What's Cool In Road Cycling

Eurobike’16 Gear #3: BBB, WCup, Wahoo & Giro

After three full days checking out Eurobike 2016 gear, it’s hard to look at my current bike, accessories, tools, and clothing without thinking it just might be time for a few (just a few) upgrades… BBB helmets, glasses & pumps, WCup Nutrition, Wahoo’s updated Kickr, and Giro shoes & helmets.

 

Speaking of award winning bike accessories, I headed over to Dutch company BBB Cycling, best known for their helmets, glasses, pumps, brake shoes, tools, clothing and all sorts of “other clever solutions on the bike”. BBB has over 1500 products spread out over 40 different product categories that are sold in 48 countries. Known for producing high quality pro level products at affordable prices, cyclists of all levels benefit from BBB’s history of product innovation through pro-team collaboration. Their current sponsorships include World Tour teams such as FDJ and Dimension Data and Pro Continental teams such as Wanty-Groupe Gobert and Team Roompot Oranje Peloton.

Last year at Eurobike, BBB displayed their new aero helmet – the Tithon – and this year they had the upgraded Tithon, boasting a new internal retention system for more fine tuning capability, with even 1mm adjustments possible.

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Also receiving upgrades this year is the Icarus helmet, with the same new retention system and introducing a new aero cover which can be easily added and removed.

Once again, we are seeing multi-purpose gear allowing you to save money without compromising in quality or performance. This is one helmet you can use in both a road race and a TT.

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New this year for BBB is their FullView Sport Glasses with an open frameless design and interchangeable polycarbonate lenses. By minimizing the frame, cyclists enjoy a field of vision without any boundaries and the new full round lens shape protects against sun and dirt.

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The frame is made from a highly flexible material called Grilamid built for durability and comfort, also used on BBB’s Summit and Select models. Flexible and strong yet with a lightweight feel.

Frames are available in five different color combinations, and come with an adjustable rubber nose piece and two sets of extra lenses in yellow and clear. You too can get this pro look all for a surprisingly low price – €79,95.

With all the eye-candy witnessed so far at the show, I wanted to make sure to pay homage to a basic tool, the floor pump, and the fact that BBB has made shiny and new what most of us might forget about albeit we use one every day. Its Airstrike DGT name, digital display, and its Tour de France winning color ensure that this is no ordinary floor pump, this is ultimate precision tool for every cyclist’s garage.

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The coolest features of this 70 cm long technical masterpiece include a big easy-to-read and backlit digital display for bar and psi (inflates to 11 bar / 160 psi), a TwistHead pump head with simple air-release, and a unique screw-on valve system compatible with Presta, Schrader and Dunlop valves.

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BBB has thought of everything, including an ergonomic “boomerang” type handle to mimic your natural pumping position for increased power as well as steel foot for extra stability with rubber pad for floor grip and protection. Priced at €69,95, this is one upgrade worth checking out.

 

After floor pumps, I decided to explore other accessories for the cyclist at home and what better next step than to see what’s new at WAHOO Fitness, namely, their brand-new KICKR power direct drive fly-wheel trainer. Although the trainer itself may look similar to the previous version (which PEZ reviewed here), the list of new features is impressive and you can tell the team at WAHOO has been listening to not only its customers but the Yellow Jersey himself at Team Sky over the past few years.

The new KICKR is not only quieter but also has improved road feel and more accurate power measurement (+/- 2%) whether free-riding or using virtual training platforms like Zwift and Trainer Road. In addition to a new carrying handle, the trainer also has LED indicator lights to visually confirm that it’s powered, connected, and transmitting via Bluetooth 4.0 and / or ANT+.

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This is the quietest direct drive fly-wheel trainer on the market with its redesigned gearing and belt system that decreases noise caused by friction and vibration, creating a mere 61 decibels, just loud enough to hear your heart pounding and your legs throbbing. The KICKR’s large flywheel uses new streamlined algorithms to improve responsiveness and to accurately replicate sprints, intervals and hill climb, whether free-riding or using virtual training platforms.

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An enhanced power measurement system (+/- 2%) provides a more accurate workout experience able to generate up to 2000W. Climbers out there will be happy to know that the new KICKR allow for simulation up to a 20 degree incline. The new KICKR is priced at $1,199.99 and available now at www.wahoofitness.com.

On my way to check out the latest (and lightest) shoes from Giro, I brushed with bike fame when I met up with Chris Froome’s Tour de France 2016 winning Pinarello Dogma F8. From warm-ups and warm-downs on Wahoo’s KICKR to victory on the Champs Élysée.

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Time to check out Giro’s Eurobike 2016 Gold Award for their Factor Techlace™ shoe. Turns out that Giro has won the prestigious Eurobike Award each year for the past 4 years and this year is their first Gold ever. Judges were most impressed by Giro’s new patent-pending Techlace™ closure system combining the familiar comfort of laces with the adjustability of Velcro and a Boa dial.

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The laces can be swapped out to a different length, depending on your foot size, and you can easily secure the lace aglets into the plastic holder on the Velcro strap.

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Giro partnered with Boa on the addition of the Boa IP1 dial closures for the upper strap to give the structured feel on top and also to offer easy adjustment and fit fine-tuning during a ride. The Boa allows for 1mm incremental changes when tightening or loosening.

Other impressive features include a premium Evofiber SL upper for breathability and durability, Easton EC90 SLX2 carbon outsole, among the lightest, thinnest and stiffest pedaling platforms available, and Supernatural insoles with adjustable arch support. All this for a lightweight shoe weighing only 210g for a size 42.5. What’s more, Giro also makes it easy to keep your shoes in top condition as all of the components of the new closure system are easily replaceable.

The Factor Techlace™ will be available in early November 2016 in sizes 39-50 in black, black/white and vermillion, priced at $350.

