Tech News May 10, 2007
Edited by James Huang
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Cyclingnews tech desk.
Elite brings the Giro d'Italia home with Realaxiom
Elite's virtual reality Realaxiom trainer will play a rather interesting
role in this year's Giro d'Italia. Guests of the Italian television program
"Si gira", broadcast on the Rai Sport channel, will include various celebrities
and athletes who will 'compete' against each other on the Elite Realaxiom
using simulated stages of the real Giro d'Italia. The Realaxiom competitions
will mirror nine of the most interesting stages of the Giro beginning
with the opening team time trial stage on May 12.
Starting in July, Elite will also offer a special edition Giro d'Italia
2007 DVD which will include all of the actual race routes, allowing Realaxiom
owners the ability to 'ride' the actual Giro course at home. Would it
be the same as climbing to Briançon with hordes of screaming fans while
passing over your name painted on the pavement? Well no, of course not,
but it'll still be the closest many cyclists will get to the real thing.
If it helps, feel free to enlist a few of your closest friends this fall
for the cheering section; whether or not you scribe your name on your
carpet is your own prerogative.
The official cars of the Giro d'Italia
Photo ©: FSA
FSA and Skoda partner for official Giro d'Italia bikes and automobiles
Skoda is the official car of the Giro d'Italia, but close collaborator
FSA will supply parts for the bikes mounted on top. The special edition
carbon machines will include a full complement of FSA gear, including
Plasma integrated bar/stems, K-Force cranks, K-Force Light seatposts,
SLK brake calipers, and deep-section wheelsets.
Bikes will be displayed in the Giro d'Italia caravan as well as inside
the Giro hospitality village.
Ellsworth Bicycles and Team Maxxis join forces in the fight against
Any of Ellsworth's ICT full-suspension
Photo ©: Ellsworth Bicycles
Ellsworth Bicycles Vice President Dave Wisenteiner has managed to shine
a positive light on a very personal ordeal. "While Pink marketing projects
seem to be everywhere right now, this one started for me five years ago
as I watched my wife's mom die over what was the worst year of our lives,"
he said. "She had ovarian cancer which is the deadliest of the women's
cancers because it is usually detected so late. This was followed with
her grandmother's death only six months later from the very same thing.
In that same time period I had two very close friends somehow pull out
of stage 3+ breast cancer, mostly thanks to clinical trials."
Later, Wisenteiner learned that another fellow employee was going through
a similar struggle; Ellsworth's Aimee Rocheleau's father had also had
a near miss with cancer. "One does not have to reach far to find out it
is literally everywhere," Wisenteiner said.
Wisenteiner could have wallowed in sorrow over the tragedies, but decided
to do something about it instead. Several months ago, Ellsworth began
offering its entire line of ICT full suspension frames in an optional
pink anodized finish and pledged a US$50 donation to breast and ovarian
cancer research and clinical trials for each one sold. Wisenteiner dubbed
the campaign 'project pink'.
In addition to the symbolic hue, frames are also garnished with a laser-etched
ribbon (the iconic symbol of the global effort against the disease) and
customers will have the option of having the name of an affected loved
one (which, in many cases, may be themselves) permanently etched as well.
Customers will not incur any additional charges for either the pink anodization
or the custom laser etching.
"The two things I wanted to accomplish with this project were to specifically
fund research and clinical trials rather than awareness, and second, I
wanted the contribution to be substantial. So many companies in the US
have jumped on 'cause marketing' and their contribution is almost an afterthought.
We are a small company so our direct impact is small but the ripple effect
is becoming huge." Wisenteiner adds.
Team Maxxis rider April Lawyer
Photo ©: James Huang
Indeed, Ellsworth-sponsored Team Maxxis has also committed to the effort
through a year-long campaign that will benefit the Sarah Fisher Project
in Bend, OR, the Healthlinks Clinic in Boulder, CO, and the Breast Cancer
Fund. Team riders will use a variety of pink-hued equipment, including
Jagwire cable housings, Chris King headsets, and Cateye computers, and
gravity rider April Lawyer will race her pink-anodized Ellsworth bicycles
throughout the season.
