2015 is well into its stride now and the bicycle show season has began. These annual shows give us the opportunity to report on the latest bikes, products, parts and accessories that you can expect to see in shops and online retailers throughout the year. Some products are available right now, some you'll have to wait a few months for. In this roundup, we've got new frames, bags, lots and lots of bar tape, gloves, handlebars, wheels and quite a bit more besides.
Transition Rapture CX frame
Turns out US mountain bike company Transition has a penchant for cyclocross, as it has added the Rapture CX to its range.
It was actually launched last year, but this is the first time we’ve seen one in the flesh. And it’s a lovely looking thing. Slender steel tubes of 4130 seamless butted chromoly and swappable dropouts so you can convert it between a geared or singlespeed setup.
It’s a disc-only frame, with the rear brake hose internally routed inside the top tube, and down tube cable stops for the gear cables. The frame features an oversized 44mm head tube, so you can fit a number of forks other than the steel fork it is supplied with if you wanted.
The frame weighs a claimed 2.14kg (4.7lb) and 1kg (2.2lb) for the steel fork with an uncut steerer tube.
Evoc bags for your bikes, cameras and tablets
This new Evoc bike bag is more than just a bike bag, it’s a protective cocoon for your pride and joy. It’s about £100 more than the regular bag, but boasts loads of new features that should provide even more protection for your precious bike, as well as being easier to use and manhandle through a crowded airport.
On the outside there are new zip toggles, and a third wheel which, in the demonstration we witnessed, makes it a doddle to wheel along the ground. If you've ever pushed a bike bag through a crowded airport, you'll know how frustrating they can be. The two existing wheels are bolted to a single plastic mount with a wide stance that provides better durability and increased stability too.
Inside, there’s even more padded protection. The external wheel compartments now have disc brake protectors, ideal for mountain bikes but also a disc-equipped road bike, if you have one of those. That’ll stop the rotors bending during travel. There are specifically shaped mounts to sit the frame into, and a guide for the chain, and other bits designed to perfectly pamper your bike when it’s bagged up. It costs £399.
Also from Evoc is the FR Porter bag. It has the understated looks and just enough stowage capacity for transporting your sandwiches and change of clothes when for zipping across town into the office. There’s a dedicated tablet and 17in laptop pockets, as well as a slew of other pockets and compartments for keeping you organised.
If you’re a budding photographer and want to take your camera(s) on your travels, Evoc has you catered for with these two photo backpacks. On the right is the new Photo Scout, and the other bag is the imaginatively titled CP 35 L.
Both have a dedicated and adjustable compartment for storing multiple cameras, lenses and other accessories, and are ideal for safely transporting expensive cameras and lenses on a ride.
FSA “The Shark” Tour de France limited edition handlebars, stem and seatpost
To commemorate Vincenzo Nibali’s winning of the Tour de France last year, FSA has released a limited edition K-Force handlebar, stem and seatpost package with Vincenzo Nibali’s “Shark” nickname and logo splashed across in with a generous dose of yellow.
Based on the regular K-Force Compact handlebar, K-Force OS-99 stem and K-Force SB25 seatpost, and costing the same as those regular products, they’ll be limited to just 300 pieces and be sold as a set.
Also new from FSA, and first spotted on Nibali’s Tour de France bike last summer, is this new bar tape.
It will be available in a wide range of colours, and doing away with the necessity for a strip of boring black finishing tape, FSA has introduced a wide finishing strip displaying that displays FSA logo when fitted. It's quite a neat design. The tape costs £24.99 and we’ll be getting some in to test soon.
Vision is a sub-brand of FSA and used more for its triathlon products. New in the range is this aero handlebar, the Metron 4D. Aerodynamics is a big thing in road cycling this year (not that you need us to remind you) and there is quite a choice of new aero bars on the market from the likes Cervelo, Canyon and Specialized.
As well as aerodynamics though, the new handlebar is said to offer better ergonomics as well. So it's more aero and more comfortable. Win win. It has a 10 degree forward bend which it claims “accommodates the natural position of your arms for more comfort and easier breathing” and the top of the drops have a flattened section, to provide a smooth transition to the hoods. Available in four widths, each with a 135mm drop and 80mm reach, and a claimed 245g weight (42cm).
BBB new eyewear and FDJ replica helmet
BBB has added these Impress glasses (£24.99) to its range for 2015. They’re available in a range of colours and they came with a choice of lenses to suit different conditions. We reckon they look pretty smart for the money. We’ll be getting some to test.
You can pair the new shades with BBB’s Icarus top-end racing helmet.
The company is sponsoring the FDJ professional team this season so expect to see a lot more of this helmet if you watch any racing this season. As well as this replica colour here, loads of other colours are available. The helmet boasts 29 vents with a double in-mould construction and QuickDry pads.
