Eurobike is always abuzz with new products, and this year is no different with the latest from one of the hottest road brands in the world, Cervélo. Ben Atkins reports on the Canadian company as well as the decades old Italian bespoke firm Milani.
Cervélo builds on a season of success
Canadian company Cervélo has enjoyed success this year that even it cannot have dreamed of. In the last two months alone it tasted victory at the Tour de France with CSC-Saxo Bank and Carlos Sastre, followed by Olympic gold medals on the track for Spain’s Joan Llaneras and in the men’s and women’s time trials for the USA’s Kristin Armstrong and Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara. This was added to by several medals of other colours in other events. Evidence of this success was all over the Cervélo stand in the form of the actual winners’ bikes hung from the walls.
Sponsored riders in the Olympic road races used Cervélo’s new S3, which is a further development of the SLC-SL and replaces it at the top of the company’s range. The S3 is claimed to be even more aerodynamic than the SLC-SL was and uses techniques like top-entry internal cable routing – using some clever internal cable stops – to achieve this. Cervélo also says that the bottom bracket area is stiffer still, yet the frame affords far more comfort via pared-down chain stays and far slimmer seat stays.
Cervélo says that the S3 not only replaces the SLC-SL but now sits above where it was in the range. Now sitting below the S3 is the new S2 which is intended as the update to the venerable Soloist Carbon. This new frame looks almost identical to its predecessor, but like the S3, now uses slimmer stays (though not as dramatically changed) and similar internal cable routing.
Subtle changes have also been applied to Cervélo’s other road frame platform, the R3. To make the ride more compliant the R3’s seat tube diameter has been reduced and the frame now uses a 27.2mm seatpost – a standard that many framebuilders are returning to.
The CSC-Saxo Bank Team (or Saxo Bank as they will simply be called) will of course no longer be riding Cervélo frames in 2009, but the new so-called Cervélo TestTeam has managed to hold on to Tour winner Sastre and rumours abound about the possibility of more riders following him.
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews to find out what happens!
Milani brings tradition back to the future
Milani was originally established in 1927 by Natale Milani in the town of Gallarate, between Milan and Varese in northeast Italy. The company was only recently revived though by eldest son Celeste who looks to recreate the spirit and passion of his father’s frames.
Very much a boutique brand, the top of Milani’s range is the N107E, a full-carbon tube-to-tube frame bolstered with healthy doses of high modulus 3K carbon. The top and down tubes are both triangular in section, with the former changing shape along its length so that the top of it points up at the head tube and down at the seat tube.
That seat tube is round in profile and continues upwards past the top tube to form a semi-integrated seat post that Milani tops with a Deda Corto clamp. Milani offers the frame in six stock sizes, but keen to emphasise the individuality of the brand – and with the carbon wrapping construction – Milani also offers a full customisation facility.
Milani also makes time trial, track and cyclocross frames as well as an urban style fixie. The Icon time trial frame is similar in appearance to the N107E road frame save for a cutaway seat tube and conventional aero post and is built in the same way from the same materials. However, the Seigiorni (Six-days) track frame is made from 7005-T6 aluminium with contoured main tubes and an aero section seat tube.
As with many framebuilders, particularly of the boutique type, Milani includes a traditional style lugged steel frame in its range, too. The Replica is based on the frames that Celeste’s father once made and is available in the three colours that he used: Blue Sky, Champagne and Ruby. Along with the retro graphics and chrome detailing, the Replica is, where possible, equipped with original components like bars and stems from Milani’s old storeroom.