Tagesarchiv: 12. April 2016

Rotor Uno.

via Velonews

Der Versuch, mechanisches Schalten und Bremsen durch hydraulisches zu Ersetzen. Das macht Sinn unter dem Aspekt Drahtseile durch Hydraulikleitungen zu ersetzen. Das macht keinen Sinn, wenn dies bereits durch elektrische Leitungen bzw. wireless ersetzt worden ist. Zumal diese Lösungen auch deutlich billiger sind, als die 2.500$ die Rotor dafür aufruft.
Sollte man daher jetzt kaufen, denn das wird ein seltenes Unikat in der Radgeschichte werden. Erinnert mich an das APS Film Format die Antwort der Fotoindustrie auf die Digitalkamera.

First Ride: Rotor Uno hydraulic drivetrain

  • By Kristen Legan
  • Published Apr. 6, 2016

With Rotor diving in the drivetrain game this year, five brands will soon be fighting for position within the pro peloton this season. SRAM, Shimano, and Campy are of course the usual suspects, and each company now offers both mechanical and electronic drivetrain options; FSA is still scheduled to hit the race scene sometime in 2016 with its new electronic shifting; and Rotor rounds out the group with its Uno hydraulic drivetrain system.

We’ve known about Rotor’s hydro shifting for some time now and VeloNews editor in chief John Bradley even got his hands on it at Eurobike last October. But now, thanks to a Rotor product launch in Madrid, Spain, we’ve hopped aboard Uno, putting it through its paces on wet and snowy mountain roads, to see how this new approach stands up to its electronic competition.

The short answer? Rotor’s Uno hydraulic drivetrain and brakes offer fast and precise shifting, powerful braking, and this group is a viable alternative to the electronic and mechanical systems currently claiming the market space.

Benefits of hydraulic shifting

Friction causes mechanical shift cables to perform poorly when routed through tight twists and turns with tricky internal routing pathways. Hydraulic lines are not affected in the same way so all the new aero-integrated bars and sharp frame shapes won’t cut down on shifting crispness.

Hydraulic shifting is also lighter than both electronic and mechanical systems. Because of the low volume and low pressure needed for shifting movenents, Uno uses 3mm diameter hydraulic lines (compared to 5mm brake lines). Less material means less weight and Uno is a claimed 417 grams lighter than Shimano Di2 disc and 99 grams lighter than SRAM eTap. These hydro lines are so small that they fit through Di2 internal routing holes in bikes currently on the market. Naturally, no heavy batteries are required either.

Uno’s small, hydraulic shift lines use a 30-percent Glycol fluid instead of mineral oil because it is more stable at extreme temperatures. Rotor claims the Glycol fluid will work down to -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) and up to 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit).

Uno’s hydraulic shifting is a closed system, unlike most hydro disc brakes, which have an open system with a piston and reservoir. This means (theoretically) that no dirt, no water, no anything should make its way into the shifting lines, and you won’t have to bleed or replace the hydraulic fluid. Only long-term testing will prove this right or wrong, but it makes sense in theory.

Sounds like a win-win for Rotor’s Uno hydraulic group right? For the most part, it’s true. This is a well-designed, well-tested new group. It feels like a mechanical drivetrain but performs close to electronic shifting.

First ride impressions

Uno feels much like SRAM double tap shifting, both in the lever throw pattern and the shifting actuation. Like SRAM, to shift the rear derailleur, push the right lever in until it clicks once to a harder gear (smaller cog). This shift direction is limited to just one gear change with each paddle throw.

To shift to an easier gear (bigger cog), press the lever past the first click until it clicks again. For this, there is a multi-shift setting: a screw on the rear derailleur has four marked positions that limit it to one, two, three, or four gear changes depending on how far in or out the screw is turned. This is a nice feature so that you can dump several gears at once if the terrain suddenly goes up, and the multi-shifting is fast as it jumps over multiple cogs without hesitation.

