Thursday, December 03, 2009

Interbike 2009 - Review of Predictions

Let's go over my somewhat dubious record of Interbike predictions. This year I made a bunch, rating them in terms of possibility. Let's see what happened...

1. Aero mass start helmets that offer ventilation.

I would say that this was a big failure. Giro did introduce a new helmet, and they didn't boast about ventilation. Instead, they mentioned weight. But nothing about aero.

I figure in the next year or so we'll see something like this, an aero mass start ventilated helmet. Since the helmet is one of the most significant areas to make aero improvements, it would make sense to have a team (like Riis's Saxo Bank team, for example, or Stapleton's Columbia HTC squad) hit the front on a crosswindy day and drill it. Instead of just fitting aero wheels to aero frames, the riders would also have semi-aero helmets, shoes, and whatever else they can use to slice through the wind.

2. Aero shoes.

Booyah. Bont aero shoes. And man, they look aero. We'll see if anyone uses them to any significant effect in a mass start race. If someone on Bont Cronos solos off in the last 2k of a big mass start race (like a stage in the Tour, or, heaven forbid, a Classic) and holds on in front of a blindingly fast field sprint, the shoes will fly off the shelves.

I think light shoes will be big this year, and I hope to jump on the bandwagon soon. Shaving 300-400 grams on a pair of shoes, that's not too shabby. I have a slight bit more understanding on how hard it can be to lose weight, and how significantly weight loss affects performance. Since I'll be adding 400+ grams to my frame weight, I'll look to lose that elsewhere on the bike and/or rider.

3. BB30 frames, and lots of them.

Yeah. Heck, it seems like everyone is doing one. SRAM and FSA are also making cranks for them. I'm ordering a BB30 frameset from a small builder.

4. Aftermarket fork/blade units.


5. Vertical blade fork.


I think the last two have to do with a combination of UCI rules, liability, and the fact that it'd be difficult to make such things to fit a variety of frames. Integration with frames that aren't designed for aero to begin with would be problematic too. Plus, if you're making something like that, sell the whole frame for a whole lot more money.

Not very interesting, but I prepared a shell draft (with no words) when I first set out my predictions. I forgot to post it in a more timely fashion so here it is.

No comments: