Ridley 2016 cyclocross collection
With over half its business coming from cyclo-cross, Ridley has overhauled its range for this 2016 collection.
Ridley's Jekyll and Hyde inverted paint scheme on the X-Night SL
The top of the muddy podium is the X-Night SL (previously known as simply X-Night), an ultra-light and stiff carbon steed for slicing through the muck. Tons of clearance and a diminutive head tube means it’s the ideal pro-level head-down racer. The X-Night SL comes in 10, 20 and 30 models. The top-end SL 10 comes with hydraulic Dura-Ace, the 20 with hydraulic SRAM Force and the 30 with hydraulic Ultegra.
The graphics are inverted from one side to the other, with Ridley referring to this as Jekyll and Hyde designs. Smaller 41 and 48cm frames have also joined the range for smaller or junior riders. Ridley also said the X-Night will be changing to a 15mm thru-axle version with a rotor scuff guard.
Joining the SL and replacing the old X-Fire range, the standard X-Night comes from the same mould as the SL but uses a slightly lower grade of carbon that adds around 150g to the bike. The range starts at £1,800 with a Shimano 105 mix groupset. Ridley has also committed to use TRP cable-actuated hydraulic discs across its more modestly specced budget-friendly CX bikes.
The X-Ride is Ridley’s race-orientated aluminium-frame CX range. With very similar geometry and ride characteristics to the X-Night, the X-Ride offers better value still with the Tiagra-specced, internally-routed X-Ride 40 coming in at £1,099.
Finally, the X-Bow range returns offering a more upright, practical geometry that’s good for racing and general use. Starting at £950 for the X-Bow 20.
Rapide MY16 Prototype
Rapide is a young brand that's already beginning to experiment with a do-it-all road disc bike. The pearly-tangerine MY16 prototype seen here features plenty of clearance in the aluminium frame for Alex rims that'll take up to 42mm tyres. Braking on this Shimano-105 specced prototype comes courtesy of Tektro's HyRo cable-actuated hydraulics. Rapide is expecting to have Shimano 105, Tiagra and Sora versions available this year at £1,150, £950 and £850 respectively.
Bliss ARG pads and Vertical LD Day Top
The Bliss ARG Vertical Extended Knee Pad (£85) and The ARG Comp Knee Pad (£100) are new for this season and use the brand's latest moulding technology to create lightweight, comfortable protection.
The variable thickness Armourgel pad was moulded around a real knee for a snug, ergonomic fit and is wrapped in Lycra and Kevlar. There’s mesh at the rear, which along with flatlock stitching, silicone printed grippers and elastic straps keep the pads comfortable and secure. Both sets of pads have also been tested to meet exacting safety standards that are the same for motorbike protection.
Bliss's ARG Vertical LD Day Top (£130) is designed to give back protection and storage without the need for a pack. The skin-hugging baselayer features an integrated Armourgel spine protector as well as side pockets, which are designed to hold the two Hydrapak Softflask drinks bottles that come with the top.
Jaguar F-Type S20C team car
One of the biggest attractions of the show was the presence of the Jaguar F-Type S20C. This one-off take on Jaguar’s F-Type Coupe was produced by the company’s special operations team and went on to be used as a team car for the penultimate time trial event of last year’s Tour de France.
An intricate carbon fibre cover and roof mounted support bracket work together to provide secure and stylish transport for two Pinarello Bollide time trial bikes. It’s undoubtedly one of the most impressive team cars ever created and, with 550hp of supercharged V8 under the bonnet, it’s likely to be the fastest too.
Lazer Wasp Air I-Sensor
Lazer was touting its partnership with British Cycling at IceBike, showing a selection of lids in Union Jack colours. Of these, the Wasp Air TT helmet is now available in I-Sensor guise. Adding about £100 to the cost of the £250 helmet, the I-Sensor is a small device that clips on the underside of the tail and is designed to help keep riders more aero by alerting them when they move out of their least-draggy position.
The idea is to calibrate the light-weight unit while being fitted to your bike, setting the central angle as your optimum position. When you move out of that position (you choose the angles in which to keep your head in five degree increments), the I-Sensor beeps and vibrates. It’s a novel idea and judging by the number of head-dropped, tail sailing through the air positions you see being adopted towards the end of time trials, it could be a real drag saver.
