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Germany, August 31-September 3, 2006
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Part 3 - BMC, BH & Giant
James Huang uncovers a some exciting developments in carbon road and mountain bikes at the Eurobike show.
BMC nanotech family grows to three
Swiss firm BMC embraced carbon nanotechnology last year with its SLC01 Pro Machine road frame and for 2007, the company has carried over the technology to two new mountain bike frames.
The '07 Fourstroke 01 incorporates BMC's successful 100mm travel twin-link VPS suspension system into a brand-new carbon chassis. Molded carbon nanotube-reinforced carbon fiber composites are used for both the front and rear triangles to drop the complete frame weight to an impressive 1.9kg without shock, although the included DT Swiss SSD Carbon shock will only add approximately 150g. Tube profiles, finish, and bridged seat cluster will be similar to those used in the road-going Pro Machine. The new Fourstroke 01 will be available sometime around summer of 2007 in four sizes from 15in to 21in.
The '07 Team Elite 01 hardtail frame is essentially a Pro Machine built around mountain bike wheels and disc brakes. As with the new Fourstroke 01, the new Team Elite 01 will be molded entirely from CNT-reinforced carbon fiber and will use similar tube shaping as well as BMC's unique bridged seat cluster configuration. The Team Elite is designed around 100mm of front wheel travel and target weight is a paltry 950g. Four sizes (17in through 23in) will be offered this coming January/February.
Last year's Fourstroke Trail chassis has now morphed into the Trailfox. The new platform is a dedicated 120mm chassis with unique geometry and suspension (the Fourstroke Trail differed from the shorter travel Fourstroke only in the upper and lower links). The top tube is more aggressively sloped and slightly shorter, and the head tube angle has been adjusted such that the Trailfox and standard Fourstroke will share the same measurement when equipped with their respective length forks. Two versions will be offered: the Trailfox 01 will utilize a carbon fiber and aluminum rear end, while the Trailfox 02 will use an all-aluminum version. Both models will feature welded aluminum front triangles.
Nanotechnology extends to BH Bicycles
The 900g barrier is shattered once again as BH Bicycles brings its new Global Concept G-3 frame to market. The new frame weighs approximately 850g (in medium size) even with the extended seat tube frame design that has become a hallmark of BH frames. Carbon nanotubes are used to reinforce the resins that bond the carbon fibers together, resulting in a structure that can be both lighter and stronger than the previous Global Concept G-2. BH reports that the Astana team has already tested the new G-3 in competition at this year's Vuelta a España.
BH has also abandoned its molded carbon fiber technology in favor of tube-to-tube construction for a new prototype carbon road frame. BH officials say that the joints are made almost exclusively using high-strength adhesives with little additional wrapping of carbon fiber strips as is done with a number of other tube-to-tube style frames. The new frame will also utilize a conventional non-extended seat tube layout. BH's as-yet-unnamed frame will not be its lightest at approximately 900g, but is said to be notably rigid which should suit racers particularly well.
Giant Bicycles juices up its Anthem and Trance
Factory rider Adam Craig's Anthem race bike was already among the most elite short travel full-suspension frames available but Giant has upped the ante with a full carbon fiber version for 2007. The new Anthem Advanced uses T800 carbon fiber front and rear triangles along with a composite upper rocker link and titanium shock hardware to drop between a quarter and half a pound from the aluminum version. Giant PR man Andrew Juskaitis says the Anthem Advanced actually isn't much more rigid than before ("it was already really stiff") but offers much improved vibration damping.
The 4.2in travel Trance trailbike has received similar treatment to yield the Trance Advanced. A more impact-resistant T700 carbon fiber is used front and rear along with another composite upper rocker link and titanium shock hardware. The material changes produce a more dramatic weight loss of over one pound as compared to last year's aluminum Trance.
Giant has also filled in the travel gap between its Reign and Glory platforms with the introduction of the Reign X. The new chassis adds three-quarters of an inch of travel (for a new total of 6.75in) and is intended as even more of an 'all-mountain' bike than the first Reign. The Reign X is designed around a longer 160mm fork and the rear shock area has been reconfigured to make room for the more capable piggyback reservoir-equipped Fox DHX.
Speaking of Glory, last year's long-travel machine has split into two models: the 8in travel freeride-specific Glory and a new downhill race-specific 8.8in-travel Glory DH. The Glory DH will feature a lower bottom bracket and longer wheelbase for more predictable high-speed handling and is specifically designed around a dual-crown fork with a 1.25in lower head tube diameter and 1.125in upper. The standard Glory has been updated with a OnePointFive-specific headtube for use with today's beefier single-crown freeride forks.
On the pavement side of things, the extended seat tube version of Giant's TCR Advanced Team has finally been approved for sale in the US. Mechanics, get ready to measure twice (maybe three times) and cut once…
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by BMC
Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews