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Germany, August 31-September 3, 2006
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Part 2 - DT Swiss, Rudy Project, Pace Cycles & Lupine
James Huang continues to walk the floor at Eurobike and finds some tasty morsels from four of Europe's notable bike industry innovators
DT Swiss rethinks the quick release, expands wheel lineup, and lightens up
The folks at DT Swiss have decided that the conventional quick release skewer
has had its day. Its new Ratchet Wheelmounting System does away with the standard
cam mechanism in favor of a more straightforward one way ratchet system that
is, in essence, a through-bolt with a handle. The new RWS is said to produce
as much as 50 percent more clamping force and also allows the user to position
the lever to their preferences once the skewer is tight. Interestingly, the
way it functions is much the same as how many consumers incorrectly use their
current conventional skewers.
DT's pre-built wheel program has apparently also met with a fair amount of success as the lineup has been expanded for 2007. The RR 1450 Mon Chasseral trims 30g off of last's year's standard RR 1450 yet still retains the versatility provided by the 240s hubs, welded clincher rim, and 28 conventional spokes front and rear. Oddly enough, the new wheels hit the scales at a reported 1450g for the pair (without skewers), whereas the standard RR 1450 weighs 1480g.
A new RR 1850 is DT's first semi-aero road wheel pair that incorporates a 31mm deep clincher rim laced with bladed spokes (20f/24r) to the company's 240s hubs. Two graphics options will be offered, and DT claims a total weight of 1850g for the pair without skewers.
On the off-road side of things, DT now offers the EX 1750, all-mountain/light freeride wheels that use a 20mm thru-axle front hub and a 10mm thru-bolt rear hub plus a 28mm wide welded disc-specific rim laced together with 32 double-butted spokes in a conventional 3-cross pattern.
DT has also put several of its components on a serious diet. Not surprisingly (given its name), the new 190 ceramic hub incorporates smoother-running ceramic bearings. Most of the weight savings, though, come from the milled out star ratchets and pared down aluminum freehub body which utilizes smaller cartridge bearings than the standard 240s hub. Surprise, surprise, the rear hub weight is a claimed 190g, while the front is a Lilliputian 105g. Road versions will be offered with interchangeable 10spd-specific Shimano or Campagnolo compatible freehub bodies, and mountain bike versions will be offered exclusively with a center lock disc brake mount (compatible with IS 6-bolt with optional adapter).
Want more? Last year's SSD 190L rear shock has spawned an even lighter SSD Carbon for 2007 which weighs as little as 139g (152 eye-to-eye x 31mm stroke). A carbon fiber air can shaves about 17g while extensive machining work on the body plus a minimal lockout lever cuts out the rest. Internally, the SSD Carbon is identical to the SSD 190L, and the remote lockout is still offered as an option.
Rudy Project goes unbreakable
Italian eyewear maker Rudy Project has switched to an "ImpactX" lens for half a dozen of its cycling specific glasses made from a cast NXT polymer. Rudy Project claims the new material is more transparent and displays superior optical quality than typical polycarbonate lenses. Although NXT has been used in other cycling optics, Rudy Project's exclusive version is a semi-rigid formulation that carries a lifetime warranty against breakage.
Four tints will be offered, including a grey-based ImpactX Pure with a fixed 16 percent transmittance, a red-based photochromic lens with a transmittance range of 21-50 percent, a darker grey-based photochromic lens that shifts from 16-40 percent transmittance, and polarized ImpactX photochromic lens that pairs 12-30 percent transmittance. RX versions will also be offered.
Pace Cycles jumps on 29er bandwagon, pares down for competition
UK-based suspension manufacturer Pace has tossed its hat into the 29er ring with two new air-sprung forks, the 80mm travel RC29 S80 and the 100mm travel RC29 S100. Both use similar internals to its existing forks, including adjustable compression damping, rebound damping, and its exclusive Launch Control manual lockout with adjustable threshold. As with its other top-end forks, the RC29 utilizes bonded three-piece carbon fiber lower leg assemblies with magnesium dropouts, 32mm aluminum stanchions, and a hollow box-section aluminum crown. Target weight for the forks is as little as 1.62kg.
Pace has also signed on recently as a fork sponsor for both the Specialized and Full Dynamix MTB teams and has developed an ultralight variant of its RC39XC. The new race-specific RC39 C-Type utilizes titanium hardware throughout with aggressively machined internals to bring the total weight down to a staggering 1.38kg. Curiously, the RC39 C-Type is not only 0.04kg lighter than its standard RC39XC sibling, but with 100mm of travel, also sports a 20mm travel advantage.
Lupine lights the way with brighter Wilma
Lupine's Wilma LED lamp now boasts nearly as much output as its ridiculously bright Edison HID (on low power, which is still silly bright). Four 3W K2 Luxeon LED emitters spew out 420 lumens, and each is focused through its own individual lens to maximize usable output. The Wilma also boasts adjustable power from 1-12W and can run for as long as 46 hours with a Li-ion battery that is barely bigger than a kiwi. Lupine General Manager Stefan Kraus also demonstrates that he can plan for the future, as the Wilma LEDs can also be easily upgraded as LED emitter technology advances.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews