The new hub is called the Torpedo and has a simple mechanism that allows the user to switch from fixed to free wheel with the turn of a screwdriver. No flip flop hub, no removing the back wheel from the bike. just turn the screw in one direction, its a Fixie. Turn in the other direction and its a single speed Freewheel.
The event was cool, pretty low key as this is pretty low on SRAM's radar, especially with the launch of their HammerSchmidt mountain bike front hub/internal derailleur/shifter scenario. Kind of sad that it didn't get more attention being that this type of rider is on the cutting edge for the bicycle industry, but really, its good to stay underground for the singlespeeders of the world.
So, we all met up outside the Messe (trade show hall) in Cologne and grabbed a bike. It was a mix of fixies, singlespeeds and then whatever else the guys could grab in order to get people on a bike tour of the city and to go to a great new local shop that specializes in fixie conversions and building new bikes from old!
After I grabbed my random Red Sram branded single speeder, I was off, checking out the city, cruising through traffic with the crew and dodging people on the sidewalks. We stopped for a bit right in front of the big cathedral in Cologne.
super beautiful and a pretty packed skate spot as well. After the stop I grabbed a sweet white Veloheld fixie to continue on the ride with. Pretty fun since it had a rear brake to get some 'fake' skid stops working....(i guess they HAD to keep the brakes on the bikes for liability reasons....?)
From there we headed to the shop to get a presentation from the owner of Kettenlinie Coeln and then from Marcus, the Product Manager for the Torpedo from SRAM.
Presentation was rad (but in German), they took apart the hub, showing the guts, and the parts to show how the mechanism works, many beers were consumed and we had a great night.
more pictures on the flickr site.