I think there needs to be a water bottle amnesty day each year. You know what I mean. A single day were you can toss (recycle) all those crusty, smarmy, gross, disgusting old bike bottles you have hiding in the garage without guilt. Face it, you're obsessed with swag, especially when it comes to water bottles. So the Average Guy is here for a little intervention.
You see, I've been watching you. You're the guy who doesn't hesitate to drop $6 bucks for a mocha-carmel-frappucino-latte-double-shot-espresso at your favorite coffee shop. At the same time, you're relying on your old 1993 "Hotter-N-Hell" Century Ride water bottle to get you through your latest group ride.
I admit it -- I'm a fan. In fact, I'm a BIG FAN of the Camelback Podium Chill Bottles (The Average Guy has close to a dozen of these bad boys in his bike closet). For a mere $12 bucks you can enjoy cool, refreshing, thirst quenching relief on your next ride. Plus to top it off you get the benefit of one of the most supple water bottles with an ingenious squeeze top.
According to Camelback, the Podium Chill bottles keep water cooler 2x longer than your average "freebie" bottle. And hydration equals performance, especially on a hot day. Here in the Southeast that can be the difference between hanging with the pack or getting dropped.
I'm such a huge fan, these are the only bottle that get to grace my bike. Yep, 52 weeks a year I rely on the super slick "Jet Valve" and the insulated goodness only a Podium Chill bottle can provide. Leave the freebie bottles at home and let the dog use them as a play toy. And if you're like me and have a bottle Jens Voight flipped your way at the 2005 Tour de France -- put it on the shelf next to cowbells, cycling caps, key rings, bottle openers and all of the other free bike swag you've collected over the last couple of decades. See you on the road.
- The Average Guy
Let's face it, I'm not fast. Well maybe faster than my neighbor on his WalMart bike. I can't tell you the nuances between one carbon layup or another. I've never ridden Campy nor can I speak Italian. I have trouble figuring out the appropriate way to pronounce SRAM. In fact I'm just like 99% of the guys and gals who throw on a set of bike shoes each weekend and roll out the driveway. I ride for enjoyment and the thrill of beating my buddy Dennis to a county line sign once-every-blue-moon. So what the heck am I doing with a way-cool set of full carbon clincher wheels?
When Liam (Roswell Bicycles ace Service Dept Manager) set me up with an Easton EC90 56MM Clincher Wheelset to go with my new Specialized Shiv it wasn't so much that I wanted to go faster. It was the "bling" factor. I mean really....what looks cooler than a full-on tri bike with a set of badass carbon wheels. Especially when you are resting at a stoplight and pleading with your heart rate to return to a reasonable area code - like somewhere south of 180bpm. At least I can pretend the hot chick in the convertible is checking me out when in reality she's thinking "that guy really needs to skip the office donuts for a month or two".
By now I'm sure you're asking -- what about the wheels. All I can say is --- who the heck needs EPO/Steroids/Testosterone or whatever those knuckleheads are injecting nowadays when you can have a set of full carbon Easton EC90's. These things are fast. It's almost like cheating. Once you get them up to speed they want to roll, roll, roll and roll some more. The inertia they create is nothing short of amazing. In fact, I was so impressed I actually jumped on Easton's website to discover what magic elixir they had injected into these things that let me set average speed PR's on my favorite Sunday afternoon route.
According to Easton:
the EC90's Aero wheels feature a low spoke count (18-front; 20-rear) providing a significant, wind cheating advantage. Best of all these wheels offer dependable handling in a variety of conditions. Thanks to their depth and durability, the EC90 Aero has also become a favorite of cyclocross racers as well as classics veterans like George Hincapie (Team BMC Racing). Sealed R4 SL hubs with alloy axles, alloy freehubs and ceramic bearings round-out the package on these top-notch race wheels. Like every Easton wheel, the EC90 Aero is entirely hand built and acoustically tuned in Easton’s own factory.
Wow, I have something in common with big George! But who knew I was rolling along on ceramic bearings (grade 3 from what I've read)? On top of that, my wheels were hand built and acoustically tuned. Hah! I bet Dennis doesn't have acoustically tuned wheels. He won't outsprint me to any county line signs this weekend that's for sure.
I even threw these things on my 2005 Six-13 to see if they could help that old warhorse. Well let me tell you -- I immediately saw better acceleration, faster average speeds on the flats and they climb much better than my beat up old Ksyriums.
So here's the deal, if you want to look good, feel good and gain a little bit of speed, talk to Liam about setting you up with a set of these bad boys. I'm not guaranteeing a Cat 1 upgrade by the end of the summer, that's up to you. But I will guarantee you a great ride and some serious street cred with the boys on your next group ride or century.
- The Average Guy
p.s. About a week after I wrote this review I switched the Easton EC90's from my Shiv to my brand spankin' new 2012 Specialized Venge with Ui2 (review to come in a couple of weeks). I decided to take it out on the local "A" ride and met a guy who used to work as an engineer for Easton. He told me these things are bullet proof and they used to thrash them on mountain bike trails. In fact, he said they have some type of military grade carbon used in them. Can you say KABOOM!