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Friedrichshafen, Germany, September 4-7, 2008
September 5, 2008
Part 2 - Italian builders showcase in Germany
By Ben Atkins in Friedrichshafen, Germany
De Rosa introduces custom Neo Pro
The King 3 still sits on its throne on top of the De Rosa range, but as it is a semi-monocoque – albeit one that is available in ten sizes – De Rosa has introduced a new high-end carbon road frame, the Neo Pro, which can be made to measure.
The Neo Pro uses tube-and-lug construction which allows the length and height of the frame, as well as the tubes' angles, to be fully personalised according to rider needs. Moulds cover the various corners and joints of the frame as it is constructed and a combination of internal seals and pressurized nitrogen prevents the leakage of resin. This, claims De Rosa, yields better control and more flexibility in the carbon fibre-to-resin ratio. In addition to custom builds, the Neo Pro is available in five non-sloping sizes between 52 and 60cm as well as three sloping – 45 to 52cm.
Due to the slightly less structurally efficient construction method, the Neo Pro comes in a little heavier than the King 3 at just over 1kg.
The rest of De Rosa's range remains largely unchanged for 2009. The Italian company remains one of a small number of labels that produce frames made from all four major materials: carbon, aluminium, titanium and steel.
Wilier Triestina refines Cento for 2009
The new range-topping frame from Wilier Triestina is the Cento Uno, as ridden by the Lampre team of Damiano Cunego at this year's Tour de France. A development of the existing Cento frame, the Cento Uno differs from its predecessor in a number of ways, most notably with the inclusion of an integrated seat post.
In addition, the stays now adopt a looped configuration where each side's seat- and chain stay are moulded as one piece, which Wilier says provides a more responsive ride than before. Further forward, the Cento Uno will integrate the bottom bracket bearings directly into a newly oversized shell, thus removing the need for separate cups altogether. This, claims Wilier, not only saves weight but also gives the whole area increased lateral stiffness. Though the frame itself actually weighs slightly more that the original Cento, the Cento Uno's higher level of integration means it's 120g lighter when built up.
Wilier also showed off its John Cobb-designed time trial frame, the Cento Crono, which was used by the Lampre team during this year's Tour de France. Though its shape is somewhat unconventional, Wilier claims that every single tube and feature came about from testing in the Texas A&M wind tunnel, such as the 'splitter' on the down tube, the raised top tube, and even the uniquely shaped seat tube which supposedly helps smooth airflow between the rider's legs.
Further down the Wilier range comes the 1320g La Triestina, a triple-butted aluminium frame with carbon seat stays. Though not a full-carbon machine, Wilier says this is the lightest aluminium chassis it has ever produced and to be fair, we would have considered this state-of-the-art just a handful of years ago meaning it will be a veritable bargain for today's shoppers.
Viner builds on custom carbon
Tuscan bike builder Viner has made some subtle changes to its existing top-of-the-range Maxima. The full carbon frame, that is only available with custom geometry, has been stiffened around the bottom bracket area and is now available with BB30 compatibility. Even with an uncut integrated seat post, Viner claims that the Maxima frame can weigh as little as 1080g Though we find this difficult to believe (and several manufacturers come to mind), Viner now claims that the Maxima is the only truly custom frame available in the world.
New for 2009 is the Mitus Plus, a full-carbon frame built with tube-to-tube wrapped construction. Also featuring an integrated seat post, the Mitus Plus weighs only fractionally more than the Maxima and because of the construction method used is also available made to measure. Unlike the Maxima though, it is also available in a range of stock sizes between 53 and 65cm for standard geometry, plus four sloping and four women's-specific sizes. In addition, the Mitus Plus can also be built with a standard seat post and clamp if desired.
Lower in the range comes a full-carbon frame specifically for women called the Magnifica. Viner will offer the Magnifica exclusively in five sizes, all with slightly compact geometries. As well as a slightly girly pink, the Magnifica also comes in red and blue.
Coming in at mid-range level is the XPlus, a carbon modular monocoque frame aimed at the enthusiast market. Like the Magnifica, the XPlus is available in five sizes but no female-specific versions will be offered.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Ben Atkins/Cyclingnews.com