Monday, April 11, 2016

Smurfette has her panties in a wad... or part 2.

     In our industry, we tend to get our information directly from media sources. I recall the times when a manufacturer's representative would stop by for a quick clinic and introduce new technology, but that simply does not happen any more. If it does, it is a rarity. Technicians are reading about it one day, figuring it out the next, and watching it change during production runs.

     Shops and consumers are reading the same websites, learning the same controlled, dispersed information. Sites like have taken off. I myself check out BR daily, just for the comments. BR does a great job of re releasing manufacturer's press releases. I cannot even recall one thing they were not excited about. ( Well maybe that one time when they were testing road disc brakes and they didn't work so well, causing the rider to crash. ) I guess what I am asking here is, can you operate a journalistic entity and be critical of the parties that support you?

     Maurice Tierney knows exactly what is happening behind closed doors. He preaches about it here. Now this is a somewhat slippery slope he has to tread upon. If you have ever met MT you know he isn't exactly sleeping on bags of money. He is seemingly doing what he loves and making enough to keep on keeping on. A bit down the road he inadvertently get an email meant for a competitor. You can read that bit here.

     As a writer for a cycling publication you are a journalist. You get paid to write about your impressions of a product, flown all over to attend press releases and trade shows. One would assume that a bit of journalistic integrity would follow. You would write your own words, cough, using your own impressions and findings, and report back to your readers honestly. I am not saying that if a product failed at every aspect you should burn the bridge completely, but maybe you should.

     Velonews published a recall of Mavic R-SYS wheels a few years back. Mavic then hit the reset button and sent out updated versions of the R-SYS. I recall that time in shops, pretty amazing wheels, but I was very skeptical of the over all construction and theory. I am no engineer, I just fix their designs for a living. Six months later, redesigned Mavic R-SYS wheels were back on the market. Velonews writer Ben Delaney seemingly committed career suicide detailing his experience aboard the R-SYS v.2.

     I recall the waves this article created. I was fluttering about the industry side of things during all this and had some amazing rumor mill festivities over beers at industry events. I knew some journalists, I knew some marketing guys, and I knew some yellow clad Mavic people. It was interesting to watch this play out. Play out it did. Kudos for Velonews in allowing all sides to have their respective opinions heard.

     Fast forward several years.

     I am going to copy Velonews technical writer Dan Cavallari's article and his Editor's response rather than hyperlink to it, in hopes you read it. None of these words are mine, they are Velonews'.

From Dan Cavallari of Velonews:

 The best is getting better. The next generation of Shimano’s top-tier Dura-Ace group, already our favorite on the electronic and mechanical fronts, will include a power meter, road-specific disc brakes and rotors, improved Di2 integration, drag-free hubs, and the same clever shifting firmware debuted on the XTR Di2 mountain bike group.
We reached out to a Shimano representative, who refused to comment. But weeks of research, including conversations with industry insiders briefed on the group (who all requested anonymity), and analysis of published and unpublished spy photos, indicate that the group is an ambitious update that closes a few important holes in the current group. The most obvious of those is a Dura-Ace level disc system, which is both lighter and better tuned to the specific demands of road discs than the current technology, much of which is borrowed from Shimano’s mountain bike division.
New Dura-Ace will still be an 11-speed system and will retain the shiny aesthetics of the current generation (somewhat similar to the old XTR 960 finish). But most of the fine details, from hub internals to front derailleur cable routing, have been changed or updated. The Di2 version has been slimmed down, with smaller motors and batteries, and features firmware borrowed from XTR Di2.

Road-specific disc brakes

The addition of a Dura-Ace level hydraulic disc system is the single greatest change. This is the first hydro group from Shimano that appears to be designed from the ground up for road use. (R785, available now, was launched with a rebranded XT mountain bike caliper.) The rotors are road specific, with a new aluminum carrier that presumably cuts down on weight. The steel braking surface of the rotor has fewer holes, which has been shown to reduce brake pad wear.
Internally, the flat-mount caliper has some sort of internal brace for (we assume) improved stiffness and has more clearance for frame manufacturers. Other internal changes offer slightly more pad clearance, which should reduce rotor rub.

