is today date…. 5days until online registration closes at Mid-night Feb 19,2012
in Conyers, GA. at the Georigia International Horse Park. Home of the 1996 Olympic mountain bike coarse.
THE EXPO IS OPEN TO DEALERS AND CONSUMERS.
We are pleased to announce that all proceeds will be donated to IMBA/ SORBA
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via northwave press release:
agreement with RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK
Northwave, the innovative
Italian producer of cycling shoes, is proud to announce the continuation of its
sponsorship commitment and partnership with one of the most prominent Pro Tour
Shack Nissan Trek. The team includes podium
regulars Andy and Fränk Schleck, Fabian Cancellara, Andreas Klöden, along with
Americans Ben King, US Champion Matthew Busche, and Chris Horner; all led by
one of the most brilliant sports directors ever- Johan Bruyneel.
“Partnerships like this give
us a real boost,” said Northwave founder Gianni Piva, as he sat in the front row at the official team presentation on January 6 in Luxembourg, “and we will
certainly use of this opportunity to work with the riders to
develop the best shoes possible, so that they will always be
seen on top of the podium.”
For the 2012 season the team will wear our new Extreme shoes, the
highest performing Northwave’s ever.
Thanks to the hard work by our R&D department these
shoes set themselves apart as the new benchmark for high level performance with
their innovative design and light weight.
This sponsorship also
covers the newly launched Leopard Trek Continental Team, a testing
ground for young riders who will be tomorrow’s champions.
We look forward to seeing our new Extreme shoes on the feet of
these great athletes and we are sure they will bring incredible results!
- By Caley Fretz
- Published Aug 12th 2011 3:32 AM UTC
BOULDER, Colo. (VN) — For the April issue of (then)VeloNews magazine, we reviewed four aero road bikes: a Cervélo S3, Felt AR1, Ridley Noah, and Blue AC1 SL. Each was put through two scientific tests plus over 30 hours of ride time. The Scott FOIL was not yet available during our test period, and so it was left off the list.
The FOIL on our stiffness jig. Photo: Caley Fretz
We don’t usually publish VeloLab bike reviews on VeloNews.com; that content can only be found in Velo magazine. Consider this online review — a first for us — an addendum to our April roundup. The format is a bit different, but we put the FOIL through the same rigorous test process as we always do for VeloLab reviews. Like what you see? Aero road bikes round 2 is on the horizon, but you have to subscribe to see it.
So with our magazine sales call out of the way, on to the test.
The FOIL: aero shape without the compromise
The FOIL doesn’t look like an aero frame. There are no slender tube shapes or wheel cutouts, and no ultra-narrow head tube. In fact, Scott has had to use paint to show just how they’ve made it aerodynamic at all.
The concept behind each tube shape is similar to theKamm-tail used on Trek’s Speed Concept TT frame: cut off the back of an aero profile to see aero gains while using wider, stiffer tubes, while also staying within the UCI’s 3:1 tube profile regulations. Sticking within those regulations while using regular NACA profiles necessitates skinny tubes, as seen on other aero frames currently available. On the FOIL Team Issue, red paint indicates a truncated aero-profile tube.
The result is excellent: an (allegedly) aero frame, saving its rider a claimed up to 20 watts at 45kph, without the downsides associated with skinny aero tubes with thick walls. Free speed, without the negative side affects traditionally associated with going aero: a flimsy front end and dead-feeling ride. Even if the aero claims are overblown, which I don’t think is the case, I’d consider the FOIL a good buy based on its stiffness and ride quality alone.
Geometry, 56cm (L) frame
Top tube length: 565mm
Head tube length: 160mm
Head tube angle: 73˚
Seat angle: 73.3
The FOIL produced 43 percent less deflection at the head tube, 21 percent less rear end deflection, and the second lowest bottom bracket deflection on the same Microbac Laboratories torsional stiffness jig when compared to the stiffest aero bike in each category tested earlier this year. That’s an overall frame deflection sum of just 5.22mm, compared to 6.89mm for the Ridley, 7.20mm for the Blue, 8.43mm for the Cervélo, and 8.80mm for the Felt AR1.
