Ridley 2016 bikes, Garmin Varia tech and more new kit from Madison's distribution network
UK distributor Madison’s annual iceBike show brings some of the biggest brands in cycling together at arena:MK in Milton Keynes.
Garmin, Shimano, Lazer, DT Swiss and Ridley are among the brands distributed in this country by the Milton Keynes-based outfit, meaning a whole host of great bikes and road cycling gear on show.
For the former, that meant their Varia Smart tech range, cementing their place at the forefront of tech innovation.
Ridley’s Noah SL, Helium SL and Fenix SL (as featured in the RCUK 100) road bikes were on show too, boasting some striking new colour-ways, while DT Swiss have been busy updating their rolling stock for 2016.
New bikes from Saracen and Rapide, and apparel from Madison, Pearl Izumi and Compressport also caught our eye, and we’ve rounded up all the best bits here.
Ridley 2016 bikes
Flandrian brand Ridley sponsor UCI WorldTour outfit Lotto-Soudal, and their pro-tested bikes are eye-catching to say the least.
Of those, the Fenix SL is the newest addition, having being tested at the Spring Classics by Lotto-Soudal’s pros and then officially launched in the summer.
A marriage of the Helium SL’s super-light back-end and the aero profile of the Noah SL’s front end, the bike is built for endurance, but without too big a concession when it comes to weight or speed.
Four Fenix SL models are available, starting with the Shimano 105-equipped £1,799.99 Fenix SL 50 Disc. The Ridley Fenix SL 30 (£2,099.99) was the bike featured in the RCUK 100, and comes with Shimano Ultegra, while the Fenix SL 20 is Shimano Ultegra Di2 and the price goes up to £3,199.99.
The range is topped by the Ridley Fenix SL 10, costing £4,999.99 and dressed in Shimano Dura-Ace, but Lotto-Soudal are sponsored by Campagnolo meaning their bike of choice will better resemble the Super Record EPS-equipped model, complete with Campag’s Bora Ultra wheelset, on show in Milton Keynes.
Ridley relaunched the Noah SL ahead of the 2015 season, and if Andre Greipel’s four Tour de France stage wins are anything to go by, they did a grand job.
Gone are the more striking aero features which first accompanied the Noah, with low weight and comfort now also a focus.
The Noah SL frameset weighs in at just 950g, but still boasts aero-profiled tubing and features such as the patented F-Splitfork, wheel cutouts and a tapered headtube.
Three bikes adorn the Noah SL range: the Noah SL 40 (£3,399.99) with Shimano Ultegra groupset and Fulcrum Racing 4 wheels; the Noah SL 30 (£3,999.99) dressed in Ultegra Di2; and the Noah SL 20 (£5,299.99) which tips the scales at just 6.8kg and comes complete with Shimano Dura-Ace and components from Ridley’s in-house brand 4za.
The Helium SL is built around the demand for top-of-the-class power-to-weight ratio, with ultra-thin seatstays engineered to offer better comfort.
Ridley claim 5.9kg for the Helium SL 20 (£3,599.99), and the brand’s Customizer (more on that shortly) means you can opt for colours and decals like the model pictured here.
Campagnolo decals on a bike dressed in Shimano Ultegra are not usually recommended though!
Women, ‘cross and custom colours
Ridley’s 2016 range also includes the women’s specific Ridley Liz Carbon, featuring a geometry optimised for women thanks to a shorter reach and lower stand-over height.
New for this year, meanwhile, is the X-Night bike which the brand – who have their roots in cyclo-cross – market as their machine for the discipline.
Ridley, as it happens, actually have every base covered with the Ridley Arena for track cycling and Ridley Dean Fast built for time-trialling also in the line-up.
Also catching the eye in Milton Keynes, meanwhile, was the brand’s Customizer project – think Trek Project One – and the two examples on show at iceBike.
“Ride Your Dream” is the brand’s tagline, and you can choose a whole host of colours – simply select them online and hand your choices to your Ridley dealer.
To showcase the Customizer, Ridley put the burnt-orange Fenix on display, while their Belgian champion colourscheme on the Helium also turned plenty of heads.
Ridley’s Dreambuilder means you can swap out components and groupsets too – handy if the Campag-equipped Fenix SL above has taken your fancy.
Check out more of Ridley’s 2016 bikes in the gallery below, including a closer look at the Fenix SL and Noah SL, or scroll down to see Saracen’s new Avro road bike range and more of the best bits from iceBike* 2016.
Saracen are better known for making bikes built to go downhill fast, or thrash through the woods if you prefer, but their Avro road bike range has grown for 2016.
