Wednesday, January 2, 2008

BSNYC Product Review: 2008 First Impressions

Yesterday marked the long-awaited release of a new product that’s been hyped ever since Interbike back in October. As a reviewer, I’d been itching to get my hands on it and try it out. Well, I finally received it, and was able to install it and take it for a ride yesterday. Since it was a holiday and the weather was unseasonably warm I managed to get out and spend a few hours on it, and I’m pleased to share with you my first impressions.

Admittedly, when I first received 2008, I was skeptical. I mean, my 2007 was working just fine, with only minimal signs of wear. Chances are I could have gotten at least another 10 years out of it. Furthermore, at first glance, 2008 seems nearly identical to the old model, and when I first took it out of the box I found myself asking, "Is this just the same old chain lube in a different bottle?"

Well, now that I've taken 2008 for a test ride, I can emphatically say that this is not the case. Engineers have carried over the best features of 2007--the seamless seasonal transitions, the seven-day weeks, the predictable day/night transitions--while at the same time refining the overall design even further in order to maximize performance. How did they do so? Let’s take a look.

The first thing riders will notice about 2008 is the extra day. That's right--2008 is a full 24 hours longer than 2007. By figuring out how to place an extra day between the end of February and the beginning of March, 2008’s engineers have in effect created more ride time for you. And more ride time means you’ll have more miles in your legs, which will give you a crucial edge over your competitors come the start of the season. This extra day has been branded “leap year” technology, and while this may cause confusion in the marketplace with SRAM’s “Will you make the leap?” campaign, the performance benefits are obvious.

Another refinement is in the weekends and holidays department. Designed to absorb shock and smooth out your ride, this is a feature that has been copied by many other manufacturers, most notably Specialized with their Zerts inserts. 2008 retains all the 52 weekends of last year’s model, thereby preserving that “stiff yet compliant” feel 2007 was famous for, with the additional benefit of a July 4th that falls on a Friday. On the 2007 model, July 4th fell on a Wednesday, which meant that many riders had to return to work the very next day, without the benefit of either a recovery ride and/or hangover-nursing day.

Okay, so what about the drawbacks? Well, the first bit of bad news is that your 2007 calendar will not be compatible with 2008—unless you’ve got a couple hours to kill with a Sharpie. However, the component aftermarket has already embraced 2008, and a huge variety is already available, including cute puppy, Miss Nude Australia, and shirtless Mormon men. Secondly, that much-touted extra day is a Friday, which means it might be difficult to ride if you’ve got work duties. Finally, 2008 lacks a trimming feature. Frankly, if your 2008 is adjusted properly you won't need it, but even so engineers plan to remedy this by releasing a more expensive "Red" version later in the year.

In all, engineers have truly managed to preserve the qualities that made 2007 so great while at the same time fine-tuning the ride with welcome improvements. Say what you will, 2008 is light-years ahead of its competitors, such as the Hebrew calendar’s tired 5768, the Buddhist calendar’s ponderous 2552, and China’s kludgy Year of the Rat. Of course, I say this every year, but the fact is that 2008 may be the last year you'll ever buy.

The Bottom Line

Buy It If: You loved 2007 and want something longer.
Don’t Buy It If: You’re a retrogrouch who writes the wrong year on your checks.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

I win!!!

Ka_Jun said...

Welcome back, Snob!

Anonymous said...

podies!

Laura said...

omg that mormon website was creepy. and wtf was up with the mormon cycling tshirts?

mojito said...

My biggest concern about 2008 is whether the extra day adds much weight. It may only be 1/365th of the usual, but us gram counters care! What's more, since years come by annually, it's rotational weight. Always a killer on those long climbs between holidays in Spring.

I've also noticed the manufacturers have kept quiet about just how aero a year can it be with that bulge in February. Once I hit 30mph, how much drag is that going to cause? Seconds are valuable, but a whole day? Can't put a price on it.

So, I'm going to stick with 2007 for the time being. I might upgrade once I read more about others' experiences with '08.

newstome said...

does 2008 have an integrated headset?

Anonymous said...

I didn't think 2007 was very stiff nor compliant (at least not as stiff as I'd like it to have been), I kept thinking I'd really like a little more lateral torque and wished some engineer would find some way to incorporate a full suspension to ease out some of the bumps.

I'm hoping 2008 will prove to have just the right amount of "boing" and vertical flex.

