BikeBiz provides an overview of last month's Madison house show

iceBike* July: The latest from Shimano, Genesis, Giro and much more

At first glance iceBike* July is smaller than its February big brother, but the people in the know say there is actually more new product in the summer version, so without further ado…

Straight out of the blocks, staged strategically close to the registration desk was the eye-catching display for one of Madison’s latest brand signings – the GOPRO HD camera. Reportedly the world’s best selling camera of its type, the super lightweight device – just 167g for the camera and case – is small and light enough for customers to take out and forget about, ever ready for the call to filming cycle action.

Arriving in three main SKUs – the Helmet Hero comes with a helmet harness, while Motorsports Hero and Surf Hero have appropriate fittings included too. The camera is built for action, so naturally it’s not overloaded with fiddly buttons.
GoPro has a number of accessories available, including a battery pack to doubling recording time, an LCD pack providing a viewfinder option, a tripod adapter and the helmet, chest and surf board mounts are all available separately too, but they are cheaper to buy in those main sets rather than individually. There are a range of new accessory SKUs coming out too. There’s even the option to film in 3D, with a casing that houses two cameras, which films in 3 and 2D simultaneously.

Pacific Outdoors’ ranges are pitched as being 100 per cent waterproof, a feat easier to achieve in luggage than clothing, as manufacturers don’t have to worry about breathability. The Pacific line-up is split into three categories; back packs (including city range, messenger bags and commuter fare); dry storage and pannier bags. The dry storage range includes bags of all shapes and sizes for the likes of wallets, documents and cameras (including the D-Pouch), featuring compression valves which squeeze the air out to save space. The Pannier bag range includes expedition (everyday panniers), city (for commuters and city living) and then the lightweight range. The latter is fairly unusual as it’s a stripped down pannier range where the bells and whistles have been reduced.

Pacific pays particular attention to how those pannier loads are born by bikes. Straps are cunningly angled front to back and when tightened pull into the bike, unlike many competitors, keeping the load as close to the frame as possible to aid with balance and poise on the bike.

Hydrapak’s 2012 line-up includes a number of revised reservoir reversible bladders, which are flat on the back to provide comfort while riding and can bear the weight of an obliging brand representative.

Hydrapak’s range now also includes double wall insulated bottles (in pink and blue) and the very popular Reyes backpack range. The firm has also introduced some quirky (mainly monkey-based) graphics to its bottle range. And the number of companies getting a piece of Hydrapak’s technology is increasing, with North Face set to follow shortly.

Madison’s wide clothing range has a number of new and improved lines like the revamped Stellar waterproof jacket – now sporting a improved cut – and an updated Telegraphe all-round waterproof jacket.

All new is the mountain bike range which includes singletrack jerseys, items like the snappily named Flux Deluxe men’s shorts (£84.99), gloves and much more. Women’s ranges have been widened too. Madison also revealed some striking early jacket samples of forthcoming ranges due for release in spring/summer 2012. The firm revealed a Merino base layer is in the works.

Giro’s own Simon Fisher explained to BikeBiz about the lengths the company has gone to not just produce ‘me-too’ product, but to forge its own path in just about all of its product lines, from footwear to helmets. The footwear range is still fairly new, but it’s going well, Fisher tells BikeBiz, and the next stage is to broaden the line-up so that appeals to a wider range of customer, with varying sizes of wallet. The firm is at pains to point out that the same attention to detail used in its top of the range footwear has been applied to the whole range, whether it’s taking into account ‘spill over’ – where the side of the foot expands affecting the shape of the show during activity – or giving the Easton engineers tough tasks by making nylon stiff and light – a task they delivered with ‘strutt’ patterning

Giro’s latest helmets were on show too, including the Aeon, used in the Tour of Flanders and in a Roubaix win, and the Selector – which debuted at this year’s Tour. It features an adjustable bottom and replaceable visor, which funnels air through channels within the helmet.

The firm has also targeted a potentially massive part of the market – the 65 to 70 per cent who currently don’t wear helmets while riding. By using more widely appealing graphics and looks – including Giro’s own retro logo (as on the helmet pictured right).

Light and Motion’s line-up is split between performance, multisport and commuter lines. The Seca 1400 is the top of the range option, with six LEDs, a controlled beam pattern, wide-angle light at the base and three settings. The Stella dual light offers one beam for distance, the other as floodlight, and comes with three modes, plus flashing and race mode – all for £249. Amber side lights feature on a number of Light and Motion’s range, aiming to raise visibility and allay those common safety fears. Much of the range also includes USB micro port rechargeability.

Shimano’s Di2 tech is now available in the Ultegra, which was for many seen for the first time at iceBike* July. The brand is pretty excited about it, which isn’t much of a surprise with a growing number of pros getting into electronic shifting and saying they won’t be going back. The technology was developed for the Dura-Ace and in the Ultegra is far more affordable. And how has Shimano managed to get the costs down? Shimano’s secrets were explained to BikeBiz at the show, and divulged for you here. The firm has saved money through not using expensive materials like titanium, but most obviously, the system is now in mass production, driving prices down significantly.

It’s simple to install too, we’re told. After it’s set up it needs next to no maintenance, unlike its non-electric predecessors. It’s been built in a modular fashion, so replacements won’t be expensive. Run time depends on how often you change gear (which is pretty obvious when you think about it). The firm said it has high hopes for the tech.

Genesis has stepped into a new category, now offering a brakeless, entry-level track bike for just under £600. It sports Japanese graphics (spelling Madison in, erm, Japanese). The brand also revealed its first 29er.

The Day One Alfine 11 is at the high-end of the range. Boasting Reynolds 853 and Shimano’s 11-speed Alfine hub, it will retail at £1,699.99. Other new highlights include the Flyer Classic, and the Equilibrium O – an off the peg steel sportive, and a host of others.

The Saracen success story has taken its next step with a refreshed look since the brand has grown up and won won the praise of the cycle world again. One of the new additions to the range is a line of childrens’ bikes, using graphics similar to those on the adult MTBs – kids want to look like their parents (‘till they hit their teens anyway).

The new graphics can be seen throughout the Tufftrax range too, while the Mantra off-road range now has two new models – the Expert and Elite – at the top of the range. The BMX range has been reclassified as Amplitude to give it more of its own identity, and includes the new Amplitude Terminal.

Adventure’s range of bread and butter bikes is available to cycle retailers wherever they’re based, without territory restrictions. They arrive 95 per cent assembled – Madison went to lengths to ensure the factory was Cytech accredited – and come with basic tools so dealers can spend less time on building them. Within the range, the Zooom lines are available in new colours. 

But there’s no prizes for guessing the C5 took pride of place among Cervelo’s good-looking range. The handy looking bike takes aerodynamics to a new level and interestingly comes ready for electric gear shifting to be installed, should such an option take the customer’s fancy. There’s space inside the frame for the wires, so they won’t affect those all-important air bending curves. In terms of availability, there are three levels; the standard £2,499, the Team bike as used on the Tour for £2,999 and the VWD for £3,999. Available to dealers from November, there has been a strong response as predicted.

Ridgeback has brought ‘splashes of colours’ to its range this year. The Velocity is available in a Pea Green for example – and the move has been received well by iceBike* dealers.

Kids models have been joined by a 12-inch bike now – the MX12 – while new graphics feature in the range. Revamped Dual Track bikes, including the Advance and Quest, have been added to the range while an eight-speed Alfine Journey bike has joined the Panorama and Voyage bikes for long distance riders. For more details on Ridgeback models, and any of the other brands featured here, contact Madison directly.

0870 034 7226

There are some extra pics from the event here.

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