UK distributor Chicken Cycles has just visited road.cc to talk about products for testing over the next few months, and here are some of the highlights…
The Nemo is made from a TIG welded Columbus Spirit steel tubeset. It comes with a tapered head tube (1 1/8in bearing at the top, 1 1/2in at the bottom) for front end stiffness and a slim 27.2mm seatpost for comfort. The fork is Columbus FEL monocoque carbon.
The frameset (£1,599.99) is available in five different colours: silver (pictured), black, purple, red and yellow. If none of those takes your fancy, you can pay £200 extra and get any colour you want (with a lead time of 30 days).
The complete bike built up as seen here, with a Campagnolo Athena groupset and Miche Altur wheels, is priced at £2,549.99.
If you’re after traditional style shoes, perhaps for L’Eroica Brittania or perhaps simply because you’re into the retro look, Vittoria’s 1976 is now available with a carbon-fibre sole (£160) rather than the existing nylon sole, and a mouldable insole, the same as found in the Ikon.
Laced cycling shoes have made a comeback since Giro introduced its Empire. Like the Empire, the 1976 has a microfibre upper, although it looks leather.
Selle Italia has several new saddles.
The SLR Nubuk (£114.99) has titanium rails and a leather upper with a suede-like finish.
The SLR X-Cross (£103.99) is designed for cyclocross riding. It is built to the usual SLR shape but with more padding than normal under the sit bones and herring bone anti-slip panels that are designed to help you stay in place. The rails are titanium.
The Net saddles (£21.99-£28.99), aimed at the commuter market, are designed to be durable and come in a range of different colours and finish designs.
The Kronos saddle is a development of Selle Italia’s existing Iron saddle but, unlike the Iron saddle, it’s UCI legal. It comes with carbon rails and isn’t cheap: £288.99.
The Novus Superflow (£116.99) features an elongated cutout that continues right through the nose. It’s designed as a race-type saddle but with a bit more comfort than some.
Belgian brand Vermarc makes its clothing in Italy and sells direct to the consumer via www.vermarc.co.uk.
The SPL clothing is a mid-range option, the jerseys (£54.99) coming in what Vermarc calls a ‘tight fit’ which is actually a bit looser than its ‘race fit’.
Specialite TA now makes non-round Ovalution chainrings to go alongside its extensive range of round ones, all made in France. The idea is that they help you deliver more power. Some people find non-round chainrings helpful, some people don’t. These are fairly similar to the shape of Rotor’s Q-Rings.
The Ovulation chainrings will be available soon in a variety of sizes although we don’t have prices for you yet.
We told you last year that Vittoria was adding graphene to its 2016 tyre range, graphene being a “revolutionary material in the form of a very thin, nearly transparent sheet of pure carbon.”
Vittoria claims that graphene offers more grip in the wet, more puncture resistance, better durability and lower rolling resistance.
The Vittoria Corsa G+ (denoting graphene) clincher is available with both para (classic) and grey sidewalls, priced at £54.99.
All of the Rubino tyres are now G+ and they are all £34.99. The Pro Control is designed as a high-mileage tyre that’s good in the wet and offers a high level of puncture resistance; the Pro Endurance is similar designed to cope with temperatures below 0°C; the Pro Speed is designed to be a lighter and faster summer tyre.
For more info go to www.chickencycles.co.uk.
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.