I also agree with mojito, the additional 1/365th of weight might prove too much of a liability to truly enjoy the 2008 model. I didn't take off my pie plate just to add more weight after.

Chole B said...

Pft. you guys would have been drilling holes in your years in the 70s.

weight weenies.

Anonymous said...

What about lateral stiffness?

Anonymous said...

2008 also comes with a number of decent stock comments. I still traded most of them out though.

-Great post! I snorted chai latte all over my keyboard.

-podium!

-...keep talkin' like that and I'll take you out back and [redacted] ...just sayin'...

-not your best. you shouldn't post so often.

-bgw needs to relax

-4th!

Prolly said...

Nice! At first, I glanced through the article looking for the bike part that was being reviewed. Then I realized what you did...

heh

db said...

How does it climb?

tovarish said...

Dammit, I wrote a check today and put in "year of the dog".


(yeah, I know that Chinese new year isn't for a few weeks)

broomie said...

My concern about the new model year is wear. Yeah, its always great out of the box, but I noticed some give and squeaks toward the end of last year's. By the end it just didn't have that lively snap.
I'm hoping the durability will be better for 2008. Last thing I want is an early blowout.

leroy said...

oooohhhhh .... puppies.

I'm sorry, what were talking about?

(BSNYC - Good to see you back and ready for the new season.)

Jim said...

New and improved? Hah, they haven't had a completely new model since the "46 BC" version, and the big change in 1582 was just "bold new graphics" and everybody knows it.

Some changes are afoot, however. Apparently, around half the buyers find the Bushings on the 88-92 and 2000-2008 models to be troubling and unreliable, so we've been promised a new headset due to roll out in early November that is supposed to give us a better ride. I'm pretty sure that the new headset won't deliver any better than the old one, but like a Chris King, it'll be shiny and nice and expensive and make us happy for three months, and then after some serious headshake, looseness and wobble, the buyers can spend the next four years telling the rest of us how good it is...

Yep, the more things change...

Thomas said...

Brilliant article.

Anonymous said...

2008 is so last year, I just got off the phone with the engineer in charge of the '09 model. (What do you think, they stop working and rest on their laurels?)
It's gonna be so sick. Light, Cheap and Strong! Can't wait. I tried to get him to send me an advance prototype, but they're tighter than Apple with releasing info before MacWorld.
We'll all have to wait together, but my sights are set to upgrade again for '09!

true said...

Oh man. I thought now is the time to get a good deal on 2007. But now I know I must have 2008.

Anonymous said...

Also, did you find a calender of hasidic jews because that's really more my type.

Anonymous said...

woogie, woogie

Anonymous said...

2008 might be 1/365th heavier but look at the reduced rolling resistance. 2007 had that clunky 223 prime number in there which really reduced fluid cornering and was just an anchor weight all around. What with LCM (Least Common Denominator) technology, those 2008 calendar girls from Australia will dance by like a cheap flip book.

Sprocketboy said...

But what I want to know is will 2008 go as fast as 2007? First there was the Tour Down Under, then Milan San Remo, the Tour de France and Floyd disqualified and pfut--gone! At least we will be able to celebrate that Italian framebuilder Giacomo Rossini's true birtday.

Why isn't there a shirless Mormon women calendar? Where's the equality? At least we have the Cycle Passion one.

urchin said...

whatever...

everyone knows all the pros are on 2005s painted to look like 2009s.


nice post. However, if you're still gunning for publication in Bicycling magazine, you need to keep up--according to my April issue that came in the mail yesterday, all the fuss now is about 2010...

Matt said...

I was reading my Bicycle Quarterly and according to Jan Heine the French constructeurs were already incorporating leap days into their designs in, like, 1952 and 1948.

dennis said...

I wanted my new frame to be a 2007 model Seven. I placed the order with the bike shop in 2007, but it won't be shipped until 2008. I'm a retro kind of guy, 2007/Seven for me.
just saying........

Great post,welcome back BSNYC!

gttim said...

Remember that while we had 7/7/07 in 2007, this year we will have 8/8/08! I think everybody knows that when the numbers go higher, the model is usually better!

bikesgonewild said...

...let me get this straight...i'm supposed to buy into this proprietary 'leap year' business for 2008 & then i can't use it again until 2012 ???...