Power meter

The new crankset, which retains the current four-arm design, includes a power meter with strain gauges on the crank arms and a “brain” mounted on the inside of the crank spider. It is Shimano’s first power meter.

Integrated junction box

Perhaps taking a cue from the Trek Madone’s control center — a port in the down tube that hides the Di2 junction box — Shimano has developed a sleek, integrated junction box that secures into the bike’s frame. That means no more hanging the junction box off the stem, and more options for internal routing. It also means frame builders will have to build frames that can accept this new feature.
But don’t worry if your favorite manufacturer doesn’t offer this nifty new pocket, because it also appears the junction box will fit in a bar end, as well. The box seems to press into the handlebars much like a bar end plug.

Customizable shifting

Updates to the Dura-Ace Di2 firmware also look imminent. It appears that Shimano will bring the Synchro system debuted on XTR Di2 to the road. Synchro is essentially automatic front shifting, requiring the use of only two shift buttons to shift the entire drivetrain. When the derailleur reaches a certain point (which is customizable) on the rear cassette, the front derailleur shifts, while the rear derailleur shifts in the opposite direction. The idea is a rider gets similar gear jumps with each button push. It’s a system that is made possible by Di2’s incredible front shifting. It’s similar but not identical to Campagnolo’s new auto-shifting options made possible through the My Campy app.
Front derailleur cable routing has been changed for the cable-actuated group, further reducing shift force. The system is apparently much easier to set up now, too.

Radical new hubs

Some of the most exciting advancements are hidden in places you’ll never see. Patent applications for Shimano’s Scylence hub leaked months ago, and now it seems like we’ll see it in action soon. Unlike a typical freehub body that relies on pawls that engage with grooves when the rider pedals, or a star ratchet system that features notched teeth on two rings mounted against each other, Scylence works more like the clutch on your car, but somewhat in reverse, if patent applications are telling the whole tale. An engagement ring is mounted around the axle inboard toward the hub shell, and it’s spring-loaded in such a way that the spring pulls the ring toward the hub shell. A specially designed freehub body with splines essentially pulls that ring toward it, against spring tension, to engage the hub when the rider pedals. When the rider coasts, the engagement ring disengages, creating nearly drag-free coasting.
It wouldn’t be the first pawl-free design to hit the market — Onyx showed off a sprag clutch hub at Sea Otter 2015 — but if history is any indicator, Shimano has taken the drag-free idea and perfected it.


         So who knew the shit storm that would follow? On the surface it seems like just another article about what many believe is coming down pipe from Shimano. But apparently, Shimano was very unsettled. This from Velonews editor John Bradley :

   Drawing a line JOHN BRADLEY·THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2016 UPDATE: Hey, everyone. Thanks for reading and commenting. This went way bigger than I expected it to. To me, it was just a Facebook post I wrote somewhere over the Atlantic when I couldn’t sleep. Got to my hotel a few hours later and was caught off guard by the response. It’s been refreshing to see so much support for our stance and also interesting to hear from those who disagree. For the most part, everyone has been respectful and engaging, two things the internet tends to struggle with. So thanks. And I want to reiterate that the situation that prompted this note was one of many similar situations that have happened in the past. This isn’t a problem with a single band but, rather, one facing enthusiast media in general. To focus on a single brand is to ignore the much larger issue. So my intent wasn’t to punish any one brand; it was simply to explain the how and why of my stance on this stuff. And now, back to the original post... Instead of running a story earlier this year based on rumors and spy shots, VeloNews spent the past few weeks digging for details and confirmation. We got the facts, double sourced, and then, before publishing, called the main subject of the story for comment. Their reply: Run this, and we’ll cancel our remaining advertising with you for 2016. In fact, they threatened to pull their ads not just from VeloNews but also from another title that is owned by the company that owns us. They even reached out to other brands in the cycling industry to try to increase the pressure on us. We didn’t do anything illegal in our reporting, nor were we under any embargoes or NDAs. (Nor were we the only ones chasing the story.) We got the news the same way journalists always do: By calling sources, doing research, and verifying information to tell a story that is of interest to our readers. Indeed, no one has questioned our accuracy. The only issue is that we gave our readers facts that someone didn’t want them to have. I love the brand in question. I count many friends amongst their staff and am a huge fan of their products. They'll continue to receive fair coverage in VeloNews, ads or no. They know, as do other brands in the cycling world, that I would never hold coverage hostage for ad buys. By the same token, we won’t give into coercion or allow brands to hold ads hostage in exchange for editorial influence. I’m all for sponsored content, co-branded events, and other ways that media create new advertising formats. But letting brands use ads to influence editorial coverage crosses a line. If you think I’m taking myself too seriously, let me ask you this: At what point is an industry small and insular enough that the journalists who cover it no longer have to be ethical? I would say no such point exists. So I made a decision this week that cost us money we can’t really afford to lose. (If you’re in enthusiast media, you know how tough things can get.) But we were asked to choose between money and integrity. My point is this: If you stick with your principles only when it is easy to do so, and abandon them as soon as they become inconvenient, you have no principles at all. So know that, while VeloNews’s ad content may change from month to month, our editorial integrity will not. We respect this sport, its brands, and our readers too much not to be honest with them.

