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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Tech News – January 27, 2005

Edited by John Stevenson

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More power!

FSA, Sibex and SRM introduce more options in power-meter cranks

By John Stevenson

Ivan Basso
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

There was a time when you'd see pro riders with SRM power meters on their bikes at the beginning of the season as they used the German power-measuring crank for early-season training and in less important races. But when the year's major events rolled round, the SRMs would vanish to be replaced with the team's sponsored equipment, and also to save a few grams.

FSA's SRM crank
Photo ©: FSA
(Click for larger image)

Then last year SRM introduced a version of its meter that was built into a Dura-Ace crank. Instantly a large portion of the peloton was able to use the power meter without upsetting component sponsor Shimano. And while the Dura-Ace SRM device was still a little heavier than the cranks it replaced, the difference was a lot smaller. Other advances in frame and component design had also made it easier and easier to get a bike down to the UCI's lower weight limit of 6.8kg, leaving a few grams spare for a power meter.

Now two other manufacturers have introduced cranks with built-in SRM units. FSA and SRM announced last month that they were collaborating on a compact SRM crank with carbon fiber arms, based more or less on FSA's K-Force crank with one-piece right hand crank and spindle and external bearings.

Known as the SRM Professional Carbon Compact Powermeter, and wielded here by Ivan Basso, the FSA unit involved some clever thinking on FSA's part - it has two spiders. The SRM module won't fit inside a compact 110mm bolt circle diameter, so the FSA/SRM crank has an additional set of bolt mounts behind the unit to accept a chain ring down to 34 teeth. A version with 53/39 rings is also available. The SRM Professional Carbon Compact Powermeter retails for around US$3,400. More info at www.srm.de.

Sibex titanium SRM cranks
Photo ©: Sibex Sports
(Click for larger image)

And now there's another contender for your four-figure power-measuring crank purchase. Titanium specialist Sibex Sports has announced a titanium SRM crank, which it claims is even lighter than the FSA-made carbon crank. Sibex' Scott Mares sys that with an American Classic IBEX bottom bracket, the new crank weighs just 810g, against 880g for the FSA cranks with bearings and 910g for the Dura-Ace unit. (As benchmarks, a Shimano Dura-Ace crankset with bearings weighs a claimed 740g, FSA's K-Force Compact Megaexo comes in at 780g while SRM says the Dura-Ace SRM cranks and chainrings weigh 800g - an extra 110g for bearings is about right.)

Wherever the grams fall, the Sibex crank is impressively light if it tips the scale as claimed. Like the FSA unit, it's also impressively expensive at US$3500. If you have that much dosh burning a hole in your pocket full details are at www.sibexsports.com. (And if you don't, please don't write pointing out that you could get an entire bike for the price of one of these cranks, or indeed a perfectly usable if rather tatty secondhand car. We know, we know.)

Scott Mares tells us that he is also working on a set of bare cranks that is compatible with the three-bolt fixing used by the power-sensing module in some SRM cranks. "I'm not willing to give ground to carbon," says Mares, who is still convinced that titanium has plenty of potential as a material for lightweight bike components.

Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears on Pinarello in 2006

By Tim Maloney, European Editor in Paris

2006 Pinarello Paris Carbon FP
Photo ©: Tim Maloney
(Click for larger image)

For 2006 Jose' Miguel Echavarri's Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears team, which includes Spanish rising star Alejandro Valverde, will be riding Pinarello bikes rather than machines from the company's sister brand Opera.

At the Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears team presentation in Paris, Fausto Pinarello told Cyclingnews, "We decided to change from Opera to Pinarello sponsoring with the Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears team this year and have an entirely new color scheme to match the new team jerseys from Nalini. We've worked with Jose' Miguel Echavarri for many years, since the Banesto days and we are happy to continue with his team. With Valverde, Pererio, Karpets and Guiterrez, this looks like an excellent team.