The front derailleur acts similarly to the rear but without multi-shift functionality for obvious reasons. Using the left-hand shift paddle, press in until the first click to shift down to the small chainring or continue pressing in past that first click to shift up into the big chainring. Both big and small rings have a trim function built into the shifting and this makes for almost no chain rub across the entire cassette.

Precise and quick shifting

Unlike some mechanical shift systems, half-shifts are not an option with the Uno group: It’s all or nothing. This is because the shift indexing mechanism, called HyStep, is actually located in the derailleurs themselves, not in the shifter bodies. So when you shift up or down, the derailleur moves a prescribed amount to make a clean, precise shift to the desired cog. Mechanical systems pull on cables to make this happen and if you don’t push the lever all of the way, the chain can get caught between shifts and will bounce around between cogs until it settles on one or the other, or until you shift again with a full swing.

Uno was also impressive with its shifting speed, especially for the rear derailleur. Pushing the right-hand lever sent the derailleur immediately into action in either direction. There was no noticeable lag time like we’ve seen in some electronic systems, which can be frustrating when sprinting or when you need that instantaneous kick into another gear.

The front derailleur, on the other hand, was a bit less responsive, and I initially struggled to drop the chain from the big chainring to the little one when we started climbing. Part of this could have been from the Rotor Q-rings on my test bike with the oval shape holding onto the chain for too long when under tension from hard pedaling. Once I backed my effort off just a touch, the chain easily dropped to the little ring.

By the end of the ride of about 50 miles, I was shifting the front derailleur with no problems. Whether the shifting system just need to break-in, since this was the first ride on this bike, or I adapted to the system and started shifting differently, I’m not sure. But I’m eager to dig into this question in a long-term Uno group test.

Ergonomics

Because Uno’s indexing mechanism is located in each derailleur, the shifter body innards are fairly sparse, leaving Rotor plenty of freedom when designing the size and shape of the new shifter bodies. And the engineers settled on good-looking hoods that are medium height and width, similar to Shimano and SRAM. Most of the journalists at the launch agreed these hoods are comfortable and appropriately sized, but they felt a touch too wide for my taste. I have smaller hands, which could explain that impression.

What my little hands did like was the shift lever reach-adjust function that allows you to move them in toward the shifter body so little fingers like mine can actually get a secure grip on the levers.

Setup

Each piece of the Uno group will be produced in Madrid and then sent to Germany where Magura will prepare the hydraulic systems and fluids. Then, the group will be shipped fully assembled to distributers, dealers, and customers. This means, to route the hydraulic shift lines internally, you’ll need to cut the line, route it through the bike, and then reattach it to the derailleurs. But before you start sweating about cutting hydro lines, remember that this is a closed system (think about covering one hole of a straw with your finger and then lifting it out of your soda — nothing comes out of the bottom of the straw, right?). The hydro fluid should remain in the line and make for easy reattachment to the derailleurs.

Adjusting both front and rear derailleurs during initial setup also sounds straightforward and requires only one bolt for alignment. Set up the rear derailleur by aligning it with the smallest cog (using the bolt) and from there, the pre-set shifting steps take the derailleur up and down the cassette for near-perfect shifting across all cogs.

Brakes

Uno’s group comes with the option of rim brakes or disc brakes: both are hydraulic, both were designed by Magura, and both use Magura’s Royal Blood hydraulic fluid (an environmentally friendly mineral oil).

The rim brake system is a closed system (like the hydro shifting) and theoretically should be maintenance-free with no need for bleeding. On the other hand, the disc brake system (available in either post-mount or flat-mount models) is an open one because disc brakes create a large amount of heat, and the hydraulic fluid needs space to expand when it gets hot. So the disc brake system includes reservoirs for fluid expansion and will need to be bled like any other disc brakes. Fortunately, there is an easy to access bleeding port found on the shifter bodies.

Nuts and Bolts

Rotor claims the weight of the disc brake Uno hydraulic system is 1,604 grams. That’s approximately 417 grams lighter than Shimano Di2 disc, 10 grams lighter than SRAM Red 22 disc. (Note: Weights for all three groups are without cranksets.)

