Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Interbike 2014 - POC


For 2015 POC has added an MIPS option to the Crane dirt helmet, and they're releasing the lighter VPD Air armor, mountain bike specific chamois and revamping their sunglasses lineup.

VPD Air Armor

I always wear soft armor on rides, and some of my favorite has been a tough and durable VPD 2.0 knee and elbow. The VPD 2.0 works for many types of gravity terrain, including bike parks and All Mountain riding though I found the knees weren't comfortable for long spin sessions. Fortunately, POC is coming out with a lighter version aptly named the VPD Air, and the knee pads will be $80 and the elbow will be $70. The VPD or Visco-Elastic Polymer Dough material hardens upon impact for better protection and shock absorption, and in addition, its lightweight, flexible and moldable. The VPD Air is lighter, uses thinner material and has less coverage than other beefier models. The slide on armor utilizes one Velcro upper strap for adjustment and has silicone grippers to prevent errant movement. I am looking forward to trying these out, as the excellent build quality and stitching and durability should makes for a superb soft armor.

Interbike 2014 - Ergon


Ergon has a slew of enduro products in their lineup for this next season, including the gravity oriented BE1 and BE2 packs, the all rubber GE1 Slim and GA2 grips, and the comfortable SMC3 and race ready SMR3 saddles.


Ergon is releasing two new minimalist packs this season which were primarily designed for enduro racing and gravity riding, the BE1 and the BE2. The packs construction design incorporates a lower compartment that utilizes a lumbar water reservoir, a flexible middle section without pockets and an upper small compartment for essentials items. This design keeps the heavier water weight down low, and the lumbar shape accentuates keeping things tightly tucked into the back.

The BE1 has 3.5 liters of storage capacity while the BE2 has 6.5 liters, and they both use a Hydrapak 1.5 liter lumbar water reservoir. The BE-2 has an additional upper storage pocket and extra tie on straps for armor. The packs are capable of carrying either a normal or full faced helmet, with the bottom rear of the helmet cradled into the middle section. They'll come in small and large sizes and will have back length adjustment systems, and should retail for around $159 (checking on that).

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Interbike 2014 - Hydrapak Stash and SoftFlask





Matt Lyon, the President of Hydrapak, walked me through their collapsible bottle and flask lineup at the Interbike show. Last year they released larger sizes of their award winning soft-sided and collapsible SoftFlask, and this season they announced the innovative Stash Collapsible Bottle, which morphs the SoftFlask characteristics with a stand up design. Unfortunately they are no longer going to make hydration packs, and are going to focus on these collapsible bottles and flasks, and their core business, the hydration reservoir.

SoftFlask

The Softflask comes in fives sizes, the flat shaped SF 150 and SF 250, and the four-sided SF 350, SF 500 and SF 750. They're constructed with TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) for strength and flexibility, and RF welded to create superior bonds. They're BPA/PVC free, dishwasher safe and come with a No-Leak Product Warranty.

Specs:
  • 150 $12.99 and 250 $13.99 - Colors: Blue/Clear, Orange/Clear
  • 350 $18.99 and 500 $19.99 and 750 $ 20.99 - Colors :Orange, Smoke/Gray, White/Blue
The smaller ones are meant for gels and water while the new larger ones are for hydration purposes. Although primarily aimed for runners and hikers, the three larger ones will be useful for biking when you need to carry extra water on long rides, and they’re collapsible for easy storage. I used the SF 500 model on many occasions, and the size is ideal to place on top of your hydration compartment.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Interbike 2014 - Jabra Sport Pulse and Sport Rox Wireless Earbuds


Jabra is releasing two new Bluetooth enabled earbuds this season. The Sport Pulse Wireless which incorporates an in-ear heart rate monitor and the Sport Rox Wireless which has a unique magnet system that pauses the music when clip the ear buds together.

Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless

Jabra is well known for their Bluetooth headphones and speakers, and over the last couple of years they have been rolling out some great sports specific headset models. The latest model is the Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless, which is a Bluetooth enabled earbud that has an in-ear precision heart rate monitor. Install their Jabra Sport Life app on your smartphone and you begin an immersive fitness training program. The speakers give full Dolby Digital sound from the speakers letting you enjoy a great music experience while training. There is an inline control system so you can play or pause music, skip tracks, control volume and take calls. It can play music and talk for around 5 hours from its rechargeable Lithium Ion battery.


It uses a reinforced cables and housing, and a lightweight and comfortable earbuds are sweat and weatherproof. It comes with different sized ear gel inserts and wings and retails for $199.99.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Interbike 2014 - Magellan Cycle 505 and 315


The Cycle 505 and 315 are powerful GPS bike computers, with a slew of useful features and connectivity protocols, and they can display a fully highly customizable set of data on a vibrant 3" color touchscreen. They utilize the SiRFstarIII GPS chipset for navigation, have a 12-hour battery life, and it's water resistant with an IPX7 rating.

Early this year Magellan released their Cyclo 505 and Cyclo 315 to most of the world, and the Interbike show was my first opportunity learn about their features and functionality. One of the main design features that Magellan wanted to incorporate into the Cyclo series was simplicity and usability, highlighted by a User Interface (UI) that is easy to use and highly intuitive. After playing with the new computers at the show, I think they have succeeded on that front.

The top of the line Cycle 505 comes in two versions, a normal 505 ($429) and the bundled 505hc ($499), the latter includes a heart rate monitor, and speed and cadence sensors. The Cyclo 505 is ANT+, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capable. It can communicate with Bluetooth and ANT+ fitness sensors, and to iOS and select Android mobile devices via Bluetooth, and finally, it can upload ride data via Wi-Fi. The entry level Cycle 315 also comes in two versions, a normal 315 ($346) and the bundled 315hc ($429). The Cyclo 315 loses a few upscale features of the 505 and isn't Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capable, though will still communicate to ANT+ devices.

Highlights
  • Complete USA road network and OSM crowd source trail data showing cycling POIs like bicycle shops
  • Surprise Me suggests up to 3 different routes after entering distance or time criteria
  • Bluetooth Smart connectivity (only 505)  for smartphones and sensors
  • Support for over 130 ANT+ speed, cadence and heart rate sensors
  • Compatible with Shimano Di2 electronic road bicycle shifting systems with Di2 Wireless Unit featuring D-Fly
  • Shake-N-Share keeps everyone together by sharing a route with other Cyclo 315 or 505 series owners
  • Out-front mount
  • Wi-Fi (only 505) upload your ride data anywhere, anytime with or without your computer.