IceBike is an annual roundup of the latest bikes and products that distributor Madison brings into the UK, and provides an opportunity for bike shop owners and press to get a first look at many of the hottest new 2017 products that are going to be available in your local bike shop very soon.
Here are some highlights from Genesis Bikes, Shimano, Thule, Madison, Park Tool, Finish Line, Elite, Mule Bar, Lazer and PRO. In case you missed it, we’ve already taken a closer look at the new Genesis Bikes 650b RoadPlus prototype and Ridley’s latest bikes.
Let's start with Genesis? Here’s the 2017 Volare team issue race bike, complete with new Shimano Dura-Ace.
The steel race bike might have been overshadowed by the carbon fibre Zero but the Reynolds beauty still cuts quite a presence, and the updated decals and graphics look sharp. They now only sell it has a frameset, using Reynolds 931 tubing, and it costs £1,699.
The Croix de Fer was launched about eight years ago well before the whole craze for adventure and gravel bikes really took off and showed the brand really had a clear grasp of the demands of a whole chunk of the UK cycling population. Versatile and adaptable for any sort of riding from commuting to touring, it has continued to be a success for the brand.
Here’s a titanium Croix de Fer loaded up with new Madison bikepacking bags ready for an adventure. The complete bike (without bags) costs £2,999 with Shimano 105 gears and hydraulic disc brakes with 35mm wide Clement X’Plor USH tyres.
The Datum, a carbon fibre endurance and adventure bike, goes unchanged for 2017. It’s a bike we were really impressed with when we reviewed it two years ago. This blue Shimano 105 equipped model cost £2,099.
New Elite bottle and cage
Elite sponsors 10 WorldTour professional cycling teams and it has a brand new water bottle for them to use this year. It’s called the Fly Team and weighs about half the 80g of the current Corsa Team bottles. Thanks to a new manufacturing process Elite has been able to use much less material, and not only does this save weight, it also makes the bottle a lot more squeezable.
There’s a new cap as well, with an improved nozzle membrane that increases fluid flow by up to 50%. Another benefit of the new design is that it’s much shorter compared to the old bottle, while still providing the same 550ml capacity.
That’s a good thing for very small frames but also useful on bikes where space is limited, whether full suspension mountain bikes or bikepacking setups. The new bottle does cost a pound more (£5.99) but Elite is confident the improvements are worth the price increase. In the photo above you can see how much shorter the new bottle is.
With a new bottle comes a new cage, this one is called the Vico. Elite has invested in its own manufacturing capabilities and it is producing this new cage in-house. It uses a carbon injection moulded process and weighs just 23g. It’s available in four colour combinations and will be used by the pro teams this year. We’ve got a couple that we’re going to test so watch out for a review soon.
From the state-of-the-art to the retro, Elite had these classically themed water bottles hidden away on its display stand. So last year they produced an aluminium water bottle L'Eroica event but this year they have produced a range of five plastic water bottles. Can you tell us the three iconic teams? Answers in the comments section please...
Lazer has got loads of new helmets and shades lined up for 2017, but we’re picking out the new Bullet aero road helmet for now. It hasn’t been released just yet, they’re aiming for a summer launch (likely to coincide with the Tour de France) and as such, there is no price at this stage.
There are some cool features. It’s loosely based on the current Z1, you can see parts of that helmet in the side profile of the Bullet, but the rest of it is totally difference. Lazer has access to a wind tunnel near its Belgian headquarters now and so there’s a clear focus on reducing drag over its surface.
That honeycomb panel at the front provides on-demand ventilation, it can be closed by pulling it down or the air vents opened by pushing it backwards. There are internal channels that help to flow air around the head and plenty of exhaust ports to fire warm air out the back.
It’ll be available in four sizes and a range of colours, and it’s compatible with Lazer’s LifeBeam system.
Lots of new eyewear options, these are the new Eddy M2 costing £99. Available in a range of frame colours and lens tints.
This is the Walter, also £99, and a full frame design.
There’s something for the kids as well.
Shimano Dura-Ace and PRO Vibe
Ooh, that’s a pretty looking bike. Now my reason for showing you this bike isn’t that I really like red bikes, it’s because this Trek-Segafredo team issue Trek Emondo race bike is decked out with the latest Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 Di2 electronic groupset.
Now we’ve covered this groupset in much detail, Mat has even had a ride on it which you can read here.
One little detail that I wanted to show you that has gone under the radar a little bit is the bar-end handlebar junction box plug. Rather than the junction box being strapped to the stem, Shimano has found a neat way of hiding it inside the handlebar. There’s easy access to the charge port and the systems diagnostics button, with the added benefit of being easier to access when riding and it’s out of the wind.
