Blackburn’s new System X6
Blackburn System X6 LED lighting system
LED lighting systems continue to chase the performance of HID and
Blackburn tosses its System X6 LED lighting system entry into the
ring. Two separate lamp heads with Luxeon III emitters put out 85
lumens each. Blackburn claims the pairing is equivalent to a 25W
halogen beam. A five-cell NiMH battery pack coupled with an adjustable
dimmer switch yields up to 20 hours of burn time at low power or
3.5 hours at full power. Both handlebar and helmet mounts are included,
as well as a SuperCharger which is said to fully replenish the system
in a short 4.3 hours. On-bike weight with both beams is 910g, and
the single-beam on-helmet configuration comes in at 760g.
More info: www.blackburndesign.com
Blackburn melds a CO2 inflator
Blackburn AirFix and AirShot CO2 inflators
Does anyone out there still use a minipump? Blackburn's AirFix
and AirShot CO2 inflators are designed around the versatile 16g
non-threaded cartridge and include a clever safety switch to prevent
inadvertent discharge. In addition, the Airfix wields a healthy
complement of built-in tools, including 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm hex
keys, a T-25 Torx wrench, chain tool, screwdriver, and steel core
tire lever. The slightly more compact, but similarly styled, AirShot
makes do with just the tire lever and built-in 5mm hex key.
MSRP: AirFix: US$39.99; AirShot: US$29.99 (both including
one 16g cartridge)
More info: www.blackburndesign.com
Now this is what I call a
Garmin Edge 305 with MotionBased software
Garmin's new Edge 305 GPS cycle computer won our 'Coolest Gadget'
prize at Interbike 2005 and now we have one of our own to play with.
The Edge 305 uses Global Positioning System satellites to calculate
a nearly endless array of features, including current, average,
and maximum speed, trip and total distance, current position, elevation,
heading, grade… you get the picture. An optional wireless speed
and cadence sensor makes for even more accurate readings, and a
wireless heart rate monitor adds in the usual HRM functionality.
Data stored in the Edge unit itself can also be uploaded to Garmin's
MotionBased web site, which not only overlays your route on a variety
of satellite and topological maps, but also provides a remarkably
detailed data analysis of your ride.
MSRP: US$349.99 (with either speed/cadence sensor or heart
rate monitor), US$399.99 (with both speed/cadence sensor and heart
More info: www.garmin.com
Capo Forma socks
Capo Forma socks
This is just a tiny sample of the wide range of socks from new
clothing company Capo Forma. After the enormous box of socks that
included this selection arrived, we gave up counting somewhere around
30 pairs - and none of those were the same. As well as a rainbow
of colours that should let you match any outfit, Capo Forma offers
a selection of materials including Coolmax, Tactel, Meryl Skinlife
and wool to suit different climates, and several styles from a low-rider
with a 4cm cuff, through the traditional medium-height Professional
model to the taller Euro sock with a 12cm cuff. The Winter Wool
socks have a 14cm cuff to completely fill the gap between shoes
MSRP: around US$12
More info: www.uplandsg.com
Rocket7's 2006 model Stock
Rocket7 Stock road shoes
Their claim is 'the lightest production shoe in the world', and
at 180 grams per shoes for a size 40, who are we to argue?
Cyclingnews' Anthony Tan put one of Rocket7's first Super
Stock road shoes through the wringers two
years ago, rating that model 4 out of 5 jerseys. The 2006 model
is very similar in design, but now looks, well, a little less 'dorky',
one could say.
Features include a hand-laid carbon fibre sole, synthetic microfibre
leathers (said to be lighter and repel water better than natural
leather, with no stretch), large breathable mesh windows, and the
tried but true three-strap Velcro closure system. Rocket 7 also
claim to have the lowest 'stack height' (distance between the bottom
of the shoe and top of the pedal) in the industry: a scant six millimetres
at the ball of the foot.
More info: www.rocket7.com
The Octane is Pearl Izumi’s
Pearl Izumi Octane road shoes
As if carbon fiber wasn't enough, Pearl Izumi adds a titanium sole
plate to its new top-of-the-line Octane road shoes. The new titanium
and carbon hybrid sole allows Pearl Izumi to produce an incredibly
low 8.25mm stack height and allegedly yields improved "road feel".
A one-piece breathable mesh upper almost completely eliminates irritating
seams, and the molded heel cup, BOA cable closure, and forefoot
Velcro strap hold your foot in place. Our size 43.5 test pair weighs
632g per pair without cleats.
More info: www.pearlizumi.com
Hutchinson’s new Piranha
Hutchinson Piranha MTB tires
Hutchinson's new Piranha tread pattern incorporates tightly spaced
and low profile central knobs for fast rolling. Widely spaced and
meaty shoulder knobs, along with a slightly squared-off casing profile,
promise solid cornering performance. Our 26x2.0" Piranha Air Light
test tires weigh in at just 472g each, while our substantially more
stout 26x2.3" Piranha MRC Medium Tubeless test hit the scales at
966g a piece.
MSRP: US$55 (Air Light); $60(MRC Medium Tubeless)
More info: www.hutchinsontires.com
Jelly Belly Sport beans
Jelly Belly Sport Beans
From the sponsor of the eponymously named team comes this easily-carried
energy source. A one-ounce serving of Sport beans contains te same
amount of energy as a typical sachet of energy gel, but, Jelly Belly
says, without the potential for mess and stickiness that afflicts
gels. Sport beans also contain ten percent of your daily requirement
of vitamin c, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.
Sport Beans are available in orange and lemon-lime flavours and
Cyclingnews' preliminary taste tests found them pleasantly tangy.
More info: www.jellybelly.com
Australian importer: www.bikesportz.com.au
Thomson X2 stem
Thomson X2 stem 17 degree
Seatpost and stem maker Thomson has added a 17 degree version of
its lightweight X2 stem to its range, for riders who need a lower
position than is possible with the standard 10 degree incarnation.
Of course, if a higher bar is what you hanker for, then just flipping
the new X2 provides that too.
The X2 takes a 31.8mm handlebar and is suitable for road and cross-country
mountain bike use. Weights vary from 140g for the 100mm version
to 155g for the 130mm.
More info: www.lhthomson.com
Sonny's external BB tool
Sonny's Bike Tools external bottom bracket bearing tool
Don't be too discouraged by the "Do Not Disassemble" label on your
external bottom bracket. Normally, the entire cup assembly needs
to be replaced when the bearings go south, but this impressive-looking
machined and anodized aluminum tool from Sonny's Bike Tools promises
easy removal and reinstallation of bottom bracket cartridge bearings.
The remover/press is compatible with all major external bottom brackets,
including Shimano Hollowtech II, Race Face X-Type, FSA MegaExo,
and Truvativ Giga X Pipe.
More info: www.enduroforkseals.com