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Tech News – April 11, 2007

Edited by James Huang

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Full Speed Ahead promotes cycling with its own 'Ride with the Champions'

Ivan Basso and Andrea Peron sign autographs
Photo ©: Full Speed Ahead
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FSA held its first ever 'Ride with the Champions' event on March 31, 2007 at its European headquarters in Milan, Italy. Over 400 young cyclists departed on a mild 8km course joined by cycling heroes past and present (and not just ones sponsored by FSA). These included Andrea Peron, Felice Gimondi, Roman Kreuziger, Ivan Basso, Mario Scirea, and Italian National Team coach Franco Ballerini.

The ride concluded at the popular Il Globo shopping center where Scirea, Peron, and Basso made themselves available for interviews and autographs. "The event's purpose was to encourage cycling among families and kids, so it was arranged together with FCI (the Italian Cycling Federation) to help them promote the sport," said Ric Hjertberg of FSA. "The event was also coordinated with a local cycling association with very active programs for young riders."

The event was intentionally geared towards the general audience, and support was also provided by car manufacturer Skoda, who also sponsors both FSA and FCI. News and radio representatives were also on hand to broadcast the event, and according to Hjertberg, "It's a good strategy and was a big success, and FSA hopes to host the event again."

Look for this jersey at an event in the near
Photo ©: Gary Fisher Bicycles
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Gary Fisher Bicycles debuts '29er Crew'

After leading the mass-market 29er charge six years ago, Gary Fisher Bicycles recently announced that it will now be sponsoring a group of racers that will compete exclusively on Gary Fisher 29er bicycles in a variety of disciplines, including cross country, singlespeed, and endurance.

Named to the inaugural '29er Crew' are brothers Jesse and Mark LaLonde, Tim Faia, Dan Cain, Travis Saeler, and TJ Platt. In addition to riding Gary Fisher bicycles, the group will also enjoy full support from the Trek family's Bontrager component division, which will supply its tubeless Race X Lite wheels and matching tires among other bits and pieces.

Sportful launches new MTB baggy shorts and women's-specific clothing line

Sportful's new Convertible Short
Photo ©:
(Click for larger image)

Sportful claims its new Convertible Short utilizes a uniquely lightweight and durable material in response to requests from the mountain biking community. Ventilation and mobility were key goals and are addressed through a set of vents near the removable chamois and stretch panels on the sides and leg openings which allow for increased freedom of movement. The Convertible Short also boasts reflective detailing, 'quick-pull' straps to reduce bellowing, and front and rear pockets for stowage. Naturally, Italian styling is built right in.

A second version of the Convertible Short will also be included in Sportful's new Winki Pop women's-specific line, which the company says is designed for women who want to be "feminine on the bike as well as off." In addition to the requisite wide range of colors, Sportful promises the new line to be highly technical as well with supple-feeling Meryl microfiber materials that will be unique within the company's range, mesh inserts to enhance breathability, reflective piping, and special anatomic cuts.

Fuji Bicycles receives accolades from Taipei International Cycle Show

Fuji's SL-1 received an award
Photo ©: Fuji Bicycles
(Click for larger image)

Fuji's SL-1 carbon fiber road bike was named in the Complete Bike Category of the Innobike Design Competition held by the Taiwan Bicycle Export Association (TBEA) on March 3, 2007. Entrants were judged based on a number of criteria, including aesthetics, innovation, precision engineering, and overall performance, and the awards were presented during the Taipei International Cycle Show held late last month.

Several specific features on the SL-1 were noted by the panel, including the unique honeycomb internal structure used in the top tube, the method by which it flows into the seat stays, the 'Energy Transfer Chainstay' design, and even the bike's minimal use of decals and paint which not only decreases weight but also lessens the environmental impact associated with their manufacturing processes.

Ergon Components lands on U.S. soil

Ergon's unique line of grips
Photo ©: Paul McKenzie
(Click for larger image)

After watching U.S. sales of its innovative ergonomic grips double in 2006, Germany-based Ergon Components has now established a dedicated new facility in Los Angeles, CA to handle American operations. Staff will include Jeffrey Neal as Vice President of Ergon USA, Graphic Designer Peter Swap, Racing Specialist Jeff Kerkove, and the PR and Marketing resources of Steve Boehmke.

According to Franc Arnold, President of Ergon Components, "The racing segment is really embracing our products, and we are poised for serious growth in this market. Jeffrey Neal has unrivaled experience working with high-quality product, the best retailers, reps and distributors, and knows what it will take to maximize this growth."

Ergon also plans to branch out its ergonomic product line beyond just grips and into other 'touch points'. New products will include a complete saddle line, a backpack utilizing a novel ball-joint articulation system, gloves, and a carbon fiber suspension seatpost.

Everti Titanium Bicycles launches Odyssey

Everti Titanium Bicycles' new Odyssey
Photo ©: Everti Titanium Bicycles
(Click for larger image)

According to Kurt Knock of Canada-based Everti Titanium Bicycles, "Here in British Columbia we get a fair bit of winter." As a result, the company has introduced a new road model, dubbed Odyssey, to help address the region's unique demands on cycling equipment. The Odyssey is somewhat of a 'jack of all trades' rig, with disc brake tabs to provide more stopping power, fairly relaxed angles, and enough clearance to mount both 700x40c tires and fenders.

Everti builds the Odyssey with cold-worked, stress-relieved, double-butted, and seamless 3/2.5 shaped titanium tubing arranged in a fairly standard double-diamond configuration. A moderately sloping top tube provides extra clearance without overly affecting portaging capabilities when racing 'cross, and the curved seat stays are claimed to add extra vertical compliance to the rear end. Retail pricing on bare frames start at US$1474; complete bikes are available starting at US$3000.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Full Speed Ahead

Images by Gary Fisher Bicycles

Images by

Images by Fuji Bicycles

Images by Paul McKenzie/Clif Bar & Company

  • Ergon's unique line of grips is rapidly gaining popularity in the U.S., and the company recently announced the creation of a CA-based facility dedicated to serving the American market.

Images by Everti Titanium Bicycles