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Friedrichshafen, Germany, September 4-7, 2008
Lids, lights and other accessories from the Eurobike halls
By Matt Skinner, What Mountain Bike
Giro replaces venerable E2
Helmet maker Giro has long been first choice of many XC riders with its top-end E2 helmet. But Giro will now replace that hugely successful lid with the Athlon.
The Athlon bears close familial resemblance to its predecessor but morphs them into a slightly softer organic aesthetic which is particularly noticeable at the rear of the helmet. The Athlon features Giro's benchmark Roc-Loc 4 fit system for a secure fit over the rough; 23 carefully placed vents together with internal channelling for greater cooling; a POV adjustable visor; and comes in a slew of colour combinations.
Dedicated off-road helmet from Specialized
Specialized also showed off a brand new trail style mountain bike lid called the Tactic. With large vents for slow-speed cooling and the obligatory visor, the Tactic gets Specialized's ProFit system to keep it stable when the going gets rough. It's a much needed competitor for Specialized to take on Giro's dominant Xen helmet in this category, and on appearances at least it's ready for the fight.
Charge caters to the kids
British brand Charge Bikes had one of the most distinctive stands at the show. Building on its domestic theme (every product is named after a domestic object - Stove, Spoon, Iron, Blender and so on) Charge literally built a faux laundrette frontage to display its growing range of stylish and thoroughly thought-out road, urban, and mountain bikes.
Hidden behind the scenes, though, was a prototype children's bike: designed for 14" wheels it's a lightweight aluminium offering complete with Charge's distinctive graphics. Charge Bikes owner Nick Larsen claims it to be around half the weight of most mainstream offerings and it was certainly impressively light although we can't yet confirm the claim.
Charge's new youth bike isn't just light though, and there's thorough attention to detail that includes narrower diameter bars and grips and adjustable reach and easy action brakes for smaller and weaker hands. With this new entry, Larsen looks set to join Isla Rowntree of Isla Bikes (www.islabikes.co.uk) and only a small handful of others with a truly high quality choice for children's bikes.
Exposure lights up the night
Exposure Lights - purveyors of cable-less, high performance LED lighting systems - has been busy with a few additions. Following closely on the launch of the new Maxx-D unit, Exposure has introduced a new single LED lamp to be used as a rear light.
Named the 'RedEye', it's staggeringly bright and can be attached to the seatpost or to the rear of the helmet for greater visibility. It's powered by plugging into the charging port of the main Exposure light (handlebar or helmet mounted) and feeding off the battery therein. By power sharing in this way, running the RedEye will affect the overall burn time of the main lamp but it still makes for a rather clean overall package.
Exposure Lights was also showing a remote switch for the light units that again plugs into the charge socket of the lamp head. It mounts to the bar or stem and operates in the same way as the switch on the back of the lamp. Our only initial criticism is that it is not illuminated.
Lezyne turns its attention to floor pumps
Lezyne broke onto the scene last year to great reception - impressing hugely with its focused line of high quality tools, bag and pumps. For their second year it's expanded the range but continues with the distinctive design focus.
New for this year is the introduction of floor pumps: the range consists of six models ranging from the top-end CNC Floor Drive pump through to the Steel Floor Drive.
Lezyne rates the CNC Floor Drive up to 220psi and features full CNC-machined aluminium construction, an oversized pressure dial, and 100 percent aluminium Flip Thread chuck heads. Designed by Lezyne, the Flip Thread allows the pump to be screwed - not pressed - securely onto both a Presta and Schrader valves by just unscrewing and flipping the assembly around for the correct valve. It's very solid, very well made and could very well be a pump for life. It will retail for £69.99 in the UK.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Matt Skinner/What Mountain Bike