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Tech News – October 23, 2007

Edited by James Huang

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Team Slipstream-Chipotle to ride Zipp through 2009 season

Team Slipstream will use Zipp wheelsets
Photo ©: James Huang
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Jonathan Vaughters' Slipstream team continues to carry a heap of momentum heading into next season. In addition to the recent run of high-profile rider signings (which include David Millar, David Zabriskie, and Tom Danielson), the team has just announced a new sponsorship agreement with recently acquired Zipp Speed Weaponry to utilize the company's wheelsets through the 2009 season.

The agreement will be old hat for Zabriskie, who rode Zipp wheelsets during his stay at Team CSC, but will be a marked change for Millar and Danielson, who most recently have used Mavic and Bontrager/Hed products during their 2007 seasons with Saunier Duval-Prodir and Discovery Channel, respectively.

According to Zipp president Andy Ording, "Team Slipstream's approach represents the future of professional cycling both in the U.S. and in the European peloton. We are thrilled to be aligned with the team and we are confident in their ability to represent Zipp well. Most importantly, our relationship with the team will extend beyond sponsorship to provide us with a constant stream of input that will help shape our product development through technological innovation."

Slipstream Team Director Jonathan Vaughters added, "We're a team that must search out every legal advantage we can find. Having wheels that genuinely test faster in the wind tunnel and have been race proven give us a legal edge, which is what this team is all about."

Trek slims down the TTX

Trek reportedly shaved 300g from the standard Equinox TTX
Photo ©: Trek Bicycles
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Trek's new 2008 Equinox TTX 9.9SSL reportedly shaves a sizeable 300g off of last year's standard Equinox TTX 9.9 model through the use of aggressively machined aluminum fittings and a more advanced OCLV Red carbon fiber content and lay-up schedule. A switch to SRAM's new Red componenty group is also said to lop off an additional 150g as compared to the current version's Shimano Dura-Ace package.

Thankfully, Trek has retained all of the aero trickery featured on the original TTX, though, including the wider fork leg spacing which is claimed to save 0.1lb of drag in comparison to the narrower spacing of more typical aero forks, internally run cables that enter the frame behind the stem, and a sculpted fork crown which blends more seamlessly into the lowered down tube.

According to Trek, recent trips to the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel showed that its TTX frame design was more aerodynamic than other reference machines in 'real world' conditions, utilizing fully built framesets and identically positioned riders. In addition, Discovery Channel team captain Levi Leipheimer supposedly posted the lowest total drag figure ever recorded by a male athlete at SDLSWT back in February 2007.

Trek will offer the Equinox TTX 9.9SSL in three sizes as either a bare frameset or a complete bike outfitted with a Bontrager Aeolus 5.0/6.5 wheelset, a SRAM Red drivetrain, and a plethora of Bontrager Race XXX Lite components for US$8249.99. Other Equinox TTX frames will use either OCLV Black or OCLV White carbon fiber blends and less expensive componentry at price points down to US$3079.99.

Avanti Bicycle Company adds JetStream technology to its time trial frames

Avanti Bicycle Company claims its new Chrono frameset
Photo ©: Avanti Bicycle Company
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John Cobb's original JetStream carbon aero fork admittedly looks a bit odd, but the unique split-blade design supposedly diverts air away from the churning front wheel, thus smoothing overall air flow and decreasing aerodynamic drag. According to Oval Concepts, who currently markets and distributes the JetStream, the design can shave a substantial 55 seconds per hour at 50km/h as compared to conventional forks. That sort of time savings naturally hasn't gone unnoticed by some top ProTour contenders, either, including Gilbert Simoni, Damiano Cunego, and most recently, Cadel Evans, who used it to help achieve his second-place finish at this year's Tour de France.

New Zealand bicycle company Avanti already equips its current Chrono time trial/triathlon frame with a special version of the Oval Concepts JetStream fork that places the brake caliper behind the crown, but has now integrated the split-blade design into the carbon seat stays of the 2008 Chrono. According to Avanti, recent tests conducted at San Diego's Low Speed Wind Tunnel have shown that the new split stays can save nearly a full minute off of a one hour time trial, roughly doubling the advantage of the fork alone. Avanti will also equip the new Chrono with an exclusive version of the JetStream fork for even more time savings.

"We have a burning desire to make faster bikes and were looking for innovations to enable that," said Avanti Group Product Manager Kim Struthers. "We had the idea which we knew hadn't been tried before and consulted Morgan [Nicol] at Oval who agreed there could be significant benefits of integrating the technology."

Dolan bikes to be distributed in US

The Dolan Aeolus reportedly weighs just 1050g
Photo ©: DPM Sports
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Respected British framebuilder Terry Dolan has seen riders claim Olympic, National, and World titles aboard his frames (both under the Dolan livery and otherwise) and will finally see his creations available on US soil. DPM Sports, the US distributor for the Spanish Spiuks and Kuips lines, plans to offer a comprehensive range of Dolan machines covering road, TT/triathlon, track, and cyclocross disciplines.

Among the new offerings are the 2008 Scuro, a 920g frame which utilizes a full Dedacciai carbon tubeset, the integrated seatmast-equipped full-carbon Aeolus, and the slippery Aria TT machine which is reportedly favored by none other than Cofidis star Bradley Wiggins. According to DPM Sports, cyclocross frames will arrive the first week of November, just in time for the season, while road frames will follow just a couple of weeks later. The full Dolan inventory is reported to be available the following spring, and interested dealers can contact DPM Sports directly at info@dpmsports.com.

USA Cycling announces dates for 2008 Bill Woodul Race Mechanic Clinic

USA Cycling will hold its 2008 Bill Woodul Race Mechanics Clinic
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Mechanics seeking a stint on the professional race circuit should reserve January 10-13, 2008 on their calendars as well a flight to Colorado Springs, CO for USA Cycling's Bill Woodul Race Mechanic Clinic. Held at the United States Olympic Training Center, the program is claimed to be the world's only race support mechanic training program with a curriculum that includes caravan and motorcycle support, pit setup for road, mountain, and cyclocross events, and tool, equipment, and supply needs and preparation as well as a comprehensive module on wheel building and care.

Graduates will be issued an official USAC Mechanics License, which is required for all Olympic Trials, National Championships, and USAC training camps, in addition to many neutral support programs. The cost for attending the clinic is US$300, a surprisingly reasonable fee when you consider that lodging at the USOTC, all meals, and instructional materials are all included. Space is limited, and interested parties should contact USAC Operations Manager Justin Koch at either 719-866-4708 or jkoch@usacycling.org. Attendees must be US citizens.

Formula recalls Oro brakes

Formula has issued a voluntary recall
Photo ©: James Huang
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Italian disc brake manufacturer Formula has issued a voluntary recall on certain members of its Oro brake family. All Oro brakes manufactured before July 2007 with master cylinder serial numbers 295237 and lower are affected; some 2005-2006 Oro Puro models, however, may not be affected as they use a different design.

According to Formula, the recalled brakesets utilize a set screw to secure the pin that affixes the brake lever. If the screws are not properly torqued, the pin can fall out and the brake lever will become inoperable.

Affected owners are asked to immediately bring the affected brakes to a Formula dealer for inspection and/or repair. Alternatively, users may also follow the repair instructions posted on Formula's web site. Additional information can be found at www.formulabrakeusa.com.


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Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

Images by Trek Bicycles

Images by Avanti Bicycle Company

Images by DPM Sports

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com