The bike industry seldom sees extreme innovations; rather, continual refinements. Year to year, we see new technologies introduced into all aspects of cycling including performance, aerodynamics, and safety. While the marketing departments of our industry are quick to use phrases like “game changer” and “industry defining,” the reality is that small improvements don’t usually justify going out and buying a new bike every year. Among the sea of small innovations, the cycling apparel world has not been rocked in some time… but that’s about to change.
Four years in the making Assos has finally introduced their new S7 line which just may deliver on the promise of “Game Changer”. The S5 Series we have all grown to love has been completely retired, and our trusted Mille Bibs are something of the past. This is a strong statement from the Swiss company, and one which sets the bar higher than ever. The real question is does Assos deliver? Yes. Yes they do.
Here at Signature Cycles we were lucky enough to receive a pair of their Equipe S7 Bibshorts back in October. Since then we have tested these, and can easily say that a new bar has been set. These bibs, placed one tier higher than their entry-level short, are more comfortable than any bib we have ever used, even Assos’ own FI13 flagship offering from the S5 generation. Much can be said about the technology that has been put into S7, the testing, the fabrics, and what people will notice. For us, it’s simply about the ride. If you’re considering purchasing one new item this season, a pair of S7 bibshorts from Assos should be at the very top.
Fall is in full swing here in NYC. Thoughts of bare-kneed riding are a distant memory as I check my phone’s weather app to see today’s high: 55 degrees. It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful weekend. October and November are my favorite riding months here in New York and Connecticut. Aero-race gear is replaced by fenders and trusty hand-built wheels. Cyclocross and gravel grinding bikes begin to appear on the roads equipped with 25 and 28mm tires. Best of all, those extra 5 pounds of “winter weight” become a socially acceptable accessory.
With the weather change, I am constantly reminded of that Golden Rule: “There is no bad weather, just bad equipment.” For many of us, it’s difficult to justify a good pair of winter tights, as compared to a new gadget for our bikes. However, investing in your cold weather gear will ensure a great riding experience for years to come. Here, we offer some of our trusted favorites and also some of the latest, groundbreaking cold weather innovations.
I’ve been known to be a little hard on products sometimes, expecting more than most. I feel that with the cost of admission on the products we sell, they should work in a spectacular and carefree way. I have always appreciated the smooth ease of use that comes with Shimano products. Simply said they set up easy and work well.
I have never been a fan of SRAM road components. I remember when SRAM Red first came out and everyone was saying how lightweight it was. That’s great that it’s so light because I wouldn’t want anything heavy on my bike that doesn’t actually shift. Needless to say, while I was never a fan, some customers and friends loved it. Over the years I learned tips and tricks to set it up better than most. I used chain X with cassette Y and voila! The SRAM shifting is almost as good as Campy and Shimano.
When the new Red was announced I was intrigued by the group. The Yaw front derailleur looked hopeful. The new shifter shape looked as if the ergonomics would be wonderful. The cassette elastomer thing was a little weird, but who knows maybe they got it this time? The brakes reminded me of designs of the past, but not in the good way with it’s single pivot with a leverage increasing arm. I was intrigued but not sold. Would these parts be a “real” functional competitor?
Last winter a new frame was on the way for me, a lightweight carbon one. A Guru Photon to be exact. Full custom to my fit, design and ride preferences. A 740gr hot rod. What group should go on this rig? Di2? Campy? SRAM? “Wait, did Justin say he’s putting SRAM on his bike?” Soren and Lori scratched their heads. I decided to “Make The Leap” as they say. The group looked promising and all the folks at SRAM were so excited. I decided to go for it! Continue reading