Compressport, MuleBar, Light+Motion, Thule and much more

Need an iceBIke* 2016 refresher?

If you’re in need of a reminder of what was new at iceBike* 2016, or just didn’t have chance to get ’round it all, then help is at hand…

Those with long memories will remember that Quad Lock first lauched back in 2011 on Kickstarter. The smartphone mounting system was picked up by Madison two years ago, featuring a dual stage lock – you push and twist to lock it in – that has been tested out with a 100kilo dumbbell (though that would probably slow your bike down). The design has been revised and includes a Go Pro adapter and a lever that’s even easier to operate.

Outside bikes, Quad Lock offers an armband that almost uniquely allows the runner to take the phone off while running. There’s a car mount too – a potential upsell for bike shops. The out front mount (£29.95) helps keep the bar clear.

Outdoor Tech’s portable speakers straddle the outdoor and cycle markets, and more besides. The Buckshot Pro Bluetooth speaker is a three-in-one solution, bringing light and charging capacity for phones to the mix too.

Ideal for the festival and camping season, the range is rugged, shock proof, colourful and fun. The Los Cabos headphones were launched just before Christmas and these Bluetooth cans include options to take calls when in use. Other highlights include the Big Turtle Shell – a waterproof, dust proof, shock resistant wireless speaker. Big in its LA and US homeland, Outdoor Tech interest is building in the UK, we’re told.

For those not in the know it may come as a surprise that the market for Respro’s face masks is significant in the UK, but frankly, it probably shouldn’t – iceBike* kicked off just a couple of days after a big pollution story broke in the national news, focusing on the health implications of polluted roads. Of course exports to territories like China (and Poland) are strong for the brand which started out in 1993. Runners are also buying into the range, which now stretches far into fashion and style, with a big variety in looks.

Fat bikes and e-bikes have impacted on the Thule line-up, which had a trio of updated product from Thule; the ProRide, ThruRide and VeloSpace. ProRide, now around seven years old, has been refined: It now comes in black (a proven seller with other Thule SKUs performing well in the colour) and with pump buckles that are easier to use. Those combined with fixed cross straps reduce vibration, capacity is now 20kilos and a torque function prevents over-tightening. A fat bike adapter will cover any wheel up to five inches. Stock of this revamped best seller is now available.

The ThruRide will be available by the time this magazine lands. Fitting 12-20mm thru-axles, it locks them into place with the minimum of fuss. It’s a method becoming more popular, Thule tells BikeBiz.

And onto that growing e-bike market. Thule’s VeloSpace can take up to 60kilos of weight and you can tilt it to make access easier. In fact there is lots of flexibility with the VeloSpace. There are pump buckles, a tray for heavy bikes and the Hercules coupling promises to keep it manageable for users. With not very many options out there for electric bike users, Thule has put plenty of R&D into this area to make it easy for the wider demographics using assisted bikes to operate – you won’t have to be Geoff Capes to use ‘em, in short.

Aztec has new shapes in the disc brake range and a new SRAM Red pad, making the brand one of a few aftermarket sources for the system. There are Shimano flat mount replacements too, plus a new BMX pad, reinforced with Kevlar. There’s an intriguing round rotor from Aztec too. Irregular shapes do not make for great breaking, the brand says, and you’d be hard pushed to find the motorbike industry using the design, so Aztec has developed a round rotor that reduces fluttering and juttering, with performance improvements and good price points.

Light + Motion has tweaked its packaging and brought out some new products, with a price drop or two to make it more competitive. The Electron R100 rear light has dropped to £34.99 and the Urban 350 is more aggressively pitched too, at £39.99.

There were pre-production samples at the show of Light and Motion’s new Seca. It has cut the number of LEDS from six to four, but now using more powerful LEDs. Overall is it lighter and waterproof now. It pumps out a whopping 2,200 lumen.

The 800 lumen Imjin is replacing the Stella, adding 300 lumens in the process. Smaller and waterproof, it will be at a similar retailer price. There’ll be a new mount option available too, taking the light off the bar and into the stem space.

