We headed to UK distributors Zyro's Open House show in Harrogate, Yorkshire last week. As well as seeing the latest wares from Cateye, Panaracer, Tifosi and Altura, we also saw new kit from Abus, Ashima, Prologo and Zefal. Here's a quick round-up.
German company Abus are best known for their locks but also have an extensive range of road, mountain and commuter helmets. The Hill Bill is a new all-mountain/trail lid along the lines of Giro's Xen or Fox's Flux (it even has a similar plastic 'spoiler' to the latter), with extra rear coverage.
Features include in-mould construction, Abus's ZoomPro II fit system and 19 air vents. Available in four colours (black, Engine – pictured here – Stream or white), the Hill Bill costs weighs a claimed 300/325g (M/L) and costs £89.99.
Abus's top-end road lid, the £79.99 Tec-Tical, is unchanged for 2011, while the Urban Icommuter helmet (£54.99) just has two new colour options – Reflective Red and Signal Yellow. One striking new arrival is the Metronaut, a lightweight in-mould lid hidden inside a removeable baseball cap style cover. RRP is £79.99.
The Abus Metronaut is aimed at commuters and urban warriors
On the lock side of things, Abus are releasing a UK-only Granit 53 – essentially a cheaper version of their highly rated Granit X-Plus 54, with a more basic key and a round 13mm shackle instead of a square one. It still has Sold Secure Gold status but costs £59.99 instead of £89.99, with the main downside being a bit of extra heft.
Mini U-locks have proved popular, so the company now offer both Sold Secure Gold (£69.99) and Silver (£49.99) rated U-Mini options, which are said to be significantly lighter than the competition. They're also releasing a lighter weight version of their Bordo folding lock, the Lite 6050 (£69.99), which weighs a claimed 650g.
Abus's tiny U-Mini has Sold Secure approval
Ashima have tweaked their innovative PanCake Brake to address some of the issues we encountered during testing. A change to sintered brake pads is said to have made a big difference, along with changes to the calliper and improved pad clearance – look out for a review on BikeRadar soon. New for 2011 is an adaptor that lets you use six-bolt disc rotors with Center Lock hubs, and aims to remove the play common with other such adaptors.
There are also new alloy rotor bolts that are said to deliver a 50 percent weight saving over steel at a fraction of the price of titanium. To address durability concerns, Ashima have beefed up the head and shoulder. Claimed weight is 4.8g for a pack of six. RRP is £9.99 and they're available in black, blue, red, gold and silver. Steel versions (12g) are available for £5.99.
Ashima were showing off this new D-Matrix rotor and Center Lock rotor adaptor
In the pipeline is a stunning-looking new D-Matrix rotor, which combines a steel braking surface with a lightweight alloy body, with carbon fibre reinforcement to enhance stiffness. Estimated price is around £70, with weight around 60g for a 140mm rotor. Ashima are also working on a prototype trials disc coated with automobile clutch liner that's designed to be used with rubber pads for ultimate stopping power.
We've already shown you Prologo's Nago Evo TTR time trial saddle, which is now available in a Team Sky colourway, and the new Nago Evo X10 mountain bike perch. Also new for 2011 is the Zero, a flat saddle aimed at both road and off-road riders. It's available with oval carbon rails for £139.99 in Zero Nack guise (165g), or with nickel-titanium alloy rails for £60 less as the Zero 1.4 (200g, or 228g with gel padding). All models have a carbon fibre injection base.
Zero is Prologo's new flat saddle. Riders who prefer a more rounded shape should look to the Scratch or Nago models instead
The company's women's seats look equally well thought out. The Dea ("goddess") design is available in Prologo's Scratch (round) and Nago (semi-round) shapes. It's based on the idea that women tend to have wider sit bones and sit further back on their saddles than men, so they need a seat that's shorter and wider, with a bigger 'pressure management zone' in the centre.
The Nago Evo Dea and Scratch Pro Dea both have 'Active Shape' padding – a variable stiffness base with triple density padding on top – and titanium rails, and cost £109.99. The Nago weighs 212g and the Scrach 227g. This year Prologo will be offering a 'Try & Buy' scheme so you can borrow a saddle from your local dealer and try it out for yourself.
Prologo's Dea women's saddles have been specifically designed with the female form in mind
Zefal were showing off a new mudguard, the No Mud, which can be used on the front or rear of your mountain bike/hybrid. Designed to fit 26-28in wheels, it attaches to the fork legs or seatstays and has a flexible extension which can be clipped to the front/back. RRP is £14.99 (for one). Claimed weight is 190g.
The French company also had new carbon fibre and fibreglass bottle cages, brush sets, tyre sealant and an array of their latest pumps on display – see the image gallery for more on these products.
Zefal's No Mud 'guard looks like a step up from their previous mountain bike offerings
As well as producing tyres bearing their own logo, Panaracer also make rubber for other companies, including Soma Fabrications of San Francisco. Aimed at the fixie/hipster crowd, these colourful treads are a whopping 5mm thick. "It's all about having a tyre you can skid with and get through an urban environment without any flats or other issues," says Panaracer's Jeff Zell. The Soma Everwear is available in 700x23c and 26c sizes, for £39.99.
Another collaboration is the IRD CrossFire CX cyclo-cross tyre, which uses the same tread as Panaracer's Fire XC Pro mountain bike tyre, mated to a lighter weight casing. Available for 700x32c wheels only, there's a choice of 120tpi (£39.99) or 60tpi (£36.99) rubber, with the former coming in black/white and the latter in a choice of one or the other.
The Soma Everwear is both colourful and, as the name suggests, durable – but we're guessing it isn't the lightest
IRD have licensed Panaracer's Fire XC Pro mountain bike tread for their CrossFire CX 'cross tyres
All of the products in this article can be bought through Zyro dealers in the UK. For international sales, see the Related Links on the right.