     Bicycle Retailer followed up with a commentary that seemed to favor both Dan and John. Read that here. Cycling Industry news' Chris Garrison took to pointing out that part of the issue is publications should not place themselves into relying on advertising dollars to support them. Read that here. Rather, generating revenue from circulation should be enough to support the budget. This is a sticky situation for journalists and their employers.

     In today's online world how many of you pay to read the local paper? How many of you pay to read Velonews online? How many of you pay to find and read any information online? Most of you answered with a scoff. The internet has created a platform that changed not only the way a brick and mortar does business but also the way media supports itself. I would dare say most retail that has any chance at all of surviving, has to find a way to gain presence in the online market. At the very least savvy retailers are becoming familiar with utilizing some form of Search Engine Optimization.

     Back to media. Media publications online rely on advertising dollars. Those banner ads, the pop ups, the sidebar, and most annoyingly the autoplay videos with sound. That is what supports your favorite source of information. I have proven that any jackhole can create a free venue to voice ones opinion, and not make a dime. I can say whatever I want. One would sincerely hope that the journalist writing a review could as well. They have already been vetted by the publication. They have already been scrutinized by their peers and been tasked to create an honest review that must appeal to a broad spectrum of readers. Keen readers will begin to discern whether or not they mesh with a certain reviewer's riding style or capability.

     I for one always found it odd that publications with a ton of advertisements for Brand B, would eventually name Brand B bike, component, or gear of the year. I worked for a retailer who had deep ties to a certain brand. This brand could be counted on heavily to support the shop team. This particular team had a few national champions on board and was well recognized for its role in the community. When the brand had several issues and consumers would ask my opinion as a suitable replacement for that brand I was told to toe the line. Even though I felt strongly otherwise. I knew this issue would present itself, and I was right. I was told in no uncertain terms that I had to fall in line. That Brand B was the reason I could collect a paycheck.

    At this time a co worker wrote reviews for an online publication. His reviews were edited to suit the advertising. He reviewed a fork for this site. He called the manufacturer several times to get input on tuning the fork to his riding style. He conversed with them on what he felt the shortcomings were, and if there was a manner in which he could adjust the fork to remedy the issue. His review was sent in, and the published review went from a 2 to a 4 out of five. The website was plastered with banner ads and pop up ads for the product in question. His editor bowed before the advertising dollar.

     So I ask you. Do you feel there is any integrity left in reviews of product? Are you convinced that Brand B simply buys the review in one form or another? Or do you simply go to BikeRumor for the comments like I do knowing it is smoke and mirrors? Hilarious smoke and mirrors by the way.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Shimano. The giant, angry, blue smurf that's dismantling the cycling industry....part 1

     In case you have been living with your head in the clouds, Shimano is making headline after headline these days, and it has nothing at all to do with the fact they still make a front derailleur. I will first begin by saying I feel that Shimano does make some, if not the very best, in cycling components. I used to be a full SRAM guy. As I progressed in my career, I made the move to Shimano. You can blame Juicy's, and every front derailleur, and every Hydro recall.

     Not that it is anything new, but many throngs of retailers are bemoaning Shimano's pricing structure as it pertains to IBD's vs. internet sales. It has become common knowledge that Shimano components are priced at or below dealer cost online. Consumers know it, and retailers are demanding change. Shimano has no plans to change, and is pretty honest about it when facing dealer complaints.


