Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ball and Chain

Even when you're at a handmade bike show sometimes there are parts that have to come from a factory. Let's be honest here, many components on a bike are precision manufactured and the engineering behind them is a work of art in and of itself. Today I'm going to run through some of the cooler parts that I got the privilege of drooling over in between the bikes.
We'll start off with the original Brooks leather toe straps. Still going strong after all these years. I will one day have a fixie with brooks straps and saddle, it's just a question of funding.
Have you ever wondered where all those amazing Thompson components come from. On the left is the starting billet for a Thompson stem, next to it is the intermediate and finished product. The tube on the right is a seat post blank. Every post is machined down from that... as is my cool new key chain.
If that doesn't get you excited than why are you reading this bolg... that's a lot of Chris King components right there and in lots of pretty colors too.

I don't want to appear biased, so here's a shot of the insides of Cane Creak's 110. They are convinced that it's the best headset on the market and it has a 110 year warranty to back it up. Anyone out there actually spent the money for one that can tell me if it's really better than a King?
Ever wondered where cassettes come from. Here's the before during and after shots of Sram's Rival cassette. I was honestly disappointed that they didn't have the same for red, but lots of cyclocross bikes I saw were runing Rival casettes so these things must do something right.

We'll end today with a view of the future. I wasn't sold on this setup before, but I've seen it in action now and talked to one of the lead engineers on the project. All I can say is wow, it shifts fast and clean and he said that he hasn't gotten a battery to last less than 1500 miles on a single charge. Even though it is butt ugly (especially next to Red) and not the lightest component out there I would buy it in a heartbeat... you know if I had the money.