Saddleback is a UK distributor of high-end brands like Castelli, Enve, Chris King, Silca and more, it also now boasts new signings Moots Cycles, Wolf Tooth and HJC. We popped along to its annual dealer show to check out some of the latest and most interesting products.
Moots has a new home with Saddleback now distributing the iconic titanium brand. Here is the Routt 45 gravel bike to whet your appetite, we’ll have a more in-depth look at Moots in a follow-up article later today.
Expect to see more of HJC helmets, with Lotto-Soudal wearing them and Saddleback distributing them in the UK. Talking of Lotto, here’s a team replica version of the Valeco model so you can do your best Thomas de Gendt impression.
Plenty of cooling vents and a nod to aerodynamics, adjustable retention systems and thin straps and priced at £125 so it sits underneath the company’s flagship Ibex 2.0 model, which is the helmet favoured by the Lotto team.
It weighs a claimed 220g so it’s right on the money for what we’d expect a helmet of this price to weigh.
This is the Furion 2.0, a semi-aero helmet with fewer vents than the Valeco to reduce drag. It’s also light, with a claimed 190g weight which is impressive for an aero helmet. For comparison, a Specialized Evade II weighs 254g. It costs £180.
The helmet pictured on the right is their range-topping Ibex 2.0 model. It weighs a claimed 200g and the vents are designed to ensure it can cope with the hottest mountain stages with 16 vents developed and tested in the South Korean company’s own wind tunnel. It costs £200.
They look like really nicely finished helmets and we can’t wait to try them out.
I’ve tested dozens of bikes with twin bolts on the top tube, but getting a bag to attach to the bolts has proven tricky.
Silca now does one, the Speed Capsule TT which is designed to be aerodynamic, as the name suggests, but is highly water-resistant so it’ll keep your sweeties dry.
We had a quick browse through the latest Castelli range and these two jerseys from the women’s collection grabbed our attention. What do you think? The one above is the Goccia Jersey FZ jacket with a design that reminds me of those colouring books that were popular a few years ago. And below is the Fresca Jersey FZ with a bold and colourful design.
We’ll have more details on the full Castelli range soon.
Costing £3,600, The 3T Exploro Pro Rival (above) is the cheapest complete bike the Italian company has ever offered.
It gets a SRAM Rival 1 groupset, Fulcrum wheels, Schwalbe G-One tyres and WTB and 3T finishing kit.
This is a brand new Exploro Team with SRAM Eagle/Force eTap AXS groupset, so you get all the range you could ever want from the massive 10-50t cassette.
It’s basically the same setup I tested on the Open WIDE recently and you can see my thoughts on that setup in my review video here. It costs £6,000 and uses the 100g lighter Team frame.
Wolf Tooth is well known for its range of chainrings which have been popular with home-brewed 1x bikes in recent years. It’s one of the few companies still investing in aftermarket chainring design and sees a lot of demand for its products, and it’s expanding with rings compatible with Shimano GRX, Shimano XTR 12-speed and SRAM’s AXS. You’d think a chainring is just a chainring right, but the company revealed that every time a company comes out with a new groupset it has to spend a lot of time developing compatible groupsets. It’ll be bringing a range of 1x chainrings for Shimano’s brand new GRX groupset that’ll offer a wider range than Shimano offers. With a GRX groupset in the office, we’ll be sure to check them out.
Highlight of the show? Probably the Pack Pliers from Wolf Tooth which is a multi-tool developed to do many things. Its primary function is for installing and removing chain quick links, with spares neatly stored in the case using magnets to hold them in place.
Other functions include a tyre lever, Presta valve core remover and valve stem lock nut. So many uses! It would make the ideal Christmas gift for the cyclist that has everything.
Wolf Tooth also makes soft goods and is planning on expanding its range of on-bike storage options with some bikepacking light options, ideal for those people doing a very long single day ride and want to be able to carry a few bits and bobs on the bike without relying solely on jersey pockets.
The B-Rad here is a roll-top bag large enough with 1.1L capacity to store a jacket, food or tools, yet has as streamlined fit under the saddle.
Here’s a lovely thing. It’s the Morse Cage, made by King Cage in Colorado, and available in titanium (pictured) or stainless steel.
It neatly provides up to 32mm of vertical adjustment with four holes and slots for each fixing point.
Fancy customising your disc-equipped bike with some coloured thru-axles? Wolf Tooth does them for a variety of mountain (pictured) and road bike thru-axle standards.
Keeping with the colour customisation theme that takes me right back to the 90s, mountain bike brand Peaty’s (formed by legend MTB downhill racer Steve Peat) was showing this coloured tubeless valves. One very neat attention to detail is the aluminium cap serves as a valve remover tool, so no more scrabbling around for that little rubbish tool when you need to remove the cores, either for adding more sealant or inflating stubborn tyres. The company also offers a lifetime warranty.
It’s not new, but it is seriously bling so it’s worth sharing again. It’s the stunning all-carbon 3T Torno LTD carbon crankset which costs a cool £1,050.
It’s solely designed for 1x bikes and Wolf Tooth makes compatible chainrings. Each crankset is made by THM, by hand, and weighs a claimed 300g.
Unveiled at Eurobike last week, here is the brand new smart bike from Stages. The company has 10 years experience making gym bikes but this is the first smart bike, and the timing couldn’t be better as this does seem to be the year of the smart bike.
It offers a wide range of fit adjustment, programmable shifting and brakes, steering control, and 1% accuracy with dual-sided power measurement at the cranks.
It’s very solidly made and looks to be finished to a high standard. It’s going to be available in early 2020 with a guide price of about £2,500.
Inside the heart of a Chris King rear hub.
An array of lovely Enve carbon stems.
Last but not least, Sidi has launched the Jarin shoe for gravel enthusiasts. It’s meant to “close the gap between a road and mountain bike shoe” and has a full carbon sole with two-bolt cleat drillings and the upper from the Sidi Wire 2 with two Tecno-3 Push rotary retention dials.
The carbon sole has replaceable reinforcement mounts for pedal cleats to ensure durability and the tread blocks can be whipped off and replaced with new ones too. You can also add studs for more grip. They’re not cheap at £340 though.
The Jarin comes in two very distinct colours, an understated olive green or the pimp iridescent finish.
Which you prefer?
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.