      Shimano dropped its pricing structure earlier this year. Not, as you would think, to help support IBD's in their competition against online shoppers. It came without a notice or heads up to many IBD's. Again, the IBD was left a little angry and pained, blue balls if you will. It just takes a quick glance at Bicycle Retailer's comment section to see this ager is widespread, with many dealer's throwing the rep out under the bus in the process.

low cost smurf's     head down to the comments to get a Tapas of dealer frustration. Pay attention to article publishing date.

     Now, I work for an IBD. I have friends, many of them actually, who own, run, and buy for IBD's. Many of my colleagues have called for a ban on buying Shimano product. That will get them to listen they say. Sadly, I feel these friends have no worldly idea of what they are talking about. In fact, many of them are running an antiquated business model that has been around for decades. Decades without change. Decades without forward thinking. Decades without a single ounce of prediction, only head in the sand reactionary bellowing from the same internets people are using to shop online. Meet your competition, it is the world, and you are staring at it right now. Perhaps you didn't notice the grimy handshake. Meet the internet, here since 1990ish. Crazily enough the whole selling online thing started decades earlier, and the first item sold was something anyone could grow themselves, weed. So this is Shimano's fault right?

     Shimano is not around to subsidize the local IBD. They are a business. A fairly healthy and well run business that is multifaceted. You know they don't only sell cycling right? I mean they are healthy in that they have a diverse business profile that branches out to gain other sources of income. But most IBD's only sell cycling. As if every IBD is immune to winter. I mean, it's spring now, and sales are healthy. You do remember January and February right? That was about the time you were wise enough to save a few dollars and lay off your second technician. ( Oh don't fret dear reader, there is another piece coming on that bullshit.) How's that working out for you now?

     Shimano. Well, Shimano not only cut it's price structure. It also announced it was up 14% . Is your business up? Notice the date stamped on that article. Yup same day as the price cut. How many times do you as a dealer, cut prices without losing margin, while you are up? Not many. Instead you wait for the big brothers to allow you to cut margin, mostly your margin by the way. SPRING SALES ON 2016 product??????????? Uh, that seems super healthy. What are you looking forward to when your terms are due and you still have floored 2016 product that was already on sale before spring?

     Maybe this is your fault. Yup. Read that again. It is your fault IBD. I have been working in very healthy retail stores that have shelves of black and blue boxes on hand. The same boxes that are cheaper online. A lot cheaper. I have sold XT brakes all day long as replacements for Elixirs and Juicy's. Why? Not because they are cheaper, but because I have them on hand and have technicians who can install externally routed brakes properly in under an hour, on top of their regular work load. I work in healthy IBD's who can make that sale happen. What about your shop?

      " I can order it for you"

     " It'll be four days before we can get those installed"

     " I have so many excuses for not making this sale happen its stupid. BUY LOCAL"

     " There was a delay in shipping, not sure when they will arrive "

     I'm pretty sure the customer has heard all that, and THAT is why they buy online. It's not them, its YOU. It's not Shimano. It's YOU. YOU the IBD. Your outdated, antiquated, surly business model is turning away clients. How may of you are welcoming of clients who bring their online purchases for you to install and don't complain about the cost of labor ? Very, very, very, few. That is pure profit. You didn't waste time ordering. You didn't shelf the product and have no carrying costs. Shops tend to charge $20-$40 per line to install disc brakes. If you maybe didn't lay off one of your technicians and get caught out when the season snuck up on you, you'd be glad to bank that $40-$80. If you are not happy to bank that, then you WILL go out of business. If you give that client the stink eye, you WILL go out of business.

    Quite frankly, you should.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Tri Ahtle tez.

I fucking hate Tri season.

There I said it. I have been wrenching for years and still cannot comprehend the level of shit that Tri geeks lay down year after year after fucking holy hell year.

 If you fucktards could only hear what every wrench in every shop says about you.

You spend six fucking months training for an event. Which means surely you have ridden your pile of parts a few miles. So then you obviously planned for the event, right? I mean you knew the date of the race. A few weeks ago you started your damn taper. You probably bought a damn plane ticket some time after your registration was complete. My guess is you are not sleeping in the woods. So maybe a hotel reservation? 

