Tech News July 23, 2008
Edited by James Huang
Got tech? Send press releases, news, and tech questions to the
Cyclingnews tech desk.
iBike Aero and QuarQ combo hits the road
ANT+Sport compatibility means that
you can now use this…
Photo ©: Quarq
Aerodynamic drag is one of the hottest buzzwords in bicycle tech at the
moment yet short of spending thousands of dollars in wind tunnel time
most of us will never be able to gather any real data regarding our setups…
or will we?
As it turns out, Velocomp's unique iBike power meter design already generates
these numbers as part of its reverse-calculated power measurement algorithm
and that data is now available on its latest iBike Aero. By itself, the
unit will display 'snapshot' drag coefficient (CdA) that can help optimize
your position in real-world conditions (although we can't easily verify
how accurate those figures are). More to the point, that information can
shed some very useful information on how significantly aerodynamics can
affect your performance.
What the iBike Aero won't do on its own, though, is measure both your
CdA and power output simultaneously (CdA readings require coasting for
ten seconds). However, its ANT+Sport wireless interface means it can
do so when paired with a compatible directly-measured power meter such
as the latest SRM and PowerTap units. Doing so also adds a continuous
CdA calculation and a particularly handy 'Time Advantage' feature in the
UCI Continental team DLP Racing did just that at the recent Commerce
Bank Triple Crown by pairing its iBike Aero head units with Quarq's new
CinQo power meter. While the intense racing obviously didn't leave much
time for the riders to get fully acquainted, early indications are that
the combination will prove useful.
"One time of note was when I was coming back for bottles," said team
rider Owen Nielsen. "As I was bringing them back up I saw my CdA number
at about .406 while I was on the hoods. As I went to the drops the number
went down to around .375."
"I think as I race with it more it will be a useful tool to remind me
where and how I can conserve energy," he continued. "It's kind of like
figuring out how to get max MPG out of your vehicle when you have a given
amount of fuel in the tank. The data is just like having a wind tunnel.
Looking in the software after the fact I could see the time saved by the
lower drag coefficient. That will be a cool tool once I spend some more
time on it."
Quarq begins delivery of CinQo power meters
Quarq's new Cinqo power meter
Speaking of Quarq, the upstart company created quite the buzz at last
year's Interbike show with its impressively compact CinQo power meter
but consumers have yet to get their hands on an actual production unit,
that is, until about now. Quarq has announced that it's in the midst of
the first production run meaning that those who had pre-ordered units
should probably start checking their mailboxes.
Quarq will offer the CinQo in two configurations for the time being.
The prêt a porter option will include the CinQo unit preassembled
on either a SRAM S900 or FSA Team Issue crankset (with bottom bracket
and 130mm BCD) chainrings for a total cost of US$1525. Potential customers
who already have a Bontrager Race X Lite, Truvativ Rouleur Carbon or FSA
Team Issue crankset can tick the CinQo-only box for a cost of US$1195.
It should be noted that Quarq is not quite ready to ship the accompanying
Qranium display unit, although the wireless CinQo will sync with other
designated ANT+Sport wireless devices such as the Garmin 705 and iBike
Quarq is being refreshingly up front about the 'beta' status of these
units, however. "Please keep in mind that this is a first generation product,"
stated the company in a recent message. "We have worked diligently for
over two years in research, design and testing to bring you a rock-solid
and super-reliable power meter. However, while we feel the CinQo is really
great, it is NOT perfect… So if have any issues, please contact us right
Velocomp release tougher iBike Pro
… with the new iBike Aero to display
And speaking of the iBike, Velocomp has released a more robust second
generation of its intriguing power meter. The iBike Pro Gen II is equipped
with a new circuit board said to provide a fourfold increase in vibration
tolerance for better accuracy on rough roads and higher speeds.
Current iBike Pro owners can upgrade their existing units for US$179.
The upgrade will net the same vibration resilience as the second generation
model and customers will then have their choice of a new black or white
iBike case as well. The latest iBike firmware will also come pre-loaded
into the iBike.
All new iBike Pro power meters will be shipped with the new Gen II circuit
boards effective immediately but will carry a similarly high-value retail
price of US$424.
