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IceBike show 2016

UK Distributor's Trade Show... now open to the public this weekend.

 

With the day dawning bright AND with solid blue skies, it was time to fire up the van again and head east for the third trade show of the year. Destination Milton Keynes and the MK Dons stadium for Madison’s Icebike show, this year open to the trade and the public.
With the sun shining, it felt like the first day of spring and it was tempting to hit the trails instead, but we knew there was new products to check out and trade talk on new developments ahead.

SHIMANO

First up, the Japanese component giants. With the latest eleven speed XT transmission gaining popularity and their brakes a very reliable choice we were keen to see any new developments.

Nothing new on the hardware front but traditionally we would expect new products to be launched at the US Sea Otter festival in the spring. We’ll have to wait until then, but with Shimano quickly trickling their developments down the groupsets and the recent arrival of Sram’s NX drivetrain, we would expect a refresh or redesign to the mid range groupsets very soon. We love Shimano’s Zee groupset and it features in this year’s Dirt 100, maybe this is due a revamp? Maybe the SLX kit? One thing is certain, we would love to see a new DX flat pedal and a DX clipless model too.

Launched last autumn, Madison had the new AM range of shoes on display. The old faithful black and white skate style sneakers have had a complete re-working with both SPD and flat pedal options as before.

The AM9 SPD model sells at £99.99 and the Vibram soled flat AM7 a tenner less. A cheaper SPD option with lace/strap retention comes in olive or black at £69.99. They all look as weatherproof and robust as the models they replace.

www.shimano.com

PRO

Shimano Europe’s hardware and accessory brand is growing steadily with their bar and stem options becoming a well regarded choice. You may be familiar with the Atherton range, but Pro had the new Tharsis Trail models on display.

The 800mm carbon bar (£129.99) along with the 35-65mm trail stem (£89.99) are designed as a system allowing Shimano’s Di2 electronic transmission to be fully integrated. The battery sits below the top cap in the stem and the wiring is routed internally through the bar. Just for the pro’s? Maybe, but it’s great to see slick design detail on production parts. Who knows, we may well see electronic shifting moving down in price, just like 1×11 transmissions?

www.pro-bikegear.com

GAMUT

Juan and Nathan from Gamut were keen to run us through the latest. This time last year we saw their Podium pedal which they have redeveloped with a more purposeful axle with four bearings and no bushings.

They’re very happy with these updates and the pedals are now available at last. At 300g/pr they are very light and we’re keen to get these tested in UK conditions. Price is £109.99pr. Watch this space for a test…they’re looking good.

Even with narrow/wide rings (which Gamut produce in Canada for most crank designs from £39.99 – £54.99) and clutch rear mechs, they have seen a gain in sales of lightweight chain devices.Their reliable, light and well finished models will not hold you back and add that touch of extra security. Trail SXC guide £49.99, Trail S-Lightweight Full guide £74.99 are popular choices.

The Cillos stem is a sweet looking unit in 40,50 and 60mm lengths in 31.8 bar clamp only. Don’t get asking them about a 35mm bar clamp though… they’re not fans.

www.gamutusa.com

BLISS

As used by the Dirt Zelvy Propain team, we were keen to see the guys from Bliss protection and what they had in store for 2016. Plenty it seems, with updates to their knee and elbow pads being the main changes.

The new Team knee pads have been developed with the Madison Saracen DH team and are designed for harder hitting gravity riding in mind.Outstanding protection and a perfect fit is the aim and these hit the spot with great pricing too. They use 3D molded synARG high performance shock absorbing foam with a stretch Kevlar cover. Sizes run from XS to XL to offer the best fit and therefore all-day comfort. Knee Pads £54.99, Knee/shin pads £54.99.

The revised Minimalist+ knee pads take the previous blue Armorgel material and give it a 3D form fitting shape with an additional Kevlar cover. These slide on pads fit well and give excellent pedalling mobility. Again, XS to XL sizes give true comfort for trail biking use. Knee Pads £49.99, elbow pads £39.99.

www.blisscamp.com

LAZER

The Revolution helmet was the highlight from Lazer. Here is an enduro or all-mountain capable helmet with modular options giving nine different set-ups.

It’s a 22 vent helmet with deep rear coverage and options to clip on additional side/ear protection, and a bolt on (not clip on) chin bar is available.

This chin bar attachment is tested to CE standards for a full-face lid, so Lazer feel this really is a very versatile option for the gravity rider. Custom coloured panels add an touch of fun if you feel the need to personalise the helmet too, and a longer peak is available to complement the chin bar. A well detailed and thought through approach to helmet design and we liked the fit of the show sample helmet too. Will it become a favourite lid here at Dirt? We better get a few sizes in and report back.

Helmet (with side protection option) £100 or £120 with MIPS. Chin bar price TBC but around £50

Due in the UK within a few weeks.

www.lazersport.co.uk

SARACEN

A ‘fresh from the hill’ Madison Saracen Myst DH rig was on display caked in mud. Your guess is as good as ours as to which track the mud was from…

The full 2016 range was on display with UK design and full Shimano kit hitting the spot for many riders. Saracen were in early with 27.5″ wheels (with the Zen hardtail) and this size now dominates their latest line up. The Myst Pro DH bikes hits the spot with RockShoxRC /Fox Van R suspension and a solid Zee transmission. Kore cockpit, post, saddle and wheels are sound component choices and most will be pleased to see the standard Super Tacky High Roller rubber from Maxxis. Price? £2999.99 from your Saracen dealer, ready to go.

www.saracen.co.uk

MADISON CLOTHING

With great colours and and ever increasing range of options (for both men and women) Madison have got all bases covered for riding all year round. They not only have some well fitting designs with great detailing but are now using a range of both well-proven and new innovative fabrics. From bamboo fibre tech-tees to recycled coffee bean content in their P4Dry fabrics, they are continually looking for the best option for each application.

The Flux Superlight shell weighs in at around 88g, stuffs into an internal pack pocket and gives wind and shower protection in a wafer thin yet tough fabric. With three colour options and a reasonable price tag of £64.99 this jacket looks like a winner to us.

Madison offer a range of waterproof, softshell and water repellent shorts ( a good choice this winter…) and the Addict range looks great with a trail pant too. The Addict DWR short uses panels of water resistant fabric mixed in with lighter more breathable material and ‘critical’ taped seams. A fine choice for changeable trail conditions without weighing you down. Price is £69.99, not the cheapest, but a short packed full of tech.

The Alpine FR range of kit is developed with the Madison Saracen DH team and is an outfit comprising of jersey (long or short sleeve, £38/33) and a tough DH short at £55. A lightweight race glove with a quality Clarino AX Suede palm is also available. Stocks due at the end of March.

www.madison.cc

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