Cool bikes — honored in Europe

Hannover, Germany ... The Pro Machine SLC01 racing bike from BMC Trading AG, Grenchen, Switzerland, took one of the top awards in the inaugural Eurobike Design competition during the international Eurobike Show. The competition, sponsored by the Messe Friedrichshafen, featured 210 entries from 14 countries in categories for bicycles (mountain, city, racing, recumbent and folding, electric, fitness, and concept), clothing for cyclists, bike computers (lighting systems and pulse monitors), components, accessories and machines/tools/workshop, and bike-store equipment/other. The Jury, composed of top international bike designers, evaluated entries based on such criteria as choice of materials, degree of innovation, environmental friendliness, ergonomics, and safety. Here's a look at few of the top designs:

The Pro Machine SLC01 racing bike is the first with a frame made completely of Easton CNT (carbon nanotube) composite technology and was designed by Nose Applied Intelligence, of Zurich. The carbon nanotubes reportedly have strength-to-weight ratios 100 times greater than aluminum and many times the strength of conventional carbon fibers. The composite let the design team build a racer that weighs less than a kilogram (2.2 lb) and is strong and stiff enough to withstand the rigors imposed on it by the Pro Tour Team Phonak during the 2005 Tour de France. Additionally, designers introduced new construction details. Only the bottom bracket shell is aluminum. Traditional "hard points" such as the dropouts, seat cluster, and head tube are all carbon fiber. Even cable guides mold into the frame with no need for secondary adhesives.

The Ciao! Miniature folding bike from Dahon California Inc., Duarte, Calif., features an extremely low top tube that folds in a matter of seconds to the size of a suitcase. The jury gave it high marks because of its appeal to the 50+ generation as well as the younger, more-mobile group it targets. The Ciao! was designed using Pro-E and Auto-CAD software and FEA testing. According to Duarte spokesperson Steve Cuomo, several rounds of prototyping and field-testing ensured DIN standards were met. The bike was designed specifically for riders interested in a low stepover height. The main frame is made from custom-drawn 7005 aluminum alloy tubes (a flat-bottom teardrop profile), and the lattice hinge is cold forged 7005. According to Cuomo, a proprietary embed-construction technique gives the bottom bracket tube a 300° weld. In contrast, most bikes use a 90° weld to make that junction laterally stiffer for more pedaling efficiency. The bike also features a dynamo front hub that generates clean, green electricity for front and rear lights that only activate when ridden at night.

Other winning entries include the Nano light, fitness, cross and trekking bike from Simplon Fahrrad GmbH, Hard, Austria, and the Attack, back protector backpack from Deuter Sport GmbH in Germany. More information on the Eurobike Award and next year's contest deadlines is on the iF International Forum Design GmbH Web site www.ifdesign.de

The Ciao! Miniature bike has a threespeed rear hub and folds in about 15 sec to the size of a brief case.
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The Ciao! Miniature bike has a threespeed rear hub and folds in about 15 sec to the size of a brief case.

The Knog Frog from Knog Pty Ltd., Richmond, Australia, is an ultrabright microlight that weighs only 12 gm (0.42 oz). Its silicone rubber body wraps around rider fingers and belts or can stretch around a range of handlebar and seat-post diameters from10 to 32 mm. Riders are easily visible thanks to the Frog's bright steady or blinking beam of light. The unit is powered by two internal (replaceable) lithium coin-cell batteries with a burn time of 160 hr. Batteries and electronics sit within a plastic "Pod" inside the silicone rubber outer body. An interference fit keeps the Pod snugly in place.

Ultrabright Knog Frog bicycle "be seen" lights feature translucent bodies that glow either red, blue, or white."


Swiss bike maker BMC launched its new Pro Machine SLCO1 race frame at the 2005 Tour de France and is claiming a first — a frame built completely from Easton carbon nanotube composite.

Swiss bike maker BMC launched its new Pro Machine SLCO1 race frame at the 2005 Tour de France and is claiming a first — a frame built completely from Easton carbon nanotube composite.


The frame of the Senario CD 1.0 racing bike from Storck Bicycle, Bad Camberg, Germany, is said to be the company's most rigid to date. The combination of patented reinforcement in the head tube and the first-time use of carbon fiber dropouts in the frame's rear triangle makes the bike steer more precisely.

The RXR racing bikes from Time Sport International, Varennes, France, are niche bikes for use in time trials. They are made from carbon and exhibit optimum aerodynamics thanks to their flat design. The bike frame weighs a mere 1,300 gm (2.86 lb). The jury was impressed by the combination of form and function.

Ergon Race 2 mountain-bike handlebar grips from German-based RTI Sports GmbH feature 40% more surface area than traditional round grips.

And thanks to their anatomical shape, 100% of their surface touches the rider's palm to evenly distribute pressure. This keeps fingers from getting numb and puts less pressure on the palm and ulnar nerve. With round grips, the highest pressure exerted is at the end of the grip, exactly where the ulnar nerve in the hand resides. The grips are sized for both men and women. In addition, the anatomical shape keeps the wrist and hand in line, which reportedly helps prevent carpaltunnel syndrome. RTI Sports also took home a prize for their Topeak Prop Shock. The highly efficient, miniature pump for the shock can also replace the shock if it's damaged, letting the bike ride as a hardtail.

The Ksyrium ES wheel from Mavic in France convinced experts it was tops thanks to its technically outstanding design, the innovative rim, nice workmanship details, aerodynamic shape, and its highly precise use of carbon. The 18-spoke front and 20-spoke rear 700c wheels weigh just 630 and 840 gm, respectively.
Vittoria S.p.A., Madone, Italy, has the world's first reversible, double-face bicycle tire. It features two different rubber compounds on the inside and outside so tires can run on either side. A thin, lightweight but extremely strong Kevlar/aramid fiberreinforced rubber is placed under the tread to get maximum puncture protection while maintaining low rolling resistance. This reinforcement makes the Vittoria treads strong, cut resistant, and stiff. They also have longer tread life and a better grip. The combination is lighter than conventional rubber which gives tires lower tread weights.

MAKE CONTACT
BMC Trading AG, +41 (0) 32-654 14 54, www.bmc-racing.com
Dahon California Inc.,
(626) 305-5264, dahon.com
Deuter Sport GmbH,
00 49/821-4987327, www.deuter.com
iF International Forum Design GmbH, +49 511 89-32407, www.ifdesign.de
Knog Pty Ltd.,
+61 (0) 3 9428 6352, www.knog.com.au or U.S. contact: (800) 772-2453, knogusa.com
Mavic,
www.mavic.com
Nose Applied Intelligence,
+41 44 277 57 11, www.nose.ch
RTI Sports GmbH,
+49-(0)2630 --9552 0, www.rti-sports.de
Simplon Fahrrad GmbH,
+43 (0) 5574/ 72 56 4 0, www.simplon.com
Storck Bicycle,
+49 64 34/90 94 10, www.storck-bicycle.de/us
Time Sport International,
33(0)3 86 93 94 95, www.timesport.fr/us/home.htm
Vittoria S.p.A.,
+39 0422 7191, www.vittoria-spa.it