 So why in the holy fucking hell are you in my shop the day before your plane leaves asking me to box your pile of piss and electrolyte crust? You forget to plan that part douche tard? I mean surely this date just snuck right up on you. Ninja. Oh I am sorry you have a race and need it now? Oh fuck you are doing a triathlon? You must be a badass. 


Oh so now wait....You don't want to pay a rush fee? I mean, sorry you must be right. Certainly you are waaaaaay more important than the people who actually planned their bike repair/boxing out weeks in advance. Hell some of them are your fellow triathletards. Your are doing a FULL Ironman? Oh well right to the head of the line, future Navy Seal...

 OK. So now you have arrived at your destination for your "event". You were smart enough to show up a full two days early. Almost like you planned something. Buuuuuuttt you didn't. You come huffing and pufffing into my shop. On a Friday, and of course you need your bike built. LIKE. NOW. You have to spin out your legs from the flight. Sure. 

 You ever for one damn minute think that on a sunny 80 degree day that maybe we might be busy as hell? That maybe the Tri geeks that live here might have made an appointment to have their place reserved for work? That just maybe the people who live in our community and support us the other 360 days a year, and are patiently waiting AHEAD of you might just maybe deserve my time as well? 

 Another question...How in the fuck did you ride your bike three times a week or more training for this event and not notice your stem was cracked? That your housing was exploded. That your derailleur cable was stabbing you in the leg. Or that you haven't been able to shift into the big ring? I get it. maybe TSA fubared your bike. I accept that and would like to help, assuming you are not a prick and understand I cannot DO IT NOW, but will get it done TODAY.  But nope. You are doing a Tri, so you need it now. 

Coaches. I fucking hate you too. You make money training these fools. Maybe you want to start teaching them the proper way to treat service people. I am not asking for beer here ( I mean I am and will take it ), I am not asking for tip money ( I mean I am and will take that too ), but I am really just asking for you to teach your clients that bike maintenance and just a weeee bit of planning will really make their whole experience better. No pre event stress, no running around like an idiot. Just relaxing and enjoying the area before their "event". Most importantly teach them that I am a human. Let me say that again. MOST IMPORTANTLY TEACH THEM THAT I AM A HUMAN. A person who, as much as I disdain Triathletes for the above reasons, actually does want to help. It's just that other people planned. Other people are nicer. Other people see how damn busy the whole shop is busting their asses to help people. People just like you. 

 We don't sit there and figure out ways to screw you over. You have done a fine enough job of that already. Truly we want to help. We want to save your "event" for you. I want to dial your bike in so you have your personal best, the time of your life, and just basically crush the bike portion. I do. Really. and so does everyone else in my shop.

 All we ask is for you not to be such a compete shit head about it. Stop and think about someone other than yourself in this moment. This high level of stress you are projecting on the wrench or salesperson is not good for you or the person helping you. You are completing the stereotype. You are the reason this is being written.



Oh and another thing....What the fuck is the deal with those socks and shit? 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Stanley passes the pipe. #sramroaddiaries #Sram #buyourshitlemmings #standay

Minute mark 1:40. You issued a statement on a Friday afternoon. No doubt trying to buy time to figure out what the fuck you were going to do. No one can call in on a huge weekend of cross racing a few weeks before Nationals to figure out how to take care of the customer in front of my face.

 Never worked in a bike shop have you Mr. Day?

2:14   19,000 bikes. 5,000 in the hands of the consumer. Meaning the rest are on my sales floor or at Specialized/Trek/....

 You know the cross season hit in all reality sometime in August. When dealers had to have them on the floor or lose sales. Another side of this is the pressure Specy and Trek place on dealers to take their orders and increase their orders every season. Yet another side is the massive marketing campaign you put out insisting hydros were a necessity in 2013/14. ( every mechanic I know cringed, knowing your shit would suck. who was right? )

 Then this:

:15 seconds in you are lying to us.

:37 seconds in you are telling us how they failed. UHHHHH no shit. Pretty much sounds like every Juicy. UHHHH no shit sounds like every Elixir. UHHHHHH no shit sounds exactly like half of every Trail brake. Dude. Where is your head all the time?

