Saturday, February 18, 2012

First Look: Trek Madone 4.9 by RoadCyclingUK

Roughly six weeks ago, I treated myself – yes, spent my own money – to a new bike to replace my test Dedacciai Strada Assoluto – a bike that I had ridden with some gusto and enjoyment during summer and autumn last year. I was sad to see her go back and am hoping she gets a good home.
Now then, four of those said weeks have been spent coughing my lungs up due to a chest infection (I’ll spare you fine readers the rest of the details), but over the Christmas break I finally managed to swing a proper leg over my new all-American hero. (You need to say all-American with a John Wayne-style accent, I find.)
I once sat in a pub with a well-known cycling writer and a Trek marketing person and watched with hilarity as this quote was laid down to the ashen-faced rep. “In my opinion, Trek are the better-handling bikes, but given the choice for the long term, say 20 years – I’d go with a Giant.”
Now, ordinarily, you would think this was a near-the-knuckle thing to say to the former’s representative. But, you will note that four strong beers and a homemade pork pie can certainly bring out the underlying truth.  He stuck to his guns too, you’ll be pleased to hear folks.
So then, with this in mind, I pondered whether to go short or long term. Well, there’s a strong possibility we’ll have discovered, populated and duly begun to ruin another planet in 20 years, so I might have to go with the ‘short term is best’ option. Besides, all bikes will be touch screen by then anyway – won’t they?
Without further ado, here are some early thoughts so far on the Madone 4.9…
The ride
It’s quite unfair of me to compare this bike to my previous Italian number. There’s no comparison – the Trek is fantastic. Smooth, quiet, purposeful, dynamic, light as a feather and made of what feels like higher-spec carbon – there’s a real premium feel to it. Even the Bontrager saddle, which I’ve seen replaced almost immediately on RCUK test bikes in the past – is very comfortable and well made. I see no reason to part with this one. Indeed, it pains me to say it as a lover of the Italian bike scene but this really could be Clint Eastwood’s finest hour – for the money. Time will tell, of course.
The  Madone 4-Series bikes sit neatly in the ‘WMNDM’  – my Wife Might Not Divorce Me if I buy this without permission – bracket from £1,775 to £2,700 [how do you work that one out? -ed] and is well specced for the money. The top version, this version, comes with Dura-Ace Lite, although this is basically only cranks and rear derailleur for those who have just begun to jump up and down uncontrollably.
Trek boffins have completely redesigned this series for 012 and like the VW Golf, rumour has it that their tweaks have improved on what I feel is an already very good ride.
The looks
They are absolutely knockout, thanks to a great paint job. Trek finish their bikes incredibly well and the paint scheme on this model is exactly to my taste, but this will always be horses for courses. If you’ve got enough cash and want a Trek, you’ll no doubt be going through their bells-and-whistles Project One system but, as I’m a tight-fisted [and some – ed.], flash-Harry so-and-so from Essex, what’s not to like from my point of view?
I’m looking forward to spring now; not because winter’s generally cold, damp and foggy and we only get what feels about two hours of daylight at the moment, but because the thought of riding this bike on a lovely spring morning makes the winter gloom disappear quite quickly. The last word, however, goes to another all-American hero. Take it away, Steve…”I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.”
 *** Article Originally Published by RoadCyclingUK

Monday, February 13, 2012

Check Out Trek Headquarters With Us at Schellers Cycling

Trek Bicycle Corporation’s HQ in Waterloo, Wisconsin is an impressive place to visit. The 205,000 sq ft facility houses 800 employees, and one of the only large-scale bicycle manufacturing factories left in the US.
The employee roster breaks down roughly 50/50 when comparing white to blue collar workers, illustrating that Trek's domestic production is more than a token effort. The 400-or-so-strong white collar workforce makes up the vast majority of Trek’s engineering, product management, graphic, marketing and business support staff. However, Trek also maintain a three-person suspension development lab in Southern California, run by Jose Gonzales.

At the heart of their Wisconsin headquarters is Trek's carbon manufacturing. All of their Madone 6 Series road bikes – 16 models, if you include framesets –are made in Waterloo, along with other top-tier models including Speed Concept 9 Series time trial bikes, and Top Fuel, Fuel EX 9.9, Remedy 9.9 and Superfly 100 full-suspension rigs, are made in Waterloo. Trek's US production amounts to roughly 25,000 bikes annually.

Unfortunately when BikeRadar called on Trek, the production line was filled with 2013 bikes so our tour guide, mountain bike brand manager Travis Ott, wasn't allowed to show us the factory. Waterloo also serves as the base for Trek’s Project One program, which allows users to pick custom graphic and paint packages, as well as the sizing and specification of their new bike. 

****Article Originally Published by BIkeRadar.com

Friday, February 10, 2012

Just In: 60% of Women Would Choose Cycling Over Sex According to Bicycling Magazine

March Issue Reveals Most Female Cyclists Would Give up Sex Before Their Bike, According to a Survey of 5,000+ Readers



According to a survey of more than 5,000 cyclists in the March issue of Bicycling magazine, 58 percent of women would choose cycling over sex, if they had to give up one or the other for a month. The issue hits newsstands this week.

The results are found in Bicycling's 2012 "Reader's Choice" poll, an annual survey that offers a unique window into the minds of cyclists, covering everything from motivation to movies, food to fashion, endurance to embarrassment, and of course, how they feel about sex vs. cycling (for the record, male respondents were evenly split at 50 percent on whether they would give up sex or cycling).

"The results of our Reader's Choice poll provide an intriguing glimpse at just how much cyclists love to ride - sometimes even preferring it to sex," said Peter Flax, Bicycling editor-in-chief. "Whether they're riding 50 miles on the weekend, skipping work to ride, converting friends to the two-wheeled gospel or watching Breaking Away for the umpteenth time, our readers indicated that cycling is an essential, immeasurable part of their lives."

Other noteworthy results from the survey include:

- Celebs: asked to name their ideal celebrity to go on a bike ride with, most women would choose Patrick "McDreamy" Dempsey; the men opt for supermodel Gisele Bundchen

- Smooth operator: 64 percent of female respondents said they prefer a male cyclist with shaved legs versus those with hairy drumsticks

- Playing hooky: 32% of respondents admitted to skipping work so they could ride instead

- Driving force: 79% of respondents ride to stay healthy; 73% for fun; 67% to reduce stress in their lives

- Going the distance: 46% consider a "long ride" to be at least 50 miles; 37% say it's 100 miles

- Ouch: 55% said their most embarrassing moment as a cyclist was failing to clip out of their pedals in time

The entire Reader's Choice feature can be found online at BICYCLING.com. The survey was administered online through Bicycling.com in November 2011, yielding more than 5,200 responses.