At the very end of August, Friedrichshafen in Germany becomes a veritable Mecca for all things cycling. Every year brings surprises, hotly anticipated products and the inevitable flops. So what does the cycling industry have in store for us over the coming seasons and years? Well, here are our top five pieces of kit from this year’s show. Start saving those pennies!
Gore Bike Wear One GTX Active Bike Jacket
After its release in incredibly limited numbers last autumn, the Gore Bike Wear One GTX Active Bike Jacket is back for a wide-scale release. The One GTX is Gore's most innovative jacket, with their new cutting-edge SHAKEDRY® technology revolutionising the way cyclists think about waterproof clothing.
SHAKEDRY® is an active laminate fabric, which is super-light and completely waterproof. Gone are the days of wearing a horribly humid jacket that will have you sweating so much that you get as wet inside the jacket as the rain would make you without the jacket on at all.
The SHAKEDRY® Material still boosts the industry-leading breathability of Gore's trademark Active fabric. So even in warm showers, the One GTX Jacket will help to keep you cool, dry and comfortable.
The SHAKEDRY® name of the jacket's material galvanises thoughts of a dog shaking off the water after it emerges cheerily from a lake. This image translates to the One GTX as the jacket dries extremely quickly. Gore even provided a rather comical flapping panel display in their sizeable booth that showed just how fast the jacket dried and how quickly the water beaded off.
Weighing in at around 120g, depending on the size, this jacket folds neatly to a size smaller than a tennis ball, allowing it to be easily stowed in a jersey pocket and whipped out when the heavens open.
On the front of the jacket, the two-way zipper adds ventilation while the drop tail prevents wheel spray from dampening your riding experience.
Parlee TTiR Disc Time Trial Bike
One of the most eye-catching items on display at this year's show, the new Parlee TTiR Disc Time Trial Bike is the first time trial/triathlon-specific bike to feature integrated disc brakes. The thinking behind the use of disc brakes is that it will allow riders to attack courses with more aggression and more confidence.
Rim or caliper brakes force a rider to brake early and often, especially when using carbon braking surfaces or in wet conditions. In a sport that is all about time, why waste any of it braking? The flat mount disc brakes provide strong and reliable stopping power with very little effect on aerodynamic performance.
One of the most notable parts of the bike's design is the integrated Carbon Speedshields, which help to smooth the airflow over the disc rotors and brake calipers. While it is acknowledged that the integration of disc brakes will have a small negative effect of the bike's aerodynamics, any time you would lose from added drag is more than made up for in later braking.
12mm thru-axles on the front and rear help to maintain stiffness and full Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap, Campagnolo EPS or mechanical groupset compatibility means this bike is ready to compete at the top of time trials and triathlons.
Further aiding aerodynamic performance is the fully integrated modular aero bar. This setup dramatically reduces clutter around the bars whilst also allowing for fully hidden internal cabling.
All this adds up to one seriously quick bike. In fact, in wind tunnel testing, the TTiR Disc Bike outperformed a Cervelo P5 Rim Brake model in terms of grams of drag at yaw angles ranging from 0 to 20˚.
The Parlee TTiR Disc will be available in four sizes starting from November 2016 with complete bike prices starting at around $6,299 (£4,740).
Edco 3AX Pedals
Edco, the Swiss wheel specialists, have turned their attention to the pedal market with their intriguing 3AX pedal. The main selling point of this pedal is its swaying motion. The 3AX has the ability to rock up to 2˚ on each side. Edco claims that this translates into a dramatic reduction in knee movement and an improvement in efficiency up to 5.47%.
The reduction in strain stems from pedal's ability to allow your knee and leg to sway, reducing the torsional and lateral pain put on your knee through the pedal stroke.
The pedal features a full CNC finish and a high-tensile aluminium casing for lasting durability and is compatible with all three-bolt mounting cycling shoes.
Edco has included their own set of three-bolt cleats but the 3AX is also compatible with Look KEO cleats.
The Edco 3AX Pedal is expected to be available mid-September 2016 and it will retail for €299.99 (£250 approximately).
Giro Prolight Techlace Road Shoe
Every year at EuroBike there is one item that has the cycling press and industry buyers engaging in heated debate. The subject of this year's exchanges was Giro's new range of shoes that feature their new Techlace technology.
“Laces, aren’t they only used on the kind of shoes that would qualify for the Eroica?” I hear you say. Well no, Giro exploit laces with Velcro in their new Techlace technology to spread pressure more evenly across the surface of the shoe while still providing a lasting feeling of retention. The use of Velcro means the shoes can be quickly put on and taken off without the need to untie or tie the laces every time, this is 2016 after all.
The use of Velcro and laces also helps the new top-of-the-range Prolight Techlace shoes to weigh in at a staggeringly low 135 grams per shoe. That's an almost unbelievable 59 grams lighter than the Specialized S-Works Sub 6 Shoe.
The ultra-low weight of the Prolight Techlace is not just down to the laces then, as the Sub 6 also features laces for its closure. Giro have also utilised a proprietary reinforced fabric skeleton and a new carbon fibre sole that uses less resin to reduce weight without negatively impacting stiffness.
While these are probably not going to be your first choice for winter rides, their lightweight nature and the Techlace systems ability to alleviate pressure built up means they are going to be popular amongst weight-conscious elite riders.
Giro is still finalising the shoe's design but expect to see the Prolight Techlace in store and online around spring 2017. Giro has set the preliminary price tag at $500 with a UK and European price to be confirmed but expect it to be up towards £375.
Lazer Bullet Helmet
The highly respected Belgian helmet manufacturer has had a notable absence of a true aerodynamic road cycling helmet from their range. Well not anymore. Lazer boasts that their new Bullet offers the perfect blend of race-ready aerodynamics and heat-dispersing ventilation.
With its narrow shape and closed shell, the Bullet is able to offer the kind of aerodynamic performance you would expect from a sprinter’s helmet, with a small frontal area and a drop-like shape that cuts through their air with minimal drag.
Even though the Bullet is designed for speed, Lazer understands that you're likely not going to be engaged in all-out sprints every time you head out on your bike. So, for particularly hot days or for long climbs, the Bullet features adjustable ventilation slots on the front of the helmet that can be opened for cooling airflow. In fact, the Bullet will come with two front vent covers; a honeycomb option (pictured) and a solid option.
A large rear exhaust port and side ventilation panels further aid the flow of cooling airflow whilst the in-mould construction keeps the Bullet's weight low. Lazer's Advanced Turnfit System allows for quick and easy adjustment of the size on the fly.
The Lazer Bullet is still in the prototype stage so there is no final weight or price at the moment but expect to see it in store and online in 2017.
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