 Oh yea. Laughing all the way to the bank. 'Cause your rich as fuck.

At 2:01 you basically admit you saw Shimano's normal looking hoods and realized your skyscraper hoods were ugly as fuck.

2:37 translation...we walked down to the corner liquor store and borrowed their freezer and coolers for lunch "testing".

 3:00 in is the highlight reel. He no sooner says everyone wants to get back on hydros when he has to look away from the camera. That my friends is what we call a tell in Poker. Just sayin....

Hey there Stanley, thanks so much for reading what your payed riders were paid to say about your product. I know for a fact I was pretty much given a gag order to prevent me from speaking my mind about your brakes to customers...because you know....SRAM does so much for racers.

4:06 wait...whut you say? Second half of April I can get new brakes? I can has stop?

Well kids its the second half of April. Your taxes done?

:40 second mark

 Stanley mentions his promise. Remember the second half of April?

UHHHHH oh you mean your going to production on 2015 product to remedy 2013 product about the exact same time you'd go into production for 2015 product anyway........mmmmmmmm? Say like in April. To get product to market for 2015...which is really 2014?

 Now Stanley. I realize you and your board are laughing your asses off. I mean bro, look at your tan. You just stepped off the yacht, and the boys are unloading the Martini's. You know by now you can just sell us anything. It doesn't even have to work. Why?

 Brother you have the best marketing team on earth. I mean you are trying to slide the Guido brakes under our noses tongue in cheek. I mean really. Half baked, half tanked marketing dudes were like
" if we use this font it looks like it says Guide" hahaha

" oh. it is supposed to say Guide, NOT Guido?"


Can't wait to try that.....


Thursday, March 27, 2014

#SRAM still trying to make you stop...

Recently the interwebs have been hilarious. Sram recently announced their new brake system. While many claim that I am just a Sram hater the comment sections of these releases provided non stop hilarity.

 From :

Which has the funniest way of putting tongue in cheek with this headline:


Tad Dickman - 03/25/14 - 12:09pm
I keep reading that name on the lever as the SRAM Guido
Mirwin - 03/25/14 - 12:11pm
“…combined with a piggyback reservoir instead of the Taperbore…”
Oh look, re-badged Juicy’s.
David - 03/25/14 - 12:23pm
I don’t know why they want to eliminate the gobble, that’s a “feature” at this point. “You can hear the quality!”
Skeptic mechanic - 03/25/14 - 12:25pm
Hopefully the release of these brakes wont mean doubling the amount of avid brakes i have to call in for warranty…
Nelson Muntz - 03/25/14 - 2:33pm
I can understand the name change to SRAM.
After the great success of their road discs….SRAM is the first name I think of when it comes to disc brakes.
And recalls.
And re-recalls.
Miles - 03/25/14 - 2:33pm
So if these are hitting the market June 2014, that should put the recall replacements in customer’s hands in the “second half” of February 2015?
captain derp - 03/25/14 - 2:38pm
because one full brake recall wasn’t enough
Nelson Muntz - 03/25/14 - 3:00pm
These SRAMs will actually be lighter than Shimano….because they won’t be on your bike after the recall.
But they will send you some BB5s as replacements so you can party like it’s 1999
rentedshoes - 03/26/14 - 10:38am
Holy crap, even the brand manager can’t look us in the eye when he tells us that these brakes are going to provide “noise-free operation.”
brandon kline - 03/25/14 - 6:24pm
just do us all a favor and give up on brakes already…

 I wonder if anyone at #SRAM reads these comments. Most likely. I know it provided fodder for bench talk at our shop for a day or two. The "Guido" comment was hilarious as a co worker took a quick glance at the press release and immediately wondered why Avid ( oops now SRAM ) would name a brake Guido. Everyone knows SRAVID can market the crap out of shit, but perhaps they need to re examine their font. 
 I am also amused at the name change. Facing the biggest flop in recent years, you drop the Avid name and go with SRAM? Avid was your bailout plan. You sent hundreds of Avid BB5's and BB7's out to rectify the debacle debut of SRAM HYDRO....and follow it up with the Guido, I mean Guide presented by SRAM. Let's all hope you guys rented a freezer for testing this time.

