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Tech News – July 23, 2007

Edited by James Huang

Got tech? Send press releases, news, and tech questions to the Cyclingnews tech desk.

Speedplay expands Light Action collection

Speedplay's Light Action stainles steel pedals
Photo ©: Speedplay
(Click for larger image)

Speedplay originally intended its recently debuted Light Action pedal for first-time clipless pedal users and cyclists that generally fell more towards the recreational end of the spectrum. Surprising sales figures, however, have prompted the company to actually expand the range upscale with the introduction of stainless steel and even titanium-spindled versions, all available in four different colors.

Based on rider feedback, Speedplay identified three key performance metrics for clipless pedals: effortless engagement, secure attachment, and easy exit. According to Speedplay president Sharon Worman, "When we introduced the Light Action, people loved them because the pedals do these three things. But then they told us they wanted two more things: stainless and titanium."

The new Light Action Titanium version will retail for US$305, while the stainless steel model will draw US$175 from your coffers. Suggested retail on the chrome-moly version will remain at a very reasonable US$115.

Zipp takes the (Vuka) Bull by the horns

Mating the Vuka Bull with a set
Photo ©: Zipp Speed Weaponry
(Click for larger image)

Although it still stands by fully integrated setups, Indiana-based Zipp Speed Weaponry acknowledges that they don't always deliver the positioning flexibility that some riders want or need (and often are out of reach for many in terms of budget). In response, Zipp expands its aero arsenal with the introduction of its newest Vuka Bull base bar which should offer plenty of independent adjustability when paired with clip-on aero extensions.

The full-carbon Vuka Bull is built using similar layup schedules as on the Vuka Aero, along with a similarly minimal frontal area, surprisingly comfortable end 'pods', and internal brake cable routing (although brake levers are not integrated into the design as on the Vuka Aero). Claimed weight for the sole 42cm-wide offering is just 195g, making it among the lightest base bars on the market.

Suggested retail for the bare Vuka Bull is US$325, while a US$580 kit will also include Zipp's Vuka Clip and a pair of extensions.

Chris King goes big with new 150mm ISO rear hub

Naturally, the new 150mm ISO rear hub
Photo ©: Chris King
(Click for larger image)

Chris King debuted a new 150mm ISO rear hub at the recent Downieville Classic in Downieville, CA. Specifically aimed at downhill and freeride users, the new hub features Chris King's trademark micro-engaging RingDrive internals, signature custom-made stainless steel sealed cartridge bearings, a 19.5mm constant diameter axle, and an aluminum hub shell available in either 32-hole or 36-hole drillings and the usual rainbow of colors.

The new hub will work with standard 12mm thru-axle frames, and stainless steel drivers will be available as an option. As with all current ISO hubs, bearing preload can be adjusted with a 2.5mm hex wrench without wheel or rotor removal, and the hub will carry Chris King's usual 5-year warranty.

Claimed weight with an aluminum driver is 336g, and the suggested retail is US$369.99. The stainless driver option raises the price slightly to US$399.99.

Limar pushes helmet weight envelope with new PRO 104

Limar's new PRO 104 helmet
Photo ©: Limar
(Click for larger image)

Italian helmet maker Limar joins the 200g helmet club with its new PRO 104, said to weigh as little as 180g for the medium size. Claimed to be "The World's Lightest Helmet" (Specialized may have something to say about that with its new sub-200g S-Works 2D), the PRO 104 is based on Limar's now-classic F104 model with a sleek appearance and low-profile fit.

The PRO 104 also boasts an in-mold shell and Limar's Pro System retention system. Twenty-two vents that promise good ventilation in hot conditions (something the riders of the TdF are all-too familiar with currently), and the new helmet will be offered in two sizes.

Advanced sports performance testing facility opens in Austin, TX

Endurance consulting provider Source Endurance has opened a world-class sports performance testing facility at its Austin, TX headquarters. The impressive equipment list includes one of only five SRM ergometers, a TrueOne metabolic measurement device by ParvoMedics, and a Woodway treadmill capable of testing elite sub-4-minute runners. Source Endurance will use the equipment to gather accurate performance data from its clients for more purposeful and focused consulting.

According to Uli Schoberer, founder and CEO of SRM, "The team at Source Endurance has proven that they take very seriously the value of data driven training. We are excited to see this facility open and are looking forward to having more athletes have access to the level of performance measurement quality made possible by our ergometer."

"Source Endurance was founded on the premise of providing consulting services that are of the highest service quality possible," added Tim Pletcher, founder and CEO of Source Endurance. "The investment we have made in the lab, and the acquisition of equipment of the caliber of the SRM, ParvoMedics and Woodway platforms underscores our commitment to providing the finest tools and resources possible for facilitating the success of our clients. There are only a few facilities in the US with the level of sophistication that we have deployed and we know that this level of commitment is required to achieve the results we demand of ourselves in service delivery to our clients."

Interbike registration open

Yup, it's that time again! Now that product launch season is drawing to a close (finally!), trade show season is about to begin in earnest, beginning with the Eurobike and EICMA shows in early and late September, respectively, and culminating with the massive Interbike event in Las Vegas, NV, shortly thereafter.

Online registration for this year's Interbike Expo and Outdoor Demo is now open to qualified members of the industry and media at www.interbike.com. This year's show kicks off September 24-25 with the OutDoor Demo at Bootleg Canyon in nearby Boulder City; the Interbike Expo will then be held at the usual Sands Convention Center September 26-28.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Image by Speedplay

Images by Zipp Speed Weaponry

Images by Chris King

Image by Limar