Eurobike 2017 highlights - part two: Wilier, Giro, Reynolds, Shimano, Castelli, Praxis, 7mesh and more
A round-up of some more of the best bits from this year's Eurobike trade show
Roll up, roll up, it's time for the second part of RCUK's Eurobike highlights reel, this time featuring Wilier, Giro, Reynolds, Shimano, Castelli, Praxis, 7mesh and much more.
If you missed part one, head this way to see Simplon's radical aero bike, the latest clothing from Sportful's forward-thinking R&D department, new gravel tyres from Schwalbe, Ritchey's updated Road Logic Comp road bike, and plenty more besides.
Shimano RP9, RP5 and XC5 shoes
The introduction of the flagship S-Phyre RC9 and second-tier RC7 shoes at last year's Eurobike saw Shimano use BOA dials on its footwear for the first time. Now the RP9 and RP5 shoes have received the same treatment, swapping the existing ratchet strap for a BOA dial apiece.
By the way, RC stands for Road Competition, while RP is Shimano's Road Performance range, so the RP9 and RP5 sit below the existing RC9 and RC7 shoes. The RP9 is made from microfibre upper with perforated vents for breathability. You also get a carbon sole, a single BOA dial with a velcro strap and a claimed weight of 224g per shoe.
The RP5, meanwhile, swaps in a synthetic upper and carbon-reinforced nylon sole. Claimed weight rises to 275g per size 42 shoe.
The new XC5 shoe also caught our eye. Described as a 'multi-surface' shoe, the XC5 looks spot on for style-conscious gravel riding. The contrast laces also have a strap running over the top to keep them in place. Otherwise, the shoe has a perforated synthetic leather upper, a grippy Michelin sole and optional spike mounts.
Praxis Zayante carbon crankset
Praxis has been making a name for itself as an option for crankset upgrades and bike builds - we featured the Alba M30 in this year's RCUK 100 - and the California-based brand has now introduced the Zayante Carbon. It's based around carbon fibre cranks arms, a proprietary aluminium spider and Praxis' oversized M30 spindle.
It's a modular design which, thanks to the removable spider, can be used with a spider-based power meter, a direct mount single chainring or, of course, a double chainring setup. Want to swap from a 1x drivetrain to a 2x? The Zayante lets you do that. The Praxis spider pictured also uses a custom 160/104mm bolt pattern that allows for a full range of double chainring combinations.
Claimed weight is 610g (with 52-36t chainrings and 172.5mm cranks), making it lighter than Shimano Dura-Ace R9100. Plus it's cheaper, too, at $325 (UK price tbc).
Met Trenta aero helmet
The Trenta is the latest helmet from Met and you may have seen it on the heads of Mark Cavendish, Steve Cummings and their Dimension Data team-mates at the 2017 Tour de France.
While the Manta, which we recently reviewed, remains Met's all-out aero lid, the Trenta is designed to combine both aerodynamic performance and ventilation. As well as four large vents on the front of the lid, there's an additional vent directly on top of the helmet to suck air in. In fact, you'll find 19 vents in all, and the rear of the helmet has a shaped tail to smooth the Trenta's path through the wind, as well as large exhausts to let warm air escape.
The Trenta will be available in two versions, with either a carbon or plastic cage. The former will cost £265 (claimed weight 215g), while the latter will set you back £220 (claimed weight 230g), with both available from December.
Wilier Cento10 NDR
We were so impressed with the Wilier Cento10 Air last year that we put it in the RCUK 100. As the Italian firm's aero road bike, it offers a scintillating combination of race-ready speed and pin-sharp handling. Now Wilier have introduced the Cento10 NDR with 'Actiflex' rear suspension.
Wilier's latest machine is pitched as a race machine for the masses, with a more relaxed geometry than the Cento10 Air (the headtube is two centimetres taller) and around 3-4mm of travel offered by the vibration-absorbing elastomer at the top of the seatstays.
The frameset is compatible with both rim and disc brakes, with interchangeable dropouts able to accept either quick-releases or thru-axles respectively. The Cento10 NDR offers clearance for 28mm tyres in rim brake mode or 32mm with discs.
While the Cento10 uses Wilier's Alabarda integrated cockpit, the Italian firm has developed the aluminium Barra and Stemma handlebar and stem for the NDR. Internal cable routing still keeps the front-end clean but the traditional two-piece construction offers a wider range of fit options.
The Cento10 NDR is available in eight builds, starting at £4,800 with Shimano Ultegra R8000 and rising to £9,300 with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9170 Disc.
