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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Tech News – September 27, 2004

Edited by John Stevenson

Got tech? Send press releases, news, and tech questions to the Cyclingnews tech-heads.

Thanks to an insanely busy summer (which is what happens when you cram the Olympics into the schedule!) the Cyclingnews tech desk has been busy with other things for more weeks than we care to think about. Here's part one of our round up of a few bits of new product info that you may have missed in the madness of the summer of 2004.

Part 2 is here, featuring new Litespeeds, Ulmer's olympic bike, Davitamon-Lotto on Ridley, Rolf expands, De Rosa official world's bike, IRD joins the compact crew, Felt carbon

PowerTap and CycleOps give birth to new trainer

By Mark Zalewski

CycleOps Indoor Cycle
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CycleOps computer
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For those that live in places with a cold winter, or if you can't always fit your training ride in before dark, riding an indoor trainer is a necessary task. With many cyclists making use of the wealth of data that can be harvested from a power measurement device such as the PowerTap, Saris Cycling Group, the maker of the PowerTap and CycleOps products, has decided to combine the best of both and create the CycleOps Indoor Cycle.

At first glance, the cycle looks like something you would find in a spin class. However, this zinc-plated and powder-coated machine is far more. First, the cycle has numerous points of adjustment to create a ideal fit for each user. These include vertical and horizontal seat position as well as vertical and horizontal handlebar position. The handlebars are a triathlon multi-position design for multiple variations. The handlebars also have resistance adjustment and brake built-in. After adjusting the machine, the user can attach the pedal of choice to customize even further.

Probably the biggest difference between this cycle and a typical health club trainer is the 54x14 fixed gear -- so even the track rider will benefit from training on this machine, while it will help road warriors with their spin technique.

The other half of the feature set is the power measurement options. At the 'Sport' level, the cycle comes as described above for a retail price of $999.99. By upgrading to the 'Comp' level at $1299.99, the cycle comes with a large-screen user interface (2.7" viewing area) that displays data such as speed, cadence, time and the other typical cyclocomputer information, all downloadable to your PC through a USB connection. This data can be analyzed through the included FitnessLink software.

At the high-end 'Pro' level, the cycle comes equipped with a PowerTap measurement system, featuring eight rear hub-mounted strain gauges. Information such as torque and wattage can also be analyzed through the software. The interface also has room for up to six individual users' specific information, including: HR zone, weight, Power Zone, record rates and more. The price tag for the top level machine is $1,699.99.

Landis develops CycleOps relationship

In other CycleOps news, we don't know if he'll be using the Indoor Cycle, but Floyd Landis has added CycleOps trainers and power meters to his roster of sponsors. However, this isn't just a matter of a name on a jersey, according to CycleOps. Rather, Landis will be helping as a 'development partner' the creation of new CycleOps products. Landis, who says he is a long-time user of Cycleops trainers and the Powertap power meter anyway, will have "direct input" in the development of future CycleOps trainers and Powertap meters.

More info: www.cycleops.com

Fondriest for the big boys

Fondriest Clarus
Photo ©: Fondriest

Italian carbon specialist Fondriest is introducing three new frames for 2005 - Clarus, Luxter, and Domino Plus - as well as continuing to produce its Top Carbon and introducing a new line of clothing.

The Clarus is perhaps the most interesting; a carbon fiber bike built for stiffness rather than weight. Other manufacturers concentrate on building bikes that will still hit the UCI weight limit even if you add a saddle bag and a lighting system (and who's to say there's no market for 6.8kg super-commuting bikes -- I'd sure like one!). Fondriest has taken a different tack with the Clarus, focusing on strength, stiffness and power transmission with larger US riders specifically in mind not 140lb European professionals.

Fondriest Luxter in red
Photo ©: Fondriest

The 2005 Luxter uses Fondriest's three-piece carbon construction with a twist: coloured carbon. We've seen white and silver carbon fiber and now comes the Luxtor in blue, red or silver.

The Domino Plus is a development of the popular Domino with, according to Fondriest, an improved tubeset for better road feel.

New at the top of Fondriest's range is the latest TF1 Evoluzione, with a frame weight of just 950g for a 55cm frame. Fondriest has used an exclusive Hexcel Corporation carbon fiber for the TF1 which features carbon fiber dropouts.

More info: www.fondriest-usa.com

Descente goes off-road with DNA

DNA newton short
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Clothing maker Descente has announced a new line of mountain bike apparel, under its snowboard and ski brand 'DNA' (which happens to stand for Descente North America as well as deoxyribonucleic acid).

DNA Venus jersey
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The line consists of shorts and jerseys for men and women, and gloves. The Newton and Nova shorts, for men and women respectively, feature welded main seams with external seam taping, stretch woven fabrics in critical areas, welded patch pockets with waterproof zippers and an eight-panel internal short made of Descente's exclusive D-Vente fabric with Phantom X-Static chamois. Both men's and women's shorts retail for $119.99.

For the upper body, DNA offers the Theorem jersey for men and Venus jersey for women. Both use Descente's own H2Zero polyester fabric and retail for $59.99. Women's colors are Periwinkle, Cardinal and Mocha. Men's colors are Black, Cardinal and Blue Ash.

The new Hybrid full-finger glove will carry the Descente logo, and is intended for both mountain biking and road use (the latter presumably in the winter). It has a synthetic leather, two-piece, perforated, welded palm with Air-Gel protection in crucial areas. Retail is $44.99.

More info: www.descenteboulder.com

Zero Gravity 2005

Zero Gravity brakes
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Zero Gravity pads
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Here's an exclusive first look the 2005 version of Zero Gravity's super-light brakes. Zero Gravity's resident wizard Ted Ciamillo has been working all year on subtle changes to shave off weight here and there, which means that in total the latest version of the brakes - dubbed 0G-05 - is some ten percent lighter than when they were launched in 2004.

As you can see from the pics, the latest place weight has been lost is from the back of the brake pads, where a new shape ditches some unnecessary rubber. Zero Gravity says the finned back of the pad also provides a greater surface area to dissipate heat, in combinaiton with the vents in the pad holders.

Less obvious new features incude a refinement of the location of the cam-lever fulcrum to improve the balance of power vs. lever travel, increased rigidity of the cam finger, and a five percent increase in travel of the quick release lever for easier removal of wheels with wider tires.

A final cosmetic change for '05 is new laser-etched '0G-05' graphics so the world can tell you have the latest and greatest. Cyclingnews has a set of Zero Gravity brakes on test at the moment and we'll be giving our first impressions real soon now.

More info: www.zerogravitybike.com


On to tech news, Part 2: New Litespeeds, Ulmer's olympic bike, Davitamon-Lotto on Ridley, Rolf expands, De Rosa official world's bike, IRD joins the compact crew, Felt carbon