"Some riders will use our new Paris Carbon FP; it's a high performance frameset with exceptional comfort and performance, and some will use our Dogma FP with magnesium tubing," Pinarello added. Last year's Iles Balears bike sponsor Opera, also designed & built by Pinarello, will sponsor Italian continental pro squad Tenax-Salmilano in 2006.

The unique shaped top tube
Photo ©: Tim Maloney
(Click for larger image)

While at the Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears presentation, we met Italian climber Marco Fertonani from Geno, a new arrival at Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears from Phonak. He told Cyclingnews, "I've been riding my new Pinarello for a while already and am really impressed with this bicycle."

2006 Pinarello Paris Carbon FP Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears team bike:

Monocoque high modulus unidirectional 46HM 3K carbon fibre frameset
Pinarello ONDA 1" 1/8 integrated fork and ONDA CRS rear triangle.
"M.O.st FP 55mm. oversize bottom bracket
Unpainted Paris Carbon FP frame weight / 54cm: 990 grams
Campagnolo Record Carbon 10V Groupset & Campagnolo Bora Wheels
Dedaelementi Newton Handlebars & Stem
Dedaelementi Olimpico Tubular Tyres
Selle Italia SLR saddle
M.O.st Carbon Fibre seatpost

Close-up of Pinarello Paris Carbon FP Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears team bike, showing unique shaped top tube on Monocoque high modulus unidirectional 46HM 3K carbon fibre frameset.

Wilier Triestina Takes First Italian 'Cross Title With Franzoi

The only one!
Photo ©: Wilier Triestina
(Click for larger image)

Former World U23 'Cross champ Enrico Franzoi (Lampre Fondital) of Mogliano, Italy near Venice recently rode to victory in the Italian cross championship on his new Wilier Triestina 'cross bike, a one-off frame, with measurements suggested by Franzoi. Wilier Triestina's Andrea Gastaldello told Cyclingnews that "Franzoi's bike is a special, one-off model, but we are considering adding a cyclocross frame to our range for 2007."

Franzoi's Wilier Triestina 'Cross has Deda 7000 series aluminum tubing and traditional, not sloping geometry. Component wise, the Wilier Triestina 'Cross was equipped with Campagnolo Record CF chainset (48x39) 25x12), Ritchey WCS carbon fork and high-profile Fulcrum wheels with Dugast tubular cyclocross tires. A Fi'zi:k Lampre team issue Airone saddle, ITM bars & stem and Ritchey carbon fibre seatpost rounded out Franzoi's componentry.

While his Lampre Fondital team is at their first mini training camp of the season in warm and sunny Terracina, south of Rome, Franzoi is hard at work in his cold, wintery Veneto region preparing for the World Cyclocross Championships in Zeddam, Netherlands at the end of January.

Campagnolo equips 13

Campagnolo must be hoping that 13 isn't an unlucky number in 2006, as that's the total of pro teams that the Vicenza component legend will be supporting this year. Eight ProTour squads and five Professional Continental teams will ride Campagnolo equipment this year, in the latest installment of the company's over-70-year-long involvement with professional racing.

Campagnolo, for those who don't know the company's history, was born in racing when Tullio Campagnolo was unable to undo the wingnuts on his rear wheel to change gear, back in the days when bikes had two gears, one sprocket on either side of the wheel. Campagnolo was moved to invent the quick-release and the rest, as they say, is history.

Since then, Campagnolo has supported champions such as Coppi, Bartali, Merckx, Gimondi, Hinault, Fignon, Roche, Lemond, Indurain and modern-day riders such Boonen, Di Luca, Simoni, McEwen, Cunego and Valverde.

"The teams are the best partners for [Campagnolo] when it comes to testing new technologies and technical solutions," says Campagnolo's Piero Da Rin. "With thousands of kilometres in their legs pedalled in the most extreme conditions, only they are able to provide us with the information which is vital for developing future products."

The sponsored teams will be equipped with with Record groupsets and Eurus, Hyperon, Bora and Ghibli wheels.

