Interbike’14: Ritchey Logic, Giro, Verve Infocrank, Scapin, Rauler, BH bicycles
The Interbike 2014 love just keeps on coming, here’s a look at the new cycling gear from Ritchey, BH, Scapin, Giro, Rauler, and Infocrank. We’re winding down this year’s coverage and stopping in at a slew of top brands with some great new stuff…
One of the new offerings this year is an innovative crank-based power measuring set (and several great iterations of it), Verve’s Infocrank…
This is a solid unit that puts independent power measuring in the left and right crank arms, giving you accurate reading through the entire pedal stroke for both right and left sides (rather than estimating power balance like spider or BB spindle based units).
The crank arms are drop forged 6000 series alloy and use a 110 BCD five bolt spider (My review units shipped with Praxis’ excellent rings…)
The cranks come 170-172.5-175 and are compatible with multiple BB platforms using Praxis BB adapter and you can chose 50-34 and 52-36 rings at present.
The unit is ANT+ Compatible so Garmin and the like are usable. That said the unit also ships with a very usable multifunction head unit in the navi2coach. I’ve seen no reason to switch from the stock unit and that’s a substantial amount of dollars that lots of people can save…
The Infocrank is also going to roll out in a few other pretty damn innovative editions like the Popular Power Crank free spinning independent arms (with adjustability from 130 length to 185.
They’re also rolling out a hand crank edition.
The units are shipping now and I can tell you that the install and set up was exceptionally easy… This is a no fuss unit with simple battery swaps and very easy use. The accuracy and consistency so far has been very good as well. Extremely solid, letting you just go ride your bike…
See more at VERVECYCLING.COM
Ritchey Logic was on hand with an updated Breakaway Carbon bike.
This is a break down / checkable suitcase sized bike that clocks in at 15.6 pounds as shown. That’s fully built with pedals…
Ritchey still break this down using a joint at the seat clamp (with an internal metal sleeve for reinforcement)…
And the same BB/Down tube location for the bottom joint (and will include a break-away torque key for assembly).
The overall impression was a well-built unit that has enough meat to survive using as intended but it’s a genuinely light bike relative to the rest of the break down options available. It’s just a great road bike that happens to break down versus the overweight options that are the norm.
Ritchey also made a change to their C260 stem,
They’re going for the same wrap-around / stress relieving design but dropping 40 degrees of wrap.
It will come in alloy form as well as a carbon wrapped version that adds stiffness to the fairly light package (121 grams alloy and 126 for the stiffer wrap, in 110 size).
Ritchey are also rolling new “Classic” bars, stem, post, saddle and bar tape.
The saddle is a shape based on the modern Vector saddle but with a synthetic skin and roll over shape that will suite more retro builds, while still having a modern pressure diffusing foam pad). The bar tape will match out and both should have a good durable finish.
The bars, stem and post are alloy with matching logos. The stem is a modern C220, the post will come in 27.2, 30.9 and 31.6 and the bars will come in 40-42-44 with a classic look and bend but a bit shallower drop and shorter reach.
The WCS Echelon pedal goes Carbon-body,
Dropping an already fairly light pedal down to 220 grams, these are a great deal at $169 bucks when you consider a lot of the alternatives available and that you’re getting a “Ritchey” quality product.
These are Ritchey and Look Keo cleat compatible and have a solid spring tension adjustment. Both the body and claw are composite.
The shape is fairly low profile (the cleat sits very snug to the axle) and they’re made for a 7 degree float.
You can see all of these at RitcheyLogic.com
Stage Race Distribution brought a few new rigs from Scapin and Rauler starting with the updated custom Ivor.
They’ve changed the tube shapes a bit and the overall look is more refined for it. The tapered head tube loses the cable ramps and blends the routing behind the head tube a bit more…
The TT Matrix construction (a cross between monocoque and Tube to tube construction) remains allowing for a great combination of stiffness along with the ability to make a very shapely frame to be customized to spec geometry.
The rear end goes with a standard seat post and clamp rather than ISP.
But the very slick brake bridge / split wishbone remains, as does a slick Double D drop out that is machined to give the carbon drop outs a double sided metal cover. It’s a light weight way to keep things well protected at the rear wheel QR clamps.
I have one of the last Ivor’s ahead of the updates for review and the bike is a great combination of the looks of a fully molded production bike but with custom geometry and is a great all round performer with a balance of comfort to stiffness that rivals a lot of the top custom carbon available.
Scapin also rolled out an Improved Etika RC.
This is their STIFF bike.
Also available in custom geometry and with a lot of tube shape and style, the Etika RS has a more stout tube set (though still light) and a bit more aggressive ride. It’s made for barn storming more than a tour of the barn country…
You’ll note the solid construction at the rear brake bridge (versus the Ivor’s split). The Etika also has a slick integrated seat clamp and very clean internal cable routing.
