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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

Tech News – October 8, 2008

Edited by Greg Johnson

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

Armstrong's Big Apple Madone

By Gary Boulanger, Bikeradar.com US editor

A very special bike for the king of Gotham,
Photo ©: Scott Daubert
(Click for larger image)

Spy photos of Trek-sponsored athlete Lance Armstrong's custom Big Apple Madone popped up on the world wide web the same time he was announcing his return to the pro peloton at Interbike.

Armstrong's 58cm Pro Fit Madone was finished by Trek's own senior graphic artist Chad Bailey in a street graffiti style fitting for Armstrong, who has a place overlooking Central Park where he rides regularly in New York City. The 2009 Shimano Dura-Ace gruppo was installed well before Armstrong's investment deal with Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking (LBMB) and SRAM was finalised.

Like the custom Trek Madone and Equinox bikes used by Armstrong in the final stages of the 2005 Tour de France, the Big Apple Madone reflects Armstrong's personality, including his famous quote after stunning everyone with his mountain victory in Sestriere in 1999: "how do you like them apples" on the underside of the down tube. His Mellow Johnny's bike shop name is included on the seat tube.

"The talent in the back room here at Trek rocks," said Trek's road brand manager Scott Daubert on Trek's "Up The Road" blog. "No, it's not for sale and no it will not be offered in Project One. It was built long before Lance announced his comeback so it has (Shimano Dura-Ace) instead of (SRAM) Red. We painted it up like this because Lance spends enough time in NYC to ride, so why not have a Big Apple themed bike?"

Those in the Austin, Texas area can check out the bike, now on display at Mellow Johnny's. Our bet is Armstrong is training on an Astana-issued Trek with SRAM Red these days.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Scott Daubert/Trek Bicycle Corp

Breezer gets a buyer

Joe Breeze, mountain bike pioneer
Photo ©: Gary Boulanger
(Click for larger image)

Breezer bikes is set to expand its reach and range following the announcement Advanced Sports Inc. will buy the bike brand. ASI's purchase includes all assets and trademarks of the Breezer brand and the company also retains Joe Breeze for consulting services on new projects and designs.

One of Breeze's projects within ASI will be to re-introduce a range of mountain bikes. The bike designer was involved in the formation of modern day mountain biking during the 1970s and will now have the opportunity to make a mountain bike that carries his name once more.

"Joe is a pioneer - he introduced great mountain bike products in a market that wasn't ready - and, for the last ten years, he has again been creating a new market in the U.S. for transportation bikes," ASI president Patrick Cunnane said. "Like Joe, I know this is the most important segment of the market to continue to develop.

"Between gas prices, obesity issues and traffic congestion, transportation bikes - Breezer transportation bikes - are the right products for now and in the future," he added.

Breezer joins ASI's existing stable of bike brands which include Fuji, SE and Kestrel, which it acquired last year.

"I'm very excited to join Advanced Sports," said Breeze. "Our agreement will allow me to focus on design and advocacy. Riding bicycles for transportation creates a wonderful path to a better world. As popular as mountain biking has become, I see everyday bicycling as having exponentially greater potential."

AG2R-La Mondiale announce helmet deal

AG2R-La Mondiale will continue to use Spiuk helmets for the next three seasons, the helmet manufacturer has announced. The deal will see Vincent Lavenu's riders wear Spiuk helmets until at least 2011, when the new ProTour is touted to launch.

"We are proud and very happy being involved with the French team," said Spiuk CEO J. M. Fernández. "It was easy to reach an agreement. The results were excellent in 2008."

The deal will allow the French squad's riders access to Spiuk's Daggon and Kronos helmets to use in competition. The outfit used Daggon in this year's Tour de France, the helmets first appearance at the French Grand Tour.

3T to work with Milram, Garmin-Chipotle

Component manufacturer 3T has formed an association with both the Team Milram and Garmin-Chipotle professional cycling squads. The company's 3T Funda fork will be apart of the Focus bikes which Milram will ride in 2009 and again in 2010.

"We are delighted to work with Focus in order to build the Milram team bike," said 3T CEO Rene Wiertz. "We are very well aware of how important this project to Focus is and we are confident that our composite fork will help them realising their goals."

3T's logo will also be seen on Garmin-Chipotle riders' apparel for the next three seasons. The logo will be placed in the prominent location on riders' gloves, similar to Specialized's branding on Quick Step riders' gloves.