 Oh wait there's more. From VitalMTB:

1 day ago
No matter what color you make a turd, it still stinks!

"Avid brakes, those were garbage! But these new SRAM brakes are awesome!"


And I am sure this new design has been thoroughly tested, just like the road bike disk brakes that were recently recalled.

1 day ago
Maybe they got it right this time.. Ha.. Who am I kidding, this is SRAM we are talking about.

1 day ago
We heard this song and dance before for years.
Please don't spend your hard earned money on this crap !

 I am no engineer, I just fix their shit, or replace entire systems depending on the case. But the people at SRAVID have made a mockery of engineers everywhere. Poor system design after poor system design. Any wrench in the world knows what I mean when I say " I just got SRAMMED." Yup folks that's right I just won a free chain for our shop troubles....
 Call in with a Reverb issue you get a warranty and a free chain. WTF are they smoking? I'd be better off with some Reverb fluid, you know the consumable good I just used. How in the hell does a chain have anything to do with a Reverb? Send me at least a consumable good I can use for the product that failed. I know for a fact I will bleed some poor bastards Juicy's at least twice before they replace a chain. SRAM here's a hint...your chains last longer than anything else you make.

 To the FANBOYS. I don't care. Sure your SRAVID's work fine once their bled right. Sure you gotta know how to work on them. Sure hydraulic systems need maintenance. You see I know all this. The fact you are overlooking is I don't even know where my Tektro bleed kit is. EVEN TEKTRO BRAKES WORK BETTER.
Don't tell me about power. Don't even feign modulation to me. The fact that they are OEM spec on more bikes has nothing to do with how awesome they are. It has to do with how cheap they are and how many SRAVID can crank out of a production line to slap on TREKALIZED bikes as fast as possible. 
 Go ahead and tell me I just can't bleed them right. You sir are staring at your colon. If you can't bleed a SRAVID system you ain't a wrench. You are a grom. 

 As a company they really should quit hitting themselves in the nuts and forgo a new brake design every three years. But hey man, but THIS ones gonna work....for real. We promise.

Call me a hater. But the facts speak volumes in this case.
In case you give any fucks at all. The new Pike is the shit, blows 2013 and 2014 Fox outta the water. The trail brakes are surprisingly OK. Not nearly good enough to stop my desire to buy XT...yea pun intended.
The funniest thing I have come to learn is XO 11 speed kicks the shit outta XX1. The fact that their second tier line destroys the flagship premier line is proof of the shit show SRAVID is selling us. 

I seriously cannot wait for SRAM to debut their electronic road group. What could possibly go wrong there???
But realistically, we are a society that begs for crap to be shoved down our throats. Companies have figured out that we will take it upon ourselves to drown our buyers remorse with excuses and justifications. We no longer give any real fucks about quality. We just want to be cool. Don't believe me?
How fucking far do you have to walk to get a Starbucks?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Kickin the can part one....

Well I am sure as shit going to say I told you so....

     So remember my last post...and when the whole world wide interweb got their panties wadded up at Mike Sinyard?

     I guess I will never ever understand why we always let SRAM and AVID off the hook. They have been fucking more people and more shop owners over for years. Make no mistake about it, the big sue happy S is also to blame. They are the bastards that spec that shit lock stock and barrel. ( I know nothing of what Trek specs because their bikes are all piss poor copies of someone else's work anyway.)

     Here's a bit of my personal history with the SRAM/AVID crap.

Waaaaay back in the day I was a huge Avid fan boy. Sram also. First modern bike was Gripshift and Avid V brake equipped. My bikes prior to this were re fabs. I was a retro grouch due to my socio economic state. I ran what I fixed up from the piles. But when I threw down real money I got a Specialized. Even back in the day them bastards were conspiring against us. But back then, SrAvid had something to prove. Their shit actually worked and was reliable. ( unless you gorilla fisted the cable replacement and broke a bunch of plastic shit.) They were playing to win and knock Shimano off the block.

