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Spy Photos of New QR and Litespeed designs for 2010.
By Tom Demerly.
Read this first about our reviews

 

The 2010 Litespeed Archon will be sold in three versions, the C1, C2 and C3. The new "Aerologic" road bike design incorporates many unique performance oriented features. The three versions share the same aerodynamic configuration but use different carbon fiber lay-up. Ride characteristics are said to be the same from model to model, only the frame weight is claimed to change.

A concave recess in the aero shaped down tube facilitates the use of normal bottle cages and improves frame aerodynamics with a bottle in place.

The unique head tube configuration uses an oversized 1.125 " upper bearing race and a very robust 1.5" very oversized lower bearing race. The benefit is better front end stiffness and improved shock absorption. Because of this unique head tube configuration the fork steer tube design uses less material saving weight while improving strength and stiffness.

The beginnings of the seat stay at the brake bridge are vertically very narrow enabling better shock absorption. The narrow portion near the brake bridge also enhances the feel of the braking performance at the rear wheel.

A concave wheel recess in the seat tube improves aerodynamics. Notice the massive diameter of the bottom bracket shell compatible with the new oversize diameter sealed bearing bottom brackets. These new bottom brackets lower bearing resistance and improve durability and stiffness.

A lightweight, elegant rear derailleur hanger is easily replaced in the event of a serious accident. Vertical wheel dropouts make for easy wheel changes. Notice the flat surface chainstay melding into the right/rear dropout.

A good angle to see the brake bridge (where your rear brake attaches) and the unusual seat stay configuration. The seat mast itself can be used as an integrated seat mast, or, if a rider wanted to, the entire seat mast can actually be cut entirely off the frame. A seatpost binder collar would be slipped over the seat mast and tightened into place then a more traditional aero seatpost would simply be inserted into the frame like a more traditional seatpost design.

The version of the Archon we previewed uses traditional external cable stops for easy maintenance. This also provides another view of the comfort-oriented seat stays and the multishaped top tube. Litespeed calls this continual variance of the tube cross sections "Aerologic". It is an amalgam of aerodynamic frame enhancements for high speed riding and frame stiffness requirements for climbing, accelerating and cornering while maintaining ride comfort.

The overall appeal of the Litespeed Archon will grab the road bike buyer who wants a comfortable riding, aerodynamic race bike with high performance features such as the oversized bottom bracket and head tube. It is a beautiful, racy looking frame with very elegant lines that optimize stiffness and aerodynamics while reducing weight.

A very interesting asymmetrical chainstay configuration puts stiffness where it is needed to improve acceleration and drivetrain performance. This design also maintains shock absorption and keeps overall bike weight down. This is an elegant approach to rear end design. Notice how much "thicker" the right hand chain stay is than the left hand side chain stay. This makes your shifting more responsive and makes the frame feel snappier under acceleration according to Litespeed.

The Quintana Roo CD 01 sports a new, sunny paint livery while using the unique asymmetrical aerodynamic frame design developed in 2009. This year the CD 01 is poised to be a category killer with a complete version available with Vision Tech cockpit, Shimano Ultegra/Dura-Ace and 105 mix component kit and an FSA crank priced at a competitive $2999.99 MSRP.

The new color scheme shown above will be the complete Ultegra bike at $2999. A different white color scheme will be equipped with Dura-Ace. The Dura-Ace version will be sold as a complete bike but without any stock saddle- a clever move for any bike company since saddles, like pedals, are an individual choice- few high end bike buyers keep the stock saddle on their new bike.

Improvements in QR's wetsuit line are very tangible for 2010. This new "Double Wall" seam construction provides a better base of fabric for the wetsuit stitching resulting in a more durable, longer lasting seam. This is an important concern since triathlon wetsuits have to be removed so quickly in transition. This new seam design is more durable that a traditional glued/blind stitched construction but retains excellent flex and comfort. Bottom line: This wetsuit is more durable.

The "double wall" seam construction also provides a better seal at the neck preventing water intrusion and maintaining floatation. This new design has effectively two seals at the neck.

 

The trademark Quintana Roo speed-cut leg makes the suit easier to pull off the legs. Note the small dots at the seam junctions to improve durability.

This is a critical upgrade for 2010: The seam closest to the waist is gone- moved higher on the suit for better flex in the torso and improved durability during quick removal. The seam closest to the waste on a triathlon wetsuit is under significant stress during high speed removal. Removing the waist seam and repositioning it make the suit swim better, come off easier and last longer.

Note the different color of "pull buoy" chest panel for superior floatation using thicker neoprene.

 

© Tom Demerly, Bikesport Inc.
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