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Tech News – April 30, 2009

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Spy photos: Cancellara's stealth time machine

By Gary Boulanger, Bikeradar.com US editor

Fabian Cancellara captures the moment
Photo ©: www.theroaddiaries.com
(Click for larger image)

Saxo Bank's Fabian Cancellara, reigning Olympic time trial champ and one of the best in the world against the clock, has been logging miles on an unknown S-Works labelled machine. The bike in the photo resembles a cross between a Walser, a German-made slippery machine used by Jan Ullrich and then the Gerolsteiner team, and a Giant model developed for Team Highroad in 2008.

Cancellara won the 2009 Tour of California prologue on a stock Specialized Transition, after winning nearly everything the past few years aboard his Cervelo time trial bikes. Specialized took over sponsorship of Bjarne Riis's team in 2009.

According to Specialized's global public relations director Nic Sims, there's not a lot to say about Cancellara's new rig just yet. The front end of the bike in question doesn't appear to meet the strict standards of the International Cycling Union (UCI), but as Sims explained, it's early in the game.

"We're using the team to test some new products," he told BikeRadar. "They may make it to production; we have yet to see, but is important that we get rider feedback early for development purposes."

As they say, a picture's worth a thousand words. Only time will tell what Cancellara and teammates Frank and Andy Schleck will use for the upcoming Grand Tours.

ScottUSA is reportedly working on a specific time trial design to meet the demands of Bob Stapleton's Team Columbia-Highroad, captained by George Hincapie and his merry band of riders, including sprint sensation Mark Cavendish.

Wilier launch Di2 version of Cento 1 superbike

The Wilier Triestina Cento1 is now available in a version
Photo ©: Wilier
(Click for larger image)

Wilier Triestina USA has produced a new version of its Cento 1 road race bike modified for use with Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 electronic drivetrain. The Cento1 Di2 frameset has the same superlight carbon monocoque construction and performance features of the standard Cento 1, but adds internal routing for the wiring that connects the Di2 battery with its electronic shifters and derailleurs.

Devin Walton, director of media relations for Shimano North America, said: "While performance was the key pursuit in the development and use of the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electrically actuated shifting system, the side benefit is the freedom and creativity afforded frame makers with respect to cable routing.

"Wilier's new frame design takes advantage of that benefit and with the special accommodations for the battery pack creates historically sought-after integration of frame and controls without any impact on shifting response."

Angelo Cilli, Wilier Triestina USA's co-owner and founder, said: "We're excited about the promising new age being ushered in by Shimano's electronic groupsets for road and time trial bikes. In the past, attempts were made by other manufacturers to offer electronic shifting, but after extensive in-house testing we have become believers that this technology by Shimano has been refined to the point of being truly feasible and relevant.

"Campagnolo is promising release of its own electronic drivetrain in the near future, so it seems that the technology may finally be here to stay," he added.

Everti claims world's lightest bike

Everti's new Eagle weighs
Photo ©: Everti
(Click for larger image)

Everti Titanium Bicycles claim it has created the world's lightest production road bike - the Eagle, which weighs just 11.4lb (5.17kg). The company, based in British Columbia, Canada, says it has spent a year refining the design and specifications, as well as product testing to ensure everything will stand up to real-world riding.

"The only limitations of this bike are the legs that are going to be pushing the pedals," read an Everti release. "Many of the components on this bike are designed for riders under 200lb, so we feel it is best to suggest a rider weight limit of around 180lb to keep everything well within the manufacturer's warranties."

The Eagle frame consists of a double butted 3/2.5 front triangle mated to a straight gauge rear triangle. It comes with a 25-year warranty.

Component highlights include SRAM Red shifters and derailleurs, Zipp cranks and bars, Extralite hubs and stem, Edge Composites rims, Tufo S3 215 tyres, KCNC cassette and brakes, Ritchey WCS seatpost and fork, and Selle Italia SLR saddle. RRP is $9,995 (approx £6,865).

Special shoes for Gaerne riders

Gaerne has created special edition G-Myst
Photo ©: Gaerne
(Click for larger image)

Gaerne has given 11 of its sponsored riders their own customised top-of-the-range Carbon G-Myst shoes. According to the company, each of the shoes "exemplifies the original style, tastes and personalities of its featured rider".

They range from young Belgian road champion - and Harley Davidson fan - Jurgen Roelandts' pair, featuring a dual-cylinder engine, to Cadel Evans' shoes with Aboriginal-style 'dot art' graphics.

These '11 riders make their mark' special editions will not go on general sale, but are technically identical to the standard Carbon G.Myst, which is available in four colours - black, silver, grey, and white.

