Tech News July 27, 2006
Edited by John Stevenson & James Huang
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Cyclingnews tech desk.
Campagnolo announces new wheels for 2007
Photo ©: Campagnolo
Neutron Ultra hub
Photo ©: Campagnolo
Machines rims, aluminium
spokes and nipples
Photo ©: Campagnolo
A closer look
Photo ©: Campagnolo
Shamal Ultra rear hub
Photo ©: Campagnolo
A lighter freehub body
Photo ©: Campagnolo
Shamal Ultra front hub
Photo ©: Campagnolo
Neutron Ultra front hub
Photo ©: Campagnolo
Hot on the heels of its
announcement a couple of weeks ago of a vast range of new transmission
and braking components, Campagnolo has revealed details of its 2007 wheels.
The new range sees the return of a revered name in a new Shamal wheel.
However, before Campagnolo fans get too excited, the reborn Shamal wheel
is not the deep, low-spoke-count wheel of the late 90s, but an update
of the Eurus wheel with a carbon hub and a very bling gold finish.
Weight weenies with deep pockets will be getting excited about the new
Hyperon Ultra tubular wheels, which are the lightest Campagnolo have ever
made at 525g for a front wheel and 700g rear. Weight has been saved with
lighter sub-components including a new one-piece aluminium freewheel body.
Hyperon Ultras will be available with both Campagnolo and Shimano-compatible
According to sources close to the company, Campagnolo was considering
dropping the mid-price Neutron wheels from its range, but instead relented
and forked the model. The new Neutrons will be 25 percent cheaper (at
least that's what we think Campagnolo means by "more aggressive in price")
than the 2006 model and the same weight (rear 890g, front 660g). The cost
savings come from dropping the machining step from the rim manufacture,
a new one-piece freewheel body and pawl carrier and lighter sub-components.
The Neutron Ultra sits above the old Neutron in the range and boasts
a carbon fiber hub body, light alloy axles, light alloy monolithic freewheel
body, and Record class bearings and QR skewers. Claimed weights are front
630g, rear 840g, and the Neutron Ultra looks set to be cheaper than the
mid-depth Eurus wheels.
Speaking of mid-depth wheels brings us to the new Shamals, or Shamal
Ultras to give them their full name. Finished in fully-bling gold anodizing
for the spokes and rim, these new wheels have carbon fiber hubs, gold
anodized aluminium spokes (21 rear, 16 front), 24mm gold anodized front
rim, 28mm gold anodized rear rim (both with machined braking surfaces).
Did we mention the gold anodizing?
As well as looking a million dollars (in bullion, please) the Shamal
Ultras are Campagnolo's lightest ever aluminium-rimmed wheels at 605g
front and 790g rear for both clincher and tubular. Campagnolo is obviously
anticipating a wide range of use for the Shamal Ultras as it is offered
Campagnolo and Shimano-compatible freewheel bodies, and two Shimano versions,
with steel or aluminium freewheel bodies. Shimano recommends that the
steel body be used with the larger sprockets required for junior racing,
while the aluminium HG body should only be used with a cassette having
an 11-tooth or 12-tooth top sprocket.
For more information see Campagnolo's
Landis on his yellow BMC
Photo ©: Jon Devich
BMC's Floyd special
Floyd Landis put himself into the ranks of cycling's legendary heroes
with his rollercoaster rides in and out of contention in stages 16 and
17 of the Tour de France, and his eventual victory after stage 19's time
trial. Bike manufacturer BMC, which supplies bikes to Landis and his Phonak
team, is celebrating Landis' extraordinary win with a special yellow edition
of the team issue Pro Machine SLC01.
For more information see BMC's
Speedplay offers Giro pink replicas
Speedplay in the pink
Photo ©: Tim De Waele
Initially, the special pink Speedplay pedals were produced for Ivan Basso
and the victorious CSC team to use for the final stage into Milano in
this year's Giro d'Italia.
But the pink Zero Pedals were noticed by the public, and this prompted
numerous calls and emails to Speedplay's San Diego, California, headquarters.
"We made only nine pairs of pink Zero Pedals for Team CSC to celebrate
Ivan Basso's Giro victory," said Speedplay president Sharon Worman. "But
the interest in the pink pedals has been so strong that we will now make
them available for sale." Production quantities will be limited and pricing
has not been finalized, but the pink Zero Pedals are set to arrive in
the US shops this month, and in other territories - such as Australia
- in August.
