What's Cool In Road Cycling

INTERBIKE 2015 Gear Round 7

Interbike winds down as Louis Garneau steps up their game with new skins, helmets and shoes, Sapo Pumps are here, Northwave have revamped the footwear line and Edco’s new hoops and cogs are ready to roll.


Louis Garneau are flexing their design muscles and have several new pieces worth note.

Their Course M2 Jersey is a high end performance top with multiple fabrics cut in a much more wind cheating form. They’re using ColdBlack material that reflects UV rays versus typical dark materials that absorb heat.


The body is made from multiple fabrics for moisture movement, air flow and compression in panels cut to maximize rider comfort. And they’re adding a graphics package that allows for great visibility without being overly loud with the Fluo color.

A slick feature that I would expect more companies to use in the future are 3 floating pockets out back…


This allows you to pack a fairly large load but doesn’t overburden the skin contacting jersey side material. Better movement and added comfort are a logical result. The pockets also get a perforated elastic section at the top that still holds things with some security but allows for a little more air flow and is actually a bit lighter weight.


The bottom end griper section of the jersey also gets the perforations and the grip section is both more breathable and, because the material is a bit lighter, the section is slightly wider allowing for more grip surface and better body conforming.

This is a refined piece of race kit of a quality level that really made my eyes perk up. Well done stitching, soft but supportive materials and a form cut that all were all top of the class.

This seems to also have flowed into (or from) the Course Skin Suit as well…


The Skin Suite shares a few material and design cues with the Course M2 jersey.

Cold Black fabrics are used in several panels and with substantial ventilation along the sides and preformed shoulders for a more aggressive riding position with fewer creases and ridges to allow for better aero flow.

Another feature that I like is the zipper being free from the body section of the jersey. That means there is less seam / zipper rubbing below your belly button and the lower abdominal section of the shorts section moves more freely. It also makes for pretty darn quick pee breaks…


The seams are all overlock and have a very low wind profile and the legs and sleeves are laser cut to lay very flat… the inner legs are actually seamless.

The Skin Suit also gets free floating pockets out back, just like the jersey. That makes this skin suit very usable for much more than just time trials.

There is also a new “5motion” chamois at Garneau that features a bit more freedom of movement with a split mech front and rear panel. This doesn’t feel like most multi-layer chamois because the padding doesn’t feel like it has steps in the layers and different foam densities. It’s a very smooth transition from thin to thick and the middle relief channel has a bit more room between the sides.


Garneau are also making very good shoes and I’m really impressed with the latest helmets.


Their Course Air Lite shoes seemed to have very good stiffness and ample ventilation… Boa buckles are a very good addition as well and they’re placed properly (at least by my experience and a quick try-on…). Seamless upper construction to help eliminate hot spots, interchangeable Ice fil insoles and while I don’t carry a scale around, these things are pretty damn light.

But as it was with the jersey and skin suit, it was the build details for the shoes that made me feel like I should be looking at something from one of the more notably Italian shoe houses. I don’t mean to besmirch Garneau as they’re a BIG company with tons of experience, but the overall effect made me feel like I had simply not given them enough credit.

I recently reviewed their Course Helmet and I found it miles better than the last helmet from the brand.


Garneau are now using MIPS tech as well. The model on display was their new Heros MIPS…


There’s more than MIPS here… There is an “Inner nerve” frame that helps hold the helmet together on impact as well as their “Super MSB” and “Ringlock” that both act as perimeter protection in holding things together… More than just an aero/low profile package, protection is no small part of the Hero’s design priority.


Louis Garneau are also going full force at visibility.

They have several new pieces in the pipeline and available under the “RTR” (Reclaim The Road) banner.


This is lineup of high visibility and reflective kit that really has some pop to it and I’m all for it. Facebook has someone posting almost weekly about either a serious accident and or a death and I am now all about trying to stick out and be seen by motorists… This is part of the answer.

