Procycling's deputy editor Ellis Bacon gets dazzled by the colour that is creeping back onto the road scene as the ubiquitous black carbon gets a lick of paint at the Eurobike show in Germany.
One of the big themes on the road side of this year’s Eurobike trade show appeared to be customisation through decals and painting; Zipp with their customisable ZedTech wheels and Lightweight’s in-house air-brushiste Conde Lopez’s designs are two good examples.
Spending the big bucks on top-end products from such manufacturers doesn’t seem to be enough for some people any more; they seem to be prepared to spend ‘a bit extra’ to have something to really put people in their place on the next club ride. Or indeed the next Olympics, as top pros like time trial silver medallist Emma Pooley go for the personal touch – in the shape of some ‘Great Wall and Union flag’ Lightweight wheels in her case.
And I’m all for it if it makes for a more colourful sport, my inability to pay notwithstanding. The combination of manufacturers perhaps approaching their zenith, product-wise, with everything being wind-tunnel-tested these days, and the proliferation of been-there, done-that black carbon, means that bespoke bike graphics seem like a good avenue to go down.
Alberto Contador and Christian Vande Velde fans will be pleased to see that Giro have bowed to what was no doubt a bit of consumer pressure by releasing Astana and Garmin team colour-ways, respectively, of their top road model, the Ionos. Colours like these don’t match too many jerseys, though, so you might well be obliged to kit yourself out in the corresponding team’s strip, too.
The Californian company is also branching out into the world of gloves, with a range of mitts and full-finger options, which we have yet to get our mitts on (apologies), but which look very nice indeed upon first inspection.
The November issue of Procycling will be the place to check out the latest and greatest from the trade-show season’s opening expo. And then the following month there will be a more North American slant to things as we head to Las Vegas for the annual Interbike show, where a whole host of stars from the pro peloton – even more than turned up at Eurobike – will rub shoulders with slot-machine-playing, house-losing tourists.