Bolle Sunglasses were my fave specs back when I didn’t need Rx lenses. While they stepped back a little in North America for a few years, it seems like they’re ready to go again with a solid line up from a company that’s remained near the front of the eyewear game internationally for a long time.
At Interbike they had their newer 6th Sense shield that check a lot of boxes for cyclists. A large coverage B-clear lens in multiple shades…
Bolle’s B-clear lenses are made from Trivex which is what a lot of people consider the next gen thing versus Polycarbonate.
Without going to deep into the geek speak, Trivex is made from a urethane base and cast molded. That can make for a slightly clearer lens (both front and peripheral vision) than Polycarb. Trivex is also about 10% lighter than the same lens in Polycarb. (Poly and Trivex block UV rays and are similarly durable / impact resistant).
Bolle offer B-clear (Trivex) lenses as well as Polycarbonate lenses in their more economical Bolt model.
Note the green glasses have larger lenses than the Yellow… Bolle do variable lens sizes to fit faces for the Bolt.
And these models both feature Thermogrip temple pieces…
As well as fully adjustable Thermogrip on the nose…
This is a moisture friendly material made to grip well when wet… It’s a big thing in glasses as most of us have had that sloppy / slippy set that we’re constantly having to push back into place since riding a performance road bike puts your head at an angle that requires your glasses to defy gravity during a ride.
Of course Bolle have all the other features that you would expect… Hydrophobic, Oleophobic, anti glare, Anti Reflective lens surfaces and super tough frame material.
B8 Nylon makes for pretty durable stuff as I’ve seen them dropped and then repeatedly run over by other bikes, only to have the lenses popped back in and used (though scratched to hell and back… but it beat getting Arizona dry-eye). In the case you have an issue, Bolle have a 4ever lifetime warranty where they’ll repair or replace them (conditionally of course).
Bolle run a number of lens colors and shade options, and they also do a direct Rx lens program where several models don’t need a clunky insert for prescription…
I’m hoping that the direct lenses will be available for their new Breakaway model…
This was under wraps a bit and in rough prototype form, but should be available at the first of the year.
This is a full wrap model with good side coverage that also features some active venting via removable clips. They’ll come in a full range of colors and lens combinations.
These glasses run the cost range from $99 for Bolt Polycarb models to $200 for high zoot lenses in Breakaway / 6th sense. You can find more at Bolle.com.
From long time name Bolle, I moved to relative new road guys POC.
POC have been fairly popular in winter sport / X games type head and body protection for a few years. The brand has continued to gain in popularity / respect and sales and they’re making a go at a Road Helmet now (as well as other kit).
While the Octal was designed with a mind on the old school look of the classic hair net, POC paid attention to the one thing still that still plagues many helmet companies… So many people talk about the number of vents and work so hard on how a helmet looks that they forget to make the vents actually go anywhere. POC nail the flow through design with massive channels.
And there’s no movement without ample exhaust…
It’s also fairly clear that this is a company who makes function a priority and the first function of a helmet is protection…
This is a solid nod to noggin shielding as the back and side coverage is very good.
POC also want to ensure visibility and their color selection backs that up…
This cover is aero and it allows for a little venting but bright and fairly reactive to headlights (as is their new clothing range). All a part of what they call AVIP (Attention, Visibility, Interaction, Protection). The bottom line on design here is performance and safety and to do that you have to take a deeper look at a host of things from both performance fields and even psychology and nature to find things that work well and are visually perceived by drivers in a fashion that creates the safest immediate response.
All that said, this seemed to be a well vented, very protective helmet with a production target of 200 grams (the show models were light and very well finished to the point that I would guess they’ll hit their goal).
Info is limited, but growing at POC’s site: Avip.Pocsports.com
On the footwear front, Lake Shoes are also rolling again in North America.
Easy to spot the new CX402. This is Lake’s flagship model, wrapped in Kangaroo (tougher/ stronger / lighter for purpose than leather) with dual Boa closures (lifetime guaranty for replacement through Boa) and the fully moldable heel and mid foot.
There’s also a neat feature here in that the shoe also features a floating carbon bed that is separate from the sole plate of the shoe.
This allows for the same stiffness and power transfer of a solid bed liner, but allows for a bit easier internal flex and added comfort than solid mounted midsoles.
Sitting inside the 402 are heat moldable insoles… (shown next to the CX331)
These are a great feature for the CX402 and combined with the moldable full carbon outsole make for a strong combination of fit tuning.
