Triathlon is a sport full of people with a passion for swimming, cycling and running. Usually, we think of the participants when we talk of the commitment it takes to live a life of fitness but there’s another group to consider. When the passion grows beyond one’s self, businesses often form around products and services aimed at participants. I had the opportunity recently to meet a few folks in companies that fit that description. One who we all know, one I’d never heard of and a group in the middle who’s name is growing quickly. It is always fun to meet people full of passion and who are working hard to make our sport faster, more comfortable and enjoyable. In no particular order, here’s a few words about three companies you should know about.
If you’ve been around triathlon for any amount of time, you have heard of John Cobb. He’s the aerodynamic guru who’s not only dedicated years to products for triathletes but also worked with the likes of Lance Armstrong. Cobb’s latest venture includes the V-Flow triathlon saddle. Most of us have, at some point, struggled with saddle comfort and the longer the event, the more important this struggle becomes. Cobb was kind enough to send TgR one of the new V-Flow saddles for review so check in soon for our opinion of this new product. In the meantime, check out http://www.cobbcycling.com/ for the latest from Mr. Cobb.
ISM - Ideal Saddle Modification
I’ve often said that I’m a function over form kind of person. The saddles from this company will put that to the test. I’ve seen them for the last few years and noticed more and more of them at races. I have not looked too deep because the saddles are just plain ugly - and bikes are supposed to be beautiful. However, I do believe that comfort and efficiency are the ultimate beauty in cycling so I approached ISM about reviewing their saddles. Luckily, they were happy to participate and have provided a saddle for me to play with. I was also fortunate to get to meet a few of the folks from the company recently at the 70.3 in New Orleans, LA. The passion they have for cycling and triathlon is evident and I appreciate the time they spent with me there. I still have a few more miles to log before posting the final review but, so far, it looks like this unconventional take on saddles is going to completely change my view on saddles for triathlon. See more at http://www.ismseat.com/ and check back soon for my review on TgR.
Another company I had the pleasure of meeting at the 70.3 in New Orleans was Hawk Racing, a company completely unknown to me before seeing their display at the race expo. I spent time there talking to the companies founders Sven and Terri Enna Folmer looking at their bike frames, wheels and bottom bracket. In a sport dominated by some rather large players, it is fun to see someone with true passion breaking in and trying to provide a new take on equipment design. Though I haven’t gotten to ride the frames or wheels yet, I did spend a while with Sven talking about bottom brackets. While many of us have outfitted our bikes with hybrid ceramic bearings, Sven explained his position that most of the reduced friction we feel with hybrid ceramics is owed not to the bearings but to the lower friction seals and better lubrication used in them. Hawk Racing has a Shimano compatible external BB that uses high quality steel bearings and races with extremely high quality lubrication that feels as smooth and friction free as any ceramic BB I’ve used. I was impressed with the ease at which I could rotate the bearings with the slightest effort. At about a $100 less than most hybrid ceramic BB set ups from FSA and SRAM, it is certainly worth a look. Check out everything Hawk Racing is into at http://hawk-racing.com/index.htm.