i-ride report: New product from Orro, Northwave & Fulcrum

Plus Speedplay, Pioneer, GUEE and Argon 18, among others...
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It seems like a while ago now, but i-ride’s three-date Velodrome Trade Tour reached the auspicious surroundings of 2012 Olympics venue Lee Valley Velopark last month, sandwiched between showings around the nation at Manchester and then Newport.

First up, in-house brand Orro has launched the custom Signature series. As the name suggests, customers can literally get their signatures plastered to the frame (a new take on security bike marking, maybe) and the team can colour match virtually anything – but ideally with a splash of gold to keep it consistent with the Orro range.

The team told BikeBiz that Signature bikes are hand painted at the Sussex HQ and are “something special and something that we are proud of”, pointing out that Orro delivers branded components at a reasonable price point.

Orro’s new Terra Gravel range includes a model which may come in at the cycle to work threshold (TBC). There are three main models including two alloys and one carbon and a disc option. There’s also a new model in the Orro Pyro, which is available now.

There’s plenty new from De Rosa, with new models throughout including the R838-replacing Vega. There are different build options, new Superkings and entry level carbon offerings in this latest range update. De Rosa is, we’re told, one of the few bike manufacturers still making bikes in all of the four main materials, with some models still being made in Italy.

BikeBiz first came across Pioneer in a cycle context at Interbike in 2012. It’s not been the most visible brand in the UK cycle market, but now the household name’s foray into cycling will get a boost thanks to a new distribution deal with i-ride to bring its power meters to the trade. The system measures ‘pedal force vectors’ at 12 points, providing riders with detailed information about how to improve their stroke. i-ride tells BikeBiz it has high hopes for Pioneer, not least thanks to its brand power.

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Northwave’s latest footwear will see plenty of shoes sporting Michelin-designed soles, a grippy option that helps stop riders slipping off pedals, even if they aren’t clipped in. There are new colours throughout the range and more of those micro-release dials that allow for minimal adjustments, particularly for when feet swell during long rides. The shoe range makes use of proprietary tech, including Northwave’s own closure system, and the range is still made in Italy with, it says, reliable sizing. Ventilation holes are now laser cut, so NW’s squeezed more of them in. And it’s worth watching out for super reflective materials that show up in the range, especially under headlights, using the logic that a moving reflective object is especially visible. Speedplay soles are used in the range too, helping pedalling efficiency thanks to keeping the foot closer to the axle.

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On the Fulcrum stand were the first UK showing of the new carbon clinchers, the latest edition of the Racing 5 disc. Embracing road discs, they have future-proofing interchangeable hubs, and i-ride is predicting them to be big sellers. There are three new models of the aero Racing Quattro wheelset too, in carbon and disc options.

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Catlike has an updated version of the Kompact’o and there’s been subtle design tweaks in the range including in the Mixino, now featuring black polystyrene inners rather than the ubiquitous grey you tend to see across the market in vents and the like.

Speedplay’s Syzr is an off-road/go-anywhere clipless pedal system that has been in development for a number of years. It comes in titanium and stainless steel and features ‘Direct Power Transfer’ so power transmission comes through the cleats rather than the dampening soles.

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Sticking with Speedplay, the show saw the minimalist Zero Aero pedals as used by Wiggo in the World Hour Record recent. Sadly the great unwashed will have to wait to get their hands on these single sided pedals, with aero golf-style dimples.

GUEE was also showing off its range, making use of medical-grade silicone in its array. Doubtless you are already familiar with the all-in-one G-Mount, a declutterer for the handlebar from which you can attach lights and action cameras. There’s also a tiny bell that clips onto the brake lever and the perhaps more familiar light range feature ambient sensors so the rider doesn’t have to click them on and off to preserve battery.

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Argon 18 has relaunched its tri models, including the E117 while the Nitrogen has been redeveloped, revamping an enormously successful model for the distributor.

An intruding Merida team bike sneaked into the show. No, not a new distie deal in the works (we don’t think) but actually a great choice for i-ride’s show seeing as it uses many of the finest components stocked by the distributor.

Get the full Velodrome Trade Show rundown from the i-ride team: www.i-ride.co.uk

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