Cost wise, it's mainly in the R&D phase. If mass produced, it really shouldn't make much difference. The right seat stay is slightly more tricky but that's it.
Shifting works perfectly. Re braking, this is my first time on ZG, so not as solid as Chorus/SR, but I doubt the cables are to blame. Theoretically they should work better as there are fewer bends(see attachment).
Re structural integrity, I'd rather have the holes in the front of the head tube than the top tube and down tube. When cable goes through the side at an angle, you have to cut a long oval hole in the tube (it's actually huge when you take off the screwed-on cable stop). Imagine a 1-inch long hole right in the middle of your top tube (I'd go WTF). The hole in the front, however, is not even a quarter of an inch. Structurally this has to be better.
Re aero benefits, the cables going into the headtube makes a smaller and more compact "egg beater" than otherwise. Shorter cable housing is used, the rear shifting cable is also slightly shorter (I haven't weighed but probably in the 10g range). Downside is the slightly stiffer handling due to less cables in the front. If you ride no-handed, then it does feel a bit weird and getting cable length just right is a bit harder for the mechanic.
Maintenance and repaires should be the same. If anything, you might be able to recycle some otherwise useless old cable housing as you don't need very long cables for this bike.
The topper is different from the Woodmans and Tunes, in the following ways:
1. I feel a bit uneasy about the "scale" type clamp so went with the Bontrager style. This is probably 40g weight penalty right there. That said, the weight still compares favorably to a Trek ISP topper, for example, by a modest margin. Of course I can build one with the same top clamp as Tune and come to 80g-ish (thinking about that right now).
2. Construction is harder due to the shape and design of the carbon piece. So like every aero seatpost out there, the oval shape is the challenge (didn't Scott delay the delivery dates by several months due to this?)
3. I like the clean looks of an internal topper v. external. This is the main reason I am doing this over Tune/Woodman etc.
4. The expander is pretty puny because its role is basically to prevent the unit from being pulled out. The vertical support is from the spacers or the mast itself. The tune/woodmans must clamp harder to also hold vertical position, hence more stress on the mast.
I am trying not to model after a major brand, because when I first started talking to the factories, one of the first questions asked was: "which one do you want to knock off? The R5 or the EPS? We think R5 is promising" that sort of thing... so I am pretty fed up with that.
Strangely, my decal maker (who also makes the "C50" "C24" decals for SHIMANO) borrowed my bike for their booth at the Taipei Show recently and got some favorable comments on the paintjob from "white guys". But let me do some more research and thinking on the graphics. One thing is certain -- I know very little about fonts and it shows.
But the good thing is, there is always room for improvement, and improvement will come.
Can you elaborate a bit on the internal cable routing: cost, weight, shifting/braking performance, maintenance/replacement of cables implications as well as any effect on structural integrity of the frame caused by the various routing holes?
How is your topper working versus off-the-shelf versions (Tune, Woodman, etc.)?
I echo the dislike of the graphics. Maybe pick a frame w/graphics you most admire and pattern yours after it...
Fast falcons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3mTPEuFcWk
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;www.falcobike.comFacebook: falcobikeglobal