  2000/2001. XO. Sram was launching their first big silo at Shimano. I was first in line. I got that big ass Tin full of my XO rear mech. I got me a ticket to win at the NORBA Nationals. Free "VIP" schwag handed out by none other than Mr. Cut the Course in '90. All them bitches were jealous....I really was fully into that Sram twisty shit. Every single wrench and person I knew made fun of me. But hey it worked and I was really damn close to a fully non Shimano bike. Which was my goal, to have zero Shimano on my ride.

 As time went on I moved my thought patterns to what I was paid to sell. I was paid to sell whatever corporate partnership product we spec'd on our bikes. If our trailer had Kenda on it, then by god those were the best rubbers you could ride. Fox forks...pure squishy gold. Anything we partnered up with was the company line and therefore my line. Oddly, it was always Shimano. I rode it. I liked it. I was being won over.

 Then I pulled a few years back wrenching in retail. Oh Holy Hell how times changed. The Sram stuff I once loved acted like the girl who just caught you banging her sister. It was a hot mess. It howled, actually gobbled like a turkey popping a cherry. It vibrated better than any Steely Dan on the market, you really could not control it once it started. And then it stopped stopping. It also stopped shifting just about the same time it wanted you to Make the Leap.

 Leap? Hell it couldn't even nudge. The first years of Sram Red front derailleurs alone should have brought that company down in a hell storm of customer complaints. But like most sheep we kept following. It seriously performed so bad we thought it was the new normal. Then myself or some three hundred other mechanics decided that even a Sora would work better. And that became the best way to fix Red front shifting. XX1...shit any wrench can tell you they came up with 1X11 so they wouldn't have to TRY and make another front derailleur.

 Sheeple. Sram counts on it. And most of you thick skulled minions keep walking right off the cliff. Don't even get me started on Rock Shox. They were only better than Manitou. After stuffing stanchions with foam who the fuck thought plastic cartridges were a good idea? I had a Judy DH that leaked like it was a full time job. It was. Rock Shox just finally sent me four cartridges so I could have them in steady rotation and save them shipping charges. Oh and Fuck Reba. Shut up, you brought her home so you get to bang her.

 ( Rock Shox is making some decent shit now, really. Pike ) but

 You pretty much feel that way every time you buy, fix, or ride that shit nowadays. Maybe just maybe your batch is the good one. Maybe. But its all your dollars and all your loss when your ride is in my shop getting bled for the 90th time before a recall...

Shop owners. WOW are you getting fucked. No lube. No reach around. Just a pile of shitty free chains (waiting to be recalled...), free cassettes ( also awaiting their recall), and a few free bottles of DOT. You pay me how much? And your margin was? so factor that into the free man hours you are giving away and you just got raped. But no outrage at all....just sheeple along.

 Fanboys and girls are the greatest.

"Ever ridden a Shimano brake at 0 degs , they don't work either ...."

" have Sram brakes on all of my bike ( bunch) , I've found if I flush the brakes and be fairly anal when setting up , they work perfect.... "

"because Shimano has never had a recall... Um, yeah... SRAM/Avid breaks have gone downhill, but I know plenty of people who had Elixirs and never had an issue, myself included. "

"SRAM drivetrain components work great."

from my favorite ass clown:
"poor baby...u have to r u always complaining....they credit ur service hours anyway...stop hating on everything u have trouble working on...send them to my shop and ill do them...god forbid u have to bleed some brakes...."

"Actually, I like my elixers. It helps to know how to bleed them and have a little patience adjusting the calipers."

more from my favorite ass clown:
" I dont get it...?....bleed them right away when open em folks....bleed them right...they all work fine...iv done thousands....u know when they fill them it comes from a giant drum thats absorbed water...?...maybe try stu class....not rocket science"

 One thing that they all have in common, they all really know how to bleed brakes. BECAUSE they have to do it all the damn time. My favorite is the clown who can't even use english. He was so adamant about Sram crediting you for labor. Brooooooo, a damn chain ain't cutting it in my shop. We do real work and get paid a fair wage for our professional work. Son. I cost money. My owners value me and my co workers. So yea, a chain isn't really covering it.

 Dear Sram,

 Test your shit. Like in a lab or something. We the consumer and end user actually have to PAY to use your crap. Assuming its actually going to work. Please stop using me as a lab rat AND taking my money. If you want me to test your product for you....PAY ME or give it to me for free. 

Yours truly,

Every consumer since 2002.