Tech News Flash March 27, 2009
Got tech? Send press releases, news, and tech questions to the
Cyclingnews tech desk.
3T introducing UCI-legal aero bars
The 3T Mistral Pro aero bars.
Photo ©: 3T
Italian component maker 3T met some last-minute resistance to its Brezza
time trial aerobars during the recent Tour of California, when the sport's
governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI), introduced an aero
'form factor' rule, nearly thwarting the 3T-sponsored Felt and Cervélo
bikes ridden by Christian Vande Velde, David Zabriskie, Carlos Sastre
and Thor Hushovd.
As a result, 3T has tweaked its Ventus and Brezza model designs, while
adding two affordable options, the Mistral and Zefiro.
"In February, we were about to freeze the design of these new bars and
commit to production," said 3T chief executive René Wiertz. "Then the
row over aerodynamics blew up at the Tour of California. Our new bars
were engineered to the same aerodynamic principles as the Brezza, which
was already fitted to the Cervélo and Garmin-Slipstream TT bikes.
"Brezza clearly doesn't comply with UCI rule 1.3.024, but we were able
to re-engineer the designs for the Mistral and Zefiro in time," he added.
"We're pulling out all the stops to get them into production, so quite
soon teams should be able to specify a made-for-purpose aerobar that's
The Mistral bars resemble the Brezzas, ridden by Zabriskie in California.
3T has positioned the bars a lower price point (US$300 for the Pro edition),
largely built of carbon fibre composites. Mistral has multiple elbow-pad
mountings in the top skin of the base bar. Together with a new 'deep-S'
extension option, this entry-level base bar affords a wide range of adjustment.
It also meets the UCI's recently clarified rules on aerodynamic 'form
factor', so can legally be used in any UCI event, according to the company.
"Time was very short to re-engineer these new bars," 3T technical director
Richard McAinsh added. "But we are well equipped to do this. 3T has what
is probably the industry's most advanced platform for rapid prototyping
and stress-testing of cycle components.
"This experience shows that we can quickly and effectively engineer 3T
components to the exact requirements of any code or rider."
For more information, visit www.thenew3t.com.
Sugoi release sub-100g cycling jacket
Sugoi's new Helium jacket
Photo ©: Sugoi
Sugoi have produced a sub-100g jacket which they claims sets a new "gold
standard for ultra-light weather protection".
The Helium is made from a woven polyester shell fabric and is said to
be "exceptionally" wind and water resistant. To save weight, the designers
went as far as replacing pit zips with tiny vents.
Sugoi say: "Lighter than a T-shirt and granting far greater weather protection
than a windshirt, the Helium doesn't stop short on advanced features.
It boasts Scotchlite™reflective material on the length of the torso, as
well as a full-length zipper and a rear zip pocket. With a drop tail and
cutout notch at the back of the mock-turtleneck collar, the Helium is
perfect for riding or running, or any activity where threatening weather
The Helium jacket is available in men's and women's versions, in a total
of seven colours. RRP is 79.90 euros (approx £73/US$108). A Helium vest
(gilet) is also available, priced at 69.90 euros (approx £64/$94).
Lapierre unveil team edition DH 920
Lapierre's DH 920 team edition
Photo ©: Lapierre
We've just received some snaps of the new Lapierre DH 920 team edition.
It's the bike that downhillers Danny Hart, David Vazquez and Greg Doucende
will be riding this season.
So what sets Team Lapierre DH Powered by Saab Salomon's special edition
apart from the standard DH 920?
The colour scheme and a slightly uprated spec, which means it weighs
in at 17.325kg (38.2lb). We think it looks pretty tasty...
- Frame: Lapierre DH 920 team edition
- Fork: Fox 40
- Shock: Fox DHX 5.0 with titanium spring
- Gears: Shimano Saint
- Brakes: Shimano Saint with 203mm rotors
- Pedals: Shimano DX
- Wheels: Mavic DeeMax
- Tyres: Hutchinson Barracuda Hardskin DH 2.3
- Handlebar: Easton Havoc DH
- Seatpost: Easton Carbone
- Saddle: Selle Italia SLR
- Chainguard: E13 LG1 for Lapierre
- Stem: E13 AliStem
- Mudguard: RRP Neoguard
Intense launch new Tazer VP 4X/slalom frame
Intense's new Tazer VP
Photo ©: Intense
Intense have created a new 4X/dual slalom frame using their second generation
VPP suspension platform, the Tazer VP.
Billed as "the ultimate gated racing weapon", the new design features
80-100mm of adjustable rear wheel travel, a 1.5in headtube and new angular
contact bearings with grease ports.
The Tazer VP will be offered initially in one size and 3 colours. Production
will be limited to one batch of frames in April.
The new frame will be the weapon of choice of Intense-sponsored racers
including World Cup 4X champion Anneke Beerten, former 4X world champion
Jill Kintner, Chris Kovarik and the CRC Intense Team, and US dual slalom
national champion Rich Houseman.
Intense say: "Contact your local dealer now to get yours in time for
race season. If you are racing 4X/slalom, you will either be on the Tazer
VP or behind one in 2009."
Pedro's send tools to Zambia with World Bike Relief
Pedro's are providing toolkits
Photo ©: Pedro's
Massachusetts-based Pedro's are to supply tools to bike mechanics in
Africa through World Bicycle Relief.
The company have developed a special toolset to equip more than 400 mechanics
who care for and maintain the 23,000 bicycles that Project Zambia provides
for care volunteers and disease prevention educators.
The partnership will help World Bicycle Relief fulfil its mission of
delivering simple, sustainable transportation for disaster assistance
and poverty relief.
Dave Neiswander, head of Africa operations for World Bicycle Relief,
said: "We've already seen the enormous impact of the bicycles in the day-to-day
Pedro's CEO, Christopher Zigmont, said: "Keeping those bikes rolling
has the potential to provide independence and livelihood that can affect
change within an entire village."
Bikes make it easier and quicker for volunteers to reach those in need,
while carrying significantly more supplies.
World Bicycle Relief was founded in 2005 by SRAM Corporation and Trek
Bicycles in response to the December 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
It has now partnered with a USAID-funded, World Vision-led coalition
of relief organisations to address the HIV/AIDS crisis in Zambia.
Iron Horse sale negotiations still underway
By James Costley-White, BikeRadar.com
UK Iron Horse importers Jim Walker say negotiations are still underway
for the sale of the brand after its parent company became a victim of
the recession in America.
In a statement, the firm said the problems in the US would have little
impact on Iron Horse's UK range, as this year's bikes have already been
They said UK distribution was continuing with back-up stock, and any
service issues should be directed to Jim Walker as usual.
Jim Walker said that, despite the difficulties with Iron Horse, they
had enjoyed record levels of trading in the first quarter of 2009.
The company's CEO, Ian Wilson, said: "It's a shame when the owners of
such a strong, desirable brand as Iron Horse fall victim of the recession
in America. Particularly when it's so different to our experience here
in the UK, where our results are not only at record levels, parts of our
business have doubled in the first part of this year and we have some
incredible new opportunities.
"Naturally any change of ownership of a brand takes time to sort out
so, unfortunately we all have to be a little patient at the moment to
see where it ends up. But from what we have been told, we are confident
of a strong ownership for the brand in the future."
Jim Walker said they had agreed new distribution arrangements for a number
of very desirable brands, details of which will be announced soon.
Last week, reports suggested three Asian factories had filed an involuntary
petition for bankruptcy against Iron Horse in an effort to recoup more
than $5 million in back debt.