The Giro win - the first Grand Tour won on Speedplays - continued a great
2006 season for the American pedal specialist. Riders using Speedplay
have won Paris-Nice, Critérium International, Paris-Roubaix, the Amstel
Gold Race, the Tour of California, and the Tour de Georgia.
And with Speedplay user Floyd Landis looking very strong for the Tour
de France, the company may soon have reason to produce another limited
edition run. The pedals are said to offer the lightest weight of any pedal
in the peloton at 82 grams each. Other features include dual-sided entry,
up to 15 degrees of micro-adjustable non-centering float, excellent unbeatable
cornering clearance, as well as a stable platform and slim aerodynamic
profile for the lowest stack height available.
For more information, visit Speedplay's
web site or Speedplay's Australian distributor, Excelpro
Zipp gear bag in time for summer
Zipp's Gear Bag
Photo ©: Zipp
Based on the Zipp Wheel Bag, the company has recently released the Zipp
Gear Bag, designed for carrying all the accessories the modern racing
cyclist usually takes away when traveling or racing.
Inside the bag are three pouches with zippers for small to medium size
objects, and an additional zippered pouch in the lid, along with a slide-in
pocket for ID and other small items.
On each side is a large pouch with zippered access to hold a pair of
shoes, while at the bottom is a large space to fill with wet/used clothing.
On the top is a helmet pouch, and there's more space to carry up to 4
It can be carried by shoulder strap or handles, with an extra strap
set to carry a track pump. The bag also comes with a Zipp drying towel.
The bag (with included towel) is priced at US$125.
For more info see: Zipp's
ITM's custom Polar mount
Photo ©: ITM
How it works
Photo ©: ITM
ITM offers integrated support for Polar HRMs
The advent of wider-diameter handlebars and stems - while ironically
being lighter than their predecessors - can pose problems when trying
to fit cycle computers and heart-rate monitor displays. The chunky, sculpted
'bars can easily become littered with elasticized straps or velcro as
riders try to keep using their favourite devices.
But for users of Italmanubri (ITM) stems - specifically the Visia and
Millennium 4Ever - there is now a special bracket designed to take the
Polar CS 100 and CS 200 heart-rate monitor and computer.
The Supporter Bike Mount is firmly held in the gap between the front
of the stem and the handlebar clamp, tightened by the two top bolts of
the stem. It provides a neat platform for the computer - without the rubber
bands or zip-ties of Polar's own mount - and is moulded to fit the shape
of the stem.
For more information, visit
ITM's web site
Trek hires suspension designer Jose Gonzalez
Trek Bicycles has announced its hiring of Jose Gonzalez, formerly director
of research & development at suspension fork and shock maker Manitou.
Trek has worked with Gonzalez in the development of its Session 7 and
10 freeride bikes. His joining the company full-time reflects Trek's renewed
commitment to the mountain bike area, which Trek itself admits it has
neglected in recent years. At Trek's recent launch of its 2007 MTB range,
Trek CEO John Burke said, "One area of business where we haven't grown
is the mountain bike business, especially when you take a look at full-suspension
and serious mountain bikes. It hasn't been a big part of what we were
An extensive fine-tuning of its mountain bike offerings for 2007 indicates
that Trek is determined to be about serious mountain bikes once more,
and Gonzalez' is optimistic that he will be a part of that effort. "I'm
confident that we can do in the world of mountain bikes what Trek has
done with road bikes - be the dominant force," said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez will be based in a new off-site Trek office in Southern California
which should offer better opportunities for research and development that
Trek's main HQ in Wisconsin - not exactly the hilliest place in the world.
At Manitou, Gonzalez was responsible for the Manitou Twin Piston Chamber
fork design in the late 90's, a design that significantly improved fork
performance and was soon copied by other suspension makers.
Van Dessel Jersey Devil FS
Photo ©: Van Dessel
Van Dessel introduces suspension 29er
We have to admit that the reaction of the Cyclingnews tech desk to most
dual suspension 29er mountain bikes so far has been "Yuk". It's not that
we have a problem with the idea of big wheels and suspension - far from
it - it's just that many attempts to combine the two have resulted in
bikes that look like a collision between a monster truck and a tower crane.
Van Dessel's new Jersey Devil FS 29er boasts a true four-bar suspension
arrangement, with asymmetric chainstays that provides four inches of suspension
travel from a Fox RP3 or Fox Float R shock. And, for what little our aesthetic
opinion is worth, it manages to look like a mountain bike and not like
an industrial-art installation.
Prices range from US$999 for a bare frame and headset, to US$4299 for
the 'Pro race build' complete bike.
