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Germany, August 31-September 3, 2007
Part 11 - September 18:
Some of Italy's finest land in Friedrichshafen
By Tim Maloney
De Rosa: tutto nuovo e multo bello
There is a lot that is "tutto nuovo e multo bello" from Casa De Rosa for 2008, including Signore Ugo De Rosa and his three sons, Danilo, Cristiano and Doriano, all based in Cusano Milanino, Italy, and an all-new third generation of their reknowned King carbon fiber road machine.
The monocoque King 3 is made from premium Mizuno T-700SC carbon fibre and now wears an integrated seatmast for 2008, but claimed frame weight is just 980 grams. Ten sizes will be offered, all in a new sloping geometry.
De Rosa's Team 08 sits at the 'entry level' of the company's lineup but its newly upgraded design also now includes an integrated seatmast. Built from heat treated 7000-series aluminium, the Team 08 is available in three sloping and fourteen traditional sizes. Claimed weight is a rather uninspiring 1600g for the bare frame, but still represents an economical way to tap into the De Rosa mystique.
Well-heeled kids with a penchant for all things Italian (or parents who just want little Jimmy or Susie to match their own ride) may want to check out the new Raga, short for "ragazze", means 'kids' in the Milanese dialect. The new Raga is a monocoque carbon road frame built around 24" wheels, and the diminutive sizing includes a 34cm-long seat tube and 45cm top tube length.
De Rosa has also recently earned the prestigious ISO 9001-2000 certification, the world's most advanced quality management system wherein a company shows it can consistently provide product that meets customer and regulatory requirements, and also strives to enhance customer satisfaction by continual improvement. "This is a major step forward for us," said Cristano De Rosa. "We did this ISO 9001-2000 certification to continue to improve our products and evolve our use of applied materials and our frame geometry."
Fi'zi:k goes Zea:K
The Zea:K is a new all-mountain/enduro saddle from fi'zi:k that boasts a unique shape with Microtex covering on the front/central portion of the shell for smooth transitions, a Meryl Techno insert on the back for increased protection, and a carbon-reinforced Techno-polymer shell. Two lateral inserts provide extra grip while jumping or descending, and a hand grip and shoulder rest are integrated into the saddle's underside.
The Zea:K will also use fi'zi:k's K:ium rail material, which is "8% lighter than solid titanium rails, but with the same stiffness, fatigue and impact resistance," said fi'zi:k's Gabriele Benedetti. The rails are isolated from the shell with three elastomeric inserts to damp vibrations, and fi'zi:k will offer the Zea:k with both 7mm and 8mm-diameter rails. The Zea:k will also be compatible with the company's Integrated Clip System (ICS) for easy accessory mounting and weighs a reported 315gr in top-end form.
On the road racing side of things, Fi'zi:k's popular Arione lineup receives a lighter and lower-profile model for 2008. According to Benedetti, "This saddle was tested by Giro d'Italia winner Danilo DiLuca. He asked us for a lighter saddle and we developed the Arione CX Braided Carbon. We used a new foam that turned out to be 70 grams lighter than the standard Arione with titanium rails, and it weighs 159 grams. This new foam has a lower profile look but doesn't reduce any comfort."
Limar: light and lively new Pro 104 helmet
Limar's major introduction for 2008 is the new Pro 104, which it claims to be the "Worlds Lightest Helmet". Inspired by Limar's famous slimline 104 model ridden by many top pros in the 1990's, the Pro 104 has a claimed weight of just 180 grams.
The Pro 104 is built with a co-moulded shell perforated with 22 large air vents and Limar's ProSystem 2 micrometric adjustable retention system, and the sleek low-profile design will be available at retail later in 2007.
Gaerne: bring out the Aussie dogs
Australia's Cadel Evans of Predictor-Lotto is Gaerne's top sponsored rider, and the 30-year-old was wearing a very special pair of Gaerne G.Air cycling shoes en route to his second place finish in this year's Tour De France, just 23 seconds behind winner Alberto Contador and 8 seconds ahead of third place rider Levi Leipheimer, both of the Discovery Channel team.
Evans' G.Air shoes feature an Aussie flag motif, with the Southern Cross prominently displayed up front. Gaerne's 'Made in Italy' G.Air shoes feature an all-new carbon fibre sole, Safety Lock strap system, an aluminium Micro-Adjust buckle, a 'Power Control System' polyurethane cage integrated into the Lorica upper, and the A.I.C.S. (Adjustable Instep Closure System) for more power transfer and comfort.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Tim Maloney/Cyclingnews.com