By Jeff Lockwood
Giro New Road apparel collection
Giro still makes some awesome helmets. And their shoes are still way rad, especially their super-stylish Republic shoe.
But what intrigues us the most right now us is the New Road cycling apparel collection. The refined aesthetic of the products in the line is what first grabs the eye, but the logical details are what really gets the interest going.
Giro uses the terms “Mobility” and “Ride” to define the two themes or aims of the line. “Mobility” refers to the side of the line better suited (get it?) towards the commuting rider. With wise use of wool and technical fabrics, tops like the Merino Polo top and the Mobility Trouser are undeniably stylish and truly useful as every day, off-bike clothing, but feature cycling-specific details like almost invisible shoulder vents and reflective bits on the pant cuffs.
The “Ride” pieces are definitely meant for people looking for more high-tech features for longer-distance road rides, yet hoping for an aesthetic that’s less likely to get snide remarks at the mid-ride cafe or bar stop.
Giro has found that carrying essentials like tubes, tools and phones is more efficient and more comfortably done as close to the body as possible. As such, the layers closest to the body in the Ride side of the line such as the Bib Undershort (complete with a quick-access fly) and the Base Pockets base-layer shirt feature back pockets. Pieces like the Ride Jersey and Ride Overshort give street-smart cover to the book-smart techy undergarments.
While the men’s New Road line is in its second season, the New Road women’s collection is a new addition for 2014. The same detail, technology, style and aesthetic sense of the men’s collection is tempered with specific tailoring for women. And Giro isn’t just giving lip service here. The women’s collection is just as broad as the men’s, and the first half of the catalog is devoted to the women’s line, pictured here:
Riese & Muller
The German company Riese & Muller combine cargo bicycles, electric hybrid technology and full-suspension plushness to deliver a truly unique way to get you, your stuff and your family around town. Dubbed the Load, this bakfiets features a stem that can easily be adjusted for height and angle. This gives the bike the ability to fit riders of different sizes.
Nobody on earth has a perfectly symmetric head, but the shell of the Intersect helmet from Bell is flexible enough to fit snugly around the true shape of all of our misshaped heads. Yet it’s still just as safe and strong as any other helmet. The Intersect also features a removable visor, a decent amount of air-flow channels for this style helmet, and space on the back for a clip-on blinky.
We’ve seen a lot of bikes at this year’s show that have integrated electric-assist technology into what would otherwise be a normal bike. The Bosch label is on a lot of these bikes with its bottom bracket-mounted drive unit. Haibike is offering this system on their Xduro2 Race road bike. Aside from the Bosch Midmount Performance 45 km/h 36 Volt, 350 Watt drive unit and its downtube-mounted battery this is an otherwise regular road bike. It has a hydroformed aluminum frame, a mostly Ultegra 6800 drivetrain and Shimano mechanical disc brakes. Seems decent enough, but the weight of the complete bike still tips the scales at 18.1 kg. That’s more than 39 lbs. Retail on the Xduro2 Race is 5,999 Euros, or about $7,900.
Nutcase (And its impostor)
One company ripping off the look or functionality of a competitor’s product is as old as the bartering system itself. Yet you don’t often see one company completely assuming another company’s complete brand and product line. It seems like Melon helmets from Germany must really, really like Nutcase because it’s hard to tell they’re different companies. Melon has copied everything from the style of the helmets to the look of their product literature to the similarity of the logos. Crazy stuff.
Regardless… the original Nutcase has some new features on its helmets for 2014. It’s added removable visors and the lids now include an adjustable retention system to more comfortably and securely fit a wider range of heads.
And just to show you how closely Melon looks like Nutcase, here’s a shot of their booth at the show:
“Stylish and 100% waterproof,” state the nice people over at Ortlieb, referring to their new Barista handlebar bag. I didn’t have any water to test the latter part of that quote, but I can vouch that the bag is quite stylish. The waterproof nylon construction is smartly tempered with real leather details. The bag quickly fastens to the handlebars with the Ultimate6 mounting system. Off the bike, it looks like any normal shoulder bag. The top flap keeps everything inside with a magnet closure, and your phones, keys, pens and more are all organized and kept separate from the main compartment.
I’m sure you’ve seen someone rolling one of those hard Thule bike cases through the airport. Thule has been in the bicycle transportation business for a long time, whether you’re carrying your bike on the car or, more recently, carrying stuff on your bike. The hard plastic BikeCase is synonymous with the Thule brand, and they’ve upped their game with the bicycle travel case for 2014. Offered in a sturdy soft case or a more rugged hard case, this new case features an internal, removable bicycle work stand. Never again get frustrated building your bike at your destination. Just remember your tools.Tweet Print