Efforts will not just solely be directed towards raising awareness, however.
The team is also committed to raising quite a bit of money: US$60,000,
in fact. Each time a Team Maxxis rider reaches the podium in a NMBS, Nationals,
or World Cup event, that rider and each team sponsor will pledge US$25.
Title sponsor Maxxis International will put in US$150 (and with Geoff
Kabush's current success rate, the pile will likely grow rather quickly).
Team Maxxis will also hold a raffle at each race venue with prizes to
include pink bits from sponsors Cateye and Chris King, an Ellsworth 'project
pink' bike, a guitar and amp from Fender, custom sweaters from NeveDesigns,
and other prizes.
Lawyer will also organize a benefit cycling lifestyle festival in her
hometown of Bend, OR, which will include group rides, children's events,
bicycle safety and maintenance clinics, professional stunt demonstrations,
and even a manufacturer expo area. Lawyer also has hopes of booking a
major artist for an associate benefit concert. If all goes well, the idea
may even be expanded to other venues around the US.
"I could not be happier that we are getting all of this support. This
is a deeply personal thing for me and I am just glad to see it grow wings.
The bikes themselves are beautiful, although we had no idea how hard they
would be to make. It takes about three attempts before we get a perfect
pink specimen. So they are special and rare in more ways than one." Says
Castelli feeds starving high-end women's cycling clothing market
The Free Bib short
Photo ©: Castelli
Castelli introduced its range-topping Rosso Corsa line earlier this year
which included the ultralight Superleggera jersey, aerodynamic Split Second
jersey, and Free Bib short. Now the company turns its attention to the
women's market with its own Rosso Corsa collection to supplement the more
value-oriented Castelli Donna line.
According to Greg Cowan, president of Castelli US, "The garments in our
Rosso Corsa selection are not only the best of our best, we believe they're
the best in existence, and our women's Rosso Corsa garments offer the
same performance and style as the men's versions."
The Fretta jersey is the analogue to the men's Split Second, with a snug
wrinkle- and fold-free aerodynamic fit enhanced by nine panels of dimpled
inserts. According to Castelli, the dimpled sections "induce turbulence
to break air flow away from the body" and can yield up to a full minute's
savings over a 40km course. Further aero details include a flap over the
three rear pockets and flat-lock stitching. Both short-sleeved and sleeveless
versions will be offered.
Castelli's new Fretta jersey
Photo ©: Castelli
The women's Free Bib short removes material from the torso with a dramatically
pared-down front bib section which Castelli claims will allow female riders
to stay cooler and more comfortable. Inner leg seams have been completely
eliminated, and new Giro+ silicon leg grippers are supposedly more breathable.
Castelli's women's-specific Active Cushioning chamois also utilizes technology
borrowed from NASA's space program to reduce temperatures.
The complete Castelli Donna line will include tops, standard and bib
shorts, socks, and accessories. Eight jersey offerings will highlight
three performance fabrics, including Softlex, ProCool, and Stratus. Each
will incorporate different women's-specific design features, which will
include kimono-style sleeves, Lycra trim, mesh inserts, and bold patterns.
Castelli Donna short offerings will include standard and bib configurations,
several different pads, and multiple inseam lengths.
fi'zi:k to offer team replica saddles and new rail material in time
for Giro d'Italia
fi'zi:k will release five limited
Photo ©: fi'zi:k
fi'zi:k will sponsor the most Giro d'Italia teams in the company's history
this year, including four UCI Pro Teams and one Pro Continental Team.
In addition, this year's race will mark the reunion of Gilberto Simoni
(Saunier Duval-Prodir) will the saddle he helped create in 2003.
"I'm happy to be back on fi'zi:k because I participated in the development
of the Arione model and I'm very proud of this," said Simoni. "I'm comfortable
on this saddle in all riding conditions especially when climbing the mountains."
