The UK cycle industry’s Core Bike Show always gives us the chance to catch up on products we’ve not seen before and here are the highlights from this year’s event.
Tifosi updates Auriga road bike
The Spirit Tifosi team will be riding an updated Tifosi Auriga (main pic, above) this year, the designers having worked to make it more of an all-round performance bike for 2018 rather than a purely aero bike.
Tifosi makes some frequently heard claims for the new bike. It’s said to be lighter than before with a frame and fork weight of 1.48kg, and the increased diameter down tube, bottom bracket and chainstays are designed to increase stiffness and power transfer.
Tifosi also says that increased compliance in the seatstays adds to the comfort, and the frame and fork will take tyres up to 28mm wide.
The Auriga is rim brake only for the time being although you can expect a disc version next year.
The frameset retails at £899.99 while complete bikes start at £1,899.99 (that’s with a Campagnolo Potenza groupset).
Tifosi claims that its Mons is the world’s lightest production bike at 4.6kg – if you go for the build with boutique components and a £9,000 price tag. More accessible options, like the one pictured above, are available, all using the same 780g (in a size medium) frame.
The frameset is £1,499.99 with a complete bike in a Shimano Ultegra mechanical build costing £3,199.99
Argon 18 redesigns Krypton CS
Argon 18 has redesigned its Krypton. It previously came in a race geometry but now it is more relaxed, designed to offer a comfortable and stable ride, and the carbon layup is intended to help absorb vibration. It’ll also take tyres up to 32mm wide.
Argon 18’s 3DPlus system gives you the option of three different head tube heights. This design is intended to offer more front end stiffness than if you simply used headset spacers.
New helmets from HJC
If you watched any of last week’s Tour Down Under you might have seen André Greipel and his Lotto-Soudal team-mates wearing new helmets from HJC.
HJC? It’s a Korean brand with a background in the world of motorcycling. It has just launched its first two cycling helmets, the Furion and the Ibex, into a very competitive market that’s dominated by established brands likes of Giro, Bell, Specialized and Met.
Both of the helmets are performance orientated and have plenty of adjustability. The Furion is the more aero design, priced at £150 and weighing just 190g, while the Ibex is designed to be more airy, priced at £180.
The helmets are both fairly low profile so you don’t get that mushroom look when you put them on, and each is available in four different finishes. We’ll be hassling UK distributor Extra for test samples.
New lids from Endura too
Endura is increasing the size of its range of helmets for 2018 following the success of its designs over the past few years, particularly since it started using Koroyd Technology where co-polymer extruded tubes are thermally welded to create the core. The energy management properties of the Koroyd is said to reduce trauma levels in the event of a crash. Endura uses Koroyd with a larger diameter than is used by Smith, and says that this results in improved venting.
This Drag2Zero Aeroswitch model that will be available in the spring is a twofer design in that it’s both an aero road helmet and a full-on time trial helmet.
The lower section clips in place and can be removed or reattached in seconds. The same goes for the visor which is held in place by magnets.
The Pro SL road helmet has much larger spaces in its shell and it feels superlight.
Fizik R1 shoes in new Movistar finish
Movistar Team has changed its kit from a dark blue to a much lighter shade for this season. Here it is, made by Endura (above).
Endura has rolled that blue out into its non-Movistar clothing too. You can get pretty much everything except biblongs in this colour now.
The whole of Movistar Team will be wearing the Fizik Infinito R1 shoes in this design during 2018.
They’ll be available to buy from March at the same price as the other Infinito R1 options, £349.99.
Colnago launches eBike range
eBikes from Colnago? That’ll have the purists spluttering into their cappuccini (as long as it’s before 11am, of course).
Colnago has announced a seven e-bike range, developed with fellow Italian bike brand Atala, all of them powered by Bosch Performance Line CX systems. Five are mountain bikes while the two Impact models are road orientated. They could be used for leisure or for commuting, each coming with mudguards and a rear rack along with a 50mm-travel fork.
The Impacts are available in six different sizes, the XS model coming with a 400mm seat tube, so it’s suitable for smaller riders.
Now this is very, very clever, and it takes a bit of explaining… the idmatch system, created by an Italian company called Ergoview https://ergoview.it/, is essentially a way of getting you set up on your bike in a position that’s both comfortable and efficient, and with components that are most suitable for you. It could be coming to a bike shop near you soon.
Wearing your cycling kit (rather than the civvies of our glamorous model), you stand in front of an Xbox Kinect camera which scans you and measures various parts of your body – your shoulder width, for instance, your arm and leg length, and so on. There’s no need for markers on your joints or anything like that. It also measures your pelvic rotation when you bend forward.
Then you get on the bike and ride. As you pedal, the system – still checking you out through that camera – assesses the angles of your body – elbow, shoulder, lumbar, knee and ankle – and the fluidity of your motion, and it will automatically alter the position of the saddle and the handlebar (fore and aft, and up and down) from time to time until it gets you into the position that works best for you. This is the really clever bit.
That might sound very prescriptive but whoever’s operating the system can tell it what sort of setup you’re after – a classic road position, for instance, or a gran fondo position – and add details of any injuries or issues you have, so it’s completely focused on the individual.
To cut a long story short, the system will end up suggesting a position for you, including things like crank length and handlebar width.
The retailer can then either set up your existing bike in that configuration (using lasers fired at targets on the saddle and handlebar, believe it or not) or the system can suggest a bike and components that would allow you to achieve your position from a database that contains measurements of loads and loads of products. Selle Italia is a part owner of the company behind the design but idmatch is just as likely to suggest a saddle from Fizik, say, or any other brand that’s included in the database.
Anyway, that’s a very condensed version of a very smart process. We’ll try to organise a full bike fitting so we can show you exactly how it works.
Fantic’s gravel eBike
Fantic recently announced what it’s calling the world’s first gravel eBike, and we certainly can’t think of another. The Gravel GT is built around an aluminium frame and a carbon thru-axle fork. It comes with a SRAM Apex groupset, including hydraulic disc brakes, and the alloy wheels are shod with 35mm-wide tyres. It runs on a Brose motor that’s powered by a BMZ battery.
The Gravel GT comes in two versions: the 417w model is £3,499.95 while the 630w model (offering a longer runtime) is £3,799.95.
Fantic also offers the Passo Giau road eBike with a carbon frame, a Fazua electric motor and a battery that’s integrated into the down tube. It’s priced £4,999.95.
Cane Creek's ridiculously light eeNut Preload
This is one for the most dedicated of weight weenies. It’s a headset preload assembly that weighs – wait for it – 9.6g. That means it'll save you maybe 30g, but maybe you're of the opinion that it all counts.
More new stuff on the way
We hear that a disc version of the Look 785 Huez is planned for this year.
Following Pirelli’s successful launch into the road bike tyres market last year, tubeless and tubular models will soon be added to the range.
Orro has developed a 3D printed stem that will be available later in the year. It won’t come as standard on Orro bikes but it’ll be available as an upgrade.
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 pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.