Measuring power output should be something on the wish list of any performance-minded road cyclist and new options are becoming available all the time. We first got wind of Look's Kéo Power pedals at Eurobike 2010 and a pair have now made their way to our office. Our resident power expert Jeff Jones will be putting them to the test.
The Kéo Power is the result of a collaboration with bike computer manufacturers Polar, and is said to be the world's first power measurement pedal. Rivals Garmin have been working on their own Vector pedal power meter, but this won't be in shops until March 2012.
Look's carbon fibre pedal has been three years in the making. Eight strain gauges in the axle measure pedalling force while a reed relay in the body measures cadence. These measurements are then sent wirelessly to a Polar computer via a transmitter which connects to the inner side of the crank arm. Combined, they give a power output figure.
The system is compatible with most bikes and unlike some other power meters, very easy to install. Actual weights are a combined 344g for the pedals, 36g for the sensors and another 40g for the Polar computer.
The full package shown here, including a Polar CS600X computer, costs £1,699/$2,499. Those who already own a compatible Polar computer (CS500, CS600 or CS600X) can get hold of the pedals at a £200/$200 discount. You can buy them now from selected retailers but more will become available from January. Look products are available in the UK via Fisher Outdoor Leisure.
Polar G5 GPS Sensor
Also from Polar is this G5 GPS sensor which straps to your arm during training, tracking your movements as well as recording speed and distance data. Weighing just 34g, it costs £121.50/$139.95. While there's no screen to show you real-time information (you have to connect it to your computer post-workout for that), it is compatible with other Polar computers including the RCX5 and CS600X, in effect upgrading them to GPS devices.
While we found Rido's unusual R2 saddle comfortable when we tested it a couple of years back, we felt it was overweight and had been beaten a little too hard with the ugly stick. The company's latest RLt seat is more performance-orientated, and a lot better looking.
Like the R2, one of the main aims with the RLt is to relieve perineal discomfort. Weighing in at 225g, it's around half the weight of its bigger brother. It has polished steel/titanium alloy rails and is available in the black shown below, white or a fetching Le Tour yellow for £67.50/$95. Visit Rido's website for more information.
Next up is the new Team Replica saddle from component specialists Forza (4ZA), and very nice it looks too. With titanium rails, a microfeel cover and an actual weight of 158g, it looks to be a decent seat for its £69.99 pricetag.
The latest saddle from Ritchey to hit our desks comes from their Comp line-up, described as performance-level components at prices the masses can afford. The Comp Streem is representative of the range, with steel rails (no carbon or titanium here) and a vinyl covering adding up to a weight of 310g. RRP is just £19.99.
Italian firm DMT, otherwise known as Diamant, have been footwear specialists since 1978, starting in cycling before spreading their wings into football and outdoor wear. Here are two new products in their road shoe line-up for 2012, the Prisma 2.0 and Radial 2.0.
The Prisma 2.0, also available in red/white/black and white/silver/black, is DMT's premier road shoe. It has a microfibre upper, dial closure and carbon sole, and weighs in at 646g a pair. These shoes are available now from UK distributors Paligap for £245.
So, too, are the Radial 2.0 shoes (£175), which are slightly lower down the pecking order. They still have a carbon sole but trade the Prisma 2.0's dial closure system for Velcro straps. At 630g they're lighter than the Prisma 2.0s but there was a big discrepancy in weight between our left and right sample shoes (323g vs 308g). The Radial 2.0s are compatible with Speedplay pedals.
Saddlebag specialists Scicon are offering cyclists a chance to test their new aero bag in return for a €10 fee and feedback on the product. The Aeronaut, which normally costs €27, has a fibreglass shell and outer silicone skin. There's no zip, so you have to peel the silicone from the shell to access the contents – not the easiest thing to do, even when it's empty. To find out how to get your discounted bag, visit Scicon's website.
UK-based clothing firm Frankly have used their Neobi fabric, a combination of cotton and merino wool, to produce their first range. The merino fibres sit next to the skin while the cotton forms a more durable outer layer, making it ideal as both a T-shirt and base layer. Shown here is the Basic Crew Tee Shirt, which costs £49.