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EICMA show -
Milan, Italy, September 15-18, 2006
Part 3 - September 15-18
Carbon reigns supreme, and featherweight fever extends to clothing
By Tim Maloney in Milan
Giovanni Battaglin made his return to the EICMA Milano show after an absence of three years with all-new bikes for both his Battaglin Cicli road brand and Full Dynamix MTB marque. "We have some great new bicycles this year; I'm very happy with the way our carbon fibre road models came out with new tubing shapes and new colours", the former Giro d'Italia champion told Cyclingnews. Always passionate about racing, Battaglin was proud that his Full Dynamix rider Leonardo Paez won the World Cup Marathon title this year.
Battaglin's top model for 2007 is the C12 Carbon that uses aerospace grade ultra high modulus T1000UHM composite with 3K weave, a massive integrated 1 1/8" headtube, oversize downtube and an ovalized top tube that flows into a wide monostay. Claimed to be 50% more rigid in the rear triangle, Battaglin's C12 is available in various spec configurations. All new for 2007, Battaglin's Full Dynamix mountain bike brand, the Team Issue, is a carbon fibre frame built in very high modulus T700VHM carbon composite with 12K weave. The Team Issue has been race proven in 2006 with a win in the UCI World Cup by Full-Dynamix team rider Leo Paez.
Cannondale's sleek new SystemSix Barloworld team issue bike uses high modulus unidirectional carbon in the front triangle which, via their proprietary, continuous-fiber lay-up technology, is mated to a lightweight aluminum rear triangle. This SystemSix has an integrated SRM Powermeter system, essential for gathering pro riders' training data. No word yet on whether Cannondale will continue with Claudio Corti's Barloworld team next season, but there were plenty of rumors in the aisles at the Milano show linking Cannondale with Quick.Step for the 2007 season.
Time will reportedly move to sponsor Cofidis as Wilier Triestina has renewed for two years with Lampre-Fondital, while Pinarello has renewed their deal with Caisse d'Epargne. Other bike sponsorship rumors have Specialized possibly joining up with Liquigas through their Mario Cipollini connection or maybe even bouncing BMC from their impending deal with Astana.
Once an icon of the Italian bicycle industry, Cinelli isn't as sought after now, but the Milano company still has that special feeling for design. Cinelli's attractive XL8R4 (for 4th generation) top of the line road rig uses a MAX XLR8R carbon fibre tubeset from sister company Columbus with an innovative "double oval" shape, and is mated to a Columbus Carve rear triangle and Carve Mega full carbon fork. Still an icon, the Cinelli Supercorsa, a ground breaking design when it was introduced over fifty years ago, has been updated with Columbus Neuron steel tubing that is lighter than the previous edition's SLX tubing. The Supercorsa is available in 14 sizes and 8 colors, and still features cast lugs and the trademark seat cluster.
Frank Boifava of Carrera proudly showed Cyclingnews a new bike which the Brescia, Italy company prepared specially for the Milano show. Built in high-modulus carbon fibre, Carrera Ilos weighs a claimed 890 grams in a medium size, thanks to the integrated seatmast, one of the key trends of the high-end bikes on show in Milano. Developed with input from their sponsored Androni Giacattoli team, Ilos has a clean look that is the hallmark of Carrera bikes. Ilos will make its American debut at the upcoming Interbike Las Vegas show.
When Castelli capo Steve Smith handed us the new Castelli Superleggera jersey, we though he was giving us a tissue to blow our nose. Not really, as the Italy based American explained: "We wanted to make an extremely light yet totally funtional jersey and after a lot of development, we're launching the Superleggera." The secret of the Superleggera is in the innovative, super light fabric. Castelli uses a SG0.6 fabric, woven from hollow polypropylene fibers that weighs only 70 grams, half that of a regular jersey when dry. Thanks to the excellent wicking properties of polypropylene, Superleggera is only 140 grams when wet, whereas a normal jersey can swell to 400 grams.
Castelli's Superleggera is part of their new high-end, high function RossoCorsa products, such as the new Free shorts. With a minimalist cut and no internal leg seam, Free provides a "near naked" riding experience according to Castelli. With an Active Cushioning pad that uses temperature control, Free is available as bibshorts or standard cut.
Known for their supremely comfortable cycling shorts, DeMarchi is celebrating sixty continuous years in business with two diverse products that show the Italian firm's unique heritage. DeMarchi's all-new Contour Racing bibshort breaks the rules for bike shorts with its "streamlined ergonomics" from specially shaped panels that provide extra comfort and eliminate seams in the saddle area. Contour Racing has a unique Elastic Interface Technology Stealth chamois, which is a virtual pad with all-way stretch that for the first time ever is actually built into the short.
After considerable success with a retro Italia "maglione" (heavy wool cycling sweater), DeMarchi's wool clothing line adds a new lightweight wool tracksuit top, just like Maglificio DeMarchi made for the Italian national cycling team in the late 1960's. DeMarchi's Mauro Coccia told Cyclingnews that "we are happy to say we have a new distribution partnership in the USA with Upland Sports Group that will make our product range more widely available in 2007."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Tim Maloney/Cyclingnews.com