Tech News June 25, 2004
Edited by John Stevenson
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Giant's new TCR Advanced
The TCR Advanced's new seat tube design
Giant Europe's Tom Davies
Giant gets lighter with TCR Advanced
By Ben Atkins
In time for this year's Tour de France Giant has unveiled the next generation
of its composite frames: the TCR Advanced.
The frame has been developed using new and different kinds of composite
fibres and resin; a "scientifically selected and custom made combination
of several different special aerospace grade high strength high modulus
fibers" (according to Giant) has been combined with a "new nano resin"
to make the frame both lighter and stiffer than the existing TCR Composite.
Giant says its engineers have combined finite element analysis, dynamic
vibration analysis, strength testing and input from pro riders to optimise
the design. Heavy influence from riders in teams such as T-Mobile has
allowed them to "increase both the strength and rigidity of the frame
whilst using less material."
The most obvious new feature of the frame is the extended seat tube,
which negates the need for a separate seat post - Giant also claims this
enhances comfort. The specially designed clamp allows for 20mm of height
The claimed weight of the medium size frame and fork is less than 1250
grams, which Giant says is a considerable saving on the conventional frame
which needs an additional seat post and clamp (an extra 175 grams according
The frame also features a new Advanced fork. Giant's objective was to
"keep the same lateral comfort as the current design but to enhance the
lateral rigidity". They have managed to achieve their objectives and also
keep the weight down to a claimed 350 grams.
A modified version of the TCR Advanced has been ridden by Jan Ullrich
and Erik Zabel in races this spring, including the Tour of Germany. The
version they rode did not have the elongated seat tube, but was identical
in all other areas, it can be identified by the narrower head tube area.
Jan Ullrich obviously enjoyed the experience, riding strongly in the Tour
of Germany and winning the Tour of Switzerland. The full elongated seat
tube version was ridden in the later stages of the Giant Tour by Tom Davies,
Sports Marketing Manager of Giant Europe.
The TCR Advanced will be ridden in this year's Tour by selected members
of the T-Mobile team and will be the standard issue team bike for the
2005 season. It will be available for sale as a frameset only (in sizes
S, M, L) through selected Giant dealers for an estimated €2990 as part
of the 2005 range.
Crank Brothers Quattro
Crank Brothers hits the road
Adding to its existing three-item line-up of pedals, component and accessory
maker crank brothers has introduced the Quattro road pedal, providing
a road-specific alternative for riders like Fred Rodriguez who have been
pressing its Egg Beater mountain bike pedals into service on the road.
The Quattro uses Crank Brothers' four-sided spring-and-bar engagement
mechanism, with a fiber-composite body and stainless steel side-pates
and a new cleat design for a stable interface between shoe and pedal.
The Quattro also boasts a narrower Q-factor (the distance between your
feet) than Crank Brothers MTB pedals.
Claimed weight is 312g per pair (363g with cleats), and RRP is expected
to be US$170.
top view of the Quattra
Levi Leipheimer's proto C50
Classic Colnago stays
Cinelli Ram handlebars
Levi Leipheimer's Rabobank Colnago C50 prototype
By Tim Maloney
Levi Leipheimer has been riding his Colnago C50 prototype since Liege-Bastogne-Liege,
when he and his two Rabobank teammates Boogerd and Rasmussen also got
this special version of Ernesto Colnago's latest carbon fibre dream bike.
"This bike is perfect; we've gotten the bikes and wheels dialed in 100
percent" enthused the usually more reserved Leipheimer when we asked him
about his new ride at the Dauphiné Libéré.
When we asked Colnago why this bike was not painted in the usual orange
and white Rabobank team livery, the mago of Cambiago explained, "we have
only given this frame a clear coat to save some weight; painting can add
200 grams to a bike, you know." Colnago explained that this new C50 was
lighter than the current production model and would replace the existing
C50 for 2005.
"But that's not all", said Colnago with a twinkle in his eye. "We're
preparing a special extra light prototype version of the C50 for the l'Alpe
d'Huez TT in the Tour for Leipheimer, Boogerd and Rasmussen. If this model
tests well, and proves to be safe as well as light, we will have a limited
edition for 2005 as well." With that, Colnago pulled out Leipheimer's
48cm sloping frame and placed it on a scale, showing 920 grams without
"Boogerd's 56cm bike will weigh in at 950 grams," said Colnago. "You
have to understand that we can go lighter, but then the frame is too light
and can break easily. That's not the way we build bikes here at Colnago."
Frame: Colnago C50 protoype 48cm sloping
Fork: Colnago Star Full Carbon monocoque fork
Colour: Proto Black
Cranks: Shimano Dura-Ace 10 speed 172.5 / 53X39
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace
Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace
Levers: Shimano Dura-Ace
Rear sprockets: Shimano Dura-Ace 12-23
Wheels: Shimano Dura-Ace 7800 tubular
Tyres: Vittoria Tubulars 21mm
Bars & Stem: Cinelli Ram Carbon Fibre Integrated
Headset: Shimano Dura-Ace
Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace
Saddle: Selle San Marco Aspide
Seatpost: Colnago carbon fibre
Scott weighs in on Rebellin's bike
A couple of weeks ago we ran a
little item on the bike Davide Rebellin rode in his amazing string
of Classics victories this year, quoting a claim by Gerolsteiner's bike
sponsor Wilier that it was a prototype. Quite a few readers wrote in to
point out that the bike bore more than a passing resemblance to a Scott
CR-1, and it seems that Scott has noticed this too.
Scott's European office recently put out a statement about Rebellin's
bike, saying, "We at Scott became aware of Davide Rebellin and other team
members' use of a Scott CR1 frame early in the season when we first saw
the design in early season races. We were flattered that the riders so
valued the properties of our product that they would be willing to race
it competitively. At that time we decided internally that we would not
publicize the use of the Scott CR1 frame in respect for Wilier's situation."
However, Wilier has earned Scott's ire with claims such as the presentation
to Cyclingnews of Rebellin's bike as a Wilier proto, and a press
release issued in March that said, "Rebellin has won the Amstel Gold Race
using a "Team" full carbon frame that won't appear in the trade until
next September and that will be presented in the upcoming trade fairs.
With its 920 grams weight, the frame is the lightest in the professional
In its statement, Scott hit back: "Rebellin indeed uses the lightest
frame in the pro peloton. The Scott CR1 size 56cm weighs 895g and is available
today around the world via Scott and its distributors."
While there's been no official comment out of Wilier yet, Cyclingnews
understands that Wilier is working on 2005 models with the same Taiwanese
manufacturer that makes the CR1 for Scott. Any development project has
to start somewhere and the jumping off point in this case is the CR1,
as the bike already coming out of this builder.
Topolino wins award
Composite wheel manufacturer Topolino has won a major design award from
the Society of Plastics Engineers. The SPE gave it's annual Consumer Plastics
Product Design Award to Topolini for "the synergistic combination of its
polymer composite spokes, its composite hub, and most important, the construction
methods used to transform these materials into a wheel," according to
the SPE's website.
Topolino's founder and president Raphael Schlanger was understandably
pleased, saying, "We knew significant performance and weight benefits
could be realized by integrating a composite spoke and hub shell, but
the technology literally didn't exist. We really had to re-think the whole
way the wheel is constructed. It's a great feeling to have our final product,
after of years of intense development, recognized by such a distinguished
group of fellow engineers."
Cyclingnews is currently subjecting a pair of Topolino wheels
to the Jeff Jones long-term torture test. Jeff reports that with several
thousand kilometres of Belgian roads under them, they're holding up well,
and "work on cobbles."