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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

New Arrivals – May 5, 2006

By John Stevenson & James Huang

Got Tech? Send press releases, news, and tech questions to the Cyclingnews tech-heads.

Welcome to New Arrivals, a section showcasing the latest equipment that's landed on the Cyclingnews tech desk. Look out for reviews over the next few months when we've clocked up some saddle time with this stuff.

Blackburn’s new System X6 LED
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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.

MSRP: US$249.99
More info: www.blackburndesign.com

Blackburn melds a CO2 inflator
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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 cycle computer!
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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 rate monitor)

More info: www.garmin.com

Capo Forma socks
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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 and tights.

MSRP: around US$12
More info: www.uplandsg.com

Rocket7's 2006 model Stock road shoes.
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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.

MSRP: US$439
More info: www.rocket7.com

The Octane is Pearl Izumi’s
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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.

MSRP: US$399.99
More info: www.pearlizumi.com

Hutchinson’s new Piranha tread pattern
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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
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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
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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.

MSRP: $89.99
More info: www.lhthomson.com

Sonny's external BB tool
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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.

MSRP: US$79.99
More info: www.enduroforkseals.com