We know that a clean drivetrain is worth significant watt savings (just cleaning your chain and putting on a good lube is good for 6 Watts), and we know the Denmark-based CeramicSpeed has made a solid name on its hyper-fast ceramic bearing sets. Now, complementing its race day-only UFO chain, CeramicSpeed debuts its first user-applied drip chain coating. The product of lab work by CeramicSpeed Chief Technology Officer (and FrictionFacts founder) Jason Smith, the completely (and truly) dry lubricant is a mix of mineral-based paraffinic and non-paraffinic waxes, friction modifiers, and other secret sauce stuff he didn’t want to divulge. The lube performed well in early testing and actually got better as the wax coating “broke in” on the chain rollers over time while still not collecting contaminants as other lubricants are prone to do.
At $75 per bottle for 15 applications, it’s not cheap, but it has more use (and greater value) than their one-and-done UFO chain. Not bad for a coating that claims (and is backed by brand comparative testing) to now be the fastest user-applied lube. Available now.
Wahoo Kickr Climb
Wahoo has been on the frontier of indoor cycling trainers for years, and they’ve pioneered another industry first with the introduction of the Kickr Climb. The Climb is the company’s indoor trainer grade simulator, providing an actual incline change to the front of your wheel.
When paired to the new Kickr 17 and the latest version of their wheel-on trainer, the Snap (no backwards compatibility, unfortunately), Climb adds physical grade changes to your trainer, for true elevated ride feel in a range of +20 to -10 degrees. A high-torque motor raises and lowers the unit, pushing your fork dropouts up or down. The base of the unit has a bit of rocker to it, keeping it always on firm footing, regardless of pitch.
While you can use the included remote to move the unit up and down, the
Climb can also pair up to work with Zwift, TrainerRoad, Kinomap, and Sufferfest and let your program do the raising and lowering of pitch for you. The idea is to truly mimic real road and mountain climbing. For those that care about true training load, the Climb gives you the ability to change position on the bike as you ride. When you need to stand, you stand. It’s a true practical riding experience for the indoors. Availability is for this holiday season, with a firm date yet to be determined.
Giro Vanquish MIPS Aero Road Helmet
Created using CFD and modeling, and backed by tunnel and thermal testing data, the Giro Vanquish takes on a new shape with improved ventilation, a better visor, and the addition of a MIPS liner. And, as we would hope, it’s faster: Giro found in testing that a “cliff” or shelf that exists across the length of the helmet from ear to ear helps trick the wind into thinking it’s a longer helmet, thus staying attached longer off the aft rather than creating high-drag turbulence off the back. It’s effectively a trip wire and flat Kamm-style aft… but acts like a long-tailed aero helmet, without the aero penalty when not holding your head in perfect position.
How much faster is the Vanquish? Giro puts it at 7.8 percent quicker (minus the Zeiss lens) over it’s own Air Attack. Using the Therminator–an in-house device that measures heat–Giro says it’s 3.17 percent cooler than the Air Attack (but doesn’t account for elements such as evaporative cooling of the head through sweat). With the visor in place, the Vanquish is 6.8 percent faster, and 6.61 percent cooler.
In our test, it was probably one of the best-fitting aero helmets with MIPS on the market, and that’s thanks to Giro’s partnership with MIPS; instead of building in a stock MIPS layer, then building in the RocLoc retention system, the two companies fused the two technologies into a single piece, reducing redundancy of material in the helmet and increasing internal volume. Often with a MIPS helmet, users have to go a size up to make accommodation for the decreased volume. Not so with the Vanquish. Our size small helmet was true to fit.
The included visor is easily peeled from the front of the browline, and finds its home when placing it back on in either its race coverage or garaged position. From what we’ve tested, it’s probably the fastest, easiest magnetic visor system for race day.
Happily for us all, it’s also truly one of the best-vented aero road helmets on the market. This is one area where, for the most part, aero road helmets fail. The vents Giro did place on this one work admirably, making this a helmet you could run pretty much any day.
You can get them this fall. Or, if you want one earlier, Giro will be making a very limited run of about 50 Vanquish helmets available for sale at the Hawaii Ironman. We talked with New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone about the helmet that he’s been testing the last few weeks, and he said he may wear it in Kona. However, he’s a big devotee to Giro’s Aerohead, a more fuller, traditional aero helmet. “I think it’s one of those things where I am glad I can take two helmets with me and let the course conditions dictate which one I’ll use,” he said. “It’s just nice to have the choice.”
Stages LR Dual Leg Powermeter
After earning a reputation as the dominant player in the single-leg powermeter category, Stages found that some customers wanted moreaccuracy than simply a doubling of the left leg power data. Whether it was an athlete rehabbing from injury or managing a biomechanical imbalance, they wanted data from two legs. (Not surprisingly, it was largely the request of the Sky ProTour team they sponsor as well.)
After two years of prototyping the dual-leg version with its pro cyclists, Stages has finally launched to the public. With ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, the unit will have an accuracy of +/- 2 percent at 100 watts. And happily, batteries can be replaced on either side with a familiar CR 2032 coin cell.
At the moment, they will not be retrofittable to those with single-leg-only units.
Initial stock, available this fall, will be in a Dura-Ace 9100 version (for $1,200) and an Ultegra 8000 version at $999, with other crank options available in the future.
Lezyne Laser Drive
While Lezyne is finally adding colors to a limited line of their traditionally monochromatic products, the big news is their new Laser rear light. Like the company’s existing Strip Drive, the Laser rear bike light is a rubber strap design that has a lip on either side that allows it to be strapped securely to all bikes, including the long aero tubesets on our tri frames.
