Tech News February 17, 2006
Edited by John Stevenson
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Marriage, Italian style: Bianchi & Ducati join forces
By Tim Maloney, European Editor
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Ducati's Federico Minoli,
Bianchi's Davide Brambilla and Troy Bayliss
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Coppi's 1953 Bianchi specialissima
Photo ©: Tim Maloney
Not Troy Bayliss' Superbike
Photo ©: Tim Maloney
From Fausto Coppi in to Felice
Photo ©: Tim Maloney
Two of the most legendary names in the Italian two-wheel field, Bianchi
and Ducati, announced a collaboration to create an exclusive range of
bicycles at Bianchi's HQ in Treviglio on Wednesday. Bianchi's Davide Brambilla
and Ducati's Federico Minoli were on hand along with Ducati's superbike
star Troy Bayliss to present the initiative from the two Italian firms.
"Once again, Bianchi is together with another historic Italian company.
If we add up all the years since Bianchi and Ducati were founded, there's
more than 200 years of history in our companies," said Brambilla. "So
with this exchange of our mutual passion for two wheels and our vast experience,
we believe our collaboration with Ducati will bring forth great things."
To be presented at the international bicycle shows towards the end of
this season, the new Bianchi-Ducati range will the feature the aggressive
colors of red, yellow and black and feature road bikes, MTBs, a city bike
and a kids road bike, all using advanced technology elements with a blend
of carbon fiber and aluminium. And the new Bianchi-Ducati range will also
feature an array of accessories such as bike wear and parts.
Cyclingnews caught up with 36 year old Australian Troy Bayliss,
who was World Superbike champion in 2001 for the Ducati-Infostrada team
and has come back to the boys from Bologna for the 2006 Superbike season
after a disappointing season with the Camel Honda Pons squad. Bayliss,
who originally hails from Taree, New South Wales, Australia is a likeable
and totally professional guy who was happy to chat about his passion for
"I love to ride my bicycle for training, but sometimes it's not compatible
when I'm racing," Bayliss told us. "I lost too much upper-body strength
when I got down to 64kg, as my (motorcycle) racing weight is 68kg."
Bayliss lives in Monte Carlo, but often rides with an Italian team just
over the corniche in Ventimiglia. "I still love cycling; I started out
a long time ago and did triathlons and even races like [tough Australian
one-day race] Grafton-Inverell."
Bayliss, who still rides his Bianchi in special Ducati livery from a
team deal a few years ago is excited about the collaboration between the
two firms. "I think Ducati and Bianchi have a lot in common and there
will be exciting products coming from this partnership," he said.
More info: www.bianchi.it
More photography from the Bianchi-Ducati launch
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click
Images by Roberto Bettini/www.bettiniphoto.net
Images by Tim Maloney/Cyclingnews
Photo ©: Saunier Duval
Saunier Duval-Prodir heads for the wind tunnel
The Saunier Duval team is in the USA from this weekend for the Tour of
califoirnia, which will see a top-quality selection from the Spanish team
headed by Gilberto Simoni and including Koldo Gil and Ángel Gómez Marchante.
After the race, those three plus the team's new signing David Millar
will spend some time in the wind tunnel fine-tuning their new Scott Plasma
time trial bikes.
Campagnolo's 2006 Racing Bibs
Airy bibs from Campagnolo
Campagnolo has announced the latest incarnation of its Racing Bib Pants,
and says the 2006 model is "the most technological bib pants in the Campagnolo
line". The main feature of the Racing Bib Pants is a liner with three
of Campagnolo's new Air Cushion System (ACS) pads. In a classic 'Campagnolo
spoken here' explanation, the company says these pads "prevent the irritating
problem of the saddle." And who could complain about that?
Campagnolo says the ACS pads combine the advantages of a thin pad with
the level of comfort of the thicker pads, providing shock absorption,
ventilation and lower weight.
The Air Cushion System
The Racing Bibs' liner has three pads, two under the ischial bones and
one in the perineal area. Campagnolo says the flex of the pads as you
ride creates an 'active ventilation' effect, pumping air through the area.
The Racing Bibs also have a tubular construction which eliminates some
seams, and reflective piping for night-time visibility. They retail for
More info: www.campagnolo.com
Better pads for carbon rims
By Rob Karman
After my review
of the Reynolds Stratus Cross Wheels I was contacted through Reynolds
by brake pad manufacturer SwissStop about the company's carbon rim specific
GHP compound pads which it thought might help improve the braking performance
of the Reynolds wheels.
