Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Midtown, NYC

words/images Judith Ecochard

'No bouncin' round the room-meaning-taking a spin, at this showcase---but clearly- plenty of great rides for everyone ---from tots embracing the ways of the wheels-trail demons on re-invigorated GT bicycles' heart-pound potential, mountain bike rides---everyday, urban warriors' city spokes (also heart-pounding at times)-on up to one of the top of the line race rides for the podium wannabes- by Cannondale.

And accessories...less than $100 per.

BPA free water bottles/cages 

Be seen...design matches vintage good looks of Schwinn bikes

Cannondale's multi-tool at most bike shops...very handy&compact

For kids---a lot of fun stylish options that any boy or girl would be happy with. Remember the 80's? GT does with the Performer- a 20"redo of that decades bikes---also in 26" for adults.

For the Chevy in you---this Corvette bicycle----details like an odometer adds to this cruiser's appeal.

Mongoose BMX are sold at Walmart-good looking bikes under $200.

Schwinn's Petunia bike fo girls $99.99

Helicopter parents everywhere...a bicycle for you---errrr...meaning your kids but these Schwinn Easy Riders have push/pull steering---and when you get comfortable letting your children get along with their young lives (finally)-the steering handle detaches...but no fear, training wheels are an add-on option too. Grow With Me rides $99.99

Schwinn's Grit 

Scwinn's Tricycles...that kids can ride on their own---have Roadster cred---pneumatic tires, adjustable saddle, gripped pedals in cool retro style...

Gripped pedals on Roadster's-nice!

Other accessories---include colorful bicycle helmets---but we loved this wagon---reminded us of a jaunt to Ocean Beach on Fire Island---where seemingly everyone had one of these in the no car community.

Next up ---we ventured into the adult realm of rides. Cannondale's Quick Line ---got tagged as the 'SUV' of bikes---here the Quick CX is the next level of that series-with front suspension, knobby tires for extra traction over hazards like potholes, disc brakes---and a sloped top tube "a little up" for a comfy ride.

A good urban ride for women---great fit with gals wanting to get fit-"with gears that you can get going in.".

Full suspension mountain bike 29ers are getting a lot of love these days-with stiff frames, techy suspension systems and deft handling for all skill levels.

GT Karakoram---with 29 inch alloy dics hubs -hits that segment of the market for under $700- a hardtail mountain bike with Tektro Aquila linear-pull disc brakes, front suspension for FUN off road adventures, Shimano 27 speed drivetrain  ....in a tough/lightish  Triple Triangle 6061 aluminum frame with hyrdroformed top tube and downtube, . For the price point "damn good." And nice to see that GT-known in the past for its high-end performance BMX rides-with a new parent company these past two years-is delivering innovative options for consumers-at 'average' price points. (FYI-named after that mountain range Pakistan, India and China).

If the best looking bikes were given their own awards show-Schwinn's Signature Series would be up for Mr/Miss Congeniality.

The City-new for 2012 has the form function/lifestyle design thing down---as part of this iconic American brand 's Heritage signature line.

Snazzy elegant leather grips-plus internal gears-you can shift while you stop-"adds weight" but not a factor for this cruiser-ideal for flat beach communities.

Industrial and graphic- double top tube shape

Sold without basket but it's sold as part of a new accessories line for Schwinn-lifts off  and attaches on for easy hauling

Pretty, pretty cool the GT Laguna/$385-terrific price point for a basic ride -21 different speed options, front suspension in an aluminum frame. 


Cannondale's urban bike Bad Boy- spawns Bad Girl-3 models/2 sizes ($800-$1670)-in eye-catching matte black frame, with micro-suspension for commuters-and multi-tasking for fitness rides, all in one.

What really grabbed our attention-the- one sided mount "Lefty Headshok"with One Piece Integration fork (Cannondale offers this on different versions of their mid-high end priced bicycles-we were told)---kinda like a car mounted tires---engineers developed this for better, more responsive feel and agility, laterally more stiff, and it saves weight-pictured in the Bad Girl 1-top tier version...with a drivetrain -Shimano Deore/SLX with Magura Hydraulic disc brakes. Sweet. And more sweet-can change the inner tube without taking off the wheel.

Remote lock out suspension-for rigid uphill climbs-or not racing downhill.

maybe appealing to the same gal-in a different frame of mind-the All American/Nascar ($660)-super deluxe-a fun throwback to the 50's, IMHO-with a beverage and bottle opener---and life made simpler-an easy gear and a hard gear.

Arched hubs line race car wheels...

Springy fork


2 gigantic springs on the saddle for comfy ride

GT's Zaskar XC bike replaces the Marathon-----"that was good for endurance racing---but is now tailored for the 'average' individual"-wanting a FUN racer type/cruiser bike-with efficiency. Ideal for jaunts on cross country trails for riders who "just want to chill out." 

Out since July (Expert/Pro Models $4400-$5500, parts dependent)- with both front and rear shocks, with leg oil damper-like a motorcycle-with rebound adjustment and remote lockout on fork.

Completely redesigned from the ground-up-changed frame to full carbon, redesigned suspension system-independent drivetrain remains isolated from movement of the suspension-"no interference" -tracks the ground well---so "going downhill in mountain biking-you can still feel the ground." This full suspension bike "levels it out" so you don't have to develop the riding skills of a hardtail mountain biker. User friendly-and 29 inch wheels.