Another interesting piece of equipment on this bike is the new PRO Vibe handlebar and stem developed in conjunction with Team Sky.
The handlebar has an aerodynamic design, all flattened top sections that make it look like something out of sci-fi movie, with internal cable routing to reduce drag. The stem has a reverse titanium faceplate bolts and a wedge-shaped steerer tube section. The top cap also allows for cables to enter into the steerer tube where a Di2 battery can be positioned.
Lastly, there’s a new saddle. It’s called the Stealth and was developed with the Giant-Alpecin team and there’s just a whiff of the Specialized Power Expert about its snub-nosed design. It’s “optimised for comfort and performance under the most aggressive rider positioning,” says Shimano and was honed using the Shimano Dynamics Lab and bikefitting.com.
Thule has issued some new bike luggage solutions. This is the new Pack’N Pedal Shield seat pack. With a 0.8 litre capacity, it looks ideal for longer rides where you want to carry just a bit more than a spare tube. We reckon it’ll be ideal for the Dirty Reiver where you need to take a survival blanket and emergency whistle plus a few more spares for the unexpected.
If you need even more storage and want something that doesn’t rely on straps like a bikepacking bag, this Pack’N Pedal Shield Handlebar Bar could be ideal. There’s a mount that fixes securely to the handlebar, with the bag providing 7.5 litres of storage space, with easy access mesh pockets and a transparent map pocket on the top.
Madison launches bikepacking range
Talking of bikepacking, it’s all the craze right now of course and Madison has introduced its own range, featuring a saddle, frame and handlebar pack.
Mule Bar has expanded its range, with a new Lemon and Ginger flavour energy bar (with a very refreshing taste) and an Almond and Strawberry Protein Bar.
New too is this complete range of energy gels. These are big bottles, Mule Bar isn’t suggesting you lug them around in your jersey pocket. Instead, it has developed a way to tackle the littering problem that seems to afflict mass start cycling events around the world.
These individual energy bars have a flip top so you can choose how much gel you need, you don’t have to down the whole lot in one go. The cap also prevents the sticky mess that occurs with opened gels and is a large reason why so many cyclists seem to drop them on the road. The beauty of the system is that the cap can be removed and the tube refilled from one of the bigger bottles. That cuts down on a lot of waste.
It has another solution, these larger energy gel containers that can be bought separately and filled with any flavour gel you like. The larger capacity makes them ideal for longer distance rides and saves need a clutch of gels to get you through the event. It’s a neat idea and we look forward to trying it out.
E-bikes are growing in popularity and so too is the market for specific products. Finish Line has developed n e-Bike Chain Lube that it claims is better at dealing with the higher torque loads placed on a chain on a pedal assist bike. It’s using molybdenum, which it has used in small quantities in its previous chain lubes, but in this new formulation it takes centre stage and is said to “offset high torque acceleration” better than regular lubes. It can also be used on regular bikes.
The e-Bike Cleaner has a foaming technology that is safe on all the electronic parts on an e-bike.
One product that caught my eye is the Pedal & Cleat Dry Film Lubricant. If like me you use Speedplay pedals you’ll know it’s recommended to lube the cleats from time to time, Finish Line has developed a formula that dries to leave a slippery film and is said to be long-lasting. It can be used on regular clipless pedals as well. We’ve got a sample which we’re going to try and see if it provides an improvement in clipping in and out of the pedals.
Problems with a creaky, squeaky press-fit bottom bracket? Park Tool might have the solution: it has added a press-fit retaining compound and adhesive primer to its range. The primer prepares the surface of the frame while the retaining compound, applied to the bearings, keeps the bearings securely in place. The retaining compound sticks to the primer, you have to use both together, you can’t use one without the other because that way could result in permanently bonded parts.
The CM-25 Professional Chain Scrubber is designed for use in bike shops. The aluminium construction is intended to be more robust and durable than the regular consumer friendly plastic version. Inside it uses the same brushes with a cartridge-style design so they can be easily replaced.
There’s also a new grease gun. It can be used with the supplied grease canister or a tube of compatible grease can be screwed right into the applicator.
Need a tyre lever? There’s everything from shop grade metal tyre levers to lightweight emergency plastic levers. The TL-6.2 combines a metal core with a plastic outer to protect rims, and would be handy for fitting stubborn tubeless tyres.
Park Tool has updated is wheel truing stand so that it now accommodates really wide wheels.
This Park Tool workstand gets a few updates to be compatible with bikes with thru-axle forks, while the section that holds the bottom bracket in place has been redesigned to cater for the wide range of bottom brackets now in use.
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.