By Lennard Zinn
Markus Storck has long wanted 2005 Ford Ironman Hawaii Triathlon World Champion Faris Al-Sultan to race on his bikes, and when the sale of Cannondale opened up the opportunity to put his fellow German on a Storck, he quickly got to work. Even while working on prototyping a new electric bike and constructing a new building, Storck came up with the Aero 2.
“I got no sleep for four months,” says Storck, “and now I need a vacation.”
Storck is an ingenious guy, and the little carbon cantilever brakes integrated into the fork blades and seatstays are one of many details testament to that.
The brake cable comes into a hole in the side of the fork crown and hooks together the tops of the two little carbon cantilever arms. Storck claims that the brakes are more powerful than Dura-Ace, despite weighing only a fraction of their weight. The fork with brakes included weighs 310 grams, lighter than all but the lightest forks without brakes on them.
Paul Lew, given free rein to innovate by Reynolds, came up not only with the super-light RZR wheel this year, but also a unique carbon clincher not relying on a hook to hold the bead. His “bead seat clincher” is what he calls the first clincher design exclusively created for carbon rims.
The tire beads drop way down into the deep valley and pops up onto the seat in the same way that a car tire mounts on its rim.
Standard hook-bead clinchers pumped up high have enormous pressure pushing outward on the rim walls, often creating problems in carbon rims due to extreme braking heat allowing the rim walls to deform and fold outward under the pressure.
On Lew’s design, the mounting force is instead directed downward into the rim, and, at the same time, the rim walls are thicker, providing even higher strength.
Lew claims that you can pump even the highest-pressure clinchers up to their highest rating without problems. And no tire levers are necessary, because the rim valley is so deep and wide. Reynolds optimized the wide, 92mm deep, sharp rim shape aerodynamically for use with 23mm clincher tires.
Swiss trains are always on time, and their brakes don’t squeal when they come into the station, thanks to a special spray technicians apply to their brake pads that smoothes the friction surface with sliding platelets of molybdenum and graphite. Swisstop is sending the stuff over to the USA in large containers and having it canned in Georgia in aerosol cans so you, too, can quiet your bike’s disc brakes.
Hed’s new water bottle mount attaches to the steerer under the top cap.
The MetriGear Vector power meter adds next to nothing to the weight of a bike. Its tiny multi-axis force sensor has 36 strain gauges on it and fits inside a hollow Speedplay pedal axle. It communicates via an antenna on the crankarm to an ANT+ computer head, like a Garmin 705 or 500 or a CycleOps/PowerTap Joule 2.0 or 3.0, or an SRM head. MetriGear claims 98.5-percent accuracy, and the pedal sensors measure inputs in all directions (including counterproductive ones) on both feet.
The Selle San Marco Regal E has all of the technology of San Marco’s modern saddles, including carbon rails and co-molded elastomers in the nose flex zone, carbon-filled base, and Lorica cover, yet it maintains the same shape as the Regal, one of the most popular and distinctive racing saddles of the 1980s and 1990s. Many top riders still race on the Regal, despite sponsorships requiring them to re-brand the cover. Maybe a new super-light version will be the answer for them.
The Ford Transit Connect may be the ultimate vehicle for a downhiller or a pair of road, cyclocross, or cross-country racers.