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Tech News – August 22, 2008

Edited by James Huang

Got tech? Send press releases, news, and tech questions to the Cyclingnews tech desk.

Giant sharpens the Anthem for '09

Giant has lightened up its Anthem cross-country race machine
Photo ©: Giant Bicycles
(Click for larger image)

Giant Bicycles has revised its Anthem short-travel cross-country race platform for 2009, giving it more travel and more versatile handling but also markedly less weight.

The Maestro multi-link rear end now boasts 100mm of travel and the unique 'co-pivot' arrangement originally introduced on the Trance X and Reign (the lower shock eyelet and forward lower link share the same pivot). Total frame weight has dropped 185g yet new 3D-forged two-piece rocker links also gives the Anthem X a five percent increase in pedaling and frame stiffness, according to Giant.

The original Anthem's ultra-fast handling reflexes have been toned down a bit as well. The head tube angle is now a slightly more sedate 71° and fork travel has been increased to 100mm across the board (current Anthems are fitted with 80mm or 100mm forks, depending on locale).

The original Anthem was somewhat of a pet project for team rider Adam Craig, a US Olympian whose technical skills are well documented. This new machine continues the trend but with a slightly new focus and new nickname: 'Ultimate Vermont Domination', in reference to the demanding course at Mt. Snow.

"Over the last year I've been working on a variety of bike development projects for Giant," said Craig via his periodic email updates. "One in particular had a definite (personal) goal from day one. Ultimate Vermont Domination. With the combination of extra travel and a touch slacker angles than those found on the razor sharp Anthem Advanced, you can take the irresponsibility of your (cross country race) riding to a whole new level."

Cervélo announces voluntary recall of Wolf SL forks

By Matthew Cole, BikeRadar.com

Cervélo has issued a voluntary recall
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

Cervélo is voluntarily recalling all True Temper Wolf SL carbon forks on Cervélo bikes after finding a potential safety issue involving the fork steerer which can crack and eventually break during normal use, potentially causing serious injuries. Cervélo says the specific problem was identified in the field and not through initial US and international standard testing (which the fork passed). The company has discontinued the use of the True Temper Wolf SL carbon fork.

Affected forks have a clear coating over black painted carbon fibre, with the words "Wolf Superlite" and related logo just below the crown on each fork leg, plus the letters "SL" on each leg above the fork blade dropouts. There will also be is a "True Temper CRT™" logo on the inside of both fork legs.

This recall is applied to Wolf SL forks only; the Wolf TT and Wolf CL forks are not included.

Recalled forks could have been included on the following bicycle models:

  • R3
  • R3 SL
  • Soloist Carbon
  • Soloist Carbon SL (SLC-SL)
  • Certain P3 Carbon framesets and complete bicycles

Affected consumers are urged to immediately discontinue using their Wolf SL and to contact your authorised Cervélo dealer to have a free replacement fork installed. Cervélo will replace recalled forks free of charge (including both parts and labour) with either the 3T Funda Pro or Easton EC90SLX; all US consumers will receive the 3T Funda Pro only.

Find your local Cervélo dealer using the link on the bottom of this page: www.cervelo.com/WolfSLRecall

Chris King tests the waters with 15mm QR and revisits bottom brackets

Get ready for a new 15QR-compatible front hub front Chris King.
Photo ©: Forrest Arakawa
(Click for larger image)

The 15mm quick-release thru-axle system pioneered by Shimano and Fox Racing Shox continues to build steam and has recently earned a notable mark of credibility. Chris King, the headset and hub company renowned for its reluctance to adopt new and unproven 'standards', recently showed off some prototype 15QR hubs at last month's Downieville Classic.

According to Chris King's Chris DiStefano, the company has been testing the system in conjunction with Fox Racing Shox "for some time now" and after the positive reception at Downieville, it confirmed that it will definitely introduce some type of 15QR hub for the '09 model year.

Final specifications have yet to be determined but the hub will almost certainly be based on either Chris King's existing 9mm QR or 20mm thru-axle hub shell… or possibly both. DiStefano stressed that one of Chris King's paramount goals is maintaining compatibility such that existing 9mm or 20mm Chris King front hub owners will be able to switch to the 15QR system if they want with just an axle swap. It's probably unlikely that current 20mm users will want to step down to 15QR but the idea should be appealing to 9mm users as that route would yield the lighter system weight (which is one of 15QR's main purported benefits).

In addition, Chris King also unveiled prototype rear mountain bike disc hub to work with either 10mm or 12mm thru-axles. DiStefano says the new hubs will be available as complete units and as conversion sets around the end of summer or early fall.

Chris King also renewed our hopes that we might yet eventually see the heralded logo on a bottom bracket given the appearance of an external-bearing prototype mated to a Shimano crankset.

"We've been asked for so long to make one that we figured we'd do some bearing testing down there and do some investigation while we're out testing hubs," said DiStefano. The company offered up no additional details nor would it confirm whether or not it's slated for production. Regardless, it's likely a safe bet that the bearing quality will be top-notch. Keep your fingers crossed.

Giro eyewear range to grow for '09

Giro's new Filter features its new Pop Top technology
Photo ©: Giro
(Click for larger image)

Giro's range of cycling-specific eyewear will feature four models for 2009, including updated versions of its existing Havik and Semi, a new interchangeable model, and even a mountain bike-specific goggle.

The all-new Filter will incorporate Giro's novel 'Pop Top' lens interchange technology which it first previewed in 2007. A locking cam is cleanly integrated into the frame and allows for easy lens swapping while minimizing both applied force and surface contact. The Filter will also be Rx-ready and will carry a retail price range of US$159-219 depending on lens option. A hard case with space for extra lenses will be included as well.

Giro will carry over the popular Havik and Semi but will add new Havik Full and Semi Full variants fitted with larger lenses for more coverage. The Havik and Havik Full will range in price from US$139-169 and the Semi and Semi Full will command US$99-149.

All Havik, Semi and Filter models will feature Giro's Super Fit shaping for a no-interference fit with most helmets, Zeiss-certified optics (8-base on the Semi and Filter; 7-base on the Havik), and Wind Tunnel ventilated temples.

The Score MTB goggle is based on Giro's similarly named snow-specific model but adds tear-off compatibility for muddy conditions. As with the standard Score, the Score MTB will use a cylindrical polycarbonate lens, a vented flexible polyurethane frame, a silicone-backed strap, and Super Fit shaping for a 'no gap' fit with most helmets. Giro will offer the Score MTB in two frame/strap colors and two lens tints. Retail price is a reasonable US$60; a 10-pack of tear-offs will add another US$12.

Giro has also announced that it will venture into the cycling glove market for 2009. We'll provide more details as they become available.

Northwave moves mountain bike footwear range upscale

Northwave borrows heavily from its Aerlite road line
Photo ©: Northwave
(Click for larger image)

Northwave has taken the lessons learned from its road-going Aerlite series and applied them to the off-road side for 2009. As the name suggests, the new Aerlite SBS MTB and Aerlite SBS Carbon MTB feature much improved ventilation thanks to the liberal use of open mesh plus Northwave's effective toe vent.

Both models will also borrow the 'Ultra Y' heel fit system, which includes a polyurethane cage around the heel, an injection molded heel counter, Northwave's SBS buckle and a newly adjustable ASR2 (Ankle Strap Retention) main strap with an EVA foam pad.

Naturally, Northwave also fits the sole with an aggressive tread and optional toe spikes.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Giant Bicycles

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

Images by Forrest Arakawa

Images by Giro

Images by Northwave