Hed Jet Black Series
On its face, Hed’s new 2015 wheel line is all murder-murder: black on black with black; (ok, black with white shadow decals.) And on its face, one would mistake them for carbon clinchers. Of course, with anything dark, you’ve gotta shine a little light on it to get the true details.
The Hed Jet Black Series are Hed’s hybrid carbon clinchers, on alloy rims. But look closely at the brake track in the above image; the wheels have the same super-wide 25mm rim, but the new twist is brake track’s machining; a scallop-scored alloy braking surface that Hed calls Turbine Braking Technology, which is then anodized black. It’s similar to what we have seen from Mavic, but is more deeply scored.
Hed’s Paul Ellis says provides better braking performance in dry conditions (he says 25 percent better), but much, much greater stopping power in the wet. (a claimed 70 percent improvement). The rim’s braking surface is then anodized black, and then sent out into the world to stop you on a dime. Hed said it also requires your standard brake pads, which will likely wear a touch faster than on a standard alloy rim treatment, but not excessively so.
They’ll finish off with a black Sonic hubset, and are tubeless compatible. They’ll price at $2,000 a pair for the Jet Black 6. They’ll be shipping to your local Hed retailer just in time for the gift-giving (or receiving) season: December.
Also debuting in Germany is the new GT3 three-spoke. The venerable three-spoke tubular now joins the Jet in the wide rim category, set at 26.5mm. Weighing in at 672 grams, it will price at $1,500 a pair.
Lazer WASP Air IS
Just over a year ago, Belgian-based Lazer Helmets debuted the Wasp, a long-tailed aero helmet that was featured on its Lotto-Belisol ProTour cycling team… but never saw action with triathletes; the ultra long tail was great for 7k prologues, where a rider could suffer holding their head in that perfect head-up aero position. But an Ironman athlete, riding 112 miles, looking around the course, neck getting tired, reading their power data, reaching out for bottles at an aid station, that’s all broken aero time, in which case a shorter aero helmet may be a better choice.
As a result, Lazer created a truncated version of the WASP: The WASP Air. It’s the same mainframe helmet, with the long tail lopped off and left open, creating a bit of a Kammtail effect in the back. So when the triathlete is moving their head around, there’s not a terrible aero penalty for that motion.
But that’s not an excuse for having a bad head position on the bike, right? To that end, Lazer CEO Sean Van Waes proudly showed us the WASP Air’s signature feature: the IS, or Inclination Sensor. This small box, which affixes to the base at the aft of the helmet via strong earth magnets, is an angle alarm. Users can plug in there IS unit (as well as charge it) on a USB port, and connect it with their computer. There, the user can open a program and adjust the inclination sensor’s angle pitch range, setting a maximum and minimum range. Within that range, the IS will do nothing. But let your head point down (and thus letting the IS tilt up) and outside the angle parameters you set in the unit, and the IS will sound an audible series of beeps. It can also deliver a light vibration… or can deliver one warning method or the other as a user chooses.
Lazer said the IS will only affected by front and rear tilt; a head tilt from side to side (roll) or turn from side to side (yaw) won’t activate the warning systems.
And while the beeping seemed benign in hand, Van Waes said that since the aero helmet is a closed environment, it’s not hard to hear, while riding, or feel the vibration alarm.
As to the helmet itself, the front visor can either be moved in a fixing channel to allow ventilation along the upper ridge of the visor as it meets with the helmet’s browline, or the visor can be removed completely. It will be CPSC-certified for use in the United States, will feature Lazer’s new Advanced Turnfit System to snug the helmet at the base of the neck and will weigh 280g in medium.
U.S. Dollar pricing has not yet been firmed, but it will price at 299 Euro.
Verve Cycling Powermeters
It didn’t take long for former 3T design engineer (and former Formula I motorsports engineer) Richard McAinsh to swap jobs and re-surface in the industry. And it’s not a surprise he’s with a dynamic new power meter brand, called Verve Cycles. I’d been called to come check out what he and his new team have been working on.
What they’ve just debuted is a new crank-based powermeter, which Verve calls Infocrank. The alloy crankset has a claim of being within one percent accuracy.