But perhaps the bigger news here is that Lake are offering these insoles for standalone purchase.
They’ll come in Full carbon ($69) or fiberglass ($49) and you can run these in any shoes and can be remolded a few times for fitting. That’s a heck of a price point for form fitted insoles with genuine support versus some more flappy or non-fitted / formed inserts available.
Lake will continue to offer the CX401 with their custom coloring / design options.
This is a pretty cool feature as you’re still getting the custom molded outsole and you can choose your custom color for an additional $45. You can get custom logos / art for a $150 set up charge and you’ll need to talk with Lake to submit what your design is… The 401 will also accept the carbon and fiberglass insoles to give you a shoe very close to the 402 but with custom options…
And they’ll offer the CX331 with heat moldable heel, full Kangaroo upper and Boa closure.
That’s a pretty strong customizable Kangaroo shoe and at $379, the price is pretty competitive given the feature set.
You’re local retailer can find Lake products through Stage Race Distribution
I also stopped in to see some fairly slick new cutting going on at Gore Bike Wear.
Gore are back this year after a pretty big rethink of how cycling products work on the body… They went in and redesigned new jerseys and shorts and have taken a much more in depth approach to meld their extensive fabrics understanding with how it all plays going down the road.
The Oxygen Jersey materials have always been top shelf, but this year’s cut is aimed at one of the functional aspects of riding that hasn’t been directly addressed… Load carrying.
The new cut puts a bit more supportive material into the design and is sewn in to form a slight but firm backpack that helps suspend your loaded pockets…
Their show floor dummy was loaded with a lot of kit and the pockets seemed to be holding in place relatively better than other kit… It really seems to make sense and the look of the integrated cut isn’t too over the top.
The new Xenon Bibs also got a complete overhaul.
More supportive shoulder straps that are also less bulky and seamless…
Far better ventilation in the back…
As well as more sheer mesh at the lower belly area…
And I’m noticing that most companies are getting smarter about leg grippers that hold in place but use broken patterns to allow for freer movement…
And most importantly, an improved Chamois…
This isn’t a simple heat pressed insert, but rather a multi-part, multi density product… You can see 2 of the 3 materials mated at bottom (saddle side).
And note that there’s not only a more movement friendly form for the pad, but that it’s also got a little more frontal coverage as a thin, super flexible density flap more efficiently hides your man parts without being too rough.
All of these products should be available shortly and you can catch up with them as they update their website at GoreApparel.com
Wahoo Fitness finish off our coverage for this round with one of the slickest bits of training hardware / software available at the show…
Everyone is familiar with their current KICKR Power Trainer…
A unit that spares your wheel and tire and sets up quickly with road or mountain bikes, the adjustable resistance unit is pretty quickly gaining a fan base.
Loads of folks are also familiar with their on-bike RFLKT unit that puts all the functionality of your i-device and its training apps on a smaller bike mounted screen.
The RFLKT still has loads of viewable surface and high contrast, and features very easy navigation through 4 buttons that are easy to operate while your i-phone stays safely tucked away.
Wahoo actually have loads of electronics that have been really well designed for on bike and in home use… Another addition is their RPM
This is a 7 gram accelerometer that requires no other magnets and gives you smart Bluetooth cadence readings.
All neat stuff, but nothing gets close to Wahoo’s new Segments Training program…
Working in conjunction with Strava, here is a program that lets you choose a course from thousands of available routs… Say the MT Evans hill climb.
Then let’s say you were feeling particularly strong and had a really good breakfast… And you wanted to puke it back up…
You would try and beat Ned Overend up Mt Evans
Segments allows you to choose from any recorded performances at Strava and race those performances as the KICKR Trainer adjusts the load according to the terrain / elevation.
In the case you made a more sensible selection than chasing Ned up Mt Evans, your eyes will be able to focus on ample data as you’re hitting whatever course you’ve chosen.
You’ll also see your progress in real time versus your virtual opponent. Unfortunately is doesn’t allow for drafting or sticking a pump in the spokes of your virtual competitor, but should make for one hell of an entertaining winter. Maybe the best $30 bucks or so you can spend on an i-Tunes App.
Of course the KICKR also partners with other training programs. The most attractive seemed to be Kinomap…
But there are plenty of uses beyond the simple power adjusting controls to keep you hammering away this winter.
(Ah, and the units are now 11 speed compatible and have a Campy freehub available).
You can see the range at WahooFitness.com
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