Best of PressCamp: Cannondale, Culprit, Rotor and Capo

Bike Press Camp

Back in June we showed you some of the interesting products and innovations coming out of Bike PressCamp, a mini trade show that takes place annually at the sun-splashed Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah.

During three long days of meetings, presentations, and we got first looks at a new endurance road bike from Orbea, new hydration drink mixes from Clif, disc-equipped cross bikes from Ridley, the U.S. introduction of Boardman Bikes, and some cool new gear from Smith Optics and Sugoi. But that just scratched the surface as to what was on display inside the cozy confines of the Silver Barron Lodge.

Now it’s time to look at some of our other favorite sightings, including an adult sized bike from Cannondale, a kiddie ride from Culprit, a new power meter from Rotor, and some innovative apparel from Capo.

2014 Cannondale Synapse

The new Cannondale Synapse has been completely revamped, offering a smooth, compliant ride.

Never one to rest on its laurels, Connecticut-based bike maker Cannondale has given its popular Synapse endurance road bike line a substantial overhaul. Among a host of innovative frame design tweaks is a seat tube that has an oval-shaped cutout just above the bottom bracket. This was done to both shave weight and add rigidity, explained marketing man Murray Washburn, who likened the unique design to flying buttresses, which help stabilize buildings and are most often seen in Gothic church architecture.

Like its predecessor, the revamped Synapse has a taller head tube, slacker head angle, and longer wheelbase. But don’t mistake this for a causal Sunday cruiser. Instead, Cannondale’s positioned the new Synapse as a capable race bike that just happens to be easier on your back and have a smoother ride.

That ride quality is smoothed by what Cannondale calls its Save Plus micro suspension system in the rear triangle, which allows for a small amount of compliance-enhancing movement. The fork is also designed to provide vertical deflection, said Washburn. Together these two features work together to dampen road vibration. Add in tire clearance of up to 28mm and a collarless, 25.4mm rounded seat post, which exposes more of the post, thus increasing deflection, and this bike has the potential to be a true gravel-grinding machine. The new Cannondale Synapse will be available in seven carbon fiber models, with price tags ranging from $2,000 to $8,000. There are also five alloy frame options. For more info, log onto Cannondale.com.

Culprit S2 Kids Bike

Culprit has a full line of kids bikes that are a step above the usual big-box options.

On the opposite end of the spectrum was the Culprit S2 kids bike. This new offering comes with 650c wheels, a 152cm crank, compact 50-34 chainring, carbon fork, Tektro brakes, and a Microshift 9-speed drivetrain that’s easy to operate for small-handed riders. Retail price is $925. The Culprit kids line also includes a higher-end S2 with a carbon seat post and Shimano 105 drivetrain for $1625, and a 20-inch single 39-tooth chainring steed for the little guys. Learn more at CulpritBicycles.com.

Rotor POWER Crank

Rotor’s new power meter offers true right and left leg power measurement.

This Spanish company is best known for its ovalized chainrings that are designed to eliminate deadspots in your pedal stroke and increase overall power output. Sharp-eyed viewers of the Tour de France will have already spotted the new QXL chainring (MSRP: $320) on David Millar’s Team Garmin-Sharp Cervélo. (Current yellow jersey holder Chris Froome is also running ovalized chainrings, but they’re made by competing manufacturer O,Symetric.)

But the real eye-catcher at PressCamp was Rotor’s new ANT+ compatible POWER Crank, which the company claims produces highly accurate watts output readings due to having strain gauges built into both crank arms, versus the traditional single-sided approach utilized by other power-meter makers. That means you get a true measure of right and left leg power, explained Rotor’s new USA brand manager Phillip Lucas, who added that the POWER Crank also collects torque data and pedal stroke smoothness. Of course technology like this doesn’t come cheap. The new power meter retails for $2,350 sans chainrings. More info at Rotorbikeusa.com.

Capo Padrone Apparel

It looks good during the day — and glows in the dark at night.

Looking good — and being visible at night — are the calling cards of Capo’s new-for-2014 Padrone line that’s constructed from special fabrics that look normal during daylight hours, but reflect light when the sun goes down. The high-end line, which will be available starting next February, includes bib shorts ($275), a short-sleeve jersey ($225), vest ($225) and a jacket ($300). Capo says that the mix of Super Black and P-10 fabrics also offer enhanced stretch and compression, and that the reflectivity is built into the fabric, so it wont wash oor wear ff. More info at Capocycling.com.

Editor’s Note: Check back soon for Part 2 of our Best of PressCamp wrap-up where we’ll look at three intriguing new wheel offerings.

Best of PressCamp: Cannondale, Culprit, Rotor and Capo Gallery
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2014 Cannondale Synapse

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Culprit S2

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Rotor POWER Crank

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Capo Pardone Vest

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures in British Columbia, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, and Peru among many others. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in January, 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and edited a book on cycling tips. When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife Lisa.


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