Rauler are a brand with a neat history. The name comes from Raul Gozzi, Reclus Gozzi and Ernesto Colnago as the company began in 1970 and produced Colnago’s steel bikes.
The Crates below the sample are actually how your frame ships from Italy. These are customer bikes for delivery
The company has been making bikes for a long time and enjoyed by loads of the local populace and only recently have been brought to North America…
Nice details and both stock and custom sizes are available on fairly reasonable lead times, and with several pallet and construction options too.
Stage Race Distribution have multiple high end imports available now.
Giro came loaded head to toe
Of course the new Giro Synthe is to be expected…
It’s a combination of low drag aerodynamics (fairly easy to spot) and a bit more hidden high flow ventilation. The internal channeling design is what separated the top flight helmets from the wanna-be helmets and it’s not hard to spot.
The complex design and molding process to produce these shapes is also part of the answer as to why helmet prices can vary quite a bit… Any goof can punch 20 holes into a helmet design, but making the holes, regardless of how many, work together is something else…
The Synthe also has a new wrap around retention system that is adjustable with one hand and holds the helmet suspended just above your head. The net effect is reported to be excellent venting in a helmet with relatively low drag.
Giro also brought the new Empire SLX
These are an “Evofiber” upper that is very durable and stretch resistant which is critical for a lace up design. It’s mated to an Easton High-Mod carbon sole with Titanium hardware and replaceable heel pads. All in these things are 175 grams (in a 42.5 which just happens to be my size)
Actually, Giro bought a crap load of footwear and I found myself wondering how I’ve missed a hell of a lineup of top flight kicks for everything from super flyweight road slicks like the Empire to new Mud busters.
Case in point the Empire like VR90 –
These are a solid cross/MTB shoe with a different Evofiber upper and Easton carbon sole with added support from Vibram in a molded Rubber Traction outsole and mid foot scuff pad.
These guys are fully into footwear with the same passion and technical detail as everyone has expected from benchmark head gear…
You can catch these as well as some GREAT gloves…
The Neo Blaze is a cold and wet weather killer set that have really nice feel and freedom of movement. They’re a stitched and glued seam construct that are what I would choose if I ever had to run a cross race in weather that qualifies as genuinely bad (here in Phoenix, a dry, sunny 60 degrees is what you would expect…).
All in all, Giro surprised me with how complete and detailed their full line up of head gear, footwear and apparel has become.
You can catch it all at GIRO.COM
BH BIKES are now distributing for themselves out of Foothill Ranch California and they’ve turned their 100 years plus toward expanding the line, upping the top end, adding a disc model and bringing a bit of value to the road line up.
Of course the first stop for me was at the pinnacle of the road line up, the Ultralight Evo
This is a refined version of the Evo and BH have pulled another 60+ grams from an already sub 800 gram (stripped) frame.
All that said, I ride bikes rather than let them sat on a scale and I can say that having had their last version Ultralight, the thing that impressed me the most was that BH actually made the bike ride well rather than leaving the best part of it as a digital read-out.
The look of the frame is pretty familiar.
Subtle curves and shape (atypical of light-light bikes), BB386, muted logos all lend a no-nonsense look.
Cable routing is clean as a whistle and well placed so that it doesn’t pass through what are fairly thin reinforced joints.
If BH have taken more material out and kept the ride quality, this is a job well done and even in its older forms was a direct, in-your-face competitor to the best from Trek, Cervelo, Cannondale and the like for tip-top stock performance bikes.
BH also brings the new Quartz Disc bike to the market for 2015.
The Quartz is actually BH’s comfort road chassis, with a stretched wheel base, taller head tube and compact geometry making for a longer (and more flexible) 27.2 seat post exposure.
They’ve done a nice job of integration for disc as the set up looks very refined. Their own direct routed fork is a nice touch…
Clean all over…
No idea what the weight is, but along the lines of everything else BH, this bike felt like it was sitting some place near 15 pounds… for a comfort built, full hydraulic disc bike, it seems like the business.
The bigger surprise for me with BH was with their existing Ultralight RC.
This bike sat on the stand at what felt like near to being below the UCI limit and it’s a dead ringer for the Ultralight EVO in shape… Solid build kit front to back and what I understand is a bike that performs and feels a lot like the Ultralight.
It’s a BB386 Evo, molded very similarly, one piece full carbon fork… And you can get this full built with Ultegra for $600 less than the Evo frame set alone!
But then I went for the Evo anyway (here ready to build)…
You can see the full line up at BHBIKES.COM
So that’s a wrap for me from Interbike. Thanks loads for tuning in and get ready for the Holiday season kit blast!
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