The FOIL’s stiffness numbers fall close to those of the high end, non-aero race frames tested in the WorldTour bike test found in the September issue of Velo. In fact, the FOIL would have been the second stiffest in that test, despite its aerodynamic tube profiles.
We were not able to get the FOIL into the wind tunnel for this test, though there will be further wind tunnel testing of aero road frames in the future (that’s all we can say at this point). However, it is worth noting that our in-house BB deflection figures match up with those published by Scott almost perfectly; for now we can hope the same would be true about their published wind tunnel figures.
Those figures purport that the FOIL is slightly less aerodynamic than the Cervélo S3 (about 6 watts at 45kph) at 0˚ yaw, dead even with the S3 at 10˚, and slightly better (2 watts or so) at 15˚. According to Scott, it’s miles better than a Madone 6.9 in the tunnel, from 10-20 watts depending on yaw angle. Take those figures with a good helping of salt, though.
Scott says the FOIL saves up to 20 watts at 45kph. Photo: Caley Fretz
On every other aero road frame I’ve ridden stiffness has been compromised in the name of aerodynamics and ride quality has been a notch below traditionally shaped frames. The venerable Cervélo S3, which both Nick and I love, has a soft front end compared to, say, a Trek Madone. The previous generation Ridley Noah is horrendously jarring over anything but perfect pavement — I can’t comment on the latest model. The list goes on. I was willing to take those sacrifices for improved aerodynamics, which I believe have a greater impact on performance than an ultra-stiff head tube, for example, but I’d certainly prefer an aero bike that didn’t have those problems.
The FOIL, to put it simply, rides like a regular race frame, and a great one at that. The truncated aero shapes allow for wider tubes with thinner walls, just like a frame with traditional tube shapes. The ride is almost indistinguishable from an Addict, thanks to both the nearly identical geometry and aforementioned tube construction. It’s light and lively, with a stiff front end (a fact backed up by our lab) and planted rear.
The same cannot be said for comfort. The same zing that feels wonderful when stomping out of the saddle starts to takes its toll on the body after a few hours on the road. Chip-sealed road surfaces are transmitted with perfectly miserable efficiency up to hands and rear end. Comfort isn’t as poor as the 2010 Ridley we tested last winter, but it’s getting there.
Mark Cavendish complained that the original pre-production FOIL was too stiff during the 2010 Tour. The current version has been re-engineered, and made more comfortable. Scott needs to take the frame another step down that road.
Scott included all the bells and whistles associated with high-end frames these days: a tapered 1 1/8” to 1 ¼” head tube, BB86 bottom bracket, and internal cable routing.
The results of our April issue VeloLab aero road bike stiffness test, with the Scott's figures added in. Art by Mike Reisel
Carbon dropouts, front derailleur mount and lower headset bearing race all help keep weight low, and low it is — just 840 grams for a medium HMX version frame. That’s over 100g lighter than the Specialized McLaren Venge or Trek Madone 6.9, over 200g lighter than a Cervélo S3, and over 300g lighter than a Felt AR1.
Head tube height is middle-of-the-road at 160mm for a 56cm frame. Those who prefer a super aggressive position might need a -17˚ stem, but I was fine with a -6˚ and one 5mm spacer.
The seatpost is proprietary, built by Ritchey for Scott with an excellent Ritchey clamp mechanism that can be used with both metal and carbon saddle rails. The seatpost clamp is beautifully integrated within the frame and seems perfectly secure. All clamp parts are replaceable, so if you strip a nut there’s no need to throw the frame away.
