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Giro finale
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New Arrivals – February 21, 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.

Tom Boonen will be piloting the Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL
Photo ©: Ben Atkins
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Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL

Specialized is now the frame supplier for two ProTour teams, and the S-Works Roubaix SL is what Quick-Step Innergetic's Belgian superstar, Tom Boonen, will be riding at the cobbled classics.

We first spotted this frame in prototype form at last year's Paris-Roubaix and have already garnered a few brief test rides during the bike's launches in both June and July. Now, however, we have a chance to give the bike a thorough test to see if our first impressions were right.

Borrowing a lot of its styling from its sister frame, the S-Works Tarmac SL, the Roubaix SL features a curvier tubeset than the other frames in the Roubaix stable. However, the geometry of the Roubaix is consistent across the range with a longer wheelbase, less nervous handling, and slightly more upright geometry than most traditional racing machines.

Our test bike wears a nearly complete Shimano Dura-Ace group - the deviation being the Specialized S-Works FACT compact carbon fiber crankset. The wheels are Mavic's beautiful Ksyrium ES clinchers, while virtually everything else - from the Pavé Advanced Composite seatpost to the Bar Phat handlebar tape - is made by Specialized.

Not only will this bike be ridden in the usual way, but - grateful for the excuse to hammer the pavé - we will be visiting both the bergs of Flanders and the cobbles of Roubaix to really see if the Roubaix SL can perform in its intended arena.

Price: US$6500

The Ágilis is Rotor's first complete crankset offering
Photo ©: James Huang
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Rotor Ágilis crankset

The elliptical Rotor Q-Rings have gained a solid following in the aftermarket, but unfortunately have been unavailable for purchase as original equipment on a complete crankset…. that is, until now with the introduction of Rotor's Ágilis. Unlike the decidedly unusual RSX4, the Ágilis is a conventional crankset with fixed hollow-drilled and CNC-machined aluminum crankarms. Rotor utilizes a "semi-integrated" design with a pseudo-permanently fixed aluminum spindle attached to the non-drive side with a unique double-threaded bolt that can accommodate variations in bottom bracket shell width.

In keeping with the current trend, the Ágilis includes an external-bearing bottom bracket, but Rotor's unique Self Aligning Bottom Bracket (SABB) houses the bearings in spherical supports that automatically keep the bearings parallel to each other for smoother running (anyone out there remember Campagnolo's Selform headsets? Different method, but same idea). The SABB is available with standard stainless steel cartridge bearings or hybrid ceramic bearings from either Enduro or CeramicSpeed. In addition, it will work with most other external-bearing cranksets for those seeking an upgrade.

Three chainring spiders will be available, including road 130mm and 135mm 5-arm as well as mountain 104/64mm 4-arm variants, and cranksets will be available with or without Q-Rings. Our 172.5mm compact test sample weighs 782g, complete with 36/50T Q-Rings, stainless bearing-equipped SABB, and all associated hardware.

Price: US$329 (road or MTB, w/o chainrings, w/o BB); US$519 (road double w/ Q-Rings); US$529 (MTB w/ Q-Rings); US$115 (SABB w/Enduro stainless cartridge bearings); US$195 (SABB w/Enduro hybrid ceramic bearings); US$305 (w/CeramicSpeed hybrid ceramic bearings)

Deda's Zero100 Servizio Corse stem
Photo ©: James Huang
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Deda Elementi Zero100 Servizio Corse stem

Aluminum stems continue to trump carbon fiber in terms of weight, and Deda's new Zero100 Servizio Corse stem provides more evidence on the case. Our 110mm long test sample weighs just 126g (only 142g for a 120mm version), yet boasts 3D forged aluminum construction for more precisely aligned grain orientation than CNC machining. A full complement of 6/4 titanium hardware secures the oversized four-bolt faceplate and steerer clamp and contributes further to the gram shaving. The Zero100 is only available in a single 82° angle, but a wide range of extensions from 80-140mm in 10mm increments as well as two finishes, including Deda's new 'dark metal polish'.

Price: US$150

The upper section of the Electa bar
Photo ©: James Huang
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Deda Elementi Electa handlebar

Unlike with stems, however, carbon fiber continues to rule the roost in the high-end handlebar department. The new Deda Electa takes advantage of the material's enormous design flexibility with a heavily sculpted upper section that suggests long-haul comfort along with a relatively deep 140mm ergonomic drop. Brake and shifter (depending on setup) lines are internally routed, but in a thoughtfully clever and well-done fashion that should satisfy riders and mechanics alike.

The Electa is offered in three widths (42/44/46cm outside-to-outside) as well as two graphic options: a fairly standard white lettered version in addition to a bolder 'red flame' versions. Weight on our 44cm test sample is a competitive 230g.

Price: US$375

Deda's Supernatural
Photo ©: James Huang
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Deda Elementi Supernatural handlebar

Deda Elementi designed its aluminum Supernatural handlebar to fit specifically with Shimano's newest generation of STI levers in order to provide a smoother transition from the tops to the hoods and an easier reach from the drops. Triple-butted 7075-T6 aluminum construction yields a reasonable 254g weight for our 44cm (outside-to-outside) test sample. The oversize diameter Supernatural is offered in an impressive five widths (40/42/43/44/46cm, o-o), all of which feature an 80mm reach and 132mm of drop.

Price: US$115

The venerable Newton carries on for 2007
Photo ©: James Huang
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Deda Elementi Newton handlebar

Ok, so Deda's Newton handlebar is far from 'new' as it's been on the market for several years now, but Deda has freshened up the look of its premier aluminum offering with two new looks, including a particularly sharp 'dark metal polish' finish. Conveniently, both also match perfectly with the company's new Zero100 Servizio Corse stem.

As with Newton handlebars of yesterday, the Newton is constructed from triple-butted 7075-T6 aluminum. Deda offers the current Newton in three distinct bends (anatomic, traditional shallow, and traditional deep) and four widths (42/43/44/46cm outside-to-outside), but now just exclusively in the oversized 31.7mm clamp diameter. Our 44cm test samples weigh a reassuring 258g each.

Price: US$115

Deda's Tape
Photo ©: James Huang
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Deda Elementi Tape handlebar tape

While Deda may not have graced its handlebar tape with the most imaginative name, it does offer it in what is possibly the widest array of colors in the industry. A full twenty hues and textures are available, including faux black and silver carbon, clear, and a retina-burning chrome (be sure to bring your good set of legs if you show up on a group ride with that stuff… same rule applies for white shorts). Save for the clear and chrome flavors, all of the Deda Tape varieties seem well-padded and include embossed 'Deda' logos. Finishing tape and 'cheater strips' are included, along with bar end plugs.

Price: US$12 (colors); US$25 (chrome)

The DedaTre Grinta training tire
Photo ©: James Huang
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DedaTre Grinta clincher tires

Those of you still caught in the cold snowy embraces of winter (myself included) may only be able to dream longingly of outdoor riding. Once things begin to thaw out, though, Deda Elementi's tire division, DedaTre, claims to hold an ideal clincher tire in its quiver when it comes time to pile on the base miles. The Grinta sports a long-wearing high durometer rubber compound with two types of grooves: a wider one for dust and residual road grime, and narrower ones for siping away water. In spite of its 'training tire' classification, the Grinta is still reasonable in the weight department: our 700x23c test tires average 234g a piece, varying just +/- 9g across two pair, and we'll report shortly on how these hold up.

Price: US$20


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Paul Henderson-Kelly

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com