PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : 2013 Interbike Gear: Round 2

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2013 Interbike Gear: Round 2
SONY DSC A bit of a last minute (OK, just plain late…) task at this year’s Interbike was to find a suitable shoe for a custom foot bed fitting… This time up its Xentis new hoops, New foot love from Sidi and Solestar, Italian Saddle maker Astute, a power pedal from Xpedo and a bit more bits from Fairwheel Bikes.




Huge relief came as I stopped in for our traditional what’s new with Italian crafters, Sidi and begged for help.

I offered to take a pair of second hand kicks “to be nice” but they wouldn’t let me have these… (since they came off Chris Froome’s feet after the Tour and all…). But I kinda liked what I was seeing with the new Wire Vent Carbon.

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Sidi also were too stingey to let me have the pair from the guy that came in second or third or won the white or green or polka dot jerseys… (All these guys wore Sidi Wires…). So I had to settle for stealing a stock set, which wasn’t exactly roughing it.

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A few color ways here and all have Sidi’s newer vented sole (hand-laid Carbon from the same shop that makes parts for Ferrari) that allows for vent closures to make them suitable for most of four seasons. They continue with Speedplay Specific soles too, as well as Sidi’s adjustable tension heel (Heel Security System) that is a favorite feature for lots of folks.

[It also bears mentioning that I discovered Sidi have stepped up their insole game as well and provide a new unit that is quite a bit more comfortable and supportive versus past units…]

The new feature versus the Ergo series is the jump from a single to a double wire adjustment (twin Tecno 3 Ratchet sets). The top allows for a little more free-float of the in-step pad and the lower ratchet doubles up coverage to handle a wire that runs through two tensioning points for the forefoot.

While I don’t get to bring home a piece of tour history I did land the red and white Wires for my sole fitting. I have an ear to ear grin as Sidi let me escape with their top of the line when I would have been more than happy with a set of the 5 Carbon.

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Here’s a shoe with features that Sidi were getting twice the price for just a couple years ago as the top range… The Caliper buckle and High Security Velcro (it has a set of teeny teeth down the center of the fuzzy stuff that holds very firm) closure make for easy but solid closure and they’ve come with a solid carbon plate in a composite bed for a sole with pretty similar feel to their solid carbon bed.

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And if there’s a company that knows about carbon soles, it might be the people that held the original patent (but didn’t enforce it).

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The Five Carbon comes in a range of sizes in 3 different patterns (standard, Mega-wide and Women’s specific). And they knock the 5 Carbs out for $289, versus the $499 they’re getting for Wire Vent’s (being a Tour-minator comes at a price…). All of these are available now along with loads of other kicks at SidiAmerica.com


As for the custom insoles, those were handled personally by Oliver Elsenbach, the creator of Solestar, who’s been busy with the feet of guys like Johan Vansummeren, Gerald Ciolek, Andre’ Greipel and a few other guys with similar power to me (when I’m in R.E.M. sleep).

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You’re looking at a carbon form that’s molded into a flexible base. The design is pretty simple. The shape works to hold its form under the push portion of the pedal stroke but still allow for some of the natural twist and flex of the shoe through the full range of motion.

It starts as a blank…

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There’s a fairly straight forward pressure sensing multilayer paper that you’ll step on (under the direction and help of your fitter). That will give the shop a platform to add any additional shaping or pads to the shoe. For my right, I had a little extra support to the arch.

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They also added a met pad to both insoles…

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These are ground to a proper thickness with a small grinder…

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And then a lightly padded cover is added to form the final sole.

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What you wind up with is a firm but forgiving custom set of insoles that can be shop tuned for any cycling shoe you choose.

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Sitting below your shoes in the next year or so, you may find the new power measuring pedal from XPEDO.

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Details are still being hashed out on this unit (it was not on open display), but this is a strain gauge based pedal body with an Ant+ transmitter… Xpedo will tentatively call it the “Thrust E”.

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You can see the screw head on the first picture just below the pedal body. That mates with the black battery compartment that’s easier to see backside.

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The unit will have a couple of changes for production (including color options) but I’m encouraged that Xpedo are behind this. It will mean a pedal based unit that comes in at what I would guess will be a fairly substantial cost savings versus the first units landing now… The target is under $1000 US.

You’ll hopefully see this around the 2014 Taipei show. Given Xpedo’s past history of bringing new things to life, that could mean they’ll be sitting on customer bikes by Mid 2014.


