SRAM's new wireless shifting electronic drivetrain was just one of the show stoppers at this year's Interbike trade show.
"What's the best thing you saw?"
It's the No. 1 question we hear after every trade show. And here is our answer. The following - in our collective opinion - represents the newest, coolest and most interesting stuff our RoadBikeReview crew came across throughout the course of the 2015 Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. Some will be hits, others duds, but all are at least worth a look. Here in no particular order, are the coolest new bike products for 2016. Check them out, then let us know what YOU think! Also be sure to check out the Best New Mountain Bike Products for 2016.
SRAM Red eTap
SRAM's much ballyhooed wireless electronic drivetrain finally made its debut and we're duly impressed. Operation is straightforward, batteries are easily accessible (and swappable), and the Blips functionality opens up all sorts of options for satellite shifter placement. A complete groupset (shift/brake levers, front derailleur with battery, rear derailleur with battery, GXP crankset, GXP team English bottom bracket, XG-1190 cassette, Red 22 chain, brakeset, battery charger and USB stick) will run you $2758. But the cost for just the four major components (2 shifters, 2 derailleurs), plus batteries, charger and a USB stick is $1660. We cant wait to get a test group in. In the meantime, read more here and check out www.sram.com
BMC granfondo GF01 Disc
Don't look now, but the fine folks at BMC have discovered frame colors beyond black and red. Among our favorites is this new coffee-colored granfondo GF01 Disc. The bike delivers what we want in terms of spec and design (disc brakes, geometry for the every man), and it can handle a variety of terrain, from butter smooth tarmac to rowdy back road dirt. $6000 with Shimano Ultegra Di2. Learn more at www.bmc-switzerland.com
The Lynskey Legacy road bike takes the beautiful lines of a classic road bike and merges them with modern materials and performance. Crafted with Lynskey's titanium tubes and expert welds, the Legacy is affordable, too. Just $1700 for the frame. More info at www.lynskeyperformance.com
Oakley Prizm Jawbreaker
The $220 Oakley Prizm Jawbreaker shade delivers greater eye coverage - and looks cool while providing high-end function and protection from wind and dust. Read more here and check out www.oakley.com
Wilier Triestina takes us back in time with this steel copper plated beauty. The Superleggara is a nod to Gino Bartali's winning bike at the 1946 Giro d'Italia. And while it looks like something out of a museum, Wilier assures us it's meant to be ridden. Geometry has been modernized and the $7000 fully built bike comes with a top-of-the-line Campagnolo Super Record groupset and carbon wheels. More info at www.wilier-usa.com
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Zipp Firecrest Carbon Wheels
Form and function will always be important but when the price of a wheelset goes down by $500, our heads really turn. That's the story with Zipp's line of 2016 rim brake Firecrest carbon wheels. Everything from the 202 tubular to the 808 clincher had its price reduced (New MSRP is between $2000 and $2350 depending on model). The new wheels also now utilize Zipp's 77/177 hubset, the same one on the wheel maker's disc wheels. They've also ditched the pre-load adjustment, which is now set in the factory, and the spokes are stronger. Learn more at www.zipp.com
WickWerks 53/34 Chainrings
If WickWerks new ultra-wide chainrings work as advertised, we're all in. Their new 53/34 combination is designed to provide the easy spinning of a compact little ring with the power of a 53-tooth big ring - and still shift well. Heretofore you had to choose, which for us usually meant sacrificing any semblance of top end sprinting speed in exchange for 50-34 compact gearing that we could comfortably spin up the many steep climbs around our test HQ Colorado. Talk about best of both worlds. Read more here and check out wickwerks.com
Stages Cycling Carbon Crank Power Meter
Carbon freaks rejoice. After making its name with alloy crank-based power meters, Stages Cycling has added a composite crank offering to its ever expanding product portfolio. The new Stages branded watts measurer is built custom for Stages and manufactured of hollow carbon fiber by Full Speed Ahead. In addition to the Stages branded meter, the Stages Power product range will include new models from Campagnolo, including Super Record, Record and Chorus, as well as FSA's SL-K Light BB30 model. The full carbon fiber Stages Power meter and crank arm weigh145 grams and is compatible with 386EVO drive side cranks as well as SRAM Red 22, Force 22 and Rival 22 BB30 road and SRAM Mountain (168mm Q) BB30 drive side cranks. Top end models run $950 and go down from there. Read more here and check out www.stagescycling.com
POC Prototype Printed Light Vest
POC wants to make us all safer. The Swedish company has partnered with Light Flex Technology to create a seriously lit-up cycling vest. The printed light technology is an independent active light as opposed to the traditional passive reflective technology used on most bike apparel. It can be incorporated into any wearable item to increase visibility, and the patented technology is light, flexible, washable, and can be integrated onto complex shapes without compromising comfort or aesthetics. Read more here and check out www.pocsports.com
Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Leader III Shoe
Pearl Izumi has taken a good shoe and made it great. This WorldTour level piece of footwear is designed to disappear on your foot, but still transfer every last watt to the pedals. Stack height is 1.5mm lower than the previous iteration and the dual Boa closure assures a precise and comfortable fit that can easily be adjusted on the fly. The 1:1 Insole System allows for independent left and right arch and forefoot canting height options. It's almost like getting a custom shoe, which will help soften the blow of the $320 price tag. Learn more at www.pearlizumi.com.