Following a clear brief of a UD Carbon chassis weighing roughly 1,100g and cross-over tech from mountain biking like bolt thru axles and disc brakes, the end product – Saracen claim – is a light, fast, responsive road bike with ‘unparalleled braking and pin-point accurate control’.
Two bikes make up the range, with the Avro 01 at the lower-end of the scale with Shimano’s Tiagra 4700 groupset and a price tag a penny under £1,700.
Trickle-down tech means Tiagra is a great groupset in its own right now though, and Saracen have also kept costs down by keeping their cockpit components in-house.
Built around a custom unidrectional Toray carbon frame – complete with mudguard eyelets and boasting Di2 ready ports – the bike also boasts a full carbon fork with tapered steerer.
Saracen’s alloy handlebar, wrapped in their own-brand suede tape, and clamped by their 6061 stem make up the cockpit, while the brand also supply their own alloy seatpost and custom road saddle.
Alex alloy rim wheels and Maxxis Re-Fuse 28c tyres complete the off-the-peg build – though generous tyre clearance means you can opt for something even wider if you desired.
The Avro 02, meanwhile, adds £400 to the pricetag but for that you get Shimano’s 105 groupset and RS785 hydraulic disc brakes.
American tech giants Garmin had a busy 2015, launching four new GPS bike computers in all – the Edge Explore 1000, Edge 520, Edge 25 and Edge 20 – and the Vector 2S power pedal.
And they are showing no signs of slowing, with their Varia smart tech set to hit the shelves next month, including radar-equipped rear lights and smart glasses.
The new Varia range is built to help make the road a safer riding environment for cyclists and is packed with neat technological features to aid your riding and boost safety.
Take the Rearview Radar, for example, which can warn of vehicles approaching up to 140 metres behind and displays the infomation on either a dedicated head unit or compatible computers (so far, the Edge Explore 1000 and Edge 520).
Varia Smart bike lights, meanwhile, can adjust automatically to changing speed when paired with a compatable device and adjust their levels accordingly.
If you are riding faster, the front light will beam higher – lighting the road further in front of you – while if you are going slower it focuses the beam nearer to the bike.
At the back, the rear light increases its brightness as you slow down to warn vehicles behind you and both will also adjust to changing light conditions when paired with an Edge device boasting an ambient light sensor.
And that’s not all – fit two rear lights, one on each chainstay, and the headset remote and they will also act as indicators – smart, eh?
Finally, Garmin have launched their own lighter, less compact rival to the Recon Jet sunglasses.
Varia Vision In-sight Display attaches to your sunglasses and displays relevant information when paired with a compatible device – the idea being it keeps your eyes more on the road.
All are due to hit the shelves soon.
Compressport boast a number of UCI WorldTour teams among their clients, though that fact may have passed you by given the pros can not wear compression clothing in races.
Instead teams like Etixx-QuickStep, Tinkoff, FDJ and LottoNL-Jumbo use the brand’s compression socks to help aid recovery or for training.
Compressport supply a number of WorldTour teams, who use the brand’s compression wear for recovery and training
Those socks come in both traditional and more summer-friendly thinner versions but that’s not all on offer from the Swiss brand.
Also on offer is the Compressport multi-sport jersey with compression patches built in to support your muscles where it is needed most in a similar manner to X-Bionic’s tech-packed jerseys.
And they can be paired with the brand’s shorts which, conveniently, are seam-free – significantly reducing the risk of chafing and making them better suited to cyclists as a result.
Madison do not just distribute other brands’ products, of course, but also boast their own in-house clothing range.
And they also now produce their own helmets as a budget alternative to riders looking for something a little more affordable than Lazer’s top-end offerings.
First up, though, their apparel, and iceBike allowed the hosts plenty of opportunity to showcase their new and upcoming kit.
We’re not going to feature every little bit of kit, but here’s a little taster of what’s on offer – starting with this long-sleeve jersey and gilet, pictured above.
Part of the expanded Road Race Light range in the new spring-summer 2016 collection, we’re hoping the weather will mean these are more for the shoulder seasons than the heights of summer but, this being Britain, these could become a very handy bit of kit.
Designed with input from the Madison-Genesis pro team, the jersey boasts the standard three rear pockets and zipped pockets and is designed to keep you cool thanks to bonded seams and wide cuffs.
The gilet, meanwhile, is built for breathability with panels on the back designed to enhance exactly that.
Looking even further ahead, Madison look set to expand their excellent waterproof jacket range, with a few Autumn-Winter 2016 items on display too.
As affordable winter jackets go, Madison have a wide range of great waterproof, warm options.
