In which we eat one of our words

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Some of you already know who we (the two guys behind November) are. Dave is the brains behind the operation, always taking a long view, remaining strategically disciplined, and having an acute sense of the market. He's also the chief copy officer of the November site. We both write a lot of stuff for the site and the blog, but Dave writes the important pages. As for me (Mike), I'm the muscle - I bring media, momentum and mouth-breathing. It's not normally my role to point out when Dave screws up - mostly because he doesn't, or if he does I don't notice it.

But screw up Dave did. You'll excuse my gleefulness, but you have to remember that I'm a bike racer. That means competitiveness is in my DNA. Think of this as me attacking Dave on the climb (if you've seen me climb, you'll recognize - like Dave's screwup - how rare an occurrence this actually is). I don't want to drop the guy, but how can any of us resist turning the screws a little when we have the opportunity and the legs?

Dave's mistake was in a single word he used to describe the Wheelhouse. He said at one point that it is "unremarkable." His point was that it was free of gimmicks and entirely purposeful in design. That much is true. Dave and I have both spent time poring over the bikes since the demo frames arrived and there is no doubt that they are entirely purposeful. You'll see exactly what I mean when you see them in person at tomorrow's Great November Ride, or on Sunday at DCCX, or at group rides around the Mid-Atlantic over the next few weeks, and on the (much improved) photos we'll be posting on the site in a couple of days. 

You will see that the bike's singular devotion to its purpose - in a marketplace dominated by distinctive but largely unnecessary features - makes it the very opposite of unremarkable. The tube shapes are unlike any I've seen before, but they're not circumspect in some faux-aero shape, or gossamer fine to connote light weight and/or comfort.

Rather, you'll notice a top tube that is triangular in shape, a headtube reinforced almost to look like the frame gusset on the BMX bike you had as a kid, fork blades that reminiscent of a track sprinter's thighs more than those of a skinny climber dude, and a split seat cluster with ample stays. And you'll immediately see the bike's function in this design: Go fast. 

Lots of bikes are designed to look like they should go fast, but the Wheelhouse accomplishes it effortlessly. You know that guy from college who was much better looking than you even with bed head and 4 days of beard? Sure you may have cleaned up OK, but this guy could roll out of the sorority house at 7am and onto the cover of GQ. And his good looks were amplified because he didn't even have to try. You hated that guy, but hanging out next to him in bars sure was profitable. That's the Wheelhouse.

In the absence of photos (for a couple more days - they're coming), I'll try to undo what Dave has done when he called the bike "unremarkable." First, here are some words that DO NOT describe the appearance of Wheelhouse:

 - boring
 - lithe
 - slender
 - trendy
 - sassy
 - whimsical
 - anything ending in "-issimo" 

And here are some words that DO describe the appearance of the Wheelhouse:

 - muscular
 - kinetic
 - purposeful
 - unapologetic
 - athletic
 - strapping
 - fleet

In a word, Remarkable. 


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  • Mike on

    When and where @ DCCX?

  • Mike May on

    Oh, I agree there would be nothing wrong with an unremarkable race bike. That's what we were aiming for, but we overshot the mark and ended up with something so functionally disciplined that it is truly unique. I can't in good conscience call it unremarkable. If you're coming to the Great November Ride or will be at DCCX this weekend, you'll see what I mean. Otherwise you'll have to take my word for it until we post some new pictures here in a couple of days.

  • John on

    I was thinking about that term "unremarkable." I think it's OK to use. I appreciate not having to hear about vertical compliance, laterally rigid, etc. A solid race bike should be just that. Solid, unpretentious and unremarkable. A tool that one isn't afraid to use.

  • Mike May on

    All day long at DCCX. We'll be in the team parking area with 3-4 bikes for folks to look at, throw a leg over, and demo. Look for the tent with the bigass "November Bicycles" banner.


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