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Mid-March Update: BSNYC, Milan-San Remo, and more

– News story of the week: Bike Snob NYC is now on staff for Bicycling Magazine. An amazing development indeed, since day-in and day-out BSNYC spews white-hot hatred for the casual poseurs who cling to their $9,000 bikes (and not a penny less!) as this week’s passageway to self-actualization. Yesterday’s yoga mat. Tomorrow’s stamp/wine/cigar collection. Today it’s their custom titanium/carbon Dura Ace 7900 bike bought with a 3-month lead time from a fit studio(!) Yesterday it was Yoga Journal. Tomorrow it’ll be The Wine Spectator. But today they’re dropping a check for $12 into the mail for a year’s subscription to Bicycling.

BSNYC. Bicycling. The disconnect couldn’t be more unbridgeable, right? No, that’s not exactly right. Reach back, if you will, to this classic display of the Socratic method. (You must fast forward to 4:25 to reach the relevant section.) And in this I found the truth of BSNYC/Bicycling unity: BSNYC did it for a simple reason: They made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Not only is he probably clocking more dollars than any of Bicycling’s in-house shlocky bards. He’s probably making more than all of them put together. BSNYC is now short for Bentley Snob NYC, Beluga Caviar Snob NYC, Burberry Snob NYC, Bullion Snob NYC, Brooklyn Bye Bye I’m off to a high Central Park View Snob NYC! BSNYC, work your toes on a mink rug for me. Keep makin’ the people laugh. Keep gettin’ paid. Props. I’m proud of you.

– Milan-San Remo. Surely you’ve seen the finish. If the race had been 1m shorter, Cervélo Test Team’s Heinrich Haussler would’ve won. So I’ll go ahead and ask the question every Cervélo fan wants to know: If Haussler had been riding an S3 frameset instead of the more mundane S2, would’ve he pipped out Cavendish? The S3 has the P4’s more aerodynamic stays, the S2 doesn’t. We ask primarily because we distinctly remember Cervélo’s TV commercial from last year’s Tour de France when our pal Gerard Vroomen, co-founder of Cervélo, claimed that Fabian Cancellara’s mind-blowing solo victory in an early stage of the ’07 Tour was due in part to the wondrous aerodynamics of the S3’s predecessor, the Cervélo SLC-SL. (See paragraph 5 here for a similar statement.) Why, we must ask, why in the premier one-day race on the Italian racing calendar are Cervélo Test Team pros riding equipment that is not Cervélo’s best?

– I mentioned in a previous post that Paris Nice 2009 was possibly the most exciting stage race in a decade. Please indulge me here with one more remarkable video highlight. It’s in the closing kilometers of the final stage. Team Quick Step’s Sylvain Chavanel is clinging to his 2nd place GC spot, about 10 seconds or so over Frank Schleck, who just attacked over the summit of the final climb in order to gain enough time over Chavanel to move from 3rd to 2nd in GC. Poor Chavanel is being forced by Specialized to ride one of their ‘proprietary’ cranksets, instead of riding a unified Campagnolo drivetrain. Fast forward to 6:10 in this video, and watch Chavanel lose a spot on the podium because his sponsors demand that he use inferior equipment. Ah, Sylvain, lie back and think of England I trust you’re being paid nearly as well as BSNYC in order the ride those cranks.

– To all of the people out there who a throwing fits because our Shimano Dura Ace Di2 front derailleur and rear derailleur prices are ‘higher than MSRP!!!’ it’s because we’re adding the cost of the transmitter cables, the battery, the battery mount, and the battery charger. We make that clear as day on our product pages, but we also realize that reading and/or paying attention to something for longer than 2 seconds is indeed an acquired skill.

– Speaking of Shimano, did you see this article? Yes, yes, every company in the world except for maybe Proctor & Gamble is predicting a contraction for 2009. But ‘sharp declines’ -- is that a scary prognosis for global bike sales in 2009, or is it evidence that SRAM is no longer just an annoyance to Shimano but rather they’re devouring Shimano’s market share?

The Competitive Cyclist crystal ball proves that it’s nicely tuned up. We’ve been predicting retailer and manufacturer bankruptcies since October, and there’s a new story every week now, it seems. The Iron Horse bankruptcy is the biggest one we’ve seen so far on the wholesale side.

How pissed is the Palmans guy? It’s no fun to not win. But at least he didn’t have to do podium kisses with the horse directly to his left.

– The Taiwan bike show is this week. It’s the most important bike trade show of the year because it’s where manufacturers, wholesalers, and suppliers conceive of next year’s goods. For many reasons, it appears, we may see price decreases for 2010. Soft demand, currency fluctuations, and now raw materials cost decreases -- all reasons price should drop for next year. Let’s see if common sense wins out over greed. We shall see.

– The other side of the pricing story: Ben Bernanke hates the bike business. By announcing this week that the Fed will buy $300 billion in Treasuries, the US Dollar took the biggest 1-day hit EVER against the Euro. So much for our fantasy to see a 1:1 USD:EUR, with Campy prices reverting to 1980’s levels…

I don’t know what the Flanders House is. But I’m always up for a trip to New York. Cocktails, anyone?