UPDATED! CORE bike - Colnago, Traitor, FSA, Nokon, Campag, De Rosa, Merckx and more...
We go to rural Northamptonshire so you don't have to...
We're busy looking in all ths dusty corners of the CORE Bike show looking for shiny new things to talk about, and it turns out there's lots of new stuff to see. We'll be updating this story with new stuff throughout the day when we get the time, so keep checking back to see what's happening at the show...
We've seen the Colnago range before but you don't need to give us an excuse to have another look over them. We'll see the new bikes at Eurobike but in the meantime the Colnago chaps did have lots of pretty things for us to see. Most pretty of all was the excellent C59 Italia (http://road.cc/content/review/27491-colnago-c59-frameset) with Thomas Voeckler's Bastille Day paint job. There's not many of the Voeckler C59s out on the mean streets of the UK – three, to be precise – and the sparkly paint will set you back an extra hundred quid. Still, if you're paying over three grand for a frameset you can probably afford it, eh. Colnago are also doing a small clothing range in association with De Marchi which would look very tidy atop the C59. The jersey is £79 and there's a nice-looking set of bibs for £89 too.
The new Gallium Pro was the bike that Argon 18 wanted to show is, and we were happy looking. It's a very nice looking bit of kit indeed, and light too; the build at Core Bike was easily under the UCI weight limit, albeit with some rather tasty Carbon wheels from Fulcrum. Argon 18 take a two-section approach to bike design, drawing a line between the rear dropout and the head tube: everything below the line is designed for stiffness and everything above for comfort, so they tell us. Certainly stiffness won't be an issue with the monolithic bottom bracket area, which is also available as a BB30. The most interesting part of the bike though is the head tube and headset area. Argon 18 have developed a system that allows the height of the head tube to be adjusted by up to 20mm, which is a similar amount of difference to other manufacturers' sport and comfort models. There's a screw thread in the top of the head tube that accepts a locking ring that the headset sits on, and you can pad it out with spacers of different sizes. That allows you to sit the geometry up a bit without resorting to a long spacer stack, which Argon 18 claim gives the bike much more stiffness at the front end.
There's a new slimline version of the Nokon cable system that looks the business on road bikes and weighs 60% less than standard cabling, so Nokon tell us. It uses a higher grade alloy than the fatter Nokon cables. it's available in five colours and each pack contains everything you need to either gears or brakes for both Shimano and Campag. The internal sleeving system means that you can run a continuous sleeve from lever to calliper or mech, which cuts down drastically on water ingress and means that the cables run smoother for longer, and since the Aluminium outers don't compress at all there's less fiddling with the barrel adjuster
Available only in black, and only for your gear cables, is Nokon's new Carbon cable system It's gear only because Carbon won't handle the compression forces of the brake lines, it's not very good in compression. It's even lighter than the new lightweight slimline system and your wallet will be a lot lighter too: a set of the Carbon bits will set you back £140, with the slimline cables costing £70 and the standard size £60
FSA have started to manufacture their own wheels in house, which should mean that they can offer lighter wheelsets for the same money now they're not outsourcing them. The process they're using for their rims looks to be similar to the one that Shimano use for their Carbon/Aluminium units, with a layer of structural Carbon over an Aluminium base. First up there's a 42mm section wheel, branded as Vision to tie it into FSA's time trialling line-up. FSA tell us that the wheelset weight in at 1.7kg which isn't shabby at all for a 42mm rim, and they're built up with FSA's rims which house oversized bearings for a smooth ride. The spokes are Sapim and there's a 2 year warranty on the build. There's also a 24mm section wheelset that uses the same technology; the narrow rim brings the weight down to a claimed 1.4kg. Either wheelset will set you back £699.
FSA's SL-K components have always been dependable high-end kit, and through February and March they'll be running an offer to get 30% off the whole range of components, which means you could pick up the £430 Carbon SL-K chainset for just £300. You have to download a voucher and take it to your dealer and you'll be able to do that right here on road.cc, stay tuned.
Agu had a couple of interesting lightweight jackets on display. The Secco Pro is the training jacket of choice for the Rabobank team and it's constructed from Poray 5000 fabric. The main closure is a wide Velcro strip as opposed to a zip, which helps with donning the jacket on the bike, and there's a watch window in the sleeve so you can keep track of your training. The amusingly named Secco Condom is a stowaway jacket; it comes with its own pouch that's sewn into the neck. The external fabric is the same as the Secco Pro but there's no membrane layer so it's very light and packable, with a deeply dropped rear to keep road crud off your shorts. It retails for £75; the Secco Pro is £100.
For an easy to browse gallery of the pics, head to www.road.cc/image-tag/core-bike-2011