The suggested retail price for Uno’s disc or rim brake options is set at 2,499 euros or about $2,499. (For comparison, a Dura-Ace Di2 hydro disc group can be had for about $2,600 on Competitive Cyclist’s website, and SRAM’s Red hydro group is similarly priced.) The full group includes front and rear derailleurs, disc or rim brakes, shifters, hydraulic lines and fluids, a Rotor machined 11-28 cassette, and KMC X11SL chain. A cranks is not included in the group because Rotor says it makes too many crank and chainring options and would rather cyclists choose the right one for themselves rather than be forced into something because it comes with the set.

Each piece of the Uno group (besides the KMC chain) is produced in Madrid, Spain. Rotor keeps all quality control testing in-house and can make minor changes to the group more quickly than working with overseas manufacturers.

While the group will come with Rotor’s newly developed three-piece cassette, Uno is SRAM and Shimano compatible so you won’t have to ditch your current cassettes, chainrings, or wheels.

Satellite shifting options like time-trial shifters or sprint and climbing shifters are in the works but they won’t immediately be available with the Uno group. Rotor did say that adding these additional shifters should be a straightforward matter of splicing an additional hydraulic line into the system.

Uno will hit the market this July where it will be available as an aftermarket product. But Rotor says it is in the process of securing OEM contracts for several 2017 bikes models.

 

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Outlier.

Ich besitze zwei Hosen von Outlier – genial.

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Shimano=Apple? Shimano=Microsoft?

via Velonews

Confirmed details of new Dura-Ace: Discs, power meter

  • By Dan Cavallari
  • Published Mar. 30, 2016

The best is getting better. The next generation of Shimano’s top-tier Dura-Ace group, already our favorite on the electronic and mechanical fronts, will include a power meter, road-specific disc brakes and rotors, improved Di2 integration, drag-free hubs, and the same clever shifting firmware debuted on the XTR Di2 mountain bike group.

We reached out to a Shimano representative, who refused to comment. But weeks of research, including conversations with industry insiders briefed on the group (who all requested anonymity), and analysis of published and unpublished spy photos, indicate that the group is an ambitious update that closes a few important holes in the current group. The most obvious of those is a Dura-Ace level disc system, which is both lighter and better tuned to the specific demands of road discs than the current technology, much of which is borrowed from Shimano’s mountain bike division.

New Dura-Ace will still be an 11-speed system and will retain the shiny aesthetics of the current generation (somewhat similar to the old XTR 960 finish). But most of the fine details, from hub internals to front derailleur cable routing, have been changed or updated. The Di2 version has been slimmed down, with smaller motors and batteries, and features firmware borrowed from XTR Di2.

Road-specific disc brakes

The addition of a Dura-Ace level hydraulic disc system is the single greatest change. This is the first hydro group from Shimano that appears to be designed from the ground up for road use. (R785, available now, was launched with a rebranded XT mountain bike caliper.) The rotors are road specific, with a new aluminum carrier that presumably cuts down on weight. The steel braking surface of the rotor has fewer holes, which has been shown to reduce brake pad wear.

Internally, the flat-mount caliper has some sort of internal brace for (we assume) improved stiffness and has more clearance for frame manufacturers. Other internal changes offer slightly more pad clearance, which should reduce rotor rub.

Power meter

The new crankset, which retains the current four-arm design, includes a power meter with strain gauges on the crank arms and a “brain” mounted on the inside of the crank spider. It is Shimano’s first power meter.

Integrated junction box

Perhaps taking a cue from the Trek Madone’s control center — a port in the down tube that hides the Di2 junction box — Shimano has developed a sleek, integrated junction box that secures into the bike’s frame. That means no more hanging the junction box off the stem, and more options for internal routing. It also means frame builders will have to build frames that can accept this new feature.

But don’t worry if your favorite manufacturer doesn’t offer this nifty new pocket, because it also appears the junction box will fit in a bar end, as well. The box seems to press into the handlebars much like a bar end plug.

