Mike's Top-10 2015 Tech Trends
1. Go disc brake – whether electric or mechanical, hydraulic braking is a simply revolutionary leap. If you don’t race, consider it for your next bike. Our disc options include custom offerings from Argonaut, Mosaic and Parlee, with Olympia, Storck and Van Dessel offering downright awesome value in carbon-disc race machines designed in Italy, Germany and the US, respectively. But really, any disc bike will blow your freaking mind. Don't believe me? Come ride our Mosaic GT-1
today. Oh, and I won't even consider electric shifting a trend this season, since that was so last year, but electric + disc = heaven.
2. Go aerodynamic – super techie carbon wheelsets are a given, but new aero handlebars from 3T and ENVE are in the house
, plus an incoming (and, finally, not-ugly) aero helmet from Mavic, all said to produce incredible gains on the clock without resorting to all sorts of nefarious drug practices. Stay clean, stay fast, stay aero. we haven’t gone all-in with aero clothing, but that may be the next step.
3. Go with moldable insoles – we’ve had Fizik insoles for years and have now added Lake’s fiberglass and carbon versions as well. Come see why we are the behind-the-scenes shoe fitters for top-ranking professional athletes and even teams, with experience in road, MTB, triathlon and Cross. We'd argue that insoles are AS important in cycling as they are in running. If you pronate, like most of us, you could use these more than you even know
4. Go to wide or narrow carbon rims? The debate continues. New offerings from Campagnolo and 3T [plus ENVE and Zipp] go wider and rounder, whereas Xentis and Mavic [plus Reynolds] stick with narrower profiles for lower weight and a different aero argument. VeloNews recent carbon clincher shootout saw Xentis finish #1 in Scientific Testing, and Zipp finish #1 in Aerodynamics…the jury is still out, so come talk to us for our faves, and test ride some of our demo wheelsets to help decide. Or troll through our 2015 Component Rankings
for our favorite options.
5. Go with wider tires – ditch your old 20 or 22 mm tires to go up to 23, 25 or even 27 mm rubber and go a step further, run ‘em at lower PSI’s. Your tush, back, wrists and neck will all thank you, and the most reliable aerodynamic and rolling-resistance data shows that wider is indeed better, and also marshmallow-level-comfy. Trust us on this. Oh, and all other things being equal, go with the highest thread count you can afford.
6. Go crazy light – incredible lightweight componentry has been around forever, but never has it been more reliable. We are official dealers for EE, THM, Tune, and AX Lightness, so tell us how crazy light you want your bike to be, and we can get it there, all the way down to 11 lbs, all with full warranty coverage and confidence.
7. Go custom – our list of custom frame-builders is now over half-a-dozen strong, with some of the most esteemed and drool-worthy names in Cycling: Argonaut, Baum, Cyfac, Mosaic, Parlee, Passoni, and Rauler offer a range of materials and styles to suit the most discerning rider. Once you understand the relative value and beauty of full custom - from material tube choices and a precise geometry, to paint selection and component matching, you'll never go back. With over 100 full-custom builds in the Blacksmith quiver, we are confident that we can build your
8. Go with what fits – even if custom is not in the cards, with our industry-leading fit services, we strive to build all of our customers a bike that will fit like a glove. It’s the only way we know how, with our core belief that a comfortable rider will be a happy rider. We’ll then examine riding style, budget and material choices and styles before deciding which of our brands might work, choosing from an incredible selection of over 90 bikes our 7 wonderful stock brands: Ceepo, No. 22, Olympia, Scapin, Storck, Ritte and Van Dessel.
9. Go different – we know you have a sweet roadbike, or you wouldn’t be here. So consider an alternate need. Incredible categories have emerged in the past 3 seasons: 650 MTB offerings provide agility and cushion with all-mountain handling, Gravel Grinder road bikes have opened up terrain never before ventured upon, and stylish city bikes like the Scapin Eleanor offer sophistication and ride quality for non-race days…so consider something different this season.
10. Go with following your own path – listen, I believe in our Component Rankings, and that the little things do matter. But I also believe that, fit aside, it is hard to buy a bad bike these days. The industry is moving fast, with amazing technical advances every single year. I thought I was pretty damn happy with my used Look KG171 I picked up in Cincinnati in when I was 18 followed by a Bianchi Bianchi XL Ev2 from Colorado a few years later, but believe me bikes have come a loooooong way in my 20 years of riding. Entry-level carbon bike? Check
. Stupid-cool carbon crankset? Check
. Old-school-meets-new-skool OS Steel/Di2 Rauler? Check
. Matching his and hers custom Parlees? CH-CHECK
. Bikes rock. So have some fun with yours.