Don’t miss our image gallery of all these goods and more, from Eurobike’s final day.
Castelli Body Paint Tri Kits
One of the debuts we’d heard about for over a year and were happy to finally see was the entry into the triathlon segment of legendary cycling brand Castelli. The Italian company has been one of our favorites for daily training gear with its unbelievable Body Paint line. The low profile, flush-to-the-skin leg grippers, the unique material fabric, was perfect for tri kits. As such, for the few years it’s been out, we told them the seamless design, which makes for a suit with incredible mobility with zero chafing opportunity, would lend itself well to tri apparel, not just the time trial outfits for the Garmin-Cervelo road team they sponsor.
It also helps that one of the project managers with the company, Steve Smith, is a triathlete, and a competitive one at that, who took part in Ironman Germany last year.
For 2012, Castelli debuts its first tri kit, and applies the company’s top-shelf Rosso Corsa tag to it. It’s the best of the best from the brand. Like all else in the brand, it’s that classic, subtle Italian styling, available in every color as long as it’s black.
We sat down with Smith to get the details. Actually, that matte finish is the result of being infused with titanium dioxide—the active ingredient in sunscreen. So off the bat, we’ve got a suit that’s helping keep you healthy from the sun’s UV rays. “We felt it was important to have that,â€ Smith told us. In fact, the fabric, was so unique and sought-after, “Simon Smart sent an emissary over to find out who did the fabric for us,â€ Smith says. It’s actually a monofilament fabric with such a tight knit, there’s no way for water to get in among the fibers. As such, Smith says it’s a fabric that dries quickly. It’s also quite resistant to cholorine exposure, Smith added.
Like the Body Paint bib shorts we’ve ridden, the Tri Suit is created from a single piece of fabric, wrapped around and only stitched across the front on the men’s suit (where the zipper is located) and across the back of the thighs. That’s it. It also has the same flexible and non-sausage-inducing leg gripper that we’ve seen on the other Body Paint road kits. To this point, we’ve not experienced a better leg gripper, so we’re pretty sure this is gonna be awesome as well applied here.
The kits will be made available as a singlet and tri short in men’s and women’s (in a Donna iteration, see main photo above), as well as a men’s one-piece, and a women’s Donna singlet. Both the men’s and women’s singlet tops are full zip, and feature two hydrodynamic covered pockets at either side of the lower back. The full-zip women’s kit is of course complimented by a sports bra as an undergarment for those hot days to open for breathability. The men’s one-piece kit has a single pocket in the back.
All the suits feature a front zipper, with the seams covered internally. The shorts also have a small interior pocket that can be used as a gel stash.
The chamois for all the tri kits is testament to the technical capabilites at Castelli. No cheap felt or off-the-shelf chamois here. Instead, Castelli created the KISS chamois. Its surface area is larger than most tri pads, but Castelli says you will get the movement of any other.
The technology comes with how the pad was created. A single 10mm foam is digitally shaved down to 3mm, then thinned further in strategic locations to create seamlessly variable thicknesses as needed for tri application. As for that thickness placement strategy, knowing triathletes ride the nose of the saddle in the aerobars, the 3mm thickness was in the front-center of the pad. The rest thins as it goes back and to the sides, for ease of run movement.
American pricing has not yet been established, but they did have Euro pricing: $190 Euro for the one-piece, and $90 each for the singlet top or tri short bottom, men’s or women’s, and $90 for the women’s singlet.
We had a nice lunch with Ceepo president Joe Tanaka to talk tri, and the guy is as passionate as ever; he’s prepping to race at the Hawaii Ironman, and we heard from his compatriots at Ceepo that he was doing 12-mile runs every morning during the show. That’s 12 more miles per day that this worked-over editor was doing each day. Impressive, Joe.
We then had a chance to get a look at the newest bike in the line. It’s not a tri bike (Tanaka said he has something in the pipeline he’s working on for 2013), but instead a slick new aero road bike called the Stinger.
There’s not much yet in the way of aero testing, but the thing looks pretty sweet: Deep aero tubinhg, and a seat tube cowling that actuallyhas a flow-through section. Probably not as aero as a fully-faired seat tube, but I’d reckon it adds a bit of torsional and vertical rear end stiffness. The frame will be Di2 compatible and set with a BB30 bottom bracket.
Geometries weren’t available yet, but the pricing is $2,500 for the frameset, or $3,200 with a Shimano 105 groupset with Mavic Aksium wheels. For anyone wanting to just get into the aero road bike game, the Stinger would be a fun place to start.
