these points aside, I believe that quality of manufacturing can often be measured in the care put into small features, and I usually look at the construction of a bike's dropouts for some sense of the engineering invested. Most bike manufacturers will use dropouts made by stamping out a flat piece of metal. They take a thick bit of aluminum and then cut some holes out of it: easy and cheap. However, take a look at the dropouts of the Storck Vision Light:They definitely do not look cheap, nor will those internal ribs allow your rear wheel to twist the rest of the bike like a flat dropout might.
The Vision Light also has the cleanest and most appealing cable-stops that I have ever seen, and they use the same stops on their more expensive carbon frames.Photographs do not do this bike any justice, and you will just have to see it for yourself. With a pair of deep-dish carbon wheels, the Vision Light would probably be the best criterium bike on the market (and relatively cheap). It is built to race, and you can only find it at Tati.