The next time someone tells you road biking is about as exciting as watching cars turning left, show them this video captured on the new Shimano Action Cam.
Shimano has just announced a new Dura-Ace Di2 satellite shifter aimed at sprinters that allows them to shift the rear derailleur from the drops while maintaining a firm grip on the handlebar.
The small lever buttons can be mounted anywhere on the bar and plug into existing dual control levers. There are separate buttons for left and right, with the right hand shifter handling downshifts and the left taking care of upshifts.
Shimano has already provided alternative shift button placements with their electronic aero-bar end shifters for triathletes and time trialists and their remote button module for easier shifting from the top of the bar. Now, sprinters have an option all their own.
They’ll be available come February 2011, pricing isn’t set.
“Shimano makes bike equipment that works beautifully. Campagnolo makes beautiful bike equipment that works.”
“Shimano’s boss did not start a cycling equipment company because his hands were frozen solid on a Giro mountain pass and he couldn’t get his wheel off.”
“Most bike shops sell Shimano. You have to actively make the decision to go the Campagnolo route. This choice marks you out as different and more serious about your sport.”
“Shimano is the world leader in fishing tackle. Campagnolo only makes bicycle components.”
“One is made by scientists in the lab, the other by craftsmen with oil under their nails.”
“Now really?!?………..where did you see someone with a ‘Shimano’ tattoo lately???”
Styled like nothing that came before it, Shimano’s Dura-Ace 7900 group may well be the “Swiss Watch” of the Dura-Ace legacy. It’s mechanical precision is certainly comparable- especially if one has the courage to disassemble the inner workings of its STI dual-action levers-but Shimano’s Di2 replaces the complicated mechanical innards of 7900 with simple (and reliable) electronics. Will Di2 overshadow Dura-Ace STI levers like the electronic quartz movement overwhelmed the self-winding mechanical watch?
Dura-Ace was always Shimano’s attempt to make a top of the line parts group, but it was not really successful until 1984.
In 1984, Shimano introduced Dura-Ace S.I.S. (Shimano Indexing System) the first successful indexed-shifting system. It was a 6-speed system with indexed shifters mounted on the down tube.
As with any new product, once it was in regular use, minor problems came to light, and they were rectified in later versions. One of the risks of buying into a brand new system is that you are, to some extent, a guinea pig. All of the compatibility problems associated with older Dura-Ace parts result from genuine improvements that Shimano made after the original introduction.
Since the original Dura-Ace was represented as the top-of-the-line possible with 1984 technology, Shimano had a bit of a problem explaining changes in compatibility. They didn’t want to obsolete earlier Dura-Ace versions and leave their customers stuck with orphaned equipment, but they also wanted to keep improving their products.
Dura-Ace went through multiple generations, from 6-speed, through 7-speed and 8-speed through the 1996 model year.
1997 was a very big year for Dura-Ace. The system went to 9 speeds, and that was the most publicised change. In addition, however, the entire Dura-Ace system was re-designed and made to be inter-compatible with other Shimano components.
Shimano Dura-Ace 7800 / 7900
Three key words have emerged as the theme for the DURA-ACE system:
Speed and Smooth result in effortless shifting, improved braking operation, enhanced ergonomics and an attractive feeling and design. Strength is focused on the critical need for lightweight without sacrificing rigidity, durability or precision. “100% Power Transmission” is the goal pursued by the fusion of these three concepts.
After a broken leg sidelined his competitive softball playing, Mark Miller’s exercise routine took a different direction. During rehab, the athlete turned to swimming to ease the pressure on his joints. Next, he added cycling and running to his regimen, becoming a world-class triathlete. Eventually, that led to Miller opening his own custom bike shop, Precision Bikes, which recently moved to a bigger space at 114 Rena Drive.
|Photo by Robin May|
Miller’s transition from workout warrior to self-made businessman took several years of intensive training, competing and networking.
Twenty-two years ago, the then 34-year-old competed in his first long-distance race with a group of about 20 local triathletes. Gradually, Miller pulled ahead of the pack, putting 50 half-Ironmans, 27 full-Ironmans and 15 marathons under his belt, including Ironman Roth in Germany and Escape from Alcatraz. In 2010, he reached the pinnacle of the triathlete class, competing in both the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and the Isklar Norsemen Xtreme Triathlon in Norway.
“The Norsemen was the hardest one for me,” Miller says. “I ended up having to spend 9.5 hours on the bike that day before I started running the 26 miles. It took me right at 15 hours to finish.”
Along the way, Miller befriended John Cobb, owner of Cobb Cycling in Tyler, Texas, who had worked with some of the world’s greatest cyclists including Lance Armstrong and Greg LeMond. “John Cobb taught me the most about cycling and the wind tunnel,” Miller says. “I owe a lot to him for taking me under his wing.”
For a while, Miller trekked to Cobb’s Shreveport cycling shop every weekend to work. “I just wanted to learn the cycling business, and I chased it for a long time,” Miller explains. After a few years, Cobb offered Miller a full-time job running his main warehouse. A year later, Miller decided to return home to open his own store.
With the help of close buddies Frank Camalo and Dr. George Sobiesk, Miller launched Precision Bikes in a small space at 3214 Johnston St. in April 2004. Another long-time friend and co-cyclist, Ruud Vuijsters, designed Miller’s website. Miller quickly became known for his custom-made bikes and personalized fittings. “I feel that I’m more of a destination place now,” Miller says. “Most of what I sell is for the racer, whether it is for the road or a triathlon.”
As demand grew for his customized services, Miller decided to expand to a larger location.
Last year, Miller opened at his new spot on114 Rena Drive. His longtime employee, Amanda Shone, came with him, along with two part-time repairmen. The 3,500-foot space has two repair stations up front and one in the rear; a showroom with racing and cruising bikes, athletic wear, shoes and accessories and a private room for bike fittings. Bike brands include QR, Cervelo, Felt, Colnago, Pinarello, BMC, Specialized and Linus. Clothing lines include Louis Garneau, Zoot, Coeur, Soas and 2XU. For shoes, Precision Bikes carries Sidi, Louis Garneau, Mavic, Specialized and Shimano.
Precision Bikes is Fit Institute Slowtwitch (F.I.S.T.), John Cobb and Retül certified, allowing Miller to custom-fit triathletes with cycles that move along with racers’ bodies. “I guess the thing that I offer that nobody else does is the fitting experience by positioning people on bikes,” Miller says. “Cycling is my passion now. I love going to work.”
Miller’s reputation in the cycling world grew quickly, attracting customers from throughout Louisiana as well as Texas and Mississippi.
Many professional triathletes have dropped by Precision Bikes, including Chris McDonald, Linsey Corbin, Anna Cleaver and world champions Chris McCormack and Miranda Carfrae. Pros have also taught Miller’s cycling camps in Lafayette and Mississippi.
Now that Miller is living his passion, his next goal is to complete the toughest challenge of them all — the USA Ultra Triathlon. Held in Tampa, Fla., this grueling double ironman consists of a 4.8-mile freshwater swim, 224-mile bike course and 52.4-mile run course. Athletes have 36 hours to complete the race.
At 55, Miller shows no signs of slowing down. “I am the last one of the 20 racers that started with me 22 years ago,” he says in his laid-back, unassuming manner. “I’m now training with guys in their 20s.”
Precision Bikes is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and closed Wednesday and Sunday. All fittings by appointment only. For more information, call (337) 981-7686, e-mail email@example.com or visit the website at precisionbikes.com.