Prepare For Battle

There are few things cyclists enjoy more than new gear. Unwrapping and installing fresh bits on a bike has to be one of life’s simpler pleasures.

In the absence of actual new gear to unwrap and install, looking at and dreaming about new gear is a passable time-waster. If you’ve been wasting as much time as me, you already know about the new Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 group that’s in the pipeline.

What will it be? Well, it’ll be 11-speed. It’ll be lighter. It’ll be shinier, probably. And it will include BATTLE INJECTION DOMINATION.

Yeah, you heard it right.

Check out this link from Bike Rumor. Due to some pretty awesome internet translating, the new Dura-Ace 9000 group is loaded with BATTLE INJECTION DOMINATION (yes, it must be capitalized. PRO is capitalized all the time, but that’s dumb. BATTLE INJECTION DOMINATION sounds awesome.).

We all know it will be a precise, perfectly-functioning (probably) product, but really I’m more concerned with what it looks like.

Take the crank, for example. It looks like Shimano is going with a four-armed spider (wait, is it still a spider if it only has four arms?), which is how its XTR mountain cranks work. And that’s fine, I guess — Shimano knows its stuff in regards to aluminum work.

But what’s the deal with the offset arms? Are they for battle? And the brakes? They seem lighter than the current (and past) Dura-Ace. I wonder what kind of domination will come from those? For me, the battle is myself against … well, everything. There’s very little domination going on there.

Despite my high hopes for BATTLE INJECTION DOMINATION, the headlining feature will probably be the 11-speed cassette. I guess that would fit the injection bit — fitting 11 cogs into a spot that formerly held 10.

If you’ve been hanging out here for the past couple of months, you probably saw the whole fatbike brouhaha. I still think fatbikes are like the wacky, look-at-how-unique-I-am step-cousin of the cycling world. Sure, they have uses — fine. I get that.

But this Craigslist ad pretty much wraps up everything in a nice, tidy bow. It’s almost as if the owner realized he was building a dumb bike halfway through the buying process. “On second thought … maybe I’ll just go halfway — just to see what it’s like.”

The title for this ad should be “Fear of Commitment.”

If you’re in the mood to dig into an aero argument, check out the latest tech piece from Caley Fretz at Velonews. I’m on board with wheels, but I still think aero frames are one of the biggest cash holes out there. The most un-aerodynamic piece of the bike/rider package is you. Get slippery and you’ll go faster.

Wait, that sounded bad.



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