Fuji SL 1 Comp SRAM

A study published in the journal of sports sciences found that soccer teams wearing red uniforms have a greater winning percentage than teams wearing yellow, white or blue; researchers speculate that this hue might create a psychological boost or cause the opposing team to feel intimidated, or both. If this finding translates to cycling, the Fuji SL Comp should come with a trophy case–there’s red everywhere.

And the mostly carbon-fiber frame and fork are decked out in parts that make victory a real possibility. The carbon tubes are shaped, minimizing weight gain while maximizing strength and aerodynamics. The SRAM Rival drivetrain responds quickly and flawlessly to shifting input; our test model came with a compact crankset, which more experienced racers may prefer to swap for a more traditional setup. The brakes grab firmly and confidently.

Out on the road, we found the ride to be mostly smooth and very stable; it retains its composure on rough, deeply potholed roads and descends with poise over long curves and even tighter bends. It’s a little heavy, at a bit over 18 pounds, to qualify as a great climber or speedster, but the frame is stiff and willing.

The bike’s weight and the midrange parts provide the SL Comp with a price tag that a beginning racer will appreciate. And you could buy two SL Comps (and some nice accesories) and still pay less than you would for the flagship SL 1 RC, which costs $6,599. That bike has tubes made of a higher grade of carbon and Shimano Dura-Ace parts. Still, given how fast the SL Comp can feel when you get it up to speed, both newly licensed racers and those just gunning for town-sign glory will have a good shot at crossing the line first, making your competition truly see red.

  • WEIGHT 18.56 lb. (53cm)
  • SIZES 44, 47, 50, 53 (tested), 55, 58cm
  • FRAME Monocoque C-4 carbon, aluminum integrated head tube
  • FORK Fuji bonded carbon w/ alloy steerer
  • COMPONENT HIGHLIGHTS SRAM Rival derailleurs, shifters, brakes and levers, S-350 compact crankset (50/34), PG-1070 cassette (11-26), GXP exterior bearing bottom bracket; Fuji aluminum bar, stem, seatpost; Prologo Nago PASS saddle; Continental Ultra Sport 700x23c tires INFO fujibikes.com

Buy It IF YOU BELIEVE, EVEN A LITTLE, IN THE INTANGIBLE BENEFITS OF THE COLOR RED

Forget It IF YOU BELIEVE THE FOUNDATION OF A RACE BIKE IS LIGHT WEIGHT

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Ottawa helicopter order signals radical change

The federal government’s decision to order as many as 15 “off-the-shelf” search-and-rescue helicopters signals a radical departure for Canadian military purchases.

But it also means forsaking most of the lucrative industrial benefits that are traditionally spread across the country with these purchases.

Anxious to save money, the military is considering a range of options for the $600-million purchase, which barely five years ago would have been considered heresy.

For example, the government may opt to lease the helicopters instead of buying them outright. The private sector may also assume responsibility for such key functions as maintenance, engineering support and training – functions traditionally performed by defence personnel. It means that foreign companies and their employees could soon be responsible for everything from replacing parts to refuelling Canadian military aircraft.

Canadian companies stand to pocket relatively little of the $600- million spent and what they do get will likely be in maintenance and engineering support, not manufacturing or design. The Department of National Defence has said that while it welcomes Canadian content, it is not ready to inflate the price just to get it.

What’s more, Ottawa has opened the door to the possibility of buying Russian military hardware for the first time. At least one Russian drones with cameras manufacturer, Kamov, is considering throwing its hat into the ring when the government goes ahead with a request for proposals early next year.

It is all part of Defence Minister David Collenette’s promise to buy “a Chevrolet instead of a Cadillac” in the aftermath of the Liberal government’s cancellation of the $4.8-billion EH-101 helicopter contract two years ago.

But partly privatizing a major defence purchase – like the search-and- rescue helicopter – does not sit well with some critics.

Defence analyst Martin Shadwick of York University argues that handing over key responsibilities to private companies and leasing the helicopters would put Canadian sovereignty at risk and may save little money in the long run. It may even wind up costing more, he added.

“We’re breaking new ground here,” Mr. Shadwick said. “The industry has been lobbying heavily to contract out maintenance to the private sector but I’m not sure that, on business grounds, the private sector would be cheaper.”

Most of the world’s leading helicopter manufacturers are expected to express interest in bidding in what is shaping up as a wide-open contest: .From the United States: Boeing Co. of Seattle (Chinook), Sikorsky (SH- 60) and Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. of Fort Worth, Tex. .From Europe: Eurocopter (Cougar) and Agusta-Westland, the would-be maker of the EH-101, now renamed the Cormorant. .From Russia: Kamov, which has tentatively lined up MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. of Richmond, B.C., to supply electronics and would help it set up a Canadian maintenance and parts plant if the bid was successful.

