Tech News August 3, 2007
Edited by James Huang
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Cyclingnews tech desk.
BMC terminates sponsorship contract with Astana
BMC has terminated its contract
Photo ©: Cyclingnews.com
Citing "the latest case of doping that occurred in the Astana team
during the Tour de France", Swiss bicycle maker BMC has recently
announced the premature termination of its sponsorship contract with the
Swiss/Kazakh team. BMC stated that this development will not affect its
other sponsorship agreements in mountain biking and triathlon, but was
distinctly vague in regards to its future in professional road cycling.
The announcement perhaps does not come as much of a surprise as this
marks the second disappointing major sponsorship arrangement for BMC,
who first burst on to the scene with Tyler Hamilton and his Phonak squad.
Please stay tuned for additional information.
Denk Engineering GmbH and Scott USA to cease relationship
Denk Engineering GmbH and Scott USA have announced the end of their working
relationship effective the end of October 2007. The German engineering
firm was responsible for many of Scott's frame and suspension hallmarks
over the past twelve years, including the Spark cross country bike, the
Genius trail bike frames, the full-carbon Ransom all-mountain platform,
and their associated proprietary shocks. Road innovations include the
revolutionary CR1, Addict, and Plasma framesets as well as their CR1 tube-to-tube
and IMP carbon construction processes.
Denk Engineering has stated that it still has three collaborative projects
pending, each of which are to be completed by the end of October and presented
through the 2008 trade shows.
Chris Cocalis returns to the bicycle industry with BH Bicycles USA
The new Connect model
Photo ©: James Huang
Chris Cocalis, founder and former president of Titus Cycles, has reemerged
in the bicycle industry as a 50% owner of BH USA (the other half is owned
by BH Bikes in Spain). BH is a relatively unknown brand in the US, but
like rival compatriot Orbea, is extremely popular throughout Europe and
hopes to enjoy similar successes abroad.
Cocalis will not only be responsible for bringing the Spanish bikes into
the US and arranging distribution, but will also play key roles in development
and product management, including specifying frame geometries and component
specifications in order to optimize them for their intended market.
Cocalis and BH USA will bring just three road models into the US for
now: the value-oriented Speedrom, the mid-level Connect, and the still-unseen
top-of-the-line G4. All are full-carbon frames with carbon forks.
The Connect will likely be BH USA's most popular model with a claimed
890g frame weight using a mix of monocoque and tube-to-tube construction,
similar to what is used in much of the industry these days. Especially
short 400mm chain stays and large-diameter main tubes suggest a rigid
and efficient chassis, but moderately relaxed head- and seat tube angles
should keep it off of the 'crits-only' list.
BH continues the use of 12k carbon
Photo ©: James Huang
"The Connect is basically the racer bike without an extended seat
tube," said Cocalis. "It's an 890g frame [for a small size]
with a mix of monocoque and tube-to-tube technology: big tubes in the
front, very short chainstays, little bit more relaxed head angle. The
bike climbs incredibly and is very lightweight. And with the slightly
relaxed head angle it also descends incredibly. Even though the tubes
are big, it just doesn't have that board-like feel. It's actually a very
comfortable bike. It's a great all-around race bike: it can sprint, it
can climb, it can descend."
The Connect will be offered with either Shimano Dura-Ace, Ultegra SL,
or SRAM Force build kits, finished with a mix of FSA components and DT
Swiss, Mavic, or Easton wheelsets. Suggested retail prices will range
The Speedrom should be a bit more subdued with slightly longer stays
and more "middle of the road" geometry, according to Cocalis,
although it oddly incorporates steeper angles than the Connect (we don't
have any information on the fork rakes but would imagine there are some
differences there as well). In spite of its value-oriented aim, the full-monocoque
frame is claimed to still be under 1000g.
The Speedrom is BH's value leader.
Photo ©: James Huang
The Speedrom will be available with either Ultegra SL or SRAM Rival builds,
both with FSA finishing kit and Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels. Prices will
range from US$2799-3199.
The new G4 will be the new top-line offering from BH USA and will incorporate
carbon nanotube-reinforced composite technology as well as an integrated
seatpost. The G4 will also mark BH's return to the ProTour ranks next
season with a newly inked sponsorship agreement with Christophe Moreau
and his French Ag2r team. Pricing and available build kits were not yet
Naturally, Cocalis will not be limiting himself just to the road and
plans to introduce a new line of mountain bike at the upcoming Interbike
show. While we can't say much of anything about it for the time being
(nor were we allowed to shoot images), we can say that it's an extremely
promising new design that incorporates several innovative features and
bears little resemblance to the four-bar linkages of his former guise.
Stay tuned for more info.
New SRM sensor offers easier mounting
SRM's new sensor mount
Photo ©: James Huang
The SRM power meter has been among the most popular (and apparently among
the most accurate) units on the market, but its zip-tie-based sensor mount
had proved to be rather frustrating. Most modern carbon frames these days
simply don't offer the convenient tube geometries around the bottom bracket
area to facilitate proper installation.
SRM has finally introduced a mounting kit that should greatly ease mechanics'
woes and improve the stability of the system. The new sensor is located
on the end of a short plate that is sandwiched between the bottom bracket
derailleur cable guide and the frame. This setup is based on a virtually-universal
mounting location (at least for road bikes), will work on both compact
and standard drivetrains, and even allows for easy fine-tuning of sensor
positioning to produce the best signal.
According to Daniel Gillespie of SRM, "There are so many oversized
frames, and carbon fiber, and we started out with an adapter which was
actually developed by Competitive Cyclist, one of our dealers in the US.
We recommended those and have been working on our own design for about
a year, something that would allow us to work on more bikes, especially
for the teams. Now you just unscrew the derailleur guide, put it on: boom,
it's a lot faster."
The new wiring harness is fully reverse-compatible and SRM has already
begun including it with all new shipments.
Genuine Innovations announces safety recall
Genuine Innovations has announced a recall of its Second Wind MTB and
Wrench Force Two Shot inflators as the units may shatter under high pressure.
Affected consumers are advised to immediately cease using the listed products
and contact Genuine Innovations for a free repair kit and installation
More information is available on the Genuine
Innovations web site.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here