This week saw the Fisher Outdoor Leisure Expo descend on Sopwell House, St Albans, with the distributor’s big-name brands on hand to show off new products and gear. Kansi had a range of exciting 2014 folding bike prototypes on show, and here’s BikeRadar’s round-up of other highlights.
Santini showed us their BCOOL bib shorts (£139.99/US$260), designed as high-end, lightweight bibs and used by the Orica-GreenEDGE team. The fabrics are lightweight and breathable, with venting holes on the back of the shorts and carbon fabric panels that are highly breathable and UV protective.
Minimal braces and laser cut Lycra, in place of silicone grippers, reduce weight and aid comfort. The BCOOL also integrates the MIG3 chamois, which is lightweight and breathable and uses a range of mesh fabrics, silicone gel sections and microfibre layers.
The MIG3 chamois in the BCOOL bibs
Running alongside the bibs is the BCOOL jersey (£119.99), with a super-tight fit for minimal wind resistance. One-way stretch panels on the front of the top keep the fabric smooth, while the back again uses carbon fabric for breathability and UV protection.
A nice feature of the Santini range is that their kit comes in reusable, zip-lock packaging. Tear off the hanger section and recycle the back as water-resistant pouches for your jersey pockets.
For more information see www.santinisms.it.
PowerBar, whose name you’ll see emblazoned on the Tour de France podiums this summer, had a few interesting products to show off at Fisher Expo.
Their Natural Energy cereal bars use entirely – you guessed it – natural ingredients, including fruits and nuts, ideal for moderate intensity activities such as leisure rides around town or down the canal path. They come in three flavours (Sweet n Salty, Strawberry & Cranberry and Cacao Crunch) and cost £1.49 each.
PowerBar will shortly be releasing a new gel to the market, dubbed the Hydrogel. With a thin, isotonic consistency, it should be easy to take without downing a load of water afterwards. Unlike other thinner gels, PowerBar are maintaining the same nutritional values as for their thicker gels. The company have also been developing a straw for the product, with a valve to prevent oozing into your pocket, enabling you to consume a packet over time.
For more information see www.powerbar.com.
Troy Lee Designs
TLD have used full wrap-around in-moulding and a low density EPS material to provide protection with the A1. The dropped rear of the lid combines with the one-piece CoolMax liner to provide a fit that feels more akin to a full-face helmet than a regular XC lid.
Airflow channels and adjustable areas ensure a comfortable fit
Adjustment dials have a really positive, clicky feel to them, and can be height-adjusted to give a perfect fit. The visor can be tweaked by 30mm, secured by anodised aluminium screws.
The outer shell of the helmet has been designed with helmet-cam use in mind, with the top of the A1 being flatter than usual to aid mounting. Graphics are applied by hand, as per TLD’s full-face helmets, and look fantastic.
For more information see www.troyleedesigns.com.
Staying with helmets, Carrera had their new Nitro lid (£139.99) on show, complete with Active Ventilation Technology. Available in late July 2013 in the UK, the helmet has adjustable vents, as per the many ski helmets Carrera borrowed the tech from.
Closing the main vents should aid aerodynamics, and mini channels under the front of the helmet will maintain the Venturi effect to keep the worst of the hot air passing out of the back of the helmet.
For more information see www.carreraworld.com.
Hydrapak’s reversible reservoir (from £22.99/US$29.99) has a cool new feature – internal baffles that still allow the pack to be turned inside out for cleaning/drying. The baffles also keep the shape from bulging out too much when full, but are constructed in a zip-lock style to enable the reservoir to be split down its length and turned in on itself. They do reduce the volume of the bag a little, though.
Zip-lock style baffles
Hydrapak have also added co-extrusion insulation to their hose range (£11.99/US$11.99), which doesn’t shift or rot as some neoprene sleeves can. The hose is also CamelBak compatible.
Hydrapak will soon be releasing the ‘Wooly’ bottle – a water bottle that uses Primaloft insulation to keep your drinks cool on hot summer days.
New packs from Hydrapak include the Lone Pine (£54.99/US$84.99), Avila (£39.99/US$59.99) and Laguna (£79.99/US$119.99).
For more information see www.hydrapak.com.
Not much new from the SRAM empire, other than news of a few price drops. The cassette range is dropping in price by an average of 30 percent, with 9-speed models starting at just £29.99/US$35.
SRAM’s power measuring crank, the Quarq, has also gone from £1,650 to £1,249.99/US$1,595 for the basic model (Quarq Riken GPX), making the training aid a little more affordable. The Red Quarq now also comes with right/left power balance functions.
The SRAM Red Quarq crank
Zipp 60 wheelsets are now £1,200/US$1,500, with Far East manufacturing and completion in the Portugal plant ensuring high standards. Zipp are also releasing a fully aluminium shallow wheelset (the 30 Alloy Clincher) at £675/US$850, making a set of their hoops slightly more accessible.
For more information see www.sram.com.
DZR create non-SPD-looking SPD shoes for urban and casual MTB use. The H20 (£139.99/US$169) mid-top has a fully seam-sealed waterproof liner up to ankle height, built into a stylish, sheep leather outer. With steel inserts incorporated, the shoes are stiff enough for efficient pedalling on your commute.
The DZR H20 shoes should keep your feet dry around town
Other footwear in the range benefits from stability straps over the insteps, and asymmetrical padding to avoid excessive rubbing on cranks. Reflective badges on the backs of the shoes help you stand out a little more at night, too.
For more information see www.dzrshoes.com.