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EICMA show -
Milan, Italy, September 15-18, 2006
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Part 9 - September 15-18:
Prologo: New kid on the block
By Anthony Tan at EICMA in Milan, Italy
One naturally expects to see loads of new product on the EICMA showroom floor - but a whole new company? Okay, not quite - they're owned by Velo saddles - but Prologo is now an entirely separate, 'sister operation' based in Cavenago, Brianza, in the province of Milano.
The brains behind the product, Piet Van Der Velde, told Cyclingnews Prologo is essentially Velo saddles' high-end brand, comprised of six new saddles and bar tape. Their most innovative release is a saddle named 'Choice'. Featuring a revolutionary system that allows a rider to change the saddle's base and cover with incredible ease, Choice offers three base colour combinations, three saddle cover variations and five saddle cover colour combinations - which can all be changed by removing a clip and unscrewing two small nuts. Although not interchangeable, two types of rails are offered: an ultra-light titanium (called Pro Ti solid) and a slightly more robust titanium/nickel alloy (called Pro Ti 1.4), with a claimed saddle weight of 214 and 226 grams respectively.
While having a choice of colours is purely for aesthetic reasons, the distinctive cover and base have large air inlets, designed to improve airflow and increase cooling around the crotch and inner thigh areas. For those who prefer a bit of extra padding, the cover is available with gel inserts, and should a rider find the cover's holes uncomfortable or ugly, a more traditional style cover is available. Saddle colours will be available in red, electric blue, white, silver and black.
The 'Scratch' saddle may sound a bit itchy to ride on, but it is in fact Prologo's flagship product. Constructed with a HWD or high weave density carbon-fibre base (allowing differing thickness, density and elasticity in different areas), titanium rails and a generous amount of padding, Van Der Velde said the Scratch was aimed at expert level cyclists requiring a wide saddle for 'rounded' seating; I think that's a nice way of saying 'for those with large bums'.
Prologo also claim to be the first provider of a double-thickness tape with gel inserts, aptly named Doubletouch. The Doubletech manufacturing process enables the mass production of double-thickness tape and the addition of Geltouch varies its thickness, optimising a cyclist's grip along the handlebar. Three other bar tape variations are also available, called Plaintouch (made of real cork), Skintouch (the softest) and Skintouch Gel (basically Skintouch with a little extra padding).
Van Der Velde also told Cyclingnews Prologo has already lined up a deal with Colnago for all bikes to be fitted with their saddles from 2007 onwards, and this extends to all pro teams sponsored by Colnago, such as Team Milram and Rabobank.
Expected retail for the Choice Pro Ti Solid with Single Cover is 135 Euro, with extra covers starting at 35 Euro; Doubletouch tape will sell for 18 Euro. Release date in Europe and the U.S is likely to be at the end of October.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews.com