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New Arrivals – October 31, 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.

Giant TCR Advanced T-Mobile

The T-Mobile team continues to ride
Photo ©: James Huang
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Giant Bicycles has sponsored the German T-Mobile men's and women's professional teams since BLAH and the latest officially-issued machine is the carbon fiber TCR Advanced T-Mobile. However, in seeking an appropriate test model, we didn't just secure a stock model; instead, we managed to get the actual team bike of T-Mobile rider (and UK star) Mark Cavendish, who graciously agreed to loan us one of his bikes for a while.

The TCR Advanced T-Mobile uses Giant's own made-in-house T-800 formulaOne composite, fashioned in a sloping, semi-compact lugless frame configuration with ultra-short 405mm chain stays and an integrated seatmast. According to Giant, this results in a lighter and more aerodynamic frame with superb torsional and drivetrain rigidity.

Standard TCR Advanced T-Mobile machines are equipped with full Shimano Dura-Ace groups, including the Road Tubeless-compatible Dura-Ace WH-7850-SL clincher wheelset, but our medium tester is fully outfitted as the team uses it in competition. Changes from stock include the decidedly racier WH-7801-Carbon50 deep-section wheelset wrapped in Continental Competition 22 tubulars, a Dura-Ace-based SRM Training System power meter (with an internally routed sensor and wiring harness), a Selle Italia Signo saddle, and an aluminum PRO PLT handlebar and stem.

Our exclusive tester weighs 7.4kg (16.3lb) ready to race, including a set of Dura-Ace SPD-SL pedals and a pair of Elite cages. Standard retail price on the stock model is approximately US$6000. The cost of this particular one? Priceless. /JH

Price: US$6000 (stock Giant TCR Advanced T-Mobile)

Jamis Supernova

Jesse Anthony will race on the Jamis Supernova
Photo ©: Mark Zalewski
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Cyclocross racer Jesse Anthony is continuing to battle fellow New Englander Tim Johnson this season thanks to the folks at Jamis, as the North American company is sponsoring Anthony with its updated Supernova 'cross bike.

The Supernova frame sheds 50g from last year, mostly due to lighter chain stays, for a claimed weight of just 1550g. The front end is made with Kinesis Kinesium tubing, which the company claims delivers higher tensile strength and far greater fatigue resistance than typical aluminum alloys, while carbon rear stays help deliver a smoother ride and stiffer rear end. This is all matched to an Easton EC-90X CNT-enhanced carbon 'cross fork.

Anthony's bike is currently outfitted with SRAM's new Red group, but Jamis offers the bike to the public with one of two more price-conscious build kits. The value-oriented base package comes spec'd with a SRAM Rival drivetrain, FSA cranks, Ritchey handlebars, Kore Cross Race brakes, and Easton Vista SL wheels wrapped in Vittoria tires.

Actual weight of our tester is 8.2kg (18.0lb) without pedals, and so far, our initial impressions during this unseasonably warm October have bee very good. Stay tuned for a full review once the true cyclocross weather rears its ugly head. /MZ

Price: US$1850

Challenge Grifo and Grifo XS Open cyclocross tires

Challenge was born out of the ashes of Clement
Photo ©: James Huang
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Born out of the ashes of the fabled Clement brand, Challenge Tech has offered a comprehensive range of handmade road and cyclocross tires for the last eight years, including our cyclocross-specific Grifo XS clinchers and Grifo Nero 32 tubulars.

The Grifo is the tire of choice for Erwin Vervecken and the rest of his Fidea Cyclocross team and features a 260tpi polyester casing, a puncture-resistant belt, and a proven tread design that promises a secure grip and a mud-spewing open knob pattern. According to Challenge, the tread isn't vulcanized to its substrate like most tires, instead being hand-glued to a fully-inflated casing to provide increased flexibility (thus also offering improved traction), lower rolling resistance, and improved ride quality. Our 32mm-wide tubular testers weigh 450g each, and Challenge also offers it in 30mm- and 34mm-wide sizes as well as an open tubular version in 32c only.

The Grifo XS is intended for more hardpacked surfaces where racers can take advantage of the lower profile tread. A subtle diamond tread down the center keeps things rolling fast while still offering reasonable traction, while an array of minimal side knobs help keep you upright. As with the standard Grifo, the Grifo XS is offered in both tubular and open tubular versions but only in 32mm-wide casings for both. Our 32c Grifo XS Open testers weigh in at 359g apiece. /JH

Price: US$99.99 (Grifo or Grifo XS tubulars); US$79.99 (Grifo or Grifo XS open tubulars)

IRD CrossFire 32c cyclocross tire

IRD's new CrossFire 'cross tire…
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

Panaracer's popular and versatile Fire XC Pro mountain bike tread makes its way over the cyclocross arena thanks to a collaboration with Interloc Racing Design, better known as IRD. The new CrossFire is made in Japan by Panaracer and uses the same multi-stepped and patterned knobs as the original but in a downsized version mounted on a more appropriate cyclocross-specific 700x32c casing. Rigid sidewalls allow for lower pressures and reduce the occurrence of pinch flats.

IRD offers the new CrossFire in both Kevlar and steel-beaded versions and in a choice of four tread colors: black, red, blue, or pink. Our Kevlar-beaded test tires weigh 391g each. /JH

Price: US$42.99

Sidi Toaster insoles

The Sidi Toasters automatically heat
Photo ©: James Huang
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Well-heeled cyclists who suffer from cold feet during the winter months have to look no further than the Sidi Toasters for some much-needed relief. While not a substitute for a true winter shoe, the Toasters do replace your standard insoles (be they Sidi or otherwise) with ones that automatically maintain a cozy 38°C (100°F) temperature thanks to an integrated resistor and self-adjusting circuitry. The built-in rechargeable battery is said to handle over 600 charge cycles with no memory effect, and the supposedly waterproof units even include a handy wireless remote control. Sidi offers the Toasters in a wide range of sizes, too, from 39 all the way up to 48.

What's the cost of luxury, you might ask? The Toasters fetch a handsome US$299.99, but that might not seem so bad for those of you who have yet to find a satisfactory solution for your plight. /JH

Price: US$299.99

Xpedo M-Force MF-5 pedals

The Xpedo M-Force MF-5
Photo ©: James Huang
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Wellgo manufactures a lot of different pedals for both road and mountain bike applications (for other brand names as well as its own), and the option-laden M-Force MF-5 model in its higher-end Xpedo line looks like it might be an ideal pedal for cyclocross racing.

While most pedals only offer adjustable release tension, the M-Force MF-5's Posi-Lock Retention System offers a whopping 36 different combinations of release and entry settings. In addition to the usual spring tension variations, Xpedo's Posi-Lock system can also allow the forward jaw of the pedal to pivot forwards (usually, that jaw is stationary while the rear one pivots backwards). Depending on the setting, this makes for either traditional toe-first engagement or a more idiot proof 'stomp straight down and go' motion (think barriers). A special SPD-style cleat helps make this all possible, but the pedals are also compatible with traditional SPD cleats.

The Xpedo M-Force MF-5 is also light, with an aluminum casting and three cartridge bearings per pedal rotating on either a titanium or chromoly spindle. Actual weight on the titanium-equipped version is just 276g per pair without cleats, but they also carry an 85kg (185lb) rider weight limit. The chromoly version carries no weight limit and is only slightly heavier at 328g. /MZ

Price: US$185 (M-Force MF-5 with titanium spindles); US$125 (M-Force MF-5 with chromoly spindles)


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