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Photo ©: Swift

Tech News – March 12, 2008

Edited by James Huang

Got tech? Send press releases, news, and tech questions to the Cyclingnews tech desk.

Trek founder passes away at age of 73

Trek Bicycle Corporation founder Richard 'Dick' Burke passed away Monday evening in a Milwaukee, Wisconsin hospital at the age of 73. Burke had apparently been suffering from a heart ailment and died as a result of complications after a recent heart surgery.

Trek is currently run by Burke's son, John. Cyclingnews would like to extend its condolences to Burke's family and friends as well as the rest of the Trek Bicycle Corporation.

Barloworld sets out on new Bianchi time trial bikes

Team Barloworld riders
Photo ©: Bianchi
(Click for larger image)

In addition to its fleet of new Bianchi road machines, Barloworld riders now have proper time trial rigs from the heralded Italian company as well. According to Bianchi product development manager Lars Svalin, the all-new D2 was conceived with a balance of rigidity, weight and aerodynamics in mind.

As such, the head tube, down tube and chain stays are dramatically oversized while the T-shaped top tube and spindly seat stays are pared down for weight savings. The chain stays also bear unique pass-through ports that supposedly further improve rigidity by adding surface area.

Up front, the bladed fork is equipped with a long trailing crown to help ease airflow transition to the down tube and the deep-profile seat tube includes a close-fitting cutout for the rear wheel. Bianchi specifies the D2 with a 76 degree seat tube angle but an adjustable head for the integrated design will allow for substantial fore-aft movement to accommodate both time trial and triathlon applications.

Claimed frame weight is 1350g; the matching fork is said to be 450g.

Rock Shox set to debut revamped Reba; Avid expands color palette

The next-generation Rock Shox Reba
Photo ©: SRAM
(Click for larger image)

The Sea Otter Classic is rapidly approaching and with it will come a fresh crop of new gear. SRAM is already offering up a teaser of what's to come which will apparently include a thoroughly revamped Rock Shox Reba chassis. Among the new features is a new Maxle Lite 20mm thru-axle system which will boast the same easy-to-operate functionality as the original but 50g lighter courtesy of a slimmed-down aluminum axle, alloy hardware and a pared-down lever. We'd imagine that Maxle Lite will be an option on the new fork in addition to standard 9mm quick release dropouts. SRAM MTB media/PR manager Eric Schutt was cagey on additional details but did mention that we should expect to see some decidedly SID-like features on this newest Reba. More significantly, though, Rock Shox currently has no plans to adopt the 15mm thru-axle standard recently introduced by Fox and Shimano.

Avid will also expand its color palette a bit for the Juicy Ultimate (and perhaps other models?) to better coordinate with its presumed SID pairing. New colors will include the previously team-only white as well as SID blue.

Karbona expands operations ahead of 2008 Taipei trade show

Karbona enters the carbon road
Photo ©: Karbona Parts, Inc.
(Click for larger image)

Taiwanese carbon components manufacturer Kabrbona has expanded its range and reach for 2008 ahead of the Taipei Cycle Show. In addition to its existing track frames and broad component range that includes bars, stems, seatposts, saddles, cassettes and other items, Karbona now adds a range of mountain bike, road and time trial frames and forks to its product line. Karbona expects distribution throughout Europe initially and full bikes expect to run US$3500 to US$4000.

Karbona is also adapting some carbon-and-aluminum component technology to frame tubes. By wrapping a light and thin aluminum tube with carbon layers, Karbona says the new tubing combines the benefits of both materials. The handmade system supposedly yields high tensile strengths and Karbona reports that it has already produced frames using the method.

Everti debuts new titanium 29er

Canadian titanium builder Everti
Photo ©: Everti Titanium Bicycles
(Click for larger image)

After a full year of design work, British Columbia titanium specialist Everti has added its first 29"-wheeled mountain bike to its stable. The aptly named '29R' features a double butted top tube and seat tube for reduced weight and a livelier ride while the rest of the frame utilizes straight-gauge stock. The down tube is bi-ovalized for strength and rigidity.

