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Now I don't know about you - of course I don't, this is a relatively anonymous online forum - but I could not avoid reading a bit of a sneer into a few of the captions on this gallery:

A closer look at the Shimano 105 drivetrain

I mean do we, the great unwashed, really need to get a closer look at the sort of kit we see every day on our own commuter or winter bikes?  :D

Well, let me tell you, you and you, the readers of VR, that, whatever CN makes of it, I am not at all sneery about this. :P

At the beginning of every season, especially on the slow news days, we get image after image after image of Super Record and Dura Ace and, well, that SRAM one, and it's like they're rubbing our poor noses in it with all that fancy and expensive tech. The sort of stuff many of us will never own because we have to buy food or pay rent or travel around Asia.

Finally, at last, enfin, we get to see the bike or bikes of an everyman (or everywoman) on top of a team car or between the legs of a local nobody with a race number on it. And no, folks, this is not one of Jimble's Wednesday night time trials. This is the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina. Nation of silver, not gold. Nation of Ultegra or 105, not Dura Ace.

How wonderful, then, to regard these obscure bike manufacturers named after abstract concepts and discredited former Soviet secret police bosses, a celebration of the affordable, the utilitarian, the functional, the mid-range mediocre.

More of this and now, please! :P
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