SRAM eTap WiFli Hydro for Road – Wireless Shift. Hydraulic Disc. Wide Range Gearing.:
SRAM’s entry into the electronic shifter market offers riders something truly different than Shimano Di2 and Campagnolo EPS. For example, wireless derailleurs and “Blip” buttons allow an eTap shifter to be placed just about anywhere on the bar. eTap works great on a road bike and is arguably the best electronic shifting system for tri bikes. However, to date, the system has not been available with the hydraulic disc brakes or the wide range gearing that many riders would like. That is changing for 2017 as SRAM introduces an eTap “WiFli” rear derailleur capable of handling a 11-32 rear cassette. For many riders, wide range gearing and disc brakes go hand-in-hand. In addition to “WiFli”, eTap is going Hydro with the introduction of hydraulic brake levers. Over the next six months, SRAM eTap options will be compatible with just about every bike and rider.
Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless – The Potential of Road Tubeless Realized:
Tubeless road tires have always promised increased flat protection, low rolling resistance, great ride and lightweight, but many have struggled to deliver all four. The Schwalbe Pro One tubeless road tire seeks to change that.
Dura Ace 9100/9150 for Road & Tri – Continuing the Tradition:
Every 3-4 seasons Shimano updates their premier component group. 2017 is one of those years. While Dura Ace 9100 and 9150 signify a progression from the already stellar 9000 series components they replace, it is hard not to look forward to a new Dura Ace group. Improvements for 2017 include concealed junction box; wider range 11-30 cassette compatibility from the factory; programmable “synchro shift” that progressively shifts the front and rear derailleur from one shifter; Dura Ace specific hydraulic flat mount brake calipers and shift levers with svelter ergonomics; dual sided factory equipped power meter option; app based wireless firmware updates and customization or functions; and an improved TT shifter. Of course, the new group loses weight and gains a trick looking black to silver fade finish as well. The new Dura Ace group upholds the saying, “You never go wrong with Dura Ace” quite well.
Cervelo P5X for Tri – What Can Happen When the UCI is Not Around:
Triathlon/TT bikes have progressed a lot in the past twenty years and the new Cervelo P5X demonstrates how the promise of the past is now reality. Not only does the Cervelo P5X continue to push aerodynamic progression, it is also one of the stiffest bikes in the drivetrain available, an easier bike to travel with and one of the most adjustable on the market. Oh, did we mention it also has disc brakes? The Cervelo P5X shows what the future holds and it is available today. It is good that the bike industry finally decided they didn’t care what the UCI said pro road riders had to ride. The result is faster bikes for all.
Shimano XT 8050 – Lower Priced Di2 for Mountain Bikes:
Shimano brought electronic shifting to road bikes seven years ago and to mountain bikes last year. However, the mountain bike group was only available at the top of the line XTR level – limiting its potential reach. Shimano thankfully trickled down Di2 for mountain bikes to XT, bringing the great performance down in price substantially in the process (XT 1X kits are under $1200). Shimano XT Di2 brings cool features like a digital display, elimination of cable friction and integration with some Fox electronic shocks to the masses. It also just simply has nice feel and function.
Garmin Varia – A Safety Radar and Light System that is Much More than a Pricey Mirror:
Okay, the Garmin Varia was available for most of 2016, so it isn’t a new 2017 product. However, we’re still excited about it and convinced more people need to try it. Why? There is no guessing what is coming at you from behind with a Varia (or how fast). There is no looking over your shoulder and drifting into the lane(or off the road) to check behind you. In other words, there is no interruption to you paying attention to the road in front of you. In addition to helping you see what is up to a quarter mile behind you, the Garmin Varia also offers a calibrated flashing safety light. The Garmin Varia works with many Garmin computer heads, including the 520, 820 and 1000.
eBikes – You Just Gotta Try It:
Yes, we know. Many riders have no interest in an eBike. However, for many, cycling is a great way to get outside, explore, do something with others and to get some exercise. eBikes help more people do all of these things longer and faster. eBikes aren’t motorcycles – you still have to pedal them. An eBike multiplies your wattage (turns 100 watts of power into 150, or 270…), helping make hills easier or just allowing you to feel like Tom Boonen at least once. An eBike can keep people out on bikes and having fun with friends regardless of age or differences in fitness and that is pretty cool.
We challenge you to try a high quality eBike and come away from it saying you didn’t have a good time. And, if you are a fat biker, try a Felt Lebowske and get ready to see the potential.
Speaking of fat bikes… Fatback continues to make a good case that you can build a fat bike that is light, responsive and versatile enough that you might just keep riding it year round. The FLT bikes enhance the already excellent carbon Skookum and aluminum Rhino platforms by shaving weight and enhancing responsiveness. A Fatback with a pair of snow wheels for winter and a pair of Plus wheels for summer could be all that you need for year round off-road riding. The Skookum in particular is eye opening in the snow and has led to more than a couple of riders selling their “summer” mountain bikes.
Zipp 454 Wheelset – Beyond Aero:
Wheel aerodynamics have progressed nicely over the past decade. However, aerodynamics isn’t what makes the Zipp 454 special. Predictable and minimal reaction to side winds is what makes the Zipp 454 special (and very fast). The Zipp 454’s sawtooth “whale technology” profile makes it arguably the most stable and versatile aero wheel on the market. Stability in side winds means speed and confidence. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the Zipp 454 has very low mechanical resistance hubs, a superb braking track, a low weight and excellent aerodynamic numbers. The Zipp 454 is a next generation aero wheel design that progresses what is possible.
Alchemy Arktos – All Mountain Enduro Made in the U.S.A. –
The Alchemy Arktos is an all mountain trail bike designed to bridge the gap between XC climbing ability and DH descending acumen. The Alchemy Arktos does this with 150mm/6″ of travel in the rear and by using Sine Suspension (licensed from suspension design guru David Earle). How does Sine Suspension work? Basically, the stroke is softer at the start and finish of the stroke and progressively stiffer through the middle of the stroke to allow the bike to be active and forgiving on the small stuff and to maintain climbing traction while being stiff enough in the middle to handle bigger and higher speed descents. We like the sound of this. We also love the way the Arktos looks and the Made in U.S.A. option.
SRAM Eagle – Making 1x Compromise Free –
1x drivetrains continue to gain popularity off-road due to their simplicity and lightweight functionality. 1x has even started to penetrate the road market too. However, 1x never had the range of a good front derailleur equipped bike. Until Eagle. A 10-50 rear cassette covers almost everyone’s gearing range with just a single ring up-front. Mountain bike shifting has been quite good for awhile now, but the precision and feel of SRAM Eagle’s shifts is exceptional.
Felt VR Road Bikes – Showing How Much One Bike Can Do Well:
Road bikes designed as much around riding dirt as they are pavement are selling well and for good reason. While bikes like the Parlee Chebacco, Cervelo C3 and C5, and Moots Routt are some of the very best in this category, the Felt VR series asserts itself due to smart design and a full line of models that start below $1000. If it fits you (you need a Fit Werx Rider First Fitting to know), a Felt VR brings great performance on the gravel or pavement to just about any budget.
More Inexpensive Low Gearing Options for Road Bikes:
From adapter conversion pulleys to more cassette options, there has never been a better time to make your bike more climbing friendly. If you want a 40T or bigger cassette on your road bike, we might very well be able to help.
Contact us for information on any of the above products and more. There is a ton of great new product this year (way too much to list here) and we’re happy to talk about them and help supply them.