Saturday, May 16, 2009

Extra: Jay Buys a Bike Part! (And is happy about it!) A.K.A. the Debut of the K-Edge Chain Catcher

Well, I just installed and tested (in the parking lot of our condo) a new product on my wife’s bike that I just bought and showed up in the mail today. Yeah. Me. Bought. Me, the king of swag, bought a bike part.

Well, it all came after I saw a piece one of our competitors, (great job, James!) did on this product at the Giro d'Italia. It’s the K-Edge Chain Catcher.

Now, I’ve been dreaming of this day for years. Because my wife (bless her heart) ain’t the most mechanically inclined. So when something goes wrong, as it often does, it’s just something she deals with. Dropped chains are something she deals with. Lemme explain.

Two weeks ago at Wildflower, I was heading out to take photos during the race, and I see Donna headed in the opposite direction—was she dropping out? No, she dropped her chain off the front ring as she headed into a climb. She tried so shift it back on before she came to a standstill, no luck.

So she had to circle around, and get it back on as she descended in the opposite direction. What fucking luck. There went about one minute, 30 seconds. That could have gotten her eighth place instead of 10th among the pros. Damn, damn, damn. Mechanical shit like this kills me.

Then this product came along, which I will go into in deeper detail in the coming days, as I just got off the phone with Joe Davola, husband to reigning Olympic time trial gold medalist (and former triathlete) Kristin Armstrong, who co-developed and co-created the AceCo K-Edge Chain Catcher out of necessity.

With the short chainstays and steep shifting angles on tri bikes, chain drop is a fact of life. This product is going to change all that—I will be shocked if about every pro triathlete, and any triathlete who cares enough to add a 10-gram piece to their bike to ensure they will NEVER drop their chain again in training or in a race, doesn’t have this on their bike by year’s end. It’s that important an advance in tri bike technology as I’ve seen in a long time. I have the Third Eye Chainwatcher on my cross bike, clamped onto the round seattube. But the aero tubes of tri bikes makes the Third Eye impossible to use.But the front derailleur bolt mount point for the K-Edge Chain Catcher takes that blockade and throws it out the window.

I’ll go into greater detail in a bit (with some interesting storyline about how it came about), and Joe is sending me a piece to test on my own. But where my wife is leaving for TeamTBB training camp in Switzerland this Wednesday, I saw the value in this, and had to have it for her. So I went online, bought it. Money well, well spent.

Wheeling the bike around in the parking lot just now, cross-chain, slap-dropping the front shifter, doing anything I could to initiate the dropped chain she had experienced on her 5-hour ride just an hour before. No dice. I don’t see that she’ll find anything different either… ever.

More soon on this.

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