My name is Tim Gribble and I’m an age group triathlete, TT cyclist and an active product tester. Recent products I’ve tested include Rudy Project Wing 57 and Boost 01 helmets and the TitanFlex TF-20 boom bike.
My testing philosophy is simple: Go out and ride! Wing Tunnel data is good, but race conditions can’t be simulated in the tunnel and often times the aero profile changes completely once you have an actual rider versus a dummy on the bike (or wearing the helmet).
My testing procedure is all based on power numbers and time to ensure accuracy. I’ve recently relocated due to work and have the ideal environment for product testing. I ride on a three mile, closed to traffic course, loop. It’s paved and the only vehicles allowed in the vicinity are work related and they only move during specific times of the day.
Blade X Cycle has done an incredible job with the new packaging method used to protect their products. They use an innovative and space saving bubble-wrap that protects the wheels from side impact that will inevitably occur during shipping. My package was shipped from the warehouse in China to the U.S. and then forwarded to Europe and ultimately made it to Qatar. Not only did this package travel all over the world, it was roughly handled (as was evidenced by the indentations in the box), but the wheels came out perfectly! I filmed the opening and it can be seen on Youtube. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCbp2waGQMw ).
The box itself contained the wheels, two skewers, extra spokes & nipples and specially designed brake pads. All of the items were in perfect shape and the quantities shipped, matched the amounts found on the shipping invoice. So far my SDM 6X9 wheels have over 1000miles, 4 triathlons and two cycling races on them and I haven’t needed to replace any of the spokes or nipples, but it’s great have extras just in case.
Speaking of the spokes and nipples, I want to take a few lines and talk about how tru these wheels are. Before getting into that though, let me validate this opinion by stating that I was a professional bicycle mechanic in THE most high-end triathlon store in the Mid-West of the United States for several years. With that now established , let’s get back to the wheels. Due to the nature of supply chain distribution and delivery, it’s guaranteed that regardless of the carrier, all packages are very roughly handled. So much in fact, that every wheel shipment I received while working in the industry had to be checked for truness before the product went on sale. Well over two-thirds of ALL shipments from the “major” wheel manufactures had to be re-trued before the wheels could go on display. Not the case with