Tech News April 14, 2005
Edited by John Stevenson
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Cyclingnews tech desk.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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