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Photo ©: Sirotti

Tech News – May 12, 2006

Edited by John Stevenson & James Huang

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

Campagnolo's new BB design

By John Stevenson

Campagnolo's Ultra-Torque bottom bracket
(Click for larger image)

When Cyclingnews met with Campagnolo's PR guy Piero Da Rin last year, he dropped a great big hint about what Campagnolo was up to for 2006. There would be "something very new. We are looking at [redeveloping] our oldest part," Da Rin told us, before clamming up with a big smile. We guessed at the time that Campagnolo was planning to replace the square taper bottom bracket design. Not that it was rocket surgery to work that out - every other crank maker has switched over to some sort of two-piece design in the last few years and Campagnolo's adherence to the square taper was starting to look a bit odd.

Campagnolo isn't officially talking about the new design till June 1, but some details have leaked out because bike maker Bianchi is taking part in the Cyclingnews Giro d'Italia Fantasy Game, and is supplying the first prize - a Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Alu Carbon Mirage bike. The prize bike features Campagnolo's ten-speed Mirage group, a new introduction for the 2007 product year, and the new group also features Campagnolo's new crank design, which is dubbed 'Ultra Torque'.

As you can see from the pic (a crop of the pic Bianchi supplied for the fantasy game) the Ultra Torque design uses a hollow bottom bracket axle. Recent bike industry rumours have indicated that the new design would have a half-axle on each crank and this turns out to be the case.

Other interesting features of the Ultra-Torque design include no increase in Q-factor (the distance between the pedals, which has increased in a lot of two-piece designs) and a single bolt in the middle of the axle that holds together the whole assembly.

Perhaps most remarkable is that Campagnolo appears to be planning to introduce the new design right through its range, rather than starting with Record and trickling down.

More info (soon): www.campagnolo.com

Camelbak expands into bottle market

By James Huang

A bottle from Camelbak?
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From the company that brought you the "Unbottle" comes… a bottle! Camelbak's new bottle integrates its Big Bite Valve into a handy flip-top which is then connected to a convenient hose that ensures you can get the last drop of liquid sitting at the bottom. Thankfully, all of the associated little bits are easily detached for dishwasher-safe cleaning. Polycarbonate construction promises good durability for the inevitable impromptu "drop test" and should keep contained liquids from tasting like plastic. In a clever touch, the top also uses industry-standard Nalgene threading which not only means cross-compatibilty with their bottles but also with Nalgene-compatible filters and other accessories. Bottles are currently only available in a 0.75l size but are offered in nine different colors, including the currently requisite pink. Half-liter and full liter sizes will be available in late fall. MSRP is US$10, US$12, and $14 for the 0.5l, 0.75l, and 1l sizes, respectively. Sip away.

More info: www.camelbak.com

Schwinn’s refreshingly simple Madison
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The decidedly non-retro ’07 Schwinn Peloton LTD
(Click for larger image)

Schwinn offers something old, something new

By James Huang

Ok, fine, well maybe they're both technically new, but one of them at least looks old. Schwinn takes a short ride on the retro bandwagon for its new '07 Madison fixed-gear/singlespeed rig. The intentionally simplistic and classically-styled bike features 'old school' butted chromoly frame tubing as well as a brazed chromoly fork with straight blades. High-flange flip-flop Formula hubs are equipped with both an ACS freewheel and a fixed cog for versatility, and a mix of parts from Schwalbe, Selle San Marco, Alex, and Tektro round out the parts mix. MSRP is said to be a very easy-to-swallow US$529.

On the other hand, Schwinn's '07 Peloton LTD road bike is decidedly new-looking with a full carbon frame and monocoque carbon fork. Value was clearly a very high priority with Schwinn's product managers, as the top-of-the-line road offering also includes a very top-of-the-line spec, including a full Dura-Ace 10spd drivetrain, Truvativ's new Noir carbon crankset, Mavic Ksyrium ES wheelset, Ritchey WCS bar, stem, and seatpost, and a Fi'zi:k Arione titanium-railed saddle all for a suggested retail of US$3999.99. Weight for the complete bike (not including pedals) is said to be in the neighborhood of 15lbs (size large).

More info: www.schwinn.com

Teschner introduces track carbon

Teschner Track Pro
(Click for larger image)

Australian frame builder Peter Teschner has a long history of building track frames. Turn up to any track meet Down Under and you'll see plenty of Teschner's work; 2004 Olympic Madison gold medallist Graeme Brown is among the many riders who've been spotted about Teschner frames.

Until recently Teschner had worked mainly in aluminium, but his company's recent merger with carbon fiber specialist Leggera provided access to far eastern manufacturing expertise, and the fruit is the Teschner Track Pro, Teschner's first carbon fiber track frame.

"This bike was designed from the outset to break new ground in track-specific frame technology," said Teschner. "Unfortunately many of the track frames sold internationally double as road TT frames so their geometry is a compromise. Our Track Pro has track-specific geometry and a significant increase in lateral stiffness to handle even the most powerful sprinters. Whilst achieving this we have also managed to achieve class-leading frame weight."

A complete Track Pro, as pictured with FSA Vigorelli track cranks and Australian X-treme carbon track wheels weighs just 6.6kg without pedals, according to Teschner. "With pedals and straps we'll be UCI legal - just," he said.

More info: www.teschnerbikes.com

Maverick offers bearing upgrade kit for Klein Palomino

By James Huang

Maverick finally delivers
(Click for larger image)

UK and Pacific Northwest riders rejoice! Mountains bike frame and suspension fork maker Maverick now offers an upgrade kit that allows Klein Palomino owners to rid themselves of the troublesome bushings of the stock Monolink without requiring any frame modifications. Maverick's new kit includes its most current machined aluminum Monolink with pressed-in cartridge bearing pivots as well as a complete set of hardware to facilitate the swap. The switch to bearing-equipped pivots reduces stiction (thus improving small bump compliance) and extends maintenance intervals, and the new link also moves the bottom bracket closer to the forward pivot to enhance bump-eating capabilities when standing. Suggested retail for the kit is US$225.

More info: www.maverickamerican.com

Tasty new flavours
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New Ultragen flavours from First Endurance

Supplement maker First Endurance is about to introduce two new flavours of its Ultragen recovery drink. On June 1, the popular drink will be available in new orange creamsicle and cappuccino flavours.

The new flavours were taste-tested at last year's Interbike show and First Endurance says those early versions went down well. Sine then, they have been further developed and are now ready for prime time.

You can get a free sample of each of the new flavours with any order placed at First Endurance's website.

More info: www.firstendurance.com