CORE Bike first look: Kinesis, Colnago, NeilPryde, POC, Ritte, Marin, Identiti, Rolf Prima, Tifosi and more!
We have a quick bomb round the halls to pick out some shiny stuff ahead of tomorrow's trawl
Hello from CORE Bike 2014! Now in its tenth year CORE is one of the biggest UK dealer shows and there’s lots for us jaded hacks to see. And it’s far enough past Eurobike for some of it to be genuinely new to us, too. We’ll have a proper trawl around on press day tomorrow, but here’s a few bits and bobs to whet your appetite…
The Kinesis 4S is a new model for 2014, essentially the TK3 rebranded. The frame is made from a Kinesium tubeset, a 6000-series alloy, and has clearance for full-length mudguards and 28mm tyres with long reach calipers. Up front is a matching specific carbon fibre fork, with a 1.5in tapered carbon steerer tube, mudguard mounts and space for those wide tyres.
It’s billed as a ‘four seasons’ bike. We tend to think of bikes with mudguards are winter bikes, but with the sort of summer weather we usually get in this country, mudguards are useful year-round. If you’re the sort of person who wants just one bike to do everything on (save racing), then the T2 is aimed at you.
It’s going to be available in two colours, the one picture and a silver/orange, shown on this fork. It’s the first sample they’ve had back on the new silver/orange colour option that will soon be available. Hard to scale it up to imagine how it might look on a frame, but we reckon it should look pretty swell. The frameset will cost £549.99.
Marin road disc
Marin is a rejuvenated brand, with new owners and a new UK distributor, Paligap. They’ve also got some new bikes for 2014, like this here Cortina T3 CX Pro. It’s a full carbon fibre frame with disc brakes, in this example Shimano’s new hydraulic discs. It’s built here in a cyclo-cross guise but we could quite easily see it being fitted with fat slicks and being pressed into service for regular road riding.
The Stelvio T3 Pro is your go-to choice if you want a regular all-carbon race-ready bike. It fits in the company’s ‘pro fit’ range, the geometry designed for fast and aggressive riding. Racing, essentially. The frame has a press-fit 30 bottom bracket and the internal cable routing is accepting of mechanical and electronic groupsets.
The Verona, well this is your sportive bike if we’re to pigeonhole it for you, it uses their ‘endurance fit’ geometry. It’s geared more towards comfort and long rides, and takes 25mm tyres. The head tube is tapered and it’ll take mechanical or electronic groupsets.
Tifosi CK 8 Duro
Tifosi is the house brand of distributor Chicken Cycles, and this year they’ve added this classy new titanium bike to their range. It’s called the CK 8 Duro and It’s priced competitively at £1,449.99 for the frame, and a complete bike priced from £2,474.99. It’s built with the same geometry as their alloy CK 7 road bike, and there’s space for 28mm tyres and has all the eyelets for mudguards and racks.
Ritte has quietly built up a bit of a following on the internet and over in the US, and the frames are now available in the UK: Silverfish are distributing them. Ritte offers carbon road bikes built for people who want to ride and race hard, but who want to have fun while doing it. It’s clear from some of their advertising they steer a different path to most other bicycle manufacturers when it comes to selling their bikes.
They’re also heavily inspired by Belgian cycling culture. The classics, cobbles, frites and beer. The name comes from Henri “Ritte” Van Lerberghe who showed up to the 1919 Flanders startline without a bike, borrowed one from a local, and attacked the peloton instantly. Such was his lead, that he had time to stop in a pub for a drink. One turned into four, and he still had the time and energy to get back on his bike and win the race. It’s that sort of spirit of racing and riding that inspires Ritte.
This is the Vlaanderen and it’s made from high-modulus carbon fibre with a BB30 bottom bracket and integrated seatmast. Everything about is is oversized, and the geometry has been tailored for comfort over long rides with a slightly longer wheelbase, for extra stability.
There’s space for 25mm tyres, handy because it’s the sort of bike begging to be ridden in the Flanders or Roubaix sportive. It’s Di2-compatible and has a tapered 1-1/8" to 1 - 1/4" head tube.
POC Octal helmet
POC helmets have been gracing the heads of team Garmin Sharp this season and this is the first look we’ve had at the finished Octal road helmet. The styling is very different and a bit marmite, but I’m a fan for sure, more so now after seeing it in the flesh (and trying it on).
It’s very light at less than 200g (claimed) and extremely comfortable in spite of the minimal padding. For me, obviously; helmets are a very personal thing. There’s some interesting design touches too: the black rear sections of the helmet are actually reflective for improved visibility, and there’s two high-friction pads in the front vents to grab hold of your sunnies when you take them off and stick them in your helmet like what the pros do. The adjustment system is minimal but effective and the lid feels very secure on the head.
It ain’t cheap: £225 for this one, and £250 for the minimally-vented aero version.
