Ridley Noah FB Debuts

One of the biggest splashes of the annual Bike PressCamp event, being held this week in Park City, Utah, was Thursday’s official launch of the Noah FB.

We’ll go into greater detail on the Noah FB (above) in the next few days with a detailed analysis (as it relates to triathletes), but here’s the key details come in the three patents on the bike: F-Surface, F-Split fork and F-Brake.

The frame itself undergoes few design changes on the whole, but the big and most obvious change comes in the brakes; both the front and rear brakes are literally integrated within the frame.

The trailing edge of the front fork features the same aero slotted design of previous designs of the Noah, as well as the Dean. But at the crown, the slot is unattached, creating a side pull brake that levers off the carbon of the fork, creating an brake design that effectively operates like a mountain bike v-brake. Brake shoes are fixed directly into the fork.

As in the front, the rear brake is incorporated into the frame, at the seatstays. Again, the resistance levers off the stiffness of the carbon as it’s built into the frame.


A look at the Ridley FB’s rear brake

Each side of the brakes features a adjust dial and spring stiffener that exist solely as centering devices.

It’s unknown whether there are any added interior reinforcements to account for the torsional loads of heavy braking, but Ridley staff at PressCamp said the area does have a proprietary layup to address the forces.

The frame also has a new F-Surface treatment; previous bikes had a roughened strip set on either side of the leading edge of the tubesets as a trip surface, allowing wind to adhere to the tubesets longer. The new surface treatment is more like a rubberized appliqué, slightly raised from the frame surface.

The bike will make its ProTour debut at the Tour de France with the Vacansoleil team. It will become available to consumers in April as a frameset only at a price of $5,395, and available in very limited run of 500 globally.

Again, we will go into greater detail in the coming days on the design of this bike … stay tuned.

Assos Dipping Foot into Tri Apparel

For the last few years we’d heard rumblings from the legendary Swiss apparel manufacturer that they’d test the waters with some triathlon apparel.

2012 marks that debut. Assos will bring to market its first triathlon race singlet, the Superleggera VX121. Functionally, the singlet has all the basics including pockets in the back, but also adds one small, flush pocket along the ribline, which will provide easier-reach access to a gel, and has chafe-free flat elastic at the neck and sleeves. Of course, all the classic race-inspired Assos stylings and designs are present. The piece will retail at $239.


The Assos Superleggera VX121 mens singlet (left) and womens’ singlets (center and right).

A matching tri short is yet to come, but Assos did create its first multisport sock in the Duathlon Sock, a $30 sock with compressive features and a nicely lofted forefoot pad.

Of course, the company has done another brilliant job with its outerwear cycling line for 2012, including a beautiful new SturmPrinz full waterproof jacket with taped seams, a reflective zipper. But the functional feature we loved the most are the “exhaust ports” that serve as a heat venting port, located at either side of the back of the jacket. The functionality comes with the location; while it’s a breathing port, you can also reach into the elastic-reinforced port to access the pockets of your jersey underneath. Getting to your phone, energy bar or tools with a jacket on is always an exercise in futility. This solves for it, functionally and elegantly.

Hutchinson ProTour Tubular

Check out these stats: Hutchinson produces a tire that for the last 15 years has been available only to its ProTour road team. No triathletes, no amateurs, nobody.

And they were special. Italian-made, aged by the teams like wine to perfection, supple cotton-poly casing, classic herringbone tread that was developed by the French manufacturer in 1973. Each tire given a birthdate stamp, to aid in that ageing. So imagine you were the mechanic for RadioShack last year. Sponsored by Hutchinson, the team had access to these tires. Take a stab at how many tires they went through. 300? May 500? Try 1,200. 

Hutchinson also sponsors the Canadian SpiderTech team, and they went through a much more modest 400 tires.

“Where the SpiderTech mechanics may glue closed a small cut, the RadioShack guys didn’t care; if it was cut, it was taken off and disposed of.

I know, I know … I can hear all of you: “I’LL TAKE IT!”

Now, after 15 years, Hutchinson is making an extremely limited run of these tires available to the public. Appropriately, they’re dubbed the Hutchinson ProTour Tubular. Exact same tire Horner and Leipheimer rides, at your access. Of course, the limited run of just 34 pairs (no, that’s not a typo, I said 34—hurry to your shop to order yours) means it will have a premium price of $500 per set. It will come with two tubes of Hutchinson tire cement, and delivered in a presentation box.


Hutchinson’s ProTour tire wears its birthday stamped on the stitch cover tape.

For 2012 the company is pumping out killer new tires from its Montargie, France factory (which is a rarity, in that most tires today are produced in Asia.) Tubeless remains front and center for the company as more and more wheel manufacturers get on board with the benefits (namely, less flats and lower tire pressures that make for more comfortable riding) and ease of use with tubeless. Going without a tube and use of sealants like Hutchinson’s own sealant will continue to take time for triathletes to adapt to, but for flat-free, comfy experience, tubeless is hard to beat.

To that end, Hutchinson offers the Atom, the Fusion and the Fusion III (which adds a Kevlar bead for greater durability) at $88 each. They also add the Intensive, a full-on training tire with a bit of siping for wet weather and full bead-to-bead Kevlar coverage, also at $88. For those of us who prefer the familiarity of using standard tubes, each of the tires are also available in a standard tube-type option as well.

And for the fashionistas, the Atom Comp and Fusion are available in a range of rich sidewall colors, including red, blue, white, pink, grey, yellow and good ‘ol black.

Cateye Goes Carbon … offset

It’s hard bringing much more to the standard bike computer, but given the interest in reducing your carbon footprint, what better way to do so than to have a way to quantify it? Cateye debuted the Urban Wireless bike computer earlier this year, but really gave it a good push at PressCamp. It offers all the basics in its existing line; speed, cadence, ride time, et cetera. But the new feature: a carbon offset function. Clicking through the modes, it brings a smile to see “S” for speed, “C” for cadence, then “CO2” for that carbon footprint feature.


The Cateye Urban Wireless Computer

Cateye says it measures that carbon footprint by multiplying distance with 240 grams per mile. That figure is then converted into kilograms to determine your carbon offset. At $55, it’s a pretty affordable to quantify the value of your commute and training while keeping it green.