Bryton's GPS bike computers are now being distributed by Zyro in the UK and we got a chance to check out their 2012 range at the company's annual dealer show, along with new 29er tyres from Panaracer, locks from Abus, and tools and braking upgrades from Ashima.
Bryton are a new brand for Zyro, and if their recent bike navi-computers are anything to go by then their 2012 kit should provide Garmin with some strong competition. We predict Bryton’s biggest seller in the next 12 months will be their entry-level Rider 20 model.
At £99 (£139.99 with heart rate monitor strap), this GPS-enabled bike computer doesn't offer on-screen navigation but will record where you've been, so you can download your route and speed/distance data after finishing the ride and view it online.
Another £20 buys you the Rider 35, which adds waypoints and direction arrows to guide you through your ride, along with a bigger screen and customisable data fields. A 30T version is also available, which adds an HRM strap and cadence sensor for a total price of £179.99.
The £150 Rider 40 (£220 with HRM and cadence) is for the rider who's serious about training, with fully customisable training plans, an integrated coach to keep you from slacking and of course, loads of analysis.
But it’s the full-monty Rider 50 that's going to be a real competitor for the Garmin Edge 800, with a TFT colour screen, Navteq mapping, route planning, training and loads more. A £199.99 (£269.99 with HRM/cadence) it’s substantially cheaper than the £350 (without mapping and other extras) Edge.
Panaracer are finally entering the 29er tyre market with two fast-looking treads aimed squarely at the performance cross-country end of the market. The £45, made-in-Japan, 29er-only (for now) Driver Pro uses Panaracer’s top-end ZSG rubber compound and is reminiscent of the Specialized Renegade, itself a new model. If the Driver Pro works as well as the Renegade, we’ll be happy. At 2.2in wide and 600g it promises to be a popular choice.
29ers need less aggressive tread to climb stuff which would leave the same tyre on a 26er struggling. It's not the larger wheel size's bigger contact patch that gives small pimple treads the chance to find grip, as many would have you believe, but the development of torque through a 29in wheel and how it manifests itself less violently at the contact.
Working with that principle, Panaracer have debuted the Comet Hard Pack 2.1in, a fast rolling design for the dryer months that's been designed with more than a nod to the popular Kenda Small Block Eight and Maxxis CrossMark. It's a great value 29er choice, at £30 for the folding version and £20 for the steel beaded option, and it'll also be available for 26in wheels in 2.1in and 2.25in sizes. We’re hoping to get the first production samples through soon, so stay tuned for a first ride here on BikeRadar.
Abus have been hard at work figuring out how they can make the humble bicycle lock work more efficiently, both in its ability to keep your bike safe and to integrate into the lives of riders more effectively. The German company say the biggest move in lock buying taste has been away from the traditional U-lock and towards what they call the Bordo – a folding lock, to you and me.
The Bordo locks are made up of several hinged bars, which makes them easier to carry than a U-lock and more useful for locking around stuff like lampposts. We reviewed the top-end £100 Bordo Granit X-Plus (pictured above) a couple of years ago and, along with the new, and £30 cheaper, Bordo 6000, it's just been given a coveted silver rating by Sold Secure.
For those times when you don’t want or need the weight and strength of a lock like that, there's the new Bordo 6050 Lite (pictured above) at £70. Weighing 662g on our scales (including rubber carry case), it's tough but no anchor. For comparison, the X-Plus is 1,753g. Abus trim the Bordo arms in soft silicone or plastic, depending on the model, to avoid damage to paintwork.
Ashima were showing their new budget workshop tool line, Rite Toolz. These are almost ready for production, with just a few details left to rubber stamp. Ashima now have lots of tools at prices which make the concept of building a full home workshop a reality and not a pipedream. We’ll have more on the new tools later in the year when the production samples arrive for testing.
The Taiwanese company have managed to get their one-piece stainless steel AiRotor down to an amazingly light 69g (from 85g last year) and have added a new alloy carrier version that weighs just 67.9g, making them some of the lightest 160mm production rotors available. Prices start at £24.99.
Ashima’s PCB brake gets a new lever shape after the company's main brain,