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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

EICMA show

Milan, Italy, September 16-19, 2005

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Part 2 - Shimano, Lightweight, LAS, Fizik

Shimano: compact and carbon

Shimano compact crank
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Shimano's main launches for 2006 are in the middle of the range, with its new version of the 105 group and a new Deore mountain bike group. But the Osaka component behemoth also had a few high-end suyrprises on show at EICMA, including an unheralded compact crank.

Shimano WH-7801-carbon
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Available in Spring 2006, the FC-R700 uses Shimano's Hollowtech II technology with 50/34 chainrings. The new chainset doesn't slot into any of Shimano's existing component groups (Shimano lists it among 'non-series components' such as adjustable-reach brake levers and legacy high-quality eight-speed brake/shift levers), but is designated as being Ultegra quality.

Shimano also officially launched three new Dura-Ace quality wheels, the WH-7801-carbon, WH-7801-SL and WH-7801. WH-7801-carbon is, as you might guess, the carbon-rimmed wheel for tubular tyres that has been popping up under Shimano-sponsored riders for a couple of years.

Shimano WH-7801-SL
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Weighing in at a claimed 1310 grams per pair, these should be top-notch race wheels, given Shimano's proven dependale wheel technology.

Electric blue
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Scandium rims and compatibility with the tubeless tyres due to appear Real Soon Now from various tyre makers are the features of the WH-7801-SL wheels. The new rim makes for a substantially lighter wheel than the old WH-7800 Dura-Ace model, with a claimed weight of 1520g per pair. Finally, the new WH-7801 is an upgrade to the workhorse Dura-Ace wheels with an offset rear rim.

Shimano's top-line road shoe gets a model number change from SH-R215 to SH-R215B indicating a new blue-and-silver colour scheme to replace the old silver-on-silver pattern. These shoes have also dropped a few grams, going from 600g to 572g in a size 40, according to Shimano.

Fizik wraps it up Nisely

Fizik's carbon-wrapped rails
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Fizik Nisene
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Fizik's popular Arione saddle has a new carbon upgrade for 2006, with super light and super strong carbon braided rails.

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The Arione still has the comfy Twin Flex / Wing Flex shell with an extended (30cm) length for more riding positions, but the weight is now down to 179g, according to Fizik's Massimo Fregonese.

Fizik's original uber-saddle, the Aliante has many devotees (not least several of the Cyclingnews editorial team who find it the comfiest saddle we've tried) and the 2006 version has attractive white carbon inserts.

Named after Nisene Marks State Park near Santa Cruz, California, the preferred off-road stomping grounds of the Giro Helmet mob, Fizik's new for 2006 Nisene model has an all new shape that puts a new spin on Fizik's original MTB saddle that was originally designed in cooperation with Giro.

Dream wheels

Lightweight Ventoux wheels
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The freehub body
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These are the special wheels that Cyclingnews editor Hedwig Kroener wishes she had when she recently rode up le Mont Ventoux. Heinz Obermeyer of Carbon Sports designed his new Lightweight wheels for tough climbs like Ventoux, thus the name. The carbon fibre tubulars have a new mid profile rim and weight a claimed 950 grams per pair, which makes them among the lightest wheels we're aware of.

LAS but not least

LAS lids
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Starting now, Trialtir of Houston, Texas will import LAS Helmets to the USA. Massimo Bartolini of Trialtir told Cyclingnews, "We are very happy to bring in the LAS range; it's a very well made product from Bergamo, Italy and we are sure American riders will like the unique styling."

Pictured is the LAS Haxial, with an interchangeable top ventilator that enhances air flow. LAS Haxial is the choice of ProTour leader Danilo DiLuca and his Liquigas-Bianchi squad, as well as Laurent "Mullet Man" Brochard's Bouygues Telecom.

Yo Big Tex

All Lance, all the time
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Lance Armstrong couldn't make it to the EICMA show this year, but his seven Tour de France wins were heavily featured in Trek's always packed booth. Trek importer Phil Edwards told Cyclingnews that "With a Trek winning the Tour once again with Lance... and an American bike has won the Giro d'Italia, so there is a huge demand for Trek's high end road bikes even in Italy!"

Kings of the road

Kings of the road
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During the presentation of the Italian National Team for the Madrid World Championships, Cyclingnews spied three giants of Italian Cycling: L: Vittorio Adorni, C: Fiorenzo Magni & R: Ercole Baldini



For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Tim Maloney/Cyclingnews.com

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