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Photo ©: Schaaf

Tech News – April 14, 2005

Edited by John Stevenson

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

Cannondale Synapse
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Cannondale launches Synapse

Cannondale has for years been experimenting with carbon fiber, usually in conjunction with the company's long-time favourite material, aluminium. But the latest road frame from the Bethel Connecticut bike builder doesn't mix carbon with anything: the Synapse is 100 percent carbon fiber.

And in another first for Cannondale, it's not manufactured in the US, but in the far East, rapidly becoming the home of carbon fiber just as it's been the home of chromoly and then aluminium bike manufacture in the past.

Cannondale says the Synapse combines stiffness and comfort better than any other carbon fiber bike, thanks to its Triaxial Hourglass seat stays and Synapse Active Vibration Elimination technology in the chain-stays.

More info: www.cannondale.com

Campagnolo's electronic rear derailleur
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More Campagnolo Electronic

For everyone out there for whom too much Campagnolo is never enough, here's a couple more images of the still-in-development Campagnolo electronic rear derailleur, recently sent out by the company. Campagnolo has been testing the new system in the Belgian races that typically open the year in rainy style, and has had success with Nico Eeckhout's victory at Dwars Door Vlaanderen.

While riders and teams hope for good weather in these races, Campagnolo was praying for rain. "The ubiquitous pavé and the generally rainy climate offer demanding test conditions," said Campagnolo's spokesmen Piero Da Rin and Francesco Zenere in a press release. "Everything unfolded normally [at Dwars Door Vlaanderen] and the development of the electronic drivetrain is proceeding. Unfortunately the rain element was absent and the race took place in mild weather. Campagnolo is continuing the development program in Belgium with satisfaction, however, hoping for tougher weather conditions."

More info: www.campagnolo.com

Flecha's Pinarello
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Flecha's Pinarello

Stefen Wesemann wasn't the only rider at Paris-Roubaix using cantilever brakes to make room for big tyres and mud clearance if the going to gloopy. Third place on the podium went to Fassa Bortolo's Spanish Classics strongman Juan-Antonio Flecha aboard this Pinarello, and there were no half-measure here: this is a cyclo-cross bike.

The Pinarello DogmaFp-Cross boasts cantilever brakes front and rear on a frame with plenty of mud clearance. The rest of Flecha's set-up is standard Classics fare: Campagnolo Record shifters and transmission and Campagnolo wheels shod with fat Vittoria tyres. Bar and stem are 31.8mm Deda items, while a well-padded Selle Italia seat sits on Pinarello's own carbon seatpost.

More info: www.pinarello.com
M5 Recumbents's super-light brake
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Superlight brake from Netherlands

Netherlands recumbent maker M5 Recumbents has just announced this super-light side-pull brake which the company claims weighs in at just 73 grams, making it one of the lightest around. M5 also says the brake - which is made from 7075 aluminium - is stiffer than Shimano or Campagnolo brakes. A unique feature is a 12mm hollow mounting axle with four bearings for a larger surface for the brake arms to turn on.

More info: www.m5-ligfietsen.nl

Selle Italia awarded

Selle Italia's SLC saddle
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Selle Italia's new SLC saddle recently took out the Gold Award for product design at the International Forum Design in Hannover. The SLC took the top award in the Lifestyle & Leisure category among more than 2,300 entries from 31 countries.

In other Selle Italia news, the company is supplying seats to more than half of the ProTour peloton. Cofidis, Crédit Agricole, CSC, Euskaltel - Euskadi, Fassa Bortolo, Fdjeux.Com, Gerolsteiner , Illes Balears , Phonak Hearing Systems, Saunier Duval - Prodir, and T-Mobile are all aboard Selle Italia seats this year.

More info: www.selleitalia.com

Pipedream's very reasonably-priced frame
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More inexpensive titanium

Britain's Pipedream Cycles is yet another company specializing in not-too-pricey titanium frames. In this case, Pipedream focuses on mountain bikes, with a two-model range: one with conventional vertical dropouts and the other with convertible drop-outs so it can be built up either with gears or as a single-speed.

Both fgrames use 100 percent seamless cold drawn certified aerospace grade 3Al/2.5V plain guage titanium tubing with dropouts cut from 6Al/4V titanium plate. A 19in frame weighs approximately 3.1 lb, according to the company. Directors Alan Finlay and Stuart Davies say the extra weight of plain tubing over butted is "negligible" - and of course it's substantially less costly.

Frames start from £699.00, and custom options are available.

