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New Arrivals – May 2, 2007

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.

Trek Lime

The Trek Lime
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

We'll be the first to admit that the Trek Lime does not fit in with our usual crop of test gear. It's neither a road bike per se nor a mountain bike; suffice to say it certainly isn't a racer of any sort, either. The size range for the modest aluminum frame consists of men's and women's… and that's it. Regardless, it's likely one of the most important machines to pass through our halls, not because of what it is, but rather for what it is trying to do.

The Lime's sole purpose in life is to introduce non-cyclists to the wonderful world of cycling. Everything surrounding it is similarly intended to remove common boundaries to hopping on a bike, thus explaining the reasoning behind the simple sizing scheme. The highlight of the Lime is arguably Shimano's new Coasting group which includes an electronic auto-shifting system and an easy-to-understand coaster brake (pedal forward to go, pedal backwards to stop!).

Otherwise, the Lime is definitely a showcase in Mac-like design features, with interchangeable colored 'skins' and soft fuzzy overtones throughout. The pedals are flip-flop-friendly, the ergonomic grips feel good in bare hands, and the wide cushy saddle pops open to reveal a small storage compartment. Fender and rack mounts are naturally included as well to enhance the utility.

Will Lime and the rest of its Coasting-equipped crew bring more people to cycling? Only time will tell, but we'll be planting our own Lime in a 'typical' town in Pennsylvania for a slightly different sort of Cyclingnews review and will let you know how it goes.

Price: US$579.99

Gaerne G.air road shoes

Gaerne's new Carbon G.Air shoes
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

Gaerne's newest top-end shoe incorporates a number of features that the company hopes will help it emerge from the shadow of its better-known compatriot. As the name suggests, the Carbon G.Air utlizes a low-profile full-length carbon fiber sole plate with a ribbed design that promises maximum power transfer. Standard three-hole drilling will accept nearly all current pedal systems, and an extra hole is on hand for Look's cleat memory feature.

A firm hold on the rider's foot is obviously Gaerne's prime objective. The heel is wrapped in a polyurethane cage with an aluminum ratcheting buckle, and an extensive array of silicone dots in the rearmost portion of the shoe's interior combats lift. A laterally adjustable instep pad also provides a measure of customisation. Up front, Gaerne equips the Carbon G.Air with a pair of uniquely ratcheting Velcro straps that lock tight and supposedly won't slip even a little bit during use.

The Carbon G.Air is offered in four colors and a wide range of sizes from 39-47. A more economical version with identical uppers but a nylon sole plate is also available. Weight on our sz43 tester is 710g for the pair.

Price: US$309.95

Blackburn Voyager 4.0

The Blackburn Voyager 4.0 offers a fully self-contained
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

Daylight Savings Time may have been moved further up the calendar this year, but early evening/late night commutes and errands still require some candlepower to light the way and alert others to your presence.

The Blackburn Voyager 4.0 comes equipped with a Luxeon LED with two power settings (plus a flashing mode) that packs up to 45 lumen. A pair of amber LED emitters on the sides of the water resistant case offers up some lateral visibility for extra security. Blackburn's Constant Current Technology means the light output won't fade prematurely, and the company claims four hours of run time at maximum power (ten hours on low).

The Voyager 4.0 is powered by four AA batteries (included) and attaches to both standard and oversized handlebars via the included quick-release bracket. On-bike weight for our test unit is 254g.

Price: US$44.99

WTB 25th Anniversary Silverado SLT saddle

WTB's new Silverado SLT
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

WTB celebrates a quarter-century in the industry with a commemorative 25th Anniversary Silverado SLT saddle that includes unique chrome graphics and a genuine leather cover. As with all members of the Silverado line, the SLT features a long 274mm length for extra positioning flexibility and a relatively narrow 133mm width. A flat profile and WTB's 'Love Channel' architecture helps shift pressure from soft tissue areas on to the sit bones. Further cushioning is provided by the relieved Flex-Tuned shell.

Titanium rails and lightweight DNA padding help keep the weight down to just 192g.

Price: US$130

Pedro's Green Fizz bike wash and CHAINj lubricant

Mmm… Green Fizz and CHAINj.
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

"Green Fizz" and "CHAINj"? We don't know who at Pedro's is responsible for naming this stuff, but at least the Green Fizz bike wash is descriptive with its non-aerosol foaming action. According to Pedro's, the new cleaner is safe for use throughout the entire bike, carbon fiber bits included, and is also fully biodegradable and 100% carcinogen- and toxin-free.

Once everything is all clean and shiny-like, Pedro's new equally biodegradable CHAINj lubricant can be applied to keep things running smoothly. The wet-style lube is best used in "moderate to wet conditions", and a handy precision applicator helps keep the stuff only where it's intended.

Pedro's recently debuted Green Fizz at bike wash stations at this year's Sea Otter Classic, an event increasingly known for its environmental awareness. According to Jason Elhardt, Pedro's Marketing and Communications Manager, "We're excited about launching our new bike wash at Sea Otter. The event's commitment to the planet is tremendous and we think that should be supported at every level. So riders can wash their bikes and kill the dirt without killing the fish."

We don't know how well the stuff works yet, but we do like fish so we'll give it a go.

Price: US$7.99/11.99 (Green Fizz 16oz/32oz); US$6.99/12.99 (CHAINj 4oz/12oz)

Pedro's Critical Mass multi-tool

The new Critical Mass houses several handy tools
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

We know, we know. In spite of your efforts to do a proper job tweaking your derailleurs, adjusting your brakes, and overhauling your suspension fork… in the parking lot of your favorite trailhead… while your buddies waited patiently… something still managed to go awry on the trail (shocker).

In addition to its line of bike care products, Pedro's also offers a line of portable multi-tools, and its newest Critical Mass collection will probably appeal to the weight weenie in all of us. The traditional fold-out configuration is nothing new, but the Pedro's dresses it up with compression molded carbon fiber side plates and 6/4 titanium hardware. When combined with six basic tools (2/3/4/5/6mm Allen, flat blade screwdriver), our base-level Critical Mass tester makes for a paltry 76g lump in the jersey pocket.

The Critical Mass M7 adds a Mavic-specific M7 spoke wrench, while the super-pimpy Critical Mass OR model tacks an 8mm Allen wrench, #2 Philips (that's '+' to you, bucko), and a T25 Torx bit on top of that.

Price: US$79.99 (Critical Mass or Critical Mass M7); US$89.99 (Critical Mass OR)

Ergon GX1 Team Edition grips

The new Ergon GX1 grips offer the same ergonomic benefits
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

We'll agree with many of you that think Ergon's oddly-shaped grips are a bit, well, odd. That unique shape's superb ergonomics and comfort, though, have soundly won us over. The company's newest GX1 grips now address a couple of our biggest gripes, namely weight and positioning flexibility.

The GX1 sports a pared-down 'wing' as well as a smaller diameter grip radius that should make for a better feel and more freedom in where you put your hands. Lighter-weight Kraton rubber is used throughout, bringing the weight of our test pair down about 30% to a more reasonable 128g. The sure-locking alloy clamp of the original grip is thankfully retained.

Like with the first-generation series, the newest Ergon grips are also offered with integrated bar ends in both magnesium and now carbon fiber. All GX-edition grips are now also available in day-glo 'Team Edition' green hues, just in case the radical shape didn't draw enough of a crowd.

Price: US$39.95

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com