Frame: Scott FOIL HMX NET
Available sizes: 47, 49, 52, 54, 56, 58, 61cm
Fork: Scott FOIL HMX NET
Front brake: SRAM Red
Rear brake: SRAM Red
Brake levers: SRAM Red DoubleTap
Saddle: fi’zi:k Arione CS
Seatpost: Ritchey FOIL Aero WCS Carbon
Front derailleur: SRAM Red
Rear derailleur: SRAM Red
Shift levers: SRAM Red DoubleTap
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7900, 11-25T or 11-28T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7900
Crankset: SRAM Red, 53/39T or 50/34T
Bottom bracket: SRAM GXP PressFit
Stem: Ritchey WCS Carbon Matrix 4-Axis
Headset: Ritchey WCS integrated
Handlebars: Ritchey WCS Carbon Curve
Wheelset: Zipp 404 Clincher (aluminum brake track)
Rear tire: Continental Grand Prix 4000 23c
Front tire: Continental Grand Prix 4000 23c
The internal cable routing is relatively easy to swap, which is great for home mechanics. Running the cables through the top tube, as Cervélo and Felt do on their aero frames, might produce slightly better numbers in the wind tunnel but inevitably increase friction compared to the downtube routing used by Scott.
Here’s a major peeve of mine: the FOIL is available for mechanical groups or Shimano Di2, but the drilling is different so once you pick a side you’re stuck with it. The Di2 version can’t be outfitted with a mechanical group, and the mechanical version can’t run Di2 wiring internally. Of course, you can still run the wires outside the frame, but that’s ugly.
Making the frame swappable from Di2 to mechanical is as simple as using removable cable stops and making sure the holes are the right size, just as dozens of other manufacturers do. I have no idea why Scott didn’t go this route, but it’s a major oversight particularly asUltegra Di2 seems set to gain further market share.
Component spec on the Team Issue, the second tier available, is solid. A full SRAM Red group with Zipp 404 clincher wheels and Ritchey cockpit is, for the most part, difficult to fault.
I quickly removed the stock Ritchey WCS Carbon stem because it’s a noodle, and ruined the otherwise stellar front end stiffness. It was replaced with an aluminum Thomson stem. The Ritchey carbon bars are plenty stiff, though, and I dig the nice curve they provide in the drops.
Scott gets a few points for throwing a Dura-Ace cassette and chain on the otherwise SRAM Red group. I love Red, and run it on my personal bikes, but the hollow Red cassette is just annoyingly loud and doesn’t shift quite as well. The Dura-Ace shifts wonderfully and is quiet to boot.
Other than the slightly rough ride, it’s tough to fault the new FOIL. Even ignoring the aero claims, the bike rides as well or better than traditional high-end race frames. Add in the purported free speed, and the FOIL takes a big step ahead of the rest.
The FOIL is expensive, though. The Team Issue, which uses the lighter HMX frame, will set you back $9,000. For that you do get the excellent Zipp 404 wheelset, SRAM Red and Shimano Dura-Ace drive train, and top of the line Ritchey and fi’zi:k bits. Good news is that if weight isn’t your primary concern, the HMF version frames (like the FOIL R2 with Ultegra, $3,700) are considerably cheaper. Scott says stiffness is the same; they’re just a tad heavier.
Review: The Examiner
In my refrigerator at home I keep a jar of Trader Joe's crunchy peanut butter, some homemade fig jam, margerine and whole-wheat bread. These items are always present, fresh and waiting to be combined into cycling food, but the overwhelming majority of the time, I set out for a ride without packing a sandwich. If I'm on a regular 25-mile ride a snack is usually unnecessary, but more than once in the past few months I have found myself out on a longer ride, post climb, feeling like the remaining miles would proceed more enjoyably if I had some grub in my pouch.
So if I can't be relied upon to prepare a sandwich before I head out, what other options remain? I've tried several energy bars, including the ubiquitous Clif Bar, but I'd frankly rather go hungry than try to force down most of the pre-packaged options on the market. Most taste artificial, stale, dry and boring, and come a radically distant second to even the most carelessly prepared PB&J.
