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Race tech: New gear at the Amgen Tour of California

By:
James Huang
Published:
May 19, 2011, 8:12 BST,
Updated:
May 19, 2011, 9:13 BST
Race:
Amgen Tour of California
Dean Dealy of GoPro was busy fitting a number of team bikes with custom mounts for the company's tiny video cameras, such as this one that hangs inconspicuously below an SRM computer.

Dean Dealy of GoPro was busy fitting a number of team bikes with custom mounts for the company's tiny video cameras, such as this one that hangs inconspicuously below an SRM computer.

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GoPro to capture in-peloton coverage

GoPro outfitted a number of teams and riders in this year's Amgen Tour of California peloton with its tiny high-definition video cameras to provide fans with a rare in-the-peloton look at the race from a rider's point of view. While some final details were still being sorted out, GoPro's Dean Dealy told Cyclingnews that cameras would be outfitted on racers' bikes from the HTC-Highroad, Rabobank, Garmin-Cervélo, RadioShack, and Liquigas-Cannondale teams.

Footage would then be collected each day, edited, and included as part of daily television coverage. Additional clips were likely to appear on the company's web site, too.

Custom modified brackets were built in an effort to allay rider objections to having extra widgets attached to their bikes, including one integrated into SRM's aluminum computer mount and a tidy clip-in bit that snaps right into ICS-equipped fi'zi:k saddles. GoPro also worked with HTC-Highroad TechDev manager Lars Teutenberg on a third clamp-on, rear-facing mount to work on any saddle with conventional rails.

Dealy says GoPro unfortunately doesn't currently have plans to bring the modified mounts to market - though enterprising home mechanics honestly wouldn't have too much trouble recreating them on their own. Either way, the resultant footage will provide fans with an exciting perspective they normally don't get to see.

Dean Dealy of GoPro was busy fitting a number of team bikes with custom mounts for the company's tiny video cameras, such as this one that hangs below an SRM computer.

The standard carbon fiber inner pulley cage plates have been replaced with stouter aluminum ones on this HTC-Highroad Di2 rear derailleur. Photo: James Huang

HTC-Highroad bikes equipped with beefed-up Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 rear derailleurs

HTC-Highroad's Specialized S-Works Venge aero carbon fiber road rigs arrived at the Amgen Tour of California with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic groups across the board - but with one notable variation from the consumer version. While standard Di2 rear derailleurs boast all-carbon fiber pulley cage plates in an effort to save a few grams, HTC-Highroad's mechs instead used custom assemblies with aluminum inner plates.

HTC-Highroad TechDev manager Lars Teutenberg was understandably mum on the reasoning behind the modification but a cursory hands-on inspection showed the hybrid cages to be notably more rigid than stock setups. Moreover, the more ductile metallic construction likely makes HTC-Highroad's derailleurs more tolerant of inevitable crashes, too.

The standard carbon fiber inner pulley cage plates have been replaced with stouter aluminum ones on this HTC-Highroad Di2 rear derailleur.

The standard carbon fiber inner pulley cage plates have been replaced with stouter aluminum ones on this HTC-Highroad Di2 rear derailleur. Photo: James Huang

Oakley debuts new frame colors and lens tints in South Lake Tahoe

Oakley sports marketing man Steve Blick was busy making the rounds at the Amgen Tour of California, making sure sponsored teams and riders had whatever eyewear they wanted and/or needed prior to the start of the race. Included in his impressively well-stocked gear bag were some new frame colors and lens tints.

Making a fresh appearance after a multi-year reprise is the translucent 'crystal red' frame color in select styles. Adding to that is a new 'sky blue' hue that Blick says is similar - but notably not identical - to that used by the Sky team.

Oakley have added this new 'sky blue' color option to their collection, though they're quick to point out that it's not quite the same tint used by the Sky team.

Oakley have added this new 'sky blue' color option to their collection, though they're quick to point out that it's not quite the same tint used by the Sky team. Photo: James Huang

Oakley is also launching a new 'Echelon' collection that's specifically aimed at road riders with purpose-built lens tints, including a Ruby Iridium-coated VR50 photochromic option for heightened contrast of typical pavement features and better usability in varying conditions.

"On the road, this is a good lens on days that may start early with zero light or rain that may have changing conditions throughout the day," Blick told Cyclingnews. "The riders are claiming to have better vision under the lower light conditions as if you are in a clear lens. For a guy like Swifty who won in them today, they worked in both sun and rain. It is a lens a rider can depend on to get the job done with the signature Oakley Iridium 'pop' and the rider can leave the eyewear on his face without taking on and off under changing light conditions."

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar.

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