What's Cool In Road Cycling

2015 Interbike: Round 1

GT Bicycles Grade, Effetto Mariposa, Hiplok, Rolf Prima, Lazer Helmets and Clement Tires lead off Interbike 2015.

It doesn’t seem like a year has gone by, but here we are again, covering Interbike Las Vegas. A packed floor on day one (versus a medium day 2 and earily empty day three) gave me a look at a few new bits from tires on the road to the top of your head…

Clement tires have been working pretty damn hard over the past couple of years. They’ve resurrected the brand (owned by Pirelli) and have been hard at it creating new tire profiles for multiple surfaces. We’re about road here, so we’ll start with a tire filling the ever wider demand for ever wider road rubber.


The Strada LGG has been available up to 28 section with a couple of compounds, a single rubber type in its 60 TPI form and a dual compound in the form of 120 TPI. The LGG has been a favorite of adventure road riders and the demand is there for a larger section.

The latest LGG (Clements tires are named after Airport codes, LGG is Liege…) is the much anticipated 32 section. This has a single compound at 120 TPI (the tread at show was a sample logo that says dual, but it is single). It will also feature the Chevron tread pattern covering the entire tread, of which there is plenty.


It also features a bead to bead protection layer, and should be ready very quickly.

Clement is also releasing a new top line Road tire, the LCV…


This is a high end road focused tire with a dual TPI casing (two piece casing with overlap). It’s functionally a 240 TPI casing at the tread.

It will be available in 23-25 and 28 sections with the 25 landing soon and the 28 some time around January (which tells you something about the direction of tire sizes… and very likely future racing rim shapes).

Weight should be in the area of 180 grams with a protection belt and the focus here is a soft but racy ride.

Clement are also releasing new CX tires in tubular and clincher / tubeless form and already have a small but effective line up.

You can see more at: www.ClementCycling.com

Going from tire to wheel, the next stop was Rolf Prima

The wheelset getting the clicks here is the Ares 3 and 3ES…


The Rim section is the same for both the 3 and 3ES. It’s a delta section (more U than V shaped like most high end hoops) 35mm Deep. The Brake track features a temp/heat resistant resin that would, stand alone, resist heat. Rolf add a proprietary coating that ups durability even further in arguably the most important part of the rim…


The primary difference between the two wheel sets is money… $500. The dollar change comes mostly at the hub, where the 3 gets a Titanium freehub body and Enduro Ceramic bearings. The ES has a very nice forged Alloy freehub and Steel cartridge bearings. The 3 also uses a mix of CXray and CX speed spokes where the ES is all CX Speed (a little heavier).

Both have the same Slick Delta shaped 35mm Clincher rim.


The ES is a hell of a wheel for the price and most folks will notice the $500 more than the 100 grams (though the bearings are damn slick in the 3)…

Rolf have also finished tuning their custom color process… They can run hubs in a selection of colors.


Rolf build to spec in house and can have a set of hubs coated and shipped to your shop on short order.

You can find the colors here: https://www.rolfprima.com/built-on-demand

They’ll also decal the rim to match the selected colors…


And they’re running their Ballistic Armor coating in the same select group of colors as the hubs and decals… It’s ceramic coating that’s functional protection as well as a pretty nice aesthetic (though you should carefully consider how “bold” a visual statement it would be for an entire rim to get color)… My choice would probably be the Grey they had on hand and maybe dressing that up with a colored decal to match some brighter hubs.


You can see the Ares 3 sets (some of the other tech will be added to their site shortly) and a host of other hoops at: https://www.rolfprima.com/#built

Effetto Mariposa
are one of my favorite companies.  When they create a product, it tends to be just that little bit better than what the industry expects.  The latest product that’s been on the market a bit but is definitely worth mention as it now has a complimentary product for the use…

Carogna is a next generation tubular tape that is very easy to use and is more broadly effective than past efforts.


Available in a couple of widths (16.5 and 25 mm), the tape is actually a couple of layers with specific binding properties, one side for rim and the other for tire casing contact.


