3T have revamped their intriguing Palladio seatpost with a new head that is smaller, lighter and easier to use than the original version.
The new version still uses separate clamps for the left and right sides but they now secure the rails from the sides instead of the original's band-type mechanism. 3T have also cut the number of fasteners in half and greatly reduced the bulk for reduced interference with low-profile saddles.
Retained from the first generation design is the unique DiffLock mechanism for adjusting saddle tilt. Two concentric toothed cylinders (one with teeth spaced at nine degrees and the other at 9.5) reside within each other and the seatpost head and combine for half-degree angle increments with no chance of slipping barring some sort of material failure. The mechanical lock also reduces torque settings for the clamp bolts.
Altering the tilt still looks to be fairly cumbersome, however, as both DiffLock cylinders need to be removed from the post for repositioning before being reinserted. As such, the Palladio may not suit riders who regularly tweak their setup but may be a good solution for riders who require an offset seatpost and have had issues with locking in tilt settings in the past. 3T say the side clamp mechanism will only work with round rails.
3T will offer the LTD and Team posts in both 27.2 and 31.6mm diameters; the Pro will only be available in 27.2mm. Claimed weights range from 160-190g for the LTD depending on size, 177-204g for the Team and 251-269g for the Pro. Suggested retail prices for the Palladio are US$325/€260 for the LTD version, US$200/€175 for the Team and US$100/€80 for the Pro. UK prices TBC.
3T have also added a new, relatively inexpensive integrated carbon aerobar to their range called Aura. Like the higher-end Mistral, Aura uses a wing-shaped carbon base bar but with extension clamps mounted on the top surface instead of down below. Elbow rest width is also fixed, in contrast to Mistral's four sets of mounting holes.
Adjustable-length S-bend alloy extensions will come as standard but other 3T bends such as straight and 'deep-S' will also fit. Claimed weight for the complete Aura is 695g and suggested retail price is $300/€250. UK prices TBC.
New gear bags from Hincapie Sportswear
Hincapie Sportswear have added two new luggage options to their original Pro Pack Classic backpack – the larger Pro Pack rucksack plus the Pro Duffel. The Pro Pack measures 31x18x55cm (13x7x22in) and includes a single, divided main compartment with a zipped mesh pocket for smaller possessions plus a sleeve for an optional hydration reservoir.
A secondary zipped exterior pocket and mesh side pockets big enough for water bottles or shoes are also included, along with zipped mesh pockets along the hip belt for quick-access items. Additional features include a ventilated back panel, a hidden zip-out helmet holder, integrated rain cover and a removable nylon laundry bag for separating out dirty clothing after an event. Suggested retail price is $89.99. UK price TBC.
Alternatively, the Pro Duffel's larger 32x33x64cm (12x13x25in) capacity offers more room for when you need to travel with more gear. An internal divider and mesh pockets help keep the main compartment organised while additional compartments in the ends are sized for helmets and shoes.
Specific pockets for water bottles, eyewear and smaller bits like tools are also included, along with a separate zippered pocket at the base for wet and dirty clothes. Suggested retail price is $79.99. UK price TBC.
Simple Pleasures revisit ergo-bend mountain bike handlebar concept
Bend, Oregon-based Simple Pleasures Bicycle Components' new Gnar Bar riser bar adds an extra kink at the ends, right below your palms. Why bother, you ask? According to designer Chris Sullivan, the so-called Control Curve Technology offers a more natural fit with your hands for improved comfort and control, especially in rougher conditions.
Also, integrating the ergonomic shaping directly into the bar allows for a smaller grip circumference if desired, in contrast to the newer crop of heavily shaped ergo grips that can produce a lot of bulk in your hands. The concept isn't a new one as RooX did something similar roughly a decade ago.
Simple Pleasures may have better luck this time around, though, as modern split clamps and removable faceplates will remove much of the hassle of stem and component installation with no additional shims required on the oversized 31.8mm centre section. Grip fitment will still be a little tricky, however, and most lock-on grips won't work (WTB's Moto-Tec, GTO and 4-Front being notable exceptions).
The Gnar Bar is manufactured by well-respected framemakers Sapa Extrusions in nearby Portland and dimensions on the 6069-T6 aluminium alloy bar are fairly standard with a 700mm width, 37mm rise and nine-degree backsweep. Claimed weight is an "overbuilt" 300g right now but Sullivan says both a lightweight and low-rise versions are pending. Suggested retail price is $89.95 (not available in UK).
Also coming soon from Simple Pleasures is the Quick-True Tool. Two rubber straps fix the device to nearly any frame or fork while an adjustable gauge provides a visual indicator for wheel, rotor or even chainring trueness. The included spoke wrench includes all three major conventional nipple sizes plus an 8- and 10mm box wrench, and the spring-loaded gauge is tipped with nylon to prevent scratches. The Quick-True Tool will be available from 1 April for $79.95 (not available in UK).
Retro jerseys from Campagnolo
Campagnolo are bringing out a new 'Heritage' line of clothing which aims to combine high-tech features with vintage looks. First up are two jerseys. Campag say the Half Zip Logo Jersey has been inspired "by the history of the great Italian champions and by the heroic battles between Coppi and Bartali".
Features include an anti-bacterial Polygiene treatment, designed to keep odours at bay and IQseen reflective inserts. RRP is £72.50 (US$139.99). The Half Zip Flocked Logo Jersey is made of fast-wicking Sportwool, and also has IQseen inserts. Both jerseys are available in four colours and sizes S-3XL. RRP is £94.99 ($159.99).