On to the new helmets, anyway, and the road range is nothing exciting – but then, that’s the exact point of it.
Madison already distribute for Lazer, and so the new helmets are not designed to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Z1 and Blade but rather offer an entry-level alternative.
Having expanded their carbon road bike range with the launch of the Datum, to join the Zero used by Madison-Genesis, Genesis’ decision to start working with the black stuff instead of their traditional steel has clearly paid off.
And it’s easy to see why too – crafted from a combination of 30T/24T carbon fibre, Genesis call the Datum their ‘large-tyred, ruffty-tuffty carbon road disc bike’.
It’s a balance, therefore, between comfort, reliability and endurance and features three models in the debut range alongside a frameset only option for £999.99.
The Datum 30, in its fetching white ‘oyster’ colour and eye-catching decals, is dressed in full Shimano Ultegra Di2 and comes with Fulcrum Racing Sport DB CX wheels wrapped in 30mm Challenge Strada Bianca tyres. Yours for £3,199.99.
Other options in the range are the Datum 20, with Shimano 105, for £2,099.99 and the Tiagra-equipped Datum 10 for £1,799.99.
For more information on Genesis’ 2016 range check out our detailed launch article or check out the gallery below too see more of the steel Equilibrium Disc range, the Zero (and Madison-Genesis’ Zero Team) range and their dedicated ‘cross bikes, the Croix de Fer.
Rapide road bikes
Rapide Bikes enjoyed a solid debut year after their 2014 launch, and have followed that up by introducing disc bikes to their 2016 range.
Rapide say the RC and RL ranges are built to a gran fondo friendly specification, with FSA finishing kits added to the RC range to help bring weight down.
The disc-equipped RL range is their ‘brand new do-it-all machine’, based around similar geometry to the existing RL but with clearance for tyres up to 42C and rack and mudguard eyelets on the frame and hidden mudguard eyelets on the carbon fork.
The RC Disc, meanwhile, is their new flagship range and blends 24T and 30T carbon fibre to keep weight relatively low for its price point while ensuring it is still durable.
There are three bikes in the RC Disc range, with the RC Disc 3 (£2,699) at the top, with Shimano’s Ultegra chainset and 105 cassette paired with the brand’s BR-RS805 disc brakes and RS685 shifters.
FSA Energy components and Fulcrum Racing 5DB wheels, wrapped in Continental’s Ulstra Sport II tyres complete the off-the-peg look.
The RC Disc 2 (Shimano 105) is available for £1,899.99 and the RC Disc 1 is the most affordable of the lot swapping in Shimano Tiagra to bring the total cost down to £1,699.99.
The RL Disc range, meanwhile, is topped by the £1,199.99 RL Disc 3 – pictured here in the striking orange colour – and the 105-equipped bike uses Rapide’s own handlebar, stem and seatpost to keep costs down.
Shimano Tiagra-equipped RL Disc 2 is yours for £1,049.99 and swap in Shimano Sora for another £100 off the price tag with the RL Disc 1.
Check out the full range in the gallery below.
DT Swiss wheels
We featured the new DT Swiss RC28 Spline C Mon Chasseral wheelset in the RCUK100 but that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s on offer from the brand this year.
Boasting 28mm rims, the Mon Chasseral wheelset has also been given an entirely new resin compound which, all told, delivers improved braking.
All of DT Swiss’ wheels for 2016 are tubeless ready and a tubular version will soon be added to the clincher version pictured here. The wheels start at a penny under £2,000.
DT Swiss also make their own hubs and spokes, with the Mon Chasseral wheels built around a Spline 180 hub with 20 straight pull spokes at the front and 24 radial spokes at the rear.
Elsewhere in the 2016 range, the road cycling wheels can essentially be split into two categories – Spline and DiCut.
The RRC 65 DiCut was developed in conjunction with IAM Cycling and put through the wind tunnel to ensure ‘perfect aerodynamics, good performance in crosswinds and top-quality braking performance’. The 1585g pair start at £1,799.99.
If that’s a little more than you like to shell out on a set of hoops, at the other end of the DT Swiss DiCut range are the RR21 DiCut (£649.99 a pair).
The aluminium wheels weigh in at just 1,415g for the pair with DT Swiss priding themselves on the stiffness-to-weight ratio the wide, asymmetric rims offer.
If aluminium’s your thing, but you prefer the Spline hubs, the £224.99 R 24 Spline will be more up your street.
Built as the brand’s premium training wheels, the bladed spokes and alloy nipples are combined with another brand new, super stiff, aluminium rim and weigh in at 1,725g for the pair.
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