Reynolds ATR gravel wheels
One thing we weren't short of at Eurobike was gravel bikes - and gravel bikes need gravel wheels, right? Well, not entirely, but Reynolds has redesigned its range of ATR (that's All Terrain Road) wheels, available in 700c and 650b wheel sizes.
650b (sometimes referred to as 27.5") is a wheel size once popular with French randonneur and touring cyclists, which has made a comeback with mountain bikers in the past five years and effectively wiped out 26" wheels in the process. It's growing in popularity as a wheel size for gravel riders, too.
A 650b wheel is smaller than a 700c wheel but, when paired with a larger tyre, has a similar diameter to a 700c hoop with skinny rubber. As a result, you are able to achieve similar handling characteristics, along with the benefits of additional tyre clearance within a given frame. We've seen a growing number of brands offer 650b wheels and tyres aimed at gravel riders.
Whether you choose 650b or 700c, Reynolds' ATR wheels have a carbon fibre rim with a subtle aero shape which measures 40mm deep and 23mm wide (external). The wheels are also tubeless-compatible and come with claimed weights of 1,620g (700c) and 1,550g (650b). Both wheelsets cost $1,549 (UK price tbc).
Apidura Dry Series frame pack
Continuing the gravel theme, Apidura introduced its 'Dry Series' of waterproof bike-packing bags last year. Having initially launched with a handlebar and saddle packs, there's now also a frame pack.
Like the rest of the range it's made from a waterproof fabric with welded seams to provide protection from the elements. There are three size options (3L, £88; 4.5L, £90; 5.3L, £92), all with internal pockets, reflective graphics and one-finger zippers designed to offer easy access on the go.
Giro Xnetic Knit shoes
Here's something we didn't expect to see at Eurobike - knitted cycling shoes. Nike launched the Flyknit running shoe in 2012 and now the concept has arrived in the two-wheeled world, with Giro claiming the Xnetic Knit design offers a 'sock-like' fit, while the upper, made from a combination of polyester and nylon with a TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) skeleton, has a DWR treatment to repel water and dirt.
How practical these really are out in the damp, mucky lanes of the UK, we're yet to find out, but the construction does allow for some eye-catching designs. Giro will offer the Xnetic Knit design in three models, based on existing shoes in the line-up. The Empire E70 Knit road shoe (claimed weight 250g per size 42.5 shoe) with an Easton EC70 carbon fibre sole comes in at £199, while the Republic R Knit commuting/touring shoe (claimed weight 310g) with a nylon sole will cost £139. There's also the Empire VR70 Knit mountain bike shoe (claimed weight 380g) with a carbon sole for £219.
Fizik Infinito R1 Knit shoe
Hold on, knitted shoes from both Giro and Fizik? Yep, that right. However, while Giro's knitted shoes come in at a mid-range level, Fizik's Infinito R1 Knit is the Italian firm's new flagship model at £399.99.
The Infinito R1 Knit has a rigid skeleton paired with a knit upper said to be highly breathable, while also offering enhanced comfort over a traditional upper. That's what Fizik say, anyway. The knit fabric also has a water repellent treatment and is paired with a carbon fibre sole. Two Boa dials control the fit. Claimed weight for a size 42.5g shoe is 255g.
If knit isn't your thing, the Infinito R1 is also available with a microtex upper for £312.50 (claimed weight 232g). Otherwise, the Aria R3 is also new from Fizik and slots beneath the Infinito R1 at £250.
Hiplok Z-Lok Combo
The Hiplok Z-Lok is essentially a reinforced, reusable and lockable cable tie ideal for those times when you need to pop into a cafe or shop but don't want to carry around a weighty lock. It's a situation most road riders will be familiar with.
We've been impressed by how easy the Z-Lok is to use - it's super-light and takes up little space in a jersey pocket - and now there's a combination lock in the works, the Z-Lok Combo. While the original Z-Lok, introduced last year, is opened with a universal key, the Z-Lok Combo is operated by a three-number combination. It also has a beefier reinforced steel core and is longer than the standard Z-Lok.
This Combo is still is still in development - the lock we saw at Eurobike was a prototype - so keep an eye out for this later in the year.
Pearl Izumi Elite Road IV shoe
Pearl Izumi has updated its flagship shoe, the Pro Leader IV. The latest version, which replaces the Pro Leader III, moves the two BOA dials off the centre of the tongue to an offset position said to improve the fit and comfort of the shoe.