In contrast to what many 29er builders are doing these days, Everti actually chooses to go with a slightly longer head tube to better distribute the stress of the longer fork. A small gusset adds further reinforcement. A decision to use full-length housing shields the derailleur cables from contaminants common to Everti's locale.

Claimed frame weight is 1500g and Everti will offer its new 29R in medium, large and extra-large sizes to suit riders from approximately 1.7m (5' 8") to 1.9m (6' 4") tall. Other sizes will carry an additional US$200 custom fitting fee. Suggested retail price for the frame only is US$1595 and Everti will also offer complete builds.

Baum introduce Corretto model

The Corretto is named after a coffee recipe.
Photo ©: Baum
(Click for larger image)

Australian-based custom bike company Baum has introduced a new model to its range of titanium frames, the Corretto. The bike was unveiled at Melbourne's Motor Show, where it has spent the past two weeks on display at the Volvo Cars Australia stand.

"Volvo have supported cycling over a long period, and have worked with us over the last four years," said company owner Darren Baum. "Launching the bike at the Motor Show seemed like the natural thing to do, and a good way to say thank you to Volvo for their support."

The Corretto is one of the few titanium frames to feature individually butted tubes throughout the frame. This includes the chain stays and seat stays, and even the head tube and bottom bracket shell are CNC machined to be thinner in the low stress areas, and thicker in the welded areas.

"It really came about because customers who already had one of our Ristretto titanium frames were looking for that bit extra in terms of ride quality and weight reduction," explained Baum. "As soon as the first frames were delivered, we were amazed at the feedback we got in terms of ride quality and overall performance. From that point onwards we've been pushing to make the Corretto part of our regular model range."

Baum has continued its unique quirk of naming each model in its range after a coffee recipe, with the Corretto being a short black coffee with added grappa.

"If you've ever drunk grappa, you'll remember it for a while afterwards," explained Baum. "We wanted to make a frame that would be just as memorable, but was a little easier on the legs, and on the head."

The Corretto frame and fork is priced at $6,995 AUD, including a Tune Bobo headset. While each Baum is built to customer's individual requirements, the complete 6.1 kg, SRAM Red-equipped model on display at the Melbourne Motor Show was priced at $14,400 AUD.

3T to debut new seatpost head design at Taipei show

3T will debut a new seatpost design
Photo ©: 3T
(Click for larger image)

3T continues its return from the dead with a novel new seatpost design dubbed Palladio. According to 3T, the Palladio's new DiffLock head offers true rock-solid security while still delivering half-degree tilt increments. DiffLock will also offer truly independent fore-aft and tilt settings.

The heart of the DiffLock head consists of two pairs of concentric and interlocking toothed rings that are concurrently engaged within the toothed inner surface of the top of the seatpost. It sounds more difficult than it looks (at least on paper) and the design looks to be rock-solid as promised. However, actually making those tilt adjustments requires one to at least partially disassemble the head.

We'll work on getting a test sample in the near future but we're intrigued for now. For those riders who have had issues with loosening posts in the past, this may very well prove to be the solution but we'll let you know for sure in due course.

Sportful unveils new Total Comfort shorts

Sportful aims for comfort
Photo ©: Sportful
(Click for larger image)

Italian cycling apparel maker Sportful says its new Total Comfort shorts were designed with one major objective in mind (two guesses): comfort. Ultrasonically welded seams are used throughout the Lycra Power body but the bib straps are completely seamless and littered with laser perforations for improved airflow. Mesh inserts are also used at the back and sides while the leg openings are fitted with Sportful's elastic-free 'Paradise' system in lieu of conventional grippers.

Sportful also outfits the new short with a seamless Total Comfort stretch chamois. The new insert is fitted with triple density padding, an antibacterial Meryl Skinlife microfiber topsheet and is perforated up front for airflow.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Bianchi

Images by SRAM

Images by Karbona Parts, Inc.

Images by Everti Titanium Bicycles

Images by 3T

Images by Sportful

Images by Baum