One of the general rules at Interbike is that the things you want the most are also the things you just can’t have…
Anticipation is pretty high for a few of the things we have this round and among the most popular are new items from FIZIK.
It makes sense that a company that “kicks” – “Ass” would go ahead and cover both body parts in the phrase, so shoes had to come after saddles. With that they bring the top line R1.
Sure the uni carbon buckle is more bling than anything in plastic, but Fizik also go one-up on most companies by using straight up Kangaroo for the top of the range.
In the case you didn’t know, Roo skin is far tougher than leather and can run softer and thinner (and lighter) for the same coverage.
The R3 comes next in the range…
The R3 also gets Roo, but here it’s in the toes and heels, where shoes take the most pounding and subs in Microtex for the larger side panels. The carbon buckle gets swapped for metal here as well.
Ladies get what I think is the nicest color option…
The matte black Microtex outside, Creme stripe down the middle (also Kangaroo along with toe and heel) and shiny patent leather like inside is kick ass slick looking… And the all white isn’t bad either.
One place where Fizik really gut punch several big brands is inside… This is no flimsy afterthought of an insert…
Nobody selling a shoe in the 3-400+ buck range should leave out moldable insoles. Fizik have a dang nice number here…
The different flex zones in the sole plate, mid sole and heel are another place Fizik pump several long time top shoe brands…
You’ll have to wait a short while for these to hit shelves, but if we put this in racing terms, Fizik just had a better Rookie performance than Valentino Rossi and Lewis Hamilton (Ben Spies has to get a shout out too…). $399 for the R1 and $299 for the R3 (Mens and Donna’s).
A BIG WELCOME BACK TO FONDRIEST!
ALBABICI brought a great cycling name back to North America last year, and while the custom stuff comes with the logical wait time, the TF3 is ready now.
My fave feature is a standard adjustable seat post design that looks like a clean ISP with none of the down side…
This is a dang sharp design and comes at a price point that left a couple of brands scratching heads… $1800 Frame and Fork point for the TF3.
A bit more for the R10 at $2500 lands you Carbon drop outs front to rear and a few other tidbits. And these will be ready in a month or so (some are around now).
And for just $4000 you’re talking full custom carbon made in Italy …
The new TF1.
That’s all carbon, tube to tube tech, BB30, DI2 or standard routing, tapered head tube… All the bells and whistles and with a lead time of roughly 6 weeks.
More are available from Fondriest, and Albabici are ready for your love.
Another part that will have you waiting, but should be worth the wait is the new joint venture from LOOK and POLAR.
Both are European-based originals (from France & Finland respectively), and both are very good at what they do. So their combined forward thinking has resulted in a power measurement system that combines Look pedals with a Polar computer for display and data collection- and it’s the first system to measure power at the pedals.
Look are the guys who perfected the clipless pedal and set us all on the path to strapless enlightenment, so it makes sense that they’re pushing the boundary again, this time with a strain gauge built into the pedal spindle to measure force as you crank out the mega-watts. Each pedal has 8 strain gauges built in, and a separate transmitter in each also.
Both Polar’s CS600X and CS500 cycling computers will work with the system, and the standard thread pedals will work with any crankset – making switching bikes pretty easy. The system measures data from the right- and left-side pedals independently (and can be displayed on the CS600X), which should help a lot of riders correct any power imbalance.
Expect these to land here around Spring 2011, and do our best to beat the rush for a full review.
No wait time for new product from our friends at AMERICAN CLASSIC.
The new range of carbon hoops are ready and the lead dog here is their new tubular 58.
50 to 60 deep is everyone’s idea of the best all round performance hoop and the prototypes of these wheels rolled really well at speed.
The little brothers come in 38mm depth…
And flat land folks get the 85mm deep-deep sections.
The 38 and 58 depths come in at a competitive $2100 and $2350 gets you the 85’s.
American Classic are also featuring carbon metal clinchers and of course have a full line up from basic shallow metal clinchers, up to carbon disc. They’re also rolling out tubeless friendly kit…
And all are rolling on updated (and still silly light) hub sets.
We’ll finish this round with the performance eyewear company that seems to be making the biggest push lately…
We’ve shown a few of their glasses in the past with our friends at Sports Optical and while Smith are already a main stay brand, they’re not resting and continue to tweak things…
The Pivlock V90 series are among the lighter and easier lens changing specs available…
Smith have redesigned the nose piece in their performance glasses to the point that anyone who hasn’t tried the line recently should give it a go. It’s just plain better than older models.
As you can see above, there are a couple of different lens sizes now with the V90 and V90 MAX making for a better fit for more faces.
The RX insert has also slimmed down and works within a nose piece that allows for quick lens change and the fit is just as secure…
Something I really like about Smith versus another big brand is that this company seems much more concerned with vision performance than brand image. Both the V90, MAX and V XE put a priority on your ability to see instead of maxing out frame plastic to supersize their logo. Really, if I wanted goggles and the crappy peripheral vision, I would buy goggles.
Smith of course make fantastic goggles too, along with a full line of men’s and women’s Fashion and leisure frames.
Lots of styles suitable for sun and RX (or both) designed for the other 80-90% of your life when you’re off the bike… And a full range of lens shades, colors and coatings are all available.
We’ll try and put together a comprehensive review of Smith Optics shortly that will dig a little deeper into frame materials and options shortly.
That’s all for this round.
Thanks for looking. 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!
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