Volume 2 / Issue 019
World’s premiere custom bicycle shop – triathlon bikes
The newsletter for active cycling lifestyles
Volume 2, Issue 19 / ISSN 1945-1776
In this issue:
A Note from Kevin
Welcome to “Perfectly Fit,” our newsletter which is designed to help you get the most out of an active, cycling lifestyle. I have a team of pros from all over the world that will help me provide you with great info and a place for you to find out what you want to know. Your feedback is so important and we will make a place for you to be heard.
The most successful marketing and exposure program we have done to date is to go to races like the Driveway Criterium Series and CapTex Triathlon, photograph you fine folks and then put proofs on Facebook as small tokens of appreciation. You have responded so well that I will continue to seek out events to photograph and meet more friends with a common interest in bicycling. Whether it is recreational riding, triathlon, bike racing or touring, it is great to capture your efforts and then when we share them with you, it is possible that you may remember KGS when the possibility of a custom bike appears for you or a friend.
The main article in this issue outlines our summer campaign to promote the FrameUp™ concept of upgrading the frame rather than get a whole new bike. This program was conceived based on customer demand and I think you will like it.
Our BikeTech Help Desk has a question about the mixing of Campagnolo and Shimano wheels with bikes using the the "other" derailleurs and chains. We also have a question based on comments I made on Facebook.
Don’t forget to visit our blog as new stuff is posted there almost daily. It is easy to subscribe to the blog so you can get updates sent to you.
Thanks again for letting me share with you a little about cycling. I respect your time and will strive to continue to make it worth it.
Every Thursday KGS Bikes is joining Alchemy Bicycles to sponsor the Pure Austin Fitness Driveway Series Criteriums at The Driveway in Austin. We will have a tent set up and will look forward to seeing you at the race which is called the Best in Texas.
Every positioning session is an event and one which you will find most valuable. Don’t forget lead times in these custom bikes. With six to eight week deliveries, you need to factor that into your purchase plans so your season can be best utilized for success.
Feature Article – Time for a FrameUp™
2010 is almost halfway over, yet many folks have delayed buying bicycles due to the recession or because we had a cold, wet, El Nino winter and spring. Now that June is here, more people are inquiring about the differences in true custom bicycles vs stock bikes. At KGS Bikes we came up with a concept called FrameUp™ last year that suggested that you could swap out the frame, keeping most if not all of your existing components. You then get essentially a new, true custom bike for a fraction of the cost of buying the whole bicycle at once. This was a successful way to get many folks into a custom bicycle last year.
Recently, Andy Hollinger, editor of The Racing Post Magazine commented on the possibility that the time is right for a big push to feature frame upgrades for existing bikes. We were discussing my observations that people really didn’t, for the most part, fit stock bikes and how frustrating it was for me to have to break the news to someone that the bike they love isn’t right. While people tend not to be concerned about getting new stem, handlebar, saddle, pedals, derailleurs or wheels, the concept of upgrading the frame while keeping the parts doesn’t seem to enter into many thought processes.
Andy convinced us to start a whole marketing campaign to educate Texans and others about the idea of doing a massive upgrade in performance and comfort for the fraction of the cost of a complete custom bike. While a KGS custom bike ranges from $5,000 to over $20,000, a custom frame and fork can be purchased for $2,500 to $9,200. We even have created a more budgetary way to define the sizing, particularly if one chooses a semi custom bike frame such as a Parlee Z4, Z5 or TT. Instead of a $375 full BalancePoint™ positioning, those who feel they have a good position and wish to work remotely can download our positioning form and we can optimize the position and transfer it to a new custom bike frame for $150. This includes a CAD drawing of the new bike using the existing parts, or at least most of the existing parts, so the bike can be confidently built up to fit.
Finally, we have a way for you or your existing LBS to build some or all of your new bike, so you get the most bang for your buck and still get all of the benefits of our expertise. Instead of a KGS complete bike build, which can cost $500-800 if we sell you the parts, we can define the setup in a FrameUp™ build. What this means is, the saddle is located perfectly, then we locate the handlebars and brake hoods to match the CAD drawings, plus we cut the fork steerer tube and at that point, the setup of the bike is defined. Anyone can hang the rest of the parts on the bike and you are back on the road quickly with your new custom upgraded bike.
Here is a short list of FrameUp™ options that should give you an idea of what you can do to really improve your game and stay on budget:
Alchemy – Steel frame and fork, from $2,500, to titanium / carbon KGS Special frame and fork for $3,700. Triathlon and mountain models available too.
Formigli – Custom carbon frame and fork with tube to tube construction, made in Italy by Renzo Formigli who was an apprentice to Cino Cinelli. $4,000-6,000.
Guru – Custom carbon frames, road and triathlon. $3,500-4,500.
