Part of their solution is by integrating one end cap onto the axle itself. That does mean you’ll need to swap the entire axle if you want to switch between QR and thru axle dropouts, but it’s an easy swap.To create the disc brake hubs, the non-driveside flange had to move inward to clear the brake caliper, so they used the same philosophy as on the rear and gave that flange a larger diameter. That kept the tension from side to side at a similar ratio as their standard road hubs. The front hub got the same treatment but with a larger flange.The disc brake hub axles are also one piece with the drive side end cap. Not only does it help make everything stiffer and stronger with fewer pieces, it helps maintain the tight concentricity and tolerances that make their hubs so smooth. They’ll offer axles for 12×142 and 135QR rear, and 100mm QR and 15mm thru axle fronts.The bearings are the same in the disc brake versions, but they’ll offer two sets of seals – a standard set for road and a heavy duty set for cyclocross. Those heavy duty seals will also be used on a future mountain bike hub set.The original rim brake road rims (shown here) were laid up to their specifications, with the carbon plies optimized for the spoke angles that their hubs created. Like with the standard wheels, they’d prefer to sell you a complete disc brake wheelset so that they control the build process from start to finish and ensure you’re getting the best possible system performance. The disc rims will be laid up differently (and come in a bit lighter!) since they don’t need to handle braking forces coming from the rim calipers.Target launch in November, and they’ll be available as standalone hubs if purchased through an authorized wheel builder that’s approved to build them to Alto Velo’s spec.Tubular and clincher will be offered.While we patiently wait for a disc brake wheelset to test out, we did give them a spin at their tent and they are indeed remarkably smooth. As in, some of the smoothest wheels I’ve spun in recent memory. And it’s all done with NSK stainless steel bearings, no ceramics. Sometimes, when things roll so smooth, there’s a bit of play at the axle, but there’s absolutely none here. We covered Alto Velo’s ultra smooth hub design back in January, and since then they’ve been running full speed with their uniquely oversized flange rear hub to create stiff, efficient road bike wheels. When we spoke to them for the original story, they teased disc brake hub development, and now they’re almost ready. In fact, they’re shooting for an ambitious November timeline.Not sure what that massive driveside flange is all about or why Alto Velo’s wheels are probably the smoothest we’ve felt? Roll on in for details… Alto Velo’s idea is simple: Move the driveside spoke placement outward from the hub’s center of rotation to increase spoke triangulation and create a stiffer wheel. But that only addresses lateral stiffness on one plane. To fix the problem from stem to stern, they looked at how the axles, bearings and hub shell interfaced and made improvements in tolerances, preload assemblies, axle construction and more. The launch story is a good read if the mechanics of hub construction interest you, but suffice to say they’ve eliminated virtually any chance for anything to wobble, lean, tilt or otherwise introduce slop to the system. AltoVelo.com
UK: Serco has won a 15-year franchise to operate the Caledonian Sleeper service between London and various Scottish destinations from April 2015, replacing incumbent FirstGroup.At present, two trains operate in each directions on six nights per week; a ‘lowland’ service connecting London Euston with Edinburgh and Glasgow Central, and a ‘highland’ service linking London Euston with Inverness, Aberdeen and Fort William. The trains are currently operated as part of FirstGroup’s ScotRail franchise, and represent 2% of franchise revenue.Transport Scotland has selected Serco to operate ‘all aspects’ of the service and oversee a £100m investment in new rolling stock and other enhancements. Leased through Beacon Rail, a fleet of 72 locomotive-hauled coaches is to be supplied as four trainsets by CAF for introduction from ‘summer 2018’. The fleet renewal programme is being underpinned by a £60m capital grant from the Scottish government. The vehicles will include en-suite berths in a premium business class, reclining seats that can be repositioned as flat beds, and a ‘brasserie-style Club Car’.Serco also says that it will introduce a broad partnership with Scottish suppliers to offer an ‘outstanding hospitality service that is emblematic of the best of Scotland’; hotel and catering company Inverlochy Castle Management International has already agreed to support the operation. Serco expects to introduce an updated sales and reservation platform to offer a ‘broader range of fares’ to drive growth in passenger numbers, both among UK residents and international tourists.The franchise would deliver revenues of up to £800m over the 15 years, Serco says, of which ‘approximately £180m will be in the form of franchise payments’. A ‘gain share’ agreement has been reached with Transport Scotland ‘to incentivise performance improvements’. Serco has agreed contracts with GB Railfreight to provide traincrew and traction, and Alstom for rolling stock maintenance.Chief Executive Rupert Soames commented that Serco had ‘a strong track record of providing high-quality and efficient rail services around the world, as well as experience in managing large-scale tourism-focused transport services’. Its Australian business Great Southern Rail operates the premium long-distance Ghan, Indian Pacific and Overland services linking Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin and Perth.
RelatedSymphony in the Park slated May 4Special to the Parade Brownsville Literacy Center’s 15th Annual Symphony in the Park will be held on Saturday, May 4 at Washington Park. The gate opens at 5 p.m. to “Swing into Literacy,” the theme for this year’s exciting family fun event featuring the Dean Canty Big Band. Before the…April 24, 2013In “South Padre Parade”Fantasticks coming to SPISpecial to the PRESS The Fantasticks! may look like a simple show when one is enjoying it from the audience, but in reality it is one of the most challenging musicals for the actors/singers, directors and accompanists. The beautiful music is particularly challenging for vocalists and the well-drawn characters require…May 30, 2011In “News”UTB plans to honor US military on Veterans DaySpecial to the Parade The University of Texas at Brownsville will host two consecutive days of events in honor of veterans of the United States military. The Veterans Upward Bound Program will host the 12th annual Veterans Day Ceremony at noon Thursday, Nov. 10 on the Cardenas South Hall Lawn.…November 10, 2011In “South Padre Parade” Share Port Isabel High School Principal William Roach (center) earned his Doctorate of Education at the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College (UTB/TSC). (UTB/TSC photo)Special to the PRESSBROWNSVILLE – More than 1,400 graduates, including Port Isabel High School Principal William Roach received certificates and degrees at the 17th Winter Commencement for The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College on Saturday, Dec. 17. The graduating class is the largest in the university’s history.The original single ceremony planned for the Cardenas South Hall Lawn was moved indoors earlier this week to Jacob Brown Auditorium due to inclement weather. Students were divided by their degrees, colleges and schools for three ceremonies held in the morning and afternoon. Overflow viewing areas were opened at The Arts Center and Garza Gym for the large audiences.Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Jan. 2 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.