XENTIS were on hand with 3 new hoop sets to roll out. First up being their XBL 4.2 Clincher…

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Distributed through Stage Race Distribution, the new 42mm (rim depth) clincher tips in at a competitive 1435 grams and the price point is relatively solid as well at $2,199. The new wheel doesn’t feature the Aero tripwire tech (Turbulator) mold or the straight pull Xentis hubs of the Squad 4.2 version (1365 grams), but it’s also @$500 less expensive… Those are pretty close stats for a good chunk of cash saved.

Xentis also rolls clincher tech out in their Squad 7.5 series…

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This has all the same features of the flagship deep section tubular; offset spoke drilling, tightly controlled milled brake surface, aero trip-wire (Turbulator) shape, light weight logo’s and Xentis straight pull hubs with Ceramic bearings combined with clincher bead convenience… ($3,199)

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One wheel set that Xentis won’t be adding their milled brake track to are the freshly launched Squad 4.2 disc.

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I think these are the first rims I’ve seen so far that are manufactured to be disc specific. Xentis mold them differently than the standard rim brake hoops, leaving a uniform carbon weave the full height of the rim…

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It’s easy to see the difference between disc and rim brake tracks as their standard brake track wheels get a different lay up at the rim and post machining that leaves a very different look…

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The new disc wheels come through at a pretty competitive 1475 grams for clinchers (Tubulars will roll out in the spring). They’ll set you back $2699.

All of these are available for dealer orders right now at Stage Race Distribution.


Fairwheel Bikes have been noted a lot for the super bike builds that were easily the class of Interbike, but the real reason for their being at the show is that they’re also handling several brands of superlight gear from a host of companies.

While the super-expensive carbon bling is easy to spot, there are also a host of parts from companies like KCNC…

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A load of parts available from brake sets to cranks to cassettes to chain ring bolts and more (a lot more) are on offer. And while we’re usually talking relatively few grams saved, a lot of times they add up fairly quickly to substantial weight savings while still maintaining good quality and relative durability.

The same holds true for the Far and Near brand…

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Brake adjusters, Garmin mounts, colored brake hoods, QR’s, Disc rotors and the like are available and for price points suitable for bikes that don’t run in the 5 figure range like the Crumpton they had on display.

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Here’s a bike that probably wouldn’t “tip” the scale as much as it might suggest it move slightly.

Sure it gets THM’s Clavicula cranks…

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And a damn nice Scapula F Aero fork with integrated brakes…

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And the Wheel set is an early release version of Tune’s new Skyline rims mated to Tune Hubs.

And while the wheels, cranks and fork alone would set you back some place around $7000, when you mate these things with Crumpton’s custom SL frame set (and a few other reasonably nice parts) you wind up with an 8.9 pound bike that doesn’t need much tender loving care beyond proper set up. An every-day rider which makes sense because anyone that can afford it probably has the time to ride every day….

The one part that I’m not partial to on the Crumpton is the saddle. Not because it isn’t functional (it is), but because my ass doesn’t generally agree with anything that lacks padding no matter what the shape.

With that being the case (for most of us), the most notable new saddle at Interbike was easily the offering from Astute Italia

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There’s a little confusion over the manufacturing location of a few Italian saddles but not so with Astute.

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This is an Italian maker using Italian sourced bits and they’re going to a bit greater length than most to have a saddle that flexes a specific way so as to damp bumps but remain firm.

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Astute actually make several versions of this saddle, with variable rail types and variable layers of materials that run from more economical metal sticks and composite shell layers to the carbon / carbon beauty that was on display.

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They also do an open (cut-out center relief section) that should play well for comfort paired with their elastomeric dampers.

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I know a lot of you are fans of weight weenie kit and this is one of the lightest multi-layer, elastomer damped fully padded, cut out saddles available at 140 grams for the Carbon / Carbon version…

Pricing for the Sky Lite version will be @ $277 and for the full zoot SkyCarb, $495. No distributor is suggested yet but we’ll fill you in when we have more info. In the mean time you can see more at AstuteItalia.com


Have Fun,
Charles Manantan
Charles@pezcyclingnews.com


Note : if you have other experiences with gear, or something to add, drop us a line. We don’t claim to know everything (we just imply it at times). Give us a pat on the back if you like the reviews, or a slap in the head if you feel the need!

PezCycling News and the author ask that you contact the manufacturers before using any products we test here. Only the manufacturer can provide accurate and complete information on proper / safe use and or installation of products as well as any conditional information or product limitations.

 

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