Michael Weddle, director of marketing for space and defence programs for MacDonald Dettwiler, said the Kamov what is the best quadcopter would be priced at 60 per cent of its U.S. or European rivals. He added that Kamov wants to break into the North American market and would likely build a maintenance and parts plant wherever it makes its first sale. Macdonald Dettwiler is also considering an alliance with a non-Russian airframe manufacturer.

But Mr. Shadwick said Canada’s top military brass is reluctant to buy from Russia so soon after the Cold War and because of worries about the reliability of parts and maintenance.

Still, the order for the relatively spartan search-and-rescue helicopters is not the big prize struggling Canadian defence suppliers have been waiting for.

That is why Canadian suppliers are now lining up for the next major defence contract: an expected $2-billion order for 32 shipborne helicopters designed to operate with the new fleet of Canadian patrol frigates. Mr. Collenette said a decision on whether to proceed will not be made until early 1996.

That helicopter, with its weaponry and advanced electronic guidance systems, would have a much larger Canadian component than the search-and- rescue helicopter. Companies across Canada are trying to position themselves now to be in a position to pick up some of the business.

U.S.-owned Loral Canada Inc. of Montreal, formerly known as Paramax, has been cobbling together a self-described “Team Canada” of local suppliers ready to work on the complex electronics needed for shipborne helicopter. So far, Loral is not linked up with any one helicopter manufacturer.

The EH-101 was to have performed both the shipborne and search-and- rescue roles. With yesterday’s announcement, the government has officially hived off the two projects. And Mr. Collenette told reporters yesterday that he would be “very surprised” if the same helicopter is chosen for both missions.

Even so, defence analysts said the companies that can provide one helicopter to fill both functions will be well placed to make a convincing case that buying one helicopter would significantly cut training and maintenance costs. That would make Sikorsky, Eurocopter and Agusta- Westland the leading contenders for either of the projects.

Likewise, Boeing – which has plants in Arnprior, Ont., and Winnipeg – has made the point that it employs a lot of Canadians but has not been selling many aircraft in Canada. That could give it some political leverage, even though its helicopter, the Chinook, is too small for the shipborne application, analysts said.

Meanwhile, companies in Western Canada are worried that the industrial benefits from both projects may bypass the region entirely.

“We will be making the point very strongly that British Columbia won’t be shut out of this procurement,” said MacDonald Dettwiler’s Mr. Weddle.

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What You Should Know About Helmets

Helmets can help prevent serious injury or death. Jason, Jenna, and Jeff learned the hard way.

When Jason was 12, he was a pitcher on the All Star Little League team and played competitive soccer. He was also an honor student. Jason loved to ride his bike, but he didn’t like to wear his bike helmet. One Saturday afternoon, to avoid a confrontation with his mom over wearing a helmet, Jason rode out of the yard with his helmet on. But when he was a few blocks away, he took it off and put it in his backpack.

Shortly afterward, Jason was hit by a van. The shaken driver called an ambulance, and within minutes Jason, unconscious, was speeding toward Valley Memorial Hospital. Jason went into a coma and suffered traumatic braininjury because he hadn’t been wearing a bike helmet.

Jason is now 16. It’s been four years since his accident, and he has made an amazing recovery, but he’s not the same as he was. “I am a different person since the accident,” says Jason. “I will never pitch again because my left [pitching] arm doesn’t work. I can’t play soccer because my speed and balance are impaired. I have to attend special education classes because my brain is now too slow to keep up with regular classes, and I will never be able to drive a car or ride a bicycle. I still have to go through painful physiotherapy sessions every week.”

Jenna, 14, loves to snowboard. She’s a great athlete and a real risk-taker. Last winter while doing a 180-degree turn, she lost control and came down hard on her head and neck. She was knocked unconscious for a couple of minutes. When she came to, she had a headache and slight tingling in her right arm and fingers. A member of the ski patrol checked her out at her friends’ insistence, and he recommended she go to the local hospital for a thorough checkup.

At the hospital, Jenna had an MRI and was “chilled” by the words of the physician who attended to her. She said, “You are extremely lucky, Jenna. You have only a slight concussion, but if you had fallen about a half an inch over to the right, you would have severed your spinal column and would never have been able to walk again.” Since that day, Jenna wears a helmet when she snowboards.

Jeff, 16, loves, in-line skating; he’s been doing it since he was 10. Every day after school he heads out with his friends to skate around the city. He loves the feeling of freedom being on skates gives him. It’s also a great way to spend time with his buddies.

Jeff learned about the importance of wearing a helmet the hard way. His good friend, Devon, died at age 12 when he caught his skate in a sewer grate, flipped over, hit his head, and ended up with a cerebral hemorrhage.

Since Devon’s death, Jeff wears a helmet he bought at the local sports shop. He did a lot of reading about the safety features of various helmets and decided on one that met his needs, looked cool, and felt good on his head.