After finally finding time to install and ride the pads in the midst
of a very busy January, I found the improvement to be an almost night
and day difference compared with my previous experience with braking on
the Reynolds wheels using various different pad compounds (stock Shimano,
Avid, Kool Stop Green, etc...) and brake set ups (Avid, Shimano, IRD,
toe in, flat to the rim, etc). After thorough testing over the past few
weeks I am now quite satisfied with the braking of the Reynolds wheels.
If only Reynolds could include these pads with the wheels, but alas there
are too many different brakes out there. The SwissStop GHP compound is
available in models for smooth post cantilever, threaded post and V-brake
type inserts as well as Shimano and Campagnolo road calipers.
More info: www.swissstop.ch
King raises over ten grand for breast cancer charity
Component maker King Cycle Group has raised US$10,316.56 for the Oregon
and Southwest Washington affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer
Foundation through the company's second annual Pretty & Strong sales promotion.
King made limited production runs of pink anodized components including
its legendary cartridge bearing headset as well as road and mountain bike
hubs, headset spacers and stem caps, stickers, and a limited edition t-shirt.
The pink bits were available from September 1, 2005 to December 23, 2005
and a portion of the proceeds from each item was set aside as a donation
to the local Komen Foundation Affiliate. (The components were also sold
by online retailer Competitive Cyclist, which matched the Chris King pledge
- see story.)
King Cycle Group's Jacki Sterner said the entire company had gotten behind
the program. "Obviously, our pink headset is the same as our silver or
our black one and so on," she said. "What is unique about the Pretty &
Strong pink headset, and the hubs too, is the group of people here at
King Cycle Group who decided to make it a symbol for a cause. The dealers
who chose to sell it and the riders who chose to buy it carried that commitment
to completion. I am continually amazed that we have the people inside
our company and customer support outside who can make this sort of thing
Retailers said the components had been a big hit with riders, especially
when the fund-raising purpose behind them was explained. "We built up
a special edition Juliana with a Pretty & Strong NoThreadSet and hubs,"
said store manager Scott Linnville of Bicycle Sport Shop in Austin, TX.
"We had a customer come in who absolutely loved it. After we explained
the cause behind the promotion she was convinced this was her perfect
bicycle. A lot of our staff bought pink headsets, too. I'd say it's the
coolest limited edition color ever from Chris King."
More info: www.chrisking.com
Diamond helmets for Quick.Step
Spot the diamond
Photo ©: Quick.Step
Tom Boonen and his Quick.Step-Innergetic teammates will be wearing some
expensive headgear this season, courtesy of Lazer helmets. Each rider
will receive a helmet with a golden name plate and a small diamond embedded
in it. Tom Boonen and Paolo Bettini will receive a 1.18 carat diamond
in recognition of their World Champion and Olympic Champion titles, while
all the other members of the team can win a 1 carat diamond if they win
a ProTour race, like a stage in the Tour De France.
Tom Boonen will be the first rider of the team to wear the new helmet
in the next Vuelta Andalucía.
More info: www.lazer.be
SRAM equips Orbea
Component maker SRAM has announced the second team that will use its
new road bike components in 2006: the Spanish Team Orbea Continental squad.
The Orbea squad was founded in 2005 and its first-year successes included
a stage win at the Tour de l'Avenir and the team title.
All of the Orbea squad's riders are under 26 and the youngest is also
the only non-Spaniard on the team, a 19-year-old from Texas called Armstrong.
Brad Armstrong is a 19 year-old state champion from Burleson and "a terrific
talent," according to Orbea's global marketing director, Joseba Arizaga.
He is no relation to the seven-time Tour de France winner.
The team will use SRAM's complete new road group, including shifters,
front and rear derailleur, cranks, bottom bracket, chain, cassette and
brakes. The SRAM components feature SRAM's DoubleTap shifting system,
which uses one inward-moving lever to effect both upward and downward
More info: www.sram.com;
Photo ©: Kona
Photo ©: Kona
Kona reveals Africabike
Bike maker Kona - best known for its tough downhill and freeride mountain
bikes - has been working for the last several months on something very
different. The Africabike is Kona's contribution to the fight against
HIV and AIDS in Africa. It's designed to be a durable, practical bike
for the conditions humanitarian aid workers encounter in Botswana and
Kona is scheduled to ship 200 of the bikes in April.
A far cry from the carbon wonderbikes and long-travel suspension machines
we covet in the west, the Africabike features a steel frame (for ease
of repair); a step through frame (to accommodate female riders who wear
traditional skirts); Shimano coaster brakes (chosen because they are more
durable than pull-brakes); a singlespeed drivetrain (which has fewer parts
to break); and 26-inch mountain bike rims with specially designed Continental
tires that are resistant to the thorns and rocks that litter Botswana's
More info: www.konabiketown.com.