The sheer number of items we saw could clog a drainage culvert. It was overwhelming. The message that kept coming through to me was how much manufacturers want to make cycling comfortable, fun and a sport deeply important to people, that is, a cultural touchpoint that does more than just make riders healthy.
Case in point, this new integrated bar/stem combo from FSA sister brand Vision. In addition to integrating the stem into the NACA-profiled bar, the engineer routed the housing through the bar and designed a unique compartment for a Shimano junction box, plus a detachable computer mount that offers angle adjustment. The Metron 5D handlebar goes for $683.99 and includes everything seen here.
FSA also introduced its first power meter, the Powerbox. It comes in two versions, an aluminum one (for $650) and a carbon one (for $1189.99).
The SL-K Adventure crank is in the pipeline I’m told. They are simply waiting for the units to arrive. Suggested retail for the 46/30 crank is $399.99, making it a no-brainer add-on for people doing adventure riding in difficult terrain.
Feedback Sports recently introduce a portable trainer ideal for pre-race warmup and post-race cooldown. The Omnium comes with its own travel bag and folds up to about the size of two loaves of bread placed end-to-end. It has proven to be remarkably popular, in part because for home use it folds up so small once you’re finished. It goes for $429.99.
One thing I’m constantly hearing from friends who have seen current pro mechanics’ tool kits is that everyone is using T-handle Allen wrenches these days. Feedback came out with its own set for home use. The are made from S2 hardened steel so they’ll stand up to daily use. The wrenches included are 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5 and 6mm Allens, plus T25 Torx. The set comes in its own case and goes for $129.99.
Assos has been talking about a new line of women’s clothing to completely overhaul their previous offerings. They finally showed off a few pieces from the line at their mobile showroom. The stuff is gorgeous. I wish a few of the colors were offered in men’s pieces.
Italian apparel company Alé continues to improve their clothing and this year’s line was very impressive both for the quality of the clothing and the appearance. Their designs were eye-catching and used great color combinations. I saw a few pieces I’m hoping to get for review. They even have a piece meant to go up against Castelli’s category-defining Gabba.
The DMT is a new double-BOA lightweight shoe with an ultra-stiff carbon sole. While most of the shoes will have a three-hole mounting, they are offering a Speedplay version of the sole as well. It’s a sign of how well Speedplay has caught on in Europe thanks to their inroads in the pro peloton. It’s a great looking shoe for people whose feet are on the narrower side.
DMT’s new RS1 flagship shoe is a single-BOA design that integrates the BOA wire into the shoe’s upper in an effort to give a more form-fit. The Skeleton System ensures that the BOA doesn’t just snug the top of the shoe but wraps the upper around the foot.
DeFeet introduced a new initiative, a sort of internal Kickstarter, called DeFeet Bespoke, where they will be able to short runs of items that would otherwise be cost prohibitive (and risky) unless they did big runs. The socks shown are part of a new artist series that has been rolled out along with Bespoke. These are hand-dyed Woolies and with slightly more than three weeks left in their funding cycle, they are nearly 40 percent funded. Not only are the socks made in North Carolina, they are dyed there too, with dyes made from locally grown ingredients.
This jacket is another item they plan to offer, handmade in North Carolina. For now, there are just four items up on the Bespoke site. Along with this initiative, they are also starting their own club for people who want to embrace cycling more for its spirit of adventure than the need to go fast. It’s called Barnstormer.
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