Review: Swiss Side Gotthard wheelset

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Swiss Side, started by a Formula 1 engineer and an award-winning sports equipment designer, produces only handbuilt wheels for road bikes, and nothing else. Their products already sound astronomically expensive—but they’re not. Founders Jean-Paul Ballard and George cant deliberately structured the company to be lean and mean to avoid overhead. (It also helps that the wheels are handbuilt in Taiwan, not Switzerland.)

The Gotthard wheelset is intended for rougher roads or heavier riders. The name, as it turns out, is not slightly offensive, but is in fact an homage to the Gotthard Pass in Switzerland, a twisty and treacherous pass that is one of the highest paved roads in Europe. This isn’t exactly a touring or rough-road wheelset, but is certainly more durable than typical racy road sets, and quite light to boot, at 1,465g for the pair.

Read the full review here.

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Shimano announces new road disc brake mount

Renderings courtesy of Shimano

Shimano has never been afraid to reinvent the proverbial wheel, and today it has announced it has done it again with a new road disc brake mount standard dubbed Flat Mount.

The new mount has been developed with “leading road bike brands” and we will likely see it equipped on some 2015 models this fall. The design allows road bike manufacturers to move away from the traditional mountain bike mounting system for a cleaner, more integrated look. It will still be backwards compatible with the proper adapters, Shimano says. It also has no visible hardware and will allow easier tool access for rear brake calipers tucked inside the rear triangle.

No actual product images yet, but when they are available we will post them here.

 

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NiteRider spotlights improved battery life for 2015 lineup

Riding at night has never been better. As LED and battery technologies continue to improve at astonishing rates, the products and price points just get better and better.

NiteRider knows a thing or two about going long—it’s celebrating its 25th anniversary this year—and its 2015 lineup focuses on boosting its lights’ runtimes rather than pumping out as many lumens as possible.

See the new lights here.

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Big brands unveil new aero road helmets

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Now that bikes have become incredibly light and stiff, the new frontier in bicycle product design is aerodynamics. After all, a bike is only as aero as the rider on it. Helmets are one of the biggest factors in a rider’s aerodynamics on a bike, and you’ve likely seen those enormous time trial helmets that look like the villain from the movie “Alien”.

Three major players in the helmet market, Giro, Bell and Smith, have unveiled new aero helmets in the past few weeks.

Get the details here.

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Trek unveils new Émonda line, the ‘lightest production bike ever’

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Trek sure has its bases covered. The classic Madone has morphed into a cutting edge aerodynamic frame, the innovative Domane has one of the smoothest rides around, and now the Émonda line takes light weight to new heights. Starting with a Shimano Tiagra equipped S4 model with a carbon frame for $1,650, the line tops out with the astonishing 10.25 pound SLR10 that checks in at an equally eye-popping $15,750 price tag.

Get all the details here.

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Chrome introduces forged rubber with factory tour

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Chrome Industries might be best known for its huge line of backpacks and messenger bags, but it’s really stepping up its game in footwear lately. Its latest line of shoes are built from forged rubber, which is a process whereby the rubber penetrates the canvas at 300 degrees for super durability and flexibility. They are made by hand from old machines the brand salvaged from Slovakia.

Learn how to get a pair for half price!

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First Look: EH Works Nomad Roll

I was introduced to the benefits of waxed canvas as a Rivendell Bicycle Works employee in the mid 1990s. Specifically, using Filson seconds as a way to wrap tools to fasten to my Brooks leather saddle with a handy leather toe strap. Fast forward nearly 20 years and I discover a Seattle-based craftswoman named Erica Hanson who has refined what Rivendell founder Grant Petersen called a ‘burrito wrap’, and providing tool rolls for bicycle and motorcycle use.

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At 17″ x 9″, the Nomad carries much and packs tight.

See more details.

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First ride on the Lapierre Overvolt FS900 Bosch-powered e-bike

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If you don’t think e-bikes are a real mover in the bicycle marketplace? Look no further than the entry of Bosch in the marketplace to prove that some big brands are willing to invest serious resources in the growing market. For 2015 it has paired up with a few key brands to bring e-bikes with Bosch motors and control units—already a huge hit in Europe—to U.S. dealerships. Look for bikes from Haibike, Felt, and Lapierre, including this Overvolt FS900.

Read the full story

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SRAM brings hydraulic braking, 11-speed to Rival groupset

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Of all the road bikes we test here at Bicycle Times, SRAM’s Rival group might be the most common drivetrain we see. With most of the technologies and features of the top-tier Red and Force groups, it hits a pricepoint that makes it appealing from weekend warriors to dedicated racers.

New for 2015, SRAM is offering the Rival group in its 11-speed format, first seen on Red and Force. With the change comes a host of other trickle-down features from the levers to the rear derailleur.

Get the details here.

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