Panache Speed Jersey
Boulder, Colorado-based Panache Cyclewear continues to pump out eye catching styles. But there's more to the new Speed Jersey than just good looks. This competition-focused top has an aero, close-to-body fit, plus a gripper band on the sleeve to keep flap at bay. Other features include wicking main fabric for all-effort comfort, stretch side panels for improved fit, and a full zip for easy hot-day ventilation. MSRP: $135. Available March 2016. Learn more at www.panachecyclewear.com
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ENVE Carbon Road Hubs
How do you make carbon wheels lighter? Carbon hubs, of course. That's the tact ENVE is taking with its new full carbon shell hubs, which use continuous fiber construction and molded (not drilled) spoke holes. The end result is a 232-gram hubset. You read that right, 232 grams. Of yeah, they have DT Swiss internals and Ceramic Speed bearings, too. As expected all this lightness doesn't come cheap. Just the hubs will run you $1350. And if you want a pair of ENVE SES carbon clinchers built up around these bad boys, you'll need to bring $3500 to the table. Learn more at enve.com.
Vee Apache Chief Tire
Once a little known overseas brand, Vee Tire is making serious waves in the U.S. with both road and MTB offerings. The updated Apache Chief utilizes Synthesis technology, a specially woven lightweight tissue located on the sidewall to help prevent punctures. Available in 23c, 25c and 28c, these tubeless ready clinchers with 185 tpi casing are equally at home whether you're training or racing. MSRP: $55. Learn more at veetireco.com
Wren Sports Ceramic-Aluminum Composite Rotors
Weights weenies may have one less thing to complain about when it comes to disc brakes on road bikes. The new Wren Sports Ceramic-Aluminum Composite Rotors come in at just 55 grams for a 140mm or 65g for the 160mm. Wren claims braking performance is as good or better than the big guys' rotors. They're available now in 6-bolt, with center lock on the way soon. Pricing not yet available. Learn more at www.wrensportsllc.com
Giro Empire ACC Reflective Shoe
Giro is yet another brand with a compelling safety story. The new Giro Empire ACC Reflective Shoes are made in part with reflective coating built into the microfiber upper. When hit with light - say from a car - the shoes illuminate, making it easier to spot and hopefully avoid the cyclist who is wearing them. And the coating wont scratch off, so even if you scuff them the safety component endures. MSRP: $275. Learn more at www.giro.com.
Bell MIPs Helmets
Like a lot of helmet makers, Bell has integrated MIPs into its product line. But no one has gone to quite the same extent. As of this writing, you can get the multi-directional impact protection system in upwards of 15 different models, including kid's helmets. Upcharge is around $20, but we see that as a small price to pay for a technology that can reduce the harmful rotational forces that can result from certain impacts. www.bellhelmets.com
Sapim CX-Carbon Spokes
Calling it the stiffest and lightest aerospoke ever, Sapim unveiled the new 3 gram CX-Carbon. That's 25% lighter than Sapim's lightest steel spoke, but because there is no elasticity in the spoke, stiffness is not compromised. Due to the laminated steel inlay at the end you can use standard nipples and rims. But the special head form requires a special hub flange design and the spokes are only available in straight pull. Pricing not yet available. Available in February 2016. More info at ww.sapim.be.
This article is part of RoadBikeReview's coverage of the 2015 Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. For more from Interbike CLICK HERE.