What's Cool In Road Cycling

Interbike ‘12: More Tasty Treats

Just when you think you’ve seen it all from the Show, we’re back with a slow pour of some of the coolest things we saw. Here’s what’s new training gear from CycleOps, clothing from Primal Wear, the latest lids from Scott & Lazer, and some new treats from Clif Bar.

It’s probably weathering those Wisconsin winters, but the folks at CycleOps keep on pushing the boundaries of just how much ‘fun’ you can have with trainers. Their PowerBeam trainers and indoor cycles have long been the go to choice for many when riding outdoors is not an option, and our own Dr. Stephen Cheung has been using the Pro300PT for several years now.

CycleOps new Virtual Training Software comes included with both the PowerBeam Pro, and IC400 indoor cycles.

Enter their Virtual Training Software, which is effectively going live to the public right around the time you read this. It’s designed to allow you to ride any course you want from around the world – feel like climbing Alpe d’Huez today, or maybe the Stelvio? Can do. Or maybe you’d rather a session on the cobbles of Roubaix, or would you prefer the cobbled bergs of Flanders? Can do. What about sharing your favorite local ride with people around the world? Can do again.

It’s a combo of software and website that allows you to choose a video of virtually any course in the world, ride it on your pc screen, (or connected to a tv), and get the workout while their software controls the resistance to the PowerBeam or IC400 cycle. It will also work with any ANT+ power meter (the power will show and the speed from the power meter will determine the pace you are seeing on TV), but the software won’t adjust the load of your trainer.

Their Virtual Training software syncs user-created video to the resistance units of the PowerBeam Pro or the IC400, and voila – you’re riding any course you want. And when you buy either of their trainers, new, the Virtual Trainer software is included.

• It’s perhaps even better explained by CycleOps themselves in this short video:

Creating video for so many courses is the obvious challenge, but there are dozens of videos already online. New videos can be added by anyone who opens a free account, and can create a course with Google Maps, or pair one with video (GoPro or Contour GPS camera). While actual video quality will vary, it’s easy to see the potential of the system.

It’s only just gone live and while msrp is $350.00, CycleOps has it on sale through Nov. 30th for $245.00.
• Buy it here buy it here

For last year, CycleOps began offering complete wheelsets already built up with a PowerTap powermeter, to help make the whole hub / rim / spoke/ wheel build process a whole lot easier, and have notched that up for 2013. For many riders, it’s just easier to buy a complete wheelset, already built up with a PowerTap hub, so now the only confusing part might be deciding whether to go with the alloy ‘trainer’ level clinchers ($1499.00), or the competition level carbon wheels (choose tubulars or clinchers) – $3199.00.

Carbon wheelsets come in 2 depths – 45mm and 65mm made by Enve, or you can choose a set of the new for 2013 wheelsets designed by F1 aero-meister Simon Smart, with front and rear specific wheels available as either the SES 3.4 G3 Carbon (35mm front 45mm rear), SES 6.7 G3 Carbon (65mm front, 75mm rear) – US$3499.

Finally – their PowerTap hub offerings for 2013 have been streamlined as well –with only the most popular G3 version (325grams, $1299.00) to be offered. Stay tuned for our review coming soon.

Primal Wear
Twenty years is a pretty long time for most anything, and even longer in the cycling biz where brands (and especially kit companies) seem to pop up & disappear faster than you can say Orville Reddenbocker. So it’s no small feat that Colorado ‘born & raised’ Primal Wear celebrates their own twentieth anniversary with the launch of the newest of a pretty robust line up of clothing – the Helix Kit.

Success in cycling kit is a fickle thing, and almost always is the result of striking the fine balance between the tried & true, and evolving the line with imaginative and creative uses of new fabrics and designs.

The Helix Kit (jerseys & bibshorts) tips towards the latter as both the jersey and bibs present some unique features. Both jerseys and bibs are available in-line for retail shops, but also as fully customized designs for your club or team as part of their top-of-line ‘elite custom’ program.

