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Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, September 24 - 28, 2007
Part 18: The last of the bikes from Interbike 2007
Edited by James Huang
More integrated seatpost designs from Look
Look brings the integrated 'E-Post' design of its top-end 595 down to a more reasonable price point with the introduction of its new 586. At a claimed weight of 940g (with an uncut seat mast), the new 586 will actually be the lightest in Look's line and features 'Very High Modulus' carbon monocoque construction and compressed carbon rear dropouts with a replaceable hanger. As on the 595, the 586's E-Post will include vibration-damping elastomer inserts (available in three different densities to tune the ride quality) and an adjustable-offset head.
Up front, Look outfits the 586 with its newly patented Head Fit headset system, which supposedly simplifies headset and stem adjustments by making the two completely independent and also shaving 40g from a conventional threadless arrangement in the process. The system features pressed in bearings and a single lock nut that threads on to a unique HSC6 steerer tube, thus allowing the user to change stems if needed without affecting the headset adjustment as well as pack a bike for travel more easily.
Look also includes a modified version of its integrated E-Post design for its new mountain bike entry, the 986 hardtail. The monocoque front triangle is joined to the separately molded rear end with tube-to-tube technology, and the rear end is finished off with aluminum rear dropouts. Flattened sections on both the chain stays and seat stays supposedly improve the frame's vertical compliance, which works in conjunction with the elastomer stack in the reversible E-Post to take the edge off of the non-suspended design. Look says that it designed the new bike with weight, comfort and accurate handling in mind which should suit either the pro racer or weekend warrior alike. Look will offer the 986 as both a bare frame (with a claimed weight of just 1200g) or as a complete bike with retail pricing on the top-level SRAM X.0 build quoted at US$5499.
Also new from Look this year is the Quartz mountain bike pedal. The Quartz incorporates a unique 'uni-wire design' (at least that's what we're calling it) which melds the retention bars and spring into a single loop that has been bent and tensioned to provide a positive locking situation. The novel retention system, large platform, and open architecture is said to provide a stable shoe platform while still excelling at clearing mud and rocks in those nasty off-road conditions. /JD
Lynskey Performance Designs sticks to its titanium roots
The Lynskey family founded Litespeed Titanium Components back in 1986, and after selling the company in 1999, recently re-entered the bicycle world recently with the eponymous Lynskey Performance Designs. Even in today's decidedly carbon-oriented world, Lynskey continues to preach the virtues of titanium, which it says is longer lasting and more customizable while offering nearly the same level of performance. Unlike many other titanium fabricators, Lynskey chooses to use aerospace-grade 6/4 and 3/2.5 titanium alloys solely milled in the US.
Lynskey offers a broad range of stock frames in a similarly comprehensive range of disciplines that includes road, mountain, triathlon, cyclocross, and touring, but it is primarily concentrating on its custom builds. The buying process includes a thorough fit by a Lynskey dealer and an interview by David Lynskey himself, iterations of proposed geometries and configurations, and finally the all-important decision of how the frame should be finished. According to Lynskey, "Painted, not painted, flames, panels, brushed, etched, personalized, you name it and we can do it. There are no limits other than your imagination."
Spot Brand and Carbon Drive Systems team up for winning combination
One of the hottest areas at this year's show, both indoors and out, was the joint Spot Brand/Carbon Drive Systems booth. Spot Brand has long enjoyed a loyal following for its quality singlespeed frames, but the addition of Carbon Drive Systems' 'polychain' transmission promises to place the company front-and-center under a searing spotlight.
The toothed belt is molded from polyurethane and reinforced with carbon fiber strands that both keep it from stretching (thus robbing power) and increase its durability. The matching machined aluminum chainring and cogs are aggressively ported for mud and grime evacuation and are available in a variety of sizes for tenability and fitment on a wide range of crankarms. Unfortunately, the belt can't be separated in its current form so a special dropout is required. A steel 'keyhole' version is already available for interested framebuilders, though, and aluminum and titanium versions are already in development.
Carbon Drive Systems claims the belt, chainring, and cog weigh just 180g in total, and the belt can last up to 16,000km (10,000mi). According the CDS' Nick Howe, the company has been inundated with enquiries from interested framebuilders so we wouldn't be surprised if a number of these were to appear on bikes at the upcoming North American Handmade Bicycle Show in February. Stay tuned…
Temple Cycles: how custom do you want it?
In today's bicycle world, there are custom bikes, and then there are custom. Boulder, CO-based Temple Cycles definitely fits more into the latter category, with an annual frame output of just two dozen pieces and a certifiable claim that no two creations are exactly alike.
Basic frame configurations include the titanium-and-carbon or steel-and-carbon Colibri, the integrated seatmast Kaana in either steel or titanium-and-carbon, and the all-steel or all-titanium Kachi. Save for those fundamental starting points, though, Temple Cycles can apparently accommodate anything else you could dream of.
Take the J30 'Connecticut Cutter', commissioned by a dealer in CT that wanted their bike themed after a specific racing yacht. Temple Cycles started with a custom steel-and-carbon Colibri frame, then applied teak veneer (yes, that teak) and frame and component logos fully redone in nautical flags. The Deda Newton handlebar and Thomson seatpost (with a now-defunct M2Racer cradle) are custom chromed, and the Selle Italia C64 saddle and handlebar are both wrapped in sail cloth.
Now in its sixth year of production, Temple Cycles apparently doesn't have much desire to get too much bigger, as that would almost certainly cut into its ability to dedicate as much time to each creation as it does currently. According to company co-owner Lance Johnson, "Our goal is to make it not about the bits and pieces; it's about the bicycle as a complete entity."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com