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Tech talk: Manufacturers love Tour time

While the racing action at the Tour has deservedly taken the headlines, we’ve been keeping one eye peeled for glimpses of the latest in team equipment and what manufacturers hope you'll be riding in the not-too-distant future. Campy confidentialWhile it's certainly not the official unveiling, make sure to keep your eye on Campagnolo-sponsored riders at the Tour this year. Look closely enough, and you might catch a glimpse of Campagnolo's secretive 2004 product line. First off is Campagnolo's new-and-improved carbon Record crankset (a Chorus version will also be available in 2004).

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By Andrew

Tech talk: Manufacturers love Tour time

Tech talk: Manufacturers love Tour time

Photo:

While the racing action at the Tour has deservedly taken the headlines, we’ve been keeping one eye peeled for glimpses of the latest in team equipment and what manufacturers hope you’ll be riding in the not-too-distant future.

Campy confidential
While it’s certainly not the official unveiling, make sure to keep your eye on Campagnolo-sponsored riders at the Tour this year. Look closely enough, and you might catch a glimpse of Campagnolo’s secretive 2004 product line.

First off is Campagnolo’s new-and-improved carbon Record crankset (a Chorus version will also be available in 2004).

Campagnolo has abandoned its original 90-degree fiber for multidirectional carbon fiber.

Tech talk: Manufacturers love Tour time

Tech talk: Manufacturers love Tour time

Photo:

“This new technology distributes the carbon fiber in all directions to produce mechanical resistance in any direction,” according to Campagnolo. “Furthermore, Unidirectional Carbon Fiber has been judiciously positioned to further enhance the already outstanding mechanical performance of the Record and Chorus cranksets.”

The Record crankset should weigh in at 500 grams and offer greater resistance to static load, fatigue and torsional inputs.

Look even harder and you might spot the very elusive 2004 front and rear Record derailleurs, which now sport significant carbon construction.

The outer plates of both will now be offered in carbon, promising lighter weight for ’03 Record components. Campagnolo would make no comment on price or availability; stay tuned for the latest updates.

Mavic marks a double anniversary
Mavic’s Ksyrium SSC SL Tour de France wheels are a limited-edition wheelset produced to celebrate both the 100th anniversary of the Tour and Mavic’s 30-year involvement with neutral support.

The wheels are almost identical to current Ksyrium SSC SL wheels, barring a snazzy silver anodized coating, a carrying bag, and titanium quick releases (front 660 grams, rear 830 grams), which snip 20-plus grams from the wheels’ weight. The wheels will come numbered and offer special TdF markings. No word on pricing, but you can expect to pay extra for these hoops.

FSA cranks up a special for Tour
It’s Tour de France time, and that means Full Speed Ahead is ready to introduce a limited-edition Team Issue crankset. This year, FSA will make available 200 sets of a Team CSC Team Issue crankset with special team graphics.

These cranksets are available for Octalink 9-speed Shimano or Isis Drive 10-speed Campagnolo. Lengths are 170mm, 172.5mm or 175mm.

The retail price is $399.99; cranks are available from any dealer or directly from Full Speed Ahead.

Giant offer
Giant’s special-edition TCR Composite will be named the TCR Tour 100, and, fittingly, only 100 will be made. Just five will make it into the United States. The bike will feature a custom graphics package paying homage to the 100 years of Tour history and team ONCE’s successes in the world’s most-watched race.

Look over here
Look, a longtime sponsor of many pro teams, announced that, in conjunction with Tour organizer Amaury Sports Organization (ASO), it would release a commemorative edition of its KG 381i, the team bike for Kelme and Credit Agricole.

The production run will be limited to 300, and it’s unknown how many of those will make their way stateside. But when they do, they’ll cost $2600.

Warm it up
CycleOps will make its first appearance at the Tour de France this year and will debut a new limited-edition Fluid2 Tour Edition Trainer.

Tech talk: Manufacturers love Tour time

Tech talk: Manufacturers love Tour time

Photo:

Featuring CycleOps’s patented Power Band Technology, the Fluid2 Tour Edition has all of the attributes common to the current Fluid model, including bolt-action quick release, asymmetrical foot pads and patented cooling mechanism.

The Fluid Tour edition is emblazoned in the team colors of the U.S. Postal Service Cycling Team. Beginning July 15, it will be available in limited quantities for $399.99.

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