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New Arrivals – November 15, 2006

Edited by James Huang

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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.

Not surprisingly, the Scandinavian crew at Craft
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Craft winter clothing

Winter has arrived for those of us in the northern hemisphere, but that hasn't kept our reviewers from hitting the road (or dirt, as the case may be). New across the Tech Desk is a full complement of cold weather gear from the Scandinavian clothing experts at Craft to keep us toasty as the mercury drops.

Whilst it is seemingly most known for its excellent base layers, Craft also produces a full line of both warm and cold weather cycling apparel for both men and women. Included in our winter kit are Craft's Pro Race winter-weight bib shorts along with accompanying winter knee and leg warmers, and the Gore Windstopper thermal bike jacket. Naturally, Craft also included its particularly insulative proZERO long sleeve base layer as well as its protective Gore Windstopper boxers. A snug-fitting Gore Windstopper skullcap fits neatly under crash lids and a pair of Siberian gloves round out the package.

Price: Pro Race winter bib shorts: US$169.99; winter knee warmer: US$49.99; winter leg warmer: US$54.99; Gore WS thermal bike jacket: US$189.99; proZERO long sleeve crew: US$49.99; Gore WS Gunde short: US$34.99; Gore WS skull hat: US$29.99; Siberian glove: US$59.99.

Louis Garneau's Speed TS Jacket offers up wind and water protection
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Cool weather assortment from Louis Garneau

Canadian cyclists clearly know a thing or two about keeping warm as the sun begins to cast continually longer shadows, and an assortment of Louis Garneau cool weather gear arrived just in time for the leaves to turn. The women's Finland Tights offer up a compressive fit, courtesy of Lycra Power, that Garneau says offers up maximum muscle support. A multitude of panels is joined with flat-lock seams for a cycling-specific fit, and an Ergozone women's specific insert is included to minimize layers. A drawstring waist, ankle zippers and grippers, and reflective logos complete the package.

The Speed TS Jacket uses a windproof four-way stretch TexStretch material that is supplemented by a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating for a measure of water resistance. Further protection is provided with the inner flap on the full-length zipper, a high-cut and mesh-lined collar, and Lycra trim on the cuffs and hem.

Cyclingnews doesn't want its reviewers' feet to freeze, either, so Louis Garneau finishes off the kit with a pair of Stop Tech booties, made of a water- and windproof laminate with a reinforced toe and heel. A full-length zippers eases entry and exit, and reflective appliqués adorn the sides and heel.

Price: Finland chamois tights: US$169.99; Speed TS jacket: US$99.99; Stop Tech booties: US$39.99.

Titan Carbon helmet
Photo ©: Jonathan Devich
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Louis Garneau Titan Carbon helmet

In addition to a full line of clothing (and road and TT bikes, for that matter), Louis Garneau also offers helmets, including its top-of-the-line Titan Carbon. The company's new top-of-the-line lid offers up 22 carbon-reinforced vents in an EPS liner with a co-molded shell, along with its adjustable Spiderlock Elite retention device. Airdry pads wick away moisture, and Garneau includes a handy storage bag. The Titan Carbon is offered in three sizes as well as three colours.

Price: US$169.99

Descente Coldout gear

The Shelter jacket from Descente utilizes its three-layer Shelter Tri-Comp fabric
Photo ©: Emory Ball
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Descente has only recently returned from ex-cycling apparel maker purgatory, but comes to the party with top-notch duds and a legendary pedigree, as well as an especially high-profile apparel sponsorship of Team CSC. As part of Team CSC's package, Descente supplies its riders with an ungodly assortment of gear, including up to five different weights of fabrics for short-sleeved jerseys alone. The rest of us make do with a more restricted palette, but Descente's winter collection is extensive nonetheless.

Descente range features its Coldout fabric, including a pair of Phantom chamois-equipped tights, arm warmers, and a form-fitting beanie. According to Descente, Coldout offers a warm, high loft interior and a sleek exterior, combined with four-way stretch and moisture management properties.

Also included in the box are Descente's water and windproof Shelter jacket, the Axiom shell with removable sleeves, the convertible Wombat gloves, and a pair of base layers.

Price: Coldout tight with chamois: US$120; Coldout arm warmers: US$30; Coldout beanie: US$25; Shelter jacket: US$200; Axiom jacket: US$100; Wombat gloves: US$45.

Sportful's Mach collection is designed for highly aerobic
Photo ©: James Huang
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Sportful winter clothing

If you couldn't tell by now, we made a concerted effort this year to bring you tech coverage of a variety of cold weather apparel. Italian firm Sportful has been producing cycling clothing since 1985, and most recently had outfitted the World Championship-winning squad from Italy, which included powerhouse Paolo Bettini.

Recently arriving across the Cyclingnews Tech Desk were the new Mach Speed jacket and Mach bib tight. The Mach Speed jacket uses Sportful's Windstopper San Remo material on the front and sleeves of the garment for wind protection, wrapped over a mildly insulative base layer that provides maximum breathability in highly aerobic situations.

The Mach bib tight continues the windproof theme with a WindPro Stretch abrasion-resistant material over the groin and knee areas, coupled with a Teflon-coated ThermodrytexPlus fabric for water resistance. Both garments are designed with a close, form-fit racing cut for minimal fluttering and improved aerodynamics at speed.

Price: Mach Speed jacket: US$230; Mach bib tight: US$160.

The new CR950 cantilever brakes from TRP
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TRP CR950 cantilever brakes and RL950 top mount brake levers

The snow may be starting to fall already, but cyclocross season is still in full swing, with the US National Cyclocross Championship just around the corner next month in Providence, RI, and the UCI Cyclocross World Championship event coming in January in Belgium. Just in time for the rest of the season, TRP sent over its CR950 cantilever brakes and RL950 top-mounted brake levers.

The CR950 boasts full carbon fibre construction and a super beefy profile that promises solid stopping power. Titanium mounting hardware brings the weight down to 152g per wheel with the included cartridge-style pads, yet dual coil springs with micro-adjustable tension offer up complete adjustability.

The RL950 levers include carbon fibre lever blades on minimal aluminum perches, which are milled out, for even more weight reduction. Aluminum barrel adjusters drop the weight even further to just 78g per pair.

Price: CR950 cantilever brakes: US$129.99 per wheel; RL950 levers: US$69.99 per pair

The R950 dual-pivot brake calipers
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TRP R950 road brake calipers

TRP also sent along a set of its new R950 dual-pivot brake calipers with carbon-wrapped aluminum construction. In this case, TRP promises that the carbon is a structural, not just cosmetic, component of the brake, which also utilises Teflon bushings and titanium hardware, along with cartridge-style dual-compound brake pads. Weight on our test set is just 290g, complete with mounting hardware (146g front, 144g rear).

Price: US$289.99 per pair

Fox 36 Talas RC2

Fox's 36 TALAS RC2 looks like a monster,
Photo ©: James Huang
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Along with the new Super D style of racing comes a new breed of mountain bikes and suspension forks, and Fox's 36 air-sprung TALAS RC2 epitomizes the category with up to 160mm of travel in a chassis weighing just 2.4kg (5.4lbs). The 36mm diameter aluminum stanchion tubes on our test fork combine with the massive magnesium lower leg casting and 20mm thru-axle to virtually guarantee accurate steering precision.

New for '07 is the three-position TALAS travel adjuster, which switches between 100mm, 130mm, and 160mm setting with a simple turn. Fox's proven RC2 damper allows for independently adjustable low-speed and high-speed compression damping, along with adjustable low-speed rebound damping.

Price: US$985

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

Images by Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us

Images by Emory Ball/Cyclingnews.com

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com