Click on the image below to see a slide show of new cycling gear. Photos by Sydney Fox
The annual cycling industry tradeshow just wrapped up in Las Vegas, Nevada. Here’s what you can expect to see hitting the shelves at local bike shops in 2013.
Components: Shimano released a direct mount derailleur hanger system, which essentially removes the b-link in the derailleur hanger to facilitate easier wheel changes. There’s also less hardware to break. • Kappius Components, a start-up led by founder Russell Kappius, showed a new hub. The Kappius hub features more engagement points, activating 10 times faster than most hubs. Meaning there’s less delay between pedaling forces and power transfer. The component optimizes rotational forces to help riders through the crux move. And it’s all in more easily serviced package: A twist open design, plus magnets that stay put when the hub is opened helps you keep the system running. • On the wheel front, Continental tires introduced offerings in the new the 27.5-inch size, an in betweener wheel size that promises to capture some of the rolling advantages of a 29er without sacrificing the superior handling of a 26-inch wheel. Continental tires plans a full line-up of three tread patterns and multiple tire widths.
Training: The power meter trend continues, and SRM paces the industry by partnering with component companies. Now, when a new drivetrain hits the market, there is a power meter for it. Shimano will soon release the Dura-Ace 9000 2 x 11 road drivetrain, as well as an XT 2 x 10 for mountain bikes—and SRM has the power meters ready and waiting. • Kinetic by Kurt debuted the inRide system for training indoors. The system connects an iPhone to the Kinetic trainer for accurate, simple power training. • The Garmin fenix provides GPS features as well as an altimeter, barometer, and compass—all in a simple, portable watch.
Clothing: As bike commuting gains ground, clothing companies step up. From big names like The North Face to smaller brands such as Club Ride Apparel, options for weather shedding and reflective sportswear abound. New this season from TNF: A long sleeve, button-down plaid with reflective 3M material stitched in. Without direct light, the reflective material is invisible. But catch the shirt in car headlights and it lights up for on-road visibility. Club Ride Apparel presented SUB5, a line of functional clothing that seamlessly transitions to the office. Think softshell pants that look like jeans, but repel weather and feature a reflective hit inside the drive-side cuff.
Frames: Continuing the commuter trend, Pure Fix Cycles released its first glow in the dark frame ($399). With an hour of sunlight a day, it shines on the after-hours ride home. On the road side, LOOK is refining stem/frame integration. The brand’s 695 technology utilizes a single screw that tightens the stem and adjusts its height. Stem and frame are directly integrated to minimize energy loss while sprinting and increase overall rigidity.
Accessories: We’ve seen color-changing photochromic lenses, but Smith Optics’ new photochromic Pivlock integrates a proprietary lightweight, secure frame design with a lens that changes to suit varying light conditions for optimum comfort. • CamelBak redefines the hydration pack by adding a cinch feature to its packs that carry water in the lower back zone. The pack no longer sways side-to-side when climbing and distributes the load more evenly for all-day comfort. —Sydney Fox
Check out video previews of new gear from Smith Optics, Moots Cycles, and Pearl Izumi here, and check back next week for more video looks at new cycling gear.