For more information see www.vandesselsports.com
Co-Motion's 24lb tandem
Photo ©: Co-Motion
Co-Motion goes light
Tandem maker Co-Motion has unveiled its latest creation - a racing tandem
that weighs a staggering 24lb.
Tandems typically weigh over 30lb - even for light twofers like high-end
Cannondales, Santanas and other C-Motion models. To get the weight of
this as-yet-unnamed rig down, Co-Motion starts with an aluminium frame,
with a frame design based on compact road geometry that does away with
the traditional lateral tube. The tubing comes from Columbus and Easton
while True Temper/Alpha Q supplies the fork.
Accordin toCo-Motion's Clay Lundgren, "One of the biggest weight saving
came from using a 28.6mm seat post which allowed the use of a regular
FSA stem, rather than the typically very heavy stoker stems. We also saved
significant weight by going to 130mm rear spacing instead of the traditional
145 tandem drop out spacing. This allows for conventional road wheels
to be used."
The spec and use of solo bike components indicates that this is a bike
for going fast, and Lundgren confirms that impression. "This is designed
as an all out, go fast tandem," he says. "It doesn't have the low gears
for touring and isn't meant to do that. For a couple that is used to going
out and riding hard for a couple hours or so, this bike will be just as
exciting as their single bikes, but allow them to ride together."
For more information see Co-Motion's
Fox Racing Shox revises '07 fork specs, opens servicing
Fox Racing Shox's new sealed damper cartridge architecture, dubbed Fox
Isolated Technology, or "FIT", was introduced in last year's single-crown
36 and dual-crown 40 forks. Claimed benefits of the new configuration
included lighter weight (due to reduced oil volume) and more consistent
damper performance. For '07, the company's Terralogic-equipped forks were
to incorporate new X FIT cartridges but production capacity could not
meet market demands, according to a recent announcement from Fox.
Therefore, the 2007 F80X, F100X, Float X, and TALAS X forks will retain
last year's open bath damper design. As a result, the Float X and TALAS
X will also remain at last year's 130mm travel setting, down from the
planned 140mm of travel for '07. The new TALAS X will still retain the
new three-position travel adjuster as planned and all external chassis
upgrades will remain as planned throughout the product line.
Good news on FIT from Fox though, is that Fox is loosening up on its
previous insistence that cartridges be sent back to the factory for service
in spite of the fact that no special tools are allegedly required to do
the work (just instruction). As such, a number of qualified shops and
at-home do-it-yourselfers, many of whom may just want to change the oil
viscosity, have been rather frustrated.
Wrenches can finally rejoice, however, as Fox has decided to release
full service information for the new dampers with a projected availability
date sometime late this summer.
The global shortage of carbon fiber claimed its first bike industry victim
at the end of last month when US boutique parts maker M2Racer closed its
According to a statement on the company's website, "In the past few weeks,
M2RACER's supply of high modulus prepreg carbon fiber has been shut off
due to the heavy worldwide military and aerospace use. Carbon fiber is
used in nearly 50% of the M2RACER product lineup. In addition, the price
of titanium and exotic aluminum alloys that we use has nearly tripled
in the past 18 months. Due to the unavailability of carbon fiber and excessive
material cost increases, M2RACER can no longer be able to provide our
valued customers with lightweight, high performance, and well priced cycling
"M2RACER has closed its doors permanently as of June 30, 2006."
Unfortunately, cost increases and difficulties in obtaining raw materials
likely are hitting other higher-end and boutique operations. Unless this
trend reverses itself (or at least levels off), M2Racer may be among the
first victims but will almost certainly not be the last.
Bikes 4 Kids fundraiser to be held September 30, 2006
The holidays will come early for one thousand underprivileged Utah children
from the Boys & Girls Club of Murray, Guadalupe School, and Rose Elementary.
Bikes 4 Kids Utah recently announced that it would be providing new bicycles,
helmets, locks, and t-shirts to the children during its first bike ride
fundraiser to be held September 30, 2006.
The inaugural bike ride fundraiser will include three rides of varying
distance, including a limited participant 50k event with Utah local Dave
Zabriskie of Team CSC which will require a $1000 donation per entry. Funds
will also be raised via other means, including both corporate and individual
sponsorships as well as a charity dinner and silent auction to be held
on September 29.
Debbie Reid, founder and director of Bikes 4 Kids Utah, is "very excited
to provide a positive education and cycling experience for disadvantaged
children. We want to provide kids with an inexpensive and fun way to get
to school, a hobby that helps them get some exercise and a way for them
to learn responsibility and safety."
Interested participants can register on the Bikes 4 Kids Utah web site