Friday, March 23, 2007

Fulcrum Racing Torq RS / Racing Torq R

FULCRUM enters the World of Componentry. Fulcrum presents two high-range Cranksets in carbon fiber: Racing Torq RS and Racing Torq R.

Taipei, 23 March 2007 – After last week’s announcement that it was entering the Off-Road World International Cycle Show in Taipei: Racing Torq RS and Racing Torq R. These are two high-range cranksets in carbon fiber compatible with the main drivetrains available on the market. with a range of dedicated wheels, Fulcrum now further increases its presence in the road sector by joining the field of components. Today, two crankset models are being presented at the inauguration of the

Racing Torq RS is ideal for those wanting a product for racing, as every detail has been designed with the dual objective of performance and light weight. To this end, Fulcrum Hollow Crank Technology has been applied: a special technology developed by Fulcrum that allows the cranks to be manufactured with a hollow structure, making them much lighter without decreasing their structural resistance.

Whereas Racing Torq R has been studied especially for who use their bicycle intensely and regularly, but not necessarily for competitions. In this case the main objective is performance.

Both the cranksets feature the Ultra-Torque system introduced very successfully last year by Campagnolo. Fulcrum has adopted it because right now it is state-of-the art in the field of cranksets for road bikes.

Racing Torq RS and Racing Torq R will be available in standard and compact versions.
Racing Torq RS crankset
Cranks: multi-directional carbon fiber with structure in unidirectional carbon fibre.
Hollow crank structure (Fulcrum Hollow Crank Technology)
Chainrings: CNC-machined forged aluminum
Screws: Ergal Toothing: 53/39 – 50/34
Lengths: 170 – 172.5 – 175 mm
Weight: 699 grams (including cups and bearings)

Racing Torq R crankset
Cranks: multi-directional carbon fiber with structure in unidirectional carbon fibre.
Chainrings: aluminum
Screws: steel
Toothing: 53/39 – 50/34 Lengths: 170 – 172.5 – 175 mm
Weight: 751 grams (including cups and bearings)
Racing Torq RS and Racing Torq R will be available from October.

The Ultra-Torque system was introduced last year by Campagnolo for its new range of cranksets. A name that immediately puts the spotlight on the extraordinary ability of this crankset-bottom bracket combo to transfer torque. Both cranks have a bottom bracket semiaxle integral with them in such a way as to form two “Ls”; these are then joined in the middle of the bottom bracket shell by means of a Hirth joint. The two semi-axles have a large section so as to be light and rigid at the same time. The Hirth joint which joins them is known for its use in the motor field where it is used to join together pieces of engine shafts which develop enormous power. This solution has made it possible to unite the two bottom bracket axles and transform them into an extremely rigid assembly. The Hirth joint is self-centring and self-aligning and is kept in one piece by a screw which preloads the assembly to over 600 kg.

Greater torsional stiffness and lateral rigidity
The Ultra-Torque system has been designed to deliver a decidedly superior result in terms of torsional stiffness and lateral rigidity. The semi-axles, joined by a Hirth-type joint, form an extremely rigid unit suitable for transferring incredibly high torque values.

Lateral dimensions unchanged
Thanks to Ultra-Torque there is no increase in the lateral dimensions of the cranks. Unlike other manufacturers who – because they use external bearings – were obliged to increase the dimensions of the cranks in the interface zone with the bottom bracket axle, Ultra-Torque overcomes the problem by resorting to semi-axles. This solution in fact allows the bearings to be inserted from the internal connecting point and therefore significantly increase the diameter of the interface between semi-axles and cranks. The result is that the cranks can be flatter in the connection zone with the same static strength and life cycle, thereby compensating for the greater thickness of the external cups.

Thanks to the Ultra-Torque system the cyclist will not experience any reduction in the space available and will not be obliged to make reparatory adjustments such as repositioning the pedal cleats to prevent rubbing between shoe or malleolus and the middle part of the crank.

Very low rotation friction
The Ultra-Torque system offers very low rotation friction thanks to the quality of the bearings used, the seal system, the refined design and the constructive rationality.

Fast and simple installation
Installing the Ultra-Torque crankset on your bicycle is amazingly straightforward: it involves screwing the two cups onto the frame and joining the two cranks together by means of a single screw. It’s as easy as that.

