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Why Cammish Loves Exocets

Time trialling legend Ian Cammish is a great fan of the Planet X Exocet, but is it as good as the competition? Here, he argues the toss whilst riding 100 miles fast last Sunday.

Half way up the second steepest climb during last Sunday’s St Ives CC 100 mile challenge, my mate Hugo asked me for my views on the pros and cons of the Exocet v the Specialized Transition. Strange isn’t it, how certain people have the knack of asking very short questions that require extremely long answers?. It wasn’t the thought of having to provide him with a War and Peace epic in an effort to persuade him how good the Exocet is that really made me gasp for breath, it was more the price he’d been quoted for the Transition that really knocked the wind out of my sails.

Planet X Exocet

Now I know there are some very fast time triallists out there using them, but at £1500 a pop (for the frame, fork, seat post, brake package alone), I honestly wonder if they’d still be using them if there wasn’t for an attractive sponsorship package involved somewhere along the way.

I asked Hugo if he thought the £1500 was justifiable, when he could pick up a complete Dura Ace equipped Exocet bike for another £499… Yes that’s a complete bike with deep section carbon race wheels for less than two grand!

“Well are they any good?”  (Another short question ... I had to pretend I had a mouth full of PowerBar!). As we crested the summit, I drew a big breath and went on to extol the virtues of the Exocet.

“I had the proto-type to try out last winter and used it for the first few time trials of the
season. I did a few 50 and 51 minute ‘25s’ … then had to hand it back. I never went as
fast again”.

“I had the proto-type to try out last winter and used it for the first few time trials of the season.  I did a few 50 and 51 minute ‘25s’ then had to hand it back. I never went as fast again”.

I didn’t have the breath to go on to tell him how impressed I’d been with it the first time I’d tried it. The rear end was rock-solid rigid and the two point seatpost fixing allowed for a very powerful position right over the bottom bracket. It was certainly the fastest Planet X bike I’d ever ridden. When it first went up on the site for £1999 I nearly choked on my Coco-pops.  Exceptional value or what?
“Would YOU buy one?” he asked.

I couldn’t let the opportunity for a short reply slip… “Yes”.  But I couldn’t leave it at that… Another big breath…“Well I certainly wouldn’t pay any more for anything else. It’s as fast (if not faster) and as good (if not better), I’m sure, as anything else out there.

Why pay more for something that’s no better?  That’s my view anyway. I wouldn’t want to start any race on something that isn’t at least as good as anything the opposition is using … which is probably why the latter past of last season (for me) was punctuated with an awful lot of DNSs (did not starts).”

Planet X ExocetIn an effort to turn the tables, I waited until we were half way up the Col de Barrington – THE steepest climb during last Sunday’s St Ives 100 mile challenge (which co-incidentally was in Michael Hutchinson country – Google Image Michael Hutchinson!!) before asking Hugo “Do you think the current big hitters using Specialized’s would go any slower on something costing roughly half the price (ie the Exocet)?”

I think not … what do you think?  Answers on a postcard or sealed down envelope please … or better still hit the comment box below. Feel free to start a thread on Facebook/planetxbikes too.

The Exocet Dura Ace with carbon wheels for £2499 is available to order now
Just for the record Ian and co managed a 24.1 MPH average for the 97.6 miles.

Planet X Exocet

Planet X Exocet

Read more about what other Exocet owners have said at Readers Rides

16 March 2011


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