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After days and days of walking expo halls from Vegas to Germany, tech editor Aaron Hersh has selected his top-10 products new for 2012.
This wasn’t a question submitted through email, but a ton of people have asked what was cool at Interbike and Eurobike. These are the 10 things I saw that I find most interesting, exciting or promising that will arrive in shops over the next few months.
Profile Design Sync
The innovative bottle-lock system allows the runner to reinsert the bottle onto the belt without holding the holster open or carefully aiming the bottle into the opening. And it seems to hold the bottle securely, but we will have to test it to be sure.
TYR Freak Of Nature
It’s a $1,200 wetsuit. Freak of Nature is made entirely of Yamamoto’s very flexible #40 rubber, uses aerated materials in specific locations to increase buoyancy and has the same paneling and fit as their current high-end suit, the Cat. 5. With a price tag nearly double most high-end suits, is Freak of Nature worth the cost?
Pearl Izumi Octane Tri Shoe
This featherweight tri shoe has minimalistic fit features and tons of ventilation. It’s one of several new tri shoes coming out in the next few months and, although it won’t make you faster ore more comfortable, the neon orange is unforgettable.
BMC’s new tri bike has an integrated aerobar attachment system using independent pieces that bolt together to create a stem with a wide range of fit adjustment. In addition to this unique modular system, the TM01’s frame sizing comes with a twist. Instead of offering bikes with similar fit characteristics scaled for riders of different heights, BMC is producing three frame sizes with moderately aggressive fit specs and a fourth that is designed for a more upright riding style. This fourth bike, Size M-S, has the same stack value and size M-L, but the reach value is over 4cm shorter.
Canyon Concept Speedmax
Not only is this bike still in the development phase and not yet available for consumers, the Canyon brand isn’t even selling bikes in the United States. But Canyon has demonstrated that they are committed to true aerodynamic development by using a modular SLA-prototyped model of a bike to wind tunnel test different design characteristics and the Concept Speedmax is the result of that commitment. Canyon is also embracing triathletes’ specific geometric needs. The Concept Speedmax has time trial geometry, but Canyon engineers have said that they will produce a tri-specific version when they eventually bring the bike to the United States. They have scheduled an announcement for January 2013, possibly regarding their expansion into the US. In short, Canyon’s possible entry into the US market, with a tri-specific bike, is what earned the German bike company a slot in this top-10 list.
RELATED – Coming To America? Canyon Concept Speedmax
Keo Power and Garmin Vector pedal power meters
After a couple years of speculation, pedal-based power meters are finally ready for the road. Look and Polar have teamed up to create Keo Power and Garmin purchased tech start-up Metrigear to produce Vector, their pedal power meter. Measuring power through the pedal creates two potential benefits. First, they can be swapped between bikes or wheels can be swapped on a single bike. Second, they have the potential to measure the power that is wasted to create a cycling efficiency score that is more useful than current efficiency measures.
Madfiber is introducing a tubeless clincher version of their very light, nearly all-carbon wheelset. Instead of completely overhauling the wheel, Madfiber dropped a tubeless clincher tire bed in between the brake tracks rather than replacing the carbon brake track. It gains much less weight going from tubular to clincher than essentially all other wheels. It’s most unique feature is that is has an aluminum tire bed and a carbon brake surface.
Most hidden front brakes placed behind the fork are side-pull calipers with arms crossing each other. These calipers are functional, but they have less stopping power than standard calipers and are tricky to adjust. All three tri bikes that are entirely new for 2012—Wilier TwinFoil, Argon 18 E-118, BMC TM01—have V-brake front calipers. The Argon and the Wilier both use the TRP TTV brake and BMC makes their own. Many bike manufacturers are likely to follow this trend to take advantage of the V-brake’s adjustability, stopping power and ability to tuck neatly behind the fork.
Castelli Body Paint Tri Kit
Of the cycling apparel companies producing niche, super high-end clothing, Castelli is the first to jump into triathlon clothing. The Body Paint Tri Kit has a tight fit and a few intriguing features, including a smooth and seamless leg opening that we’re excited to experience.