The annual iceBike dealer and press show is held by UK distributor Madison, whose huge brand stable includes some of the biggest names in cycling.
We stopped by Madison HQ in Milton Keynes to see what’s new for 2013. We’ve already shown you Ben Swift’s Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Think 2, which took pride of place on the Shimano stand, but here’s what we spotted from Giro, Madison (that’s, erm, Madison’s in-house clothing brand), Selle San Marco and Science in Sport.
Aero helmets have become increasingly popular over the past couple of years, ever since Mark Cavendish wore a cover on his helmet when he won the World Championship in 2011. The Air Attack is Giro’s take on it.
It comes in two versions, one with a shield for £149.99, as pictured above, and without a shield for £119.99. The shield is attached using three magnets, so it can be quickly and easily removed, but the shield-less helmet has no means to attach the visor so, if you think you’ll want the complete look at any point, go for the pricier option.
So what of the aero benefits? Giro say a rider wearing the Air Attack produces 11.2 per cent less drag than if they were wearing the lightweight Giro Aeon lid, while the full-on Selector time trial helmet would produce another 10 per cent less drag again.
The helmet’s smooth surface means vents are limited to a handful of narrow slits but, interestingly, Giro say the position of the vents mean they suck air into the helmet, so you’re only marginally worse off wearing the Air Attack instead of the Aeon.
So, does it work? We haven’t tested yet, but Giro reckon so and a number of their sponsored riders have been spotted wearing the Air Attack since it was launched. Every watt matters at the thick end of a professional race and Marianne Vos wore the helmet when she won women’s Olympic road race gold at London 2012, while Philippe Gilbert sprinted to second on stage six of Paris-Nice. The helmet’s also had success on the track, most recently on the head of omnium world champion, Sarah Hammer.
If you want one for yourself then the Air Attack without a shield is available now, while the version with a shield will be in stock by the end of the month.
The Republic is Giro’s latest lace-up shoe, following the high performance Empire footwear launched last year (more on that soon). It’s a smart number designed for commuting, touring and anything else where you’ll want a shoe which you can also walk in when off the bike. As a result it takes an SPD mountain bike cleat, while the classic styling is more subtle than an all-singing road shoe.
One particularly neat feature on the Republic are the replaceable rubber blocks on the sole, which provide plenty of grip and can be unscrewed and changed when they wear out. The Republic has a microfibre upper and, while the brown sections are faux leather, Giro say it’ll stand up to water, grit and everything else that will get chucked on it. Yours for £99.99.
As we alluded to above, the Giro Empire isn’t new having been launched in 2012, but it’s worth another airing, if only for the combination of retro lacing and silver/fluoro colourway.
Don’t be fooled by the laces. This is a high-performance shoe and it was developed in conjunction with BMC Racing rider Taylor Phinney. The laces hark back to Phinney’s days on the track and allow for a very individual fit, while the sole is a super-stiff Easton EC90 carbon fibre affair.
The Empire debuted on the feet of Phinney at the 2012 Giro d’Italia. Phinney won the opening time trial in Denmark to take the pink jersey, and Giro (the company) presented the American with these custom pink and black shoes to mark the occassion. Very nice, don’t you think?
Phinney was involved in a huge crash on stage three which left him for a very sore ankle, resulting in lots of close-ups of the Empire shoe which, considering Phinney was also given the all-clear to continue the race, proved very handy for Giro.
Meanwhile, we were very impressed by the Madison-Genesis kit when we spotted it on the team’s international debut at Challenge Majorca. It’s made in-house by Madison and features the same colourway as the team’s steel Genesis Volare 953.
Now the ball’s rolling to get the kit in the shops and a range of early samples, including this short sleeve jersey, were on display at iceBike, although it won’t be available until May/June and pricing is to be confirmed. We have a breakdown on all nine garments in the collection, so check back soon.
Madison have also introduced two new sunglasses to their eyewear range to sit alongside the existing entry-level Madison Shield glasses. The new top-of-the-range Recon and mid-range Mission sunglasses both use high quality Carl Zeiss Vision lenses for improved optical clarity and UV protection.
These are the range-topping Recon sunglasses. They’re used by the Madison-Genesis team and are ergonomically shaped, according to Madison at least, to “work seamlessly with your helmet for unrivalled comfort.” The glasses use a one-piece lens for maximum field of vision, and have vented lenses to prevent fogging.
Both the Recon and Mission sunglasses have interchangeable lenses with a choice of three colours for different conditions: dark, amber and clear. Initial prices for the Recon sunglasses have been set at £39.99-£49.99 for the glasses with one lens and a soft case (price depending on lens colour), or £79.99 for the complete package with all three lenses, plus a soft and hard case.
The Madison Mission sunglasses also have an ergonomic fit and use a two-lens design. They will cost £34.99-£44.99 with one lens and a soft case (price depending on lens colour), or £69.99 with all three lenses, as well as a soft and hard case. Both the Recon and Mission glasses will be available in the spring.
Having a saddle which suits your derrière and which you find comfortable is essential and Selle San Marco have this collection of specially marked saddles for dealers to explain the different shapes in the range.
Selle San Marco have a new road saddle in the pipeline but that’s pencilled in for launch later this year. In the mean time, they showed us the Concor Carbon FX Protek saddle. The Concor’s been part of the Italian firm’s range for years and years but this edition has been updated with Selle San Marco’s Protek technology, which essentially means silicon grip has been added to the sides and rear of the saddle.
It was primarily designed with mountain biking in mind, so for use on rough off-road trails rather than largely smooth tarmac, but Selle San Marco rep Jan Geudens says it’s also proving popular with road riders, himself included, so we left iceBike with a saddle to try for ourselves and we’ll let you know how we get on. By the way, the Concor Carbon FX Protek has carbon fibre rails and weighs a scant 162g, with a retail price of £134.99, while the regular Concor Protek saddle has titanium alloy rails for a reduced price of £89.99.
Finally, Science in Sport have been busy and had a number of new nutrition products to show us. First up, the popular SiS GO Isotonic energy gels are now also available in apple and lemon & lime flavours, while the SiS GO Hydro electrolyte tablets are now available in four flavours – berry, lemon, blackcurrant and pineapple & mango – in tubes of 20 (£5.98) or ten (£2.99).
The SiS GO + Nitrates gel is also new and contains nitrates to supposedly increase the nitric oxide in your body, which helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients more efficiently. This means you can sustain higher levels of power for longer before fatigue sets, according to SiS, but you need to start taking the gels three days before an event, two to three times a day for maximum effect. The gel costs £1.90 for one, £10.26 for six and £50.50 for 30, and comes in peach flavour only.
Most interesting from SiS, however, was the new REGO + Fruitflow gel. It’s not a conventional energy gel, however, and while designed to be taken in the build-up to exercise, is actually formulated to improve recovery. How? The gel reportedly reduces the over-stimulation of blood platelets during intense exercise, reducing inflammation, which in turn can shorten recovery times. Fruitflow is a natural ingredient, say SiS, who claim it’s the first of its type with a scientifically approved health claim to contribute to healthy blood flow. SiS say you should use one gel between 1.5 and three hours before intense exercise. It comes in banana & mango flavour and costs £2.29 for one gel, £11.99 for six and £56.99 for 30.