Otherwise, the Pro Leader IV retains the lightweight mesh upper of the III, said to be the thinnest on the market at 0.9mm, as well as the unique construction which effectively uses the carbon sole as the lasting board, in turn wrapped in a layer of polyurethane, to reduce the stack height to 5mm.
However, what really caught our was the liquid metal finish on the bottom of the shoe. It's time to don your disco slippers!
Castelli Idro Pro jacket
Castelli launched the Idro jacket in July 2016, making use of Gore-Tex Active Shakedry fabric in a super-light, packable and waterproof piece. Now the new Idro Pro takes advantage of Gore's latest technology, a windproof and waterproof 'Stretch' fabric.
The Idro Pro is, as the name suggests, a souped up version of the Idro. That means the jacket is still primarily made from the Shakedry material, which does away with an outer face fabric to improve breathability, but introduces Stretch on the elbows, shoulders, wrists and side panels to offer a more flexible fit, according to Castelli.
Other upgrades include two external rear pockets (the original Idro had no pockets) and additional reflective detail. Weight is still kept low at a claimed 158g for a size large, although the pared down Idro is lighter still at a claimed 123g.
The Idro Pro's latest tech will cost you, however, with an RRP of €349.95 (UK price tbc).
KTM Revelator Lisse aero road bike
KTM teased the Revelator Lisse aero bike at last year's Eurobike show and now it's ready to hit the road. As is customary with almost any aero road bike launch, integration is key to the Revelator Lisse and KTM has developed a proprietary stem to hide all cables, which are then routed through the Lisse's steerer tube.
It may not win over too many admirers among road bike purists but the Lisse otherwise sports disc brakes, thru-axles, a huge bottom bracket junction and a host of aero features including the dropped and stepped seatstays. If nothing else, the shelf provides a spot for your mid-ride coffee when there are no tables available at the cafe.
The KTM Revelator Lisse will be available in three builds: with Shimano 105 (£2,599.99), Shimano Ultegra (£3,799.99) and SRAM Red eTap (£6,599.99).
7mesh Mission jersey and more
We've generally been impressed whenever we've reviewed kit from 7mesh and the Canadian brand's latest autumn/winter clothing range looks on point, too. Four pieces caught out eye at Eurobike: the Mission jersey, Callaghan jersey, Corsa softshell, Callaghan jersey and Strata tights.
The Mission jersey (£149) utilises Polartec's PowerGrid fabric, which has a lofted grid structure to create pockets of warm air while apparently also allowing moisture to escape. The idea is to create a piece which offers lightweight, breathable insulation and, having previously felt the benefits of the PowerGrid fabric in the outdoor world, we're interested to see how effective it is in a mid-weight cycling jersey. This 'mandarin orange' colour looks great, too (there's also a black option).
The Corsa softshell (£190, above) is 7mesh's take on the weatherproof jersey. It uses Gore's water resistant and windproof Windstopper fabric, while features include two large rear pockets with drainage holes, a dropped tail with reflective detailing and a soft-brushed collar and chin guard. Take your pick from three colours: black, 'blue ox' or 'hi-lite yellow'.
The Callaghan (£149) is another thermal jersey, with a heavier contraction than the Mission. The jersey combines a merino inner face with a polyester outer, with the idea being you get the warmth and odour resistance of wool, and the moisture wicking qualities of a synthetic fabric. The jersey has two large angled pockets with internal sleeves to hold a phone, and is offered in two colours: 'carmine red' (pictured above) and 'ball blue'.
Finally, the Strata bib tights (£105) are made from a brushed thermal fabric with a DWR water resistant treatment. However, these tights don't have a chamois - they're designed to be worn over your favourite shorts. You'll also find a clip on the back to pair them with 7mesh's MK2 or Foundation shorts, along with detachable bib straps. The range also includes the Strata three-quarters (£95).
Lazer Bullet enters production, Walter sunglasses get bigger
Lazer previewed the Bullet aero road helmet at last year's Eurobike and this season it's been worn by Lotto-Soudal sprinter Andre Greipel. Now the Bullet has entered production and Lazer used the 2017 Eurobike to show offer the Bullet's custom capability thanks to the removable rear panel.
If you're not already familiar with the Bullet, it has a sliding, honeycomb-shaped cover on the front, running up the middle of the helmet, and allows you to boost airflow on-the-move.
Otherwise, Lazer's full-frame Walter sunglasses have received an update, with a 'large' version which is 15 per cent bigger. When we had the Walters in for review back in June, our reviewer liked the relatively compact shape of the original model, which was well suited to riders with smaller heads. This larger version should look more at home on riders with bigger heads and Lazer will offer both versions going forward. Smart move.