To commemorate the occasion, fi'zi:k 's will offer five different limited
edition team replica Arione and bar tape kits: metal blue with silver
stripe and silver microtex tape (Lampre-Fondital), metal blue with lime
green stripe and metal blue tape (Liquigas), black with white stripe and
black tape (Ag2r Prévoyance), black with yellow stripe and black tape
(Saunier Duval-Prodir), and white with bright red stripe and white tape
(Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo).
All of the team replica saddles will also feature a new K:ium tubular
rail material which the company claims offers a higher strength-to-weight
ratio than its existing titanium rails and similar fatigue resistance
while also reducing weight by 8% and displaying a brighter finish. The
saddles are scheduled to arrive in the US in the late June.
Cyfac to offer bicycles exclusively in 'green'
French bicycle manufacturer Cyfac has borrowed environmentally friendly
paint technology from the German luxury automotive industry that uses
water instead of chemical dilutants to carry the colorants. According
to Cyfac, the new formulation is not only good for our planet, but also
better preserves the health of its painters as they will no longer be
exposed to the noxious fumes of conventional spraying. Moreover, spray
guns and tools used in the process can now be cleaned in recyclable water
instead of more harmful chemical solvents.
"This is a huge investment both in terms of the luxurious frame finishes
that Cyfac produces and the health and well-being of our artisan painters",
said Cyfac Managing Director Aymeric Lebrun.
Cyfac says the new process produces a finer finish with a smoother transition
between different colors. Colorization is also said to be as good, if
not better, than the old system, and Cyfac will still be able to offer
its wide palette of 14,000+ colors in addition to unique tints.
Elite emphasizes strength with new Vaison travel case
As they say on TV
Photo ©: Elite
Elite's new Vaison hard case uses a unique double-walled air-filled construction
that the company says will withstand up to 150kg (330lb) of direct force
without leaving damage to the precious contents. Three layers of interior
foam and one layer of rigid plastic keep items from contacting each other
in transit and four interior straps anchor the frameset inside the case.
Unlike most hard cases currently on the market, Vaison uses standard
suitcase-style hinges on one side for claimed easier loading, and four
hinge key-locks provide a measure of security (or four more items to bust
open for your friends at TSA if you actually decide to lock them). Two
handles and two casters promise easy passage through your crowded airport
The Vaison boasts internal dimensions of 1170x758x297mm (47x30x12") that
Elite says will accommodate "any road and MTB bike with front suspension
or disc brakes." Hmm… the absence of full-suspension bikes from that list
makes us wonder a little, but as always, check the dimensions (of the
Vaison or any other case of interest) against your own bicycle to ensure
a proper fit.
Brodie Bicycles now available to UK market
Live in the UK and want one of
Photo ©: Brodie Bicycles
Canada's Brodie Bicycles will finally be available across the pond for
the 2007 season courtesy of upstart distributor Progressive Bicycles.
Progressive believes the relatively rare bikes are ideally suited to the
harsh conditions of the UK, featuring solid design and reliability in
the most extreme of riding situations.
"It all started when I was looking with envy at the fantastic scenery
and trails that Canada has to offer, when I came across a picture of a
bike I had never seen before," said Simon Wilson, founder of Progressive
Bikes. "When I found out it was a Brodie I wondered why I had not heard
of them before in the UK. A few phone calls and emails later and I decided
it was time Brodie came to the UK..."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
As they say on TV
, 'don't try this at home'… although Elite says that you could if you really wanted to.
The Free Bib short
features a cutaway front section for increased comfort and breathability.
Castelli's new Fretta jersey
utilizes the same snug aerodynamic fit and dimpled panels as on the Split Second jersey from its men's collection.
Any of Ellsworth's ICT full-suspension models
can be ordered in anodized pink with unique laser etching at no extra charge. Ellsworth will donate US$50 for each one sold to aid in breast and ovarian cancer research and clinical trials.