Ice Bike by Paul Vincent

icrowave ovens will shortly appear in Shimano dealerships alongside racks of yet more cycling shoes

icrowave ovens will shortly appear in Shimano dealerships alongside racks of yet more cycling shoes

No, the ovens' sole purpose is to heat up Shimano's new Thermo-Form technology that applies to their high end SH-R300 shoes costing £180.

While Lake have already invented a similar but simpler concept with their shoes, Shimano's Thermo Form involves 'shrink-wrapping the shoes onto the riders feet while the plastic sets. The process takes around 20 minutes and involves placing the shoes individually in the oven then placing a vacuum sack over the fitted shoe to form an air tight seal. The air is then sucked from the bag to create a form-hugging fit while the plastic cools and the process is repeatable if the shoe is found to lose form over a period of time.

The new shoes feel very good to wear even without the fitting process but we will do a 'before and after' and get back to you on the results.

The Pro range of cycle components is relatively new to the UK and includes wheels, stems, wheel bags, tribars and most notably some carbon dropped handlebars with bends that curve away to provide greater wrist clearance when launching into a sprint on the drops. All products are approved by Shimano and used by Shimano-sponsored teams such as Credit Acricole and T-Mobile - that is, their products have to go through stringent tests under the auspices of Shimano.

Continental have released a new version of the Grand Prix 4000S that uses nanotechnology, which allows them to incorporate a greater percentage of carbon into the new Black Chilli tread compound than is usually possible without sacrificing grip and they claim to have a lower rolling resistance than their other tyres. The cost is £34.95 each and we will be testing them soon.

For more on Ice Bike see the Cycling Plus site here.

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