Edited by John Stevenson
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Full Speed Ahead for Bonjour
Fix your bike with Cyclingnews
First look: Eggbeater pedals
King wheels em out
Tool companies at play
As mentioned briefly in news on Thursday, the French Bonjour team will use cranks, bottom brackets and headsets from US-based Full Speed Ahead (FSA) in the 2002 season. Bonjour's bikes will be fitted with FSA's Carbon Pro Team Issue carbon fiber crankset, Orbit I integrated threadless headsets and Ultimax Xtreme titanium and chromoly ISIS Drive bottom brackets.
Bonjour will ride the Spring Classics, the Vuelta a Espana, and the 2002 World Cup series next year, building on a rollercoaster 2001 that included the team finishing the Giro with just one rider, Thomas "last man standing" Voeckler. Things then turned rather better for the Bonjour boys when team leader Didier Rous won the French national championship and spent four days in Tour de France yellow. With Francois Simon finishing the Tour in sixth place and the team fourth overall, it was a dramatic improvement in fortune.
Full Speed Ahead president Doug Stuart commented, "This sponsorship hasn't been realized just because we are willing to spend money. It's satisfying because it confirms that the work we have been doing to create high technology products and build a good reputation for our brand is finally paying off. Historically there have been two brands of drivetrain component suppliers in the Tour de France. This year there will be three, and we're really proud of this accomplishment."
Other major equipment suppliers to Bonjour are Time (carbon frames, forks, handlebars and stems), Spinergy (wheels) and Michelin (tires).
More information: Full Speed Ahead's website
The tech desk at Cyclingnews is pleased to announce a new regular section, a bike repair and maintenance slot generously supported by the folks at Park Tool. We've started with a extensive set of maintenance instructions and demystification of wheels, and over the next months we'll cover a range of topics from gears and brakes to bearings and forks.
Go here for the lowdown on wheels. Future installments will appear on the fourth Fix-It Friday of each month.
I just got off the phone with John 'Big Ring' Hardwick at Bicycling Australia magazine who was busy sending us the pair of Crank Brothers Egg-beater pedals he's had on loan from local importers Dirtworks for the last couple of weeks.
By way of a sneak peek into the capabilities of these unique, four-sided pedals, John tells us that their strongest feature is total mud-proofness. That's not usually a vital consideration here in New South Wales, but the weather has been utterly rubbish for the last week and John had the unusual opportunity to go wading in mud and see how the pedals reacted to a fully clogged sole. They shrugged it off like it wasn't there, he tells us, and predicts that as a result these pedals are going to be popular in wet and muddy parts of the world, like the US Pacific Northwest and the UK.
More in a couple of weeks' time when our samples arrive and we get to spend some quality time with them.
It's getting harder and harder to say that a company makes just hubs or rims these days, as anyone who previously specialized in those areas now offers ready-built wheels too. Latest to join the fray is Chris King, maker of famously immortal headsets and other parts constructed with fanatical attention to detail. Chris King introduced hubs a couple of years ago and worked with Bontrager, supplying hubs for that company's top-line wheels. Now mountain bikers can buy similar wheels under the Chris King label too.
Two models are available, the Classic Mountain for rim-braked bikes and the Disc Mountain. Both are built round Chris King hubs and use Bontrager rims and Wheelsmith spokes. Claimed weights are 673g/868g front/rear for the Classics and 793g/937g for the Discs and you should expect to pay about US$550 a pair.
More information: Chris King's website
There's something about tool companies. To let off steam when the deeply serious, it's-got-to-work aspect of their job gets too much, tool company product designers have a habit of cooking up products that combine the serious with the daft in a unique way.
Park started it with their pizza cutter a few years back. Every mechanic has suffered through extended shifts at Christmas and in the Spring when everyone wants their new bikes on the same day; pizza becomes the staple diet and coffee the fuel. Faced with that lifestyle, a pizza cutter shaped like an Ordinary is a welcome bit of frivolity.
In this vein, Park has just sent us a belt made from a spoke key; and a toilet roll holder with a quick release for those moments when it's really urgent that you get a fresh roll on the holder (and that's quite enough of that line of thought ). Full reviews will follow after a suitable period of testing.
Getting in on the act are the oils maestros at Pedros with a so-new-it's-not-on-their-website-yet beer bottle opener. And not just any bottle opener, but a workshop grade opener with a plastic coated handle and heat-treated steel business end. Clearly a device for serious thank-God-Saturday's-over beverage consumption sessions. We want one. In fact, as Friday evening approaches here, we need one. Have a good weekend!
More information: Park
More information: Pedros' website