With an eye on standardisation that makes life simpler, Fulcrum decided to use tools already in existence. The cups are screwed in using tools available on the market and only a normal 10 mm allen key is needed to tighten the cranks.

Fast and simple maintenance
The crankset can be disassembled in just a few seconds: unscrew the screw which unites the two semi-axles using the 10 mm socket wrench; pull the cranks off the bottom bracket shell; clean and lubricate the bearings again. That’s that.


"Fulcrum wheels have been a great success and have that Campagnolo feel to them. Now with Fulcrum adding MTB wheels and cranksets, Shimano riders can now enjoy Campy stuff without having those Campagnolo logos frowning down on their Shimano stuff!

I like Shimano and their stuff is fine, but after a 1+ yrs on Campy I have learned to appreciate the finer things in cycling!

Some will say "why does Campagnolo basically just re-badge their stuff under another name" I think it serves my point above. You get riders who may not like Campy stuff on their non-Campy bikes but would like to take advantage of other options.

To me Campagnolo is in a win/win situation here!"

Monday, March 19, 2007

FSA quietly confirms group plans

Courtesy of VeloNews -

Component manufacturer Full Speed Ahead has confirmed plans to join the drivetrain market with full road and mountain-bike groups. There were plenty of rumors as far back as last year's Taipei Cycle Show. We even reported a few, but as the industry entered last year's fall trade show season the buzz had quieted.

"We just don't want too much attention because the worst mistake we could make would be to come out too early," said Ric Hjertberg, FSA's new technology manager.

K-Force carbon handlebar

photo: FSA

Although the tricky parts of the drivetrain - the shifters and the derailleurs - have not surfaced, FSA will introduce three chains at the 2007 Taipei Cycle Show, which starts March 22 in Taiwan. FSA will offer two 10-speed chains, one for Campagnolo and one for Shimano, along with one universal nine-speed chain. FSA has never produced chains before.

The new chains come hot on the tails of a slew of new product introductions from FSA. This winter FSA started on its K-Force Light cranks ($700). The new cranks are hollow molded from carbon fiber without any sort of metal or foam core. FSA has versions for road and mountain bikes. You can read more about the new cranks in the current issue of VeloNews (March 26).

Besides cranks, FSA revamped the K-Force carbon handlebar for this spring. The carbon handlebar shaves roughly 35 grams from the current K-Force bars. It comes with two bends: an ergonomic bend and an anatomic round bend, the latter of which is a great combination of ergonomics and comfortable reach. The new $250 bar will also safely accept clip on aero' bars.

Complete groups, however, will not be seen until at least Taipei Cycle 2008.

"We're doing ergonomics now," said Hjertberg of the shifters. "All the mechanisms are pretty set. The prototypes work really great, we like it, and the shapes are really great. But there's ergonomics, then there's more testing and then there is setting up production. These [production] lines don't exist, it's like it was for [SRAM] Force, I suppose. It's a big job. Setting up production will likely take half a year, I'm sure."

While FSA says that its mountain group is further along than the road components, Hjertberg said that the company will likely lead with the road group playing off its current popularity with road enthusiasts.

With SRAM's Force and Rival road groups introduction just a year ago, and now FSA on the cusp with its own, the competition within the component manufacturing industry is as healthy as it has ever been. With the possibility of a fourth viable component option on the market there will be one clear winner - the consumer.

"At this level everyone is rooting for each other," said Hjertberg. "It's surprising how much SRAM is rooting for us and we're rooting for them; Shimano, too. I think the health of the whole market is going to be based on diversity as well. It's like a league. A team wants to dominate, you want to win your league, but you don't want a weak league. That's the worst thing, to have a title without a run for your money."

FSA's rivals confirmed Hjertberg's hunch.

"This kind of competition is completely welcomed," said Devin Walton, Shimano's media representative. "It's an arena where we're comfortable. When we started making derailleur type components we were the guys that people thought belonged in the toy store. It's been a long haul to get where we're at but we're definitely accustomed to competition and innovation and working to create stuff that's relevant to consumers, so everybody wins."


Great, not only do we have the Shimano vs Campy wars. SRAM came along and added more fuel to the fire, FSA now wants to join in!

Well, in the long run competition is better for the consumer so why not right? Now if everything would just come together and share a standard.....