Next at the Giro booth, I became intrigued by a shoe sitting on a scale, the Prolight Techlace™, weighing in at a mere 137g.

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This shoe is the result of an internal design challenge at Giro to make the lightest high performance shoe possible. Using a tech mesh material on the upper shoe, combined with TexTreme™ Spread Toe carbon fabric on the sole, Giro designers were able to maximize strength and stiffness while minimizing weight.

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This model also uses the Techlace™ system for closure, allowing for the structured yet comfortable feel of laces on the top of your foot with the convenient adjustability of Velcro straps, especially while riding. The Prolight Techlace™ will be available in April 2017 in two colors: white and high viscosity yellow, priced at $500.

Some other exciting news from Giro this year is that they will start selling the Aerohead Ultimate MIPS helmet, based on the first version worn by Rohan Dennis at the 2015 Tour de France when he broke the record of the race’s fastest ever time trial. The helmet design is based on over 30 years of research in aerodynamics, starting with the original Advantage in 1985, and has been redefined for speed throughout its construction, fit system, ventilation, and features.

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Using TeXtreme™ carbon fiber for the shell allowed Giro to reduce the frontal area and streamline the shape as well as reduce weight (helmet weighs 450g). Internal construction includes an in-molded EPS liner while improved cooling and ventilation features include the Roc Loc® Air fit system and a hydrophilic, anti-microbial brow pad that can absorb up to ten-times the amount of sweat as standard urethane padding.

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Most importantly, Giro integrates the MIPS system into all its helmets, crucial to the reduction of rotational impact during crashes. Giro was the only MIPS partner at the show (other than the MIPS booth) who actually had an interactive display explaining MIPS and its importance to rider safety.

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But that’s not all, the WOW factor on this helmet is the ZEISS® Optics wrap-around eye shield for an unblocked field of vision and the ingenious magnetic anchor attachment keeps the shield secure.

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Triathletes will love the fact that you can remove the shield and store it in the “flipped up” position while your helmet is in the transition area. Simply put on the helmet, snap the shield on, and you’re on your way, no time wasted.

Available now, the helmet comes in matte black or matte white/silver detailing, includes a second clear shield, and is priced at $500. Check out www.GIRO.com for more information on these award-winning and record-setting products coming your way.

 

After checking out the latest and greatest innovations in glasses, helmets, shoes, pumps, and trainers, it was snack time and what better brand than Belgium’s own WCUP to satisfy pre-, during and post-ride nutritional needs. PEZ has long been a big fan of WCUP, best known for its complete line of endurance sports nutrition products across all form factors (bars, powders, shots, drinks) and coverage of all workout stages and needs (pre-hydration, during-energy, post-recovery).

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Even more important to mention is their natural, great tasting, and easy-to-digest ingredients, that work, as proven by their 20 years of experience working with pro and amateur cyclists, from sponsoring Pro Tour team Lotto-Jumbo in 2016 and pro continental teams to their multi-year partnership supplying nutrition to riders in the L’Étape du California (Tour of California). WCUP has roots in road cycling, originating from a collaboration between a sports doctor, a biochemist and legendary Belgian sports director and former pro, José De Cauwer, Greg Lemond’s ADR Team Director during his celebrated1989 Tour de France victory.

More recently, WCUP has expanded their expertise in cycling across a variety of other endurance sports, including running, skiing, soccer, basketball, and climbing with their sponsorship of Belgian climber Jelle Veyt during his recent successful ascent of Mount Everest.

Sitting down with WCUP CEO Michel Lenaerts to learn more about what’s new this year, he focused on two exciting new drink powders, ORS (Oral Rehydration Salts) Drink and BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) Powder. Michel explained how ORS Drink is a low carbo rehydration drink with a high amount of salts that has been developed specifically for athletes training and racing in hot and humid locales.

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ORS stimulates the absorption of fluids and electrolytes after excessive fluid loss through sweating and hot weather. In fact, his research has shown that a pro rider can lose up to 3-4kg on a ride. By drinking one to two bottles of ORS before a ride and then also during the ride, they will stay hydrated, losing 2.5 times less fluids.

One scoop of ORS powder (= 24 g) mixed with 33.8 ounces (1 liter) of water, contains 54 calories, 13,6 g carbohydrates, 4,3g sodium, 2,2g chloride, 0.8g potassium, and 242mg magnesium. Available in orange flavor, a 480g container is priced at $30.

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Also new in 2017 is WCUP BCAA Powder, a pure recovery drink without carbohydrates, for use immediately post-training/racing. BCAA powder only contains high concentrated essential amino acids: L-leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine, creating the optimal 2:1:1 ratio, and also is enriched with glutamine. The BCAA (branched chain amino acids) amino acids plays a crucial part in the speed of muscle recovery by stimulating muscle production and reducing breakdown, thus leading to better performance. One serving (= 12 g) mixed with 6.7 ounces (0.2 liters) of water, contains 42 calories, 10g protein, 0.36g carbohydrates, 3,8g L-leucine, 3,8g L-Valine, 1,9g L-Isoleucine, 3.1g L-Glutamine. Available in a delicious and popular cherry flavor, a 480g container is priced around $40.

In their total commitment to helping endurance athletes achieve optimal performance, WCUP is actively working with partners on hydration-focused cycling accessories. Recently, they have teamed up with Belgian helmet maker Lazer Sport to design a helmet integrated with real-time hydration monitoring solution to measure and alert athletes and coaches about proper hydration levels. On hand in the WCUP booth was Lazer Sport’s Z1 high performance road helmet with optional aeroshell in WCUP branding.

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To discover the full range of WCUP sports nutrition products, visit www.WCUPUSA.com.

• Read PEZ’s Eurobike 2016 coverage:
Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
Round 4
Round 5

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