John and I finished assembling a prototype Smitty just in time to run down to the Brewer’s Hill Superweek bike race near downtown Milwaukee where we watched some great Pro 1/2 criterium racing and engaged in some impromptu product testing with John and Spokes Model Dave goofing around on the Shark and a Smitty in the parking lot adjacent to the racing action.
On our trip from the shop to and from the race I rode the Smitty that is currently set up with Salsa Delgado 29’er wheels, a Shimano Nexus 8-speed rear hub with a coaster brake, a Shimano Generator front hub and super big, 2.35 Schwalbe Big Apple tires. Ultra Cush! In just the short amount of time I had on the bike, about 8 miles, I am already really stoked about how it rides. I knew we had a pretty good design but seeing and feeling the reality of the ride was great.
John rode one of the oldest of our current Shark fleet, the Chip Foose-inspired Interbike show bike from a couple of years ago. This Shark looks great with its two-tone paint and always gets a lot of looks and questions about the bike.
Dave gave the Shark John rode a series of disc brake tests showing that nose wheeling the Shark is one of the coolest sites I’ve seen in cycling recently! It also showed the strength and durability of the design. Product testing in the real world like this is why Dave gets the big bucks!
This year was the revival of the Brewer’s Hill venue for a Super week race and the actual racing action did not disappoint. The course is only about .8 miles but there is a significant hill going up the front straight and down the back. Not a flat course crit this!
Besides the photos in this article check out more pix of the Schlick Shark and the Smitty at Flicker. There are also pix from the Shorewood Criterium and the Brewer’s Hill Crit Superweek Races.
Look for us next weekend at the Great Downer Avenue Bike Race and the Whitefish Bay Criterium!