Archive for September, 2010

Boonen’s Two-Stage-Winning Eddy Merckx Bike

The two best-known stars of Belgian cycling have come together at Quick Step this year. Eddy Merckx bicycles returned to the top echelon of cycling again with the sponsorship of the Belgian ProTour team of Belgian national champion Tom Boonen.

For 2010, Quick Step switched from Specialized to Eddy Merckx bikes. Boonen rides the EMX-5. This year Eddy Merckx, the man, will be 65, and Eddy Merckx the bicycle brand will be 30 years old. At the Tour of Qatar, Eddy Merckx, the man, often rode the mornings before the stages.

Boonen’s frameset is custom in its geometry, but similar in construction to the stock EMX-5 with 46HM 3K carbon fiber. “It only took one month,” Boonen said of the custom process.

Deda Zero100 bars and stem, in aluminum, of course. Saddle maker Prologo also provides the team with handlebar tape.

Quick Step rides wheels from Fast Forward, a Dutch company. These F5C wheels are built with DT Swiss 240s hubs, DT Aerolite spokes and DT brass nipples.

Fast Forward like most wheel companies has a full range of rim depths. The F5C comes in a 50mm height. The set weighs 1,450 grams.

Boonen is on Look’s new Keo Blade, which uses a carbon leaf spring instead of a standard metal coil spring to keep the cleat clipped in. These ti spindle models weigh 195 grams for the set. Tension isn’t adjustable per se, but you can switch out the carbon leaf to increase or decrease tension.

After years of loyally riding the Selle San Marco Regal, Boonen is on Prologo this year. However, he chose a wider model (145mm) than the rest of his teammates, who ride the standard Prologo Scratch Pro in a 134mm width. “I have wider hips so I need a wider saddle,” he said. “After 10 years of racing I know the position I like, and I’m not going to change.”

BBB provides helmets, sunglasses and basic computers, such as this BCP-32W. While many riders now race with power meters, Boonen says he prefers to race on instinct and feel. “You can have this computer,” he said. The top speed recorded on it in Qatar was 72.8kph.

Boonen chats about his Look Keo Blade pedals with Team Sky’s Scott Sunderland and Steven De Jongh.

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Grades of Carbon Fiber

What’s the different between 1K, 3K, 12K and UD (Uni-Directional Carbon) carbon fiber?

Fibers are bundled in various sizes designated in thousands (K) of fibers. This is made by weaving bundles of carbon filaments called ‘tows’. These tows are commonly made up of 1,000, 3,000 or 12,000 individual carbon fibers—these are referred to as 1k, 3k 12k etc. There are many different styles of weave that give different properties and looks.These fibers are woven into fabric with various width sizes. A 1K weave will be approximately 1mm in width while a 12K weave will be much larger at approximately 12mm and so forth. The various types of fiber will have the same “K” designation to indicate the number of fibers in the bundle.

The outer layer of any carbon frame serves several purposes. The first purpose is to provide a cosmetic layer of carbon giving the frame it’s final look. Secondly, it provides a final touch to the ride of the bicycle. Some weaves are more rigid than others and some weaves flex more providing more supple ride characteristics.

Advantages of woven carbon fabric
A woven fabric contains fibers oriented on at least two axes, in order to provide great all-around strength and stiffness. A sheet of woven fabric once cured can take flexural and tensile loads on multiple axes, and even exhibits good stiffness properties off axis. The real benefits of woven materials, however, come from their behavior in less than ideal circumstances, such as when punctured or exposed to bearing loads.

A carbon strand is strongest when straight, and therefore loses some of its theoretical strength when it is bent around other fibers to produce a weave, but if a strand is broken or punctured in a weave, the surrounding fibers, because of this bend, behave as if unbroken. Therefore, if a hole is punched in a weave, strands punctured in one place, will behave at full strength within a very short distance (typically one to two weave widths) from the damage.

With a unidirectional fabric, a fiber puncture will compromise strength for the entire length of the fiber, relying on the resin strength (or sandwiched woven fibers) to distribute loading across the broken fibers. These same properties also result in better toughness, and impact strength than uni-directional material. However for the equivalent strength the woven carbon is 1.4 times heavier unidirectional carbon.

1K Weave – It is lighter than other fibers and provides a more supple ride than a larger weave.

3K Weave – It provides a comfortable ride while still allowing the bike to be stiff and strong enough to handle a powerful rider in the midst of his/her best sprint.

12K Weave – 12K is the largest weave and the stiffest. It is slightly heavier and much less expensive to use in production.

Uni-Directional Carbon – Unidirectional has the fibers running in one direction only and doesn’t have the same woven look.

Know the modulus of carbon fiber
The ‘HM’ designation (High Modulus) refers to the tensile strength in tonnes per square centimeter. 46HM refers to a tensile strength of 46 tonnes per square centimeter. High Modulus fiber has a tensile modulus of 55 MSI (Million pounds per Square Inch) and higher. Tensile modulus is a measure of how much pulling force a certain diameter fiber can exert without breaking. Therefore High Modulus carbon fiber use less material to get the same stiffness and therefore a lighter structure.

High Modulus Carbon Fiber Smaller fiber and denser = lighter and stronger (Higher tensile strength)

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Wouter Weylandt takes fifth place in Omloop van het Houtland

Wouter Weylandt in the break

Omloop van het Houtland is a single-day road bicycle race held annually in Lichtervelde in the region of West Flanders, Belgium. Since 2007, the race is organized as a 1.1 event on the UCI Europe Tour.