Schwinn revives Paramount badge (again!)
Schwinn will revive the Paramount
nameplate yet again
Schwinn will bring back its heralded Paramount nameplate once again with
three range-topping models for 2009. The Paramount Series 8 and Series
9 bikes both feature so-called 'N'Litened Black Label' carbon frames and
forks and some of the latest must-have technologies. The front end will
incorporate a tapered-and-oversized 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" steerer tube for
better steering and braking precision while press-fit bottom bracket cups
shed some grams and allow for a wider and stiffer down tube. The Series
9 will also include an integrated seat mast.
Both bikes will be SRAM-equipped with the Series 9 sporting the top-end
Red group along with Mavic R-SYS wheels, FSA carbon bar and stem, and
San Marco Zoncolan saddle. The Series 8 will be more of a workhorse rig
with its SRAM Rival group Mavic Aksium hoops. Pricing is yet to be announced
for either one but is expected to be decidedly high-value based on previous
Perhaps the most intriguing Paramount frame, though, is the new steel
model. We don't have much information just yet other than that it uses
Reynolds' latest 953 tubing and lugged joints and will be fully hand-built
in Waterford, Wisconsin. Sorry, we don't have any images to show you just
yet, either, but we're guessing its classic aesthetics and modern materials
will likely appeal to more than a handful of riders.
Avid expands Elixir range with new CR model
Avid will expand the Elixir range
of hydraulic disc brakes
As we suggested back at Sea
Otter, Avid has supplemented its initial Elixir R hydraulic disc brake
with a higher-end Elixir CR model. The new Elixir CR adds a tool-free
pad contact adjustment on the master cylinder for a more tunable feel,
a rotatable banjo on the caliper for cleaner hose routing, and a carbon
lever blade as standard equipment.
Like on the Elixir R, the CR will also use Avid's new TaperBore internal
architecture which reputedly offers less initial grabbiness coupled with
better modulation. Both models also utilize an integrated reservoir for
a sleeker appearance and top-loaded pads for easier servicing. Rotor options
will include 160, 185 and 203mm diameters.
Target weight for a complete post-mount front assembly with 160mm rotor
is 375g and suggested retail price is US$204-212 per wheel depending on
Speedplay moves into bottle cage market with Nanogram
Speedplay expands into the bottle
Clipless pedal icon Speedplay is expanding its horizons with a new carbon
bottle cage, the Nanogram Ultra Light. As its name suggests, the Nanogram
is a true featherweight at a claimed 19g but Speedplay also says it's
more durable than one would think thanks in part to its thicker-than-usual
The Nanogram Ultra Light is pegged solely for use on pavement but a standard
Nanogram version is said to be strong enough for off-road riders (or triathletes
using rear-mounted bottles). Both models will include aluminum hardware
and a BPA-free bottle, and will carry a suggested retail of US$65.
Kurt Kinetic partners with Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
Kurt Kinetic will offer a limited-edition version of its popular Road
Trainer beginning in mid-August to help raise money for the Susan G. Komen
Breast Cancer Foundation. Save for the bright pink hue, the special fundraising
models will be functionally identical to standard versions and will include
the company's trademark magnetically-coupled fluid resistance unit.
"As a cyclist and breast cancer survivor I am thrilled to be part of
this program," said Kurt Kinetic national sales manager Pam Sayler in
a recent press release. "Within the cycling industry our customer base
is nearly 50 percent women - and with an estimated 182,460 new cases of
breast cancer expected to be diagnosed in 2008 merging cycling with this
cause is a natural, organic partnership."
Sidi goes flowery with new women's model
Need some more color in your life?
Photo ©: Sidi
Liquigas' Filippo Pozzato proudly donned a pair of custom flower-motif
Sidi road shoes during this year's Milano-Sanremo classic and now the
company has decided to bring the pattern to market - for women.
Save for the bold print on the Lorica panels, the Genius 5 Pro Woman
will otherwise bear the usual technical features such as the new Millienium
3 sole, updated Caliper buckle, High Security System Velcro forefoot straps
and hallmark Sidi fit (using a women's specific last).
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here