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New Arrivals – December 27, 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.

CycleOps Powertap SL 2.4 power metre

CycleOps new Powertap SL 2.4 power meter
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CycleOps' PowerTap power-measuring rear hub has become one of the standards in the category thanks to its accurate strain gage sensor and user-friendly packaging. For 2007, CycleOps improves upon the standard with a new version, the Powertap SL 2.4, which incorporates a 2.4GHz wireless transmitter directly into the hub itself. Other than the computer head and its associated bar/stem mount, there is no additional sensor, transmitter, or hardware, making for an ultra-clean setup. Also integrated into the system is a digitally coded wireless heart rate monitor.

Like the standard Powertap SL hub (which is still offered), the SL 2.4 uses a carbon fiber and aluminum hub shell and an aluminum freehub body that helps bring the weight down to a very reasonable 424g, plus an additional 54g for the computer head and mount. Hubs are available in Shimano 8/9/10spd or Campagnolo 8/9/10spd compatible flavours (freehub bodies are interchangeable), as well as both standard 130mm OLD road spacing and 135mm OLD mountain bike spacing. CycleOps' newest Power Agent 7 analysis software is also included.

Price: US$1499

CycleOps says its injected-molded Climbing Blocks
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CycleOps Fluid2 trainer and Climbing Blocks

The Fluid2 is CycleOps' top-level indoor trainer, offering up an infinitely progressive resistance curve courtesy of a sealed fluid unit. Heat-radiating fins and a built-in fan help to keep the unit cool during use. New for 2007 is a larger flywheel for a more realistic feel and a handy Cam-Lever to facilitate tightening the roller against the tire. CycleOps' standard folding trainer frame soldiers on unchanged with a wide stance and quick release mounting system. US consumers also will find a training DVD in the box.

CycleOps' injection-molded Climbing Block stabilizes the front wheel when the bike is mounted in a trainer. Three built-in levels accommodate both road bike and mountain bike wheel and tyre sizes. Users can opt to use the block just to level out the bike, or can also select other positions or stack a pair of blocks to simulate various climbing positions. We're still a bit confused as to how simply raising the front wheel can increase the difficulty of your workout (um, you're still not actually going anywhere), but anything that can make indoor workouts a bit more lifelike is ok in our book.

Price: US$329.99 (Fluid2 trainer); US$19.99 (Climbing Block)

The Light Action Pedal System weights just 337 grams
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Speedplay Light Action Pedal System

Hot on the heels of its highly successful Zero and X-series models comes Speedplay's new Light Action Pedal System aimed at recreational roadies and first time clipless pedal users. Designed to eliminate those embarrassing fumbles when clipping in, or worse still, collapses at traffic lights when the pedal refuses to release, the new system is described as having 'the easiest and most intuitive entry and release functions ever offered in a clipless pedal'.

Similar in appearance to the company's other models and retaining the low stack height and ground clearance properties, the Light Actions weigh in at 220g for the pedals alone and 337g with cleats, mounted on a three-hole platform. Dodgy knees are also catered to, with 15 degrees of non-centering float to reduce stress.

Five colours are available: black, yellow, blue, Team CSC Edition red or a delightful pink for those Giro d'Italia fashion victims. /BA

Price: US$115

eSoles custom footbeds are used by
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eSoles custom footbeds

A popular trend at Interbike this year was the focus on arguably the most important and most overlooked part of the cycling shoe, the insole. The quality of the interface between the foot and shoe is critical in insuring comfort in the cycling experience, but relying on a generic insole that is not customized to the attributes of your specific foot can lead to problems like the dreaded hot foot. eSoles claims its custom EVA footbeds not only insure comfort, but also help to realign a rider's biomechanics for a more efficient pedaling stroke and increased power output.

eSoles' unique 3D Tru Capture scanning device uses a so-called "bio-dynamic" air pillow to put the foot in a true neutral position, followed by a laser scan to produce the most accurate 3D representation possible. Riders such as George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer and Dave Zabriskie have ridden with eSoles and swear by them, and we'll see what kind of benefit they offer to one of our decidedly more "average" in-house testers. /MZ

Price: US$30 (initial scan); US$249 (initial pair of footbeds); US$219 (additional footbeds)

WTB's new Weirwolf LT 29 tire is among the largest 29er tires
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WTB Weirwolf LT 29er tires

Wilderness Trail Bikes has declared 2007 to be the "year of the tire" and feeds the fire with a 29" version of its popular 26" Weirwolf LT design. Based on the Mark Weir-designed full knob height Weirwolf, the 29" LT promises lower rolling resistance thanks to lower overall knob heights and ramped center knobs. Aggressive side knobs and reasonably soft 60A durometre rubber, though, promise secure cornering traction.

WTB mounts the tread on a monstrous 2.55" wide casing that is among the largest 29" tires currently available. In spite of the overgrown dimensions, the 29x2.55" Weirwolf LT tires should still fit in most 29er frames thanks to the lower knob height. Our folding bead test tires weigh in at 779g each (+/- 5g).

Price: US$55

Mavic's new Wintech HR computer
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Mavic Wintech HR computer

Mavic's Wintech computer has grown to three distinct models for 2007, two of which also incorporate a new, sleeker head with a three-line LCD display that is now handlebar-mounted via a much more accommodating clamp. As with Mavic's first generation computers, our Wintech HR test unit integrates the wheel pickup and transmitter into a special front skewer that retains Mavic's excellent cam mechanism, but is now digitally coded to reduce interference. All of the usual speed and distance functions are included as usual, but the new HR model now also includes full heart rate monitor functionality with the included wireless chest strap. A wireless cadence sensor is also available as a separate option. Total on-bike weight is 118g, and tack on another 56g for the heart rate transmitter.

Price: US$179.90 (w/o cadence); US$209.90 (w/cadence)

The new BionClino 401 computer from Korotek
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Korotek BionClino401 computer

Korotek's new BionClino 401 computer calculates road gradient up to a 30% incline or decline, in addition to the standard speed, distance, and time functions. Unlike other barometric- or GPS-based computers that can take several metres to calculate an average grade, the BionClino 401's built-in accelerometre offers truly instantaneous data that relies solely on the pitch of the unit itself. Also included are some very handy associated bits of data such as maximum gradient, vertical ascent speed, as well as an estimated power output during climbs.

The compact LCD head simultaneously displays four pieces of data and sports a user-friendly two-button operation. On-bike weight is 54g including the computer head and all associated hardware.

Price: € 109


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Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

Images by Cyclingnews.com

Images by Mark Zalewski/Cyclingnews.com

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com