Core Bike Show is a great place for seeing new products when they first arrive in the UK. Here are some of the component and accessory highlights...
Token have some spangly new dual-pivot brake callipers that weigh in at just 210g per set (claimed). That compares to 293g (claimed) for a set of Dura-Aces. You can get lighter, of course, but unlike some single-pivot options, fingers-crossed, these should still provide a decent level of power.
The aluminium arms are CNC machined, material having been removed here, there and everywhere to shave off the grams, and that’s an anodized finish. If the red look isn’t for you, go for gold or black instead. The brakeset is snappily title TK-BR7250 – Token have got to do something about their naming process – and costs £234.99. Go to www.i-ride.co.uk for the details.
With the relevant adaptors, FSA’s new 386EVO chainset can be used with threaded frames, BB30 frames and frames made specifically for 386Evo compatibility. We’ve just got one of these in for review at road.cc so we’ll let you know how we get on shortly.
This is Ritchey’s new WCS Carbon Matrix C260 stem. At £155 it’s far from cheap, but Ritchey reckon it offers amazing stiffness.
The body of the stem is 3D forged from 7050 aluminium, then internally machined. Ritchey say that the outer carbon layer is structural rather than cosmetic, providing 14% more stiffness.
The 260 bit of the name refers to the fact that the bar clamp wraps 260° around your handlebar, the faceplate providing just 100° of coverage. This is designed to distribute the clamping stress more evenly than normal. Go to www.paligap.cc for more details.
You’ve scaled the mountain; now buy the T-shirt. This is a Tour de France T-shirt from Ride featuring the Devil himself. Well, that German bloke who dresses up like the Devil and jumps up and down. Everyone needs a hobby. Other legendary mountain T-shirts are available too: Tourmalet, Hautacam, Galibier and Alpe d’Huez. They’re £24.99 from www.ridebosh.com.
Tyres next… admittedly, tyres never look that interesting, but Continental have a couple of new models suitable for road.cc folks. First, there’s the limited edition Grand Prix TT which is the tyre that Tony Martin used for his Time Trial World Champs win last year. Yes, he used clinchers rather than tubs – 100% true – and these are they.
At 180g each, they’re very lightweight with an ultra-fine 330tpi (threads per inch) nylon casing and Conti’s latest Black Chili compound. There’s no pattern at all on the tread – you don’t need it – although what you do get is Conti’s Vectran Breaker puncture protection strip underneath. It’s a liquid crystal polymer.
The tread isn’t deep – these are built for speed rather than durability, so time trials, road racing… performance stuff, basically. They come in 23mm only at £42.95 a throw.
The other newbies are the CycloX-Kings which, as the name implies, are cyclocross tyres. They come with a Race Sport casing that Conti have transferred over from the mountain bike world, and the Black Chili compound. The UCI-legal 32mm width weighs 320g, although you can go for a 35 or 42mm version if you prefer. They’re all available with either folding or wire beads. Unfortunately, we don’t have a price on these yet but they’ll be available via www.i-ride.co.uk.
Ah yes, this is interesting… It’s a Goal Zero Nomad solar power charger that you can use to power up your phone, iPod, camera or whatever if you go touring, say.
The 13.5W (£149.99) version will charge a power pack in about six hours – more in dull conditions. It’ll even charge underneath fluorescent lights, so we’re told – although we’re not sure how useful that’ll be. The 7W model (£79.99) will charge its power pack in as little as three hours on a sunny day. They each fold up small for easy carrying.
The power pack includes rechargeable AA batteries that you can remove and stick into whatever device you have that takes them, or you use them in the battery pack to power up USB devices. You get a cigarette adapter lighter adaptor too. These will soon be available from www.i-ride.co.uk.
This is the Alpina Firebird 2.0 helmet with a rear LED upgrade. The light costs £11.99 and it’s held in there by magnetism. It certainly seems strong enough. You can have the light on constant or set it to flashing mode. Go to www.alpina-helmets.co.uk for more info.
SciCon have just got a new UK importer in the shape of Saddleback. The Aerotech Evolution is the original model in the range, the hard shell capable of protecting bikes up to size 62cm. That one is £700.
We like the look of the Atlas Compact (£375) too. Although the side panels are soft, the sidewalls are rigid and it’ll take bikes up to 56cm. The details are on www.sciconbags.com and will soon be on www.saddleback.co.uk.
For Goodness Shakes have a new energy brand called Nectar. The main product in the range is their Sports Fuel Concentrate which comes in 2L bottle with a pump on top that delivers a 25ml portion. Mix that with 500ml of water (a small water bottle) and you get a hypotonic (3% carb) drink. Pump twice and you get an isotonic (6% carb) drink; three pumps and it’s hypertonic. Easy peasy.
It’s a 2:1 glucose: fructose mix that contains key electrolytes (salts like sodium and potassium) to maintain hydration. There are B-vitamins in there too, in order to help with energy metabolism.
We tried both the light orange and the lemon lime flavours and they both taste great. That 2L bottle costs £25. To save you doing the maths, that’ll make 40 isotonic drinks – so they work out at 63p each (okay, 62.5p each, if you want to be pedantic).
The concentrate will also be available in individual sachets that you can sling in your pocket and mix while you’re out, and both energy gels and hydration tablets will be in the shops from April. For more info go to www.nectarfuel.com.
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 over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.