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New Arrivals – February 7, 2007

Edited by James Huang

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Welcome to New Arrivals, a section showcasing the latest equipment that's landed on the Cyclingnews tech desk. Look out for reviews over the next few months when we've clocked up some saddle time with this stuff.

Kuota KOM

Kuota's new KOM
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

Italy-based Kuota Bicycles is now the official bicycle sponsor of the Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada Pro Cycling team, and the company's aptly-named KOM model is likely to be the one the team chooses when the road points uphill given the frame's claimed feathery sub-900g weight.

The KOM is constructed with a monocoque carbon fiber front triangle which is later joined with carbon seat- and chainstays and finished with aluminum rear dropouts. Large diameter tube sections and a heavily reinforced bottom bracket area suggest excellent drivetrain rigidity, while the Kuota Super Drive fork implies precise handling with its tapered carbon steerer that balloons to a full 1 ¼" diameter at the lower crown race.

In spite of its rigid appearance, Kuota also claims that the KOM delivers a good ride quality with varied fiber lay ups for each of the five available sizes that supposedly maintain the same feel across the range. Our medium test bike comes outfitted with a complete SRAM Force group and Fulcrum Racing 1 clinchers, and Kuota taps into its own house brand for the carbon fiber seat post, handlebar, and stem. Total weight as delivered (without pedals) is 7.1kg (15.6lb). /JH

Price: US$3099.99 (frame, fork, headset, and seatpost); US$5799.99 (as built)

BMC Pro Machine SLC01

The Astana team will have their own colour scheme
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
(Click for larger image)

Floyd Landis continues to deny that he was supercharged, but Swiss bike company BMC is quick to say that the Phonak riders did enjoy at least one unfair advantage during last year's Tour de France. BMC contends that the Easton nanotechnology used in their Pro Machine SLC01 frames makes for a better quality form of carbon fiber, and thus a superior racing machine.

Following the demise of Landis' squad, BMC will now find its bikes under Alexandre Vinokourov and the rest of his Astana team for the 2007 ProTour campaign. The Kazakhstani is on a motivational high after winning the Vuelta last year and, with two-time podium-getter Andreas Klöden also in the line-up, it's looking quite possible that those distinctively-shaped bikes could once again be laying down the hammer in France come July.

After capturing the Eurobike Gold Award in 2005 and the Reddot "Best of the Best" design prize in 2006, BMC has left the basic formula for the SLC01 largely unchanged save for a slightly more rigid bottom bracket area (courtesy of some "new materials"), updated graphics, and a few refinements such as increased chain clearance on the driveside seat stay and a more direct path to the internal cable routing. As in previous iterations, the frame features unidirectional carbon fiber monocoque construction, a T-section top tube and the company's distinctive Integrated Skeleton seat cluster shape along with an included Easton EC90SLX full carbon fork, FSA integrated headset, and Easton EC90 carbon seatpost.

Naturally, the Astana team will pilot frames dressed in its own uniquely coordinated look, but for the rest of us who don't manage to secure one of these limited edition releases, the Pro Machine is readily available in two colors. One is the Team Red model akin to that ridden by Landis during 2006, while the other is the descriptively-titled Naked Carbon version of our recently arriving test bike (pictured) which comes outfitted with a Shimano Dura-Ace drivetrain, DT Swiss RD1850 clincher wheels, carbon fiber FSA K-Force MegaExo crankset, and a cockpit courtesy of Easton. /SS

Price: US$3650 (frame, fork, headset, and seatpost)

Schwinn Peloton LTD

The 2007 Schwinn Peloton LTD
Photo ©: Paul Henderson-Kelly
(Click for larger image)

Based around a monocoque carbon fiber frame and fork, Schwinn's Peloton LTD is the American manufacturer's top dog for 2007 and comes dripping with the latest high-end accessories for a complete package weighing in just a whisker over the 6.8kg UCI weight limit.

Among the top-notch toys are a Truvativ Rouleur carbon crankset, Ritchey WCS carbon bars and seatpost plus Mavic's special edition Ksyrium ES wheelset with Dura-Ace 10-speed filling in the gaps. Combine all this with a lime green and blue paint job and you're almost certain to stand out like the proverbial sore thumb in all but the most garish of training bunches.

Only three frame sizes are available (small, medium and large) as Schwinn sticks to its sloping top tube and compact frame geometry which supposedly accommodates a reasonably wide variety of riders, although we'd still prefer to see a greater spread. However, the Peloton LTD's cost - or rather the lack of it - is undoubtedly among the bike's most appealing features as the complete bike will set you back less than four thousand US big ones. Our initial rides suggest that Schwinn might actually have been able to deliver top-notch performance to go along with the stellar price, too, but we'll give you the full story in the weeks to come. /BA

Price: US$ 3999.99

Park Tool BBT-19

The new BBT-19 from Park Tool
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

Park speeds up installation of external-type bottom brackets (such as FSA MegaExo, Truvativ GXP, Race Face X-Type, and Shimano Hollowtech II) with its BBT-19. The new tool attaches directly to a 3/8" ratchet for speedy cup insertion and removal, as well as Park's own FRW-1 freewheel tool or just a 1" wrench. Investment cast steel construction and a 360° wrap promises a slip-free fit. If all goes well, this tool will prove mighty handy in the Cyclingnews workshop when building up test frames. /JH

Price: US$22.99

Park Tool ISC-4

Speaking of building up test frames, Park's new Internal Seat Clamp allows mechanics to mount a frame in a work stand without having to clamp delicate carbon fiber seat posts or, heaven forbid, the frame tubes directly. The ISC-4 may also prove handy when working on frames with oddly-shaped posts as well (as long as the seat tube is round) and will accommodate a generous 24-32mm diameter size range. The hex-shaped shaft should also keep the tool and frame from rotating in the clamp as well. /JH

Price: US$63.99

Park Tool TNS-4

Simply thread on the starnut down here...
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

As you've likely guessed by now, a good variety of Park Tool goodies arrived at Cyclingnews recently for our review, and the last bit of the trio is the company's new TNS-4 Threadless Nut Setter. As opposed to Park's original TNS-1, the more upscale version claims to deliver near-idiotproof installation of both 1" and 1 1/8" starnuts with virtually no risk of pinching fingers or inappropriate language.

The heavy duty steel construction incorporates a built-in guide so that starnuts are inserted both straight and to the correct depth, and the rubber-coated body is easy to grasp, plus the threaded installation stub is also replaceable in the unlikely event that it becomes broken or bent. /JH

Price: US$23.99


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

Images by Shane Stokes/Cyclingnews.com

Images by Paul Henderson-Kelly/Cyclingnews.com

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com