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Germany, August 30-September 2, 2007
Part 6 - Find your way and stop once you get there
By James Huang in Friedrichshafen, Germany
New Garmin 705 offers all-in-one solution with SRM
Garmin's Edge series of GPS-enabled bicycle computers leaves little behind with a comprehensive feature list that includes various speed and distance functions, GPS guidance, and altitude, as well as heart rate and cadence with the top-of-the-line Edge 305. Still, one notable omission is power.
The new Edge 705 crosses that last line item from the list with a built-in wireless receiver using a new ANT+Sport protocol that is compatible with SRM's newest power meter. This allows users to clear up valuable space on handlebars and devotees of the powerful CyclingPeaks training analysis software will also now be able to download all of their information from a single piece of hardware. The power functionality is fully integrated with the rest of the Edge 705's other functions, and related fields are configurable for text size and location.
That same ANT+Sport wireless protocol is also used for the optional wireless heart rate monitor and cadence sensor, and will allow other Edge 705 owners to wirelessly swap courses, waypoints, and workouts. In addition, courses can be uploaded directly from a desktop or laptop computer, and the new 705 will accept a wider range of course files than the 205/305 series.
As compared to the original 205/305 models (which remain in the lineup for 2008), the new 705 is slightly larger but is now equipped with a bigger 2.2" color display and a new five-way 'joystick' controller mounted on the unit's face. The bigger screen is also a perfect match for the newly enhanced navigation functions which now provide turn-by-turn instructions similar to what you would find in a car-based navigation system.
A new Edge 605 system will offer nearly all of the capabilities of the 705 but uses GPS data to calculate elevation instead of barometric pressure and does not include the ANT+Sport receiver, thus eliminating the SRM compatibility, HRM functionality, and cadence data. The Edge 705 and 605 will retail for US$541.65 and US$430.75, respectively, and both units are expected to hit the market towards the end of the calendar year.
TRP offers lightweight 'cross stoppers
Low-profile cantilever brakes offer a cleaner look and more room for your heels, but for sheer stopping power and mud clearance it's nearly impossible to beat old-school high-profile arms when it comes to cyclocross time.
TRP's new EuroX and EuroX Carbon brakes faithfully mimic the designs of yore but in modern materials. The EuroX Carbon is built with carbon fiber plates and titanium hardware to yield a total weight of just 109g per wheel (with pads), while the CNC-machined aluminum plates and stainless steel hardware of the standard EuroX add just 11g. The new 'Inplace' pad holders are also sized to fit standard Shimano-compatible road cartridges, making it much easier to run proper brake blocks when using carbon rims.
Unfortunately, TRP so faithfully reproduced the classic design that the EuroX also makes do without proper pad height, toe-in, or brake arm centering features. Just as in the old days, correct pad adjustment will depend on your framebuilder's proper brake stud placement and centering will likely require a spring tweak or two. All in the name of light weight, we suppose, but TRP insists that that was what its customers asked for so who are we to argue?
The EuroX will retail for just US$109.99 for a complete bike's worth, and the high-zoot EuroX Carbon will command US$249.99. If that weren't a good enough deal already, both will also include carbon-specific inserts at no extra charge.
Jagwire makes it easier to go carbon
Speaking of cyclocross brakes and carbon rims, Jagwire will also make it easier for those using threaded cantilever brake pads to run lightweight hoops. The new 'cross-specific cartridge pad holders use the same threaded stud and angle-adjusting hardware as typical linear pull brake pads, but like TRP's Inplace pads, take standard road-style brake blocks.
Many 'crossers already cut down their current pads for better frame and fork clearance (and reduced squealing, say some), but the new Jagwire pads remove that hassle completely and readily accept any variety of road brake blocks including carbon-specific compounds.
Jagwire also introduces lighter-weight pad holders to fit Campagnolo's newest D-Skeleton brake calipers, and aluminum-backed disc brake pads to shave grams for the off-road set.
In non-brake related news, Jagwire displayed a rather nifty-looking set of aftermarket mounts to fit Shimano bar end shifters. Shimano's standard (and somewhat weighty) expanding wedge system is replaced by a sleeker CNC-machined perch that clamps externally to aero bar extensions. Jagwire claims its set weighs just 44g a pair, saving a relatively significant 66g.
Camelbak gives riders a pat on the back
Camelbak delves deeper into the bottle market with its new Podium model, which is designed to fit into standard bicycle water bottle cages. Camelbak fits a pliable silicone one-way valve to the top that it claims is fully self-sealing, meaning you don' t have to pop the top open and closed each time you use it (or you don't cover your frame in energy drink if you're one of those riders who doesn't bother).
The Podium bottle is also fitted with a shut-off valve to prevent accidents when stuffing it into gear bags, and Camelbak says the bottle's polypropylene construction won't add any unwanted 'seasoning' to its contents. We've seen this idea before (anyone else remember Specialized's Racer's Edge?), but Camelbak's expertise in bit valve design has us hoping the concept is better executed this time around. Pro riders may agree, too, as we spotted at least major team in negotiations at Camelbak's booth to provide the squad with bottles for next season.
Last year's successful Unbottle gains a cheaper alternative for 2008 with the introduction of the Performance bottle. The new model is similar in concept to the original (take bottle, add one Big Bite Valve on straw, sip and enjoy) but does without the flip-up valve and cool-looking translucent polycarbonate construction. The polypropylene base is now squeezable instead, and a positive shut-off valve is added to the base of the cap.
Camelbak has revised or fully overhauled a substantial proportion of its line but seems to pay particular attention to its larger packs for 2008 with its new Dynamic Ventilated Integrated System, or DVIS. The self-adjusting design incorporates eight articulating pads that support the load beneath an airmesh back. This looks to not only provide breezy airflow across what would otherwise be a nasty, sweaty mess, but also keeps the reservoir off your back to keep it cooler as well.
Fulcrum delves deeper in MTB
Italy-based Fulcrum launches headfirst into the off-road category with five MTB models for 2008. The top-of-the-line Red Metal Zero utilizes many of the features of Fulcrum's road-going Racing 1 model, including its MoMag spoke attachment system, 2:1 lacing pattern, and alloy bladed spokes. The MoMag system is particularly interesting for this category as the solid outer rim wall it provides makes for easy tubeless compatibility and a stronger rim that should hold up better to the rigors of off-road usage than one full of holes.
The Red Metal Zero also utilizes oversized aluminum axles (a whopping 20mm for the rear) and is available in both rim brake and disc-specific models. Disc-specific models are available with Shimano Centerlock-compatible hubs, a fact which seems especially ironic considering Fulcrum's parentage (Fulcrum and Campy are essentially one in the same).
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com