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Tech News April 24, 2003
Edited by Paul Mirtschin
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2004 Dura-Ace in action
More information about the 2004 Dura-Ace trickles out each week (or, if we're cynical, Shimano is doing a damn fine job of creating a buzz about next year's group.) This week we bring you photos of the actual components as fitted to Lance Armstrong's bike at the Amstel Gold Race.
Cyclingnews photographer Jeff Tse snapped off a few shots as Lance was preparing his bike for the race and it does look to be very nice gear indeed. Sharing design features with the mountain bike XTR group, next year's Dura-Ace uses the same outboard bearing system, allowing a stiffer and lighter axle, and the same two-piece structure with the left crank held in place by a bolt and a clamp.
The crank arms have also been beefed up, with a larger cross-section allowing a thinner wall, resulting in a lighter, stiffer crank arm compared to last year.
Down the back, we see the 10-speed rear derailleur and cluster, and the new parts share the styling of the whole group, with the clean lines of the derailleur turning what was a nice looking component into arguably a work of art.
The cluster is expected to be made available in the same six ranges as the 2003 Dura-Ace, but the extra sprocket will make for closer spacing though the range.
Up front, we finally get a look at the new levers that we mentioned last week. As well as being smoother and shinier, following Shimano's apparent design brief to make all components look like they are worth their weight in gold, the new levers aloow the hoods to sit higher up the bar.
The 2004 Dura-Ace will be rolled out again at Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday where it is rumoured the new parts might be on Trek's new 100 percent carbon fibre semi-compact frame.
As we reported in our April 11 Tech News, the rumoured new frame from Trek has had a lot of input from Lance, and will see a radical departure from Trek's horizontal top-tube race frames.
Trek is also rumoured to be preparing to roll out an aerodynamic OCLV frame, placed part way between the 5900 and the USPS Team Time Trial frame.
Burley takes road range further upmarket
Burley Design Cooperative has debuted four new prototype road bicycles for possible 2004 production at the Sea Otter Village Expo at the Sea Otter Classic.
Burley, a worker-owned cooperative, released two new models at the start of the year, the Wolf Creek and Fox Hollow, both in steel. The prototypes exhibited at Sea Otter for possible 2004 release were a 15¾lb road bike in True Temper S3; a 16¾lb titanium road bike, a 16lb Columbus Foco Carbon road bike, and a women's specific road design in True Temper OX Platinum steel.
The Burley Design Cooperative manufactures a range of road and commuter bikes, bicycle trailers, tandems, recumbents as well as cycling rain gear.
SRAM twists AD-II
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has ruled that certain AD-II's twist shifters infringe on SRAM's patent.
SRAM moved for summary judgment of infringement against AD-II claiming that AD-II's device was an insubstantial change and insufficient to avoid patent infringement under the Doctrine of Equivalents.
SRAM's patent #5,662,000, issued on September 2, 1997, is for "A detent spring for use in a rotatable grip actuating system for a Bowden tube motion translation system used to actuate a derailleur gear shifting system on a bicycle. The detent spring, which is formed of spring type metal, has a U-shape, with one leg positioned in an elongated arcuate slot in a first member which rotates within a second member having notches on an inner surface which are engaged by a detent formed on the second leg of the spring."
The Court agreed with SRAM's position and found that "there is simply no question that the notches on the AD-II device serve the same function (engaging the spring) in the same way (through rotation of the grip) to achieve the same result (releasing or pulling on a cable and shifting derailleur gears)."