I wasn't particularly interested, then, in trying out the Bonk Breaker bar which Mike passed to me a few weeks ago, halfway through a 40-mile ride and right before a punishing local climb. In size and shape it resembled a Clif Bar, albeit in a slightly more attractive wrapper. I took it anyway, peeled it open (with very little effort, which is important on a bike) and slipped out the neat little block of soft energy-stuff.
Out of the wrapper, Bonk Breakers look like a block of fudge, and the texture is not far off that, either. It's soft and smooth, with just enough tooth to be appealing in the mouth, but without any of the clogging character of a Clif Bar. The flavor is pretty terrific, too; I had the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, and it tasted really good. I remarked to Mike that, were it offered, I'd eat the Bonk Breaker just as a snack. It's fudgey, sweet (but not cloying), tastes fresh and natural, and is easy enough to get down during a relatively demanding bike ride. I certainly didn't want to see it again ten minutes later, halfway up a stiff climb, and the Bonk Breaker did the job of staying put. Likewise, I wasn't tasting it for hours afterwards, which probably indicates that the ingredients are natural and fresh.
The hardest test for any energy product, though, is whether it helped me complete the ride. On the one hand, I've ridden the same ride dozens of times without a snack and been just fine. On the other hand, I don't remember suffering more than usual on the climbs, or the long ride home. The Bonk Breaker clearly provided some degree of nutrition, and if that made my ride more enjoyable, I suppose it served its purpose.
Written by: Tom Anhalt
Date: Mon Jun 06 2011
At the end of the 3rd stage of the 2007 Tour de France, Fabian Cancellara famously attacked the field from 1km out and managed to hold off a charging swarm of sprinters to win the stage. On that day he was riding a Cervelo Soloist shod with Zipp model 808 wheels. Afterwards, he excitedly told Zipp's Chief Engineer Josh Poertner "808 is the new 404 for me!" Jens Voigt had been riding Zipp's 808 wheels in flat stages and seeing this, Cancellara had decided to try them as well. As he related to Poertner later, "I just felt like when I went, I knew I was riding a TT bike compared to what these other guys were on." Obviously, the potential of aerodynamics (especially of the wheels) to have a decisive effect in a bike race was not lost on Mr. Cancellara.
Let's fast forward to 2010-2011. In May of 2010, Zipp announced a reworking of their 404 wheels with a completely new shape for that wheel's depth of 58mm. These wheels appear to turn Spartacus' 2007 quote on it's head. In many ways these new wheels equal or outperform the 808s that Fabian rode to victory in 2007. Now then, I'm no Fabian Cancellara (I'd be lucky if I'm equivalent to just ONE of his legs), however, after recently riding a set of the new Zipp Firecrest 404 carbon clincher wheels and digging through the data produced by Zipp and comparing it to my own observations, I'm beginning to think that a new quote is appropriate: "Firecrest 404 is the new 808!"
Firecrest Shape Development
During the development of the Firecrest 404 wheels, Zipp engineers decided to take a slightly different approach than has typically been used in thinking about and designing the rim shape. In the past, they general approach has been to think about the tire as the leading edge of an aerodynamic foil and then designing the rim shape with that as the foremost assumption. Doing so works fairly well, but the trade-off in that decision is that this shape may not work particularly well in the rear part of the wheel, where the shape is "reversed" to the air flow. In other words, the approach was to design for the front half of the wheel to be as good as possible, and then the rear "is what it is". In some cases, the rim designers don't even go to that extent, and this is evidenced by the "V" shaped rims still being produced. Those shapes aren't even particularly good for the front half of the wheel.
With their previous generation of rim shapes (what they called "hybrid toroidal"), the Zipp engineers had done a fairly good job of coming up with a shape that works really well on the front half of the wheel across a wide range of yaws, and is also relatively insensitive to tire width. Even so, this shape, when "reversed" on the trailing half of the wheel, didn't perform anywhere near as well as it did on the leading half of the wheel. So, the new thought process used in designing the Firecrest wheels was to see if tweaks could be made to the rim shape to get the rear half of the wheel to perform closer to the front half of the wheel, without adversely affecting the front half performance. This sounds like a great engineering challenge. Accomplishing this task would eek just a bit more performance out of the wheels, especially in a cross-wind situation.
