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Science versus Art. Nature versus Mankind. There are plenty of diametric opposites in this world, but few we come across as readily in this day and age as the battle between Engineer versus Designer. This is sometimes known as Function versus Fashion, and in some cases the two are merged in a nice bit of cohabitation. Generally, though, they are mutually exclusive. The designer, like the artist, and like mankind, is always imposing himself on the world and attempting to change it for the sake of change - this is the reason why we have a harder time choosing a color of a bike than the actual bike itself. The engineer, like science and like nature, is concerned only with the purest of pursuits - efficient, natural function. While some artists have a scientific bend and vice versa, it is quite rare to find anyone that possesses not only the talent to create a masterpiece but the ability to stretch the canvas, make the brushes, create the pigments from scratch, and have the entire thing last a thousand years. White Industries is just the type of place that blends an attractive aesthetic with almost scientific engineering. Take their new pedals, for example. Rather than creating a platform, or a cage pedal similar to what is already on the market, White Industries looked back a few generations and found a nicer example that has been forgotten: the Berthet Lyotard. The top of the pedal is wonderfully flat and the White Industries version is milled from a nice block of Aluminum with a more ergonomic treatment. The overall shape, which is classic and quite classy, is kept while small alterations are made to lighten the pedal and also provide a nice platform for the foot. The spindle was re-engineered, too and boasts a nice tapered shape with sealed cartridge bearings. What we are left with is not an ugly transformation or a reworking of only the external skin of the piece but a subtle riff on the old classic that keeps the look but updates the functionality.
If you really want to see innovation, however, simply take a look at their bottom brackets, headsets, and hubs. To support this year's race, White Industries has sent us a set of their beautiful track hubs.