Tech News April 3, 2009
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New Scott time trial bike on the way for Team Columbia-Highroad
By James Huang
The stem is fully integrated
Photo ©: Scott Bicycles
It's certainly no secret at this point that Team Columbia-Highroad has
largely shunned Scotts Plasma 2 for time trial use in favour of
their Highroad dev bikes - which perhaps should come as no
surprise given that the Plasma 2s fit and handling were intentionally
designed more specifically for multisport applications - but that situation
should change in the very near future based on a teaser video recently
released by Scott Bicycles.
"Theres an obvious need for new time trial bikes for the team,"
said Scott marketing and PR director Adrian Montgomery. "There is
a lot of knowledge available from the Highroad dev side and weve
combined resources to make something new. Weve put tremendous resources
into the project."
While there were no details offered in text, slowing down the video frame-by-frame
offers a surprising amount of information.
Scott has obviously employed computer modeling software to craft the
new supposedly UCI-legal carbon fibre shape but has also made heavy use
of rapid 3-D prototyping (commonly known as SLA, or stereolithography
apparatus, whereby a laser is used to selectively cure UV-sensitive polymers
layer by layer), modular quick-change prototype frame construction and
even a life-like human model to fine-tune the shape in the wind tunnel.
Some design cues apparently carry over from the existing Plasma 2 - such
as the geometric hourglass-profile head tube, doglegged chain stay path,
wide horizontal top tube, and slippery seat tube/seat stay junction -
but several other features are all-new for Scott.
By moving the steerer outside the
Photo ©: Scott Bicycles
Up front, the new machine sports an external steerer tube that fairs
the head tube to effectively increase the combined section aspect ratio
beyond the typical 3:1 plus a fully integrated stem that flows nearly
seamlessly into the top tube as on the current Highroad time trial rigs.
The aero-profile base bar is fully interchangeable - at least on the aero
mock-up in the video -suggesting that team mechanics should have few issues
accommodating rider fit requirements.
Aero extensions naturally look to be fully interchangeable as well with
height adjustments accomplished by adding or removing spacers.
Down below, the bottom bracket junction has sprouted a new Cervélo
P4-like form that extends significantly above the shell while the Speed
Skeg extension that once extended below on the Plasma 2 has apparently
Other prototype details that may or may not make it to production include
a variably deep down tube that flares just behind the head tube and a
presumably integrated seatpost that appears vertical in one image but
is oriented at a more conventional angle elsewhere in the video.
The base bar melds cleanly into
the integrated stem.
Photo ©: Scott Bicycles
Based on the prototype, the front brake will be located in the conventional
location - rather than behind the fork crown - though the rear brake looks
to have been moved to below the bottom bracket shell given the smooth
profiles at the top of the seat stays and the elimination of the Plasma
2s Speed Skeg feature.
Scotts teaser offered no information whatsoever in regards to projected
weights or costs and consumer availability sounds to be a fair bit off
but we expect to see the riders aboard them come the opening team time
trial at next months Giro dItalia.
"Its not a product were releasing anytime soon,"
Montgomery continued. "Were planning to race it at the Giro
and the team will keep racing and testing it until we decide its
a production item."
Stay tuned for more information.
Cannondale shuttering US production
By Gary Boulanger, US editor, Bikeradar.com
Cannondale is undergoing more changes
Photo ©: Kirsten Robbins
Dorel Industries, parent company of Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, Mongoose
and Sugoi, announced it was consolidating locations in the United States,
while phasing out production in its Bedford, Pennsylvania factory.
"Today is the beginning of a very exciting period for Dorel's Recreational/Leisure
business," said Jeff McGuane, president of Cannondale Sports Group
(CSG) North America. McGuane, who has been with Cannondale since 1994
and most recently was President ofCSG International, was named to his
new post last month.
Dorel purchased Cannondale and Sugoi from Pegasus Partners for nearly
US$200 million cash in early February 2008. Cannondale, an early pioneer
of production aluminium bikes, began importing carbon frames from Taiwan
The number of Bedford employess will shrink from 300 to 100 by late 2010,
as Cannondale transitions 100 percent of its production to its new facility
in Taichung, Taiwan. The Bedford facility will be used for final bicycle
and Headshok assembly, some CNC machining, testing and quality control,
bicycle warranty repair, inside sales/service, distribution and customer
support/administration (including a new call center on-site).
The Lake Forest, California and Longmont, Colorado facilities, home to
GT and its testing facilities for years, will close as part of the consolidation.
All high-end jobs will be based out of Cannondale's original Bethel, Connecticut
facility, with some current employees being offered jobs in Connecticut.
Pacific Cycles, based in Madison, Wisconsin, will focus strictly on mass
market bikes, where its roots lie since Chris Hornung began selling bikes
from the Orient in the mid 1970s. Dorel bought Pacific for US$375 million
According to Dorel, all North American product development, marketing
and business management functions for all four cycling brands (Cannondale,
Schwinn, GT and Mongoose) will move to Bethel, within the newly named
Cycling Sports Group (formerly the Cannondale Sports Group).
"Our vision is to create the most innovative and admired company
in the recreation and leisure marketplace, and to become a global leader,
which is why the Dorel segment was established in the first place,"
said Robert Baird, president of Dorel's Recreational/Leisure segment.
"The strategy for transforming that vision into reality requires
a unified, collaborative, and highly engaged workforce, relentlessly committed
to innovation and supported by management in rapidly advancing the quality
of the products and services we deliver.
"The Cannondale purchase led us to segment our bicycle business
to provide best-in-class service to the distinct retailer categories,"
he added. "Naturally, Cannondale and CSG are key components of our
commitment to our independent bicycle dealers (IBD) as we realize how
critical IBDs are to the cycling community and to us.
Roman Kreuziger and the Liquigas
Photo ©: Christophe Mury
"In addition to the plans outlined above, and to ensure we delight
our customers with our distinctive brands, innovative products and impactful
in-store programs, we are also consolidating our North American CSG operations
to two locations from five."
Dorel has created 'Five Centers of Excellence' around the world, with
each location focused on a specific market segment or expertise. These
centers will be based in:
* Bethel, Connecticut (global headquarters and innovation centre for
high-end and enthusiast bicycles);
* Basel, Switzerland (for high-end and enthusiast bicycles sold/marketed
* Madison, Wisconsin (for global mass market products);
* Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (for active lifestyle and urban
apparel and footwear); and
* Taichung, Taiwan (for coordination of sourcing, testing and quality
of Asian suppliers/partners)
Bedford has been its domestic bicycle manufacturing hub since the first
model, the ST500, rolled off the line in 1983. Company founder Joe Montgomery
sold panniers and child trailers in 1971, taking the company public in
1995. A misguided effort into motorcycle production brought the company
to bankruptcy in 2003. Italian road star and 2006 Giro d'Italia winner
Ivan Basso currently races a Cannondale SuperSix HiMod carbon road bike
with the Liquigas team. Stars who've raced Cannondales include Mario Cipollini,
Damiano Cunego and Gilberto Simoni (Saeco), Tinker Juarez, Brian Lopes,
Missy Giove, and Myles Rockwell.
Dorel, founded in 1962, is a Montreal-based publicly traded company with
annual sales of US$2 billion.