Eurobike: SRAM’s new aluminium road wheels, exclusive RockShox bits

By James Huang, Technical Editor | Thursday, September 10, 2009 11.40am

SRAM will expand its wheel portfolio with three new road models for 2010, all using 6061 aluminium rims, cartridge bearing hubs with alloy shells, freehub bodies and oversized axles, and low 18/20 spoke counts with wide flange spacing and one-cross/radial rear lacing.

The top-end S30 AL Race boasts an appealing claimed weight of 1,430g for the pair (645g front, 785g rear, without skewers), a 30mm-deep hybrid toroidal cross-section borrowed from the company's Zipp division, Sapim CX-Ray bladed and butted stainless steel spokes, hidden alloy nipples, and milled-out hub flanges for reduced weight. 

The mid-range S30 AL Sprint will be nearly identical save for an additional 65g of weight per pair.

The less expensive S27 AL Comp, however, trades in the hybrid toroidal rim shaping for a more conventional V-shaped 27mm-deep rim. 

Standard external nipples are also used and the hub flanges do without the weight-saving milling. Claimed weight is 1,620g for the pair (735g front, 885g rear, without skewers).

This rockshox prototype was mounted to canyon's projekt s5 show bike and looks to be an air-sprung version of the vivid 5.1.:

This RockShox prototype was mounted to Canyon's Projekt S5 show bike and looks to be an air-sprung version of the Vivid 5.1.

In the off-road department, we also spotted a new long-travel rear shock prototype mounted to Canyon's Projekt S5 and got an exclusive first look at a pending superlight cross-country model.

The cross-country rear shock looked to be based on RockShox's existing Monarch platform but was fitted with a carbon fibre air can in place of the usual aluminium bit, extra milling around the eyelets, plus a hydraulic remote lockout system similar to what's currently in use on the new XX-level forks. 

RockShox wouldn't provide an official name, specs or internal details on this prototype rear shock, but we assume it's aimed at the cross country racing market given the ultralight carbon body air sleeve.:

RockShox wouldn't provide an official name, specs or internal details on this prototype rear shock, but we assume it's aimed at the cross country racing market given the ultralight carbon body air sleeve.

RockShox product manager Sander Rigney wouldn't offer up much detail aside from the obvious but it seems a safe bet that we'll see a single XLoc remote lever controlling both front and rear suspension lockouts soon – albeit it with some sort of dual-piston arrangement to allow for each end's specific fluid volume requirements.

At least on this prototype, external adjustments are limited to rebound speed and air pressure, in addition to the remote lockout.: at least on this prototype, external adjustments are limited to rebound speed and air pressure, in addition to the remote lockout.

At least on this prototype, external adjustments are limited to rebound speed and air pressure, in addition to the remote lockout.

The machined red knob presumably provides external rebound damping adjustment but compression looks to be a factory-set item.

The long-travel air-sprung shock on the Canyon is clearly more generous in terms of adjustment, though. In addition to the single visible air valve on the large-diameter can, there are also external adjustments for rebound damping plus compression and ending stroke rebound settings on the bypass channel leading up to the piggyback reservoir. 

No word yet on when this shock will be available but our guess is this will ultimately be an air-sprung variant of the current Vivid 5.1. Stay tuned.

SRAM has enlarged its power meter range as well with SRM as well as Quarq-based cranksets for 2010, both with ANT+ wireless transmission for use with compatible head units from SRM, Quarq, Garmin, iBike, CycleOps and others. 

The S975 SRM crankset uses the German company's proven strain gage technology for a 922g claimed weight (with bottom bracket) while the newer S975 Quarq system boasts a lighter 884g claimed weight and a user replaceable battery. 

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