Bike Intelligencer » Shimano All bike, all the time Mon, 20 Jul 2015 21:20:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sea Otter Action Cam Outlook: Will Shimano Show? Mon, 10 Feb 2014 21:58:34 +0000

Even as San Mateo, CA-based GoPro continues to consolidate its helmet-cam market dominance, new players keep giving it a try. The latest: Shimano, a vaunted name in cycling, but a tyro in optics.

Just this week Shimano announced the CM-1000 “sport cam.” Some specs are impressive: Featherweight (86 grams), good battery life (2 hours on 4-hour charge), low-light sensitivity (16mp CMOS sensor), waterproof to 32 feet (no case needed). Wi-fi connectivity and ANT+ compatibility (for performance and training stats) are big pluses too. And all for $299 — a Ben Franklin less than GoPro’s top model (although GP’s step-down “silver” model matches that price, lacking only best-breed HD).

86 grams!

CM-1000 is latest to tilt at GoPro’s empire

There are a lot of unknowns, including mounting options (chest mount particularly, given its horizontal orientation and nearly 3 inch length) and compatibility (will it fit GoPro mounts?). Another biggie: Durability. Controls are exposed and that light weight gives one pause. Finally, the full-on HD spec at just 30 fps seems on the shy side, but we’ll see.

Also, who’s making this bad boy for Shimano? (We assume it’s not getting into the electronics business.)

But the proof’s always in the pudding. When we saw the announcement we were stoked at the prospect of testing the CM-1000 at the upcoming Sea Otter Classic bike fest in April.

Unfortunately, the announced availability isn’t till May. Typically availability is even later than announced dates. The early announcement makes us wonder if it’s a pre-emptive move aimed at something in the works from GoPro.

Sea Otter might not be the best venue for Shimano’s rollout anyway. GoPro is a Gold Sponsor of the bike fest, has a huge, popular booth centrally placed, and keeps the groms fully equipped as they fly around the jump and stunt pits. Break a case or a mount? Run out of juice? Just go to the tent and they’ll fix ya up.

And if GoPro does have something new up its sleeve, Sea Otter is the logical place to show it off.

Competition is good for any consumer product. And GoPro’s cams have some limitations (we’d still like to see an LCD monitor although we understand rationale for omitting; a ball mount option would be great, too).

But till something blows us away, GoPro gets our nod for being home-grown, forward-thinking, customer-responsive and reasonably priced. We like supporting U.S. brands. As for anyone challenging GoPro’s near-monopoly, we’d rather see someone other than a much bigger near-monopolist like Shimano take it on.

In the meantime, alt-GoPro buzz is focused on the CamOne Infinity.

How serious Shimano’s entry is will take some time to ferret out. Remember Sony? Toshiba? Polaroid? See any of these puppies on the trail lately?

For a rundown on the increasingly crowded sport-cam market, check out GizMag’s comparison matrix.

MTBR’s comments section has some good input too.

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Daily Roundup: Fat Cyclist & Fit Cyclist, Semenuk, Bike sales s-l-o-w Mon, 02 Nov 2009 08:53:40 +0000 Fat Cyclist hangs with Fit Cyclist.

Early Christmas presents are on sale at Ric Hjertberg’s Wheel Fanatyk, especially Ghisallo wood rims!

We repeat: Brandon Semenuk is redefining the expression, “Go Big!”

Shimano sales down 21 percent in 3rd quarter. Mavic sales down 14 percent. Dismal as both sound, read the links. The issue appears to be margins. The mid-range and high-end stuff isn’t moving. That’s where the fat profits are. Otherwise, the bike business is doing better than most in this Redepression or whatever you want to call it.

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This Day in Doping is baacck! Shimano, Valverde Tue, 22 Sep 2009 00:41:02 +0000 Shimano says 1 strike yer out! Anyone caught doping is automatically expelled.

That’s all well and good, but again, the problem here is with the UCI governing body. If its tests selectively, and if it looks the other way when it finds irregularities, cyclists have nothing to fear from Shimano.

The Shimano policy is a step forward, but it’s mostly symbolic.

Case in point: Alejandro Valverde, who won the Tour of Spain despite being banned by Italy for doping (Valverde is disputing the allegations). Technically, Valverde is entitled. But you also have to wonder how aggressively cycling governance is going to pursue one of the sport’s top stars — especially a Spaniard in his home country’s premier event. It’s a real dilemma, because huge volumes of money are at stake.

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Daily Roundup: Bike Business Forum, 22 percent bike funding? Shimano sales tank, Bike beats subway in NYC, Rider Down update Wed, 27 May 2009 11:49:26 +0000 Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club will hold a “Bike Business Forum” hosted by Costco, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Starbucks, Group Health, Vulcan and Seattle Children’s Hospital at 11:30 a.m. next Wednesday (June 3rd) at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute downtown. John Mauro, the club’s commute director, will give a brief presentation, followed by discussion centered on shaping a regional bicycling agenda. Should be interesting… Survey shows public support for increasing bike transportation funding from 1 percent to 22 percent, along with increases for other transit options. (Thanks to Republican John Bailo on the Cascade bike forum.)

Bicycle Retailer: Shimano sales down 18 percent last year, 19 percent for Q1. Oof!

Lost in the Ozone: Bike beats subway, taxi, in New York City rush-hour race. This reminds me of a similar event I participated in as a reporter for The Seattle Times back in the early 1980s. In a race from the U District to City Hall during the morning commute, the van pool won, but cyclists (including me) beat the Metro bus. Not sure if a single occupancy vehicle was in the mix back then (I don’t recall one), but today I bet a bike would beat a car. Watch out for bikes. Apparently police, not having issued a citation at the time, are investigating the death of a cyclist run over by a semi in Minneapolis last week. “A semitrailer driver had began to make a wide left turn at the intersection of Park Avenue and E. 14th Street and hit a long time cyclist with its back tires. A witness said that the bike had been stopped at the light and like the semi began to go forward when the light changed. The semi then turned and unexpectedly drove over the rider.” My wife was involved in a fender bender recently where a car making a right turn hit her as she was going forward in the inside lane. The investigating officer told the driver, who claimed that my wife was not driving in a “real” lane, that any vehicle colliding with another while making a turn is at fault (barring extremely unusual circumstances). Let’s hope justice is done in this case.

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Electronic Gear Shifting: Good idea? Sat, 14 Feb 2009 17:57:08 +0000 The New York Times takes a look at the latest electronic shifting iteration, from Shimano. Couple of interesting points: Time trialists can shift without changing position on the bars. But there is no manual override if the system fails.

The article does not discuss weight or crash-worthiness, but Wired had this from an unidentified source: “According to the company, Di2 will be 67 grams lighter than the current Dura-Ace 7800 and only 68 grams heavier than Dura-Ace 7900, the snazzy forthcoming 2009 suite of parts.” Not a huge weight differential, except in racing. But the drawbacks of e-shifting, including battery failure, may keep most of us away, especially given the premium ($4,000).

Also no comment on crashing. E-thingies tend to be a lot more fragile than their mech counterparts. That may not be so much a factor in racing, but for real-life use it could be make or break (so to speak!). As far as Bike Intelligencer‘s first love, mountain biking goes, um, let’s just say an e-future isn’t in the cards any time soon.

It’ll be fun to try the system at some of the upcoming bike shows.

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