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Tech update June 20, 2002
Edited by John Stevenson
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SLR gets lighter
As if 135g weren't light enough, Selle Italia's latest saddle, the SLR Carbon, tips the scales at under 100g 95g according to the company. The SLR Carbon achieves this trivial gram count by using a carbon/Kevlar top, tubular titanium rails and no cover or padding.
As far as we're aware, though, the lightweight saddle champ is still the 'street' version of the German AX Lightness carbon saddle, which German website Bike Planet found to tip the scales at 66g
Also new from Selle Italia, the Flite Evolution 3 is the latest version of a true modern lightweight classic. When it was introduced back in 991, the original Flite started the lightweight saddle craze, and spawned a thousand titanium-railed imitators.
The Evolution 3 also uses a carbon/Kevlar hull and tubular titanium rails but boasts a little more on top than the SLR Carbon. Claimed weight is 120g, which by the standards of anyone but a total fanatic, is still pretty darn light.
More information: Selle Italia's website
Pearl expands shoe line
Pearl Izumi is introducing a new road shoe model to complement its current high-end offerings, plus a new colour scheme in the Vaper road and MTB shoes.
The new model, dubbed 'Vagabond' is a road version of the Vagabond MTB shoe, using a similar nylon I-Beam sole to the existing Vortex road shoe and a three-strap closure. The upper is made from natural leather and mesh, and the whole caboodle is finished in tasteful black with white lettering.
Pearl Izumi says the Vagabond road is intended for recreational road cycling and has a suggested retail of US$74.99.
More information: Pearl Izumi's website
FSA's Bonjour special edition
From the droolsome components department, here's FSA's Bonjour special edition carbon crank, of which only 150 will be available to the public.
According to FSA's Tim Campen, "The Carbon Pro Team Issue takes carbon fiber technology to the next level. Featuring a one-piece crankarm and spider, this new crankset offers increased stiffness and strength, even over the Carbon Pro crankset."
Shimano Octalink 9 speed and ISIS Drive 10 speed versions will be available in 170, 172.5, and 175mm lengths with 53/39 chainrings.
If you have US$450 burning a hole in your pocket, the Bonjour special edition is available in the second half of June.
More information: FSA's website
105 back in black
Shimano may be keeping us waiting till 2004 for a revamp to Dura-Ace, but there will still be a few tweaks to the 2003 road groups from the big S.
Shimano Europe has recently announced a black colour scheme option for the 105 group, though aside from this cosmetic change there are no majpr differences to the popular entry-level racing group.
Of interest to riders with smaller hands is the ST-R600, a new STI lever at the Ultegra level. According to Shimano Australia's Matt Bazzano, the ST-R600 is the same size and shape as current STI levers, but can take inserts that change the angle of the lever by five or ten degrees, moving the lever blade closer to the handlebar. We know a couple of riders who are eagerly awaiting these some folks just find the reach to the lever of current STI units too long.
In other Shimano news, multiple downhill MTB world champion Nico Vouilloz has signed to use the company's European eyewear line.
More information: Shimano's website