Hits from the blog: a double album (side one)

Hits from the blog: a double album (side one)

It took me all of about a quarter second to come up with today's title. For those unfamiliar, here's the reference. Music consumption sure is a whole lot different now - I owned that CD. Except in cars, I haven't had a functioning CD player in about 12 years. 

Anyhow, as we've mentioned there's been an awful lot of traffic on the site lately, which is great. We're glad people enjoy it and we're glad to help scratch the bike itch while there's not that much else going on. A bigger audience is good for business as well, we're idealistic but not dumb, and April has actually been a fine sales month for us, even before the pre-order surge. Pre-order closes end of the week. 

While the more recent posts have understandably had high viewership lately, none have cracked the top 15 when you look at views over the past 12 months. Most of these were no surprise to me, although there was a surprise or two. So let me put on my Casey Kasem voice and count down our top 15 most popular posts with a brief liner note on each...

#15 Aerodynamic drag of Lasers versus CX Rays from January 2013. As you'll see, the word "versus" is a feature of a lot of popular posts. This post was from our first wind tunnel venture, and was a big point for us. If you read it, we might sound a bit dismissive of the difference. That's evolved over time as we've discovered how big a contribution 1w is in wheel aerodynamics. We've also reduced the cost differential on CX Rays, and they are our most used spoke by at least 100 to 1 over any other.

#14 One bike, two sets of wheels from May 2019. This was a small surprise for me, but I think as a concept it was definitely on time, and has become more relevant. Shortly after this post aired, I went completely to the old HOT BUNS disc bike with a set of "road wheels" and a set of "road and..." wheels, and haven't looked back. 

#13 Wind tunnel testing the Al33, XR31T(FSW3), and other alloys from February 2017. Tests have generally done well as posts. I remember being on the phone with A2 while this was going on, not quite believing how well the Al33 and Kinlin XR31T did relative to the Zipp 303. And how well the HED Belgium+ did. This test set is the backbone of my current frame of mind on aerodynamics, and this post is a forum favorite - it gets posted everywhere.

#12 Aivee hubs from April 2018. This one surprised me by making the list, and by being from as long ago as it is - it's two years old. Time flies. Aivee has solidified as a second team popular hub for us (our first team is White Industries and Industry Nine, by miles), and Covid has interrupted bigger plans with them that we hope to resume quite soon. 

#11 Rim reviews: Easton R90SL from June 2017. The first of a few rim reviews that make the list. These posts have good Google scores, but they have the tailwind of us linking them several times a day responding to emails. Easton-based wheels are easy to recommend. There are so many good rims that we use, and deciding between them is tough. There's not always a whole lot of daylight between one choice and the other, but whatever there is we try and crack open.

#10 Rim reviews: AForce Al33 from June 2017. Apparently June of 2017 was a good vintage. We've rarely been more excited for a new product than we were for Al33s. They are a brilliant rim that came at a perfect time for us. With the world's abrupt shift to disc brakes, their popularity has faded, but in 2017 and 2018 we were just pumping Al33 builds out. They're still a popular choice, but it's slowed a bit. 

#9 Highly engaged hubs from June 2019. What is it about June? This is one of two on the list where we trim upstream against the "more is better" mind set. Hub engagement is one where the application dictates the benefit. People still get dug in about it, which is fine. 

#8 Mavic Open Pro UST from November 2017. The Open Pro UST is one where our initial excitement faded. They were announced with intentions of Exalith (Mavic's version of "ceramic") brake tracks and this was going to be the Open Pro for the new era. They never caught on in the market, they were too light to be good or durable (they hated spoke tension), and the rim in this photo actually had a spoke hole pull through. This is why we like to test stuff - not everything goes to plan or lives up to expectations.

So that's side one. Tomorrow we'll do the smash hits.


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Yeah, they should have been a home run. Tons of builders wanted to love them but even the holdouts have moved on now. Such a miss.


LOL @ Mavic screwing up the new Open Pro. I wonder if they are the single most tarnished brand in cycling.


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