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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:36 pm 
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de zwarten wrote:
If the criterium is 'desirability', Italy wins hands down. :thumbup:


But it isn't, and never should be, as a criterium for the question of "industry leader." "Marketing leader" perhaps, as even "market leader" would not apply.

Desirability falls into the realm of personal subjectivity, not objectivity.

For example: While I do very much appreciate some Italian marques, I have no desire for Campagnolo. That's purely personal. Is it a great functioning group? Yes. All groups are perfectly functional if they are set up properly. Does it look nice? Sure, maybe, but my respect for Campagnolo does not transfer to desirability nor does it guarantee that it will remain on a bike that I will want to ride. You, and perhaps someone like KGT, may find the complete opposite - which is fine and in no way is that ever incorrect - as we each have our own preferences which must be respected. 'Desirability' is a term for each person's preference.

While Campagnolo was the "first" more often than not in the past, this does not make them an industry leader now. Furthermore that is sighting one company, not looking at the collective of companies representing a country within an industry, which is what we are looking at here in this thread.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:00 pm 
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stella-azzurra wrote:
Ernesto Colnago said he does not care about building the lightest bike. He cares more about form, function and craftsmanship.


Beside having guys buildings bikes for him even when he had hairs!

If we wanna talk about the (lost, imho) italian heritage, there are guys like Grandis who can make you feel drunk just after 10 minutes talking with him cause he's totally, and I mean it, into thinking how he can develope his next frame and trying to figure out what's next.

Getting back ontopic, Germany surely played a big role in recent bike industry.

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Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:00 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:04 pm 
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de zwarten wrote:
@ Ozrider:



If the criterium is 'desirability', Italy wins hands down. :thumbup:


Certainly not by me... I do not own much if anything cycling related Italian brands. Likewise, I have no Italian brands in my portfolio by choice any more. Maybe something will come up at some point, who knows. But for now, I get a bit depressed then I wander the halls of the Italian section of Eurobike, just to see Chinese open mould frames or standard Dedacciai/Columbus frame kits with different names on from former well-regarded brands. Most of what's not in that category, is mediocre stuff with a fancy paint. Of course there's a few good companies. Eg. Sarto makes good stuff, but the mass produced stuff like Pinarello is sad imo.

As for one market leader, no way. There's good stuff made many places. Germany has some small, very innovative companies, but are not alone. US companies is good at making top products for a broad market, of course helped by the fact that US must be considered as market leaders when it comes to marketing.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:35 pm 
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de zwarten wrote:
If you can choose between a Trek with SRAM and some Bontrager wheels, or a Colnago with Record and Boras, the choice is obvious.
:beerchug:


Yep, the amount of watts that you save with the 1st setup is a good reason

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:37 pm 
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i think, considering a small company and in bike terms not been around that long, LOOK make some very innovative stuff, though sometimes not a 100% reliable.....first time round :) but is anything that comes out of Europe :?: :|


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:20 pm 
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I find de zwarten's argument considering wheels right to the spot. It is a proof that Italy is not technologically "retarded" at all and still makes cycling products that others cannot match no matter how hard they try. Anyone who has ridden a Hyperon or Bora wheelset will agree on that.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:55 am 
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I owned a set of Boras and loved them but my recently bought Lightweight Meilenstein wheels are a lot better. Massively so. They are stiffer yet more comfortable, feel nicer and are 250g lighter. My guess is they are much more durable too. Boras look nice but Lightweights look sensational.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:21 am 
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I also ride a set of Lightweights which I love. Stiff, light, comfortable as you describe it. A work of art as well.
But... their hubs are not even close in terms of quality and performance IMHO.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:14 pm 
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I think you're right about the Bora hubs and Meilenstein's cost 30% more. Boras for the price do stand out but even with not such good hubs the LWs are overal industry leaders when it comes to ultimate quality. Annoying though it is you just can't imagine they could come from any other country than Germany. The engineering and character of those wheels is just so Germanic. They're just so no fuss efficientcy.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:35 am 
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While I do like LW wheels to a point, I'd never call them the industry leaders when it comes to ultimate quality. I suppose you'd have to define what quality is in the first place. I've seen various sets of wheels that I think are on a par, if not better. They still have a lot of appeal though. If you're talking about an individual company, THM spring to mind for me for carbon fibre and for some reason Hope Technology for alloy parts. I'm mostly impressed with Hope because they're in a market sector that's being flooded with alloy parts from various other companies yet they still continue to innovate.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:59 pm 
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stephen@fibre-lyte wrote:
I suppose you'd have to define what quality is in the first place.