Well…they did it…and it took taking the typical wheel design approach described above and basically "turning it on it's head". If you take a look at the new Firecrest shape that the Zipp engineers came up with and concentrate on a cross-section through the trailing half of the wheel, you can see that it looks as though the shape was designed with the thought of the tire being the trailing edge of the "wing section"…in almost a "Kamm" style of foil design. The Kamm concept is, simply put, the concept that a truncated airfoil section can have nearly the same drag as the entire foil would have, as long as the truncation is placed in the right spot. Kamm foils have received a lot of attention lately due to their use in the Trek Speed Concept frame tubing, but Zipp actually started using the concept on their wheels around three years ago in the pinch nuts of the 88/188 hubs. Using the Kamm shape on those pinch nuts actually allowed them to have that portion of a 17mm diameter axle have the same drag as the equivalent portion of 12mm round axle section, so obviously the advantages are understood.
According to Josh Poertner, the new shape dramatically improves the drag of the rear half of the 404 wheels, and they were actually able to make tweaks so that the front half of the wheel performance is as good as the old shapes. That's quite an impressive accomplishment.
One side benefit (pun intended) of improving the drag performance of the rear half of the wheels is that the location of the center of effort of the side force acting on the wheels is moved slightly rearward, which aligns it better with the steering axis of the bike. Side force in deep section wheels can be both a blessing and a curse…a blessing because it's the deep sections of the rims creating "lift" through air flow that results in that side force, but it also can be a curse if the effective center of that side force (i.e. if you replaced the overall side force with a single force at a point) is significantly offset from the bike steering axis. This then creates a torque about the steering axis depending on wind strength and direction and is what can make a wheel a handful in windy, gusty situations. However, moving the center of effort closer to the steering axis reduces these torques, and thus reduces the wheel's "twitchy-ness" in sidewinds.
This is actually what the Zipp engineering team was able to accomplish; lower drag AND lower side force induced torque abut the steering axis.
So, what's the bottom line? How well did the engineers do? Take a look at the drag plot released by Zipp, and in particular how the new Firecrest 404 shape compares to the previous 404 and 808 Zipp wheels.
From 0 to 10 degrees of yaw, the old 808 and the Firecrest 404 are nearly tied, with the 808 "beating" it by less than 10 grams of drag, or the equivalent of approximately 1 watt of power at race speeds (or, probably within the margin of error of the measurements.) Above 10 degrees of yaw however, the new 58mm deep Firecrest 404 shape is significantly faster than the older non-Firecrest 808 (the wheel Cancellara rode to victory as described above). Another "nifty" accomplishment by the Zipp engineering team was the fact that the drag performance for both the clincher and tubular versions of the wheel are identical. This hasn't always been the case for particular wheel designs.
Since they were introduced at the same time as the Firecrest shapes, it's commonly assumed that Zipp's new carbon clincher technology is an integral part of the Firecrest concept. In short, it's not…the Carbon Clincher ("CC") technology is separate from the Firecrest shape development. In fact the first Zipp Carbon Clincher 404s I had a chance to ride were prototypes that didn't even have the final Firecrest rim shape. Of course, the CC technology spurred the Firecrest shape development and also helped accomplish the equivalent tubular/clincher aero performance mentioned above since the brake tracks of the CC wheels aren't required to be parallel, but that's more of a bonus than anything else.
