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Interbike show -
Las Vegas, Nevada USA, September 25-29, 2006
Part 26 - November 16:
For 2007, Bell Sports rings out loud
By Tim Maloney in Las Vegas, NV
Plenty of good vibes coming from Bell Sports HQ on Encinal Street in the cool California seaside city of Santa Cruz. Both Bell and Girohad some great new helmets on display at Interbike and Giro launched an all-new logo and a cool new footwear line, both of which turned a lot of heads in Las Vegas.
Bell Helmets marketing man Don Palermini proudly showed Cyclingnews Bell's new Variant helmet, explaining that "our new Variant is a mountain bike helmet that we created for mountain bikers who do a little of every type of off road riding: cross-country, downhill, and enduro, and are mostly looking to have fun." Created with a round profile and equipped with 24 internally-channeled vents, Bell's Variant weighs 125 grams less than most skate-type helmets thanks to its Fusion In-Mold Microshell construction. Variant also features Bell's reliable GPS fit system and VPV adjustable visor for all way fit and protection.
You're probably not going to slap on your CSC team issue Bell Sweep R to ride to the coffee shop on your city fixie, and that's why Bell has created their Life+Style helmets, the Metropolis and Citi. We've always favored Bell's Metropolis and Citi helmets as one of the best designed and most practical helmets on the market and for 2007, Bell has added some dramatic new colors and reflective accents that help you stand out at dusk, dawn or at 2am riding home from the pub.
Bell is the helmet of choice for some of the gnarliest extreme riders on the planet and last year's intro of Bell's Faction BMX helmets with a signature series designed by legendary skateboard artist Jimbo Phillips was a big hit with BMX riders. "The response to our sushi series last year was huge", Bell BMX team manager Chuck Platt told Cyclingnews when he showed us the cool signature lids. Each Faction signature helmet has a different custom animal skull graphic created by artist Jimbo Phillips, and X-Games legend Dave Mirra's model earned a custom silverback gorilla with diamonds and a knit cap.
Platt explained "Dave's been known for wearing bling and the beanie is a trademark for him so we think his and all the Faction Signature graphics fit the riders personas." Other BMX'ers featured in the Faction Signature series are vert virtuoso Jamie Bestwick's Alien Beast, Chad Kagy's Bulldog, Allan Cooke's Jackalope and Steve McCann's wild Piranha.
Giro: New logo & products for 2007
Giro has an all-new logo for 2007 and Senior Vice President of Marketing Greg Shapleigh explained why: "Our new Giro logo signals our intention to apply Giro's winning formula in new and exciting ways. All of our Giro products have the same DNA and now they will all have the same logo."
Although Giro is known for high-tech, high-speed aero helmets, one of the most interesting products that Giro had on hand at Interbike was its Mike and the Bike version of the Rodeo kids helmet. Written by Grammy Award winning musician and passionate cyclist Michael Ward, who is currently lead guitarist with Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, and illustrated by his friend Bob Thomson, Mike and the Bike is an adorable children's book with a forward by Lance Armstrong. The Giro Mike and the Bike Rodeo helmet comes in a special package that comes with the book, just the right Christmas gift for your young biker in the family.
And for those grown-up cyclists who want to go extra fast, Giro is introducing a CSPC-approved version of their Advantage 2 aero helmet. Used by Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France, Giro's sleek Advantage 2 aero helmet not only has exceptionally low drag numbers (according to Giro's wind tunnel testing) in-mold construction with five vents, and a RocLoc fit system, but also now provides full protection. Priced at US$150, Giro's Advantage 2 aero helmet will be available in spring '07.
Stylus is Giro's stylish new mid-level helmet, priced at under US$100 with looks and design that rivals lids costing twice as much. Eric Richter, Giro's Senior Brand Manager told Cyclingnews, "We designed the Stylus for riders who want the minimalist feel of a classic road helmet, with the full performance and comfort that newer helmets offer." With in-mold construction, 26 vents with internal channeling, the Acu Dial 2 fit system and 5 color ways (including a Women's Series option), the Giro Stylus weighs in at 275 grams and will be available in January 2007.
Ritchey Rich with innovation for 2007
Tom Ritchey has been making innovative products since he made his own racing frames as a teenager in Northern California over thirty years ago. Ritchey's Pete Roggeman gave Cyclingnews an introduction to some of its new products for 2007. The WCS Carbon 4-Axis stem is a unique blend of carbon fibre and aluminum called Matrix carbonalloy, where a carbon exterior is fused with a forged 2014 alloy inner form, which, according to Ritchey, improves strength and durability and weighs 130 grams (110mm length).
Ritchey was one of the pioneers of compact cranks with a 110 mm bolt circle diameter and showed off a new WCS Carbon Compact crankset, made in unidirectional carbon fibre and weighing in at 548 grams for the set. The attractive design features 50/34T chainrings and is compatible with Shimano Octalink bottom brackets. Wheels are also the deal at Ritchey and the introduction for 2007 of a new WCS Protocol wheelset is an important aspect of its product range. WCS Protocol has all-new rims laced to forged and CNC'ed WCS hubs that sport titanium skewers. The WCS Protocol wheelset has 20 radial spokes up front and 24 two-cross spokes out back, and Ritchey claims a weight of 1460 grams (Shimano version).
Ritchey's Break-Away bikes are special because they not only have a unique and patented compression coupling system, but because they fit into a 26x66x73.5cm soft travel case once broken down. Available in Ti/Carbon and Steel, as well as a Ti and Steel 'Cross version, Ritchey's Break-Away may be the ultimate travel bike.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Tim Maloney/Cyclingnews.com