Tech news for July 12, 2001

By John Stevenson

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

Pro bike

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Scott's bike
Photo: © Sabine Sunderland

Scott Sunderland'sViner

Continuing our occasional series on the bikes of Cyclingnews contributors, editors and assorted hangers-on, here's the bright red steed of our most stalwart diarist, Scott Sunderland.

Scott's very fond of this bike, as you'd expect after it carried him to victory in the Pino Cerami earlier this year. He has this to say about his rig:

"After the bashing it received over cobbles and bad roads in the Belgian Classics my first Viner pushy deserved to go into retirement. I was very happy to receive this little jewel. I only bring it out on race days; I have an Altec 5 aluminium bike at home for training.

"This Viner VSL Carbon is a very light frame and weighs 1.1kg (without forks). Designed for mountains and hilly parcours, the bike handles comfortably and is very responsive in corners and descents. It transfers power, doesn’t soak it up like some frames do.

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Carbon stays
Photo: © Sabine Sunderland

"The combination of the full carbon fibre "muscle"front fork (made by Colombus) and the rear carbon fibre "crave"seatstays (also by Columbus) together with the Columbus aluminium tubing triangle make this an impressive ride.

"BikeToyz, the Danish distributors for Ritchey components and Lightweight wheels, provide the Fakta Team with tyres, handlebars and stems. They made it possible for us to have the superlight components for our bikes; so this beauty weighs a mere 8kg all up.

"Team Mechanics Jan and Thomas did a great job in shaving off every excess gram on the bike, without losing any of its performance capacity.

"My first impression of the Viner VSL Carbon — and this has also to do with the Lightweight wheels — was how light and responsive this bike was, but without any nervousness in the handling. I had the feeling I could ride one tooth more than I would on my other bike on the same hill.

"The ride is stiff but comfortable, a very exciting and very pleasing bike to ride.

"Ideal for all-rounders; enjoying the smooth routes and the Tuscan style, hilly landscapes (where its makers reside), this is a bike not really at home on the tough Belgian roads and it certainly won’t be appreciative of being taken on cobbles. The Campagnolo record groupset finishes off the Italian look and performance, and the 10 speed means you can use an 11-23 and never have to change the block."

Tech Spec

Manufacturer: Viner
Model: Team Edition VSL Carbon
Frame size: seat tube 55cm center to center, top tube 56cm center to center
Headset: Integrated Ahead system
Handlebar: Ritchey WCS (World Cup Series), 44 cm
Stem: Ritchey WCS, 140mm
Pedals: Time Titanium Equipe Pro
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Chainset: Campagnolo Record, 172.5mm
Bottom bracket: Campagnolo Record
Front Derailleur: Campagnolo Record
Rear Derailleur:Campagnolo Record


Shifters: Campagnolo Record
Chain: Campagnolo
Campagnolo 10-spd, 11-23
Campagnolo Record
Brake levers: Campagnolo Record
Cables: Campagnolo Record
Pads: Campagnolo Record
Wheels: Depending on circumstances: Mavic Ksyrium, Mavic Classics, Ambrosio, Lightweight Carbon Fibre,
Tyres: Ritchey WCS
Saddle: Selle San Marco Concor
Seatpost: Ritchey WCS
Bottle Cages: Elite
Computer: Oktos
Spokes: Sapim

More information:


Latest Lids

Yellow Belly

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Giro has always been seen as the design innovator of Bell Sports two helmet brands, but if this shot of Bell's latest effort is anything to go by, the older and traditionally more staid of the two is getting adventurous too.

The Ghisallo is available in iBanesto and Ag2r colours as well as the July yellow seen here. It boasts 17 vents and a new retention system Bell calls GPS. There's a really contrived gag in there somewhere about using satellites to find it on your head because it's so well-ventilated, but we'll refrain.

More information: Bell's web site


Pneumatic Giro

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Announced at last year's Tour, Giro's Pneumo is finally widely available, and looks to have been worth the weight. We'll have a full review in a few days, when we've logged some serious riding time in it, but first impressions of this300g, 17 vent lid are highly favourable.

It's a snug, easily adjustable fit, and the mountain bike-style visor is an interesting addition: easily removable if you don't want the fat-tyre look, but useful for keeping off the sun and rain.

More information: Giro's web site

2002 Rock Shox

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RockShox' new SID carbon crown and steerer

RockShox has confirmed that the company's top-of-the-line fork for next year will indeed have a carbon fibre crown and steerer, as has been rumoured for the last several weeks. RockShox says the new fork, dubbed the BlackBox SID Carbon uses "high modulus carbon [that] allows the creation of a chassis that is stiffer and stronger without sacrificing safety."

The company's product announcement quotes Mark Norris, RockShox VP of Sales and Marketing as gushing thus: "I am delighted that the BlackBox development program provides this degree of advanced material engineering. It ensures our world class athletes every possible advantage to secure the top spot on the podium. The BlackBox Carbon project is one of the greatest structural advancements in suspension over the last 11 years. This Formula 1 approach keeps our athletes and our technology leading the pack."

More information: RockShox' web site

Hugi for Shimanophiles

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240 by Hugi

Hugi has announced a version of its lightweight 240 road hub, previously only available in a Campagnolo-compatible version. The new hub weighs in at a claimed 245g without a quick release, and uses Hugi's twin star rattchet freewheel. Hugi claims the hub's design better balances the spoke tension between left and right sides of the wheel, making for a more stable wheel.

More information: Hugi's web site

Hydrapak survives in Australia

Despite the demise of the Hydrapak line of drinking systems in the US, Bell Sports' Australian importer tells us that the line will continue Down Under, where it's extremely popular.