So, Zipp came out with a carbon clincher. Some might say "What took so long?" According to Zipp, there were engineering tradeoffs they weren't willing to make until they were able to develop the technology to address those tradeoffs. One of those tradeoffs with typical carbon clinchers is a rider weight limit which is mainly driven by braking temperatures. With typical carbon wheel resins, rim temperatures can quickly get above the glass transition temperature of the resin (i.e. it starts getting "soft"), especially with larger riders and heavy braking conditions (i.e. mountain descents). Having the bead section of a carbon clincher rim get "soft" is a dangerous proposition…the beads can be deformed outward due to the air pressure being contained by the rim sidewalls, which can easily lead to a tire being blown off of the rim itself…definitely NOT something you want to experience on a mountain descent.
To address this problem, Zipp worked with their resin suppliers to develop a resin system for the braking area of the rim which has a MUCH higher glass transition temperature than typical carbon wheel resins, but still has good "toughness" (typically these are competing properties). What all of this means, is that the CC rims DO NOT have a rider weight limit, unlike many other carbon clincher wheels.
Another area the Zipp engineers wanted to address with their carbon clincher development was the durability of the bead areas. A fragile rim bead can easily be damaged just from typical rim impacts, especially once a tire has been punctured and before a rider has a chance to slow to a stop. If the rim beads are damaged just from a typical flat tire situation, that's obviously not acceptable for a top-shelf race wheel. The resin toughness mentioned above helps in this regard, and my own experience with a couple of flat tires on the CC rims tells me that they accomplished their goal.
Subjective Riding Impressions
Now that we've gone through the technical details of these wheels, I'm sure some of you are anxious to know how they "feel". In short…fast. You may be curious as to what my frame of reference is for that statement, and what I'm comparing them to is my tried and true race wheel setup (not only for TTs, but for road races and crits as well) of a set of non-C2 (i.e. narrow) Hed Jet 90s paired with low Crr tires and latex tubes. To be honest, when I initially rode the 404 CC prototypes, my first impression of them was that they didn't "feel" all that fast. However, I then realized that they had been supplied to me with what I'd consider a rather "pedestrian" set of tires and tubes (Continental GP4000S with butyl tubes). After swapping out the rubber for some high thread count (and low Crr) tires (a Bontrager RaceXLite Pro 23C on the front, and a Vittoria Open Corsa CX 23C on the rear), along with latex tubes, my impression of the wheels is that they nearly literally "came alive". With a good set of rubber on these wheels, they felt every bit as fast at steady-state as the much deeper Jet 90s, while also feeling just as easy to accelerate, especially when starting from an already high speed. Some might look at this wheelset's combined weight of 1557 grams and think that these wheels won't accelerate well…and they'd be wrong. Basically, what they are missing is that it's the aerodynamic properties of the wheels that makes a much bigger difference in acceleration than weight or rotational inertia differences. The rotational inertia of a wheelset is an extremely small portion of the total inertia that a rider needs to work against to accelerate, which I covered in, "Why Wheel Aerodynamics Can Outweigh Wheel Weight and Inertia."
How about the ride? Are the wheels "comfortable"? Are they laterally stiff? Once I shod the wheels with the "good" rubber I outlined above, they were just as comfortable as any other wheelset I've used those types of tires on…in short, the tires make a bigger difference in comfort than any wheel or rim properties. And remember, the wheelset I was comparing the 404 CC wheelset to is basically a low profile aluminum rim with a carbon cap, which is a much less stiff configuration in the vertical direction. As for lateral stiffness, I never experienced any rubbing of the brake shoes when either sprinting out of the saddle or climbing steep grades. Cornering on these wheels was sure and devoid of any surprises. In short, they were easily "stiff enough" for use in bike racing.
Now then, let's talk about the sensitivity to side winds and gusts…after all, this is a big point of emphasis in the technical details of this new design. Although I rarely find even deeper wheels much of a "handful" in windy conditions, it did seem to me that the Firecrest 404s were truly less sensitive to side winds. There was a definite sense of less "twitchy-ness" when encountering side gusts, and the wheels were easy to handle.