...incredible !!!...i call for standardization...

zank said...

gttim, wait until 2011. It goes to 11.

bikemojo said...

Great artcile snob, I think I spent the first paragraph trying to find the actual product reviewed. Jokes on me, ha ha.


That woogie guy cracks me up, what a character.

mr.complaint said...

I was stewing on the last post and realized that this is that Village People thing again. Talk about retrogrouch.

Poo.

and the new poo for 2008 appears to be Dutch Oven Brown.

I've never put any thought into the topic of gay mormon, and I don't want to.

Nigel Tufnel said...

Zank 4:14 - Wouldn't it just be easier to make 2007 go up to 11?

That's it, I'll never be a professional cyclist... I'm hanging up the bikes to become a habadasher.

Reality said...

Aaron Naparstek of Streetsblog is a facist. He only pubvlishes comments which aree with his point of view. If you have anything contrary to say, no matter how you say it, you will be deleted.

Anonymous said...

http://singlespeedgallery.com/stuff/images/fixr.jpg

http://singlespeedgallery.com/stuff/images/1x1.jpg

sprider said...

The 2008 seems pretty cool, but if they're going to add the weight of an extra day, how about an extra Saturday in July? How much more quality ride time can you get on a Friday in February?

leroy said...

Nigel --

Remember, you don't know if you'll be happy working in a hat shop until you know what your hours are.

Now, please excuse me. I have to go see if I can get my 10 speed to go to 11.

Anonymous said...

366 is much better than 365. The 366 rolls over obstacles easier. You also get better traction with the wider contact patch, stability in corners, and the 366 floats through mud and sand where a 365 is just going to get bogged down. The 366 is also more efficient as you get more distance with each rotation of the cranks. Sure the 366 is a little heavier but nothing that a set of tubeless tires and some DT Swiss 190s won't fix!

--Larry Fisher

Andy Pandy said...

Not even going to look at the spec sheet until they design boys get it in a wind tunnel. And what colours does it come in as I need to match with my kit. If I must submit to a 2008 model it will be with a degree of style

Nigel Tufnel said...

Leroy 6:26p

I hope that's not a Shimano freehub... could you imagine how loud one of those would be turned up to 11?

Anon 7:00p

One of the funniest post I've read on this thread. Do you write for the Peterman catalogue with Elaine or are you a "hired gun" for Bicycling?

wonderbike said...

wtf is up with this woogie stuff?

anyways, I'm looking forward to the Chinese version, but it doesn't come out until a few more weeks. For once we've beat the Chinese to something.

Anonymous said...

your talent as a satirist really comes through in this one. honest!

Philip Williamson said...

...and there ya go!
Drugged drunken naked MORMON homos... blazing a path for all of us.

Apparently 2008 is going to be a hard one for eking out the tiny difference between satire and reality.

Oh yeah... it's an election year.

Travis said...

another problem with the 08 model apart from the extra weight day.. Olympics, hours to waste in front of the TV...thats more calories for you.. unless you live in Beijing like me...and I'll be cheering like mad!

Anonymous said...

sometimes you're quite funny and pretty witty... but this one is just retarded...

Anonymous said...

I worked in a tobacco shop while I was in school around 03 and a guy came in and tried to pay with a check dated 1964.

I think it had cottered cranks

Commie canuk said...

Anonymous said...

sometimes you're quite funny and pretty witty... but this one is just retarded...

Are you referring to his blog, or your comment? Not clear.

" who will ever need 366 days? 365 is good enough for anyone, until 2000, then you're all screwed."

--Bill Gates

Anonymous said...

Philip Williamson said...

...and there ya go!
Drugged drunken naked MORMON homos... blazing a path for all of us.

Apparently 2008 is going to be a hard one for eking out the tiny difference between satire and reality.

Oh yeah... it's an election year.


Being from outside the US, I just assumed Romney was going to win, because I misread his faith as "moron", and morons have ruled the Whitehouse since 2000.

Anonymous said...

Nigel - thanks, mojito had a great post so I was trying to keep up.

--K. Peterman (J's less successful brother)

bikesgonewild said...

...btw, anon 7:00pm...i was chucking as i read yer post & then i got to the end...having worked for & being friends w/ a "similar" guy, it was LOL time...

...& yes phillip w, you got that right...

Anonymous said...

In North Dakota we just turn our watches back 20 years.

SHAR WAH! said...

hahahaaaaa

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