+100
IMO Bora wheels are of higher quality than Lightweight. Their hub quality is much better, their carbon quality is as good. On the other hand Lightweight are more innovative. No doubt about that.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:34 pm 
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Agree on the Campagnolo wheelsets. Had both the Hyperon Ultra Two (clincher) and Bora Ultra tubular previously. Solid and high quality, best bearings ever.
My current wheelsets are the LW Gen3, Ventoux, RZR Team, and my personal favourite are still the Lightweight Gen3 Tubular.
Carbonsports' customer service is a notch above any other company :thumbup:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:50 pm 
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Epic-o wrote:
de zwarten wrote:
If you can choose between a Trek with SRAM and some Bontrager wheels, or a Colnago with Record and Boras, the choice is obvious.
:beerchug:


Yep, the amount of watts that you save with the 1st setup is a good reason


But then again, what is the relevance of watts when the combo Colnago/Campa/Hyperon is still good enough to win on Alpe d'Huez in 2011?
Image

Maybe as much as relevant as the list of winners on Alpe d'huez, as almost all names below 40 minutes have been involved in doping? :D
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpe_d'Hue ... ez_ascents

The take home message: doping and training and thus the rider will deliver the watts. The amount you actually transfer to making the bike go forward is, since decades, just not important enough for competition. (not even sure why the Trek would save watts, you tell me!)

I would want to add that Lightweights are there for more than a decade (approx. 15 years), and they still seem to be the very same wheels (though a bit better finished) than the first version. For sure they are more mainstream than in the early days, but I would still consider them 'boutique' and thus not 'industry leader'. Industry leader, for me, is something that is made for the big masses (thus no boutique stuff), but excells in quality, durability and innovation. I would include any high-end Campa system wheel, most of the non-electronic Dura-ace line, SRAM double tap shifters, C40 frames, King headsets. Call me old-fashioned, but it works well enough.

You do not (at least in my book) become an industry leader introducing over-stickered dimples, non-rebuildable oxydizing shifter levers, industrial bearings, aluminum shimano-type cassette bodies, so-called aero frames in 3 sizes, oversized seat posts, to the people believing in planned obsolescence.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:47 pm 
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de zwarten wrote:
but I would still consider them 'boutique' and thus not 'industry leader'. Industry leader, for me, is something that is made for the big masses (thus no boutique stuff), but excells in quality, durability and innovation..


Industry leader to me is about introducing new innovative products using the latest available production techniques. Mass market products are industry leaders in terms of sales but not in terms of innovation, barring a few exceptions (Di2 for one, XX1 chainrings as a another). Throughout history we've relied on the smaller companies to push the envelope in terms of new and exciting products. Sometimes they don't work, but when they do, the big companies soon follow suit.


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Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:47 pm 


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:00 pm 
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QUOTE Scientists have unveiled a revolutionary carbon nanotube (CNT) fibre that looks and acts like a cotton thread and conducts electricity and heat like a metal wire.
Researchers achieved a breakthrough, capping 10 years of efforts that make threadlike fibres possible, beating high-performance materials in a number of ways.
"We finally have a nanotube fibre with properties that do not exist in any other material. It looks like black cotton thread, but behaves like both metal wires and strong carbon fibers," said Matteo Pasquali, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and chemistry at Rice University, Houston, Texas, who led the research, the journal Science reports.
Pasquali's team included academic, government and industrial scientists from Rice, besides team members from Teijin Aramid, headquartered in Arnhem, the Netherlands; the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel; and the Air Force Research Lab in Ohio, according to a Rice statement.
"The new CNT fibres have a thermal conductivity approaching that of the best graphite fibres but with 10 times greater electrical conductivity," said study co-author Marcin Otto, business development manager at Teijin Aramid.
"Graphite fibres are also brittle, while the new CNT fibres are as flexible and tough as a textile thread. We expect this combination of properties will lead to new products with unique capabilities for the aerospace, automotive, medical and smart-clothing markets," Otto said.
The phenomenal properties of carbon nanotubes have enthralled scientists from the moment of their discovery in 1991. The hollow tubes of pure carbon, which are nearly as wide as a strand of DNA, are about 100 times stronger than steel at one-sixth the weight.
Nanotubes' conductive properties -- for both electricity and heat -- rival the best metal conductors. They also can serve as light-activated semiconductors, drug-delivery devices and even sponges to soak up oil. UNQUOTE

I find news like above much more thrilling as these give us clues by whom or where the envelope is pushed higher.
If you see the international co-operation behind these projects we may think a step further to guess which company(ies) in which country will be able to buy know-how of scientists on longer term.
The big capital accumulation in the far east will search for new investment possibilities on longer term and this is to decide who becomes an industry leader.
The bunch and growing number of far eastern scientists working in the field of material science at also western universities make me believe that on longer term the western world will fade away to be a industry leader in many,many fields.
Look how even French wine manufacturing is getting into hands of Chinese ownership.Capital finds its way.
The last battle is still to fight and the question will be who will have their hand on the energy sources.
Example here is the growing global role of Chinese,Korean but also Russian,Brazilian mostly state owned energy giants really not liked by the "western world" but they do not have the power to fight this battle globally with a hidden agenda and different headlines.
To be on topic.I do not think things are going in favor of Germany.
Sorry for the long post. Just my 2 cents.

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