It looks like most of the traffic has found us over at grabthehudz.wordpress.com, so we’ll be deleting this version of the Hüdz blog in the next week. If you haven’t switched to our new blog site, now would be a good time…

I’m having a meeting with our marketing intern and Trent our new Sales and Distribution Manager right now and they’ve decided that we need to move the Hüdz blog to grabthehudz.wordpress.com. So I’m doing it. All the content that is here has already been moved over, we’ll just be adding to that blog address going forward.

I promise that we’ll do a better job of keeping this up to date as well.

Belgian Beer Friday will probably be our first new post on grabthehudz.wordpress.com, so don’t miss that…

 

2010 was a very complicated year. At least it was for us. 2011 isn’t starting out particularly easier, but I think the payoff is going to be big…

One of the great changes is that in addition to having Tom Hopper (of Slipstream and Hüdz-Subaru CX fame) taking care of our fulfillment and logistics in the office, we have hired a great guy to take over as our Distribution and Sales Manager. Trent Schilousky has been contracting with us for about a month, and soon he’ll a full-time force getting the Hüdz brand into the cycling gestalt.

Our cyclocross team was a wonderful surprise on the dirt. With 8 UCI wins, a world championship selection, dozens of UCI podiums, and countless race victories, we couldn’t be happier. Unfortunately, Hüdz terminated it’s sponsorship in December after Chuck Coyle’s doping suspension and some behind the scenes schenanigans that we didn’t want our company to have any part in.

We’re looking forward to the racing season – on the road we’ll be working with teams like Amore e’ Vita, scores of regional racing programs, and a top-tier team or two if things go according to plan. Unfortunately both Webcor and Vera Bradley Foundation are no longer fielding professional women’s teams, so we are looking for great women’s programs to support. Hopefully this is all sorted shortly and the peloton is filled with a rainbow of colored hoods.

The projects that were stifled last year are roaring back to life, and it looks like it will be a very busy year.

Also, on the blog side of the Hüdz world, we’ve decided to add a new feature: Belgian Beer Fridays.

We used to have “Beer Friday” in the office. That hasn’t happened much in the last year, and we’re bringing it back, but with a twist. We will select either a Belgian or Belgian-style beer every Friday and the group of us will post our impressions on the brew. From time to time, we’ll even have a celebrity member of the panel and do a little Q&A with them. So make sure you check back regularly – starting this week – for Belgian Beer Fridays.

Join the Hüdz-Vista Subaru CX team at Wenger (1122 Pearl St. Boulder) on Saturday night from 5.30 to 8pm. Wenger is having an open house with 20% off, Oskar Blues is providing beer, and you can kick it with team members like the super-suave Davide Frattini, or trade World Championship stories with Amanda Miller.

It’s gonna be great. See you there

 

As I mentioned to one of the guys that works at the office with me, the last cyclocross race I did was in the 90s – late 90s, but still… I have been underwhelmed by the prospect of disc brakes in cross since June when the UCI announced their legalization. I think I just changed my mind.

I have never been a mountain biker, and never tried disc brakes – hydraulic or cable – and almost always felt that a set of TRP950 cantis would take care of anything.

While the 950s pretty much rule every condition, getting fist-fulls of wet clipped grass in between my pads and rim the other day made me realize that the disc option is legit and really something I would probably go for if they got the weight down, hydraulic road levers, and it integrated well with sexy form of my (when it happens, this is the dream bike…) custom painted Ridley with Di2.

Last summer I talked with the Factor 001 guys in the UK about hydraulic versions of the Di2 levers that they were cobbling together for their project and the possibility of  us being willing to make Hüdz for them. It never happened, and as far as I know the Factor 001 bike is still vapor-ware. But the idea has stuck with me and now I think that with disc brakes in CX the time may have come to pull out all the stops and just go full-on crazy like that.

Maybe, just maybe…

More than a month ago Interbike/Neilsen announced that Interbike would move to August 8th in Anaheim CA. The bizarre truth about the move is that this effort to make the show more relevant has done exactly the opposite. Eurobike looks to benefit most from this move with a number of companies that I have talked to saying that they will now skip IB and head to Eurobike instead.

My company has been on-and-off with IB. The atrocious return on investment, horrible layout of the show, and arrogance of the organizers has made participation a big hurdle for us. Now with the show moving to Anaheim in August there is no way that we will even consider attending, much less showing.

There is, what I think is a brilliant option that I’m talking with a few people about. The timing would be very different as would the location, but the functionality for the industry should be excellent. So far feedback has been positive. Now if I could just find a smart event company to put it together that’s looking for a huge challenge like this…

Regardless, manufacturers are irritated, retailers are indignant, and the only thing that the organizers seem to have a positive for the move is Disneyland. Is the end of IB nigh? I actually hope so – give someone who is really going to serve the industry a chance to come up…

I was conflicted when I posted about Ezequiel Mosquera having a great Veulta a couple weeks ago. There was no question that he was animating the race, but the fact that he should not have been able to was troubling me.

I tried to have faith and believe in the dream of an unheralded rider becoming the darling of the race…

But…

How is it that a guy who has made little splash on the professional scene is beating the likes of a Schleck? Is it surprising that his team is about to fold and that all of the sudden he has an out of this world race on a major stage? Has he ever time trialed anywhere close to that well before?

Well, it looks like it may not have been hard work and motivation after all. The home crowd did not infuse him with the strength of a champion. Apparently doping did that.

I won’t hang the man until the facts are confirmed, but he has tested positive… If he is confirmed as having doped, I sincerely wish that he had never used our product.

I’m in favor of all the technical/aerodynamic/training/nutritional/etc. benefit that a racer can get. I’ve spent weeks in a wind tunnel and hours upon hours looking for a watt or two in a higher-performance piece of equipment for teams and individual athletes. Sure, that is buying speed and it puts them at a sporting advantage. But I would much rather see money go into that than a “medical program”.

There is a famous quote from a pro cyclist, I forget who, that goes “It is not doping unless you are caught. If you are not caught it is just race preparation.” Here’s to hoping all the dopers get caught so that it can unequivocally be called cheating…

Hit up the Outdoor Demo for about an hour or so today and then took a quick run through the floor of Interbike. Looks like some interesting stuff is making it’s way out this year and I’m actually going to have to pay attention on Thursday and Friday when I have time to walk the floor.

Wednesday is dedicated to getting the CX team sorted and getting the Hüdz tent area set up at the race with our sweet new displays (they’re on our facebook page, and Eric the Intern – now a partner in fasterisbetter part of Applied Cycling Labs killed it with them). There will be running to the show, then to the race course, then to the show, then back to the race course… Fun, especially in Vegas traffic which never really seems to go away on the surface streets.

Now time to sleep. Haven’t done much of that lately (though the 11 hours last night brought the 3-day average to more than 4/night, which is nice)…

Davide Frattini wins in Baltimore to take the Hüdz-Vista Subaru first UCI win. Sue Butler leads the charge in Seattle to grab the final podium spot at Star Crossed. Jake Wells rides an inspired race and spends the first 45 minutes in 5th spot – a crash and bike change see him drop down to 9th by the finish.

Bloody outstanding racing. Sue and Jake showed incredible guts in their rides and we couldn’t be happier for their results. And Davide repeats at Charm City.

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