By Lennard Zinn
The 17th annual Taipei International Cycle Show is in full swing in Taiwan this week and VeloNews technical writer Lennard Zinn is there plying the aisles to catch a glimpse of some of the product we can expect to hit the shelves of our local bike shops in the coming year.
Competition has consistently driven manufacturing costs down over the last few decades. Bike production, once centered in Europe, moved to Japan in the 1970s and ‘80s, then to Taiwan and eventually to the People’s Republic of China. Now a new player is entering the market, perhaps giving even producers in the PRC reason to worry about price competition.
Cinelli’s new full-carbon aero’ bar is superlight and fully adjustable. Unlike other carbon aero’ bars, which still depend on large aluminum clamps to hold the aero’ extensions, Cinelli’s extensions pass right through the bar and afford almost infinite adjustment without having to cut the extensions to length.
Deda’s Alanera Squadra Corse composite stem/bar was made at the request of Alessandro Petacchi, who prefers a round bend to an aero’ bend. So, now you can have either bend on this stiff, light stem/bar combination.
Here’s the beef
American Classic’s freehub is an innovative design that actually drives the pawls inward to engage them, rather than relying on springs to push them in.
Each of the six pawls has two tips, so there are 12 points of engagement with the freehub teeth for secure driving. A pin projecting downward from each pawl into an angled slot in the “timing plate” below is pushed inward, driving the pawl in place, when the cam plate is pushed forward by engagement of the tip of a spring-steel tooth when the chain pulls the freehub body forward. This means that no amount of hub shell twisting or bearing play can prevent engagement of the pawls, as can happen with most freehubs. Nor can grease, as opposed to light oil in the mechanism, prevent engagement; grease is too thick for the springs on normal pawls to overcome, but it is driven out of the way by the American Classic system.
The freehub body is lightweight 7075 aluminum and does not require heavy steel teeth, since the pawls are so far outboard and there are so many of them engaging the big teeth. The high-flange hub shell is made of 6061 aluminum, which can conform to the spoke heads, unlike hard 7075, which can crack due to its higher brittleness when notched by the sharp edges underneath the spoke heads. The rear hub weighs only 205 grams – impressive for a high-flange hub this strong!