That comment was meant to be tongue in cheek...
Although, by the line of judgment you've laid out in your response, maybe we should expect the new Diamondback
to soon be the fastest ever? Kevin Quan Studios would seem to be of a "reasonable engineering pedigree", but I still expect this bike to attempt full integration and still be a piece of crap and an aerodynamic dog relative to the P5 in full "race trim", let alone the P6.
Anyways, for their unsurpassed sexiness, Canyon aero rigs still seem to lag offerings from Cervelo, Trek, Specialized, and Felt, per most publicly available independent test data. So I wouldn't be surprised if Frodo is fast in spite of his Canyon rather than because of it, even though I am certain the differences between these top end bicycles are so marginal that they can be offset simply by a something as minor as a slightly more disciplined head tuck. But what fun is that to split hairs over on a message board?
I think the Canyon probably excels only if you say "bottle behind the seat, including spares, space to carry gels, and with Xoz of fluid on the bike (as I think that front hydration system is pretty large)." I think it lags the other bikes in "TT" set up for sure.
As far as the new Diamondback, my issue is that Kevin Quan got his start at Cervelo. And one relatively consistent theme is that bike design is iterative. There are some examples of huge departures in design that work out well:
- Scott Plasma 2 was, by all accounts, a POS. The Plasma 3 was outstanding. And the Plasma 3->Plasma 5 evolution is much more logical.
- The Specialized Transition was actually way faster than people thought. But the Nosecone Shiv looked almost nothing like it, and it was certainly very fast. I actually think that Specialized would have done better to iterate the nosecone design - Mark Cote would likely say that, in some ways, they did by moving the nosecone into a larger cross section downtube, but I disagree.
Quick note here - both the Plasma 3 and Nosecone Shiv were driven heavily by the demands of elite UCI teams. In both cases, I think that was the first really serious effort at an aero TT bike by either company. And they are both BIG companies with a strong history of overall engineering excellence, especially in composites. So it's not so surprising to see the big changes that resulted in a winning design. What is surprising is that Scott then followed a more traditional process from 3->5 while Specialized did not.
- the (carbon) Felt DA was a very fast bike. And the IA is/was an almost wholesale redesign and it is also fast. Jim Felt has a history of innovating. Felt is the sort of company where this kind of wholesale redesign is less surprising. Felt, because of Jim's leadership, has always been the sort of company to do crazy stuff and to scrap prior designs. So this makes sense
But you look at the Trek. The SC looks - to me anyway - like a somewhat logical evolution of the TTX. Obviously some big changes, especially geometrically and with the Kammtail design, but from just an overall "look," they both look like Treks.
The new Canyon looks a lot like it's predecessor. There is a sense that Canyon believes in it's fundamentals.
Cervelo is the MOST consistent. The P3->P3C->P4->P5 continuum is super consistent. You can see the refinement. And it's clearly fast. So that's what bothers me about Quan's designs. He came from a company that clearly believed there was a certain way to design a fast bike, and yet he has departed from that entirely. And that is an issue. I get the sense, a bit, that he's trying to say, "I'm just as capable as Phil & Gerard!" And so he doesn't want to copy them. But imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
That's a primary reason why I believed in the Dimond as a first pass. Because it wasn't a "new" bike per se; it was the evolution of a proven design - the Zipp bike - with a lot of input from people at Zipp. That's why, for instance, I trust the Dimond to be faster than the Falco. I always like "second (or third or fourth) generation" designs better than first generation ones, except in a few rare circumstances.
So, no, I don't think the new Diamondback will be the fastest. Mostly because Kevin has yet to demonstrate that he can make a bike outside of the Cervelo "envelope" that is really fast. But he's certainly smart enough to do it. I just wonder how much he feels the need to make a bike that is visually distinct from a Cervelo even if it pays an aero penalty.
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