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Tech News– March 21 update, 2003

Edited by Paul Mirtschin

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Cannondale auctions bicycle and motorsports divisions

Cannondale has announced the results of Thursday's separate auctions of its bicycle and motorsports divisions. The auctions for the assets of both divisions were conducted at the company’s Bethel, Connecticut headquarters. Cannondale filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 29th, 2003.

Both the bicycle and motorsport divisions are to be purchased by Pegasus, Cannondale's largest secured creditor, subject to the approval of the bankruptcy court. The terms of the winning bids were not disclosed. Pegasus had committed in late January to working with current management and operating the bicycle business, although the company has indicated that it does not intend to operate the motorsports division.

Cannondale's founder Joe Montgomery was pleased with the outcome of the auction. "This is a huge step toward successfully realizing our three key objectives: ensuring a quick emergence from chapter 11, restoring focus and adding resources to the bike division so it can continue to thrive and prosper, and preserving our employees’ jobs in Connecticut and Pennsylvania," Montgomery said in a written statement.

Earlier this month workers returned to Cannondale's Bedford, Pennsylvania factory to resume production of bicycles and cycling accessories, ending a temporary work furlough. It is expected that Cannondale will officially emerge from chapter 11 within the next several weeks, following court approval of the auction and the subsequent closing of the sale.

SRAM to release two new MTB groups

On top of our recent news on Shimano's new Saint and XT groups comes news that SRAM are to release two new mountain bike groups. The new X.7 and X.9 are aimed directly at Shimano's LX and XT groups, and are likely to replace the current 7.0 and 9.0 groups.

The groups will feature SRAM's new trigger shifters, and our sources say this is to allow riders to have the option of a trigger shifting system, with Shimano moving to the STI based system featured in the 2004 Saint, 2004 XT and 2003 XTR groups.

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60:aday and Pegoretti Cicli launch Italian based frame building school

Pegoretti Cicli and tour organisers 60:aday are launching what they claim to be the first ever Italian-based frame building school, enabling a limited number of people to get a hands-on experience of how to build a bicycle frame.

To be held at Pegoretti's workshop in Trento, Italy, and taught by one of the real masters of Italian frame building, Dario Pegoretti, the school will take place over seven days in June and July and will give an insight into the mysteries of frame building, covering topics such as biomechanics, material selection, frame geometry and general hands on frame construction.

Once the course is completed, the students will have a bare frame ready to be painted.

The cost of the course is €4450, with two start dates, June 29 and July 13.

Yeti Europe / IRWIN Race Team

UK company IRWIN Industrial Tools has teamed up with Yeti Europe for the 2003 season. The team will race across the UK, from Southern England to Fort William in Scotland, as well as Ireland, Wales and mainland Europe including Germany, Croatia, Italy and France.

Other sponsors include Roach Clothing, SPY Optics, RaceFace, Stunts.org.uk, Chris King, Evolution Imports, Hope, Dianese, SDG Saddles, Atomlab, TF Tuning and Bromley Bike Co.

Compact engine gear-set for bicycles

Denver-based engineer Stephen Katsaros believes that battery-powered bicycles are not the answer to traffic problems, and has designed a gasoline-based Revolution Motor to take their place. While many of us 'proper cyclists' probably think powered bikes aren't the answer either, we can see applications for a power-assisted bike (getting older riders up hills, for example) if only the weight were reasonable, and that's what Katsaros says he's come up with.

"…those (electric) bikes all weigh around 80 lbs and only have a range of 10 to 15 miles. The problem is that it takes about 377 lbs of lead-acid batteries to equal the energy stored in a pound of gasoline," said Katsaros

His Revolution Motor consists of a 27 cubic centimetre two-stroke engine and a gear train that fits the 75mm-wide confines of a conventional bicycle fork. The drivetrain, consisting of six spur gears to achieve three reduction steps, offers a 100:1 speed reduction ratio between the engine and drive wheel and is necessary as the motor runs at such a high speed.

Katsaros believes that using his motor, manufacturers can cut the weight of a motorized bike to about 14 kilograms with a driving range of about 30 kilometres.


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