Saturday, March 9, 2019

Old Bike Article Translations #4: Bianchi Advert for R.P. Cromovan ZMS

Proving one of three points yet again:

  1. My translation of technical Italian is lacking
  2. Romance languages are terrible for technical descriptions, often scribbling a series of random 5-syllable words to describe something like "stiff"
  3. How much detail can you really give about a great steel frame?
Pages 88 and 89 of La Bicicletta, June 1993. This is a paid advertisement of this prototype coming out of the newly-opened Reparto Corse. Per usual, my attempted translation below, with a few paragraph breaks that I would recommend to this PR wonk.

"Aheadset" and gear changing via microprocessor for this '94 bicycle from Bianchi's Reparto Corse

"Specialissima Electronic"

Bianchi's Reparto Corse is the advanced research laboratory in Treviglio. Design, building and experimenting with innovative technical solutions that will be used on the race bikes of the MG Bianchi team, the team of world champion Gianni Bugno. After being tested in action by the pros, the innovative technologies are filtered into the line of production bikes.

The Reparto Corse will in fact, commercialize a complete line of racing bicycles, both road and mountain. A special sales network has the task of satisfying the complex needs of Bianchi's racing clients, who can therefore climb aboard one of these exceptional models, made one by one with cutting edge technologies and custom measured on request.

This continual technological research brings us this new bicycle named "Cromovan Mavic ZMS", a preview of the 1994 lineup currently under development. This new model is equipped with a frame made of Tig welded Oria Cromovan tubing, the same frame Gianni Bugno will race in the 1993 season. The primary objective of reducing the frame's weight has resulted in the use of a sophisticated stem/headset known as Aheadset, made by Italmanubri and characterized by the absence of the traditional threading of the fork. This system of headset is lighter, easier to adjust and assures higher security with respect to traditional headsets.

The entire package in a size 58 comes in at only 9.6kg and uses a new component group by Mavic with a revolutionary 8 speed rear derailleur that moves electromagnetically and is controlled electronically, called "ZMS" (Zap Mavic System).

This innovative system exploits the most advanced electronic technologies and micro-mechanics, resulting in system-wide functional improvements to this important component. It is extremely simple to use, boasting lightning quick shifts, double shift button mounts and weighs just 315 grams total.

The ZMS system is made up of two principal units: the shifting device, that consists of two rocker switch buttons and a microprocessor fed by 6 volts, mounted on the handlebar; the derailleur itself is instead positioned on the rear hub and is actuated by two electromagnets. The control unit and shift buttons are positioned where they are easily accessible and have a total weight (including battery) of just 75 grams. The two shift buttons respond to precise ergonomic criteria, revealing themselves simple to engage independent of the position of the hands on the bars (one of the two are in fact, always within reach of a finger). The mechanism mounted on the wheel has a total weight of 240 grams and is protected against water and dust by an elegant plastic covering. The operation of the device is very simple: the pressing of a button (on the right side to change to a bigger gear and vice-versa) drives and impulse that the control unit sends in real time to the electromagnet. These command the change of gear with a particular system of transversal adjustments, that gives a very fast and precise gear change.

The innovative ZMS group is made thanks to the use of sophisticated materials like aluminum and kevlar. All of these technically innovative components presented on this model will be adopted by the high end bikes of the Reparto Corse for 1994 and, starting at the beginning of the season, will therefore be available on the market.

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