What's Cool In Road Cycling

Interbike 2017: Round 4 Gear!

Interbike 2017 Round 4 Gear: Tubolito Tubo Inner tubes, Ergon ST Core Saddle, Northwave’s Extreme RR GTX shoes and 3T’s Strada, Exploro and Bailout cassette.

Ergon / Tubolito had an easy win in importance per gram at Interbike…

Sure, 48 gram inner tubes are no big deal… I mean Conti and others have 50 gram “ultralight” tubes now for 700×18-23 fitment right?

But then that there thing on the scale is an MTB tube, and a 29” MTB tube at that (and with an inflation range of 1.8 – 2.4 at that-that…). In a normal tube world Maxxis makes a 29” Ultralight version to almost those dimensions (29’/1.9-2.35) and it clicks over at 155 grams. Most “standard” tubes in this size are over 200 grams.

So what of road tubes?

The turbo road version of this tube is 33 grams. And this 33 grams gets you a huge range of inflation volume, from 18 all the way to 28mm!

This all happens using a new thermoplastic material that is manufactured in a single mold. This material obviously has a broader than typical range of inflation / expansion but that’s not the big feature.

At a claimed weight of 33 grams, it’s @ 33% lighter than the lightest road tube available (which is, I believe, Conti’s “Supersonic” tube). BUT Tubolito claim their road tube offers 2 times the puncture resistance of standard butyl tubes.

Note the language there! Tubolito’s 33 gram tube is twice as puncture resistant as tubes weighing the typical 80-100 grams and yet it’s substantially lighter than the lightest (and notoriously fragile) tubes on the market (and with a broader inflation range topping at 700×28).

So… Yeah, these are not cheap at $35 each. But I honestly cant think of another way to pull this much weight out of your bike at the most critical part (rotating weight located at the edge of your wheels) while simultaneously doubling durability of the part…

These should be ready by year end.

Ergon also brought their latest saddle tech in the new ST Core

This is basically a double decker saddle with a traditional foam pad in top of a fairly traditional saddle shell, but it sits on an additional layer of more flexible material that Ergon are calling the Exposed 3D Damper.

That second layer is BASF’s “Infinergy” E-TPU closed cell foam.

While this isn’t a performance road product in it’s current form, the leap to allowing for an additional level of controlled movement and bump damping (while maintaining proper fit) could find its way to a performance product.

This same type of closed cell foam is being used to fantastic effect with a particular shoe brand right now and it’s ability to flex but then return to shape (and support) is well known for both the functional cushioning AND long term durability.

These are available early next year and should sell for @$149.

You can find loads of smart product at: ErgonBike.com

Northwave’s Extreme RR GTX lands this year as well

The GTX is obviously a winter shoe, but it’s using the tech from it’s current range topping road kit, “X Frame”.

This allows a single dial closure to spread tension over the entire forefoot area with a very even fit over the whole of the foot.

The upper gets genuine Gore Tex protection in the form of the flexible and stretchable “Rattler” membrane for the neoprene section. This allows for a fully flexible ankle area that is class leading for range of motion but sacrifices very little in weather protection.

The shoe gets a Carbon and Fiberglass matrix outsole with maxed out stiffness.

This has a bit of ventilation that’s more designed for moisture management than for pure breathability.

The Extreme RR GTX should be available in October/ November (SRP $299)

You can see more from Northwave at: Northwave.com

3T were on hand with a few new things including their new Strada 1x Road rig

The view above was pretty much the only one you could get unless you asked politely, then loudly, then loudly and impolitely to grab a couple of pictures…

The Strada takes 1×11 speed simplicity to full road focus by designing the tube set to allow for better air flow from the reduced fork crown and fork blades to the front tire and down tube (designed with water bottles in mind) and then a much cleaner seat tube (no front der) transitioning to a snug fit flowing to the back end.

This frame will not only hold tires to 30 section, it’s designed for them. The comfort that comes with the pressures safely run at that tire size is fantastic and regardless of how much compliance this frame may have, the tire pressures alone will ensure that you’re road buzz is damn near nonexistent.

Of course the 1 gripe about 1x that may be reasonable are the gaps in gearing versus twin ring setups… 3T chase that dragon with a new cassette.

Continuing the trends from SRAM’s X Dome 10-42, 3T run a 9-32 with smaller gaps either down low (“Bailout”) or up high (“Overdrive”) to suite terrain. 9-10-11-12-13-15-17-19-22-26-32 and 9-11-12-13-15-17-19-22-25-28-32 are both designed for 36, 40 or 44 front rings. Given your twin ring sets generally only offer 14 effective gears (because of overlap) 1×11 isn’t really the jump that grumpy people make it out to be.

3T are also offering an Exploro complete build with a bit different frame set at a pretty eye opening $3900.

This gives you a lot of the same features as the past edition but a bit different carbon and layup from the same molds as the more expensive version.

With all this bike frame conversation, let’s not forget what 3T have the most experience at… The cockpit kit is well sorted.

SRAM do the rest of the gearing (another 1x rig) making this a hell of a price point to jump yourself into the all-road game.

You can find more at: 3tCycling.com

More later from the floor…

Have Fun,

Charles Manantan
[email protected]

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