How about braking? This was my first experience with a carbon fiber braking surface and I was curious to see if I noticed any adverse differences as compared to the aluminum braking surfaces I have mostly ridden. Using the supplied Zipp cork compound pads (which were easy to replace in my brake holders) at first I found the rear pads to be a bit noisy under hard braking. After taking care to reset the "toe-in" on those pads, that noisiness went away and I found the braking on the CC wheels combined with the Zipp pads to be perfectly fine. At no point in the time that I used the wheels and pads did I feel that the braking lacked in any manner. They were never too "weak" nor grabby…overall, as Goldilocks would say, they were "just right".
Lastly, I'd like to talk about their durability, particularly in regards to impacts and riding on a flat tire. Unfortunately, (or…fortunately, I guess, in regards to this review) I actually suffered at 2 cases of impacts while riding (I blame my inconsiderate riding partners with not pointing out obstacles in a paceline!) that were hard enough to cause a "snakebite" failure of my tube (both cases with a butyl tube…hmmm…) and the Carbon Clincher sidewalls came through with flying colors and no damage at all. In these cases of flats, one of the things I was concerned about was any potential damage to the rim sidewalls after the flat occurred and while slowing down to a stop on a flat tire. In that case, the only thing protecting the thin sidewalls from the pavement is just the tire casing. But, as I said above, they didn't show any sign of damage and I was impressed with their apparent "toughness."
With the claimed low drag of these wheels, I decided to see if I could measure a difference between the Firecrest 404 CC wheel and my Jet 90 front wheel. To do so, I undertook a field test using Robert Chung's "Virtual Elevation" method
. Since my baseline wheel (the Jet 90) was set up in TT-mode (i.e. shod with a Bontrager RaceXLite Aero TT 19C tire) I decided to also put an aerodynamically shaped tire on the 404 Firecrest as well; specifically, a new Bontrager R4 Aero 22C to match the wider brake track of the new 404. The Bontrager tire appeared to be a great match to the wider rim bed of the 404 CC as can be seen in the photo below. I didn't have a Zipp Tangente tire available to me at the time, but both the Zipp tire and the R4 Aero have a parabolically shaped tread to give better aerodynamics, but the Bonrtrager probably has a slight advantage in the Crr department (with an attendant slightly worse durability).
I took the wheels out to my preferred test course and did a few runs. The result? Even when looking at a yaw angle of near zero degrees to the wind (which is what my field testing uses) I measured an apparent decrease in "demand" for the 404 Firecrest with the R4 Aero tire of ~5W for a typical TT or Triathlon race speed. However, since the lower rolling resistance of the R4 Aero tire (as compared to the RaceXLite TT on the Jet 90) can account for up to 3-4W of that ~5W difference, I think the best that can be said from these measurements is that the Firecrest 404 is no slower at near zero yaw than a much deeper wheel like the Jet 90, when both are shod with tires of appropriate width for the rims. I also was able to test the older version 404 clincher with the same Bontrager R4 tire, and it too had ~5W higher "demand". Since both versions of the 404 I tested used the exact same tire, then it's safe to say that those differences were due to mostly the aerodynamic differences in the 2 versions.Conclusions
The Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clinchers are a VERY good wheelset. In fact, as I pointed out at the beginning of this review, they are actually faster than the old Zipp 808 design, which is a rim that is over 20mm deeper and has long been considered one of the fastest wheels one could use for bike racing. Are they a good value? In my opinion, yes. Although their list price of $2700 may seem a bit high, if you compare them to other carbon clincher wheels on the market that aren't anywhere near as aerodynamic, then the value starts to reveal itself. Don't forget, one of the BIG advantages of them being clinchers is the fact that one can easily tailor your tire choice to the event and conditions, and also get "world class" rolling resistance out of any of your setups just by installing latex tubes in the tires as well.
In short, one would be hard-pressed to find a better "do all" wheelset for bicycle racing of any kind…and despite being race wheels, their durability allows for frequent training use without having to worry about damaging them. Firecrest 404s are the new 808s!
