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Tech News – March 21, 2008

Edited by James Huang

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Rapha commemorates Andy Hampsten's historic 1988 Giro d'Italia win

Rapha commemorates Andy Hampsten's epic ride
Photo ©: Marty Caivano
(Click for larger image)

1988 was a truly monumental year for Andy Hampsten both individually and for his native United States. During that year's Giro d'Italia, Hamptsen, riding for the 7-Eleven - Hoonved squad, was one of only two riders to not just survive but excel in blizzard-like conditions on the epic stage over the snowy and treacherous Passo di Gavia.

His effort that day was enough to help him gain the leader's pink jersey (maglia rosa) and continue on for the overall win as the first, and only, American to do so. Indeed, many readers and bike stores have that poster of Hampsten ascending the Gavia hanging on their wall.

"Twenty years...It can't be that long ago!" said Hampsten in a Rapha press release. "It was one of my great days on the bike, the Gavia. It was cold, there was snow...I went faster than the other guys. It had all the ingredients of an epic, memorable stage."

UK-based cycling clothing maker Rapha will commemorate the occasion with a limited run of pink jerseys that pay homage to that historic day. The Merino Sportwool material offers a modern day equivalent to the thin pure wool Castelli jersey Hampsten wore that day (a material which Hampsten himself credits with helping to keep him warm) and the sewn-on white cloth panel displays a clever remake of Hampsten's first name blended with his old 7-Eleven team logo. A cloth race number replica is also included along with the safety pins required to faithfully affix it to your back. Production will be limited to just 600 pieces and suggested retail pricing is set at US$205/£120.

"I love the design. Rapha's doing a beautiful pink jersey, just like the race leader's in the Giro, with the words Passo di Gavia 1988 on it. Absolutely gorgeous," said Hampsten. Rapha's founder, Simon Mottram, adds, "How Andy rode that stage through the snow while others fell to the side was one of those magical days in our sport. There wasn't a chance we were going to let the heroics of that day pass without a celebrating Andy's accomplishment."

In distinct contrast to all too many retired pros, Hampsten continues to ride regularly and looks remarkably fit. This should perhaps come as no surprise considering he splits his time between the cycling-friendly locales of Boulder, Colorado and Castegneto Carducci, Italy. Hampsten and his company, Cinghiale Cycling Tours, also lead Italian cycling tours in Tuscany (and occasionally through the Dolomites) and run the aptly named Hampsten Cycles frame company with his brother, Steve.

(Ed Note: The Passo di Gavia climb came on June 5, Stage 17 of the 1988 Giro d'Italia. The stage was actually won by a then young Dutchman, Erik Breukink, of the Panasonic squad, with Hampsten - who started the day in fifth position on GC - finishing in second. But Hampsten's effort that day was enough for the American to eventually secure the maglia rosa as well as the King of the Mountains competition (maglia verde). Hampsten and the Dutchman seemingly left their rivals to shiver as they ploughed through the tough conditions. Breukink, who is two years younger than the American, went on to finish second on GC behind Hampsten, and later that year secured the best young rider's jersey at the Tour de France.)

Fondriest Bici returns to USA

Italian high-end road bike producer Fondriest Bici makes its return to the United States this year following the appointment of exclusive distributor Velo Europa Imports. Fondriest Bici is currently owned by Italian company Cicli Esperia but former World Champion Maurizio Fondriest reportedly is deeply involved with the bikes' technical development and geometry.

The 2008 Fondriest line celebrates the 20th anniversary of Maurizio Fondriest's world championship win and Velo Europa will import several models into the US including the high-end TF1 and TF2 carbon road framesets. The TF1, hand built in Italy, will be ridden in this year's Giro d'Italia by the NGC-OTC team.

For more information: www.fondriestbici.com, www.veloeuropa.com

Schwinn signs as TNT partner

American bicycle manufacturer Schwinn has signed a two year national bicycle sponsorship agreement with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training (TNT), a 20 year-old organization that has raised over US$850million for lifesaving cancer research and to help blood cancer patients live longer, better lives. Effective April 1, Schwinn will provide cycling information, bicycle demos, on-site event support and product discounts to the 39,000 cycling, triathlon and marathon participants who train and fundraise through the organization each year.

"For more than 100 years, Schwinn has helped people realize their two-wheeled dreams," said Schwinn general manager Steve Reeds. "We are honored to carry on this tradition by helping Team In Training participants achieve their training goals."

For more information: www.teamintraining.org

iBike gets greater compatibility

iBike Pro power metre manufacturer Velocomp has announced its product will now have greater compatibility following the release of its new iBike G firmware iBike 2 software. The iBike G firmware enables wireless iBike Pro power metres to receive signals from wireless ANT+Sport speed, cadence, and heart rate sensors, such as those sold with the Garmin Edge series.

