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By Matt Pacocha
Unlike Interbike in the United States, Eurobike’s final day is open to the public. Anyone with 20 extra euros can show up at the Messe Friedrichshafen and see the bicycle industry’s best. Because of this, most of the show’s business is done by Saturday afternoon, freeing exhibitors from spec’ and sales meetings, plus the press, just in time to be thrown to an inquisitive public.
We saw a lot on Saturday, some of which can be quickly explained and some that will require more attention. Over the next few weeks, in a lead-up to Interbike, we will try to explore in detail some of those items that warrant a bit more explanation. Of course, VeloNews issue 18 will have a full photo essay from Friedrichshafen.
In the days before the industry’s carbon-fiber revolution, the Fastback was once Schwinn’s premiere no-nonsense road-racing bike. This year, the company showed up with a prototype of a new Fastback concept. Schwinn’s marketing manager, Chris Holmes, described the 7000-series aluminum bike as “a working man’s racing bike.” It’s a stiff bike with a professional look that will likely cost one-third of a comparably equipped carbon bike. More details will be available at Interbike in Las Vegas later this month.
It’s hard to believe that GT’s Zaskar was first offered 20 years ago. To commemorate the occasion, GT is reissuing an updated version of the once-groundbreaking bike. Five hundred of the 6061 frames will be available, and each will come with a certificate from its welder. Though the frame looks vintage, its geometry is updated to accommodate a 100mm travel fork, and disc or linear-pull brakes. The frame will cost around $1000.
Despite this being cycling’s “carbon age,” Litespeed shows us that titanium is still a force to be reckoned with. Indeed, it was the elegantly shaped Litespeed Archon that took the Eurobike award for the 2007 show’s top racing product. Brad DeVaney, the bike’s designer, said he came up with the idea for the bike at last year’s Eurobike show when he sat in on an open forum discussion for carbon manufacturers.
The first thing he set out to do was increase the bike’s stiffness. The concept of wrapping the top and down tube around the head tube came about after trying to pierce and insert the head tube into the intersecting front tubes. The wrap brings considerable torsional stiffness to the front end, says DeVaney. Eurobike believes he produced a winner. We might have to agree with that.
The Italian brake company first gained attention in the U.S. market with the Oro brake two years ago. Cedric Gracia and Greg Minnaar were used to gather feedback during the development of Formula’s new The One disc brake. It’s an ultra-powerful disc brake that features a forged caliper and 24mm piston. The lever features tool-free reach and pad-contact adjusters. The lever blade has two breakaway features to prevent serious damage in a crash. Though the brake comes with a rotor option of 220mm, the majority of its testers have found it powerful enough to size down. Rotors are available in sizes from 160- to 220mm in 2mm increments.
The adiStar XC Ultra combines the upper of the adiStar Ultra road shoe with a full-carbon mountain bike sole. The new shoe weighs 402 grams and costs $220. The Luna women’s team and Mary McConneloug tested prototypes throughout the summer season. Adidas plans to have its cyclo-cross racers on the production version by the end of the month. For those on a budget, the Razor shoe offers flash and function for a mere $110; it weighs 345 grams.
Because of all of the changes at the top of Mavic’s product line, with the introductions of the Cosmic Carbone Ultimate and R-SYS, for example, the rest of the line might have been overlooked.
The Ksyrium ES has been discontinued, but the basic idea of the wheel can be found in two similar forms. The $1100 Ksyrium Premium is essentially the same as the old ES, but sporting new subdued black graphics and a new rear rim with an offset spoke bed.
The $950 Ksyrium SL adopts the ES color scheme, but drops the titanium skewers and drive-side axle nut on the rear hub. The SL, too, incorporates the new rear rim, but it won’t be coming with wheel bags this time.
Fans of the new gray anodized Deda Zero100 stem and Newton bar now can have a complete kit, as the manufacturer introduced a new Zero100 seatpost at Eurobike. The new component nicely accents the beautifully polished cockpit and will be available in 27.2 and 31.6mm sizes. It has a 25mm set back and weighs just over 200 grams in its 310mm length. A SuperZero carbon version will be new as well. It weighs roughly 170 grams in a 335mm length. Its setback is 21mm and it is available in the same two diameters.
The bigger news at Deda is the new 213-gram Curva Phazer carbon handlebar. Its radical shapes are designed to fit sprinters, climbers and flatlanders through three distinct shaped features. The bulge on the lower is meant to give better purchase in a sprint, but forces the bar to be pierced and require a special T-clamp to affix shifters to it. The “Power Egg” offers climbers an additional feature when on the hoods, while the shaped bar top also offers an ergonomic bend.