The Italian leading company producing cycling shoes and clothing has signed a 3-year sponsorship commitment with the LEOPARD TREK team, led by the podium regulars Fabian Cancellara, Andy and Frank Schleck, Daniele Bennati.
“This is a very important investment for our company” says Northwave founder Gianni Piva, “certainly a big push for the growth of our brand and the development of our cycling shoes. The team will drive us hard to keep improving our shoes and we will give them the best tools to win races.
For the 2011 season the team will wear our Evolution S.B.S. shoes with a special Wood Lasting Insole, an innovative solution created by our R&D department to reduce the vibrations transmitted by the pedals and which will become an outstanding support during races like Paris-Roubaix and Tour de Flandres.”
Gianni Piva continues: “We created immediately a climate of confidence and respect with the team’s Sports Directors, the General Manager Brian Nygaard and all the riders. They are already providing us with precious feedbacks about our shoes.”
Together with Philippe Gilbert, Andrè Greipel, Sergey Ivanov and many others, LEOPARD TREK is now part of Northwave top sponsorships for the upcoming racing season.
COO Chief Operating Officer
Quick look: SRAM's black Red
BLOOMINGTON, MN (VN) — SRAM has just announced that it will add black color option for its top of the line Red groupset, available next month. The new option is in addition to SRAM’s Limited Tour Edition colors, which added yellow Tour de France-inspired graphics to the group.
The group itself remains unchanged, as do its silver graphics. The rear derailleur, front derailleur, crankset and chainrings, and brakes all get the new silky black finish.
VeloNews grabbed a few photos of the new colors at Frostbike this weekend.
To see the rest of this article and more photos from VeloNews, please visit http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/02/bikes-and-tech/tech-quick-look/black-is-the-new-red-sram-adds-new-color-option-for-its-red-groupset_161127
GEAR: 2011 Bikes and Gear
When you walk into a shop to buy a race-level road bike, the process might seem more complicated than ever--and not only because you have to decipher all the claims that "our carbon is better than theirs," or "this new bottom-bracket design is best," or "trust us, electric shifting is revolutionary." Choosing a new bike can be confounding because a growing number of manufacturers are producing two distinct frames that can each be called the company's fastest.
One style of bike has the telltale, angular shaping of a wind cheater; the other has the delicate curves of a lightweight that flouts gravity. And this time the hype is true: Each one really might be the fastest bike you've ever ridden--it depends on the kind of speed you crave.
FEATHER VS. KNIFE Of the many ways to evaluate a frame's potential performance, lightness is the easiest to understand. You can simply pick up two frames and feel a weight difference (which might explain, in part, why so many cyclists obsess over every gram). Everyone intrinsically understands that we can move a lighter object more easily than a heavier object, so paying more for a lighter bike makes sense.
You have to read more about this Blue AC1 versus the Axino in Bicycling: http://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/bikes-and-gear-features/choose-your-weapon?page=0,0
By Nick Legan
Published Jan 3rd 2011 2:21 PM EST
In 1988 Zipp produced the first all-carbon disk wheel. A year later it introduced the first carbon three-spoke wheel, the 3000. Zipp backed that up with its first win at Hawaii Ironman and the world’s first carbon deep-section aero wheel. With the revolutionary 2001 frameset, Zipp introduced features like aero, internal cable routing that entered the frame behind the stem on the top tube and a hidden rear brake. All this only gets us to 1991 in the Zipp timeline. And all this
from a small company in Indiana.
Since then big changes have occurred at Zipp, but its wheels are still cutting edge. Its presence in the European and domestic pelotons is well established. Zipp created the first carbon wheel to conquer the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix and has branched out to produce handlebars, stems and cranks. More importantly though, the company has sold twice, most recently to SRAM in 2007.
Though SRAM’s headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois, Zipp has been left to its own devices for the most part. SRAM acquired a successful company in Zipp. There was no need to mess with that Indiana-based recipe.
To see the rest of the article, please visit Velo News at http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/01/bikes-tech/zipp-keeping-it-in-the-neighborhood_154336