The BikeRadar team is just back from yet another product lunch. This time it was a visit to Trek's headquarters, to see more of their range for 2008. We've seen the launch of the new Madone already but Trek also has an extensive range of new Bontrager components.
Trek have now introduced a saddle fitting service very much like Specialized's Body Geometry (BG) fitting service. Like Specialized Trek have also gone to a lot of trouble and carried out a lot of research to tell us about the science behind their new InForm range.
The science/marketing debate is for a later date but here's the low down on the new perches. The first step is getting the width of your seat bones measured using the SLiDER gauge which fits you to one of three widths (or two for women). The new saddles are distinctively flatter in profile (a bit like the Fizik Arione) and are designed to be set totally flat. Each width saddle has a unique rear curvature: the 128mm saddle has more of a curvature than the flatter 154mm saddle. According to Trek, the unique curvature better fits riders by distributing pressure across the entire area underneath you.
The wide rear supports your forward pubic rami and transitions into quite a distinct wide and flat nose which Trek says offers better support when you are riding fast in a head down position. As well as the three different widths the saddles will be available in cro-mo rails, stainless steel rails and titanium rails. The titanium version being the most expensive and lightest.
Trek are also launching a dedicated time trial tyre. The Race X Lite TT actually features a foil in the casing to improve air flow over the tyre and rim interface. A bit like the old boys using silicon sealant to plug the gap back in the old days. Trek claim they're the most aerodynamic tyre on the market today. They will only be available in a clincher version.
Another high end rubber is the Race XXX Lite tyre. A handmade 290tpi (thread per inch) race tyre. Certainly not suitable for winter training but ideal for those runs up Alp D'Huez (as long as you don't do too many of them)
The Race XXX Lite Aero Brake Lever, spied on the Discovery Tour bikes, is now available. The cable anchor is designed for easy installation.
White is a bit of a theme throughout the Bontrager range. Developed for the Discovery team the new Race XXX Lite Aero Bar has to be one of the lightest on the market at 630g. S-bend extensions are available separately.
If you've got a small frame and find it hard to fit a bottle into a cage then you'll want one of these. A carbon side swipe bottle cage.
A new Race XXX Lite road post replaces the alloy head of the X Lite model for an all carbon version. The head can be reversed in the frame and is available with 5 and 20mm offset.
The Race X Lite Carbon Blade is Bontrager's first ergo, shaped top tube bar. The "blade" shape is for hand comfort not aerodynamics. Available in five sizes, 31.8mm diameter and 230g.
There is also a new VR fit short drop bar aimed at women. Cyclocross riders have also expressed an interest in the shallow drop as it's preferable to some of the bigger drops. The bar will also be available in five widths.
We were really impressed with a new XO-2 Cross bike. Not intended to be an all out cyclecross racer the XO-2 features more user friendly bottle bosses and mudguard eyelet to extend its versatility. Equipped with a new Bontrager Race-X-Lite Wheelset and SRAM Rival groupset, it's high calibre kit with a great price at £1300, US price to be confirmed.
A new 4 Series Madone road bike hits the road. A bit of a weird one the new 4-series is based on the new Madone but will be cheaper. Available in Performance and WSD fit it looks like a good one for the Sportif rider or those on a tighter carbon budget. Identical to the new Madone models and sporting the same geometry the new 4 Series Madone forgoes the seatmast, net moulded bottom bracket and headset.
© BikeRadar 2007