Tech News: December 8, 2007
Edited by James Huang
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Saunier Duval-Prodir to become Saunier Duval-Scott for 2008
Saunier Duval-Prodir team
Photo ©: Scott
Scott has sponsored Mauro Gianetti's Saunier Duval-Prodir team with its
CR1 and Addict framesets since the team's debut in 2003. For 2008, Scott
will take on a markedly more prominent role in the team, which will now
be known as Saunier Duval-Scott. According to Scott, much of the motivation
for the change lay with the company's desire to utilize the team more
heavily in regards to product development.
"We've made progress together, as the athletes´ valuable feedback is
a key factor to the evolution of our revolutionary products. We're happy
we can develop further our already strong accessories and support the
young riders recruited for next season." said Scott Vice President Pascal
Ducrot. "We entirely trust Mauro Gianetti and his men, and we've done
so since 2003, when he showed us his project."
"This is a team that has shown integrity in a time of turmoil, and maintained
a top position in the ProTour, finishing 6th last season," added Scott
USA Marketing and PR Manager Adrian Montgomery. "We feel that as the sport
evolves, the team will prove to be on the forefront of the new standards
by which ProTour teams can endure, and even find themselves in a leadership
position whereas sportsmanship is concerned."
Team LPR to ride De Rosa
De Rosa has announced
Photo ©: Tim Maloney
Team LPR has signed some serious Italian muscle in Danilo Di Luca and
Paolo Savoldelli, and now will have some suitable Italian hardware to
match. De Rosa has announced that it will supply Fabio Bordonali's team
with the company's distinctive King 3 and Idol carbon framesets for the
The triple-monocoque construction of De Rosa's 1100g Idol frame may allow
for custom geometries if required, but team members will most likely choose
the lighter 950g monocoque King 3 frame as the roads head skywards.
Campagnolo offers sponsored riders special Ergopower shifters
Photo ©: Campagnolo
Campagnolo will offer its own 'red' shifter for 2008, although these
will officially only be available to its sponsored teams. While Shimano
continues to champion its 'Light Action' concept, Campagnolo insists that
requests from its professional racers have dictated a harder shift
effort and more tactile feedback. According to Campagnolo, this is more
appropriate for when minds are more heavily focused on the throes of racing.
Those changes come about courtesy of "very stiff special springs", which
we can only assume will include both the lever return springs and the
characteristic Ergopower 'g' springs that are so familiar to well-versed
shop and team mechanics. Other than those springs and the shifters' telltale
red markings, though, Campagnolo says that consumer versions will be identical.
What's the big deal, you ask? If that's the case, consumers will also
be able to achieve the same results with a simple overhaul, assuming Campagnolo
will offer the springs to commoners, that is.
Italian companies adopt cross-marketing approaches
Moto GP star Loris Capirossi
Photo ©: bettiniphoto.net
Relatively speaking, professional cycling may be on the smaller end of
the participation spectrum, but the number of non-racing sport cyclists
is sometimes surprisingly large. Included in that group are professional
athletes from other sports that also use cycling for cross-training, such
as 2006 World Superbike champion and Gran Fondo enthusiast Troy
Bayliss and Formula One driver Jarno Trulli.
Another such member is Italian Moto GP star Loris Capirossi, who recently
made an impromptu appearance at the EICMA show in Milano with Paolo Bettini
(Quick Step-Innergetic). Both are sponsored by Sidi, whose reputation
on the bike is also matched by its reputation on the other bike.
Capirossi was piloting a motorcycle as usual, only this time it was a
special 'derny' machine and he was towing Bettini around the Salone del
Ciclo track that was specially constructed for the show.
"I really like cycling," said Capirossi. "I always take my bike with
me when I am away taking part in Grand Prix. I've got three bikes. Part
of my training routine includes cycling as it is great for general athletic
preparation. I saw Paolo riding on the track and was really impressed
with how he rides those parabolic corners on his bike".
"Loris is a real champion," replied Bettini. "I'm really glad he came
to see us here. Loris and I aren't just connected by the Sidi brand; track
cycling and Moto GP have lots of things in common: speed, adrenaline,
and spectacle. You need to be a bit crazy and fearless to race on these
tracks…just like motorbike racers."
Italian compatriot Elite, best known for its bottles, cages, and trainers,
has also chosen to reach outside of the usual boundaries with its participation
in the 32nd Motor Show, an enormous enthusiast event held in Bologna that
reportedly attracted 1.2M visitors last year. Elite will be showcasing
its Realaxiom indoor trainer on floor space shared with European car manufacturer
Skoda, who regularly sponsors major cycling events such as the Tour de
France. Show attendees are encouraged to give Elite's trainers a spin,
and Skoda has reportedly constructed an engaging one minute 'course'.
Gita Sporting Goods and Ergomo part ways
Ergomo's unique power meter design
Photo ©: James Huang
Gita Sporting Goods and Ergomo will officially end their relationship
effective January 8, 2008, leaving subsequent North American distributorship
of the bottom bracket-based power meters in question for the time being.
Gita claims it terminated its distribution agreement due to poor product
reliability and inadequate manufacturer support. "This is a really unique
situation and an extreme disappointment for us," said Gita President Giorgio
Andretta in an official press release. "In 35 years of servicing the US
market we have never had a supplier fail to support their product in this
manner. The defective return rate now exceeds 30%. We have been negotiating
for months trying to get the parts necessary to provide service for the
defective units we have on hand. We have prepaid for additional units
to satisfy these issues. Ergomo has failed to deliver these units. We
apologize to those dealers and consumers that have been affected by this
and are truly sorry for the inconvenience they are experiencing. We are
continuing to work on their behalf to rectify these issues. We simply
can no longer subsidize the product without support from Ergomo."
Matthias A.Gärtner, President and CEO of SG Sensortechnik GmbH & Co KG,
Ergomo's parent company, presents a distinctly different view. According
to him, it was SG Sensortechnik that terminated the contract with Gita.
"Gita did quite a good job initially when they started with Ergomo in
North America due to their experience in selling bikes and textiles,"
he said. "However to be [successful in the] long term with a high tech
product like Ergomo you would need to do much more then just distributing/selling
Ergomo. You will need to constantly coach and train your customers and
the final consumer how and why to use Ergomo. In addition you need to
teach and explain why is it so important to install Ergomo according to
the specification of the manufacturer. Further on it is essential to give
the customers an appropriate support and service not only to sell and
install Ergomo but also an excellent after sales service."
Gärtner admits that Ergomo posted an initial US defect rate of 12-15%,
but feels that the situation could have been handled differently. "Past
experiences Ergomo customers had, where Gita was not able to provide adequate
service due to out of stock scenarios or not being deeply enough involved
in the coaching/training environment should have never happened," he added.
"All customers and consumers who purchased an Ergomo deserve first class
attention, service and understanding."
According to Gärtner, the Ergomo return rate "has been reduced substantially
since 2007 due to improved electronics and software," though, and a new
US and Canadian distributor should be announced shortly.
Regardless of which version of the story is more accurate, Gita says
it no longer has sufficient parts to properly handle service and repair
of returned units and is directing service, repair, and warranty inquiries
directly to SG Sensortechnik:
SG Sensortechnik GmbH & Co KG
Am Berg 32
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