The Bottom Line on Keeping Your Bottom Warm: Assos 607 Tights

Review by Lori Hoefer

Dressing for cold weather riding is a fine blend between art and science.  Knowing just what to wear and when to wear it is the art, and having the proper clothing with the right technical fabrics and features is the science.

Over twenty years ago, when I started riding, dressing for cold weather on the bike was more about luck and what’s in the closet.  No science, no art….and surely not enough protection.

The last two winter seasons I’ve ridden through the winter using thermal leg warmers.  While my knees and legs seemed to stay warm, my hips and bottom side really caught a chill at the start of each ride.  But at last I have found the perfect lower body solution for cold weather riding in the Assos Lady’s 607 long tight.

Assos markets the Lady’s 607 tight as an early winter tight.  Much attention was placed on comfort, fit and function in the development of this piece.  Often women’s cycling products aren’t given the attention or the technical focus that men’s products receive.  This is surely not the case for the Assos Lady’s 607 tight.

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Paul’s 2012 Guru Photon – Caffery’s Take

Handmade in Canada, the Photon’s fit and finish are top-shelf.

As elementary particles, photons spend their careers careening through time and space at absurd speeds, blazing true paths, and literally illuminating those who experience them. It would be fun to juxtapose the 2012 Guru Photon here and say that the bike is a different story, but alas, it is not. It’s a remarkable machine, handmade in Canada, that does essentially all of the above.

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Passoni Nero XL – The Perfect Dancing Partner

Forgetting about bicycles for a moment, I am a creature who enjoys aspirational products. I admit it; I am tempted by just out of reach brands and toys that promise the ultimate in an experience or performance. Good enough is never good enough for me. I rarely get disappointed when I cross into the luxury purchase category.
However, there is always a risk of falling prey to being over promised and coming up short on delivery.

My expectations for my Passoni Nero XL were high. They had to be. Passoni was breaking a ceiling set by our other custom brands that already stood as tall as Grand Central Terminal’s ceiling – higher than necessary, but definitely worth the statement.

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You surprise me, Guru…

Very few bikes that I have ridden in the recent past truly surprise me. I can pretty much look at a frame and see what kind of ride quality the manufacturer designed into the bike by their choice of tube sizes, diameters, shaping and manipulation of each of the eight frame tubes. Other than carbon layup and weave direction, the ride quality of most bikes is pretty predictable.

The Guru Photon is a very notable exception. With it’s oversized down tube and tapered, oversize top tube, I was expecting a ride that would make every pebble in the road feel like a speed bump. Guru tuned their massive tubes to absorb rough roads like you were riding your old steel bike. The call out of “rough road” from the front of the paceline doesn’t startle you, when you know that the Photon is going to track directly where you aim it. The bike glides over choppy surfaces like a touring sedan.

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Owner’s Survey: Zipp Firecrest Wheels

101218-zipp-002As we mentioned in our recent review of Shimano’s new Ultegra wheelset, more so than any other component, upgrading your wheels can make a huge difference in the performance and ride quality of your bike. Wheel manufacturers are constantly striving to create the smoothest riding,  lightest, most aerodynamic wheel for professional racers and recreational enthusiasts alike.

Zipp Speed Weaponry has been pushing the boundaries of bicycle wheel aerodynamics since their inception in the late 1980’s. Their design goal is stated right in their name: Speed Weaponry, tools to make you faster. The development of carbon fiber technology has taken the bicycle wheel into new realms of performance, with Zipp leading the industry.

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Review: Shimano Ultegra 6700 Tubeless Wheelset

If we deconstruct the bicycle as a machine down to it’s most basic elements, we are left with two wheels and a frame to connect them. When we examine the physical effort required to move a bicycle forward, air resistance, rolling resistance, weight of the bicycle and the rider, and the incline of the ground are all variables. The force required to spin the wheels is constant. So it comes as little surprise that cycling enthusiasts frequently look to their wheels when trying to extract greater performance out of themselves and their bike.

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Owner’s Survey: SRM Power Meters

Cycling is an easy sport to get in to, but once initiated the pursuit of better fitness is never ending. The more we commit ourselves to the sport, the greater time commitment is needed to produce measurable gains. The calendar has just recently turned over and for most of us a new year means setting new goals. And, new goals often require a new method of tracking our progress.

Unlike heart rate, which can be effected by environmental conditions, power is considered the only absolute measure of performance and fitness on a bicycle. The German company SRM was the first to create a system of measuring power on a bicycle in real world conditions, outside of a lab. Today they remain the leader in the field, but new competitors enter the market every year.

Signature Cycles is the fourth largest SRM dealer in the United States and the largest brick-and-mortar retailer. For our second owner’s survey we reached out to our SRM PowerMeter users to find out their thoughts on the marquee bicycle power system.
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Shimano Di2 Owner’s Survey

111206-Di2shifter-wpShimano Dura Ace Di2 is not the first group of bicycle components to utilize electrically powered shifting, many systems came before. It is not the first electronic group aimed at road racing, Di2 was preceded by a few notable, if underdeveloped attempts. The first Shimano press releases were met with reactions ranging from mild reservation to complete dismissal. Yet there was still hope that Shimano, with their hard earned reputation for reliability, could deliver a fully realized system that would be a true advancement in the bicycle drivetrain.
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Lightweight Factory Tour

110902-lightweight-23-wpTop Secret. Every manufacturer that I have ever visited has a Top Secret, behind the curtain section that is corded off to only those with the proper clearance. Lightweight goes beyond any limited access areas that I have seen in our industry. For good reason, Lightweight is more than just a wheel manufacturer. They are a carbon company first; wheels are just one of the products that they produce in their factories. Lightweight is contracted to build satellites, MRI equipment, airplane components, Formula One parts and a slew of other really cool stuff that requires exacting manufacturing to tolerances measured within 1000th of a millimeter. Think what would happen if the MRI track that the camera rides on is out of true or if a satellite camera mount is off by just a hair. Lightweight lives on the razor’s edge of tolerances like no other company in our industry.
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