It's been a wild few weeks in the world of tech, with everything from bike releases, to perhaps the most significant product recall in cycling history.
We take a look at Shimano's nightmare, and how the sheer volume of crank sales could become a financial headache, as well as sharing our thoughts on the newly released Pinarello Dogma X. We also shed some light on the slightly confusing endurance bike market, after a whole host of bike releases over the last 12 months.
Shimano's saga continues
On the 21st of September 2023, Shimano issued a product recall of over 760,000 cranks in America and Canada after concerns were raised by the Consumer Product Safety Commission over the integrity of the cranks.
It came after 4,519 cranks had been reported to fail, resulting in six recorded injuries. Due to how long the cranks have been on the market, and that many cranks at the time of failing may have been out of warranty, it seems reasonable to suggest that the number of failed cranks could actually be much higher.
The waters are muddied though when we look at the details of the recall.
At this time, Shimano has not recalled products in Europe, but instead offered an inspection program, which puts them at less financial risk as a company.
To put things into perspective, Shimano produced a total of 2.8 million cranks that have the potential to be affected, all at a replacement cost of over $200 dollars each.
It seems unlikely that Shimano will replace every single crank that comes for inspection, but even if they don't there is the compensation to pay bike shops for their time working on the affected cranks.
Sigma Sports in the UK are quoting £37.50 for each inspection, which, even if just one third of the cranks were inspected, could set Shimano back around 40 million pounds (48 million dollars). Of course, Shimano, as companies go, is a behemoth and the brand coming into real financial difficulties isn't on the table yet. But there is certainly potential hardships in the future after the inevitable hit the company's reputation has taken in the last few weeks.
Pinarello Dogma X
We have also been lucky enough to get hands on with the new Pinarello Dogma X - Pinarello's new flagship endurance road bike.
The bike is designed to be a softer Dogma F that should be a better fit for most people. Tyre clearance of up to 35mm and a geometry somewhat slacker than the Italian brand's out and out race bike make the Dogma X the more sensible choice in the brands range for those who favour long rides over simply stiffness alone.
Pinarello has also unveiled its new 'X-Stays' technology, which it says provides more compliance to the rear end of the bike - but what do we think?
Well, the bike itself handles great. With the geometry worked around the Pinarello Dogma F as a starting point, you would struggle to go too far wrong in terms of handling. The bike had a stable rear end and quite a precise front wheel that was easy to place on descents.
Though the bike was noticeably less stiff in the bottom bracket and the head tube than its race bike big brother, we we're still pretty impressed with Dogma X.
Pinarello also released the X-series alongside the Dogma X, which once again has different geometry. The X-series bike, along with using a lower grade of carbon fibre, has a much taller head tube and shorter reach than the Dogma X, which got us thinking - what is an endurance bike in 2023?
What is and endurance bike
Well, the endurance category has undoubtedly diversified in the last 12 months - and what a crowded year it has been!
We have seen the release of the Pinarello Dogma X, the X-series, the new Giant Defy, the Vitus Venon, as well as a new Roubaix from Specialized, and even a new Trek Domane that was released not all that long ago.
In that category though, we feel the bikes have split into two subcategories - endurance race bikes, and all road bikes.
On the more aggressive end of the spectrum, you have bikes like the Giant Defy, and the Pinarello Dogma X, both of which share a similar geometry that is aimed to be a balance between riding fast and being comfortable. On the other side of the spectrum however, is bikes like the new Roubaix, which we described as gravel ready when it came out a few weeks ago.
We think this is great news for the consumer. It is a fact that most of us are not as flexible as professional cyclists, and it makes sense then that we probably shouldn't always be looking for the most aggressive race bike to enjoy long rides on. Having more of a choice between all road focused endurance bikes and performance focused endurance bikes makes for a much healthier choice for bikes on the market.
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