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Tech Updates: First Endurance, Rotor and more

It's not too late to shop for (or ask for) a few special somethings for Christmas. Here are some new products we've come across.

It’s not to late to shop for (or ask for) a few special somethings for Christmas. Here are tech and product related items we’ve come across.

Rotor’s new chain catcher available this month

Extensive machining on the Rotor chain catcher helps keep the weight minimal.

Rotor Bike Components’ new chain catcher is now available. Officially released at Eurobike, a production holdup delayed its release and availability until this next week, when pre-orders will be dispatched to distributors.

The chaincatcher was developed in conjunction with Cervélo TestTeam, designed to avoid chain problems during rides and races. This aluminum accessory is meant to prevent the chain from dropping off the small chainring under difficult shifts. It helps control the chain and ensures perfect shifting between the rings in extreme riding conditions.

It´s manufactured from 7075 aluminium and CNC-machined in house. Weight is a claimed 6 grams with suggested retail price of about $25, with compatibility for braze-on front derailleurs only.

Chris King calendar debuts, to benefit breast cancer detection

The folks from Komen for the Cure and have teamed up with Chris King to create a calendar to benefit breast cancer detection and cure. The 2010 Pretty and Strong Calendar features mighty women cyclocross racers of the Northwest as seen through the lenses of the talented photographers of PDX Cross.

Chris King partnered with PDX Cross and Komen for the Cure to create the 2010 Pretty and Strong calendar.

The concept gelled when Chris DiStefano of Chris King learned an interesting statistic related to rates of early detection in the Northwest. He was in a lunch meeting with the Oregon and SW Washington affiliate for Komen for the Cure, along with Diane Chalmers, Chris King VP of Operations, and Cristina Moore, Development Manager for the local Komen affiliate. Moore informed the Chris King employees that the demographic with the lowest rate of early detection included many of the women they were seeing at cyclocross races every weekend.

About that same time, the PDX Cross crew came to Chris King with an idea for a breast cancer awareness calendar. DiStefano and Chris King sat down with PDX Cross and looked at hundreds of their photos to get started on the calendar, which was completed a month ago.

Chris King is selling the calendar through their website. The Chris King “Pretty and Strong” Special Edition component series of pink anodized bike parts enters its 7th year in support of the local Komen affiliate.

Cycling Sports Group refurbishes nearly 100 bicycles for Danbury’s Wheels for Kids program

Employees from Bethel, Connecticut-based Cycling Sports Group (CSG), home to the Cannondale, Mongoose, Schwinn, and GT brands, gathered on Friday, Dec. 11, to refurbish more than 100 donated children’s bicycles for community placement through local non-profit Danbury Youth Services. This year’s event builds on the success of the 2008 Wheel for Kids program, which provided more than 50 refurbished bikes to deserving Danbury children.

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Cannondale’s Matt Timmerman airs up the tires on a child’s bicycles.

“Danbury Youth Services is appreciative of the philanthropy we receive from all of our sponsors and partners, and we’re particularly thankful to Cycling Sports Group for its continued support of our organization,” said Tom Tomassen, program director of Danbury Youth Services, in a press release.

Staff members from CSG brands braved 24-degree weather to volunteer their time to wash, repair and tune up kids bikes, which will be gifted to local youth between the ages of 3 and 18 at the annual Santa’s Workshop event in Danbury. CSG will also provide a Schwinn helmet with every bike donation.

“We’re proud to support Danbury Youth Services’ Wheels for Kids program this holiday season for the second consecutive year, giving more kids the opportunity to experience the joy of riding ,” said Jeff McGuane, president of CSG North America. “Cycling Sports Group is committed to promoting active lifestyles, especially among today’s youth, and the Wheels for Kids program aligns perfectly with the spirit of our organization.”

Local bike shops, along with CSG partners Maxxis, Highway 2 – Continental, and Kenda contributed new brake pads, cables, tires, tubes and reflectors to help tune up the bikes.

Felt Bicycles partners with Retül bike fitting

Felt Bicycles has partnered with Retül, a motion capture system that offers bike retailers and fit specialists a tool for a precision fit.

“There are a lot of choices in fit systems and philosophies, but we feel Retül’s system is best suited to meet our objectives,” said Felt national sales manager John Georger. “Our goal with this partnership is to give retailers another tool to enhance the riding experience for every Felt customer.”

Retül allows bike fit experts to capture objective data in a dynamic state and evaluate multiple 3-D viewpoints while the rider is pedaling. By gathering data from eight key anatomical points in the cyclist’s riding position, Retül allows fitters to capture accurate dynamic data on every moving part of the body simultaneously in real-time.

Retül focuses on the process of gathering and analyzing fit data. The information obtained makes it easier for a fit professional to quantify adjustments.

“We feel that knowledge is power,” said Cliff Simms, founder of Retül. “And Retül empowers bike fitters with the most robust cycling-gait specific data file available. We’re thrilled to align ourselves with a forward-thinking bike manufacturer like Felt, which we believe can benefit greatly from Retül services.”

As part of this agreement, Felt retailers receive a discount and preferred access to Retül University, a program that educates professional fitters about Retül technology. The University combines online education with hands-on studio time.

For more information on Felt, see To learn more about Retül, go to

First Endurance releases new, reformulated Optygen HP

Sports nutrition company First Endurance has introduced a new and improved OptygenHP formula, saying it’s the most potent form yet. It contains Rhodiola that’s twice as strong as the original formula. OptygenHP also contains Beta-Alanine. The two main adaptogens in OptygenHP (Rhodiola and Cordyceps CS-4) were first used by Tibetan Sherpas to help them climb Mt. Everest. First Endurance says that OptygenHP utilizes these two adaptogens because clinical research on elite endurance athletes has shown them to improve performance, increase the body’s ability to adapt to high levels of physical stress, increase aerobic threshold and reduce latic acid.

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