Friday, February 23, 2007

Some 2008 Shimano Dura Ace news....

Courtesy of Cycling Plus i the UK.

Sneak preview 2008

By Jez Loftus

It's that time of year again when we get the annual call to a Shimano launch, only to be slapped with an embargo holding us to secrecy till the middle of the year. This becomes even more annoying when there's some juicy kit to report on but for the sake of being hunted down by a pack of ronin we'll have to leave you in Shimano's self imposed shadow until later in the year.

It's not all cloak and dagger stuff and there are a few things we can reveal.

One of the additions to the road range is the new Dura-Ace hub and wheelsets. The new hub features a faster, double pawl freehub that's claiming 125% quicker engagement with double contact seals improving foul weather performance. Of the new Dura-Ace wheelsets there are four to choose from, all run on the new hub.

Probably the most interesting of which is the carbon-alloy composite clincher. With a name that just rolls off the tongue the WH-7850-C24-CL features an ultra thin aluminium skeleton reinforced with carbon to strengthen critical areas. The carbon build-up around the spoke holes looks particularly striking. Claimed weight is 1388g (pair)

For the TT specialist there's the carbon hi-profile tubular weighing in at 1485g (pair).

There's also a regular carbon tubular wheelset that lowers the weight bar even further to 1209g (pair). This is intended as a race ready tubular and features specific rim profiles with a 28mm aero front and a 24mm asymmetrical rear.

The fourth wheel in the range is an improvement on the current tubeless design and the Scandium rimmed wheel will be the choice for anyone wishing to roll without tubes.

There are further changes down the line but at the moment Shimano are icy cold about realising details.

Dura-Ace Carbon Alloy composite clincher

Dura-Ace Carbon High Profile Tubular

Dura Ace hub

Friday, February 9, 2007

SRAM issues road brake recall...

SRAM's official statement:


SRAM will conduct a voluntary recall of a limited number of SRAM Force front road brakes which may have faulty titanium mounting bolts. This issue has since been corrected, and does not affect all Force front brake mounting bolts.
SRAM will replace any Force front brake assemblies produced within the specified time frame.

SRAM is currently in the process of contacting all affected customers. While the expected failure rate is low it was determined that it is in the best interest of our customers and consumers to be pro-active in replacing product in question. We have put in place personnel and logistics in each continent to execute the recall as fast and smoothly as possible.

SRAM is actively working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the USA on this issue. A CPSC notice will follow this notification in mid February. Replacement brakes are in warehouses in the USA, Europe, and Asia to facilitate the replacement effort. We apologize for the inconvenience to our customers, dealers, and cyclists and remain committed to providing you excellent quality.

Date Codes/Range Affected

  • No date code
  • Original date code range: 01JUNE06 to 15SEPT06 (date code indicated production day, month and year)
  • Current date code range: 35T6XXXXXXX to 39T6XXXXXXX (first two digits indicate week of production, 2006)

The recall does not affect the more economical Rival group; its front brake relies on a steel-mounting bolt, nor does the recall affect all Force brakes. The recall is limited to only front brakes within the above listed date range.

Consumers are instructed to contact their dealer or place of purchase for replacement.

Finally got my Schwalbe Ultremo tires in....

These are the newest tires from Schwalbe. They are smooth racing tires that offer protection with a new material called Vectran. They are offered in a 700 x 23C sizing in clinchers and 22C Tubular model.

Here is some info from Schwalbe...

World Exclusive:
Racing tire with patented Vectran protection belt

Bohle’s new Ultremo racing tire is a massive technological leap forward: Super-light at just 195 g, triple compound as well as a unique protection belt made of Vectran - material used in the US space program - make the tires fast, grippy and puncture resistant.

“There’s no second chance when landing on Mars” explained a company spokesman from Warwick Mills, USA, a leading supplier of hi-tech fabrics. The company developed an extremely tough Vectran fabric for the Mars lander on behalf of NASA. A similar Vectran textile is now used in Schwalbes’ new tires.

“The newly developed HD-V Guard (High Density Vectran) is – with regard to both puncture protection and weight - the key to a new dimension in the construction of high-quality bicycle tires”, explained Holger Jahn, Bohles Technical Director. “At the moment no stronger fabric exists in bicycle tire technology.” The Vectran fibers used in Warwick Mills fabric are twice as tear resistant as titanium and five times stronger than steel. Woven using a patented process the textile has a cut resistance high three times higher than Aramid, which is used, among other things, in bicycle tires and bullet-proof vests.
Weaving technology is the difference

Of course Vectran can also be found in other bicycle tire brands, but not as a densely woven fabric, rather as loosely bundled fibers - similar to a bicycle tire carcass. “Although strong, it is not the fibers but more accurately the patented weaving technology that makes the difference in puncture protection. “Only densely woven Vectran offers optimal protection”, stressed Holger Jahn. Warwick Mills holds 14 international patents for its weaving techniques, among which is its patent for the worlds most densely woven, high-strength yarn fabric. Warwick Mills innovation makes it the undisputed global leader in this segment. The HD-V Guard was developed exclusively with and for Schwalbe. The Vectran fabric also contributes to the tires low weight, as the Ultremo’s ultra-light protection belt and the super-fine, thinly coated 127 epi carcass helps keep it below the significant 200 gram “barrier”.

“A phenomenal tire. It rolls really easily “, enthused pro racer Lars Teutenberg of Schwalbe Race Support. “I didn’t spare it. On the contrary, I consciously rode through road debris and glass fragments and still didn’t puncture. And for a bona fide racing cycle tire it is extremely light - 195 gram is truly outstanding.”

Triple Compound combines contrasting characteristics
Another innovation is the triple compound that is unique in racing tire technology. The tread has three rubber mixtures. Specially arranged the individual compounds each have a specific advantage. In the tread center there is a hard wearing compound that guarantees durability; proven by Bohle test riders who covered more than 5,000 kilometers.

On the tire shoulders good grip is required and here the second, uncompromising compound improves wet grip enormously. The third - base - compound has no contact with the road, although it is crucial to the tires acceleration: This compound, which was originally developed for time trials, has extremely low rolling resistance - and so is crucial for speed. Lars Teutenberg tested it: “During racing, after each bend I had a 10 meters lead. I now ride into curves at angles and speeds I wouldn't dare doing with any other tire.”

Triple compound allows Schwalbe’s Ultremo to achieve the optimum by combining three opposing characteristics - durability, good wet grip and low rolling resistance - each maximized without impairing the other.
So far I have around 90 miles o these tires and I am impressed. Grips and RR seem to be there and the tires handle great. The ride is nice as any others clinchers with a 127TPI casing.
The ride is much improved over the Stevlio models which use a 67tpi casing and are not as supple.
Only time will tell if the wear in acceptable and if the Vectran protection works as well as advertised.

My pair came in @ 193 and 195g. The average from 6 tires was 195g and right at the claimed weight!

The tires seems on par in speed with my favorite tire the Vittoria Open Corsa CX but it's not as supple. The CX are cotton mixture and a 220TPI casing and are so sweet in comfort.

I am HUGE fan of Schwalbe's MTB tires and they might be winning me over on their road tires finally!

Get these tires as soon as you can if you want some. They are selling out faster than dealers can stock them! These will be THE race tire for 20047!