As you probably noticed, we have revamped our website: all new look, same great products and service. We thought it was time for a new, cleaner looking podiumbikeparts.com, and we believe the new grey and gold colours give us very unique and distinct look. To celebrate the occasion we have introduced some new specials: the Continental Competition tubular tyre for only $90, FOSS tubes for only $9 and Schwalbe Ultremo ZX for $35. Head over to the specials to get yours while stock lasts.
We hope you like our new design as much as we do, send us an email and tell us what you think.
There has been much talk about the newest tubeless tyres from Schwalbe and Hutchinson. To avoid any confusion: Tubeless tyres are not the same as traditional tubular tires. The classic tubular tyre has a built-in tube and requires specific rims, where the tyre can be glued on. A tubeless tyre looks much the same as a standard clincher tire, but does not require a separate tube at all. Instead, it uses a liquid sealant and a specific design to keep the pressure. The tubeless system also requires specific rims, which do not have the typical holes for the spoke nipples in the rim bed. But unlike the tubular rims, the tubeless rims can be used with standard clincher tires as well. If unsure, just check if your wheels allow the use of tubeless tires. A small sticker on your wheelset should usually indicate if suitable. Further, if your rim beds do not require rim tape (no holes on inside), this could be an indicator that your wheels are suitable for tubeless tyres. But why should one use tubeless tyres and not stick to tubulars or standard clinchers? The answer to this is simple: You can continue using whatever you prefer – but: So far, tubeless tires have the advantage of increased puncture resistance through the tire sealant, which can instantly seal holes up to 1.5mm wide, stopping immediate deflation (see photo). A nail or safety pin stuck in your regular clincher or tubular tire would usually deflate the tyre immediately. But the tubeless tyre will likely hold a certain pressure, allowing you to stop on a fast downhill or to even finish the ride with just less pressure in your tyre. Until today, the disadvantages of the tubeless system (rolling resistance, grip and difficult assembling) have outweighed this advantage for most of us. Further, many riders still believe that tubular tires offer the least rolling resistance over any other system. This has been proven to no longer apply in several tests, when tubulars are compared with the best clincher tyres. The best clincher tires have better rolling- & puncture resistance than the top-tubulars (First relevant comparison released in TOUR 9/2007). Why are many Pros still using tubular tires then? Believe it or not, a lot of this has simply to do with the long tradition tubulars have in the peloton and further a lack of interest in the technical developments from their teams. Arguably, a tubular tire offers different handling when cornering (mainly because it keeps a round profile when under pressure vs. a clincher becomes slightly oval). In addition, a tubular is less affected by "snakebite" punctures, especially on cobblestones. But for example, Time Trial World Champion Tony Martin has deliberately chosen to ride clincher tires after he got aware of the findings revealed after extensive testings conducted by the TOUR magazine. Unfortunately TOUR only publishes their great tests in German language, which makes it very difficult for the greater cycling community to read the most advanced tests in the bike industry. Most recently, their engineers have once again reviewed and tested a bunch of clincher and tubeless tyres to investigate if tubeless tyres are able to take on clinchers yet. The review includes data gained from the laboratory as well as road testing. How exactly does TOUR test the tyres? In this particular article, the review was about puncture resistance (Pannenschutz) vs. rolling resistance (Rollwiderstand). The engineers used a special setup (see photo) where the tyres can run at different angles on various surfaces, similar to the changing quality of any tarmac and riding style. In the two diagrams you can see the time (s/Time) it took a spike to puncture the tyre (Stechzeit) and how much pressure (N/Force) was applied (Durchstichkraft) before it finally punctured. In the second diagram, the rolling resistance (W/Watts) is listed. All tyres had the same pressure (7.5 Bar/108.77 Psi) and were tested on different surfaces/angles. Possible tolerances are shown as blue lines at the end of each bar.
The Skyliner wheelset from TUNE can probably be considered the lightest wheelset out there. The combined weight for front and rear wheel comes in at just 832gr (claimed 825gr). This incredibly low weight is only possible through the use of the new Mig45/Mag150 hubs from TUNE in combination with a full carbon tubular rim from Ax-Lightness. The hubs have an alloy/carbon shell which reduces the weight significantly, compared to any other light set of hubs (front hub 46gr / rear hub 156gr). The wheels we have seen had 20/24 spokes. We are keen to receive any facts&figures from testings, especially in regards to stiffness. The official rider weight limit is 80kg for this set, which is plenty. But for a small weight penalty, the weight limit can even be lifted to 95kg. A set of Skyliners will retail in Australian stores for around $3000.
Friedrichshafen/Germany: The biggest news from Schwalbe are a tubeless version (not to be confused with "tubular") of the popular Ultremo ZX, the new Durano HT race tubular and the mid-level tubular Lugano T. The Durano HT is extending Schwalbe's tubular range with a solid performance tyre for all those who need that extra portion durability & puncture resistance vs pure lightweight. The Lugano T will be Schwalbe's answer to Conti's Sprinter tubular, with a moderate price point and great value for money. Schwalbe claims that the entire road range has received a small "facelift" with some new colours and increased puncture resistance. We will await the results of the first lab tests and road reviews to verify these claims. The tubeless version of the Ultremo ZX once again underlines Schwalbe's product strategy, where tubeless road tyres form the future. So far, the number of manufacturers offering a tubeless race tyre is handpicked. The Ultremo ZX tubeless will certainly stir up that niche market, using its great credibility gained as a top-notch clincher, to drive more attention to this still relatively young development.
