Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Road Race Festival by the Olympic races 2012

On the weekend of the Olympic road races we attended the Surrey hills Road Race Festival. Set in Denbies vineyard the festival offered a free expo plus a BBC big screen for those who wanted to watch the Olympic races but didn’t have the Box Hill ticket...

Public attendance to the expo was quite incredible, being able to watch our cycling hero's ride past ensured lots of foot traffic. We gave away 1000 Colnago caps and around 300 FSA goodie bags, I would suggest at least 75% of these went to cycling enthusiasts. On our stand we had Tommy Voecklers 2011 yellow TDF bike, most people recognized it, which was a good sign of the type of people we had visit.
On display we had the new Colnago C59 Disc, not only is this bike the first road bike with hydraulic disc brakes, it is the first and only machine currently in the UK making it a real expo highlight! 
We also had another first, the Colnago K Zero, this machine is the first wind tunnel developed Colnago and was used in this year’s TDF time trails. Other colnago models were the 2013 M10, CLX 3.0 and World Cup Cross (disc).

Yet another exclusive was the Vision Metron groupset, although still a prototype rear mech its production ready.
All in all a great weekend, sunshine on Saturday with lots of visitors even if it did rain a little on Sunday… My only negative would be the lack of journalists having a sniff for new stuff and because it was set up to run alongside the Olympics there probably won’t be another one…

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Saturday, 14 July 2012

Marzocchi’s Open bath – the key to performance and long service intervals!

Marzocchi have always been advocates of the open bath system as it has many advantages over a closed damper, in fact I would go as far to say that the only negative this design has is ultimately its biggest positive!
Benefits: Since suspension forks need to rapidly telescope, moving up and down thousands of times a ride, bushings should be coated in a bath of oil allowing friction free movement. The only deign that truly accomplishes stiction-less performance is Marzocchi’s proven "Open Bath" technology. Since oil completely bathes the internal bushings, seals and cartridges all the moving parts glide smoothly; this eliminates friction that causes forks to feel harsh and unresponsive. Because of the larger oil volume it takes longer for the oil to get dirty, which in turn reduces seal and bushing wear. The higher oil volume keeps temperatures under control. Closed cartridges (or rear shocks for example) work very hard in confined spaces, friction causes heat, heat causes damping fade, so a higher volume of oil will give a more consistent level of performance over extended runs.
Lastly the performance remains at a consistently higher level for longer. With low oil/ closed systems the performance drop can be huge if the fork isn’t correctly maintained. This can also contribute to worn stanchions as the fork dries out.
To hold all this oil in the fork you need a good seal, fortunately Marzocchi  is a motorcycle suspension company with over 60 years of experience and they use the highest quality seals from Japanese manufacture NOK. NOK are OE suppliers to all the big motorcycle manufacturers and are considered the best. http://www.nok.com.sg/nok.aspx

Negatives: the only down side for using increased oil volume is weight, BUT... With the advent of optimised stations, titanium springs and Ti bolts featured in Marzocchi’s latest fork line the weight difference can be as marginal as a packet of biscuits...

You can also successfully argue that the marginal weight saving gained by using a closed damper is also a negative. By using less oil (as low as 5cc) the fork becomes very service sensitive. Service intervals become every 10hrs, 1 week, 1 month or 1 year...  Also consider the service costs; how many services do you need to make to preserve your warranty? If to save 100g you have to spend £100 per service per year, it’s starting to look like not such a great deal...?
With an open bath system the fork is always under constant lubrication, there are no funny service routines and no hidden service charges and to top it off you also get a THREE year warranty as well and you do not have to get your fork serviced to keep the warranty valid...  All of this is only possible with the Open Bath Damper...
Introducing the Marzocchi 55 RC 3 TI 2010 from chris smith on Vimeo.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Press Release: Marzocchi announces new fork production for 2013

Hodaka to produce 2013 model year mountain bike forks, beginning in October Marzocchi takes steps to further improve customer service.
Bologna, Italy, July 12, 2012 – Tenneco Inc. (NYSE: TEN) today announced that Taiwanese mountain bike and component manufacturer Hodaka will manufacture Marzocchi mountain bike forks, beginning in October of this year. Hodaka currently manufactures rear shocks for Marzocchi.
“I am delighted with this agreement that further strengthens our successful business relationship with Hodaka,” said Pablo Perez Perseo, general manager, Marzocchi. “The decision to continue fork assembly in Taiwan enables us to increase our presence in this key manufacturing region and maintain proximity with critical component suppliers. This decision is part of our ongoing strategies to improve manufacturing efficiency, flexibility and quality with the goal of growing the mountain bike business and continuing Marzocchi’s position as a leading provider of high performance forks and shocks.”
Marzocchi will share its Tenneco world-class business processes in supply chain management, industrialization and distribution with Hodaka to help flex production according to market requirements.and shorten time to market as part of its commitment to product quality, availability and reliability.
The company also announced the appointment of Anthony Trujillo as sales and product manager for the U.S., Canada and South America as part of a reorganization of its commercial operations in these critically important markets. Trujillo joins Marzocchi from X-Fusion where he was engineering and product manager. He brings more than 14 years experience in the mountain bike industry, nine years of which were spent as a suspension engineer at Fox Racing Shox.
“The addition of Trujillo to our global team aligns with our philosophy of designing, developing and testing the most innovative, state-of-the-art, reliable and high-performance forks available on the mountain bike market,” Perseo Perez added. “Marzocchi has some very exciting products for MY2013 that respond to evolving customer needs and market trends.”
About Marzocchi: Marzocchi was founded in 1949 in Bologna, Italy and designs and manufactures motor bike and mountain bike suspensions. The company was acquired by Tenneco in 2008.
About Tenneco: Tenneco is a $7.2 billion global manufacturing company with headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois and approximately 24,000 employees worldwide. Tenneco is one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and marketers of emission control and ride control products and systems for the automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment markets and the aftermarket. Tenneco markets its products principally under the Monroe®, Walker® and Clevite® Elastomer brand names.