We spent yesterday checking out the latest products from leading brands like Giro and Altura at the trade show of Zyro, one of Britain’s biggest bike accessories distributors, and here are the highlights.
The new Hyban helmet (£49.99) is aimed at commuters, coming with a removable peak at the front and an integrated LED around the back.
The Scraper V2 (£39.99) is new too. It’s a BMX/skate style helmet that’s suitable for commuting and general city riding. We think this petrol blue colour is pretty neat although it’s available in black too.
Abus are best known for their locks and they have a bunch of new designs including this Ultra 410 Mini (£24.99). It has a 12mm double bolted, hardened steel shackle that’s 140mm long in this version, 230mm long in the standard version (£29.99).
Other versions are available with cables for securing wheels and other components. All are Sold Secure silver certified.
Here’s that Empire SLX shoe (£249.99) again, just in case you missed it, with an Easton EC90 SLX2 carbon outsole and a one-piece microfibre upper. Giro are claiming a 175g weight per shoe (size 42.5), which is incredibly light.
The Espada E70 (£159.99) is a new women’s shoe with an Easton EC70 sole. The men’s version, the Trans E70 (£159.99) looks equally stylish.
These are the women’s La DND gloves (£26.99) that are designed without padding on the palms.
The Blaze gloves (£29.99) are a soft shell option with a thermal fleece interior and a Touchscreen compatible index finger (we're not sure about the relevance of that cactus-type thing).
As well as the lights we told you about earlier, Blackburn have several new luggage options.
The Outpost HB Roll (£49.99) is a bag designed for a sleeping bag or tent. You strap it to your handlebar (not a carbon bar) and it’ll carry 8lb of kit.
The Outpost Top Tube bag (£29.99) is made from ripstop nylon and it comes with an adjustable organiser inside.
Blackburn have a range of new Local bags, this one being the Local Small Seat Bag (£12.99). It has a 0.5 litre capacity and weighs 63g.
The Central Shopper’s Pannier (£79.99) is designed for, well, shopping, as the name suggests, with extra capacity for bulky items. You can leave the top open, as long as it's not raining. It has a stowable shoulder strap too for use off the bike.
Blackburn are offering their Camber carbon cage in new finishes. It now comes in a unidirectional finish (rather than a 3k weave) and in nine colour combinations. Each one weighs 30g and costs £39.99.
They’re also offering a new Tallboy cage so that all you classy riders can carry a can of Tennent’s Extra while you’re on the move. The insulating sleeve is part of the package, costing £16.99.
Speaking of bottle cages, as we were, Tortec have a new Air 2 cage that’s made from a thermo-composite material that’s said to be durable, and it weighs just 35g. And how much do you have to pay for this high-tech lightweight component? £9.99.
You can get lighter bottle cages (see above, for example), but not all that much lighter. If you really are a weight weenie gram counter, the Scala cage, individually handmade from high modulus carbon fibre, is just 24g, but it’ll cost you £29.99 – so you’re paying an extra 20 quid to drop 11g. It does look cool though.
Tortec have some interesting new bar tape too. No, really. The top-end Super Comfort tape (£19.99) feels really grippy, a lot like Lizardskins’ DSP tape. It’s also stretchy with a gel adhesive backing, so we’re hoping it’ll be easy to wrap. We grabbed some and brought it back to road.cc HQ, and we’ll let you know how we get on with it in due course.
There are three other bar tapes in the range:
Air Gel (£12.99).
And Road (£9.99).
The Super Comfort tape comes in black and white, the others in red, blue and green too.
Panaracer have a new GravelKing tyre in a 32mm width (£29.99) and a revised tread pattern. It is designed to be fast across gravel (you'd have guessed that, right?) and similar surfaces.
The Comet mountain bike tyre has been remoulded as a gravel tyre too for disc road bikes, coming in a chunky 38mm width. The version with a steel bead is £19.99 while the folding version is £29.99.
The Race L (Lite) will now come in a 25mm width (the eagle-eyed among you will notice that this is the 23mm version) for the first time (£39.99), joining the Race D (Duro) and the Race A (all-round) in this size.
The Race C Evo 2 Tubular has been in the Panaracer range before but it’s new to the UK market. It has a fine file tread, an R-Air Lite Butyl tube inside, and it comes in both 23mm and 26mm widths for £69.99.
The SKS Injex T-Zoom pump (£24.99) comes with a multi valve head connection and a claimed maximum pressure of 144 psi that should keep most people happy.
It’s a clever piece of design. The handle flips out into a T for a comfortable grip and the telescopic function allows you to choose between high volume and high pressure.
The Airboy is a small (172mm long, 19mm diameter) - that's a 5p piece next to it, by the way - and lightweight (62g) Presta pump with a claimed maximum pressure of 115 psi. We're guessing it's going to take a while to get to that level though because of the small chamber.
The Spaero Double Action pump has a slide-on T handle and double-action technology. In other words, it forces air into the inner tube on both the downstroke and the upstroke. The maximum pressure it offers is just 73 psi though, so it’s more suitable for large tyres that need high volumes rather than skinny road tyres that require high pressures.
Altura’s autumn/winter clothing is in the shops at the moment, of course, but here’s a sneak peek at some of the items from the spring/summer 2015 range.
Altura’s premium level clothing is Raceline. Below that level is Progel which will become the Peloton range in 2015. Between those two layers they’re adding a Podium level next year that’s aimed at sportive-type riders who might be in the saddle for about 4hrs or so on a longer ride.
Here’s the new Podium short sleeve jersey (£59.99) that’s made in a performance fit with slim cut arms. The fabric comes with ColdBlack technology that’s designed to keep you cool along with mesh panels under the arms, as you can see, and behind the pockets.
As well as the usual three lower back pockets, you get another zipped one for valuables and a slim gel/bar pocket towards the side.
The Podium Progel bibshorts are £64.99 while the mitts, with synthetic leather palms and Progel Air padding, are £24.99.
The Peloton Short Sleeve Jersey (£44.99) has many of the same features including mesh behind the pockets and underneath the arms for extra ventilation.
Altura will offer road-specific Team short sleeve jerseys in both men’s and women’s versions at £39.99.
The Second Skin Base Layer (£19.99) is new too. It’s body-mapped and designed to be both high wicking and antibacterial.
Altura have also expanded their bag range.
This is the Vortex 25 Waterproof Backpack (£89.99) with fully-welded seams to keep the rain out. It’ll take a 13in laptop in the removable sleeve.
The Ultralite Packable Panniers (£59.99) have a 32 litre capacity but weigh only 480g and roll down very small when not in use. Again, they’re fully waterproof, made from polyurethane-coated nylon with welded seams, and they have a shoulder strap that you can fit for carrying them off the bike.
The Drop Down Rackpack (£44.99) is an offering from a new Transit Lite range. It’s about half the weight of the previous Transit Rackpack. The main compartment is about seven litres, with another five litres added by the drop down pockets.
For more info visit www.zyro.co.uk.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.