EUROBIKE’15: More Gear!
As beautiful as the various new bikes on display at Eurobike were there was also literally thousands of new products to distract visitors too; wheels, helmets, accessories and more. Today we look at some of the ones that stood out at the 2015 Eurobike from BBB, Ritchey, Reynolds, Topeak, Fuji and Fabric.
An obvious first step when looking at clothing, accessories and more was the Dutch accessories company BBB. A huge market force in Europe and a strong sponsor of pro teams over the years through the likes of Vacansoleil and now FDJ and Team Roompot BBB have built a reputation as a maker of quality pro level gear at competitive prices. Last year at the show BBB had a new aero helmet on display – the Tithon which really impressed me but some small design changes and production issues meant that it was never released in 2015. 2016 however will see the Tithon hit the markets in May and it truly looks like it was worth the wait.
The Tithon is an aero road helmet with proven wind tunnel gains but is not just about its aero capabilities – it also has an excellent ventilation system thanks to two large vents at the front combined with some big vents at the rear of the helmet plus some deep channels inside that force the air through.
Available in gloss white or matte black the Tithon has the usual standard features of their top line helmets like double in-mold shell construction, hidden strap anchors, quick dry padding and an easy to use buckle and retention system and all with a surprisingly low price – 99 euros.
A high end finish on a classy lid at a very competitive price – this is definitely one to keep an eye out for next year.
Another product for less than 100 euros and already seen on many pros were BBB’s latest pair of sunglasses, the Summit BSG-50’s. These are a racing pair of glasses with lightweight interchangable polycarbonate lenses that have been treated with an anti fog system along with an air flow system to let you use the glasses in all conditions.
Speaking of which, the glasses come with three lenses, clear, amber and dark (color dependant on the frame color – ie: orange mirrored lens for orange frame, standard smoked lens for the white pictured here etc). The frame is a highly flexible material called Grilamid built for durability and comfort and the lenses are changed out with one of the easiest systems I’ve seen where the bridge folds down very simply and you simply ‘snap in’ the new lenses. The glasses will retail for €99.95 with US prices to come soon. Thanks to some distributor changes BBB will be available in a much wider market next year with the likes of Canada and the US going to be able to get their hands on the huge range of BBB gear very soon. Check out bbbcycling.com for an idea of the range heading your way.
The guys at Reynolds had their 2016 wares on display with their Aero range an obvious stand out due to their true airfoil rim shapes and high end finish.
Available in 46, 58, 72 and 90mm rim depths the airfoil shape of the rim is uncommon in cycling circles due to its inherent difficulties and expense in manufacture but the result is sure worth the trouble with a true, low-drag wheel in a big range of real world conditions.
The 46, 58 & 72 are all available in either tubular or clincher varieties with the 90 only available in clincher form. These are certainly some cool wheels and they are at a competitive weight too with the 46 tubulars weighing just 1256g for the pair. If you’re after some seriously lightweight wheels with top of the line technology though you couldn’t go past the RZR range.
These are Reynolds top of the line offerings and are handbuilt at the Reynolds headquarters in Sandy, Utah using their own proprietary molding process. Only available in tubular form the RZR range involves a set of 46’s, 92’s or a mixed 46 front/92 rear mix which would be ideal for TT or triathlon use. At only 968g for the pair of 46’s these wheels are not only amongst the lightest production wheels available – they are also stiff and aero at the same time.
The RZR wheels and their light weight properties appealed to the guys over at Fuji who launched their new, lightest ever road bike – the SL with a pair of RZR 46’s on board.
With a raw frame weight of just 695 grams this is one seriously light bike and I imagine that the guys in the Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team who are using it at the moment in the Vuelta must be weighing it down with powermeters, cameras and more to get it to the UCI legal weight. This bike on display was the top of the line 1.1 model and with Sram Red, Reynolds RZR wheels and more lightweight gear it weighed just 4.96kg.
