Components and accessories behemoth Shimano is – unsurprisingly – releasing a bevy of new products at the 2016 Eurobike trade show, both under its own name and its PRO sub-brand. From shoes to performance handlebars, there's plenty to tickle the fancy of road cyclists and mountain bike racers alike.
- New bikes, new product and new tech at Eurobike 2016
- Best road bike: how to choose the right one for you
- Best road wheels - our top picks
Shimano has also entered the dropper seatpost game with its new Koryak model.
PRO VIBE cable-integrated handlebar and stem
Shimano has unveiled an updated version of the PRO VIBE handlebars and stem, designed with ports for internal cable routing and with an integrated crash damage-resistant material added.
The bars have been developed in conjunction with Team Sky, with a view to producing a sleeker cockpit setup, and reducing aerodynamic drag. The alloy stem has a narrow front profile and low-profile top cap, plus reverse titanium bolts.
The carbon VIBE handlebars weigh in at a reported 220g, making them the lightest in the PRO line up, according to Shimano. While the aerofoil shape of the bars is familiar, the main new features here are the cable ports, which allow internal routing via the stem, then either to the gears or to a Di2 battery position inside the fork steerer. This means a smoother external profile and, it is intended, improved aerodynamics.
The bars also feature 'Innegra', a reinforcing fibre that can be used in composites and textiles, which combines a low weight and durability with impact resistance and vibration damping. Significantly, it also dissipates energy and in this particular usage is designed to limit crash and impact damage.
For fans of electronic shifting, the new bars are compatible with the new Shimano Dura Ace 9100 Di2 junction boxes, which can be placed at the bar ends in place of a bar plug.
The bars are available in either carbon or alloy, and in anatomic or compact shapes.
Shimano S-Phyre road and mountain bike shoes
Shimano has gone Boa with the new S-Phyre RC9 and XC9, tried and tested in the pro peloton.
The RC9 shoes have been worn throughout the 2016 by numerous pro teams including Giant-Alpecin and LottoNL-Jumbo. Formed from a one-piece outer of stretch-resistant Teijin Avail microfibre synthetic leather with a carbon sole, the RC9 features an external heel cup and no lasting board, which reduces the weight to a reported 232g. The shoes also feature two independent Boa dials with wire lacing, and are available in blue, white and yellow in sizes 36-48 including half sizes and wide fitting options.
For mountain bikers, the new XC9 combines elements of the RC9 with an SPD-compatible outsole, moulded studs and optional 18mm spikes. The XC9s are available in blue and yellow and in sizes 36-48, also including half sizes and wide fitting options.
For those who really like to coordinate, both shoes are sold with colour-matched S-Phyre long ankle racing socks, whith anatomically contoured construction, cushioning in pressure areas and a temperature regulating sole.
PRO Stealth saddle
The PRO Stealth saddle is designed for aggressive performance in road racing and time trialling, with a wider nose-shape allowing riders to use more of the front of the saddle and remain comfortable while riding on drops or TT bars for long periods of time when aerodynamic positioning is crucial.
The saddle was developed with Shimano's Dynamics Lab and its specialist bike fit subsidiary Bikefitting.com, and has a number of noteworthy features in addition to the wider nose area. EVA padding has been shaped to cushion key pressure points when on the hoods, drops and on the bars. The PU cover was tested with a variety of bib short materials to provide the lowest possible friction rate, as this translates to less rubbing and abrasion on the thighs and backs of the legs when pedalling.
Wide cutout central channels are becoming an increasingly familiar sight in race and TT saddles, and the Stealth has a large cut out in the central areas. Saddle stiffness and power transfer is facilitated by horizontal reinforcement bridges and a one-piece carbon base.
Ports are included for PRO accessories, including camera mounts, race places, race fenders and CO2 brackets, available separately.
Shimano says the saddle weighs 172g and is one of the shortest comfort-oriented performance saddles in the PRO line up.
Availability and pricing
All products will become available from autumn 2016. Pricing was TBC at time of writing.