As with most leading edge gear, the racing has driven the design of the slim fitting, racer cut jersey. But unlike a lot of brands, Primal went with a ‘set in’ sleeve design, which a lot of riders find more comfortable than the ubiquitous ‘raglan cut’.

The YKK ‘one-hand’ full zip up front looks normal enough, and the main body is their antibacterial and anti-microbial SLR Ion fabric with silver embedded in the threads – it’s a 4-way stretch polyester that allows for a more fitted cut that shouldn’t feel tight or uncomfortable.

But the cooler details are revealed around back… For starters, the shoulder seam has been moved back, behind the crest of the shoulders, to aid in smoothing airflow.

The slightly longer cut sleeves are Primal’s proprietary Z92 lycra, whose gridded texture is dimpled to increase the aerodynamic properties by breaking the airflow tension along the arms.

Then, just between the arm and shoulder blade is a separate panel that’s added to help the garment lay flat and snug along your body. They call it the “vortex” panel, and its inside edge features a flatlock stitched seam that’s designed to channel airflow more efficiently across the back.

The Z92 fabric up close, the weave also makes it more breathable than standard lycra.

The jersey gets paired with the top-end Helix EVO bibshort…

The main body panels are higher compression Vero fabric, and the leg bands are Z92, which is a slightly lighter gauge so you can expect a bit more breathability.

Straps are AE Elite mesh for lots of airflow, and there’s a lighter gauge fabric at the small of the back in the ‘yolk’ where a lot of heat builds up, so temperature regulation and rider comfort are key parts of the overall design.

Primal sources their chamois from Italian maker TMF – which means they’re at the top end and should be just fine for all but the guys who insist on paying a lot more for a chamois.

The E6 Carbon chamois shown here remains a staple of the line: four density foams are placed where they’ll provide the best comfort and least bulk, and are covered with a recycled filament material that channeled to transfer moisture better.

The Helix EVO comes with their newest chamois – the HX8, which uses the same foam technology inside, but has a flatter, channeled interface that sits seamlessly against the body, and is designed to aid airflow and moisture transfer “where the boys are”.

Pricing for custom jerseys is US$120.00, bibshorts are US$180.00, including design work & US ground shipping, and both come in women’s specific cuts. Delivery time is 8-10 weeks.

A nod to Primal’s 20 years in biz – it’s still family owned, but has grown to 35 employees, plus offices in the UK and Seoul, South Korea.

Scott Vanish Evo Helmet
While Scott is better known for making bikes like the race-ready aero-shaped FOIL we see under the likes of Team GreenEDGE riders, they’ve also been making helmets and shoes for several years, both of which can also be seen on pro team riders.

Redesigned for 2013, the Vanish Evo comes in 5 color options, including the same black/ lime green worn by GreenEDGE, sizes of S, M, L, and weighs 240 grams. The vents are big, the profile relatively low, and venting channels are deep enough that air movement over your noggin should be plenty to keep things chill.

But it’s what you don’t see that I though was pretty cool… they call it Conehead Technology, which describes the shapes of two different densities of foam in the liner that allow for better dispersion of impact forces, and also for a lighter weight helmet.

That’s a lotta lid for $160.00.

Scott Premium Road Shoe
What they lack in a cool name they certainly make up for in appearance, that is if you like lime green. In fact, the name downplays the plentiful trick features this shoe offers.

Starting at the top, their proprietary design features the microfiber & mesh upper that closes with a new version of the BOA lace across the upper part of the foot that is made wider to better distribute tension loads, and hopefully be more comfortable (I’m told it cradles the foot into the redesigned heel cup better) and a velcro strap across the toes.

The sole is Scott’s own HMX carbon fibre – same as used in the very stiff FOILs, – and gets their highest stiffness rating of 9. They’ve also got a cool ram-air style vent (think ’72 Dodge Charger) in the toe that may or may not cool your feet better, but will make a great topic during post-ride coffee.