You can see a host of products, from simple accessories to full on bikes and almost everything else you could need at LouisGarneau.com


A stop in at Albabici is always a must and they brought with them pumps from Italy’s Sapo.


A couple of models for the floor pumps, the “OK Plus” and “One Professional”.

Both have steel barrels, wood handles and brass air chucks.


The smaller units are called the BJRO MiniPump and come in seven colors (Blue, black, Red, Light Blue, Light grey, Dark grey and Yellow).


These are @ 60 grams and were well put together. They take Presta and Schrader valves with a screw joint head.

As pumps seem to be getting a little more attention lately, these were a cool find and seem to be a reasonably priced set up at $99 and $129 for the floor models and $30 for the mini’s and they’re available now.

You can see more at Albabici.com


Northwave have updated several models and brought a few to the floor.

Easy to spot are the top line “Extreme” ($374).


Available in full stealth black, clean white and booming green Flo, the Extremes come it at 235 grams (size 42) and the lasts seem like Northwave have gone back to their roots with a bit more roomy toe box (I’m wearing them for my daily drivers now).

A thermo-welded upper with laser cut venting holds and laid out in “Biomap” one piece form, Northwave use a very slick “SLW2” wire retention dial that is easy to use, easy to micro adjust and also have a full release.

The sole is UD carbon and is at once stiff and well ventilated.


Northwave’s Speedplay adapter is one of the better / lower profile units on the market and rivals shoes made specifically for the Speedplay platform while allowing for a simple switch back to 3 hole / look cleats…

The Evolution Plus ($199) shares a few features with the Extreme.


This is also a one piece upper that is heat molded to the sole to eliminate stitching.

The Evo plus also uses the SLW2 dials for closure and does away with the bottom strap of the extreme. The sole looks similar but incorporates some fiberglass versus the Extreme’s full carbon sole, but the layout is similar.


The Evolution plus is a heck of a value for the features, but if I were choosing a shoe for the summers in Phoenix, it might be Sonic 2 Carbon ($189).


The upper here is all about ventilation with multiple layers using heat weld construction that eliminates bulk and overlap while allowing for different materials.

A single SLW2 dial spreads the load over the top of the shoe and a single lower velcro strap handles the metatarsal area.

The sole is the Carbon Light that is a Carbon and Fiberglass composite with arch and heel ventilation that also works with Northwave’s Speedplay set up.


It’s not every day that I jones for a shoe that’s $200 less expensive than the top of the line, but I might find myself parting with a few dollars come summer.

All of these are on the shelf now, and you can see more at Northwave.com


Edco are a company with hugely deeper roots than most folks realize. They’re the guys that had Hydro Rim brakes…

22 years ago.

The first couple of things that caught my eye were Edco’s Campy and Shimano comp cassettes…


That’s a 12-27 monoblock from Chrome steel that manages to tip the scale at a claimed 185 grams.

BUT, those stats were actually a LIE! I grabbed a scale from Park, reset it and this actually came in at 181…


Super detailed machining lets Edco hit a Super Record like number while sticking to all hardened steel construction rather than using Ti… The same holds for SRAM/Shimano 11 speed as an 11-27 block has a claimed weight of 157 (again, that’s an all steel number, where DA is typically Ti).

While these cassettes were eye catching, there was something else that seemed pretty special…


The Umbrial Light wheels with full carbon spokes…


The rim features an ILT (low temp) molded brake track and an 8k (wide) weave that catches the eye.

Even at a 45mm Depth (not pictured), these moved the scales at 1268 grams (for ref, Zipp’s 303 Firecrest tubular at 45mm IS 1390).

Edco’s Victory hubs also feature the Multisys freehub that allows for both Campy and SRAM/Shimano installation (as well as some steel reinforcing inserts to help prevent cassette notching into the lighter material.


My time was limited with Edco but I’m trying to get more information and availability for the new Umbrial Light hoops. Hopefully we have more to come from them in the near future as they’re an aggressive innovator with a deep history.

You can see more at: Edco.CH

Have Fun,

Charles Manantan
[email protected]

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