Just more stuff for shops to stock and worry about when it comes to replacement parts!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Zipp ZEDTECH Z4 wheelset

Zipp's catalog of carbon fiber racing wheelsets has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years. Currently, the Indiana-based company already offers thirty different carbon wheelsets, plus three different disc wheels and one aluminum clincher set. Yet somehow, Zipp decided that that wasn't quite enough and launched its custom ZEDTECH line earlier this year.

ZEDTECH customers have access to virtually every rim, spoke, and hub variation that Zipp offers in order to assemble their dream wheelset. These not only include component models, but also finer details such as carbon fiber rim layup schedules, hybrid ceramic bearings, spoke lacing patterns, and even spoke nipple and decal colors.

Zipp bills our ZEDTECH ZED4 test model as its "ultimate" all-purpose road racing wheelset, equipped with 58mm-deep dimpled tubular rims, dimpled ZEDTECH hubs with hybrid ceramic bearings, Sapim CX-Ray bladed spokes, and custom black-anodized alloy nipples. As received, our ZED4 set weighs just 1214g for the pair without skewers (550/664g front/rear). Look for these on our upcoming 'dream road bike' build in the coming months.

Price: US$3752

Zipp's premium line evolves from 'Z-Series' to ZEDTECH, and the ZED4 is its premier all-purpose road racing wheelset.

New carbon SRAM TT shifters & brake levers

SRAM, have already taken Road shifting to the next level with two innovative groupsets: SRAM Force and SRAM Rival. To further complete the product range and answer Time Trial and Triathlon needs, SRAM has developed state of the art TT shifters and brake levers. Featuring the highest quality materials and breathtaking design, the new SRAM TT shifters are the only shifters on the market using full carbon fiber levers.

With black and red anodized aluminum plugs, the pair of shifters weighs is at an incredible 138g. To maintain quality shifts across a variety of chain ring sizes, front shifting is operated on a friction mode; while the rear shifter is indexed to maintain precise and rapid shifts in all circumstances. An internal mounting system is used to make sure the new SRAM TT shifters can fit all industry standard TT bars. Only compatible with SRAM Force and Rival rear deraillleurs, SRAM’s new TT shifters will offer high performance to anyone driven to beat the wind.

To match the TT shifters to perfection, SRAM offers for the very first time TT brake levers. The sleek design combined with a full carbon fiber blade drop the weight to an incredible 99g for the pair. The very low profile and extremely light blade, does not compromise on strength or durability.

The ergonomic full carbon lever maintains the natural hand position while offering you a comfortable feel for enhanced control. Product available in June 2007.

Rügamer Zen Überlight - 600 Grams

Rügamer is still a new brand name, but company head Brent Ruegamer is no newcomer himself, having served with renowned carbon fibre frame builder Craig Calfee. Brent shows his new Zen Überlight road frame on the North American Hand Made Bicycle Show, claimed to weigh just 600g! The Zen Überlight is a nearly 100% carbon creation, using aluminum for only the down tube shifter bosses and the replaceable rear derailleur hanger. Integrated headset bearings drop directly into the head tube, and sealed cartridge bearings specifically sized for a THM-Carbone Clavicula crankset are pressed directly into the bottom bracket shell.

Brent Ruegamer says his 600g Zen Uberlight (yes, we said 600g) is made from recently declassified super-high modulus carbon fiber.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Support a fantastic cause, maybe win a Custom Zank

Come on guys, Support a great cause and a chance to win a Custom Steel Road or Cyclocross bike.

We are also contributing to the build!
Custom Road Bike Raffle for Young Survival Coalition
(Young Women United Against Breast Cancer)

Presented by Zanconato Custom Cycles - Tailored Steel Bicycle Frames Worcester, MA Thursday, April 05, 2007

Here is mission statement pulled directly from the YSC website. YSC Mission Statement The Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the only international, non-profit network of breast cancer survivors and supporters dedicated to the concerns and issues that are unique to young women and breast cancer. Through action, advocacy and awareness, the YSC seeks to educate the medical, research, breast cancer and legislative communities and to persuade them to address breast cancer in women 40 and under. The YSC also serves as a point of contact for young women living with breast cancer. One of the coolest things about this project is all of the parts were donated by members of Road Bike Review. Many, many people pitched in to help. We have enough parts to do either a road or a cross bike. Cool, huh? The registration closes on March 31 and the drawing will be on April 5. Best of luck and please donate!