Oooh! We've got lots of shiny new bike stuff to show you from Pro, Cervelo, San Marco and Bell, and we'll be adding to this later in the day so check back in a bit for even more goodness.
Why the influx of new kit? We've been visiting iceBike (lower case i, upper case B: don't blame us, blame them), the in-house expo of Madison, the UK's biggest bike and components distributor. They've got some great brands and a lot of the new products have just arrived in this country for the first time.
Here’s Bell’s new Gage helmet that we told you about earlier in the week. Those vents are massive; Bell can make them that big while retaining strength thanks to lightweight internal reinforcement.
The webbing used for the straps is really lightweight, a lot like Giro use in their Aeon helmet. In fact, Bell and Giro being stablemates (along with Easton and Blackburn), we’re guessing it’s exactly the same fabric.
The official weight is 233g which is pretty light considering that Bell use their TAG (Twin Axis Gear) fit system that allows you to adjust the circumference of the cradle via a dial, and the vertical position – how far it reaches down the back of your head. Some mega-lightweight helmets manage to shed the grams by cutting corners on the fit system, but that's no the case here.
The Gage looks pretty neat to us and will cost £159.99 when it becomes available in the summer. We’ll try to get one in for review as soon as possible.
Shimano sub-brand Pro have given their wheels a redesign with updated graphics.
This is the tubular version of the RC50 (£419.99) – 50 being the rim depth in millimetres – with a 3K carbon finish and Shimano Ultegra hubs.
This is the clincher version which is significantly heavier (1,975g as opposed to 1,650g according to Pro’s own figures) with an alloy brake track.
The rear disc gets an Ultegra hub and a 3K weave pattern finish too. Sandwiched between the carbon there’s a Rohacell foam filling which keeps the overall wheel weight down to 1,260g according to Pro.
Team Sky used the discs last year but they'll be using the other Pro wheels in 2013, as will other World Tour teams like Rabobank, Francaise de Jeux and GreenEdge.
This is the Craig Alexander signature version of the Pro Missile aero bar, Alexander being the three-time Ironman World Champion.
It’s a carbon fibre monocoque construction and the S-bend extensions have twist-lock adjustment. It’s not cheap, though, at £529.99.
Mark Cavendish is another athlete who has a star series with Pro. It's not new but it's still worth checking out. The bar (£79.99) is 7075 aluminium, the 31.8mm diameter continuing right across the top section, and there are four reinforcing spines across the centre.
The stem (£169.99) is unidirectional carbon built into an oversized box design originally intended for the track, but when you're wrestling the front end around like Cav in a sprint, you need some beef out on the road too.
Selle San Marco have launched limited edition versions of their Concor and Regale saddles in the national colours of each of the World Tour teams that they sponsor. That’s Belgium for Omega Pharma-Lotto at the top, the Netherlands for Vacansoleil-DCM, Italy for Lampre-ISD and France for AG2R-La Mondiale.
The brand new Cervélo P5 (main pic) was making its first appearance in the UK at iceBike. Of course, ahead of the game, we were all over it in Fuerteventura earlier in the year so check out our previous coverage for all the details, including a First Ride. Doesn’t hurt to have another picture, though. Pretty, innit?
Where do we start with Blackburn? They’ve been super-busy with new and updated products all over the place.
First, the Camber carbon-fibre bottle cage is now available in blue and a Rapha-esque pink. It has been available in plain carbon forever, then Blackburn added white and red options last year, and now they’ve added a couple more versions again. Very pretty they are, too. They each weigh just 28g... and cost £44.99. It's such a cruel world. There's a downside to everything.
Blackburn have also released the first in a limited edition ‘Designer Series’ of bottle cages. They’re intending to produce a new one every three months.
The Slick is a new polycarbonate bottle cage that’s actually a whole gram lighter than the Camber at 27g, and it’s only £8.99. Blackburn are pretty confident that this won’t dent the sales of their Camber cage because, well, polycarbonate isn’t carbon, is it? And for some people, only carbon will do. The Slick will be available in the same colours: black, white, red, pink and blue.