The riders and their shoes

1. Belgian road champion Jurgen Roelandts: Dual-cylinder engine motif, with exhaust fumes in the colours of the Belgian flag.
2. Australian former UCI ProTour winner Cadel Evans: "Dot art" graphics on the upper, Australian colours on the rear and wallabies on the sides.
3. Austrian national champion Christian Pfannberger: Two of the most famous symbols of Austria, the Prater ferris wheel and Vienna's skyline (designed by agent and friend Marcuzzo Roberto of Maroitalia.com).
4. Dario Cataldo, of the Quick-Step team: Graffiti-style with arrows and objectives leading towards the word 'Arrivo' (finish line).
5. Matteo Tosatto, Quick-Step: Right shoe shows the night, with a castle, bats and nightlife. Left shows daytime, with the sun and the Dolomite mountains, and Matteo's nickname, Toso.
6. Giairo Ermeti, LPR: Same green as his team jersey, with his name on the left shoe and his fiancee's name on the right.
7. Wouter Weylandt, Quick-Step: Filmstrip.
8. Charlie Wegelius, Silence-Lotto: A gondola's prow (symbolising the start of the Giro d'Italia) and a stylised Eiffel Tower (the arrival of the Tour de France), along with the number 6895 (combined length in kilometres of the 2009 Giro and Tour). The shoes also feature a road design, two rings (Charlie is to marry his fiancee in August), the flags of Britain and Finland, and the Chinese ideogram for a horse. At the end of the Tour de France, the shoes, designed by Federico Damiani, will be auctioned for www.childliverdisease.org.
9. World time trial champion Bert Grabsch: Rainbow theme.
10. Tony Colom, Katusha: Half black and half white, to show that life is never one-sided and there is always another perspective.
11. Kevin de Weert, Quick-Step: Belgian national colours.

Miche introduce carbon tubular wheelsets

The Miche Supertype 358 carbon
Photo ©: Miche
(Click for larger image)

Italian component maker Miche has introduced two new carbon tubular road wheelsets, the Supertype 358 and SWR Full Carbon.

"The choice of pairing different rim heights for front and rear wheels was born to satisfy the growing request of professional and amateur racers," Miche's marketing manager Manuel Calesso said. "They prefer a wheelset that is rigid and reactive, but also easy to use in the downhill and with a high-speed lateral wind."

The Miche Supertype 358 carbon tubular wheelset includes a 38mm tall carbon front rim and a 58mm rear, with carbon fibre body hubs and lightweight alloy clutched flanges. Hub innards are SKF sealed bearings, with oversized axles, which Miche says ensure the best resistance to the weight loads. Spokes - with external nipples - are stainless, 18 of which are radially-laced on the front, and 24 two-crossed on the rear.

The wheel kit includes: Supertype quick-release skewers, carbon-friendly brake pads, valve extensions, Supertype cassette lock ring, and wheel bags. Weight is a reported 1,260 grams. Retail is US$2,495.

The Miche SWR Full Carbon tubular wheelset includes a 38mm tall carbon front rim and 50mm rear, laced to lightweight alloy hubs with medium flanges, with sealed bearings and oversize hub axles. Eighteen stainless bladed spokes are radially-laced on the front, with 24 spokes on the rear: 16 drive-side, eight non.

Wheel kit includes XR quick-release skewers, carbon-friendly brake pads, and valve extensions. Weight is a reported 1,460 grams. Retail is US$1,250.

Interchangeable Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo cassette bodies are available. For more information, visit www.miche.it.

3 Sixty° takes a Quantum leap

3 Sixty°'s first product will
Photo ©: 3 Sixty°
(Click for larger image)

A new carbon fibre wheel company has been set up by Australian Peter Hinds, founder of X-treme wheels. The new firm is called 3 Sixty° (pronounced "360 degrees"), and its first product is a disc wheel called Quantum.

With Quantum, Hinds set out to produce the most aerodynamic disc wheel available. It has a 'triple curvature' design which is supposed to mimic the airflow over an aircraft wing.

A curved leading edge directs airflow onto a marginally thinner concave profile before rising again to another pressure bulge at the hub. When combined with a 'vortex generator' near the leading edge, Hinds says this results in a wheel that not only reduces drag but actually produces 'lift' which can be converted into forward momentum.

The wheel is made with two multi-modulus carbon skins, which are said to provide natural anti-vibration dampening. It has a removable hub and easy-to-fit carbon valve hole cover, and is available in seven colours.

Quantum is currently only available as a tubular model in Shimano, Campagnolo and track. Claimed weight is 1.045kg (2.3lb). A carbon clincher will be available in July.

Hinds said his decision to walk away from X-treme after 15 years wasn't easy, but he insisted it was necessary. He said supply had always been a problem, and when he tried to fix this by outsourcing production to Taiwan this created its own difficulties.

"When you discover that R&D, quality, meeting deadlines and customer focus are not part of your new partner's business model and that you have no control over the outcomes, then you have to take some tough decisions and unfortunately for me that meant walking away from the X-treme brand," he said.

"The name 3 Sixty° is very appropriate. It marks the fact that this new company brings me full circle, back to doing what I've always done best, and that's hand crafting Australian-made, high-performance bicycle wheels for a discerning niche market," he added.

New titanium seatpost from Seven Cycles

Seven Cycles' new titanium
Photo ©: Seven Cycles
(Click for larger image)

Massachusetts-based Seven Cycles has brought out a new seatpost made of 3Al-2.5V titanium. The post weighs in at 249g (385mm length), and Seven say it has a unique set-back head design with dual-bolt saddle adjustment.

It can be custom made to any length you want - although it is only available in 27.2mm diameter - and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Rob Vandermark, president of Seven Cycles, said: "People have repeatedly asked us to offer this product, but we wanted to ensure that our solution was going to deliver innovative features that would benefit all kinds of riders.

"Making installation and setup as simple as possible was a consideration for the design team. Form and function were of equal importance to the final product."

The seatpost is available now for US$325 (approx £225).

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by www.theroaddiaries.com

Images by Wilier

Images by Everti

Images by Gaerne

Images by Miche

Images by 3 Sixty°

Images by Seven Cycles