Friedrichshafen/Germany: In summary, there aren't revolutionary news coming from Conti for 2013. The company is known for product continuity. Most known models will form part of their range in 2013, like the GP4000s or Competition tubular. The much anticipated tubular version of the Force & Attack combo will arrive + the new CycloXKing cross tyre enters the market. Continental believes that specific front and rear tyres can make a difference, especially in changing road conditions (Mix of wet and dry roads). With the Force & Attack system going tubular, it's the appropriate response to satisfy the customer demanding this option for many deep dish carbon wheels. Although the measurable effects of this tubular setup are yet to be proven in independent tests. We will report once there are facts released on rolling resistance, wet-grip, etc.. There is yet not an official price point, but one can expect the price to be on par with the Continental Competition. Interestingly, Continental doesn't seem to be too interested in the tubeless road tyres market yet. The growing cyclo cross sector has caused increased interest in cross tyres from all manufacturers. Conti's latest answer is the CycloXKing which is claimed to be an allround genius that suits faster, dry & harder surfaces very well. The CycloXKing sounds like the perfect option for many Australian cyclo cross fans, who are used to riding on dirt & gravel roads during the spring/summer season, but don't mind the tarmac too. Please check the Conti website for specifications with prices to follow.
TUNE: We recently saw Bradley Wiggins of Team SKY using what is rumoured to be a prototype version of the new Shimano 11-speed freehub body for the ultralight Tune hubs. As you can see in the photo on left (BikeRadar.com), he was still running on a 10-speed cassette during the Dauphine stage race. But accordingly, the hub has been supplied to the team with an 11-speed body for further testing which insists that spacers were used to fit this cassette. The MIG150 hub comes in at only 150g due to its carbon reinforcements and a very trick CNC machined hubshell. Also the front hub is a beautiful piece of engineering - please go to href="http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/photos/tech-bradley-wiggins-ultralight-climbing-wheels-and-more-dauphine-bikes/226507">cyclingnews to check them out.
We are currently looking into how to best offer you TUNE hubs, meanwhile check out our other great TUNE products.
Syntace is a German company, founded in 1993 by Jo Klieber, engineering and manufacturing high end bicycle components for road, triathlon and mountainbikes. The company is located in Tacherting, southern Germany, close to the Alps. Over the years, Syntace has become one of the most respected manufacturers for alloy & carbon parts - not only amongst industry insiders. Quality & functionality have always been the major concerns for CEO Jo Klieber and until today each Syntace products reflects this philosophy. In order to achieve this, the company employs five engineers, working full time on the technical aspects of the product range. This already separates Syntace from many other parts manufacturers, where the focus is clearly on appearance & design. That said, Syntace products have been deliberately chosen by top professional athletes such as: 2x Overall UCI World Cup winner and 2008 XC World Champion Christoph Sauser, 2008 Olympic Gold medallist Sabine Spitz and 2011 Race Across America Winner Christoph Strasser. Further, Syntace has become an OEM supplier to established brands like Storck Bicycles, Cube, etc. Extremely rigorous inhouse testings have always been a crucial part of the R&D at Syntace. Knowing, that many carbon fibre parts from other manufacturers only meet minimum safety standards, Syntace has developed special test facilities (Example: VR-3) to ensure the products survive extreme stress tests. The results speak for itself in the many reviews and tests throughout the cycling community: bombproof products at very reasonable weights with a 10 years warranty. You can check out our Syntace products here.
Since we're selling a lot of products at podiumbikeparts.com that have left an impression in the TOUR magazine, we thought our customers deserve an introduction to this source of information we refer to from time to time. Most people who are already familiar with the bicycle industry and its benchmarks, probably won't learn new things in this post. But we thought it is only fair to explain the importance of TOUR for the marketplace and the leading manufacturers. TOUR is a German cycling magazine, published by the Delius Klasing GmbH, releasing its first issue in 1977. Today, TOUR is available on a monthly subscription with 70.623 issues printed (IVW 3/2012) and a calculated readership of 190.000 readers per month (Source: Allensbacher Werbeanalyse). Delius Klasing also publishes other relevant cycling magazines such as: BIKE, Freeride, Trekkingbike. Within the cycling industry, TOUR has set several accepted standards for bicycle testings and for example made the STW (stiffness-to-weight) factor as one of the most critical measures to define the quality of any frameset. Basically all major bike brands have by now adapted to the review and test regimes set by TOUR. Many have even aligned their own inhouse testings to exactly match those criteria in order to ensure a superb outcome in the next review. All manufacturers strive to win a review in this magazine - but only few prove to have worldclass engineering year after year. The annual ranking of the technically most advanced framesets in the marketplace is a who-is-who of the biggest players in the industry. Whoever hasn't participated in these reviews is very likely not able to produce a product that is good enough to contest the top anyways. The reviews and tests have even led to some bike brands (especially traditional brands from southern Europe) struggle to cope with the effects their average results have on sales in the most important European markets. TOUR has basically turned each review into a fact sheet, rather than generating the annoying froth & bubble, readers regularly find in many other magazines. This makes TOUR the most advanced and reliable source of bike reviews and testings as of today. The most common test regimes are explained on the magazines website. The regular product tests are undertaken by qualified engineers who are constantly updating and developing new test facilities to gather accurate data such as: aerodynamic performance of frames & wheels, durability of parts - especially bearings & material fatigue (determining the average lifespan of groupsets, etc.), exact rolling resistance and grip of tires on wet & dry roads (i.e. angle at which tire begins to loose traction, corner radius at which tire can hold maximum speed etc.) and much much more.