One of the best things about the Eurobike show for me was without doubt getting to meet the engineers and designers of products that I’ve drooled over for years and have some serious one on one time with these guys picking their brains. Earlier this week I talked about meeting with the designer of the 695 Aerolight at LOOK and then later that same day I got to meet Bill Shook of American Classic wheels fame.
Bill with his babies.
Chatting with Bill about his wheels and his new range was like talking to a proud parent about their newborn baby. This man radiated passion and I can understand now why AM Classic are ahead of the game when it comes to design and engineering. Bill had a number of new wheels on display including the Argent Tubeless Disc wheelset compatible with all 11spd setups and any disc combination with its 6 bolt International Standard which is sure to be popular as both tubeless road wheels and disc road brakes gain traction in the market. There was also the Argent Road Tubeless wheel in non disc version displayed of course which at just 1372g the pair for a 22mm wide and 30mm deep rim has proven to be very popular since its inception.
The Argent Tubeless
And they also had these brand new, gorgeous looking full carbon clincher wheels with a 40mm deep rim, which funnily enough they’ve named, The Carbon 40 Clincher. Made from an extremely high quality carbon a pair of the Carbon 40s weighs in at 1580g and is available in all the standard setups of Shimano/Sram 10/11spd and Campag 10/11spd.
As much as I could have stayed at American Classic all day to chat about wheels, trends and engineering I had to continue my exploring of Eurobike but you can check out more from American Classic at their website, www.amclassic.com.
When we talk about accessories so many things come to mind, glasses, helmets, lights, clothing, tools – and the folks over at BBB Cycling (see their website here) have covered all that and more. They’ve certainly got their finger in many different pies but as their man Marcel explained to me, “We won’t do it if we don’t think we can do it well.”
Ok, he would say that as he’s paid to but a closer look at their products actually backs up his statement. I’ve been admiring some of the helmets and glasses the guys at Vacansoleil and Sojasun teams have been using this year so the first thing I wanted to check out at BBB was their glasses.
Their Select Team glasses have all the standard features you’d expect from a high quality pair of sunglasses these days, adjustable nose piece, interchangeable polycarbonate lenses and the like but BBB have taken the concept of personalisation a step further with their gift packs. Basically you could buy a standard pair of the glasses alone or you could buy the ‘Gift Pack’ that comes with 6 different lenses and 7 different temple tip colors meaning that you could change your look depending upon the weather, your mood, jersey color of the day….
Wout Poels and the Vacansoleil boys modeling the Select Team glasses and the BBB Icarus helmet at the Vuelta this week.
Yes, just like the pros you can change your glasses to match your outfit of the day. Pretty cool concept and the Select Team glasses themselves had a really nice ‘feel’ to them, solid and yet comfortable.
The new Adapt model
The gift pack setup is also an option with their brand new Adapt model. It’s another high quality pair of glasses in a similar style to some of the bigger, squarer glasses on the market that made me think of the Oakley Jawbone but is a pair of glasses that would feel at home in either cycling or casual wear. I tried some myself at the show and found them very comfortable with the same confidence building ‘solid’ feel of the Select Team’s and they are certainly an interesting new option on the sunglasses market.
The solid feel probably comes from the fact that the frames are made from a highly flexible Grilamid material to prevent breakage. The standard Adapts are delivered with additional yellow and clear lenses which are changed easily by twisting the nose piece which releases the bottom part of the frame. With the various colors and lense choices available with both the standard and gift pack options BBB are certainly making it difficult to choose and in fact at the BBB stand it was hard to know where to look as they had so many products…
With fall and winter on the horizon though I thought I should probably look at their lights with the new Scope 1300 catching my eye – or more accurately, almost blinding my eyes.
The BBB Scope 1300 pumps out an incredible 1300 Lumens of light which in layman’s terms is seriously bright and enough to light up even the darkest of morning or night rides. The light is not just a very bright light though it also includes some handy features like 4 different light intensities to switch between depending upon your riding situation, a battery power indicator on the battery to tell you how much power is left in the battery and my favorite feature, a power outlet on the battery where you could charge your phone or GPS etc from. At 110 grams for the light + 140 grams for the battery the battery recharges in approximately 2h30m via USB or socket.
Speaking of phones, it seems that everyone has an Iphone, smartphone or similar these days and many people are using their communication devices as GPS units, bike computers or more so BBB have accomodated this with their range of weatherproof smartphone cases. Available in either black or white polycarbonate the cases are designed to house a number of different phones and the attachment on the bike is of a solid construction. It’s also got the added bonus that it can be tilted to a wide range of angles so you could use your phone as a video camera for example and record some of your ride.
The above pic is of the rear of the case showing the part that locks into the mount very securely. When Marcel wasn’t looking I tried to rip the unit off the mount to simulate a big pothole or cobbles on the road but no luck. The unit wasn’t breaking clear and unless you push down on the mount to unlock it your phone is not jumping off your handlebars at the wrong moment and will stay secure.
More info on BBB and their massive range of products is available on their website although some new bits like the Adapt sunglasses are not on there yet but are coming soon!
One stand that I certainly couldn’t miss was Kask with their bright displays almost outshining their use of bright colors on their helmets – almost.
