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TOUR QTR 4-2011

The most important test of the year: TOUR compares 26 carbon frames from the best companies in three sizes each

103 102 86 86 83 99 61 58 54 54 54 53 5152 52 89 92 90 103 85 94 105 102 102 70 70 70 54 90 89 5153 70 64 63 52 48 45 62 54 53 58 58 88 55 73 72 69 88 94 86 109 112 116 103 104 100 86 88 90 73 69 67 57 56 56 86 86 58 56 54 86 87 102 90 67 66 61 Müsing (48) Müsing (60) Müsing (64) Neil Pryde (S) Neil Pryde (L) Neil Pryde (XXL) Pearl (S) Pearl (L) Pearl (XL) Poison (48) Poison (56) Poison (61) Principia (51) Principia (57) Principia (61) Radon (56) Radon (60) Radon (63) Rose (51) Rose (57) Rose (63) Schikore (XS) Schikore (M) Schikore (XL) Scott (47) Scott (56) Scott (58) Simplon (48) Simplon (55) Simplon (62) Specialized (49) Specialized (56) Specialized (61) Storck (51) Storck (57) Storck (61) Trek (50) Trek (56) Trek (62) From a construction point of view, it would be ideal if frame stiffness increased from small to large frames, because one can assume that large frames will be used by heavier riders. Koga, Principia, Specialized and Trek have im- plemented this idea particularly well. However, with many frames it’s the exact opposite: the smallest frame is the stiffest and the largest is the “softest.” As long as the large frame is suf- ficiently rigid for heavy, athletic riders, that’s not a problem. In such cases a goal of about 85 Nm/degrees should be aimed for. But Cannon- dale’s Super Six Hi Mod in size 63 only has 81 Nm/degrees, and Haibike’s Affair has 83 Nm/ degrees. Such values aren’t generally bad enough to set off any alarms. But if a 90 kg - 198 lbs rider uses such a frame on a high- speed descent, it could theoretically lead to steering and control problems. With stiffness of the bottom bracket shell, the indicator for power transmission, the ideal situ- ation would be similar. The larger the frame, the more rigid it should be when a rider really digs into the pedals. In real life, most frames are the other way around: with increasing size the bottom bracket shell’s rigidity decreases. That is due to the frame’s geometry: the small- er the frame triangle is, the more rigid the frame becomes at the bottom bracket. Although it would be possible to work against this by utilizing appropriately dimensioned tubing and different wall thicknesses, few manufacturers go to this effort. A major difference to head tube rigidity is that bottom bracket shell stiff- ness is more of a theoretical problem. Except for Schikore’s two largest sizes, all frames are so stiff at the bottom bracket that they should satisfy even a proven sprinter. It’s pleasing that by now most frames reach values over 80 Nm/degree•kg. Starting at this threshold, the use of carbon in building frames can be technically justified, because even the best aluminum frames never at- tained better values than this. On the other hand, when you encounter a carbon frame with a STW value lower than 80 Nm/ degree•kg, you might ask yourself what the point is, unless the frame has some other re- deeming feature, such as great comfort. If one looks at the overall ranking by grades, there are hardly any changes in the first few positions. Last year’s winner Storck gets company in the winner’s circle through Can- yon. Both receive top marks: until now the grade of 1.4 had never been attained. Spe- cialized is in third place and exactly repeats last year’s grade of 1.7. With Cube, Giant and Rose, three companies reach a “1” in front of the comma. Remarkable is that most models at the front of the ranking have already been on the market for a few years. The fact that they sometimes do even better than in previ- ous tests is evidence that existing construc- tions are being further optimized. Some can- didates have become far more comfortable owing to better forks and specially designed seatposts, more details on page 68. Two winners, one failure Where there are winners, there are naturally also those who fell short. Simplon almost made third place, but a tolerance problem forced us to take the frame out of the test (more details in the box on page 31), and Scott and Cannondale are also among the disappointed. That Scott’s Addict, the fore- runner of all light-weight frames, only placed in the middle after several front placements in previous years has two reasons: on the one hand the overall level is very high, there are no bad frames (except for Schikore) this The analysis Overall Ranking Company Model grade Storck Fascenario 0.7 1.4 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX EVO 1.4 Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL 3 Race 1.7 Rose Carbon X-Lite 1.9 Giant TCR Advanced SL 1.9 Cube Litening Super HPC Blackline 1.9 Bulls Night Hawk Team 2.0 BMC Racemachine RM 01 2.0 Trek Madone 6 SSL 2.0 Koga Kimera Road 2.0 Merida Reacto 909 2.0 BeOne Pearl Pro Raw 2.1 Scott Addict RC Di2 only 2.1 Ghost Race Lector SL 2.1 Cannondale Super Six Hi Mod 2.2 Haibike Affair RX 2.2 Fuji Altamira 1.0 2.2 Poison Hydrogen 2.2 Principia RS C40T 2.3 Neil PryDE Diablo 2.3 Müsing Onroad Race 2.4 Radon Spire 2.4 Pearl Grace SL 2.5 Aeolus Zeus 2.5 Schikore Sprint 3.2 by final grades meter, dark-blue columns). The number or letter in parentheses after the manufacturer’s name designates which frame size was measured. More details in the box “The Analysis” at the top Grades: 1 = Very good, 2 = Good, 3 = Satisfactory, 4 = Sufficient, 5 = FailING T01_11_EN_060_067_Top-Rahmen_LT1.indd 65 25.08.2011 9:48:27 Uhr