Tech: Castelli winter gear, Assos glasses, Campagnolo and Shimano
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tech: Castelli winter gear, Assos glasses, Campagnolo and Shimano

by VeloNation Press at 8:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tech News
Clothing and equipment roundup

CastelliCastelli Fluido Nanoflex Wind bibtight and Expresso Due Jacket

With winter bringing cold, wet and gloomy conditions across Europe, North America and elsewhere, riders are battling the elements while trying not to let their mileage and health be adversely affected. Of the numerous products released to battle what nature is throwing around, two items from the high-class Italian manufacturer Castelli command attention.

The first is the Expresso Due Jacket, which features Windstopper X-Fast fabric throughout. This is designed to prevent cold air getting through while also being water resistant and breathable at the same time. Under this layer sits a soft microfleece lining which, when combined with two vents on the backside of the shoulders, is intended to prevent overheating.

In addition, there are two vertical zippers on the front of the jacket which can be unzipped when climbing in order to increase the release of heat.

Other details include a flip up Thermoflex collar, vertical wrist cuffs which can create a tight seal with gloves, anatomical cut, rear reflective tables, three rear pockets plus a MP3 player chest pocket and cable port.

The Italian company’s second offering is Fluido Nanoflex Wind bibtight, which combines warmth and wind resistance with the ability to shrug off water. It features panels of SG0.6 Wind/waterproof fabric in strategic places such as the frontal portions of the legs and the crotch, blocking cold air. The tights Castelli Fluidoalso feature Thermoflex fabric coated with millions of tiny silicone nanofilaments which, according to Castelli, provide ‘the most water-repellent fabric finish ever,’ and cause the droplets of water to bead on the surface and then roll off.

The bibtights feature the Progetto X2 setpad, a multi-density cushion layer with a smooth outer surface, various different heights and three perforated gel inserts for heat-ventilation. The latter are positioned under the ischial sit bones and in the perineum area and, along with the rest of the trim-fitting tights, are designed to mould to the body and avoid discomfort when in use. For those who prefer to use bibshorts under tights, a version without the Progetto X2 seatpad is available.

Assos release Zegho eyewear:

Assos ZeghoGoing head to head with Oakley in the high-priced sunglass market, Assos has released a new eyewear range called Zegho. Larger than many other glasses and wrapping around the face to give a claimed 180˚ field of vision, the range was made in collaboration with Carl Zeiss Vision.

The lens is constructed from polyamide due to its flexibility and light weight, plus strong optical quality; in fact, the company claims that there is zero optical distortion. It provides full UV protection and is anti-fog.

Rather than polarize the lens or go with photochromic technology, the company has chosen to include a transition from dark to clear towards the bottom of the lens. It has explained that this is to prevent a momentary lack of vision when emerging from dark tunnels, and that the rider can simply tilt his or her head backwards slightly to be able to see through this clearer part of the lens when required.

The lenses have been toughened by the Zeiss coating Ri-Pel, which makes it stronger and more scratch resistant, as well as making it easier to clean and hydrophobic.

There are two colour options for the glasses; the first is the Grey G7026 neutral tint, which has an eight to eighteen percent light transmission, while the second is the Yellow G2016 high-contrast tint. This features 80-100% light transmission.

Assos offers three versions of the glasses, namely Noire, Werksmannschaft and Amplify. These feature different lens and frame-colour combinations, and are priced differently.

Campagnolo opens second factory in Romania

Benefiting from far cheaper labour costs compared to Italy, Campagnolo has opened what is its second factory in Romania. Production in the 16,000 square foot factory began in early October, and will reach full capacity by the end of next year.

The company has shifted its more labour-intensive production to Romania, with its first factory in Pitesti proving very successful in answering demand and keeping prices down. Components using carbon fibre have been made there, and the new electronic EPS system is expected to be constructed in the country from next year. The company has said that it will always have a base in Italy.

“We need more space,” Valentino Campagnolo said, according to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. “Where we are right now in Pitesti, we cannot expand any longer.”

Its first factory in Romania was established six years ago, and has grown tenfold since then.

Garmin-Cervélo to Shimano?

ShimanoRecent media reports have suggested that the Garmin-Cervélo team may be eschewing the use of SRAM groupsets in favour of Shimano in 2012.

The team is yet to verify that the change will occur. Shimano offers both mechanical and electronic groupsets at Dura Ace level, while a third component giant, Campagnolo, recently unveiled details of its new electronic EPS system.

Whatever the groupset, Garmin-Cervélo is believed likely to continue using Rotor cranks next year.


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