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Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, September 24 - 28, 2007
Part 17: New 'wearables' for 2008
Edited by James Huang
Capoforma and DeMarchi Sport bring Euro flair to everyone
Capoforma is a relatively new cycling brand created by Upland Sports Group but has quickly become well known for its bold euro-inspired styling and high quality. Somewhat surprisingly given its decidedly Italian flavor, Capoforma kit is actually designed in California but manufactured in Italy's top cycling factories.
For 2008, Capoforma's new Signature Series Diavolo Jersey incorporates increasingly popular carbon-enhanced fabric augmented with mesh arm and side panels to provide moisture transfer and breathability. Capoforma uses a blend of three different fabrics for its women's-specific Classic Donna Jersey, with each material occupying a specific panel position to help maximize performance and comfort. Capoforma also offers a vast range of 'Made in Italy' socks, like its trendy Euro Web Skinlife model with full mesh upper and lower sections and anti-bacterial materials.
Upland Sports Group is also the US distributor for high-end Italian clothing brand De Marchi Sport, who showed off its new Contour EVO jersey at Interbike. The Contour EVO's Contour Body Framing System incorporates a laser-cut, thermo-welded frame of non-elastic fabric that helps stabilize the rear of the garment, especially when loaded, while Dry3 Next fabric and mesh armpit inserts provide ventilation and moisture transfer. /TM
Descente reduces stitching for 2008
The big news out of the Descente camp for 2008 is the introduction of its new Micro-Fuse chamois, a smaller and lower-profile race-oriented insert that is thermo-welded to the shorts to completely eliminate stitching in that critical area. The pre-shaped foam padding is also perforated for ventilation, and the smooth SpeedFree stretch polyester anti-microbial fabric reduces chafing.
Descente includes the new Micro-Fuse pad in its updated Optima short (available in standard or bib version), which now uses carbon-Lycra blend Resistex side panels whose anti-static and compressive properties supposedly improve circulation while also delaying the onset of fatigue and reducing lactic acid buildup. As in the current version, the Optima does away with grippers altogether in favor of a more comfortable 50mm-wide (2") band of material at the leg openings.
Descente has also improved its multi-density and multi-thickness Strata chamois, used in the corresponding Strata shorts. The Strata insert is still component-welded to eliminate stitching, but new mesh materials on the edges reduce chafing even more than before.
Carbon also finds its way into the new light and airy Spirit and C6 Carbon jerseys. The Spirit marries sublimated styling with Descente's Nexus Carbon fabric that supposedly delivers better temperature regulation and reduced odor, while the C6 Carbon is built using a carbon-infused version of its Resistex fabric. Both are MP3-ready with dedicated security pockets and wire management systems.
Cooler and wetter fall weather is met with the new Bobby J. jacket, whose eVENT fabric is claimed to be 100% waterproof and breathable. Seams are fully sealed and the full-length zipper is also waterproof. Thoughtful details include a fleece-lined collar, an array of reflective appliqués, and a hem that only uses elastic at the rear to prevent bunching up front. /JH
Tifosi Optics debuts new shapes and styles
Watkinsville, GA-based Tifosi Optics adds a number of new styles to its diverse range of eyewear for 2008. The Vogel is lightweight at just 22g, yet boasts a protective shield-type rimless construction that maximizes the field-of-view. Temples and nosepiece are both covered in hydrophilic rubber and adjustable for a customizable fit. Tifosi offers the Vogel in seven frame colors and a variety of polycarbonate lens options, including its photochromic Fototec and polarized hues. Suggested retail is just $39.95.
The Ventoux uses a full-frame, interchangeable lens design that is intended for medium-to-large faces. As on the Vogel, the temples and nosepiece are covered in hydrophilic rubber and are adjustable for fit. However, the Ventoux includes a trio of lenses, including clear, Smoke Red, and 'All-Conditioned' Red. Polarized and photochromic Fototec lenses are also available.
The new Scatto offers a semi-frameless construction designed for a small-to-medium fit. Again, the Scatto includes an adjustable and hydrophilic nosepiece and temples for a secure and semi-custom fit. The single fixed lens is similarly available in a wide array of tints, including photochromic Fototec and polarized options, while Tifosi's Glare Guard lens treatment helps reduce eyestrain. Suggested retail on the more premium Scatto is still a very reasonable US$89.95. /JH
Camelbak goes big
Hydration pack megapower Camelbak is on a two-year development cycle and concentrated on some of its larger offerings for 2008. The Uproar is the latest addition to Camelbak's burlier Outlaw lineup and boasts a healthy 28L cargo capacity supported by an Independent Suspension harness and waist belt. The Uproar is definitely ready to launch with its full-face helmet holder and external straps for arm and leg armor, but an included padded laptop sleeve signal the pack's impressive versatility as well. Interesting, the Uproar has no provision for a hydration bladder; instead, Camelbak simply fills a dedicated insulated pocket with a 0.75L version of its Better Bottle.
The H.O.S.S. is billed as a full-day/multi-day mountain bike pack that includes the company's new articulated and ventilated D.V.I.S. (say 'devious') back panel, Dynamic Suspension harness, and a rare-for-cycling waterproof roll-top main compartment. Smaller compartments hold pumps, tools, and other essentials, and a dedicated media pocket handles MP3 players and smaller cameras.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the multipurpose Octane line gets a smaller Octane XC variant for those that want to travel light. The Octane XC is built with lightweight mesh and holds just 1.5L of cargo, but still has room for a 2L (70oz) bladder and an updated Air Director rear panel to reduce sweat buildup. /JH
Crumpler: It's in the bag
If we gave Interbike booth awards for 'most laid back', 'most unique atmosphere', 'most colourful characters', or any combination thereof, the folks at Crumpler would easily win, hands down. But beyond the flowing Coopers and eco-friendly booth design (made almost exclusively of corrugated cardboard!), Crumpler debuted the next big thing from the popular bag company - a line of luggage.
Crumpler sticks with its unique style of nomenclature for the new line of roller bags, which includes 'The Period Chamer (28 litre capacity), 'The Mock Tudor' (49 litres), and 'The Free-Standing Edwardian (82 litres). All feature a water resistant 900D polyester outer shell and 150D ripstop lining, neoprene stretch panels, an easy-access side loading laptop pocket, and internal stretch mesh pockets. The bags also come with a 'dirty-undies' bag that can be tossed whole into the laundry upon your return home.
Three colour combinations are available across the three sizes; however, the bags are still in the final development stages with an expected release of April, 2008 so the final palette isn't quite set just yet. The new line of luggage may be new territory for the company, but if its half as good as the company's messenger bags, it will be top notch and worth the wait. As for the prices, they should be up to snuff as well: the small, medium, and large bags are US$400, US$475, and US$560, respectively. /MZ
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Images by Tim Maloney/Cyclingnews.com
Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com
Images by Mark Zalewski/Cyclingnews.com