Here's a quick roundup of the latest product news that we've heard about over the past few days.
Italy's Fizik has restyled its Versus X models which have a channel running down the centre to reduce pressure in that region.
"We improved the channel not in terms of deepness but in terms of comfort," said Fizik's Sarah Colpe. "The channel now is smoother, boasts a more ergonomically-shape profile that improves comfort and relieves the sensation of pressure.
"All saddles use PU/2P foam over a carbon-reinforced nylon base, and feature channel with a width up to 30mm and a depth up to 20mm."
The Versus X channel is available on several Arione, Aliante and Antares saddles.
“Most saddles with channels or cutaways rely on material being removed from the shell, but this can lead to excessive flex and premature failure,” says Fizik.
We’ve certainly known saddles to fail around the hole in the shell due to too much pressure on quite a small amount of material.
“In order to build a saddle with a deep channel that remains stiff and strong, Versus X saddles use a unique shell design with carbon-reinforced nylon construction. The Versus X shell is as stiff as a conventional saddle but with the added comfort benefits of a deep channel.
“On top of the shell is foam padding specially developed for the Versus X. Each Versus X saddle has a different combination of foam densities to fit the characteristics of different saddle shapes.”
The Versus X tech is available in Fizik’s Arione, Antares and Aliante saddle shapes, each designed for riders with a particular level of flexibility.
Each Versus X saddle is available with a choice of K:ium alloy or braided carbon rails. Weights range from 210g, meaning that there’s very little weight penalty if you're a rider that needs a deep channel for comfort.
Weights start at a claimed 209g (Antares Versus X braided) and prices are from £114.99.
Spanish brand Catlike has a new triathlon/time trial helmet called the Cloud 352 that features what it calls ‘Dual AeroSystem’ technology allowing you to adapt the shell to suit your riding and the conditions.
“The Catlike R&D department has studied the behaviour of different shell designs until arriving at the most aerodynamic hole dispersion,” says Catlike. “As a result we obtain the Breathable Reticulated Shell with a total of 352 holes throughout enables constant airflow, providing exceptional reticular aerodynamics, making the Cloud 352 one of the most ventilated helmets in the world.”
Reticular means ’netlike’. If you don’t need that level of airflow you can swap to the VeloDrom shell with a smooth surface. This one is said to offer an improved aerodynamic performance and extra protection against rain.
“The ventilation of the helmet with the VeloDrom shell is exceptional, thanks to the Dual Flow technology that allows airflow through the channels that are created between the holes placed in the frontal and rear part,” says Catlike.
The Catlike Cloud 352 is available in several colours for £129.99.
Britain's own folding bike specialist Brompton has announced the launch of the new Brompton Nickel Edition in a production run of 1,500, along with a Stardust Black paint finish version.
The Nickel Edition will be available worldwide, with each bike numbered.
“It is made from polished 50 micron high-phosphorus electroless nickel plating and is Brompton’s most advanced finish to date with exceptional anti-corrosion resistance normally reserved for mining and deep-sea drilling equipment creating a beautiful and striking finish,” according to Brompton.
The Nickel Edition bike also features black wheel rims, spokes and seatpost. The bike will be available with Brompton’s S, M and H Type handlebars, and you can choose between two-speed and six-speed.
The Nickel Edition will cost from £1,310 to £1,538. The Superlight Nickel Edition with a titanium fork and rear frame will be priced from £1,855 to £2,158.
The new Stardust Black paint finish contains tiny metallic flakes and has a gloss look . It is available via www.brompton.com/Buy/Build-your-Brompton.
The bikes will be available at all Brompton Junction stores and dealers worldwide from the end of March.
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.