Eurobike road: Canyon, Focus, Museeuw
By Ben Atkins | Thursday, September 11, 2008 8.30am
The Canyon Speedmax CF PRO will be Cadel Evans' new time trial weapon as he hopes to go one better in next years's Tour. Ben Atkins
Canyon will return to the ProTour – or whatever it will be known as next year – with the Belgian Silence-Lotto team after taking over sponsorship from Ridley.
The German company’s last top-level sponsorship deal with the ill-fated Unibet.com team clearly didn’t go as planned (though it undoubtedly netted both parties lots of publicity) but is surely looking for better fortune this time around with a two-pronged assault on the Grand Tours and the classics.
Canyons have long been known for being very stiff, often with the effect of making the ride a little harsh on the rider. With the new Ultimate CF SLX, though, the German company feels that it has come up with the perfect blend of stiffness and comfort.
By studying the way the vertical forces work on the frame – in movement rather than statically like others – Canyon claims to have increased compliance by 200% without compromising lateral stiffness.
A sub-300g fork and details like a CNC machined seat post clamp that uses a titanium bolt gives a claimed weight of under 1,200g for a frame and fork. Despite this though, Canyon claims that the CF SLX is tough enough for Leif Hoste’s tilt at the Tour of Flanders as well as Cadel Evans’ tilt at the Tour de France.
Now if they can just make it heavy enough…
To mount a serious Tour challenge, any contender needs a fast time trial bike, to this end Canyon presents the all-new Speedmax CF PRO. Equipped with the usual array of aerodynamic features like teardrop shaped tubes, internally routed cables and a seat tube cut out that wraps around the rear wheel, Canyon feels that the Speedmax is just the tool for the job.
Another feature common to many time trial bikes out there is an adjustable seat clamp that can move the saddle fore and aft to enable it to appeal to triathletes as well as conform to UCI regulations.
Focus hits the ProTour
German company Focus joins the peloton at its most elite level for the first time next year, providing the frames to the Milram team of sprint legend Erik Zabel. Rather cheekily, there were a number of Milram-liveried bikes on display in various areas of the Eurobike show while the team’s contract with Colnago still has a few months to run.
The team will be riding the top of the range Izalco Extreme carbon frame, which features Focus’ Stable Stiffness Per Size (SSPS) system. In simple terms, SPSS puts more material into larger size frames and less into smaller ones, a rather logical approach that an increasing number of companies have adopted.
The end result, says Focus, is that larger riders get the stronger and stiffer frames they need and smaller riders don’t end up paying an unnecessary penalty in weight and ride harshness.
The Izalco Extreme main departure from the ordinary Izalco frame in that it has an integrated seatpost. Both frames are full uni-directional carbon fibre modular monocoques built around what looks like a hugely stiff bottom bracket area. The frame is fitted with a pair of 3T carbon fibre Funda Pro forks complete with carbon dropouts.
The Milram team bike will be fitted with a SRAM Red groupset, FSA bars and stem (and seatpost as the display sample was a standard Izalco), a fi’zi:k Arione saddle and CarbonSports Lightweight wheels.
For time trials, Focus will provide Milram with the Izalco Chrono. However, in reality, the Izalco Chrono is a re-badged frame from Swiss specialist builder Andy Walser – something that is very popular both within the German peloton and among other notable riders.
Museeuw Bikes won an IF Product Design Award at last year’s Eurobike show thanks to its innovative use of flax fibres in the construction of its frames. For 2009, the Belgian legend’s marque is introducing new models as well as making changes to its flagship frames.
The MF-1 sits at the head of the Museeuw fleet. Made with a front triangle of 50% carbon and 50% flax fibres, Museeuw has responded to customer feedback about the lack of visible flax below the clearcoat by switching the fibres so that the carbon is now on the inside and the flax outside.
On top of this, the flax proportion has been increased further by the addition of 50% flax fibres to the seat stays, which are now also tipped with full carbon dropouts.
More visible than the fibre layup though is the addition of an extended seat tube on the MF-1, promising further stiffness but also comfort right up to the saddle. We’ve had a previous generation MF-1 on long term test, so look out for that soon.
The previously three-model Museuw line-up has been boosted by the addition of two new, lower budget models. The MC-7 and Gran Fondo frames owe their lesser prices by the use of far less flax fibre than the others in the range (hence the “MC” moniker standing for Museeuw Carbon, rather than “MF” for Museeuw Flax).
Both have integrated seat posts and are aimed at the enthusiast with a lower budget, but who still want the kudos of flax fibre in their bike.
Museeuw bikes has also introduced a range of wheels after previously experiencing problems with production. The top two pairs, the MF-39 and MF-25 (with 39mm and 25mm sections respectively) are made with the same 50/50 flax/carbon material as the MF-1 frame and MF-9 forks.
These are strictly for tubulars only, but there are two sets of carbon/aluminium hoops for those who prefer clinchers.
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