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Las Vegas, USA, September 26-30, 2005
Road coverage, Day 3: trade show floor
By Mark Zalewski
Lake heating up
Lake shoes is cooking up a new top road shoe for their line - and we mean that literally. The carbon-soled shoe is meant to be heated up in a convection oven at 180 degrees for five minutes before slipping over your foot. With the carbon reaching up exceptionally high in the heel and the supple leather upper, the heating makes the shoe maleable to your foot. Lee Katz of Lake gave us a demonstration and says that the shoe can be reheated as many times as it takes to find the fit that is the most comfortable for you.
The simple ratchet dial makes closing and opening the shoe simple and gives the shoe a firm wrap around the foot. And for those who ride when the temperature dips below 50, having some shoes out of the oven is just an added bonus!
Adidas staying cool
Adidas cycling shoes have adapted the Climacool technology from their running shoe brothers into the top of the line road and mountain bike shoes. Both have a wide carbon fiber outsole and a combination of ratchet and velcro enclosures. The mountain bike shoes is designed for cross country racing with deep rubber teeth to really grip the ground.
Carnac going for the gold
The riding shoe of George Hincapie have a new, but tasteful bling flavour - the M5 Carbon Gold. The shoe has a MFC5 carbon fibre sole which orients the individual strands of carbon fiber to maximise differential rigidity. Worn to victory on stage 15 of this year's Tour de France by Hincapie, the rachet enclosure strap offers great fit for mountain battles or the local criterium sprint.
Specialized keeps the blood flowing
The pressure has gotten to the folks at Specialized - right where it counts. After some disheartening research a few years ago showed that blood flow to the genital regions of men and women was significantly less while riding a bicycle, Specialized gathered a team of doctors and experts to find an answer to the problem. These researchers from demonstrated their findings right in the booth, complete with hard-wired athletes riding trainers to show real-time results.
The male guinea pig showed a 95% loss of blood flow to his...important region after just 1:45 of riding. But with an anatomically-designed saddle, that loss was reduced to just 40%. Women were also included in the study, showing that poor-fitting saddles can create severe pressure points.
Ridley's stable of champions
Having a national champion riding your bike is good evidence that your machine must be doing something right. So what does it mean when you have four? That's the case for Ridley, who offers customers the option of one of the four national champion paint schemes on the Damocles (in addition to the Davitamon-Lotto version) so they can have the same bike as either Fred Rodriguez, Robbie McEwen, Leon von Bon or Serge Baquet.
The Damocles has not changed much for 2006, except losing about 20 grams of weight and newly-designed cable guides. The Ridley Noah has undergone a major redesign for 2006 with the biggest difference being the seat tube, which has an aero shape and acts as an integrated seat post. The complete bike weighs in at just 6.9 kilos. The Gladius is Ridley's aluminum/carbon frameset, offering some of the design features found in their top-level bikes at a more affordable price. With a carbon rear end and finishing kit, there's some Brutus in this Gladius without the heavyweight tag.
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Images by Mark Zalewski/Cyclingnews.com