Dirty Tricks?

Details of the 2004 Tour de France route were revealed this week. The mountain time trial finishing in Alpe d’Huez is going to be an awesome stage and one that many riders may not be looking forward to, even at this early stage. There’s the full story here.

I don’t like doing this too often, but this article from Bike Biz is just too good not to share. Now there may or may not be a conspiracy side to this, but either way it just doesn’t seem like Cannondale wanted to get any opposition to there technical findings on the recent QR and disc brake debate. The following article is from Bikebiz:

Mark LaPlant of Cannondale presented a disc-brake/QR/wheel ejection report to the ASTM Bicycle Committee at Interbike Las Vegas. He concluded there was no substance to the ‘Annan theory’ – see BikeBiz passim. In theory, the committee meeting was open to public scrutiny, but the notice publicising the meeting was “intentionally delayed”, says James Annan, responding to an official from the US safety standards commission, CPSC.

Following the worldwide furore over James Annan’s theory that – in certain circumstances – wheels can be be ejected from some disc-brake equipped bikes, the CPSC recommended that the ASTM Bicycle Committee, which
was to meet at Interbike should “take this matter under advisement for further discussion, additional testing and problem examination.”

Cannondale engineer Mark LaPlant was asked to supply a report for this meeting.

ASTM Committee meetings are open to the public and interested parties may contact the committee chair to
be included on the agenda. All well and good. But James Annan and Carlton Reid of BikeBiz.com, both of whom have been in correspondence with CPSC officials over the wheel ejection theory, were not informed of the meeting far enough in advance to be able to attend the meeting. Annan was told only when Interbike was already in progress. BikeBiz.com was not contacted at all, despite being at Interbike and able to attend the meeting.

Annan sees significance in the late arrival of the meeting notification.

In an email to the CPSC, he wrote:

I’d always prefer to assume a cock-up rather than a conspiracy but it seems difficult to avoid the conclusion that someone was keen to ensure that I did not find out about the ASTM meeting until it was too late for this information to be of any value.

In any case, I would be most interested in seeing a copy of the report that Mark LaPlant of Cannondale apparently produced for you, demonstrating that a properly fastened QR cannot loosen off. As you must be well aware, this runs contrary to much experimental, theoretical and anecdotal evidence, so it must be a very interesting piece of research. Since his report was presented at the ASTM meeting, open to the public in theory if not in practice, I do not anticipate that he can have any objection to it being placed in the public domain, and look forward to your earliest response.”

BikeBiz.com has contacted Cannondale to see if the company will release the report, I’ll be interested to see if they respond. Tell Cannondale what you think about their schoolboy tactics.

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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