We’re just back from Trek World where the US brand are showing their 2014 products for the first time, and here are the highlights from their in-house Bontrager range…
Bontrager have a new top-end helmet called the Velocis (£159.99) that uses an aramid and composite inner skeleton support structure. As is the case when other brands employ similar technology, Bontrager say that this allows them to use larger vents without compromising the overall strength. As well as providing better airflow, that helps keep the weight down. Bontrager quote 225g which makes it one of the lighter helmets out there, certainly among those that haven't compromised comfort in pursuit of saving the grams.
The overall shape is very similar to that of the existing Oracle and the Velocis uses Bontrager’s proven Headmaster II fit system. As well as a dial-operated circumference adjustment, you get set the cradle to one of three different heights.
The padding extends right across your forehead, the idea being to prevent any sweat dripping down into your eyes. You can also fit a Neo Visor, if you like. It’s a peak that fixes in place in seconds with a hook and loop fastening.
The Quantum all-purpose lid is now available in this very yellow version that should get you noticed in traffic. It weighs 310-360g, depending on the size, and that peak is removable.
Bontrager have updated their RXL (above) and RL shoes with a new low-profile buckle and new graphics on both the straps and the soles.
That number in the middle there is a sole stiffness index. The higher the number, the stiffer the sole.
As in the 2012 range, the RXL and RL shoes use Bontrager’s Pro last which they first used in their RXXXL shoes in 2011. The Inform footbeds inside are still heat mouldable.
The 253g RL (above) is available in this bright yellow version for 2014.
These are the RXL Road Team Sky Edition shoes, as worn by Kanstantsin Siutsou. They’re available only in sizes 41-45 and in limited numbers – when they’re gone, they’re gone. We don’t have a price yet but we’re guessing they’ll be just over £200 a pair. Don’t hold us to that, though.
Bontrager do a mountain bike version in a Trek Factory Racing finish. These have an RL Mountain upper and a RXL Mountain sole. We have no price on these yet but, again, they’ll be available in limited numbers and 41-45 sizes.
Bontrager have invested in a new last for the Race Road (£79.99) and Race DLX Road (above, £99.99) shoes, available in both men's and women's versions. They say that the heel pocket is still as solid as before but there’s a bit more room up front in the forefoot.
Both shoes now feature what Bontrager are calling a ‘Power Truss’ sole. Yes, that’s a ‘Power Truss’ sole. As you can see, it’s a double-layer structure through the midfoot area, and it’s designed to add stiffness while keeping the weight low. The DXL, for example, weighs a claimed 275g per shoe.
The other thing to notice here is that the soles will take two-bolt mountain bike-style cleats as well as three-bolt road-type cleats from the likes of Shimano, Look and Time.
The Solstice (£74.99) is an interesting shoe with a full rubber outsole. Bontrager call it Tachyon rubber and it’s designed to provide plenty of grip.
The Solstice is really the Race Road with the addition of this walkable sole. You can leave the sole fully covered or you can remove that section under the ball of your foot and fit two-bolt cleats.
For more info on Bontrager products go to http://bontrager.com/.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, 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 youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.