Speedfill Z4 with Garmin mount
If you’re a triathlete and you’re using Speedfill’s bar-mounted hydration system then there’s a new cage available that integrates a quarter-turn Garmin mount. The Garmin’s right where you need it and you don’t lose any more bar space. A good bit of lateral thinking.
All the talk might be about disc brakes but that hasn’t stopped TRP making new dual calliper units too. This is the RG957 long drop brake, which is forged and CNCed alloy with stainless steel hardware and a cam release. It feels like a quality unit and the RRP is £129.99. It’s nice to have another quality option for the winter trainer/all-rounder
Overade folding helmet
Folding helmets usually leave us a bit cold in terms of the amount they actually fold, but this new lid from Overade does actually pack down quite small and it’s easy to fold too.
Once you’ve unfolded it and balanced it on your bonce the look is more Starship Troopers than Saxo Tinkoff (Yes, I know it’s Tinkoff first but the joke doesn’t work that way round) but it might appeal to the urban rider with a need to stash a lid in their bag.
Mio Alpha watch and Link HRM strap
Mio (not the Mio that make the GPS computers, confusingly) were showing this very interesting watch. It’s a heart rate monitor and measures your beats per minute with a sensor on the rear that listens to your wrist. It’s Bluetooth 4.0 so you should be able to pair it with an iPhone or newer Android phone and record your exertions through Strava or whatever mile-logging software you’re using.
As well as that there’s a non-watch version (the Link) that’s ANT+ compatible. Mio didn’t have one but we did take this pic of the catalogue for you. Cause we’re like that. The watch will retail for £174.99 and the Link will set you back £99.99.
We haven’t seen a lot of NeilPryde bikes recently but we liked the ones we did see, when we saw them. So it’s good to see that they’ve got UK distribution again, and also there’s a new bike to talk about, the Zephyr.
It’s their sportive iron, so all tall head tubes and thin stays. There’ll be an Ultegra build available for £2999 and the frameset on its own will set you back £1999. First impressions are that it’s a good looking beast with a few distinctive touches; the fork crown has a rib running rear to front, presumably for a touch of extra stiffness, while the dropouts are reversed to give a bit of compliance à la Trek Domane.
At the back the seatstays leave the chainstays well in front of the dropout, for presumably the same reason. It looks well made; it’s very neat internally when you look in through the bottom bracket. It’s UCI-stickered too, in case spotiving gets you into racing.
Colnago Master L'Art Décor
Here’s a lovely thing. Colnago’s exquisite Master road frame has been going since the 1980s and it’s largely unchanged in design; you still get a 1” Precisa road fork and the custom drawn tubing is designed to be super comfortable.
Available in 16 sizes and three colour variations, it’s yours for £2,199.95. And you get the headset thrown in.
Osmo are a new hydration brand, and their big name is Peter Sagan, who switched to their products last year after suffering from cramps at the Tour of California. They have a range of products for before, during and after your ride, and there’s ranges specifically for men and women.
Clément Strada LGG tyre
Clément are well known in the right circles for their cyclocross tyres (I’m told: I don’t move in those circles) and they have an interesting new road tyre, the Strada LGG. LGG is the airport code for Liège in Belgium, so you can see what they’re aiming at here.
Most interesting is the 28mm dual-compound version which features a 120tpi carcass and looks like it could be a good option for anyone wanting fast-rolling, big-chamber rubber. We’re going to try and get some in for testing, or possibly just steal them off the stand later on when everyone’s in the bar.
Rolf Prima Ares 4 road disc
One of the conversations we’ve been having a lot around the office is, “what’s the lowest spoke count you can have in a road disc wheel?”. We’re too lazy to work out the braking forces of discs and the elastic limit of spokes, so we mostly just look at the wheels on offer and rub our chins. We rubbed our chins a LOT at the Rolf Prima Ares 4 disc, which has just 20 spokes.
Twenty is the least we’ve seen; many people are hedging their bets at 28 although increasingly 24 is the standard. But we’ve talked to people who reckong that’s more or less the limit, so it’s very interesting to see Rolf knocking four off. presumably they’ve done the math. They’re American, you see.
All Rolf wheels are hand built in the USA and they use a paired spoke design which Rolf claim is more aerodynamic in real world conditions without sacrificing strength. The Ares 4 Disc wheelset will set you back a penny under £2k and weighs somewhere under 1,600g.
Identiti Initial D
We saw Identiti’s Initial D road bike last year but it’s take a full year for it to come to production; stock is weeks away. There’s a SRAM Red version ready for when SRAM sort out their recall – that’ll cost £4,000 – and a Shimano 105 bike for £1,800 wit Avid BB7s.
Both bikes use Halo wheels and the frame and wheels use a 130mm spacing rather than the now-more-common 135mm, which Identiti reckon gives fewer problems with chain line for road groupsets, as that’s what they’re designed for.
If you want to run Halo’s 130mm wheels in 135mm dropouts then they offer a spacer solution to adjust the disc position and space out the hub.
That’s all for now, they’re calling us for dinner. More tomorrow!