Amongst the lightweight goodies on display on the SL 1.1 were some high end accessories from Ritchey – namely their SuperLogic Vector Evo Streem saddle and post that were a perfect addition to a bike designed to be super light – but practical and comfortable at the same time.
Leaving Fuji behind I headed over to the Ritchey booth to see what else was new and the first thing I saw was one of those products that made me say, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’. It was Ritchey’s new ‘Road Barkeeper’ – a tire lever that replaces your handlebar end caps meaning that you will never leave the house without your tirelevers – they’ll always be securely stored inside the wasted space in your handlebars.
Clever, lightweight and affordable. This is one of those products that everybody should have. From first looks it appears that they have got the shape just right, the weight is just 16g and the levers themselves are sturdy enough to get even the toughest tires off the rim. Prices are to be confirmed but are expected to be under $15 the pair – a cheap price to pay for such a clever product that will free up some room inside your saddle bag or jersey pocket.
The next thing that I couldn’t help notice at Ritchey’s stand that was packed with new and innovative gear for 2016 were these alloy wheels, the Superlogic Zeta II – PEZ reviewed the Zeta II’s here as part of his Carbon Break-Away build, but these are even better.
These alloy wheels are coated with a special electro-ceramic surface-hardening treatment dubbed ‘LogiCote’ which dramatically improves rim durability by virtually eliminating wear from braking. It’s a micron-thin coat and is also said to improve braking performance in wet conditions.
In the Eurobike halls that were simply packed with carbon wheels Ritchey proves here that alloy is far from being dead and in fact for me these were amongst the nicest finished wheels of the show. Equipped with 20/24H Phantom Flange hubs, DT Aero Comp spokes + alloy nipples, Ritchey brand forged quick releases and offering the best stiffness to weight ratio of Ritchey’s entire wheel range these wheels have a lot going for them. For me the LogiCote finish looks good too and would match a lot of different bikes and paintjobs. All this for a weight of 1391 grams the pair.
Last but not least at Ritchey was one of their new tires, the WCS Road Tom Slick which would be perfect for the trend of gravel bikes – or just as it used to be in the past, a standard roadie with a little more clearance in the chainstays for some great adventure riding.
These are a well thought out tire that are a true 700×27 size with a 120 TPI reinforced casing for extra resistance to cuts and punctures but that also allows you to run lower pressures without the increased risk of pinch flats. Made with some deep VFA (Vector Force Analysis) grooves the tire could be at home on either paved or unpaved surfaces. One to look for at your local shop or check out ritcheylogic.com for more.
Some innovative ideas in the area of pumps was on display at Topeak with their latest version of the JoeBlow, the Booster showing some really cool ideas for inflating your tubeless tires.
Basically the JoeBlow Booster has all the standard features of their top of the line pumps but it also has the ability to charge up to 11 bar of compressed air into a special cylinder that can then be used to seat your tubeless tire on the rim doing away with the need to use a special compressor. Originally designed for MTB tubeless the system works just as well with road tubeless and with more and more tubeless road wheels on the market we may see more ‘intelligent’ pumps like this one soon.
More innovation in pumps with Topeak now and their Transformer range with their built in bike stands.
Once again this is a simple idea but has been executed very well with the base model Transformer RX performing its duties as a bike stand and pump admirably but it’s when you go right up to the XX model where things become very cool as the pump transforms into a complete workstand which appears to be very sturdy.
For more from Topeak for 2016 – head on over to www.topeak.com
And finally today something a bit left of center at Eurobike was this waterbottle system from Fabric.
Notice anything that’s missing in the photo above? Well if you answered a bottle cage then you go straight to the top of the class as this system integrates the bottle cage into the bottle and bolts itself!
With the bottle attached directly to the special studs the bottle attaches securely, yet was surprisingly easy to take the bottle out and reinstall. This way of attaching a bottle to your bike is ultralight-weight (1.5gr for the studs) and is certainly a unique idea – check it out at fabric.cc