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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

No reason to give up on Scott, though: with their aero frame F01 the Swiss company has al- ready announced a new top-of- the-line model. Change the world? We had also expected more from Cannondale’s Super Six Hi Mod. Although it did well last year, this year it was no longer among the best frames tested. The tech- nical values are worse than in 2010, especially the head tube stiffness of the largest of the three frame sizes drops off clear- ly. But as is the case with Scott, Cannondale is also ready to launch a successor. Two years ago the German engineer Peter Denk, one of the most influential developers in the industry, was hired by the US manufacturer Cannondale after previously spending a long time in the ser- vices of Scott. The Super Six Hi Mod was made and launched by Denk’s predecessors, the next frame generation will be de- signed by the man from Freiburg. He’s already proven twice that he can change the world of road bikes: with Scott’s Addict and its predecessor CR1. Perhaps he will succeed yet again. The suspense remains. Simplon serum without a grade The Serum from Simplon is one of the most interesting frame concepts of the past few years: the entire integrated seatpost is de- signed to function like a shock absorber. TOUR readers thought so highly of the Serum last year that they awarded it a 2010 Mile- stone (Meilenstein). For 2011, the Serum has been modified in sev- eral areas. One of the innovations is a new carbon seatpost top which clamps onto the seatpost column and was developed in coop- eration with the saddle manufacturer Selle Italia. It lets you mount saddles with the Monolink clamping system, which has the advantage of a large degree of adjustability. With an adapter, it‘s also possible to mount saddles with conventional rails. Measure- ments in TOUR‘s lab showed that it was only possible to mount two of the four supplied seatpost tops in a safe manner without them swiveling on the integrated seatpost column. With the other two, we could rotate the sad- dle despite the use of carbon assembly paste. The cause was a tolerance problem: both the clamping area of the integrated seatpost and the clamp-on top have tolerances of a few tenths of a millimeter. The two seatpost tops which we were able to clamp down also weren’t a perfect fit. When we’d tightened the screw to the prescribed torque of six newton meters, the keyhole slot had been totally pulled together. That’s never a good situation to be in, and we wouldn’t want to forecast whether the clamp would still hold reli- ably once everything got “bedded in” after a few rides. Because of this problem, we decided to remove the frame, which otherwise would have landed in third place, from our test list. We will find out as soon as pos- sible whether Simplon can solve this problem and whether the test frames were only an aberration or, on the contrary, were indica- tors of a general problem (update see below). Corpus delicti Simplon’s problem: it wasn’t possible to safely clamp the top of the seatpost onto the inte- grated seatpost column The Austrian manufacturer Simplon has re- acted to the problems with the Monolink seatpost top for the Serum frame. In TOUR’s 3/2011 frame test, several seatpost tops couldn’t be reliably clamped onto the inte- grated seatpost column of the frame. There- fore, we took the Serum out of the test and it remained without a grade. In the mean- time, Simplon has admitted to a failure in its quality control. As Frank Proksch, product manager for the Serum, explained when he visited the offices of TOUR, the glitch re- sulted from a tolerance problem. As an ini- tial step, all produced seatpost tops have had the width of their keyhole slot manually extended from two to three millimeters (0.8” to 0.12”). A modified seatpost top, which TOUR was able to test, now lets itself be clamped reliably with no tendency to swivel. Secondly, the con- struction of the clamp top has been revised. By using different carbon fibers as well as utilizing a changed laminate structure, the problem has now been solved. The universal (not Monolink) seatpost top for conventional saddles used in last year’s Serum remains available. Proksch noted that there was never a prob- lem with this seatpost top. Problem solved: no more difficulties with the car- bon seatpost clamp Simplon reacts Info T01_11_EN_060_067_Top-Rahmen_LT1.indd 67 25.08.2011 9:48:29 Uhr