Coming to a bike shop near you... - Bike Magic

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Coming to a bike shop near you…

It’s the time of year when the UK’s major component distributors start showing off their wares to bike shops. We popped along to Fisher Outdoor’s show for a look at what’s coming up – you can look at everything they’ve got at

Avid’s discs have thus far been in the “very good, but pricey” category. But the prices have come down a chunk which makes them look a lot better value – the new Juicy Five is just like a Juicy Seven without the Speed Dial pad contact adjuster and comes in at £109.99 with a 160mm rotor. Bigger rotors cost a tad more. Sevens start at £149.99.

The latest range of Source hydration packs looks great, and impressive value. The 2l race-oriented Spinner is under thirty quid, and the top of the range Whistler freeride pack with 3l bladder shown here is £74.99. There’s a choice of colours, too.

Tacx’s latest generation of trainers includes live video footage of real roads (this is a stage of the Giro d’Italia) that scrolls by as you pedal. The control unit modulates the resistance according to your position on the course. And if you think that’s clever, Tacx’s other new trainer uses an electrically-powered resistance unit that can not only simulate much steeper hills than regular turbos but can also drive the rear wheel round on the descents…

New for 2005 is the Troy Lee Speed Equipment helmet. It’s TL’s top of the range lid – it’s actually an MX helmet, but a super-light example of the genre. At £379.99 it’s certainly not cheap, but is bound to be popular. And you do get a carbon fibre shell, titanium visor screws, pop-in padding and a nice bag for it.

Also from the Troy Lee stable is a new range of gloves. This is the Air, an ultralight number with a single-layer unpadded palm and a mesh back. Also available in black should you not go for the stage magician look.

VDO’s latest generation of cordless computers uses digital transmission to get around the problems usually encountered by wireless units. The transmission range is better, so the signal will actually reach the bars from the bottom of a long-travel fork, it’s less prone to interference and if it does lose the signal for a bit the sensor has a buffer in it so the unit can catch up when it re-establishes contact. Plus the clever VDO chaps have binned the traditional “which-button-does-what?” bike computer user interface in favour of a phone-style up-down nested-menu system which appears to work really well.

SRAM’s quest for groupset completeness comes a step closer with the arrival in the UK of the X-Gen front mech. Sensibly SRAM is just doing one to go with all groupsets (choose from silver or black), and it’ll fit pretty much any bike with a shimmed clamp and reversible cable routing. It’s a regular bottom-swing design so some full-suspension owners might be out of luck. In other SRAM news, the X-9 rear mech is now black and silver (so it looks a bit like the X.0), the trigger shifters have been tweaked slightly and there’s now an 11-32 cassette option.

This is a prototype of X-Lite’s latest post. Superficially it looks similar to the old Click-On post, but this is more conventional in design with serrated rail cradles being secured with a twin-bolt wraparound clamp. It looks like being remarkably light (this proto is said to be 190g) and the projected price is a surprisingly low £35 or so.

Also coming soon from X-Lite is a new skewer design, which puts us in mind of a slightly bevelled Ringlé unit. These won’t be out for a while, but when they are they’ll be available with steel or titanium shafts and the usual variety of anodised colours.


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