Panaracer started life making tyres for all kinds of industries, but 25 years later made the decision to exclusively manufacture bicycle tyres in order to focus on the technology needed to produce the best possible. They have been producing tyres in Japan since that time and are the last of the Japanese tyre companies to do so. All others have moved offshore. On test here is the lightest of their race tyres, the Race type L. Weighing in at 183g for the 700x23, the Race L is in the correct range to be considered a race worthy tyre. Race tyres need a few simple things to fit in. They need to be light, have some sort of puncture protection (we race on real roads and train on them sometimes), handle tight corners well and have a reliable feel in the wet.
PRO are the parts and accessories line for Shimano and they make a range of products including handlebars, stems, seatposts, bar ends, tape, saddles, forks, wheels, computers and many more. The company collaborates closely with professional riders, tweaking a design here and changing something else there with the idea of making their products faster and stronger. While they were originally released to allow non Shimano drive train using teams to still use Shimano’s products, they have now become parts and accessory leaders in their own right.
I’m not quite sure how I ended up being Bicycling Australia’s beauty correspondent. Make no mistake, I’m certainly in need of all the help I can get. However, hair removal probably isn’t at the top of my list of procedures that need attending to. As cyclists, hair removal is one of those chores that we endure in order to look the part. Leg shaving usually sits somewhere between a ritual and a chore and for me that pendulum swings depending on where I am in my competition phase. So what better way to take the drudgery out of a chore than to get a new high tech gadget?
Another First Look item that’s been a while in the making is Robbie McEwen’s autobiography. This is something I’ve been looking forward to since I first heard about it last year and so far (I haven’t finished it yet) it’s pretty good. I caught up with Robbie in Belgium last month and he was pretty happy with it too. In true Robbie style he said, “I’ve still got to do the final proofings. It’s just like school, I always leave that sort of thing to the last minute.”
I love it when we get stuff to put into First Look. This little baby has been on the drawing board and in the testing lab for nearly two years. Multiple NZ Ironman winner Cam Brown has been racing on it and it’s a testament to the bike that at the age of 38 he achieved his fastest bike split on it.
The Chrono Evo II uses CR5, Avanti’s highest grade of carbon fibre and uses wind tunnel and Computational Fluid Dynamic Technology frame tubes for the most aerodynamic tubes available It has an integrated seat clamp and an integrated stem/handlebar system that sits flush with the top tube.
With the world waiting for its electronic groupset, Campagnolo’s TT group was released with relatively little fanfare. Some of the components are available now, while the full range is due to hit our shores in September and will include:
TT BRAKE LEVERS
The bar end shifters will be available in both 10 speed and 11 speed versions. It will have a back to zero positionmechanism that always keeps the lever in the optimal position with respect to airflow, but you can also adjust their mounting position to suit your own personal grip. The will also allow you to shift up and down up to three sprockets at a time and make micro adjustments to the front derailleur. The carbon version will way just 155g.
Lazer is a Belgian company that has made helmets for a number of years. The Sphere is not a new model, but it has been updated this year, with extra material at the rear. It comes in two shell sizes XXS-M, 52cm-57cm; L-XL, 58cm-62cm and has air 21 vents.
Bontrager say these tyres are the “World’s fastest”. We don’t know about that, but having ridden a pair we can say they do have a fabulous turn of speed. The tyres boast a 220tpi casing for low rolling resistance and have a ‘wing’ feature, which is said to aid in aerodynamics.
Fizik have always been known for their saddles which are some of the most popular on the market. Having seen their shoes, we think they could become just as popular. The R3 is a case in point, with a carbon sole and a kangaroo leather upper.
Bryton GPS units have a new distributor, Oceania Bicycles. The Rider 50 is the top model, setting itself up against Garmin’s Edge 705. It uses a web based map system, covering all of Australia and also has a chest strap based heart rate monitor.