Blackburn have a new bag line-up too: the Barrier range. There’s the Barrier pannier (59.99) which you buy individually rather than as a set of two, the Barrier Small saddle bag (£19.99) and the Barrier Micro (£14.99) seat pack. They’re all made from the same material – polyurethane-coated nylon– and they’re recognisably a set.
The pannier has a 29L capacity and it’s fully waterproof with welded seams and a roll top. It attaches to a rack via a Klickfix quick-release mounting system and you get loops on each end so you can fix a mini-LED in place.
The smaller bags are variations on the theme. They look good to us and Blackburn must be pretty confident of the quality because they give all the Barrier range lifetime warranties.
This is Blackburn’s new Fire Trail saddle. It uses what Blackburn call their Perimeter Comfort Chassis which isolates the rails from the shell.
The rails are attach to the moulded section, the idea being that it absorbs impact and increases comfort. We’ve not used it so can’t say how well it works. The Fire Trail saddle is £44.99.
Computers next… or cyclometers, as Blackburn call them. Actually, our gaff, our rules: they’re computers. Essentially, Blackburn have expanded their range and now have four on offer.
The entry-level model is the Atom SL at £19.99 which is a wired model with 12 functions: all the basics and an automatic on/off.
The new Atom SL 3.0 (£39.99) has the same functions but it’s wireless while the £49.99 5.0 model has the addition of a barometric altimeter. We heard that there’s a £74.99 6.0 model with wireless cadence too – but we didn’t see that one so it might just be a rumour.
Next, racks – Blackburn have a new range of those too. I told you they’d been busy. Of course, Blackburn have been making racks since time immemorial. I bought one back in 1989. Took it around Iceland. Still have it somewhere. But I digress; they’ve got some new uns and these are they…
Blackburn bill the TRX-2 as ‘the ultimate commuter rack’ and it looks like it’s built to last. It’s made from 14mm-gauge 6061 aluminium, has an integrated mudguard – well, a plate at the top that stops spray – and an adjustable mount for fitting a U-lock. You can just about see the springy plates that hold the lock in place up towards the top. It is disc-brake compatible, has an 18.2kg (40lb) carrying capacity, weighs 1,300g and costs £69.99.
The TRX-1 is closely related but this time it’s ‘the ultimate touring rack’. It uses the same alloy but it’s a narrower profile and it’s designed for bikes with 700c wheels. The TRX-1 has the same load capacity as the TRX-2 but it’s considerably lighter at 770g. It’s cheaper too: £49.99.
Madison, the company behind iceBike, have their own clothing range with some new additions coming up for the summer. This Optimus jacket looks interesting. It’s water repellent and windproof but what’s unusual (although not unique) is that the yoke and sleeves are held in place by magnets. That means you can whip ‘em off and the Optimus turns into a gilet.
It’s a smart design and the magnets seem to hold everything in place securely enough. The price has yet to be set but it’s likely to be around £55-59.
The Fjord gilet is essentially the Optimus with the arms removed and that’ll be priced at £45.
The Sportive jersey is another interesting one. It’s made from a light, soft fabric and the fit is a kind of halfway house – neither racy nor casual. You know… fitted but not too tight. Relaxed. That’ll be £39.99.
Madison are also bringing out a whole bunch of new shorts. Keep your eyes open for the 10-panel Peloton model which comes with a full 3D foam pad. The bibbed version will retail at just £34.99.
Pearl Izumi have redesigned their Barrier WXB jackets. They use a fabric that’s waterproof and very breathable and also soft and flexible. It’s a 4-way stretch material – and it really is very stretchy so it doesn’t feel tight or restrictive.
The top-level model, the PRO, has been updated with chest vents and an asymmetric zip, and as well as a large pocket at the back, you get a zippered opening that allows you to get to your jersey pockets. The overall cut is very fitted and there are zips at the cuffs that you can do up for a closer fit.
It’s not a cheap jacket, though: £249.
The most affordable Barrier WXB jacket is the Select version although, at £139.99, it’s still not cheap. This is a little less breathable than the PRO model but it’s equally stretchy. It’s cut a little looser too so you can get an extra layer on underneath. That said, it’s very much a cycling cut; it’s not going to flap around too much on the descents.
For more information on any of the products from Madison go to www.madison.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 over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.