More info: www.pipedreamcycles.com

Zipp launches Pave wheels

Aero wheel and component maker Zipp has launched a new wheel pair specifically for punishing conditions such as its sponsored riders are currently enjoying in the Spring Classics. The Pave 280 front wheel and Pave 360 rear are built from rims that have twice the impact resistance of Zipp's standard rims, and have custom hubs with traditional flanges.

The new wheels combine a low-profile front rim for handling in sidewinds with a deep rear rim for better aerodynamics. The hubs have secondary seals to better resist the lousy weather conditions typical of Northern Europe at this time of year, and use 20/24 spoking.

More info: www.zipp.com

Epic becomes Everti

The Vancouver, British Columbia bike maker previously known as Epic Bicycles has changed its name to Everti Bicycles. The word 'Epic' is also used by Specialized to denote one of its bike ranges, and, as Everti's Kurt Knock puts it, "legal representation for Specialized has declared that this pond isn't big enough for the two names to coincide."

Knock says he chose not to "belabour the point", perhaps taking the realistic position that it's better to get on with making stuff than fighting a lawsuit, and has changed the name. (For example, anyone remember Halson Design? An early-90s suspension fork maker, Halson had a patent on the 'skewers' used to mount elastomer springs in forks back then. The company successfully sued RockShox and others for patent infringement, but the lawsuit took up so much of the owners' time and energy that the business of actually making stuff suffered and Halson is now just a footnote in for suspension history.)

Everti's new web address is www.evertibikes.com

Brave Soldier announces Friction Zone

Sports skin care company Brave Soldier has announced Friction Zone, an anti-chafing ointment, for anyone whose sport includes the kind of repetitive motion likely to cause soreness, such as runners, motocrossers and, of course, cyclists.

Brave Soldier says the big advantage of Friction Zone over similar creams is that it stays in place on the skin for far longer, but can then be washed off with soap and water.

More info: www.bravesoldier.com

ZeroPace adds planning

Software maker ZeroPace has introduced a racing and training planner to its eponymous training log software. Features of the new planner include the ability to display anything from one week to a whole year's plan, weekly summaries, highlighting of targeted races and the ability to hide, say, Friday if that's always your rest day.

The Zeropace training log is available on-line, as a desktop application or via WAP-enabled mobile phones.

More info: www.zeropace.com

WTB awarded

Mounmtain bike and component maker Wilderness trail Bikes has been awarded 'State Advocate of the Year' by the Bicycle Product Supplier Association.

The award recognizes bicycle advocacy efforts at a local or state level and came in recognition of WTB's work in promoting bicycle use in the Norther California.

Accepting the award at the BPSA's annual Bicycle Leadership Conference, WTB president Patrick Seidler said, "To be recognized by one's peers is always an honor. Bicycling addresses so many important modern concerns - from obesity to traffic congestion - that everyone should take an interest in the development of bicycles as a tremendously effective, transformative force for positive change in our society."

Seidler and WTB have been active in Transportation Alternatives for Marin (T.A.M.), Bicycle Transportation Technology Exchange, Safe Routes to School, Bikes Belong, the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, Rails to Trails, and IMBA.

More info: www.wtb.com

Julich formalizes Camelbak relationship

CSC's Bobby Julich recently signed a deal with hydration system maker Camelbak, putting his use of the company's products on a formal basis. As well as continuing to use the company's RaceVest systemn, Julich will provide R&D testing, giving the company feedback on CamelBak products, and how they can best be developed to fit a road cyclists' needs.

Julich, who is getting a bit of a reputation as a free-thinker with his use of devices like Camelbaks and elliptical chainrings, surprised even Camelbak staff when he turned up at last year's Tour de France using a RaceVest in the team time trial. Camelbak's VP of marketing Sky George told bikebiz.co.uk that he "almost fell off my chair" when he saw footage of the time trial.

However, Camelbak hasn't yet reintroduced the RaceVest, which allowed riders to carry 40oz of water under their jerseys so as not to obscure all-important sponsor logos. It ceased production in 2001. "It was a great product, but one with a very small market," said George.

Julich certainly agrees that hand-free drinking is the way to go for time trials. "Anything that causes you to sit up, out of your most aerodynamic position, could cost you the race," he said. "Being able to simply sip from the hose, situated just under my chin, keeps me in the most efficient position, and not to mention keeps me hydrated."

Back-mounted drinking systems are wildly popular with mountain bikers - the tech desk has lost count of how many muddy mini-backpacks he owns - but road cyclists have always seen them as gimmicky. Maybe Julich's advocacy will change things,and we'll see enough demand for Camelbak to reintroduce the RaceVest or come up with an updated version.

More info: www.camelbak.com