They also come with removeable arch and metatarsal pads to adjust the fit, and for now you’ll have to take ‘em in ORICA-GreenEDGE green – but at least you’ll be in the good company of hard men like Svein Tuft.

Price: $300.00, Sizes 38-48, 290 grams per shoe (Size 42)

Clif Bar
Most of the guys I ride with (myself included) seem to stick to one brand of energy bar – no reason to change once we’ve found one we like. And since surviving Interbike usually means actual meals are replaced with bar samples and too small drink samples, I’ll make multiple passes by the Clif Bar booth to fuel up between meetings.

I’ll bet you had no idea you’ve been eating Clif products for 20 years now…

And while the original Clif Bar is my go to on bike nourishment (I especially liked Gary’s Panforte flavor – sadly a limited edition), Clif has always shown off new and creative ways to make fast energy replacement both tasty and well… nutritious.

The Clif Kit’s Organic Fruit & Nut Bar – I’ll personally vouch for this peanut butter flavor.

As an asnswer to Gary’s aforementioned Panforte bar, his wife & company co-owner Kit stepped up with her own bar. Officially it’s “Kit’s Organic Fruit & Nut Bar”, comes in four different flavors: berry almond, cashew, chocolate almond coconut, and peanut butter, that are an organic alternative made with whole food ingredients. Get this – the Peanut flavor (which as a life long devotee to peanut butter) is indeed tasty – is made with only dates, peanuts, almonds and sea salt. That’s it – no other additives, preservatives, or junk. And unlike anything I could make with just those ingredients, this one was moist, soft and chewy. Good stuff.

They’ll be landing in retail stores now, and each one contains ѕ of a serving of organic fruit in each bar, and are soy free, dairy free, and gluten free.

The chocolate cherry Shot Bloks should be a hit.

Clif also added a new flavour to the Shot Bloks line up – chocolate cherry, which is made with 50mg of caffeine (per serving), and continues to be a convenient alternative to more traditional goo of the Shot gels.

——— JUST IN! ———–
Just wanted to remind you that Thurs. Nov, 15 is CLIF Bar’s Live Webcast with four of its pro athletes. The webcast is taking place from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EST / 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. PST and you and your readers are invited to participate.

Cyclist, Peter Stetina, and three other world-class Team CLIF Bar athletes from different sports will be available to answer questions on everything from training, to nutrition, to what common experiences they share. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from four athletes at the top of their respective sports by sending us your burning questions in advance of the webcast so we can make sure they’re answered.

Here’s how to tune in:
1. Visit www.ClifBarLive.com and follow the instructions to participate
2. Ask questions via Twitter hashtag: #AskTeamCLIFBar, CLIF Bar’s Facebook page or chat them directly into the webcast
3. Bonus: Winners will be selected during the webcast to receive prizes from CLIF Bar!

Lazer Helmets

Over at the Lazer booth, their new time trial helmet was not only a return to the low-profile size of pre-UCI safety regs speed lids, but the list of features showed how far helmets have come in a few short years. The whole thing fits snug and close, reducing the overall hole you gotta punch through the wind, you can run it with visor or not (and choose your colors) – and I know these aren’t ground breaking advancements or stuff a couple others are doing too, but the removeable rear ‘cone’ section is pretty cool – allowing for interchangeable tail shapes to suit various rider perfs and racing conditions.

Blurry pic = high art = better viewer memory retention.

Over on the road side, their flagship Helium and Genesis lids get a nifty led light added to the Roll-Sys retention adjuster that shines a red light off the back – something I’m already thinking about needing as the afternoon rides get darker each week.

The new foam brow liner is designed to channel away sweat.

Inside, the padding has been updated with a new molded foam version that is supposed to be more comfortable and also channeled to direct sweat away from your brow.

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