The new feature is a set of lasers that extends off the bottom the light, emitting a beamed “lane” on the ground to either side of the rider about 10 yards behind. So when drivers come upon a cyclist using the Laser Drive, they’ll not only get 250 lumens of variable daytime flash warning, they will also see a red line on the ground on either side of the rider, creating a visible “lane” warning. We had a chance to use it out on the road at night while in Friedrichshafen and were blown away by how well it worked. Available now.
New Oakley Cycling Helmets
The debut of Oakley’s cycling line shouldn’t come as a surprise; the company came from bikes (with those iconic BMX grips) before it built its name in eyewear. Helmets weren’t too much of a stretch, either: Oakley has been doing snow helmets for a few years. The result was a three-helmet range with the ARO 3, the ARO 5 aero road helmet, and the ARO 7 triathlon/time trial helmet.
Oakley involved reigning Hawaii Ironman World Champ Jan Frodeno in the testing and development of several of the helmets. He also wore the ARO 5 to a win at the Allgäu Triathlon a few weeks ago. Reigning 70.3 World Champion Holly Lawrence will also be debuting the ARO 7 in her title defense at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The ARO 3 and ARO 5 each have purpose-built sunglass storage in the vents. Oakley impressively improves on the storage situation with linear channels inside the vent “dock,” using three sets of raised bumps, to provide full clearance so the arms aren’t contacting the head and causing discomfort. All helmets feature an anti-microbial pads and the use of a MIPS liner within. Available in February.
ARO 3 ($180), ARO 5 ($250), and ARO 7 TT ($700); Oakley.com
Gu Small Batch Cola-Me-Happy
That same thing we crave late in a race isnow available in a 100-calorie gel. Need we say more? The cola is actually part of Gu’s new small batch release, sold in eight-packs only.
$12/8-pack box; Guenergy.com
Pirelli P Zero Velo Tires
For fans of Formula I racing, Pirelli will be a familiar name, but many don’t know that Pirelli was actually in cycling from the beginning—back in 1919 as the supplier of tires for the first Giro d’Italia. Pirelli left the bike industry in the1990s, but returned because “we felt we had good new technology from F1 and Superbike to apply to tires,” according to Pirelli staff.
Pirelli’s new P Zero Velo will come in three versions: The Silver Velo all-conditions tire (available in 23, 25 and 28mm options), the red-sidewall TT (which, without a flat protection breaker has better rolling resistance, but less puncture protection) available in 23mm only, and a tougher all-conditions tire with a breaker (and a tread pattern taken from the Diablo Super Corsa superbike tire), set apart with a blue stripe on the sidewall.
Pirelli’s tires are made in France but tested in Italy by the same team that tests the F1 racing tires and each carries a 127tpi casing. Pirelli officials said rolling resistance and aero data will be forthcoming, but did reveal that it had a lower rolling resistance when compared to the Continental Supersonic. Available Sept. 25.
Profile Design Ultimate Aerobar with HSF Hydration
Often, integration and fit options don’t go hand in hand. However, Profile’s new Ultimate aerobar paired with the HSF Hydration bottle helps bring your well-fitting standard bike into something very close to the integration of a superbike.
The bar itself is a two-piece unit with a basebar and a special 31.8 stem in (in lengths of 70 or 100mm) that fits standard 1 1/8” steerers. It has a receiver slot built into the base that serves as the bracket for the 28-ounce HSF bottle. The stem is also ported to allow cables and housing to run cleanly through.
The back of the HSF bottle also features flexible rubber gussets that are cut-to-fit, creating a clean transfer of wind off the bottle onto your frame’s headtube.The bar itself has 15 degrees of extension tilt and a massive amount of pad adjust; Profile Design staff illustrated that that pads have so much range of motion that, they could be placed next to one another, if necessary.
While Profile Design staff admitted that the stem may not win any weight contests, we haven’t seen a standard fork and standard basebar interface with this clean of a hydration profile. Availability TBA.
Castelli All-Out Speedsuit
When the stealth-sleeved top made its debut in triathlon, you suddenly had all these athletes putting on a zip-up “jersey” with arm coverage—providing not only sun coverage, but a claimed quicker aero profile, since the fabric tested faster than bare skin. However, it wasn’t designed for swim or run.
To address that, Castelli debuted the San Remo tri suit—a one-piece race suit with a full zip front that separated partly from the front of the short. It was a hit with athletes for its utility and comfort.
Now, Castelli has a new version of that San Remo called the All-Out Speedsuit. It’s the same in design but features even faster fabric, hence the name. Marino Vanhoenacker was the first to test the suit, and he won Ironman Austria wearing it. Just weeks ago, Laura Phillip won Ironman 70.3 Zell am See in the All-Out Speedsuit as well. Tim O’Donnell will be testing the new suit at 70.3 Santa Cruz to determine whether he’ll run it in Kona. Available this fall.
$200 Euro (US pricing TBD); Castelli-cycling.com
FSA WE (Wireless Electric) Tri/TT Groupset
There’s always an impressive early-run prototype that hits the show floor, and for us, it was FSA’s WE TT groupset. To complement the WE road group that debuted a year ago, the TT/Tri addition truly completes the setup with a bar end shifter that features two buttons on either side of the shifter and a TT brake lever that looks to have a toggle shifter located on the brake lever itself.
The team at the booth didn’t have much to say about it, and the display had a simple “Do Not Touch” sign on the pieces, an indicator that these were unfinished prototypes.
Check back for more info post-Interbike, but for now, all we can do is wonder if it will be ready for a sponsored triathlete like Terenzo Bozzone to use in Kona.
Fall is nearing which means that companies in the endurance space are announcing the newest products we’ll see later this year and into 2018. Triathlete contributor Jay Prasuhn traveled to Friedrichshafen, Germany to get the first look at what we can expect to see on shelves in the coming months. Here, he’s sharing his top 11 finds that triathletes will be excited about.