Saturday, April 16, 2011

All NEW Spinner® Bikes are AMAZING!

The all NEW Spinner® Blade

The Iconic Spinner® bike lineup has been taken to a new level in terms of style, authenticity, performance, and quality that will put us way ahead of the pack! The all new Spinner® bikes will change the indoor cycling world as we know it forever!

Just a few of the major changes I am absolutely excited about are for the person who gets on the Spinner® to better themselves through the Spinning® Program. Star Trac has Increase the authenticity of the ride by improving bike fit and overall biomechanics on many levels when it comes to this.

Spinner® Blade
One such MAJOR change is the Q factor. This is the distance between your feet when you are sitting on the bike pedaling. The Q factor (Crank to crank) on all the new models of Spinner® bikes will be 158-160mm. This is well within the real cycling world specifications and is by far the best in the industry. Some indoor cycling bikes on the market are crazy wide... The new Spinner® bike models will help provide most (general population) users the ability to have much better alignment and biomechanics when riding through the hips, knees, ankles, and feet when compared to most other indoor cycling bikes. The payback is more safety, comfort, efficiency, and "power application" in each and every pedal stroke. Got to love that! The bike just feels better to me because it's closer to my road and track bikes.  This is an industry first when it comes to the group indoor cycling category!

Spinner® Blade Ion with power measurement coming soon!
The Spinner® bikes will now not only have a new computer with a wattage/power measurement (Coming soon, and will be measured through a strain gauge), but are designed to actually "help" the general rider population produce more power through the ability to get better body to bike alignment that is much more inline with the outdoor cycling worlds specifications. Think about how much adjustment you have in your cycling shoes/cleats to adjust your feet in or out from the crank arms to try get good alignment. It's not much so- The 160mm width is a good middle point for the masses if you know what I mean. Then if needed, you can take more steps in getting the best fit possible because your not starting with a really wide machine.

So for those of us who actually care about the transition from our road bikes to the indoor group cycling bike... This is a good thing! The older bikes aren't bad in terms of Q factor numbers, but if it can be changed and made more like a real bike, I'm all for it.  The New bikes QF is still wider than a high end road bike but it is much closer to what is out there and what people are dealing with on outdoor bikes. It wasn't until now that people even thought about Q factor on group stationary bikes.  

-So if your trying to over think this and trying to say this isn't a good thing... Do remember one thing... Indoor cycling bikes are NOT designed to fit EVERYONE perfectly and they won't for many reasons.  I  personally think this is a huge step in the right direction in terms of design. Engineers are looking to make the Spinner® bikes "closer" to a real bike than a piece of fitness equipment without adding things that wouldn't be safe or just a waste of time. A little change in Q factor for the masses that have been for the most part, on really wide bikes compared to outdoor bikes, is not a bad idea at all for many many reasons. A Q factor of 160mm is narrow in the INDOOR cycling world but NOT in the OUTDOOR cycling world. 

From Chris Balser:  I was recently asked my opinion on optimal tread or "Q-Factor" (by another indoor cycling site), and I believe that my response was slightly misleading.  I do not endorse 175mm distance over 160mm for cycling. 
My findings suggest pedal-to-pedal distance is optimal when equal to greater-trochnanter and tibial-tuberosity (with movement).  This means that your foot is under your knee, which is under your hip -- like walking.  Variation inside or outside these parameters will reduce effective force, and increases probability for injury.  It also just feels better.
Chris Balser
Bicycle Fit Guru

What's real funny is some so called "performance" indoor cycling bikes are more than 175mm wide! They are even as high as 190mm or more!  Kinda makes you wonder who is building these bikes. Not cyclists! 

Another big change is in the connection a rider will have to the handlebars. We have added a full 3" an adjustable fore/aft to the handlebars on the Blade and NXT, to give the rider an even more custom fit. We have also made a change to the angle of the bars in the area between HP 2 and 3. This area is now at a 5 degree rise, and combined with the fore/aft bar adjustment will allow our wonderful Spinning® program to actually move forward and change in terms of the hand positions. More to come on this later... What I can say, is this is another huge step forward in terms of comfort, efficiency, and feel. The bottom line here is, the bikes will feel even more like a real bike!

Without a doubt group indoor cycles have gone through an evolution in the past decades and the geniuses of most of the components are still grounded in traditional bike parts. We continue to learn that road and mountain bike components do not stand up to the stationary fixed gear systems that are found in group indoor cycles. Star Trac has reacted to this reality through designing components that are actually engineered specifically to meet the demands of this category. One such component Star Trac has designed on the new Spinner® Blade, NXT, and Pro is the patent pending drive train, that will far surpass anything on the market today in regards to strength. The all new bottom bracket in each of these bikes has been increased in size from the current Spinner® bikes and uses a bombproof Morris taper at the connection points to the crank arms. Star Trac has done their homework on this and I'm happy to know that the engineering is going into this kind stuff!

Other changes to the drive-train include a much higher quality track bike chain, that will last longer and stretch less. This combined with a all new stabilizing bar on the inside of the chain guard to stiffen the bike's frame will provide a ride that is sharp, crisp and strong! We have also taken the connection point of the pedals to the crank-arms to a place that will provide a level of safety not seen in the industry until now through use of the Morris tapering and much stronger pedal spindles. A double sided pedal is also coming to accommodate those who want both the Look® and SPD® style cleat connection. End of the day... Buyers and users, will have the piece of mind knowing that pedals will not succumb to an indoor cycling industry weak point.

Corrosion resistance has also been taken to a whole new level through much higher quality paint preparation and powder coating processes. We will be Zinc platting our steel frames on the new NXT and Pro vs the industry standard Zinc rich primer that will give us rust protection that exceeds current industry competitive standards.

New plastic leveling feet.
A few other notable examples of corrosion resistance that are industry firsts, are the all new oversized full plastic leveling feet that will not rust and/or seize. A full flywheel cover that prevents sweat from building up on the inner rim and or flywheel stickers coming off. Bikes that can take anything the fitness industry can throw at them all day long and will out perform them all!

Bottom line... Star Trac has improved almost everything on the bikes, and Spinning® will continue to maintaining our position as the number one group indoor cycling company. We have really listened to the Spinning® community and are trying to react with the designs that will make their experience better for the right reasons!

A bike that is engineered to last.
From my point of view as a former professional cyclist and Spinning International Master Instructor for many years, these are the best bikes ever made for the indoor cycling world to date. They look absolutely AMAZING and will ride even better! I am truly impressed and can't wait to see the Spinning program grow even more because of the bikes!