Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Today's Retro Photo: Col du Tourmalet

Two views of the Tourmalet in the Tour de France: 1954 and 1990 (with Greg Lemond astride a Campy-equipped Look bicycle).

Interesting to note that the altitude of the pass rose one meter in the 46 years between the photos--it was shown as 2,114 meters in 1954, and 2,115 in 1990.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Yesterday's Ride Photos

5-26-13, a set on Flickr.

A 70-mile cruise from Campy Only World Headquarters to Calistoga, in the Napa Valley. This was a training/maintenance ride for the upcoming San Francisco Randonneurs "Dart" event in two weeks--200K from Davis to Berkeley with the "Late to the Game" team.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Folsom Criterium 5-25-13

P1040156 - Version 2

Folsom Criterium 5-25-13, a set on Flickr.

Photos from the Pro-1-2 race at today's Folsom (CA) Criterium, win by Willie Myers of Marc Pro/Strava

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Campagnolo Shifts Focus to Original Equipment Market

Campagnolo has announced a major change in the way it does business as it passes the 80-year mark as a company and looks to increase its market share.

Campagnolo marketing director Lorenzo Taxis

The change involves Campagnolo's decision to try to wrestle a larger share of the original equipment (or "OEM") market away from ShimaNO, which has long held a stranglehold on the market for parts sold on complete bikes. (To see how much of a lead ShimaNO holds, go to any bike shop anywhere in the US or the world, and compare how many of the bikes in the showroom are built with ShimaNO vs Campagnolo.)

ShimaNO went after the OEM market decades ago, building relationships with bicycle makers and designing parts to, in part, be easy to assemble onto bicycles in an assembly line environment. At the same time that ShimaNO was pursuing the OEM market--including the lucrative lower-priced lines--Campagnolo was focusing on more expensive lines intended mostly for people who buy a frame and then put parts on it themselves.

Campagnolo marketing and sales director put it this way:

"Customers used to buy frames and had it assembled with our parts into a complete bike. Now they buy ready to ride bikes which are pre-assembled. This means that our strategies have to be updated. We need to focus more on OEM business and need to provide better service to the bicycle makers and the bike brands, We are sure that our parts are suited for OEMs."

Will this mean we'll see Campagnolo parts on more bikes in your local shop in years to come? Could be. It would be nice for the company to increase its business and build a base of riders eager to upgrade to Campagnolo's higher-priced lines. However, they'll be working against a firmly entrenched rival in the form of ShimaNO ... and against the inertia of suppliers, manufacturers, dealers, and bike shop employees--and customers--accustomed to selling, working with, and buying ShimaNO.

Campy Only wishes them well. We'll report back on this shift as we hear more.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Today's Photo

Taken with CampyOnly's Lytro camera:

Click on the image to refocus.

Campagnolo Launches New Cult ... Wheels

Campagnolo has announced the arrival of an all-new Bora Ultra 35 carbon tubular wheelset that includes both diamond-ground braking surfaces and "Ceramic Ultimate Level Technology" or "C.U.L.T."

The wheels feature all sorts of high-tech wizardy, starting with those diamond-cut braking surfaces.

As reported by Bike Radar,

"The company claims that this process eliminates impurities that can result from sanding the surface to remove resin."

Well, at least until you use the brakes for the first time in the wet, in which case you'll be loading impurities onto the rims faster than you can say "road grit."

Also of interest is Campagnolo's use of a dab of extra carbon fiber opposite the valve stem to balance the wheels. Great for riders who regularly go so fast that they can feel their wheels going out of balance, and news to the rest of us who have been riding unbalanced wheels for more than 100 years.

Bike Radar's writeup (which as of today lacks pricing info ... hint: they'll be expensive) is here.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Davis Double Early Miles 5-18-13

Although the Campyonlyguy rode the entire Davis Double Century route a week ago, the temptation to take part in at least a bit of the official ride was too great. So ... the alarm went off at 4 a.m., left the house at 4;49, and off we went on the firat 40 or so miles of the course. Hit up the link for photos from the early miles.