The new firmware, which has an MSRP of US$99, will also allow the iBike to transmit power data from its wireless mount to the new Garmin Edge 705. The combination will make the Edge 705 the first GPS-enabled cycling computer to also directly incorporate power data.

"For cyclists who want to combine GPS data with power data, our new iBike G firmware is ideal," said Velocomp CEO John Hamann. "The iBike G firmware works with any wireless iBike power meter, so cyclists will now be able to share one set of speed, cadence, and heart rate sensors between their iBike and their Garmin."

"Also, the iBike's power signal transfers wirelessly to the Garmin 705 ride file," added Hamann. "The combination of GPS and power data is a breakthrough many cyclists have been anticipating."

The use of the ANT+Sport wireless protocol will also enable the iBike to communicate with the Quark CinQo power metre for users that desire a direct power measurement, rather than the indirect one built into the iBike. Some readers may view the combination as unnecessarily redundant, but the combination will also provide hill slope, wind speed and other functionality provided by the iBike's on-board accelerometer that aren't available with other power meters in addition to the user-friendly iBike analysis software.

"We are very excited to work with iBike," said Quarq CEO Jim Meyer in a company press release. "The CinQo and iBike as a pair is a powerful combination and will open new doors in bicycle data. It is really simple to set up and use the iBike to receive CinQo power data, and the iBike 2 software is a very powerful analysis tool."

For more information: www.ibikesports.com

Kreitler raises funds for US women's cycling with special edition rollers

Kreitler is helping raise funds for the US Women's Cycling Development Program
Photo ©: Kreitler
(Click for larger image)

Kreitler is helping raise funds for the US Women's Cycling Development Program with the limited release of special edition Pink Sparkle rollers. Proceeds from the sale of the Pink Sparkle rollers will go towards equipment for young athletes that are involved with the USWCDP.

Besides the limited edition finish, the Pink Sparkle rollers are otherwise functionally identical to Kreitler's standard and Kompact Frame rollers. Interested parties should contact Paul Aieta at US-based Mountain Racing Products at 970-241-3518 for more information.

For more information: www.kreitler.com

Velo Vie signs with Amore & Vita-McDonalds

Relative newcomer Velo Vie has signed on as the bicycle sponsor of Italy's Amore & Vita-McDonalds Continental team. The US-based company will supply the outfit with an assortment of bikes from its catalog, including the Vitesse 200, Vitesse 300, Veloce and a custom-designed Vitesse 300 frame.

"Velo Vie has a wide range of products for our team, along with great service," said team director Cristian Fanini of the announcement.

Included on the 60 year-old team's roster in 2008 is Olympic mountain bike champion-turned-roadie Miguel Martinez and six time Giro d'Italia stage winner Ivan Quaranta.

"All of my previous frames were custom made for me," explained Quaranta. "This is the first time I have used a stock frame. The Vitesse 300 is the stiffest frame I have ever used for descending, climbing and sprinting where it really matters for me."

Amore & Vita-McDonalds isn't only the first European team to be sponsored by Velo Vie; it's also the company's first professional team sponsorship. Races on the Italian squad's calendar in 2008 include Trofeo Laigueglia, Settimana Coppi Bartali and Giro della prov. di Lucca.

"Amore & Vita has some of the most talented cyclists in the world," said Velo Vie's Homayoon Farsi. "The selection of Velo Vie's product line endorses our products internationally and promotes Velo Vie, Bike Life, across the globe. Feedback from Amore & Vita-McDonald's professional riders has exceeded our expectations."

Shimano announces American multi-service schedule

Shimano has announced its finalized US Multi-Service neutral support schedule for the 2008 season. With a team of three full-time technicians and a fleet of purpose built vehicles, Shimano Multi-Service will be supporting over 50 cycling events across the country including the USA Cycling National Championships, Ride the Rockies, the complete Mountain States Cup and the National Racing Calendar series.

A full schedule of events the crew will attend can be viewed at www.shimano.com.

Lynskey expands range with 29er

Lynskey Performance
Photo ©: Lynskey
(Click for larger image)

Lynskey Performance is one of the latest framebuilders to add a 29" variant to its stable of offerings following feedback from last year's Interbike show. According to Lynskey, the company displayed a one-off 26" cruiser there but world-wide interest prompted the development of a big-wheeled version.

Stock versions start at US$2,795 but the 29er hardtail can be custom-built to a wide range of user specifications, configurations and tubing. Custom versions of the highest-end ‘Level 4' frames incorporates a mix of double- and triple-butted 6Al/4V and 3Al/2.5V titanium tubing as well as a premium price tag of US$4,395.

For more information: www.lynskeyperformance.com


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Marty Caivano

Images by Kreitler

Images by Lynskey