With the new year safely ushered in, we're set to welcome some new brands and innovative tech through our door. We've picked three exciting products that will be hitting our shelves in the coming months. Read on to get the inside line on Douchebags' innovative travel solution, Shimano's latest electronic groupset and premium footwear from Quoc.
The starting point for any Quoc shoe? Premium quality materials assembled in a stylish manner. With lace up closures fastening supple and sumptuous leather uppers, Quoc Pham Shoes are timeless in their handsome looks. The product of a boutique independent brand that focuses on simple innovations and flourishes to intuitively enhance performance, Quoc produce shoes that make you want to go riding.
Having enjoyed enormous success with shoes for the urban and retro-inspired rider, Quoc's latest range shifts the focus from riding to racing. With the new Night Shoe allowing you to chose between a technical microfibre upper and a high-grade leather, as an object alone, it's crisp and sumptuous styling make it stand out from mainstream competitors.
Laces a signature of Quoc Pham Shoes, you might be curious of the Night's touting as a performance shoe. Happily, with an advanced patented lock-lace system, this shoe retains tension superbly, and, combined with the plush EVA formed micro fibre lined upper, you can be sure of a sensational fit and feel as you put down your power.
Perforated for enhanced ventilation and offering a sweat absorbing, anti-odour micro fibre lining, a single Night shoe weighs just 277 grams - an impressive feat considering the quality and durability of the materials from which this premium cycling shoe is composed.
Benefitting from a marbled carbon-fibre composite sole, it's the detailing of the Night Shoe that marks these three bolt performance shoes as something out of the ordinary. Adorned with replaceable heel pads to extend the life of these premium shoes, and benefitting from thermodynamic ventilation, the sole is a brilliantly executed and supremely rigid base on which to build a comfortable and classy pair of shoes.
Sophisticated and stylish, the Quoc Night Shoes are finished with a reflective heel and contrast detailing, meaning you can be sure of catching a glance and showing a clean pair of heels when setting out on the road.
Shimano Dura Ace 9150 Di2 Groupset
Shimano's latest electronic groupset, the eagerly anticipated Dura-Ace 9150 Di2, has gone wireless for 2017. Communicating wirelessly via ANT+ and Bluetooth, this major advancement improves on the company's 9070 Di2 electronic groupset, which already offers sublimely smooth shifting. What the 9150 groupset brings to the table is synchronised shifting, making changing gear even sharper.
Designed to work alongside your ANT+ bike computer, this system relays a range of information including battery life and gear selection. Bluetooth connectivity has been added to pair with the E-Tube Project app, which is soon to be released.
This app will allow customisation of your groupset. Whether that be shifting speed or wireless firmware updates, this offering means your groupset works to your needs. One of the most exciting features is Shimano's Full Synchro Shift, which can be found on Shimano's XTR mountain bike groupset. This technology allows you to tailor your shift input, adjusting the front derailleur shifting based on your rear derailleur use. In layman's terms this should reduce cross-gearing and help you keep your cadence consistent.
For those looking to use the groupset on bikes with internal cable routing, Shimano has produced a selection of new Junction A boxes, one that can be fitted inside the end of the handlebar and another that can sit inside the frame. Sleeker, taking design cues from their mountain bike systems, the new 'Shadow' rear derailleur's design is intended to reduce potential crash damage. For those looking for that extra bit of speed, Shimano also claims that it's more aerodynamic than its predecessor.
Previous incarnations of Shimano's top of the range rear derailleur have been only compatible with cassettes boasting 28T sprockets. Where the 9150 stands out is its ability to work with 30T sprockets, meaning there'll be no struggling up climbs with this system.
Shimano's Dura Ace 9070 front derailleur has been applauded for its reliability and crisp shifting. Noticing this, Shimano's 9150 front derailleur changes very little from the 9070 version, just shaving 10 grams in weight and keeping the 9070's high-performance credentials.
Hold on tight, the Dura Ace 9150 shifters have a more edgy shape, allowing you to crouch down and get in an aerodynamic position on the hoods.
For those looking to race against the clock, the Synchro Shift technology found in the company's time trial Di2 ST-R9160 and SW-R9160 shifters simplifies shifting, moves away from manual control of front shifting and gains when it comes to improved aerodynamics and a lower weight.
No, not you - that's the name of the brand. Straight out of Norway, Douchebags' founders were frustrated by the cumbersome and problematic nature of packing their sports kit when travelling overseas. Born from a will to make travelling with your essential sports gear a pain-free experience, Douchebags latest offering is a cycling specific travel case, and designed with input from the riders at Team Sky, their solution is well thought out as well as understatedly styled.
The headline act is the Douchebags Tour Bag, a reliable case that features an alloy chassis that supports and secures your bike when contained. Making use of removable zip-on EVA moulded side pods, the faff of removing your handlebar and seatpost before packing is a distant memory. With disassembly limited to your wheels, which are housed in a separate compartment to prevent any scratching to your paint job, you can set off without the indexing, tweaking and tensioning of gears.
The high stresses and tolerances considered standard in the aeronautical industry (notably amongst the baggage handling team) are a real concern for the travelling cyclist. Fortunately, the Tour case makes use of plastic PE and Honeycomb boards, with a PE foam lining 500D polyester and a No-PVC tarpaulin outer. Holding the frame secure in a metal structure and with your bike sealed from the elements as well as impacts, this is one bike bag you can wheel up to check-in without worry.
When not in use, the Tour bike bag can fold flat, allowing you to tuck it neatly under a bed, or safely in a cupboard, precluding the need for you to dedicate an unnecessary amount of square footage in your house or shed. Weighing in at 10kgs unpacked, the Tour is ideal for those who like to explore on two wheels.