Just like regular mastik, prep is a big part of the net functionality you get and setting up for the tape is very similar to glue… You want a clean tire casing, scuffed up and a clean rim surface. In the case you have properly prepared the surfaces, using tape takes a very small fraction of the time to use versus any typical glue.

In order to help in prep for use when changing an existing tire that has been secured using either Carogna tape or standard glue is the new “Carogna Remover”.


If you have properly used the Carogna tape, clean up after removing the tire should be very simple. Carogna tape should leave little to no residue. But in the case there is some remaining mastic and or if you’re working on a rim that was glued in the traditional way, Carogna Remover is said to be very complete in penetrating the glue and softening it to the point that whipping with a rag should leave a clean surface.

It is thick enough that it will cling to the rim surface (and glue) and you can brush it on and leave it set for a few hours.


Strangely enough, the odor coming from the remover is actually reasonably pleasant… You should work in a ventilated area and not confuse this for toothpaste etc, but it’s no place near as noxious as what you’re used to for glue killing chemicals.

Lastly, Effetto have an additional Caffelatex version.


The latest version is packaged with a tube (attached to the back) that will allow its use on presta valves where you can’t unscrew the valve core.  I’ve used the product a few times and have been very happy with the small leak sealing as well as the amount of time it tends to stay in liquid form.

You can see all of their products (including what I think is the nicest ratcheting torque wrench available) at: https://www.effettomariposa.eu/en/

One of the bikes I have now that is rolling on Caffelatex filled 32 section road tires is GT’s Carbon Grade.

Rolling on SRAM Force 1

GT have had a load of success with the Grade and are expanding the line to reach some exceptional price points.  The top level Carbon (equipped with Shimano Ultegra) will run you $3499 (which is a pretty good deal relative to the ride you’re getting).

GT are also making the Grade Alloy X that lands at half the cost of the Grade Carbon at $1699.


This is a solid rig with a go anywhere set up using SRAM RIVAL 1 group set.


And pricing for the grade drops clear though to $799 for a Claris equipped version.

Not leaving the ladies out, GT have the Grade Alloy Sora GTW.


This lands at just $899 loaded with Shimano’s Sora set up, complete with a little fishnet accent in the paint…


GT are also producing a flat bar line up, which makes loads of sense as this platform makes a very good fitness/city bike with just minor adjustments to the equipment. The Fitness versions run from $999 to just $649.


I’ll have a review on the Carbon Grade / SRAM Force 1 out shortly… My problem is that I don’t want to stop riding the damn thing long enough to write about it…

You can see the full line up at: https://www.gtbicycles.com/usa_en/gorogue/

Lazer Helmets
have released the full blown MIPS version of their top line Z1.


This brings all the ventilation chops of the top dog and the benefits of the MIPS shock / rotational damping system inside…


The outward appearance gets a little bit of a tweak as you can add a rear light with constant on and or multiple flash settings.


Not sure of the lumen count here, but it’s a reasonably bright little sucker and the lens is large enough that the spread of light is a good size.


Lazer also have their LifeBEAM kit, applicable to the retention system within the helmet.


This puts a very low profile heart monitor on your head rather than strapping it around your chest. The unit fits neatly inside… Strap on the brow pad and a small wire running to the rear.


It’s comfortable and frankly you can’t tell that it’s in the helmet when on your head.

The LifeBEAM transmits via Bluetooth and Ant+ through a small transmitter that attaches to the rear of the helmet via an attachable mount.


MIPS is ready to go and the rest should be available shortly.

You can see em at: https://www.lazersport.com/

had a very slick little combination cable lock and tail light on hand called the FLX.


FLX is a light with flash modes, a weather resistant switch and seal in a case designed to clip / attach to a jersey pocket.  The lock is 1m braided steal cable that retracts via a push button and locks via a 3 digit combo.  This isn’t designed to sit out all night. It is simply a deterrent for the snatch and grab type thieves for that quick pitstop / coffee grab. It’s compact and multi functional… Pretty smart.

You can see several more products at: https://hiplok.com/index.php?route=common/home

That’s it for a quick round 1 – much more to come.

Have Fun,
Charles Manantan
[email protected]

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