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Las Vegas, USA, September 26-30, 2005
Part 18: Time, Zipp, Easton, Ibis
Time of their lives
What a year it was for the folks at Time, with a pile of tremendous wins, including Paris-Roubaix and the world road championship by Tom Boonen, and Michael Rogers' world time trial title. Boonen crossed the line in Madrid aboard Time's newest VXRS Ulteam road frame, which shaved over 125g off the standard VXRS (and finally breaks the 1kg barrier at 890g) through the use of carbon matrix composite for the fork tips, shifter bosses, and a heap of other little bits that used to be aluminum. Rogers' very futuristic-looking RXR allegedly achieved a 25% increase in aerodynamic efficiency over Time's previous TT frame through careful wind tunnel testing.
In addition to the new framesets, Time also displayed a very stiff-looking carbon crankset which used a large-diameter spindle press-fit to the driveside crank and double-row bearings that rest wholly within the bottom bracket shell for narrower Q-factor. The ATAC mountain bike pedal is largely unchanged, save for an updated inboard seal to better keep out dirt and water.
Zipp offers something for everyone
The venerable 303 carbon rim has been reworked for 2006, making it 6mm deeper (now 44mm) and about 2mm wider for better aerodynamics, yet still tipping the scale at just 285g for the 700c tubular version. Additionally, the rim sidewalls also gain Zipp's unique surface dimpling which further improves aerodynamics.
Zipp is trying to tap into a slightly more pedestrian market with the introduction of their new Flashpoint series of wheels. The Flashpoint 40 and 60 are both clincher-only and use a co-moulded aluminum and carbon fibre rim joined to sealed cartridge bearing hubs with DT bladed spokes. Wheelset weights range from 1670g to 1755g.
In addition to wheels, Zipp also displayed a number of new carbon handlebars, including a full-on TT/Tri setup and a carbon clip-on. The Vuka Aero incorporates a carbon base bar with a carbon extension and incorporates a unique collet arrangement to adjust the extension length. In addition, the collets are drilled off-center to allow for a bit of height and width adjustment to the extensions relative to the base bar without having to tilt anything off-axis. The Vuka Clip also uses the unique collet arrangement but without the offset drilling.
Easton forks out for 'cross season
Easton is introducing a cyclocross version of its EC90SLX carbon fork just in time for 'cross season. Dubbed the EC90X, this new fork should be out in November with a sub-500g weight. Easton is also delving further into the off-road area for '06. The new Havoc seatpost incorporates unique flip-flop cradles to accommodate both 7mm and 8mm diameter rails. New MTB wheelset offerings include the new XC One disc wheelset using their trademark Twin Thread Technology spoke design in a 24h setup weighing just 1590g for the pair. The Havoc AM is a freeride/all-mountain wheelset and uses 28 straight-pull spokes front and rear paired to their new AM Disc rim. Both wheelset incorporate standard six-bolt disc mounts and aluminum freehub bodies, and the Havoc front wheel is convertible from standard quick-release to 20mm through-axle.
Never fear, Easton hasn't forgotten the pavement crowd and showed off a prototype TT/Tri bar that was as-yet unnamed at the time of the show. The new bar utilises a one-piece bonded carbon fibre base bar and extension for ultralight weight. Neat details include very clean internal cable routing and a super-aero profile, but it wasn't clear if there would be any way to adjust the length of the extensions. Either way, it sure looked cool.
Ibis flies again
Geeez! Scot Nicol has dug Ibis out of the grave in grand fashion with some killer new bikes. Ibis was once renowned for their steel bikes, but the new Ibis jumps headfirst into the technology pool with a 5.8lb carbon fibre full-suspension frame with 5.5" (140mm) of rear wheel travel and a full carbon fibre road frame. Nicol utilised Dave Weagle's renowned DW-Link suspension system to make the new Mojo Carbon actually work well and enlisted the help of Roxy Lo, a designer for Pottery Barn, to make it pretty. Pretty it certainly is, and at US$1899 retail, it's actually not a bad deal, either. As Nicol puts it, "our company philosophy is to make bikes that WE would buy in the store. I guess we're a company of tight wads."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com