Losing bike lock keys can be irritating, expensive and lead to recriminations with your loved ones. Kryptonite’s Gravity range sidesteps that possibility. If you haven’t already seen them after they debuted at Eurobike, the WheelNutz come in three sizes (M9, M10 and 3/8) and as a pack. They’re fitted upside down and when upright an internal pin drops, securing them the wheels to the frame (you’re still going to need a bike lock, of course). Kryptonite is anticipating that WheelNutz will be popular and will be available in the market in March.

Onto Finish Line, which has new Mechanic Grip Gloves aimed at those difficult fiddly tasks. Finish Line believes it’s a bit of a gap in the market, bridging the space between rubber gloves and more bulky affairs. They are lightweight, reusable and durable enough to be washed. The upper side is breathable too – and all for £6.99 RRP. They currently come in two sizes (S/M and L/XL) though another size may be in the works. The brand also has a new absorbent mat which comes in two sizes; 3x5ft and 1.5×4-feet. Aimed at workshops and home mechanics, it absorbs several litres of fluid, even holding oil. It is polybacked and is patent pending.

There’s been plenty of Mule Bar changes, based in part on customer feedback, who said that the portion sizes were a touch over generous, so the brand is now offering 40g bars rather than 50g. The price has been shaved down to £1.49 and there’s been a move back to the aluminium based packaging, extending the shelf life of the bars. The brand had been using compostable wrappers, but, the brand argues, you shouldn’t really be chucking packaging away willy nilly, regardless of whether it will biodegrade after 20 years. Mule Gel has been revamped too, with the natural energy gel now coming in refill packs (a format popular in Europe). Mule Bar is a value added brand, the firm was keen to impress upon BikeBiz, complementing the likes of Madison bedfellow Science in Sport. 

Compressport is popular with the pro tour teams (nine of them use the brand’s products) and through compression they reduce muscle vibration which helps cut down on the risk of injury and aids faster recovery, we’re told. 

The cycling gillet is selling good numbers in triathlon shops, while a black version of the popular jersey will be available to the trade in spring/summer. 

Our interest was picqued at the mention of an on/off underwear concept – this turns out to be a clever idea of having holes that open when you stretch and then close when you come off the bike, aiding with ventilation while riding and building warmth while off the bike. With apparel that is smart enough to even help with posture and respiration, there are plenty of features likely to grab the attention of serious riders. 

Garmin’s Varia Vision fits onto any glasses (on either side) and in multiple sizes. It’s not as intrusive as you might expect, BikeBiz found when it tried it out. Meanwhile the Varia tail light uses actual radar technology to keep an eye on vehicles behind the rider. 

iceBike* saw the launch of Madison’s own helmets, mirroring the apparel range while featuring a crash replacement scheme and two year warranty. With dedicated MTB and road helmets, the Zenith is among the highlights, retailing at £79.99 and with 20 air vents. 

Sticking with helmets, Lazer’s new MX7 full face helmets were on show, as sported by the Madison Saracen DH team. The modular Revolution helmet has customisable colours and a removable chin guard, and a MIPS version for £119.99 (£99.99 without). 

Elsewhere the A/W Pearl Izumi range was shown off, as was Continental’s literally broadening range and vending machine. 

Finally, a brief few words on Sportline’s bike selection. Most of the new models will be ready for the summer show, but we did gain a few nuggets of information, including the fact Genesis’ Datum has been so popular it has completely sold out, surpassing expectations. Saracen’s all-rounder Manta Carbon has been selling well too, while the Myst – fully developed by the team – is landing in June. Saracen has dipped into e-bikes with the Juiced, using Shimano Steps and is – possibly – the beginning of a wider line of assisted rides from the brand. RRP is north of £2,500.

A new addition to Madison’s bike line-up is Wishbone. This junior brand is big on ethically sourced materials like recycled wood and includes a three-in-one offering for £170, including a trike, bike and balance bike in a single neat package that can be modified as the child grows up.

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