Berm: better in black, or white?
BG S-Works Shoe
Roval Control and Traverse wheels
We brought you a closer look at the latest helmet from Specialized this week, the 2D. Now it’s the turn of the remaining new accessories that the Morgan Hill company has just released.
Eyewear (or Optics, in Specializedspeak)
Specialized’s range of glasses is threatening to reach “excessive” anytime soon. Since being introduced a couple of years ago, the company has consistently unveiled new models evolved from the original Chicane. All are still based around the Adaptalite NXT lenses that have proved so popular out on the trails.
For 2008 the Arcterra (£129.99) and the Berm (Adaptalite £79.99/non-Adaptalite £49.99) have been added. Arcterra is derived from the roadie-specific Arc, a super-light 16g non-folding design, but modified to be more MTB friendly. This includes a new arm design which more securely clasps to the one-piece lens, and a slim sweat pad to prevent sweat making its way onto the lens.
The Berm is the latest in the company’s attempt to offer a less cycling-specific range. Subtle styling and smooth lines appear to make it more successful in the BM offices than some of the previous attempts by Specialized to enter the lifestyle market (hello, Swingarms…). Available in bold frame colours from black, tort, smoke or wood, and in Adaptalite or non-Adaptalite flavours, the Berm looks good.
BG S-Works Shoe
When we first saw Specialized’s S-Works shoe with its BOA retention system back in 2006, we were very impressed. The BOA system significantly speeds up getting into and out of shoes, and the monofilament lace spreads the load evenly across the top of the foot. For 2008 the shoe is lighter, better ventilated and uses a new BOA system. A new upper drops weight from an already very light shoe, and there’s much more ventilation mesh around the side of the shoe, along the toe box – the tongue is now made from a new material for similar benefits too. The new, slimmer BOA device has an extra loop of lace to better spread load.
Available in white or black. Price £169.99.
We reckon that this could be Specialized’s big footwear hit. It’s the company’s first winter-specific MTB shoe – it apparently took the California-based shoe design team a while to get their head around the idea that “winter footwear” could mean anything other than “slightly thicker socks”. Looks like they’ve learnt fast, though. The Defroster packs all the usual wind/water repelling features, along with extra insulation. Most notably, it’s actually pretty light, noticeably lighter than, say, Shimano’s winter offering.
This was designed from requests of Specialized sponsored athletes for non-cycling shoes to wear atop the podium. We don’t know much about standing on podiums, but we reckon these would do just the job.
Roval were one of the first companies to offer a complete wheel solution in the early 1970s. The name, after lying dormant for years, was recently resurrected by Specialized a couple of years ago. Before now there weren’t any MTB hoops in the range. Until now…
Two wheelsets make up the range, the XC Control and All-Mountain Traverse. They share a lot of similar features; DT spokes and Pro Lock nipples, DT-sourced hub internals, 24/28 front/rear spoke lacing, E5 alloy rims, tubeless ready by way of tubeless rim tapes and valves, and both are priced at £499.99. The Traverse front hub is configurable between ZR, 20 and 24mm setups – you get all the necessary bits in the package. The Control was designed with the help of Specialized XC racer Christoph Sauser, who’s renowned for his borderline obsession with not carrying any excess grammes on his bike, so you know that these wheels are going to be proper light.
We like the look of these a lot. In particular we like the fact that most of the parts are something approaching standard – yes, they’re straight-pull spokes, but they’re not unique to these wheels, so spares availability should be better than other, more proprietary, solutions.
And before anybody asks, no, Specialized’s own Future Shock forks and AFR rear shocks aren’t available aftermarket…