Co-Motion – Steel and aluminum, touring and tandem. Big range because they make up to quad bike frames.
Zinn – Titanium travel bikes, road and mountain with special KGS designed travel stem – $5,500-6,500.
Serotta – Custom titanium and carbon. $4,500-8,200.
Parlee – KGS Bikes’ flagship line. Semi custom Z4, $3,000. Z5 and TT, $4,000 – Custom Z3 starting at $6,700 and custom Z1 starting at $7,700. Custom cross, touring and track models available. Custom TT/Triathlon, $9,200.
BalancePoint™ Positioning, $375. This is done in the KGS Bikes studio and we find your perfect position to the millimeter, plus create a design for your new frame.
SemiCustom Positioning, $150. You measure your bike using our method and then we work with you to create an optimized position and then draw your new bike in CAD so a semi custom or custom frame can be created. This works great if you cannot visit KGS in person but want to take advantage of our expertise.
I hope this gives you food for thought and may allow you to consider an out of the box idea to help you gain comfort and efficiency. As always, we are here to help seven days a week and want to create a success story for you.
Until next time,
BikeTech Help Desk
I have a Campagnolo Record 11 group on my bike and I am entering a bike race that has neutral wheel support. Friends told me that even though I am bringing a spare set of wheels, that I might not get my wheel if I get a flat. What happens if the support person puts a Shimano wheel on my bike?
The mixing of Campagnolo and Shimano is not too bad with 10 speed, as the spacing of the rear cogs is close enough that it will work. The problem here is the indexing is a little different and that will need to be adjusted with your cable stop barrel adjuster. With your case, an 11 speed rear derailleur and a 10 speed Shimano wheel, you will probably have enough gears to finish the race but you will be frustrated. Here is what I would do.
It sounds like you are new to racing. Stay safe and enjoy yourself. Your riding will improve tremendously.
I saw on Facebook that you were encouraging triathletes to enter criterium races at The Driveway every Thursday. I know that pro triathletes can draft, but I see no reason why I should learn to draft as I can’t draft in a triathlon. If drafting is cheating in triathlons, this activity can’t help me because I won’t ever need it. Besides, I don’t even have a road bike and I don’t think I can enter a bike race with my tri bike, can I?
I think you have asked some great questions, and you are correct that I strongly think that triathletes should run with the fast runners, swim with the fast swimmers, and ride with the fast cyclists. I know that triathletes who learn to race bicycles become much, much better and safer cyclists in their own right and become much faster as well. The second question is the most important one to answer, however, and that is regarding riding a triathlon bike in a bike race. I feel that tri bikes are not safe to ride in groups and USA Cycling actually prohibits bikes with aerobars to participate in mass start events. As a sidebar, the rules also outlaw many tri bikes in time trials because of the saddle setback position.
So to properly answer your question, I feel that triathletes need a road bike. I also feel that if they learn to ride a road bike in groups and even consider participating in races, that the training and fitness that occurs is so good that it really improves the triathlon. If you ride in a fast group you are able to get used to going much faster than you can alone. My logic is as follows: If you are used to going 32 MPH and averaging over 25 MPH, a triathlon speed of 24 MPH isn’t so bad. If you train on your tri bike at 23 MPH, it doesn’t seem likely that you will average 24 MPH in a tri race.
I know that it can be intimidating to learn to really ride a bike well enough to race. You don’t need to actually race bikes, but the events like those at The Driveway are so well organized, the course is so nice and smooth (no car traffic either!) and you have so many opportunities to learn by watching first, that it is a super way to shorten your learning curve and experience just as well if not better than going out in fast recreational group rides.
My goal in encouraging triathletes to consider racing is to get them to really consider what will make them better rather than just do the same old workout week after week, wondering why they aren’t improving. Go see how the other half lives and you may be nicely surprised.
We only recommend products, services or companies that we have actually tried or worked with personally. A recommendation, like a reputation, is very important and we do not take this responsibility lightly. The following links are to our friends at the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas. Dr. Kenneth Cooper is considered "The Father of Aerobics" and has put together a group of world class companies that have a direct impact on us as cyclists and as professional people:
These links are to our frame builders and other providers that make KGS Bikes the premiere fitting studio and cycling boutique in the world:
About KGS Bikes and Kevin
KGS Bikes is known around the world as the premiere bicycle fitting studio and cycling boutique. Kevin Saunders, President, has over 25 years experience in bicycle fitting and high-end bicycles. He also has a broad knowledge of anatomy, structural engineering and industrial design. In addition to fitting services, KGS Bikes sells bicycles from Parlee, Serotta, Zinn, Co-Motion, Storck and Guru. They also feature Lew wheels, custom shoes by Rocket7 and the best available components from around the world. Visit kgsbikes.comfor more information, including beautiful photography of the bikes carefully created for their owners.
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