Campagnolo's 13 are:

ProTour teams: Ag2r Prévoyance, Bouygues Telecom, Caisse d'Epargne - Illes Balears, Lampre - Fondital, Liquigas - Bianchi, Davitamon - Lotto, Quick Step - Innergetic, and Saunier Duval - Prodir,

Professional Continental teams: Ceramica Panaria - Navigare, Landbouwkrediet - Colnago, Jelly Belly, Relax - Gam, Team Jacques - T.Interim, Tenax

Luna switches to Orbea for 2006

The Luna women's mountain bike and triathlon teams will ride Orbea bikes for 2006 and 2007, Orbea USA has announced. The deal will see the team aboard Orbea's Alma and Oiz mountain bikes, Orca road bikes and Ordu TT bikes. The team formerly rode Santa Cruz bikes.

"This is the perfect partnership for us," said Tony Karklins, Orbea USA's managing director.

Shonny Vanlandingham, Katarina Hanusova, Jimena Florit and Georgia Gould will defend their NORBA National titles and race selected World Cup and X-Terra events in 2006. Alison Dunlap will attend events conducting women's rides & clinics. She will also provide coaching advice to LUNA's pro athletes and ambassadors. Marla Streb will preserve the gravity aspect of the program as she continues serving as LUNA's one-woman PR machine and part-time racer.

FSA announces Team Gravity

At the other end of the scale from the lightweight, power-measuring functions of the SRM/FSA crank, Full Speed Ahead has assembled a team of mountain bike freeriders to ride its burly new line of mountain bike components called Gravity. The unsurprisingly-named Team Gravity will comprise rider-manager Eric Porter, Randy Spangler, Ben Boyko, Evan Holmgren, Phil Sundbaum and Chris Van Dine.

The team will make its debut in Renton, Washington at The Gathering, January 27-28, and will also compete at freeride contests such as Honda Monster Park, Sea Otter, Adidas Slopestyle and Crankworx.

The Gravity component line consists of seatposts, handlebars, stems, headsets and cranksets that FSA says are made from best materials on the market, built into products designed and engineered to hold up to whatever trauma riders can dish out.

For more information see www.ridegravity.com.

Raleigh sponsors Spike track team

In the UK, bike manufacturer Raleigh recently signed up as sponsor of, among others road and track star Nicole Cooke. Meanwhile, the company's US arm, Raleigh of America, is also getting behind track racing with the recent announcement of a sponsorship deal with the new Spike Professional Cycling Team.

"We wanted to partner with a bike sponsor and industry leader that had a legitimate track racing heritage to give the team the advantage we need to succeed," said Spike team director Bill Ramsay. Raleigh certainly has that - the marque provided bikes for great British track sprinter Reg Harris back in the 1940s and 50s, and built bikes for the US team at the 1984 Olympics.

The Spike Pro Track team, based in Colorado Springs, is comprised of nine of America's top male and female track cyclists. The Team will target the USA/UCI National Track Series, USA Cycling National Track Championships, USA Cycling World Cup Qualifier events and select World Cup Track events beginning in January 2006.

The Team roster includes Steven Alfred, Benjamin Barczewski, Michael Blatchford, Andrew Lakatosh, Ryan Luttrell, Giddeon Massie, Becky Quinn, Jennie Reed and Kevin Suhr. Riders will train and compete on Raleigh Team road bikes and track framesets.

"This is an historic day for U.S. cycling and for this team," says Ramsay. "The quality of athletes and staff combined with the commitment of Spike and now Raleigh America to the program ensures that this team will achieve great results. I believe we are uniquely positioned to take track racing to the professional level in the United States."

Title sponsor Spike is a dietary supplement product. Other team sponsors include Rudy Project USA, Zipp Speed Weaponry, Thule, VERMARC USA, Great Divide Brewing Company, Cody Design, Inc; Cody Racing Support, Inc; Sampson Sports, SOS Socks and Mike Shaw Buick Pontiac GMC