Tech News Roundup: Astana bikes unveiled, Tacx bio-bottles, UCI approvals and Bicycling degrees
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Friday, February 4, 2011

Tech News Roundup: Astana bikes unveiled, Tacx bio-bottles, UCI approvals and Bicycling degrees

by Ben Atkins at 1:36 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tech News
Pretty new paintjob for Kazakh team!

Astana unveils 2011 Specialized race bikes

The Astana team has unveiled the livery that its team bikes will be wearing in 2011. The Kazakh outfit will be riding bikes from Specilaized for the second year despite the departure of Alberto Contador, whose personal deal with the Californian company led to the arrangement with the team in the first place.

The 2011 paint scheme is markedly less black than in 2011, and features much more of the Kazakh flag’s unmistakeable turquoise, with the yellow sun that has disappeared from the jersey near the top of the seat tube.

astana tarmac Also staying on from last year is the SRAM Red groupset, punctuated by Specialized’s own S-Works carbon chainset. There is a change in the wheel sponsor though, with French company Corima replacing Zipp. Bars, stems and seatposts are provided by FSA, and saddles by Selle Italia.

Astana riders will sit astride the S-Works Tarmac SL3 Specialized’s top road frame, in road races, and the S-Works Shiv in time trials.

astana shiv
Tacx provides bio-bottles to its sponsored teams

tacxLike its big Italian rival Elite, Dutch water bottle and home trainer company has produced a bottle that is “ecological and biodegradable”, which it will be supplying to its sponsored teams. The new Bio-bottle, called the Shiva, is, Tacx claims, very squeezable, and features a large screw on cap and a leak proof spout, making it easy to fill and clean.

According to Tacx, a professional team will use anything up to 25,000 bottles a year, with a soigneur filling an average of one hundred before the start of each race; obviously many more on hotter stages.

Tacx provides bottles to the Rabobank, OmegaPharma-Lotto, Quick Step, Saxobank-SunGard, Astana and Vacansoleil-DCM ProTeams.

More opposition to UCI’s frame approval process

uci approvedWhile the changes announced to the International Cycling Union (UCI) approval process, which requires all manufacturers to get an “Approved by the UCI” sticker on all frames and forks, a small Taiwanese maker has suggested a further change, according to

The process as it will currently stand requires all products under the system to be approved by the Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. Victor Major, the CEO of carbon bike maker Velocite, would like to see the process opened up to other certifiers.

"I agree with standardisation," he said. "What I do not agree with is the huge expense for pulling some calipers out or reviewing a 3D model. What is also unclear to me is if they will allow remote certifying companies, like SGS [a Worldwide inspection, verification, testing and certification company – Ed] for example, to do this test.

"At the moment, on top of the expensive sticker fee,” he added, “we will also need to send frames to Switzerland for just one approved lab to do the measuring.

"This is a logistical expense and is senseless."

Lees-McRae College announces minor degree in Bicycling Studies

Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina is to offer a minor degree in Bicycling Studies from January, which aims to “bridge the gap” between cycling and the classroom. Fuelled by new college president Barry M Buxton, a self-proclaimed cycling enthusiast, the programme will aim to open opportunities to graduates to join the world of cycling after college, be it on or off the bike.

“We want to give our talented cyclists another avenue in which to explore the ever-growing and dynamic world of cycling. Our students are talented riders and mechanics, and we want to provide them with opportunities outside of team racing,” said Buxton. “With the College’s new cycling minor in place, our graduates can be extremely competitive in the cycling industry as coaches, managers, officials, planners, ream directors, designers, promoters, trainers, etc.

“My goal is to ultimately have 150 cyclists enrolled at Lees-McRae,” he added. “We plan to continue to win national championships, but we also want to prepare our graduates to assume positions of leadership in the business world of bicycling.”

The announcement comes soon after the tragic death of Lees-McRae’s standout rider Carla Swart, who had recently begun riding with the HTC-Highroad team; although born in South Africa, Swart’s family moved to the US many years ago and she became the most decorated collegiate cyclist in history.

“The Carla Swart Memorial Scholarship at Lees-McRae College will honor her memory and countless accomplishments, and will be awarded to a female cyclist who demonstrates a love for the sport and exhibits great promise as a cyclist,” says the college’s statement.


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