The bike of UK pro team Madison Genesis, the Volare has been updated for this season with a new fork (360g high-mod carbon), drawn hourglass head tube and new top tube. This, along with understated team detailing and plenty of silvery Reynolds 953 steel on show, means it looks more beautiful than ever. The team bike is speced with Dura-Ace Di2 and Dura-Ace C50 tubular wheels.
DT Swiss 180 Carbon hubs
For the ultra-high end MTB crowd, DT Swiss's 180 carbon-ceramic hubs are about as smooth as they come. The rear comes with a screw-on converter to switch between six-bolt and Centerlock mounting. At £275 for the front and £450 for the rear, they're for cash-burning-pockets types only.
Profile Design FC Hydration System and 58/Twentyfour road disc wheels
Available in FC35 (1,035ml) and FC25 (739ml) variants, you get a Kamm tail aerofoil shape drinks container with detachable head-unit mount and rear storage box, all secured with a between the bars bracket. The straw and its retaining clip can be mounted either side of a central quick fill hatch that unclips for easy cleaning.
Profile was also showing off its 58/Twentyfour carbon clincher disc wheels, which are both quick release and thru axle compatible. Based on a six-bolt rotor set-up, the claimed weight is a very reasonable 1,690g for the pair, only 60g more than the rim brake versions. There will also be a 38mm deep version out towards the end of the summer.
Kryptonite Security Wheelnutz
Bike security is a constant worry for inner-city cyclists, but Kryptonite’s Security Wheelnutz (£25) could offer piece of mind without the need for loads of extra heavy hardware. A sliding pin means that the nut can only be turned while the bike is upside down, so provided you lock your bike such that it can’t be flipped over, the nut is immovable.
Designed to be used along with a D-lock to keep the frame and rear wheel secure, the Wheelnutz also come in a £60 Total Package with Kryponite’s Messenger Mini lock. The brand is also planning more gravity kit including a seatpost clamp.
Madison Roadrace saddles
Madison's new saddle range offers just about every kind of perch you can imagine, but naturally, we were looking for the lowest weight bum balancer and the Roadrace Carbon (£150) came up trumps. The carbon hull and rails along with a central cut out and fairly minimalist padding hardly bothers the scales at 120g. There's also a titanium-railed, nylon-bodied option that weighs 218g for a much more sensible £60.
Adventure Double Shot
This classy city machine from Adventure bikes' Cafe Series also caught our eyes. A lovely green paint job covers a lugged cromoly frame and steel fork. A three-speed Shimano Nexus hub should keep things moving with minimum maintenance while brown leatherette grips and saddle add to the classic look.
Pearl Izumi Elite Road IV shoes
Based on the brand’s top-end Pro Leader shoes, Pearl Izumi's Elite Road IV roadie slippers (£150) are new for 2015 and feature a 70 per cent carbon, 30 per cent fiberglass uni-directional blended sole. Pearl Izumi is now using the same carbon as Shimano, so we’re expecting better stiffness than in previous models. A one-piece bonded upper is clamped around the foot via a short toe box strap and central Boa closure that winds evenly through the instep and also sits lower than side-mounted dial, making the Elite Road IV shoes friendlier for overshoe use.
Madison spring-summer road kit
Great news for beginners wanting to get kitted out in style with minimum fuss, Madison’s new sportive packs offer male- and female-specific jersey and shorts for £75 and £65 respectively – incredibly good value.
The men’s pack includes bibs with a 3D gel chamois pad while the shorts in the women’s pack are strapless. Both jerseys have three rear pockets and the packs are available in two colourways for each sex.
Being waterproof and wind resistant, Madison’s Optimus jersey also looks like a great value option for spring training. Offering great protection and breathable fabric, the Gabba-like jersey comes in at £90.
The Ridgeback Electron gave us our first up-close look at the new Shimano Steps e-bike system. The battery is locked securely to the rear rack and takes four hours for a full charge, though two hours will get you 80 per cent of the way there. Three modes initiated via the thumb selector: Eco, which offers at range of 125km; Normal, giving 80-90km in range; and High for journeys under 60km. The system has an integrated head unit, showing usual riding data, and remotely operated front and rear lights.
This Electron+ model comes with a Shimano Alfine rear disc hub for £2,200.