Customizable shifting

Updates to the Dura-Ace Di2 firmware also look imminent. It appears that Shimano will bring the Synchro system debuted on XTR Di2 to the road. Synchro is essentially automatic front shifting, requiring the use of only two shift buttons to shift the entire drivetrain. When the derailleur reaches a certain point (which is customizable) on the rear cassette, the front derailleur shifts, while the rear derailleur shifts in the opposite direction. The idea is a rider gets similar gear jumps with each button push. It’s a system that is made possible by Di2’s incredible front shifting. It’s similar but not identical to Campagnolo’s new auto-shifting options made possible through the My Campy app.

Front derailleur cable routing has been changed for the cable-actuated group, further reducing shift force. The system is apparently much easier to set up now, too.

Radical new hubs

Some of the most exciting advancements are hidden in places you’ll never see. Patent applications for Shimano’s Scylence hub leaked months ago, and now it seems like we’ll see it in action soon. Unlike a typical freehub body that relies on pawls that engage with grooves when the rider pedals, or a star ratchet system that features notched teeth on two rings mounted against each other, Scylence works more like the clutch on your car, but somewhat in reverse, if patent applications are telling the whole tale. An engagement ring is mounted around the axle inboard toward the hub shell, and it’s spring-loaded in such a way that the spring pulls the ring toward the hub shell. A specially designed freehub body with splines essentially pulls that ring toward it, against spring tension, to engage the hub when the rider pedals. When the rider coasts, the engagement ring disengages, creating nearly drag-free coasting.

It wouldn’t be the first pawl-free design to hit the market — Onyx showed off a sprag clutch hub at Sea Otter 2015 — but if history is any indicator, Shimano has taken the drag-free idea and perfected it.

via Bicycle Retailler

Staff Opinion: VeloNews, Shimano tangle over media control

Published April 4, 2016
by Marc Sani

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (BRAIN) — It’s been quite a clash pitting the industry’s most powerful company, Shimano, against what is arguably the best competitive cycling magazine and website in the U.S. market,VeloNews.

That clash stems from an article written several days ago by Dan Cavallari outlining what VeloNews readers could expect from Shimano’s newest upgrades for Dura-Ace. And those upgrades are substantial.

But for those of us in the media — whether consumer or trade — dealing with Shimano is a challenge.

Shimano’s most frequent comment to almost all questions or issues of substance is „no comment.“ Or it’s a carefully crafted statement generally devoid of substantive information that would directly address a question of substance.

And so when Cavallari asked Shimano to comment about his research on the changes in Dura-Ace, he was essentially told: „Do not publish that.“ Not surprisingly, it escalated from there.

The velvet glove came off when John Bradley, the magazine’s editor in chief, refused to block publication of the article on VeloNews‚ website. Shimano told Bradley that if he did not kill the article Shimano would kill its advertising schedule in all Competitor Group publications, which also includes Triathlete.

Before issuing its ultimatum, I am certain that Shimano’s public relations staff tried cajoling Bradley, telling him that a premature release of the information could harm the industry; that it could impede current sales of Dura-Ace equipped models; that portions of the article were inaccurate; and that it was an unethical violation by an editor who may have gotten his information from sources who had signed nondisclosure agreements.

To be fair, Shimano, as a publicly traded company, does have some legitimate concerns about how and when information should be made public. But this, in my opinion, isn’t one of them.

When I talked with Bradley, after he had endured a tedious overnight flight and multi-hour taxi ride to Ghent, Belgium, he didn’t know what the dollar impact of his decision could be, but it would be substantial. And he was worried about the magazine, his staff and his job.

This episode, of course, has gone viral, especially after Bradley posted a defense of his decision on his personal Facebook page. (Note to all: There is no such thing as a personal post to a personal Facebook page.)

And the social media reaction was predictable. Shimano, the industry’s 800-pound gorilla, was muscling Bradley in an attempt to censor a major publication over a legitimate effort at in-depth reporting on a popular and expensive group. And as far as I can tell, few have voiced much support for Shimano in this tug-of-war over editorial content, timing and who really runs a magazine.

