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Aero-vent balance, MIPS and bright shells all trending updwards
Patriotic paint, progressive features and prototype Zipp wheels
From new-school Assos to old-school Italian to a new custom SpeedShop Program
Sony Action Cam, nasal expanders, Kappius wheels and more
Australian footwear company Bont will supply the Cerv
Professional teams name suppliers for 2010
Zipp stacks the field for 2010 season
Top road teams Astana, Team Saxo Bank and Cervélo TestTeam will all exclusively use Zipp wheels for both training and racing during the 2010 road season.
Team will use the full gamut of available wheels as they campaign a wide variety of events – from grand tours, spring classics, and smaller one-day and stage races – and with at least nine stock wheel models to choose from plus whatever special builds the teams may request, the numbers are staggering.
Consider this: each team boasts over two dozen riders (not counting women's and development teams), each rider has multiple road bikes for training and racing, and each rider has at least one time trial bike as well. When factoring in the typically generous number of spares, Zipp's commitment to the three teams accounts for at least several hundred – if not nearly a thousand – complete wheels in total.
"I can’t say how many wheels – it’s a lot," said Zipp marketing manager Andy Paskins. "I can say that the total has increased over the years as the teams are running multiple programs at the same time – women’s and men’s, classics and tours, big tours and lesser tours. Also, since we have so many different wheels to choose from, we are supporting the teams with a full arsenal so that they have the best equipment for various types of racing and terrain."
In addition to the increased visibility the team sponsorships will provide, Zipp will naturally also call on the riders for feedback on both existing products and other items in development. Paskins declined to elaborate on what those new items may be, however, saying only that there was "nothing specific that we can discuss now in terms of development."
Bont backs Cervélo TestTeam
Australian cycling shoe manufacturer Bont will increase its presence on the world racing stage as the official footwear supplier to the Cervélo TestTeam in 2010. Bont shoes were already a regular visitor to the pro ranks last year under riders such as Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Michael Rogers (Team HTC-Columbia) but this new agreement marks its first full-scale sponsorship of a top-tier squad.
Bont will supply the Cervélo TestTeam riders with a collection of shoes, including its top-end a-one road model as well as its more category specific Chrono aero shoe and new ultralight Zero climbing shoe, as well as new prototype models as they are developed. All models feature bathtub-type full-carbon soles for ultra-low stack heights and excellent stiffness and are offered in narrow, standard and wide lasts. Uppers and lowers across the board are fully heat moldable for a custom fit.
In addition to the shoes' light weight and high stiffness, Cervélo co-founder Gerard Vroomen also cites the available dedicated four-bolt drillings, which will eliminate the need for adapter plates on the team's Speedplay pedals.
"[The Bont sole] provides the perfect interface with the Speedplay pedals used by Cervélo TestTeam, as the four-bolt system and thin sole puts the cleat and therefore the pedal spindle closer to the rider’s foot,” said Vroomen in a recent press release.
Ritchey to back four US domestic teams for 2010
Ritchey Design, Inc. recently announced a new sponsorship agreement with the Webcor Builder women's professional road team, adding a fourth US domestic squad to go along with its renewals of the Colavita/Baci p/b Cooking Light women's team, the Jamis-Sutter Home p/b Colavita men's team, and the United Healthcare p/b Maxxis men's team (formerly OUCH).
Ritchey will supply stems and seatposts across the board including the WCS 4-Axis and WCS Alloy 1-Bolt, as well as road handlebars such as the alloy Logic II and Classic, with the exception of Webcor Builders. Webcor will be the first pro team to be officially supplied with Ritchey wheels, however, and they will also use the company's Hammerhead time trial bars along with United Healthcare.
Team Katusha switches to Selle San Marco saddles
Filippo Pozzato, Robbie McEwen, Sergey Ivanov and the rest of the Team Katusha squad will switch from previous saddle sponsor Prologo to Selle San Marco for the 2010 season. According to a recent press release, the team will use the Zoncolon, Aspide and Regale – the company's recently debuted revamp of the classic Regal model. All team saddles will feature a white, red, and blue cover to match the rest of the Katusha livery.
Naturally, the Zoncolan model of current Italian national champion Pozzato will be further personalized with gold accents.
Limar returns to pro peloton
Italian helmet maker Limar will make a return to the pro peloton after a multi-year hiatus – on the road with the Footon-Servetto-Fuji team and on the dirt with the TX Active-Bianchi squad.
Both teams will primarily use Limar's latest Pro 104 Ultralight model, which weighs as little as 170g depending on size thanks in part to its very low-profile shape and high cut. Twenty-two vents and co-molded mesh netting will provide cooling airflow while also filtering out insects. Out back, a dial-type retention system will allow for one-handed adjustments on the fly.
The Footon-Servetto-Fuji riders will also use Limar's Speed Demon aero helmet for time trials, which uses an unusually generous 15 vents to help prevent overheating.
Tifosi Optics and Kelly Benefit Strategies Pro Cycling team up for 2010 season
Tifosi Optics has announced that it will provide sunglasses and eye protection to the Kelly Benefit Strategies Pro Cycling team for the 2010 season. The Watkinsville, Georgia-based company will outfit the team with a wide range of models depending on the application and personal preferences, including the Logic, Dolomite, Torrent, Ventoux, Tyrant, Vogel and Pavé – all of which are available in multiple frame color options plus a wide range of fixed-tint and photochromic lenses.
Most of the riders, however, will use a special custom team edition of Tifosi's top-end Logic complete with matching green and white colors. Key features include a shield-type single lens for ample coverage, temple vents to prevent fogging, and adjustable hydrophilic nose- and earpieces for secure and customizable fit.
In spite of the high-end features, suggested retail price on the Logic is a surprisingly reasonable US$59.95, including three interchangeable lenses.