"This is an excellent agreement for us," added Wiertz. "Slipstream has a very positive message, and the popularity of the pro team is growing fast with their showings in US and European races this year. We are glad to be able to contribute to that success. The 3T logo is going to go on the riders' gloves, so we are greatly looking forward to seeing arms held aloft at the finishing line next season!"

Cannondale, HealthNet-Maxxis part ways

Cannondale has announced it has parted ways with United States of America team HealthNet-Maxxis. Cannondale won't be associated with the team, operated by Momentum Sports Group, beyond 2008.

"Cannondale has been a sponsor of the team since 2005 and we have enjoyed growing with Team Health Net and being able to provide a world class product that the team used as it raced to 3 NRC championships from 2006-08," said Rory Mason, Cannondale Sports Group Global Director of Sports Marketing. "We have a great deal of respect for the management, team directors and athletes and we part with respect and thanks for the last three years."

It's not yet clear who will replace Cannondale as a team sponsor for 2009. American-based squads have faced a tough time locking down preparations for 2009, with the worsening credit crisis making sponsorship markets tighter than normal. Canadian squad Symmetrics will close its doors at season's end after failing to find a replacement sponsor for next year.

"Cannondale has played a significant role in helping Momentum Sports achieve tremendous success during the past three years by providing our cycling team with technically superior racing equipment and clothing," said Momentum Sports Group's Thierry Attias. "Cannondale's expertise and personnel are among the finest in the cycling industry."

Forget the credit crunch, the world's most expensive bike is now available

By Matthew Cole

The world's most expensive bike
Photo ©: Aurumania
(Click for larger image)

Scandinavian design company Aurumania have launched a limited edition run of 10 of the world's most expensive bike.

At €80,000, (that's just over £60,000 or USD118,000) each bike is hand-built and gold-plated with 24-carat gold, then decked out with over 600 Swarovski crystals.

Hand-sewn leather grips and a Brooks leather saddle provide finishing touches to the bike, with each limited edition number embossed with gold leaf and set into a leather badge onto the bike's headtube.

The company has also created a 24-carat gold wall holder for the bike, to be displayed as a work of art. We assume 10 of these will be made too…


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Aurumania

USA Cycling launch preferred dealer program

USA Cycling has introduced a new preferred dealer program, designed to provide bike shops across the United States of America with direct marketing opportunities to the racing community while aligning themselves with the USA Cycling brand. Bike shops will receive several exclusive benefits as a USA Cycling preferred dealer, including a listing in USA Cycling's online directory of preferred dealers, a presence on USA Cycling members' "My USA Cycling" account page, listings in USA Cycling's bi-weekly e-newsletter, access to membership databases for direct marketing purposes, and use of the USA Cycling preferred dealer logo and in-shop collateral materials.

With a network of more than 64,000 members across the disciplines of road, mountain bike, BMX, cyclo-cross and track, as well as 1,500 certified and licensed coaches, and 1,800 sanctioned clubs and teams, USA Cycling can offer its preferred dealers direct access to the largest database of competitive cyclists in America. Those interested in finding out more about the new program should contact Theresa Johnson at tjohnson@usacycling.org.

Qoroz to launch new ti range

By BikeRadar

New manufacturer qoroz is due to launch its range of titanium bikes at this week’s Cycle Show in London.

Using state of the art finite element analysis, a lifetime’s worth of engineering knowledge and many thousands of miles on the bike, chief designer and company director Marcus Eales has been able to design a range of bikes that he hopes perform beyond a rider’s expectations.

Qoroz will display their new range at the Cycle Show on stand D1z, comprising the RaceWon (built for speed and the demands of high intensity racing), the RoadWon (designed with the toughest of Sportives in mind, and also available with SS couplings to be packed down and taken anywhere) and the MountainWon (built for the demands of cross country racing).

Gutr launches new sweatband

Tunnel Vision's new Smoke Gutr
Photo ©: Tunnel Vision
(Click for larger image)

Gutr has launched a new version of its sweatband in a smoke colour, named Smoke Gutr. The new product from Gutr owner Tunnel Vision includes a longer sweat channel which carries sweat further away from the user's eyes.

"We have a history of incorporating our customers' suggestions into our designs and this is yet another example," said Tunnel Vision's Erick Flatt. "They wanted a longer sweat channel, so they got it! They wanted it in black, so they got it! We're excited about the smoke model because it represents our commitment to making the GUTR the most effective sweatband in the world."

The Smoke Gutr is expected to rollout to specialty sports dealers in the spring of 2009, with an MSRP of US $19.99.