Easton wheels now available in the UK
After a bit of a delay (we first reported on these wheels way back in 2013) Easton’s EC90 Aero 55 wheels are now available in the UK. Easton has completely overhauled its entire wheel range to address reliability concerns, and the results look good.
The EC90 Aero 55 is an all-new model, a carbon fibre deep section rim available in tubular or clincher. The clincher version is tubeless-ready as well, so you can add it to the very small list of carbon tubeless wheels currently available.
The rims are fashionably wide, 28mm, with a rounded profile, similar to what has become the norm from the likes of Zipp, HED and Bontrager. The tubular set weighs 1,330g and the clincher 1,580g. The wheels feature new Echo hubs, with angular contact cartridge bearings and a 7 degree engagement freehub.
Even newer than the EC90 Aero 55 is the E100 wheelset. We first saw it at Eurobike last September where they were first unveiled. Easton is aiming very high with this wheelset, with a £3,000 price tag they’re firmly in Lightweight territory. Not only are eyewateringly expensive, with a claimed 1,050g weight they’re also ridiculously light.
How so light? Well that’s due to an almost complete carbon fibre construction, from the rims to the hubs and spokes. Easton has developed a new oversize body hub shell with carbon fibre spokes that can be tensioned. The rim is a new profile, 45mm deep and 24mm wide and, for the time being anyway, tubular only.
The freehub has six pawls providing a 6 degree engagement, and a spin of the wheel reveals the noisiest freehub I’ve ever heard. A Chris King hub ain’t got anything on this new Easton hub.
More at http://www.silverfish-uk.com
New Pedros minipump and chain cleaner
The compact Madame minipump from Pedros is claimed to be mighty enough to inflated a road tyre up to 11 bar (154psi) which is certainly impressive if that is the case. It might even have John Stevenson taking an interest...
It manages this impressive feat, according to the company, with a multi chamber double action design - the first 7 bar only requiring 5kg of hand pressure, which the company reckons is less than other pumps. There is a pressure gauge and the head can be used on presta and schrader valves. It costs £24.99.
Keeping the drivetrain of your bicycle clean can be more time consuming at this time of year with roads covered in salt and mud. The Pedros Chain Pig aims to make cleaning the chain easy, with large diameter brush wheels and a durable sponge wiping away dirt and grime, and all contained in a tough and strong plastic case. It costs £24.99.
Available from www.2pure.co.uk
Brooks launches new leather bags
Iconic leather saddle company Brooks has been expanding its range of non-saddle products in recent years, and has launched a nice range of bags.
This one is the Pickwick, it’s available in a couple of different sizes, depending on how much luggage you need to transport. The Pickwick is a canvas roll-top backpack made from water-resistant cotton with Brooks leather trim with plenty of pockets for all your bits and bobs. Unlike the saddles which are made in the UK, the bags are all made in Italy.
This bag is the Paddington Shoulder Bag. It’s based on the company’s Barbican Shoulder Bag but is more compact and features an updated flap design with side panels to provide more protection for the contents. It’s made from water resistant cotton canvas, in Italy, and is available in four colours, including this smart blue.
Lastly, the latest saddle from Brooks, the Cambium C17, is now available in two new colours, slate and black, if the natural colour isn’t to your aesthetic tastes.
Want some matching bar tape with your new saddle?
Mark Cavendish edition Supucaz bar tape
Talking of bar tape, if you're a Mark Cavendish fan, here is the Supacaz Super Sticky Kush Cavendish edition bar tape. Ideal if your budget won't quite stretch to the Cavendish Specailized Venge McLaren bike. The bar tape is the same as the regular bar tape, in colour black, with Cavendish branded finishing tape. It's not cheap though at £35.99.
Silicone bar tape from Genetic
We spotted this new tape on the Genetic stand, too. It's made from silicone and it doesn't have any kind of adhesive on the back: the natural grippiness of the silicone is enough to keep everything in place, so re-taping should be a cinch. It's pretty tough too, and also has a pleasant feel to it, with lots of grip for your hands and cushioning too.
The trade-off for all that is that it's around 100g heavier than a standard bar tape, so it's not one for your race bike but could be an excellent choice for a more heavy duty machine. It'll retail for £20 and for now comes in black, white, red, blue and pink.
Lizard Skins DSP available in different thicknessess
There's a definite bar tape theme emerging in this article. Here's some of the huge range of Lizard Skins DSP bar tape. As well as a huge choice of colours, you can get it in different thickness, from 1.8, 2.5 and 3.2mm, ideal if you have a preference for thick or thin bar tape.
New from Lizard Skins is this range of gloves. It's mostly mitts in a choice of colours and styles, but there is full finger gloves too. We'll be taking a closer look when we get some in for review soon. More at www.2pure.co.uk
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.