If you didn't manage to get down to the London Bike Show last weekend, there's no need to worry! Here's our pick of the best new clothing, components, and accessories on show at the Excel.
We’ve already reported on the new Boardman SLS Disc that broke cover at the London Bike Show last week, but there was plenty more to see at the Excel. Here’s our pick of some of the best clothing and accessories on display.
‘CXR’ is the label that Mavic give to all of its top-end performance equipment, and finds itself applied to the French company’s clothing range for the first time in 2015. Bib shorts and gloves are also available, but we were most intrigued by the CXR Ultimate jersey, which, according to Mavic, “delivers the lowest aerodynamic drag ever measured on a cycling top.”
The credit for the exceptional aerodynamics apparently lies with the CX Shell fabric which stretches from the midriff to the shoulder blades in one interrupted piece of material, and is claimed to be highly impermeable to air. Naturally this raises questions about the jersey’s breathability, but Mavic assures us that pores in the fabric will open when stretched, keeping you cool without slowing you down.
As you’d expect, the world’s most aerodynamic jersey doesn’t come cheap, with the long sleeve version setting you back £145 and the short sleeve option £138. Sizes range from 2XS to 2XL with two typically Mavic colour option of black or yellow
We first reported on the new Torch helmet back in January, and were looking forward to seeing it in the flesh at the London Bike Show. The lids feature ten LED lights (five at the front and five at the rear) which are built neatly into the shell of the helmet.
The lights have four different functions (including flashing) and a battery life of up to 12 hours. Recharging is done via a single USB cable which plugs into ports on the inside of the helmet, meaning that it can be easily charged at your desk and shouldn’t run out of juice on the way home.
Of course with so much hardware integrated into the design, the Torch T1 is no lightweight, hitting the scales at 366g, although the £85 price-tag seems reasonable given the fact that you’re effectively buying three pieces of kit.
The direct sales model has certainly taken off within cycling over the last few years, most notably with Canyon offering close to unbeatable value by cutting out the middle man and going straight to the customer. Superstar Components are aiming to do a similar thing with components and accessories, and certainly impressed us with their large range of good-looking products.
Some of the most eye-catching items on the Superstar stand were the out-front Garmin mounts, all of which were CNC engineered and came in a range of colours. However what most drew us in was the price, £12.99, probably half what you’d expect to pay for a similar product from a bigger brand.
We had high expectations of the Hoy Vulpine clothing range, and in the flesh we certainly weren’t let down, with all of the new items certainly being easier on the eye than the battered pair of Chris Hoy’s Bont shoes which the man himself rode to three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.
Click here for full details of the range, but the abridged version is that the new clothing consists of two lines, performance and casual, and is designed as “apparel cyclists want to wear, not feel they have to.” All spring/summer bases are covered by a full complement of jerseys, shorts, caps, socks, and casual wear, and we were glad to see women’s versions of all the different items.
Anything that comes out of the Brooks factory in Birmingham is usually a thing of beauty, and that’s certainly the case with the Cambium saddle, the company’s narrow, slimline racing model.
Now Brooks have teamed up with Levi’s to create a denim-covered version of the Cambium C17. The saddle is covered with recycled Levi’s denim from the company’s facilities in London, Los Angeles and Brooklyn, and is strictly limited edition, with only 1,000 being produced.
With Stuart Brooke, a former Rapha designer, at the helm, it’s no surprise that Ashmei is setting its sights firmly on the higher echelons of the cycling clothing market. The company has quickly built a formidable reputation amongst runners, and recently beat Nike and Adidas into second and third place in the men’s clothing category at the 2014 Running Awards, so we’re expecting big things from its first range of cycling clothing.
The flagship garment of the range is the softshell jacket, which includes an ultra-breathable softshell on the front, and high-stretch merino blend fabric on the rear, plus plenty of extra features such as six rear pockets, offset front zip and hidden, water-resistant bum flap.
The softshell jacket is £210, but is trumped, in terms of price at least, by the £235 bib shorts with their ultrasonically welded seams. The third major item in the range is the short sleeve jersey, a relative bargain at £95, which is constructed from a combination of merino wool and carbon.