Tech News May 12, 2006
Edited by John Stevenson & James Huang
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Cyclingnews tech desk.
Campagnolo's new BB design
By John Stevenson
Campagnolo's Ultra-Torque bottom
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?
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
The decidedly non-retro ’07
Schwinn Peloton LTD
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
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
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,"
More info: www.teschnerbikes.com
Maverick offers bearing upgrade kit for Klein Palomino
By James Huang
Maverick finally delivers
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
More info: www.maverickamerican.com
Tasty new flavours
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