After reaching out to Bradley, I picked up the phone and called Eric Doyne, founder of Dispatch, Shimano’s public relations agency, in hopes of getting a clear sense of the company’s thinking and philosophy when dealing with recalcitrant editors. No comment.

Shortly thereafter Dustin Brady, who handles marketing for Shimano, called. Doyne had suggested that Brady call me. Brady inquired whether I was going to write about this issue. Shimano, of course, was concerned. I said it depends, and asked him for comment on Shimano’s policies regarding what they perceive to be editorial malpractice. To be fair, Brady is in a no-win situation and you could hear the concern in his voice. Nonetheless, there was no comment.

So where does that leave us? The media landscape today is littered with websites, blogs and magazines craving readership, which translates into advertising dollars. Some might call Cavallari’s article nothing more than clever „clickbait“— a derogatory term generally associated with salacious editorial content that encourages the simple-minded to click on a link so that the website could boast higher numbers and hence seek higher ad rates. Clickbait this was not.

But more importantly, and the bicycle industry is no different than other industries; there is now an ongoing war over who controls content, what content is written, and when that content will be made public. We have the same issue at BRAIN. But over the past few years this notion of who controls the news has gotten out of hand.

In part, it’s a reflection of the tight times the media finds itself in as digital dimes replace analog dollars. That’s publisher speak for the shift from print to web where web advertising is generally much less expensive than print. Advertisers have the whip hand and more of them seek to use it and use it more often.

As for Shimano, they prefer to embargo data on a date certain so that it’s released across a broad spectrum of media. We understand. But they embargo almost everything. That practice has now become endemic throughout the industry.

An embargo does several things. It can make the recipient of that information feel like an insider, but at the same time it can tie an editor’s hands when covering a company. Still, the irony is that most of the time what’s embargoed is pretty small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. But for the company flack it’s a great way to puff themselves up and command allegiance from an editor.

In general, I am not a fan of embargoed news. Why? It puts a company in control of the editorial process and makes editors beholden to that company for information. We get too cozy with our advertisers. And then the media — without even knowing it — becomes complicit in their marketing program.

Bradley may well be the best-credentialed editor in the cycling media. He holds a graduate degree from Columbia. He spent six years in Japan working for the English-language daily Yomiuri-Shinbun. He speaks passable Japanese. He has been a senior editor at Wired and Outside magazines and has written for a host of major publications.

So for a company like Shimano to tell Bradley — with some 20-plus years of high-level editing chops — what he can or cannot publish borders on disrespect. It appears that Cavallari got his information from a variety of sources including the U.S. Patent Office. He approached the topic as a serious reporter looking for facts — no spy shots or cheap clickbait.

And despite what Shimano might say, Cavallari certainly committed no ethical offense. If, indeed, a product manager who had signed a nondiscloure agreement helped him with his article, that is Shimano’s problem. Reporters can ask anybody anything, but nobody is compelled to answer.

What Shimano truly needs to be concerned about is insider information that could move the market, influencing its stock price. A decision to open a new factory might rise to that level.

Cavallari’s article hardly qualifies. What it may do is prompt a few high-end, performance-oriented riders to wait out a season before upgrading to a new bike or group. But that concern would be hard to quantify.

Dealers, on the other hand, are often the last to know what Shimano or other companies are about to do to their inventory. Most dealers remember Shimano’s move to 11-speed and then the trickle-down of Di2 to Ultegra — both caught some by surprise. But again, it’s difficult to quantify what damage may have been done at retail.

But editors, like Bradley, know what kind of damage can be done to a publication’s reputation when editors roll over and become complicit in an advertiser’s latest marketing scheme. Or when they spike articles out of concern over advertising dollars. More importantly, it demoralizes those who work for the publication.

I would hope that Shimano would become more open in its communications with the media. And maybe there’s a lesson here for management to ponder. But the decision to slap VeloNews with a hefty fine did one thing — everyone who cares about cycling is aware of this kerfuffle and they all went to VeloNews to read about the new Dura-Ace.

 

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