Monday, 9 December 2013

Leak #2 - Sheman-Oh answer to SPAM XX6

Everyone is wondering how will Sheman-oh answer to the SPAM XX6 drive train. My source in Japan has sent me a leak that the strategy and product line are almost ready. However at this very moment the board is not sure which of the three project proposals will be the way to go! I've been sent blueprints and sketches of one of the projects which is twofold! GOaR crankset and RideOn book of wisdom!

This project group has undertaken a quite innovatory approach to bicycle product design by performing a research with the aim to determine the role of human factor in cycling. They did it because they believed that the new product should totaly push the customers riding experience to another level, not be yet another new drive train. Tests were made in five different locations with riders of various disciplines, ages and riding levels, from weekend warriors to reigning world champions. Surprisingly in every instance the human factor was absolutely dominating. In Enduro racing, the top secret super bike scored 28% against 69% human where remaining 3% was a calculated error. For comparison an aluminium bike without a dropper post scored 19%. Those staggering results have led the project team to the conclusion that a statistical consumer should invest more of his time and money in himself not in the bike. But the biggest problem was how to do it - you can't tell people that they should train more because they will buy less exclusive bikes and that means trouble for the company high-tech R&D departments.

XX6 super wide range cassette was believed to remove the incentive to train in order to run single ring setup. Therefore Sheman-Oh decided that the only components they will offer will be a new single-ring crankset with several chain ring options and marketing campaign saying that the bigger ring you can crank up the hill, the tougher you are. The Narrow-wide chain rings will be more and more expensive with the size and lighter at the same time, becoming a status gadget, starting at stainless steel 32t, ending at 38t Ti chain ring in carbon spider. This a motivation ladder system. The name for the crankset is GOaR, which stands for Go Out and Ride. Cranks are made of 3d printed 8000 series alluminum alloy with 3-dimensional honey comb structure inside and they challenge carbon fiber both in terms of strength and weight. Prototype cranks arms alone weigh just over 400g for BB30 model! Axle interface is identical with other Wholetech2 chain sets. 

The most interesting part is that Sheman-oh team consisting mostly of students, decided to not only give an incentive to train but also a way to train, after they found out that most of average riders does not follow any MTB specfic training program. With the help of coaches and physio-specialists working for various Sheman-oh sponsored teams, they created strength training and nutrition program called RideOn that can be exercised at home. It is structured MTB - specific 6 month training program taking not more than 45mins per session, 2-4 times a week, along with a book giving information on nutrition, injury handling and injury prevention. Boys found out that doing as little as training according to the mini program, which utilizes only bodyweight exercises and takes 15mins a day, you can shave off more seconds of your race or Strava run than with changing that 2007 bike to 2015 super bike. If the project would kick off, buying the GOaR chainset will enable you to get major discounts at local Sheman-Oh agents to get help with training program and eventual skills clinics. In order to test the program another experiment was conducted - 16 average Joes were paid to fly to Champery,Switzerland where they failed to make a single lap at Champery XCO course and get down Champery DH track - 5 of them broke collar bones. Then half of the remianing guys  started training twice a week according to RideOn and went for skills clinics, spending a total of 900$ and 37 hours each. After three months they went back to Champery where they completed the lenght of the course and rode down Champery DH track. The other half was given carbon bikes for the total value of 9000$ being equivalent of over 400 working hours aof their averaged salary. Three of them managed to complete a single lap at XCO, and were repeatedly failing to complete the run on DH track.

Apparently the members of the team that has been working on this project have been fired for hate mongering, ludditism and lack of understanding the main principles of free market economy.

Hopefully in the future I will get hold of other two proposals for Sheman-Oh version of XX6. Until then, remember where you saw it first!

Arguably yours


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  2. Most amateur racers don't train. We just ride for fun and when race day comes we sign up.
    I don't have a dropper post. I stopped during a timed section to raise my seat. I missed a cash pot by 6 seconds.
    I have 2 choices to improve my time. I can restructure my whole life to add in some training time, or I can buy a dropper post.
    I would love to add in training time, but I can't afford it. I can't buy a dropper post for the same reason. I think I am probably slower than I was on that race day.
    As a busy dad I think better gear makes sense for me.
    One more point of interest though: When I get to ride as much as I want I stop wanting better gear. I just love my bike and have a great time. If I could get out as much as I wanted I could add in training then i wouldn't need squat.
    Long point made short: better gear is for rich lazy people, or pros.
    I am neither.
    I still plan to buy a 1up 42 tooth 10spd converter cog so i can ditch the front derailluer, but that has more to do with having less stuff to keep working.

    1. Yes, I believe that everyone has their sweet spot between tech and raw fun. It's a very blurry line though requiring a lot of self control and it is damn hard to have self control these days. I have a very sweet tooth for tech but at the same time I realize the limitations of it. At the same time I could realize it only by doing two things: buying a super bike, and submitting myself to a training program. What I think scares the crap out of many people is that they know very well what is this thing about, that bike stands for little but their gear acquisition syndrome just takes over. I'm no hollier than though, the only thing that stop me from buying lots of stuff I wish to buy is budget limitation and perfectionism .

      I am half way through writing an article about it, Hopefully It will be ready by the end of this week.

      At the very same time, I just wanted to pop a joke with this one without too many deeper thoughts :D