The star of their stand was undoubtedly the new Infinity Control model as seen with Team Sky at the Tour de France. It has a rounded profile to cut down on air resistance and a pretty cool sliding vent that they call a ‘mobile aerator’. Basically if it’s hot, slide it open and let the air flow on in or slide it back to the closed position for maximum aero efficiency. A medium sized Infinity Control tops the scales at 260g and although I haven’t yet ridden with one, the retention system and sliding vent seemed very easy to use and adjust.
Here’s the rear view of the Infinity Control and its vent system.
Also popular at Kask was their collection of Vertigo Flag model helmets which has been updated this year to now include, Germany, Italy, Belgium, China, USA, South Africa, UK and Brazil.
Another aero helmet getting a lot of attention at the show was this model from Casco. Unlike the Kask though I didn’t try this one on, just in case someone took a photo……
Well known for their super comfy bar tape in the road world and their handgrips for MTBers, Lizard skins had some very interesting new products on display branching out from their standard wares. They still had their full range of DSP bar tape on display of course but they also had a collection of gloves and overshoes that seemed to be very well constructed. Their gloves were a class act with the Sal 1.0 being my personal favorite, having a very soft feel and a light summer weight.
Their new Dry-Fiant shoecovers also looked good with 3 models available depending upon how cold and/or wet it is. They had their toe covers, a medium style overshoe and then their big daddy arctic style one. From first looks it’s obvious that they have been designed by someone that actually rides with features like the side zip instead of a rear zip (no more zip cutting at the back of your ankle) on their medium cold model and the materials used and the cut of the overshoes look the goods.
These soon to hit the market overshoes could be a good buy for the coming fall/winter with first indications being that the retail prices will be very competitive. More info on all of Lizardskins products at their website of course but once again these overshoes are so ‘new’ that they’re not yet listed……..one to keep an eye on though!
LOOK previously got my vote for Best Bike Of The Show but they also brought some pretty cool new products to Eurobike in their accessories range with most notably some huge changes to their Keo Blade pedal. In fact, their top of the range pedal has been completely redesigned with a new super large pedalling surface (64mm) for maximum pedalling efficiency and power transfer and lower spindle height of just 13mm to get your foot closer to the axle being two of the big features which were made possible by using a new, smaller diameter axle. The Blade 2 is available in Cromoly or Titanium axle versions for a very impressive weight of just 110gr (Cr) and 90g (Ti) per pedal.
The other major upgrade is the ability to offer 3 sets of carbon blades that provide the clip out tension over the original Blade’s two offerings. The 12 & 16nm blades are still offered but now you can choose to have a massive 20nm for the true sprinters and track riders amongst us. Previously we’ve seen sprinters like Cavendish and Greipel use the lower model Keo Max 2s instead of the top of the range Blades as they could dial the tension up higher so expect to see the pros on the Blade 2’s next year. To get them yourself you’ll be looking at MSRP US$299 for the Cromoly axle and $399 for the titanium version.
The carbon blade themselves can be swapped if you want to change your tension level but it’s a Look bikeshop operation as there is a special tool involved.
Also at LOOK was their new range of carbon fibre clothing, the Excellence jersey and bibshorts. Yes, you read right, carbon fibre clothing. Can’t get enough carbon fibre on your bike? Then how about wearing some too!
In fact carbon fibre has been used by a number of clothing companies in the last two years but it requires a lot of thought, design and trial and error to get it right and that’s something that LOOK seems to have done with their Excellence clothing range. It’s some seriously high end gear with a quality feel to the fabric and a very refined finish. The jerseys and bibs both use Resistex® Carbon fibre in their construction which is said to improve muscular performance by promoting temperature regulation and the dispersal of moisture.
The guys at LOOK have studied and tested their Excellence range and claim that it improves performance by promoting blood circulation and oxygen transport to the cells with a reduction in blood lactic acid of 12% & a reduction by 4 heartbeats per minute compared to wearing a 100% polyester jersey. More info at Lookcycle.com.
Speaking of LOOK I also spotted these ‘Pinarello’ pedals on the Pinarello stand that looked suspiciously like some old model LOOK Blades to me.
Upon closer inspection, yes they are LOOK Blades with the ‘LOOK’ covered up by electrical tape!
Hidden way down the back at Eurobike right near the exit and far from the big stands was this ingenious light, the Magnic Light. Available in both front and rear versions and for road, mountain or city brakes it’s a completely contactless dynamo driven light. Yes, it’s a dynamo system but it doesn’t touch your rim, instead the energy is drawn from Eddy Currents created by the magnets inside the lights themselves reacting with the aluminium rim. The rear light’s weight is just 30g and the amount of light it was putting out was impressive.
The front light weighs 58g and for best results 2 are probably needed like demonstrated here as one is good for visibility but the wheel blocks the light from one side so a light each side is probably best.
Certainly an interesting item and proof that Eurobike isn’t all about the big budget, big dollar International Companies. More info is available at their website and the above video (in German unfortunately) is certainly worth a watch for a closer look at the technology and how these lights work.
More to come from Eurobike in our next series of articles as we go back to the big dollar companies and check out more of the latest wheels, handlebars, clothing, bikes and even more from the little guys too. Keep it PEZ!