What's Cool In Road Cycling

Sarto, Xpedo, Lake, Zipp, Wahoo, and Visijax: Interbike’14

This year’s Interbike was just plain better than last year (and the year before and the year before)… It seems as though the cycling industry had decided that the world is still turning and cranks are still going round and product development is actually still OK.

Sarto Antonio Cycles have been the builders behind several top Italian brands and they came with several new models, all ready to be crafted to your custom measurements.

The Lampo is the latest Aero road…


Designed with CFD, the head tube – down tube junction is shaped to make the transition to the fork crown much more smoothly.


The seat tube and post use Kamm tail shaping (and the stays get an aero profile).


And the details are more refined on all models. The seat post clamp is clean and functional.


There is also an option to have the rear brake as a direct-mount below the chain stays.


Sarto also bring a new lightweight to their lineup. The Seta.


The Seta is Sarto’s biggest effort to date in tube set construction and material use. It’s tipping the scales at roughly 700 grams and is made completely in-house, from raw materials to finishing.


Full internal cable routing and the tube shapes are designed to maintain stiffness in a featherweight package.

But even with the minimalist goal, there’s still room for details like the X-comfort brake bridge. It’s said to damp vibration but even if that’s not the case, the design detail is a great look.


The Dynamica is Sarto’s new all-round performance frame.


Built with a solid feel and stiffness as a goal, the Dynamica is what Sarto consider their racer. It’s a bike that should suit aggressive riders well. Built in the same size, the frame is a bit more than 10% stiffer than the flyweight Seta.

The Velox is Sarto’s answer to races against the clock.


Nice integration here for the front end. The cockpit / fork / brake bits are all very clean.


The same thing out back, as the stays, seat post / clamp and seat tube are all well thought.


The thing to take away from these bikes, be it the Aero Road, Flyweight climber, All round attacker and Time Trial / Tri bike focused, is that all of this detail and focus also comes in custom geometry.

While several larger manufacturers are putting some of these features into mass produced frames, Sarto are doing all of these refinements and building them in the size and handling characteristics specific to your taste, and doing it all in-house in Italy.



ZIPP brought a few new bits to the table, including a new addition to disc braking with the 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Disc.


The 202 are a 32mm deep clincher rim laced to the 88/188 disc hubs and created with a focus on road riding (their 303 was initially created with both road and Cyclocross in mind).

That said, these may be the ultimate set of “gravel” / big tire clinchers available right now. I’m looking at them and imagining a 28-32 section smooth tire running at low PSI as a very light and relatively aero rim (though 32’s pretty much play hell with Aerodynamics) set that will allow a heck of a smooth ride, phenomenal braking and a weight that still makes for very good responsiveness.

Zipp also noted that no brake track means the logos can be even larger


While some folks may think that a “marketing only” benefit, they are offered in the photo / light reactive black that you can barely see until car headlights hit them and they make for very visible reflectors…

Zipp have also changed the industry benchmark 404. It gets a new aero profile that performs as well in drag but reduces an already very good side force number by a further 34%. It also gets a new name in “Firestrike”.


And while going faster always seems to be a theme, Zipp have also changed what I believe was already the best braking surface on any carbon wheel.

Named “Showstopper”, Zipp have molded in a pattern and added Silicon Carbide.


This combination is said to provide braking surface that is at least as good as any machined metal brake track available and substantially better braking than any other carbon rim surface available in wet weather.

The Firestrike use the 10th version of the 88/188 hub (Zipp can make lots of running changes because they make their hubs) and the graphics here will run the standard black or white and Zipp are putting a twist on things with a few other color choices that your shop can order.


The Tangente Tires are also upgraded for 2014.


There are now Tangente Course and Tangente Speed versions. The Course is the all rounder with a 120 TPI casing and a puncture protection belt. The Speed version will roll the more supple 220 TPI casing and forego the puncture belt.

Both sets are dry weather focused though the tread pattern will function to move a little water (sized in 23 and 25mm). There is also an SL Speed tubular tire that is a further 320 TPI casing and come in a 24 or 27mm size.

You can catch more new gear at WWW.ZIPP.COM

Wahoo Fitness have your off season sorted with the latest TICKR product, The TICKR X


Calling this thing a heart monitor strap is selling things waaaaay short.

For starters, this has an onboard memory (16 hours) meaning it’s not just spitting out a heart rate to some other expensive piece of hardware.

In fact heart rate is only a part of what’s happening as this is also a motion capture unit that can help with speed / distance for running, running smoothness, cycling cadence and other motion based analytics.

And that’s not the end as this is Wahoo after all, so just when you think a tool is cool, a bunch of geeks keep creating cool new features, just like you’ve seen with their KICKR trainer…


One of the funky features is that you can wear this strap and nothing else and if you want to benchmark points in your workout, you simply tap the unit twice and it will toss a marker in the data so you can see where sets end, intervals change etc.

And of course this unit is dual band and will also speak to a whole slew of other training products. This is the off season product you want to go buy and it carries over into riding just as easily.


Lake Cycling Shoes have an update for folks who’s off season is called Cross season.


The MX 331 has already been praised by multiple media publications as an outstanding design for it’s modularity and ability to tune the hard points. That doesn’t change for 2014 but Lake have given it a more solid mid-foot rubber section (left below)…


And you’ll note that this platform is now replaceable.

The six cleats are still there and the location of the second leading set of cleats is moved inward a bit where they’re more functional and more supportive of the whole platform.

The solid carbon sole is still very stiff and you can customize the heel cup by heat molding it to your taste.


The upper is Kangaroo (which is pretty much the nicest abrasion resistant material you can make a road shoe from) and the inside liner is “Outlast” temperature regulating material.

You can see the new MX as well as my all time favorite stock (but heat formed) road shoe in Lake’s CX 402 at LAKECYCLING.COM

Xpedo brought their new pedal based power meter, the THRUST E.


The THRUST E is a strain gauge based unit that measures force across contact surface of the pedal (as the cleat is engaged.


It takes both positive and negative (push / pull) force into account for its reading.

Those measures are transmitted from each pedal directly and don’t require any other mounts on the bike / crank arms or shoes…


There are rechargeable batteries that are easily accessed (red line) in the base of the pedal.


And Xpedo use a very clever little magnet (green line) on the axle itself to give positional and cadence information to the unit.

The unit should operate for 150 hours before needing a recharge (batteries and charger are included) and the set should weigh 385 grams.

The best part may be the retail here in that you will have double sided readings from a genuine strain gauge based unit for roughly $1100. They should be ready around December.

You can catch more at XPEDO.COM

Visijax were on hand with the brightest commuter jacket I’ve seen and it has a bit of a twist.


It appears to be a pretty standard high vis color and you can note the small light panels front and rear…


It does have active LED Lights and they’re smartly positioned below and off to the sides of the backpack you may be sporting. The front chest LEDs are also out of the way of shoulder straps.

What stands out though is that this jacket has motion sensors in the arms.


Hold an arm out to the side and the Orange indicator (front and back of the arm) will activate. Put the arm back on the bars and the lights go out. It’s called IMASS and it’s brilliant.

The system is rechargeable and water resistant. The battery sits in a small pocket and is connected with a water resistant plug. You can unplug the battery and wash the jacket as well.


As the days are getting shorter here in the US, this jacket is a terrific option versus just hoping a couple of reflective stripes and a tail light are enough.

Lights aside, it features a very good general construct. It has a solid zipper with easy to find pull tab, a nice high collar and breathable panels.

VISIJAX.COM sell them directly from the UK and shipping is included for the $175 price.

More from Interbike still to come…

Have Fun,
Charles Manantan
[email protected]

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