Canyon Concept Speedmax TT
My colleague Brad Culp never asks to test bikes. For one, he’s busy as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. But otherwise, he’s got one bike he’s happy on, and is resolute to have me do the testing and writeups.
Then I get this email from him: “If they’re ever gonna let us test one of those bikes please let me do it. That thing looks (actual euphemism substituted for the viewing audience) amazing. They coming to the U.S.?â€
Good question indeed, and yes Brad, we’re lining up a test. It’s gonna be a while, as the new Concept Speedmax TT is still in early production. We’re actually looking at getting the new Aeroad aero road bike into the queue.
Secondly, there will be a tri-specific version that will follow this decidedly TT-specific bike with greater adjustment and a more conventional tri aerobar front end, engineers tell us.
Speaking of engineers, we had a chance to talk in depth about the hot new TT bike in the Concept Speedmax TT with development engineer Wolfgang Kohl and head of R&D, Michael Kaiser. Both really see a place for the bike as it evolves in triathlon. And indeed, in America, hopefully soon.
Kaiser confirmed that the company, which operates in a direct-consumer-order fashion, is looking to expand from Europe and Asia into North America. “We’re working to prepare this market, however we want to do it in the right way,â€ Kaiser said. “To be able to provide the level of service we are accustomed to, this needs some time.â€ The North American market will clamor for access to these bikes, so it’s a smart approach.
The new Concept Speedmax TT helps create that clamor. Developed on both CFD and at the Drag2Zero Wind Tunnel in the U.K., it’s a classically German design creation. “We’re a bit like Audi,â€ Kaiser said. “Technical, design oriented and very clean. We want everthing to have function, otherwise it makes no sense.â€
The bike was a yearlong project, including two months of defining the main tube shapes. Rounds of CFD work narrowed it to three possible tube iterations. The bike on display, a jigsaw-assembled rapid prototype creation, was used to help interchange various tubeset shape options when the prototype went into the tunnel. Top Tube A with Downtube B and Downtube C. The next run would be a different variation … and so on, until they came up with the final iteration.
The result is a fairly angular tubeset shape that looks like it would be an elongated diamond crosssection. Canyon says it was advantageous at increased yaw angles; the team tested from 0 to 20 degrees yaw in CFD, then 0 to 15 degrees at the tunnel. All in all, when adding three different forks and a variety of different wheels to see interaction results, they did 20 to 30 measurements per day for 10 days, for a total they estimated ranged between 150 to 200 individual test runs.
“We have a different tube shape than most, but one thing we are sure of is that nothing that’s not in the wind on our bike will cause any force,â€ Kohl said.
Here’s what we saw:
– A set of fully-integrated brakes (center-pull front and back, with a brake booster in the rear housing located under the bottom bracket)
– An integrated aerobar (they will make two available; a flat and slightly downward swept version) with extensions and pads that can be adjusted upward with spacers, and inward or outward by reversing the bracket
– A seat tube angle at 73 degrees (given that this is a time-trial-specific bike) with a bit of effective adjust on the Selle Italia Monolink saddle rail
The stem as shown was somewhat limiting, particulary for a triathlete; this TT version will allow for aerobar pad spacers up to 10 centimeters, and pad adjust for each forearm pad in 12mm increments; three steps in or out and four steps fore and aft. That said, Kohl said the Omega Pharma-Lotto team riding the prototypes were riding it in a more steep tri-esque setup up to the edge of UCI limitations, as we’ve been seeing with many other ProTour team riders.
However, Kohl said custom stem heights and angles will be made available to its pro athletes. When the tri version of this comes out, Kohl said seat angle will be readjusted, and the likely fit solution for the front end will come by eschewing a fully integrated front end for a standard, modifyiable aerobar pairing that allows for more vertical and fore/aft adjust for the end user. “For that tri version we are considering a normal handlebar,â€ Kohl said. “We agree it’s important to be flexible, but it’s otherwise designed to be exactly the same as this one.â€
As we wait for this new bike to debut in 2012, and the tri version to come sometime in 2013, we can still turn our attention to the readily-available Aeroad, or the existing Speedmax CF 9.0 Pro, 9.0 SL and 9.0, which has a standard aerobar setup. Kohl said the tubeshapes are fairly similar in that elongated diamond shape, but varying slightly with a bit lessened hard transitional edge midway along the tube as compared to the Speedmax.
Kohl said even for being so integrated, disassembly of this new TT version for travel will be quite simple; the “stemâ€ cap removes from a bolt on the side, allowing access to three vertically-loading bolts that secure the basebar to the frame. Simple. Of course, being a real prototype, there is no price yet set. But again, we are on the shortlist for one of these bad boys when they hit the market, particularly the North American market.