If you enjoy cycling, in-line skating, or snowboarding, here are some important safety tips about helmets:

* Wear a helmet every time.

* The helmet should be worn low and level on your head, and the chinstrap should be snapped and fit securely.

* All bike helmets now made in or imported to the United States must meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety standards.

* If you hit your head in a crash, throw away the helmet worn during the crash and purchase a new one. While the outer shall of the helmet may Still be intact, the inside cushion may be damaged and will not provide enough protection to prevent future head injuries.

Getting In-line

The most common cause of in-line skating falls, according to the International In-Line Skating Association, are due to hazardous road conditions such as potholes, sewer grates, or unexpected conditions such as hills and heavy traffic. Wearing the proper protective equipment can help prevent injuries.

Follow these safety tips from the Massachusetts Governor’s Highway Safety Bureau:

* Always wear a helmet whenever you skate.

* Check your skates before each use. Tighten wiggly wheels, adjust or replace worn brake pads, and clean or replace bearings when you hear a wheel grinding.

* Skate in control.

* Skate on the right, pass on the left.

* Don’t wear headphones; they prevent you from hearing the traffic around you.

* Avoid skating through sand, oil, water, and road debris, and over sewer drains.

For more information on inline skating and how to prevent injuries, check out the International In-Line Skating Association (lISA) Web site at www.iisa.org.

What You Can Do

Take action on helmet use. Here’s a list of suggestions to get you started:

1. Organize a head injury safety week at your school. Get ideas from the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation Web site at www.nyssf.org.

2. Invite a well-known sports figure who wears a helmet for his or her sport to speak about head injuries and helmet use at a school assembly.

3. Negotiate with a helmet supplier so that a percentage of each helmet sold locally goes to your school’s activity fund.

4. Collect stories from your friends and classmates about people they know who have suffered sports-related headinjuries.

5. Ask classmates or friends who don’t wear helmets when doing sports why they don’t, and note these on a flipchart. Ask those same friends what it would take for them to change their behavior and begin wearing helmets while cycling, skateboarding, and snowboarding. Offer to write the results of your investigation in the school paper.

You may or may not know a Jeff, Jason, or Jenna. If not, it’s only a matter of time. Head injuries due to recreational sports are on the increase among U.S. teens. Most of these injuries may be prevented by the simple act of wearing a well-fitting helmet. What will you do, if anything, to improve the statistics?

TO REVIEW AND DO

1. Why do you think that so many young people resist wearing protective headgear? (Answers should include recognition that young people see themselves as invincible.)

2. How much of a problem is the issue of head and neck injury? In what ways could this issue affect you and your friends, considering your lifestyles and activities? Assign students to groups to do research on the subject (see Web sites suggested below). When groups have completed their research, have them find creative ways to present the results to motivate people toward the use of protective headgear. (Remind them to think of the answers to question #1.)

a) www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss4905al.htm–You will find an article on the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Students can look at head injury-related behaviors–perhaps even find data related to their state in the most recent YRBS completed in May 1999.

b) www.cpsc.gov (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)–Assign students to outline exactly what the criteria are for safe, protective headgear products and for their use, and then find a way to communicate this–perhaps in a slide show, a Power Point presentation, or posters.

c) www.thinhfirst.org. (the National Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Prevention Program)–Find out if there is a local or state chapter of Think First in your area. They locate speakers who can attest firsthand to the problems associated with brain and spinal cord injuries. Their message is prevention. Have students plan a classroom presentation or obtain administrative permission for an assembly.

Tips for bikers Choosing and Using a Safe Helmet

Dr. Frederick Rivara, physician-researcher and director of the Harborview injury Prevention and Research Centre in Seattle, has spent the last 15 years persuading Americans to wear bike helmets. Rivara’s latest study shows that wearing a bike helmet is not enough. “In a study of 3,400 riders, people wearing helmets that didn’t fit correctly (by their own accounts) were twice as likely to suffer head injuries as cyclists with a proper fit.”

A helmet that fits properly, according to Randy Swart, director of the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute in Arlington, Virginia, should:

* comfortably touch the head all the way around

* sit level on your head, stay in place, and be able to resist hard blows or violent shakes to the head

* be fastened snugly by the chin strap to prevent the helmet from rocking back and forth. It also shouldn’t pinch your chin.

Keep the foam pads that come with new helmets. They allow for a more customized fit, particularly at the sides of the head, as your head grows or as you change your hairstyle. For additional information, check out www.helmets.org.

Did You Know?

* More than 750,000 Americans each year report injuries received during recreational sports, with 82,000 involving brain injuries. Brain injuries cause more deaths than any other sports injury.

* About 130,000 children a year go to hospital emergency rooms with head injuries suffered in bike crashes.

* Bike helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent.

* About 60 percent of all bike-related deaths involve head injuries.

 

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