Time's new iClic road pedal line features an innovative rear latch mechanism that retains the company's trademark security but now with an incredibly low entry effort, too – the only real weakness of the current RXS system, which can sometimes be difficult to click into.
The key is an admirably clever 'trigger' mechanism that holds the rear latch mostly open after you've unclipped. When re-entering, the cleat barely has to work against the spring at all – plus there is also only minimal friction between the cleat and pedal ramps – and the cleat virtually falls into place with what is easily the lowest entry effort of any mechanical pedal system currently on the market. In the apparently unlikely event of a misfire, users can still clip in as usual, albeit with more required force.
That's not the iClic's only trick, however, as it also boasts an exceptionally light weight, a wide platform for better power transmission, Time's trademark lateral and rotational float, and a carbon fibre 'blade' that subs in for the usual wound coil spring. Even the proprietary iClic cleats are lighter than the RXS, too, as the old brass rear cam has finally been traded in for an integrated composite bit molded in with the rest of the walkable café cleat.
Claimed weight for the top-end iClic Titan Carbon is just 179g per pair with its carbon body and titanium axle, the mid-range iClic Carbon creeps up to 235g per pair with its hollow steel axle, and the 260g iClic Racer subs in a less expensive composite body. There will also be an entry-level iClic model that trades in the carbon spring for a cheaper fibre composite bit though it will still weigh in at just 260g per pair.
Retail costs for the iClic are still being finalised but delivery should begin in November. RXS owners never fear: Time will continue to carry three models of its long running road model, too.
Time will also launch a second new clipless pedal design for 2010, though this one is aimed more at recreational riders. The new AllRoad series incorporates a modified ATAC clipless system on one side but a street shoe-friendly plastic platform on the other.
Three versions will be offered, all at 400g per pair. The top-end AllRoad Gripper+ will use a chromoly spindle and additional co-molded elastomer studs on the platform, the mid-range AllRoad Gripper will swap in a steel axle, and the entry-level AllRoad makes do with a simple single-compound non-replaceable platform.
Shoes to match
Time pedals no longer require proprietary cleat bolt patterns but the company's tradition of offering its own shoes will carry on into 2010 with three new flagship models, all with heat moldable uppers for a more customised fit.
The Ulteam RS Carbon road shoe uses moldable materials throughout the entire perimeter along with a Vectran-infused Vibraser carbon fiber sole plate that Time claims absorbs vibrations better than a pure carbon fiber plate for increase comfort and reduced numbness. One main buckled strap and two forefoot Velcro strap hold the foot in place.
The MXS Carbon mountain bike shoe uses a nearly identical upper but its carbon sole does without the Vibraser feature and sports an aggressive lugged tread. Triathletes get the Ulteam Tri Carbon shoe with the same Vibraser sole plate as the Ulteam RS Carbon but with a simpler open two-strap upper and moldable materials limited to the middle and front of the foot.
Two new frames hit the road
Time will also introduce two new road frames for 2010: the NXR Instinct and the RX Instinct, both using the company's novel Resin Transfer Molding process but now in combination with a modular monocoque construction (other RTM Time frames are tube-and-lug).
The higher-end NXR Instinct features a more comfort-oriented Vibraser fiber blend than on Time's full-blown race bikes, nanotube-enhanced resins, a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" front end, and a BB30 bottom bracket shell, all mated to the flagship RXR Ulteam's rear end and fork (with alloy tips instead of the RXR's carbon ones) plus an integrated seatmast.
Claimed weight for the frame, fork, headset and seatmast head is 1.7kg – a competitive though not superlight figure, though Time insists its performance criteria still prioritises ride quality and handling over absolute stiffness and weight.
The second-tier RX Instinct is nearly identical to the NXR version but substitutes a standard seatpost for the integrated mast and does without the nanotube-enhanced resins. Both frames will be offered in six sloping sizes.
For all of BikeRadar's Eurobike coverage, click here.
You can follow BikeRadar on Twitter at twitter.com/bikeradar.