Smith showed off a couple of new helmets, the Route (road) and the Rover (MTB). Like their predecessors, the Overtake and the Forefront, the Route and the Rover both use Koroyd in the helmet to absorb impact energy in the event of a crash. The new helmets differ in two significant ways: first, they use less Koroyd and as a result come in at a lower price point, only $150, or $180 if you get the MIPS versions. The second big difference is that many people perceive that with less Koroyd, the helmets are better ventilated; this is a matter of some debate between the manufacturers of Koroyd and Smith, and the journalists who have worn the Overtake and Forefront. While the Route and Rover both employ the same design language, they are, in fact two different helmets, not just a road helmet with a visor added. The Route will come in nine colors, while the Rover will come in eight.
G-Form is making a big push to become the premier pad company in cycling, skateboarding and any other Xtreme® sport. Comparatively, their pads are lighter, more flexible and do a better job of dissipating impact energy than almost anything out there. One way to say it is that these are pads for the non-pad set.
What was particularly intriguing was the new pair of bibs they showed. They feature two hip pads sewn into the shots.
Generally speaking, these are intended to be worn under your baggies, unless you’re looking to be an extra in the Buck Rodgers remake. That said, I’ve done some gravel rides with crazed enough descents that I’d wear these with impunity, if not pride. They feature an Elastic Interface pad which suggests they want these to be worn by people who appreciate a good pair of bibs.
Stages Cycling has been working with FSA to come up with a carbon fiber crank arm that incorporates Stages’ power meter and can be used with SRAM’s and FSA’s product lines. To make it as flexible a solution as possible, they’ve come up with four different spindles with which it can be paired with either BB30 or 386EVO bottom brackets. The arms come in four lengths: $165, 170, 172.5 and 175mm. The FSA version goes for $629, while the SRAM version goes for $699.
Pinarello showed off a number of bikes but the big attraction was the Dogma F8 disc, easily the most beautiful iteration of the legendary Italian maker.The F8 disc goes thru-axle. Coming up in 2017 will be a lightweight version of the bike (not disc), like the one Chris Froome has been riding. The frame will come in around 780 grams. There will be a rider weight limit of 70 kilograms and there will be 200 available worldwide.
The bike that really caught my attention is the Gan GR-S Disc, which recalls much of the design language of the Dogma F8, but adds rear suspension to the frame.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to ride this bike while at PressCamp, but we will be receiving one for review soon. The Gan GR-S also allows for larger tires than many premium road bikes—up to 35mm. This bike is a way to stay true to an Italian brand, have a high performance machine and also ride something kinder to an aging body. Did we mention better control, too?
Blue Bicycles is undergoing a relaunch. They’ve struggled over the last couple of years with capitalization and distribution issues, but seem to have found a partner who has the power to help them reach their goals. However, rebuilding a brand is never easy, even when the bikes were unquestionably good. The Axino is their lightweight race machine and comes in a few build levels. The Dura-Ace version goes for $4899 while the Ultegra is $2979.
The new Prosecco is the bike from Blue that got my attention. It’s a disc-brake adventure bike with clearance for 40mm tires. What really blew me away was how aggressive they are being with the pricing on this bike. The Ultegra build (there are a couple of lower-priced builds) features Di2 and hydraulic discs for only $2699. It might be the best value in the road/adventure market. A version with 105 and an alloy frame goes for only $1089.