The priciest set of wheels at this event belonged to Cannondale's SuperSix EVO Team Bike-all carbon, SRAM components-and with the company's proprietary crank "the lightest and stiffest on the market."

Probably to the horror of the nice PR gal that led us around-we got educated for many minutes- on exactly why BallisTec™ Carbon is the top of the food chain for carbon, so to speak-with strength, resistance and stiffness-in higher modules or lower modules ----depending on specifics. "The key to carbon manufacturing is figuring out the right blend ratio of stretchy/ hardness."

WHAT ELSE-the lightest and stiffest frame "does not have sexy curves"---so the continuous BallisTec™ carbon fibers of the EVO---"takes modules and super charges it." Interesting we thought-it was originally designed for the military---and made in Japan-a country with not much of one. FYI- we were also told Cannondale must sign documents accounting for each ounce bought of this highly controlled substance---that the fibers go into bicycles-not weapons, we guess...as it was originally made for bullets. Impact resistant-we think so.

Multiple layers of carbon fiber  are not random-each of the key areas of the frame are analyzed under real riding conditions-and  addressed-for structural specifics-like impact, other demands for 'snappy-ness'-others for stiffness..i engineered layers-.and of course,  to eliminate redundant material because it adds weight. Similar in theory to cutting edge technical fabrics which are really multi-layered- with laminates and treatment and fiber blends fused in what looks like a simple sheer textile but is actually a result of a science project-often driven by a critical-  particular need...like the military's requirement for no-melt breathable/moisture wicking materials for uniforms.

Consisting of strips of unidirectional carbon layered onto one another-...fast rides for fast times...these wheels were "built in a lab-you crash them you are done." $3500
A hard wipe out in these carbon spoke wheels and learn to feel 'Sayonara' in a New York minute.
ADDED PLUS; Cannondale also know for its vibration dampening, via special flex points incorporated in its tube design in  "Synapse Active Vibration Elimination"

Switching gears---this retro style Schwinn

Eco friendly-reviewed here

More accessories-always welcome....

Helmet -good for ponytail wearers.

Air pump with a gauge-we need to give this to every rider we know. very handy

GT Performer- the classic 80's BMX ride-with crusier 26 inch wheels -that is skate park to parking lot fun- an affordable freestyle ride in high tensile, straight gauge steel. Here in chrome with gold components- $425---nice.

Another Schwinn Signature looker "411"---an all around the town ride-with built-in racks-$690

Reminds us of the days when milk was delivered, 5x week- by the milkman

Best Selling urban ride-Bad Boy by Cannondale-reviewed here

Well another reason the world shops Walmart---for the Mongoose bicycles-that come in many variations...including  all terrain rides- affordable ways to burn off all those super cheapo, junk food calories.

Pictured here-the men's aluminum frame, 29 inch All-Terrain Deception ($219) ---with 21 speed, Shimano equipped drivetrain with SRAM grip shifters, and disc brakes...FYI-at home-assembly requ

Front Suspension

MTB Saddle

We finished up the bicycle portion of the Dorel Industries owned brands with very value priced versions of vintage style Schwinn bikes-all available at Walmart-and we note-all with cool padded Schwinn saddles.

Aluminum frmae POINT BEACH with hand/rear pedal brakes-7 speed rear derailleur $179.99 @Walmart. Stainless steel spokes and chrome fenders-built in back storage rack=classic beach cruiser. 

700 C Solitaire Hybrid Bike-Women's-$199

26 inch-steel frame-Sidewinder Mountain Bike $164 for street or off roads-21 speed with SRAM grip shifters


Old school Schwinn Breeze Saddle

Schwinn Breeze $149-Retro style cruiser with distinctive brick color tires-chrome fenders-women's here-men's available in charcoal. 

smart flatlock seams-no chaffing.. mesh panels-breathes

ergo sleeves that's don't bunch up

Now that we train on tri bikes a whole lot-the importance of smart functioning apparel makes a difference in how we feel. Though we still can't quite get used to the whole guys in tight spandex thing-we get why...

So when we admired "Jason"-it wasn't so much his lack of body fat-after all he is a mannequin-but we loved his attire-the top of the line Racing System's Elite (RSE) by Sugoi.

leg grippers don't ride up -but not constricting

Bib short-10 panel construction insures perfect fit &no inseam reduces chamois bulk

Fall 2011 selections include Hot Shot Jersey in flattering princess tapers---nice graphics---and a warm inner fleece.

no chafe collar

Capri-Mid Zero-made from that fabric- proprietary to Sugoi-warm inside-and stretchy with RC Pro Chamois-articulated paneling=great fit.$100

Arms warmers, wind mitt gloves and skull caps...for colder rides.

Firewell-mid zipper...base layer or on its own

Thumb holes

Side pocket zip

OUR TOP PICK-the versa jacket---a vest/jacket combo-remove sleeves on the go---they're attached by magnets...can rip off during a ride and stuff in back. $120

Hydrolite Jacket -water beads right off it still allows you breath w/perforations-semi-fitted with Scotchguard reflective detail 

INFO: www.cannondale.com