Omloop van het Houtland Lichtervelde 2010 191.4km
A peloton of 160 riders started in the 66th edition of the Omloop van het Houtland – Lichtervelde today. The beautiful weather conditions inspired the riders. The pace was high during the first hour, the average was 51 km/h. Still four riders managed to slip away. They established a maximum lead of 5,5 minutes, the moment for Team Quick Step to take over control and lead the pursuit. When the escapees reached the local laps their advantage was only 2 minutes. With 30 kilometres to go the peloton caught the escapees. Despite a late attack of two riders the race ended in a bunch sprint. The Dutch rider Van Dijk outsprinted Van Hummel and Blythe, taking his fifth season win. Wouter Weylandt, just returned from the Vuelta a España, ended in fifth place. Frederique Robert ended just outside the top-10 in a 13th place.

Team Quickstep

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Shimano Carbon 2011 Dura Ace PD-7900 SPD-SL Pedals

For 2011 Shimano brings out the carbon Dura Ace pedals, known as the PD-7900 SPD-SL. The Shimano Carbon 2011 Dura Ace PD-7900 SPD-SL Pedals takes away the aluminum body and adds carbon fiber, which slims the pedals down by 30 grams.

The Shimano 2011 Dura Ace Pedals use a stainless steel plate allowing a nice durable surface for the cleat, plus you can move your foot around without tearing into the carbon. Following, the axles and bearings are held with a billet aluminum cylinder which is bonded to the interior, and each pedal has three sets of bearings. Weighing in at 248 grams.

2011 Carbon Dura-Ace Pedal

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The Hour Record

Drop handlebar, round steel tubing frame, wire spokes, Clement number 1 Pista tubular tires, special lightweight titanium stem

In 25th October 1972, Eddy Merckx (BEL) at the age of 27, broke the world hour record in Mexico City at an altitude of 2,300m (7,550 ft). His bike weighed just 5.5 kg. Specially designed and prepared by Eddy himself, it had holes drilled in different parts of the bike to make it lighter. It used super light tires and a special titanium stem was used. He said his hour record attempt was “the hardest ride I have ever done”. He held his record for 12 years before it was broken by Francesco Moser (ITA) on a specially designed aerodynamic cycle.

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Boss a.k.a Ah Chen EMX-1 Bike Check

After years of riding on his Titus solera titanium road bike, boss of Tionghin, Mr Chen, had finally pampered himself with a carbon road bike from Eddy Merckx. After a few measurements, EMX-1 with a performance geometry of size 42 fit him perfectly. According to Mr Chen, Eddy Merckx is the greatest and most successful cyclist of all time. He had already heard of him during the 70’s after his numerous victories in Tour de France. It’s really great to ride a bike built by this legend.

  • Frameset: Eddy Merckx EMX-1 (24HM UDM TORAY Carbon)
  • Groupset: Dura-Ace 7800
  • Chain: YBN
  • Wheelset: Sun Ringle Accelerator R3.0C (City flea hub set with ceramic bearings)
  • Tyre: Vittoria Corsa Evo CX
  • Handlebar: Selcof Team Alu Bar
  • Bar Tape: Easton
  • Stem: Aerus Composites
  • Saddle: Prologo Scratch Pro
  • Seatpost: Eddy Merckx Carbon Wrap 3K
  • Bottle Cage: Topeak Carbon

Replaceable alu-carbon vertical dropouts

The fork are shaped for better aerodynamics

There is more surface area to mate with the top tube and down tubes. The effect is more stability, greater stiffness, and more accurate steering

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Eddy Merckx creates new EMX-7 flagship

Team Quick Step will be riding new Eddy Merckx EMX-7 carbon flagship bikes come the 2011 season to replace the EMX-5 model used to briefly earn the yellow, green and polka dot jerseys in this year’s Tour de France.

Compared to the EMX-5, the new EMX-7 boasts a more modern set of features, including a tapered 1-1/8 to 1-1/2in front end, wide-format press-fit bottom bracket and an integrated seatmast. Internal cable routing and a few aerodynamic shapes on the down tube, seat tube, fork blades and seatstays have been added for good measure.

Stiffness increases as well, partially due to the asymmetrical chainstays and larger tube sizes that the tapered front end and wider bottom bracket allow but also because of the more advanced fibre blend company engineers have integrated into the design – including extra-stiff pitch-type carbon fibres in select areas.

The new Eddy Merckx EMX-7 uses a press-fit bottom bracket that allows for a bigger down tube and more widely-set chainstays than the old EMX-5

Eddy Merckx will offer the EMX-7 in three colours for 2011, along with a limited edition ‘Eddy Merckx Anniversary’ complete bike to celebrate The Cannibal’s 525 career race victories. In addition to special paint, the bike will come equipped with a unique set of Lightweight wheels with each of those victories written on the sidewalls. Rounding out the build is a Campagnolo Super Record group.

This limited edition version of the EMX-7 celebrates each of the Cannibal’s 525 victories

Last year’s EMX-5 also gets a redo, inheriting many of the design features incorporated into the EMX-7. Changes include a press-fit bottom bracket, tapered front end and internal cable routing, but it retains the same steady geometry that has long marked Eddy Merckx machines

Eddy Merckx has redesigned the EMX-5, adding features included on the new EMX-7

Long-distance recreational riders haven’t been ignored, either, with the slightly more upright EMX-3 gaining a tapered 1-1/8 to 1-1/4in front end and all-new carbon fork, plus revised front triangle tube shapes.

The EMX-3 has also been updated; this is the women’s-specific EFX-3

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