Monday, January 5, 2009

And now for something completely... useless

I think this ranks right down there with Bontrager's stupid US$250 carbon seatpost rack (With a load limit of 11 pounds. Really!)

I discovered this by way of a post by fellow OBRA-ite Will Cortez. How he managed to discover something so silly makes me wonder just what he's doing with his time. Will, stay away from Shimano's corporate marketing communications. Those guys are spending way too much time in the karaoke bars to be believed. I'm sure the engineers at Shimano wish the marketing folks would just sober up and stop dreaming up weird stuff like Coasting and Yumeya. They obviously didn't learn anything from that Exage debacle.

Oh... what am I going on about?


I must warn you-- it's an execrable Flash site. In true Flash-based web site fashion, one can't click anything with out having to endure half-an-hour of transitions and looping and spining and things moving about. You want information from a web site? No, you want entertainment!

In case you're feeding from the internet-tubes on anything less than the latest quad-CPU super-computer with a T1 connection, let me sum up for you the wonderful dream-land that Shimano has cooked up for you:

You get a kabuki performer all dressed up in the bling-blong colors of XTR Yumeya-- White and Gold (Yes, those capitals are intentional. These aren't merely colors, but the "frickin' gestalt" of Yumeya.) -- with a bunch of butterfly-things swarming about at every mouse click. There's also some clouds.

According to the site, cyclists (yes, all of us) dream of "lighter, more exclusve and more premium products." (Wait... "more" exclusive"? "More" premium? But don't... ah forget it.) The real deal-closer, however, is "Yumeya delivers the ultimate in efficiency with a superb weight savings for your XTR bike." But... but... I thought XTR was already supposed to deliver those things?? Curse you Shimano! You lied to us!!

Anyway-- remember the bit about "a superb weight savings," it's important.

Once you get into the product line-up (such as it is) you'll find ultimately efficient add-ons such as an outer plate for the XTR rear derailleur; cover for the brake master cylinder/reservoir; derailleur pulleys (White derailleur pulleys on an off-road component group. Hm.); and a bunch of other less interesting titanium and machined alloy bits. Oh and greased shift cables. (I think I stopped greasing cable housing with the advent of lined housings. Since, you know, grease tends to attract and trap dust and dirt. Silly notion, I know.)

Nothing says "bad ass" like white derailleur pulleys. How long will they stay white?

Fortunately the marketing "hype" such as it is is mostly truth. There's not a whole lot to be done with stuff like "0.5g lighter white novelty color for new image" (pulleys) or "Combination of silver and gold color design makes stylish image" (shifter mounts). Unfortunately this last statement is applied to several other components. I suppose if one can't say something good, one should just keep saying stuff about a stylish image.

Oh, and did you catch that superb weight savings? Go back and read it. Yep. Five tenths of a gram. That's about how much weight that registers when you lean over and breath on one of those super-sensitive scales that Jet Propulsion Lab keeps around for weighing their AeroGel. no kidding. A little puff of breath and that's like a force of five tenths (0.5) of a gram.

So yeah, put those pulleys in and you're like climbing like a mountain goat on amphetamines. Voom.

This is all very depressing-- I hate it when I can't afford bling-blong. I can only suffer with my infuriatingly crappy mish-mash of SRAM and Deore XT (boat anchors!!) componentry on my junky-ass MTB as I pine away for the unbearable lightness of being that white and gold upgrades would provide.

I'll sign-off with the Yumeya Kabuki dude shooting his own bad self in the foot: "Yumeya series are designed for the ultimate in performance. Some of the original functions and features may be compromised." That's not a contradiction. That's Yumeya!

So yeah. Pay money to have the functionality of one's XTR components compromised.

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