This is actually a kinda hard list to make, because I generally have a good handle on what I like as far as equipment goes. However, disappointments do happen…
Sidi Shoes: Ok, this should really be last year, but it’s worth mentioning that the tread on SIDI shoes is much akin to plastic. Sure, they are high quality, rebuildable, etc, but if you ride on rocky stuff like Syllamo, then these shoes fail the hike-a-bike test. Unless you’re a baller who never walks (like Dicky), look elsewhere.
Quarq Powermeter: I hate to bash on a company with great customer service, but this thing has done nothing but bother me since I got it. The calibration is really sensitive to temperature, so any time you’re riding in a rapidly changing environment (spring/fall/trainer room), you have to stop and re-calibrate often. And yes, I tried the auto-cal feature in that situation, and it wasn’t effective. I sent it back twice (both times, the turnaround was SUPER fast- like I said… great customer service), and it seems to generally work OK now (outside of the aforementioned temp swings), but I just don’t feel like I can trust it like I did my SRM. This is confirmed by the computrainer that we just got. Its readings are always right on with Ryan’s SRM, but always 10-30 watts over what the Quarq readings are.
Hayes Brakes: I haven’t used these, but Ryan has a pair that came on his Felt 9Solo. The brake pads fall out when the wheel isn’t on the bike. Also, I’ve talked to a pro (who shall remain nameless) that had a major problem with Hers at one of the last big, humongous races of the year. Luckily, when you’re that much of a badass, you don’t have to rely on little things like brakes to still destroy everyone.
Giordana Shorts: I blew the seams out in 2 pair this season. Nothing like riding 72 miles of the Breck 100 with your inner thighs hanging out and rubbing your saddle.
VALIC Investment company: Yeah, it seems random, but it’s who was “in charge” of my retirement account from the University of Memphis. Apparently, once you get over a certain amount of money in your account, you can’t withdraw it to move it to another investment company. I’m trying to move my retirement funds to Vanguard. VALIC has some of my money invested in a Vanguard fund, but since it’s not a company that’sÃ‚ “approved” by U of M/VALIC, I can only get half of it. The remainder will be moved in small monthly installments so that VALIC can keep making money off if it. It’s a bunch of bureaucratic bullsh*t, and I let them know that the last time I talked to them, and I’m telling everyone I know… including the internets.
The iPad: Ryan is obsessed with it, and it probably gets handled by him more than I do.
Chamois Butt’r: It dissolves within half an hour of riding. Sure, it’s nice to be able to wash it out of a chamois, but let’s take a look at basic chemistry here- chamois butt’r (as well as a lot of other “chamois” products) is water soluble. Sweat is made out of water. When you ride, you sweat… hopefully you can figure out the rest.
Motobecane Bikes: Once again, I haven’t ridden one, but I’ve worked on them. Just a word of advice if you’re thinking about buying one- when you unbox one, there will be missing parts, parts that are incredible heavy/sketchy, wheels that aren’t true… you get the idea. Go to a bike shop and get a real bike that wasn’t assembled in a sweatshop.
Trek Madone: Too light for its own good. Scott and Cannondale can make super-light rides that are stiff and lively… what happened to the Madone?? After riding it and the BH back-to-back, I realized that it had no soul (even moreso than I).
This is all I can think of right now… I generally focus on the things I love, so trying to remember the ones I don’t is kinda difficult. I’ll keep adding, though.