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Interbike show -
Las Vegas, Nevada USA, September 25-29, 2006
Interbike Part 2 - Interbike On Dirt Demo
By James Huang in Las Vegas, NV
Fi’zi:k does carbon with a twist
Saddle maker Fi’zi:k has come to the carbon fiber saddle war armed with its new 150g Arione K:1. The K:1 builds on the success of the Arione line with a full carbon fiber shell supported by an innovative one-piece braided carbon fiber rail. The rail system, aptly dubbed Mobius, loops continuously around the front and rear of the saddle to eliminate stress risers that can cause failure in more conventional styles of construction.
Although light weight was clearly a high priority, comfort was clearly a key goal as well. Parent company Selle Royal lends its leading edge polymer co-molding technology to Fi’zi:k’s new flagship which is covered from tip to tail in a translucent variable thickness gel coating. This should not only provide a measure of shock absorption and compliance to the K:1, but also a bit of grip as other full-carbon saddles can be quite slippery beneath the rider.
The K:1 is still in prototype form, but the sample on hand at ODD was well-finished and nearly production ready. MSRP will be approximately US$400 when the saddle is release sometime around late fall or early winter of this year.
Santa Cruz Bicycles’ Superlight soldiers into 2007 with a complete redesign
SCB’s Superlight often gets lost in the company’s expansive sea of fancier Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) suspension designs such as the Blur XC/LT and Nomad. However, it has remained a consistent workhorse in the lineup nonetheless given its light weight and simple, yet effective, single-pivot rear end.
In spite of the model’s seemingly pedestrian status in the range, the Superlight gets a completely redesign for 2007. The new rear end ditches the CNC-machined aluminum swingarm upright for the first time in the model’s storied history in favor of a completely welded tubular construction. Also new for ’07 is a long overdue replaceable rear derailleur hanger.
The Superlight’s single pivot has moved directly in-line with the the down tube and grows in size to a full 20mm. Combined with the tubular rear end, Santa Cruz claims the new Superlight is a whopping three times more rigid than the outgoing model. Complete frame weights hover just over 5lbs. with the included Fox RP23 shock.
In other news, Santa Cruz’s heavier duty Nomad and VP-Free frames will both receive 1.5” head tubes starting in March and October, respectively. The Blur XC and LT frames will be largely unchanged for 2007, but both will be available in price-point complete models. The new “budget” versions will wear a mix of Shimano LX/XT and Fox Racing Shox bits and will carry an MSRP of approximately US$2500.
Chris King stays Pretty and Strong
Chris King’s highly sought-after line of limited edition pink anodized components will now be a standard offering for 2007. In addition to the headsets and hubs, though, the “Pretty and Strong” line will now included complete wheelsets. The exact rim and spoke spec is still to be determined, but company spokesperson Chris DiStefano says that all of the components will be “of typical Chris King quality”. Display models were laced with Mavic rims and Wheelsmith spokes but we’ll see what actually turns up when the wheels become available around the spring of next year. Five models will be offered, including 26” and 700c for rim brakes, 26” ISO disc, 26” AM/FR with 20mm thru-axle, and a single-speed disc 26” set.
The 2007 calendar year will also bear witness to Chris King’s first new component offering in some time. DiStefano announced that 1.5” headsets will be offered “in limited quantities some time next year”. Details were a bit iffy, but a full range of colors is likely along with typical bombproof Chris King headset performance and the company’s unmatched 10 year warranty.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com