The basics? Verve says the crankarm strain gauge placement (micro-positioned and oven-cured, then fully enclosed) with a linear load path that sorts out noise is the stiffest, purest location for measuring transmission, allowing ultra-accurate data points. The crankset is a 6000 series alloy crankset in 110BCD with a 30mm diameter spindle and a 150mm Q-factor (and will ship with 50/34 and 52/36 PraxisWorks chainrings. It will communicate with ANT+ head units and will have user-replaceable battery be available in 170, 172.5 and 175mm versions, and compatible with BB30, PressFit30, OSBB and BB85 options (no BBright as yet).
The unit’s user-replaceable battery is a commonly-found SR44, and Verve claims that someone riding three hours a day four days a week would need to replace the battery after a year.
The unit is temperature-compensated for accurate numbers, is waterproof, shock resistant It has integrated cadence sensors and bilateral power measurement.
Verve also says it will have true right/left power balance readings, torque efficiency and pedal smoothness free of environment-affected drift. And again, at inside 1 percent? That’s a lot of promise, when most other brands are citing accuracy within 2.5 percent. Pricing? $1750.
Also on show was something that caught our eye: a hand crank powermeter, the first of its kind that we’ve ever seen. McAinsh said that while it may be a small market that no brands have addressed yet “we want all of it.” It’s a long overdue product, not only for rehab data tracking (say, in the case of a person strength building following shoulder surgery), but also with paralyzed athletes that would love to track their fitness progression on the handcycle.
Castelli Women’s Climber’s Jersey & T1 Stealth Jersey
One of my favorite products for the summer is the Climber’s Jersey; it’s super light, paper thin and unbelievable breathable. When it’s oppressive and triple digits, this is the one to grab.
But while I could enjoy it as a guy, women couldn’t; it’s fairly thin (and very sheer), the fabric providing less than modest for women to wear., forcing them to wear a sports bra, which often countered the fantastic benefits of a hot-weather jersey. So there was never a women’s version of the climber’s jersey….. until now.
For 2015, Castelli debuts the Women’s Climber’s Jersey. Same fabric, but for modesty, Castelli incorporates an inner jersey sewn in across the front for a bit of coverage. A cyclist can take up the benefits of one of the coolest jerseys on hottest days, and can zip it open for more cooling, with that modesty layer keeping her fully covered.
In triathlon, the T1 Stealth was a big hit in Kona, and we expect to see more this year after its debut with Tim O’Donnell, among a few select others last year. However, we’d seen a few new prototypes out and about at races, ones that will now be made available to the public: the full Zip T1 Stealth.
“Much of our development saw us testing under the assumption that people would be wearing a tri singlet underneath, and getting it on in that scenario worked fine to pull it overhead,” said Castelli’s Steven Smith. “But most guys, anyway, are using this as their only top, and on wet skin, it’s a challenge—so we added the front zip.”
To further ease of speed getting in on in T1, Castelli cut the sleeves off at just above the elbow in order to make for a larger hand opening, while not compromising the fabric’s key aero placement on the upper arm.
Pricing on both the Women’s Climbers Jersey and the full zip T1 Stealth are to be announced.
Rotor Red Q-Rings
Spain-based Rotor invited LAVA to its booth to see some new stuff, and we did get a look at some new goodies that will be impressive as hell when they debut next year… but we are sworn to keep our lips sealed. So, next year. Until then, Rotor has a few running changes, for fun.
For the last year, Rotor has sent red demo rings to dealers to allow athletes to test them, with the rings being differentiated so as to avoid the chance of sending out a pair of used rings to a customer as new.
Of course, the customers wanted to buy the red demo rings.
For 2015, Rotor makes the Red Q-Rings available to the public. Same Spanish-made oval rings with five OCP settings, same option of BCD 130 (53 aero, 52 aero, 39) or 110 compact (52 aero, 50, 38, 36, 34).
And in the “You Can’t Get This” category, Rotor showed us the special QXL chainring detail that Ironman World Champ Frederick Van Lierde will be running in Kona. Along with his green digi Cervelo P5 and green and white Castelli kit and Ekoi helmet, FVL will be the epitome of pro-level matchy-matchy.
And we love it