With so many labels seeking to rack up the column inches during Eurobike and Interbike it's no easy task to select a group of products that we think will be real winners in 2015, but we've tried with the following eight. Let us know the products you feel will be big-sellers in the months ahead in the comments.
1. Liv by Giant
The Liv branding has been present alongside Giant for a while now, but Eurobike saw the separation of the two, with Liv commanding a stand of its own on which it announced that the label is to become independent. Former Giant CFO Bonnie Tu, who herself has previously participated in the Tour de Taiwan using substandard “shrinked and pinked” equipment, takes charge as Liv CEO.
Existing Giant dealers will have priority on stock and the label will command its own point of sale units designed to reflect the many aspects of leisure and sport cycling for women, as designed by an all-female team.
A fresh apparel colour palate will be agreed upon by those designers on an annual cycle.
2. Schwalbe ProCore
We genuinely had real trouble with the crowds photobombing while trying to get near the Schwalbe ProCore, such was the interest.
Developed alongside Syntace, the new technology consists of two air chambers – an inner core holding 55 to 85 psi and an outer chamber where sealant and air fill the space to anything around 10 to 20 psi. The advantages are obvious: More grip, no chance of snake bite punctures, prevention of burping and it’s compatible with all wheels. At 200 grams per wheel, there’s a weight penalty, but the performance advantages may just outweigh the extra grams, which can be countered with a lightweight tyre choice.
German manufacturer WeMakeThings continues to trailblaze when it comes to the BMX sector. Evidence comes in the form of a thicker 25.4mm clamp area on the new Eclat handlebar, which makes perfect sense – as bars get taller, forces on the junctions have more leverage.
The same applies to the new Fortress pedal (below). Running on bushings and a oversized spindle, the Fortress is a plastic body with metal pin combination and it looks as though it could be as tough as they come in the BMX market at present.
Other subtle additions include a steel washer supplied with the barends to vastly add life, as well as two new rims in the superlight Mercury and cross-lace Phantom.
We’ve included Orbea not only because the product looks incredibly sharp for 2015, but because having undergone a pricing restructure, the catalogue is now extremely competitive when put up against its closest rivals.
Orbea’s Damian Hackett told BikeBiz: “There’s no sacrifice in quality, despite the pricing coming down across the board. We’re taking the UK market very seriously and have recruited a quality dealerbase to deliver the level of service we need.”
On the product front, the mountain bikes will this season come in both 27.5 and 29-inch wheel sizes. Look out for the Rallon range, which spans build price points from £2,199 through £4,299, as well as the pictured Oiz full suspension race series.
Price point product is a key focus for many brands at the moment and Clarks is no exception, having come to market with a caliper and rotor disc package for just £14.99. It’s a simple mechanical system that has rear backing plate adjust and accepts Avid BB5 pads, as well as IS or post mount fittings.
For the dealers servicing the enthusiast customer, there’s both new 30 metre and individually boxed alloy housing for gear and brake cables, coming in at 45 per cent lighter than the steel version.Finally, Clarks has added the M2 disc, another affordable disc, this time taking mineral oil and utilising a dual 22mm piston set up. This brake is capable of a very respectable 112Nm of stopping power, putting it on par with much more expensive units.
Stock is expected to be available by the end of October.
One of the busier stands of the show and for good reason, Giro had plenty to talk about. Starting with the brand’s traditional territory, the MIPS technology has found its way into five helmets in the line. Having invested in Swedish label MIPS, Giro now promises that the technology will be rolled out throughout both its catalogue and Bell’s lines.
For those who haven’t heard of MIPS, it’s an inner layer that breaks away from the outer shell during a crash and rotates within, greatly reducing the rotational forces the brain can suffer in many incidents.
Giro won two Eurobike awards this year, including a best in show in the footwear category. The models gonged are the new Empire SLX and Rumble shoes, which as award-winning footwear goes, pack in the value for relatively low price points.
Central to the Birzman 2015 catalogue is not one product, but a simplistic innovation that the market’s bike shops have been crying out for since the Presta valve came to be.
Now found across the majority of the range is the Snap-It Apogee valve head, which with the slip of a collar will transform to take either type of valve head. Many within the inflation range are also now equipped with a pressure relief valve in order to fine tune the PSI input. Another subtle, but also overdue design feature is the five degree lean now adopted by the track pump barrels. If your mechanic is pumping wheels all day, this could make life a lot more comfortable.
Another workshop wonder is the newly patented chain tool, which is adjustable in seconds to take any type of chain.
8. SRAM Group
It’s been a busy year for the SRAM Group and we’re promised yet more “pipeline projects” coming to fruition in the near future.
Beginning with SRAM, a key product from Eurobike was the from the ground up revamp of the Rise 60 wheelset in both 27.5 and 29-inch builds. The hub’s an interesting unit, offering 26 points of engagement, but with two of the pawls offset so as to double the effect, essentially creating 52. Regardless of size, a front wheel will come in at £722 and a rear at £790. An upgrade to the RS1 predictive steering hub adds £30 up front.
That brings us to Rock Shox RS-1 fork, which is described as a project 25 years in the making. Currently only available as a 29er fork, Rock Shox has worked around the issue of torsional stiffness in an inverted fork with the pairing of the RS1 hub, which has low profile teeth that lock the body into the fork’s dropouts, thus replacing the strength lost by the lack of bridge. The upper chassis is entirely one piece of carbon, including the steerer tube. Of interest to those who like to fine tune their progression curve is the inclusion of three threaded volume spacers that can alter the fork’s response.
Aggressive riders would add more of these spacers than those just pootling along. Finally, 80, 100 and 120mm travel versions will land imminently in the UK.