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Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, September 22-26, 2008
Part 6 - September 25: Speedplay to bring adjustable float to the dirt
By John Stevenson in Las Vegas, Nevada
Nanogram carbon uber-pedal finally shipping
Speedplay, known for lollipop-shaped double-sided road bike pedals, is working on a mountain bike pedal that has the same adjustable float as the popular Zero road pedal.
Dubbed Syzr, the new pedal is very much at proto development stage. When BikeRadar asked when it might be available, the answer was a refreshingly honest "No idea." It will be ready when it's ready, it seems.
Like the Zero road pedal, the Syzr will have float adjustable from zero to 15 degrees, using tiny grub screws in the cleat body as end stops.
The mechanism looks like a cross between a Shimano and a Crank Brothers pedal with its combination of a steel retention lip and an aluminium bar.
Unlike the Zero, Syzr will have adjustable release tension. Another small grub screw in the pedal body loads the main spring.
Projected weight is 350 ± 20g with a stainless steel axle. Titanium and chromoly-xled versions will follow. Cost of the stainless version is hoped to be around the same at the Frog, Speedplay's existing mountain bike pedal, which typically costs around US$140.
Announced at last year's Eurobike show, Speedplay's Nanogram pedal is finally about to ship. Production pedals will go out on October 15, according to Speedplay.
Twenty-five percent lighter than the Zero pedal (which is not exactly a boat anchor) the Nanogram drips carbon composite and aluminium parts and will cost (are you sitting down?) $US625.
That, BikeRadar put it to the Speedplay folks, is a wallet-frightening amount of money for a pedal. (We didn't say "You can get car for that!" because it's about ten times what our first car cost...) They agreed, but added, "People want 'em anyway!"
Weight-shaving differences between the Nanogram and the regular Zero include: no spanner flats on the axle; composite body; a single ceramic outboard bearing; aluminium screws and top plate; and a composite shoe backing plate in the cleat.
Get your Platformer shoes on
Speedplay is also working on a clip-on cover for Zero and Light Action pedals that will enable them to be used with regular shoes. Dubbed Platformer, these pink plastic shells wrap round the whole pedal and are held on with a clip that yo lever off with a screwdriver to restore to cleat mode.
Sturmey sets date for three-speed fixie – but will it be alone?
Sturmey Archer's S3X fixed-wheel three-speed hub will be available in January, Sturmey's US marketing manager told BikeRadar at Interbike today. Retail price for the hub is expected to be in the US$140-160 range.
The S3X will probably come with a multi-location shifter that can be used as a bar end or mounted on the down tube. Unfortunately, said Prosser, it's not possible to make it work with current brake/shift levers, so drop-in compatibility with, say, Shimano STI units, won't happen.
Prosser said that the final production version of the hub will be lighter than the current prototype. It's hard to see where you save weight in a hub gear as there's an unavoidable amount of metal needed in the internals, and it's not like possible buyers of a three-speed fixie hub can go buy someone else's lighter alternative.
Or can they? We haven't seen it yet, but SRAM apparently has a hub that can be switched between fixed-wheel and freewheel operation and is rumoured to be working on its own three-speed fixed hub.
Prosser explained some of the background to the S3X project, which was basically by a steady stream of inquiries to Sturmey from various places around the ‘net (including, this writer, who stopped bothering Prosser about it when he told me that to resurrect the old ASC hub, Sturmey would need an order of 10,000 units.)
Various people, including the late great Sheldon Brown, helped gauge the level of interest, and Prosser hinted that if the S3X is successful, then Sturmey will consider widening the range with, for example, a closer-ratio version akin to the original ASC.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by John Stevenson/BikeRadar.com