Archive for Reviews

Review – Capo Pursuit Apparel

pursuit-jersey-yellow croppedCapo cycling apparel was born in California in 2004, initially targeting the market with socks and casual wear. Now Capo supplies a range of cycling apparel including jerseys, knicks and custom kits.

The Pursuit collection is part of the Capo Corsa series and employs technologies such as Sphere TX and HydroDrop for moisture absorption/transfer and high gauge Lycra for muscle compression. The collection consists of jersey, knicks, socks and gloves.

 

The Design

According to John Sunde from Capo Australia, the leg gripper is reasonably firm to provide muscle stability. The tight gripper is designed such that you position the leg band on your leg first and then adjust the rest of the garment up accordingly. It’s the opposite of how you would normally put on a pair of bib knicks, but results in a comfortable fit with very little effort.

Compression is one of the features that Capo has embraced over the last few years. While the Pursuit range does provide some basic compression you really need to look to the Capo GS range for compression specific kit. It is difficult to quantify the benefits of the Pursuit compression, however it is designed to really add benefit after the third or fourth hour of riding.

One of the best attributes of the jersey is its’ ability to wick away moisture from the body and into the air. I found that even in very hot and humid conditions, whilst sweating profusely up a long climb, I was still relatively dry. The hi-tech SphereTX and HydroDrop fabrics provide a comfortable fit, void of that heavy perspiration soaked feeling.

The socks were good without being great, whilst the gloves were very comfortable and secure even though they have no wrist strap.

Knicks and jerseyCapo Pursuit – Simple Italian Styling

The Look

Visually the Pursuit knicks are all black with minimal Capo wording, they look sleek and certainly have a nice line to the leg. The jersey has an uncluttered tri-tone design that provides the ensemble with traditional Italian styling.

The Fit

The bibs feel tight. Using 40 gauge Lyrca, they are designed to fit tight – compression feel – which is quite different to standard gauge Lycra. When you first put them on you notice the tightness, even swinging my leg over my top tube I was thinking maybe I got the wrong size, but once riding the knicks did not feel tight at all, in fact they felt comfortable and relaxed – a result afforded by the quality materials. The jersey is made from circular knit SphereTX material and again the fit felt relaxed despite the fact it was a form fitting size.

 Gloves and socks

Capo Pursuit – Gloves and socks

The Price

The Pursuit range of garments from Capo is in the mid to high end of cycling apparel. The jersey is around $150 and the knicks $200.

This price may dissuade some, luckily Capo produces a complete range of garments at virtually every price point, from your standard Riga jersey at $90 right up to the GS range at $260 – yes, just for the jersey. The Pursuit socks retail for $25 and the gloves $50.

– Lachlan Mackay

To See or Not to See – Salice 006 Sunglass Review

Salice is an Italian manufacturer of cycling sunglasses and helmets. Way back in 1919, Vitaliano Salice founded the company in Musso in Northern Italy, today the Salice factory and headquarters is located just a few kms away in Gravedona on Lake Como and is still run by the Salice family.

With a somewhat bland name of 006 – 007 would have been much better – this model in the Salice range was developed with the help of Alessandro Pettachi from Omega Pharma Quick-Step (OPQS). This range is also used by many other well-known riders in the World Tour and the Tour de France (TDF), and Salice is a sponsor of the Lampre team and World Road Champion Rui Costa.

IMG_2706 smallSalice 006 Sunglasses

The lens is very clear and initial use suggests they are relatively scratch resistant, but I was not surprised as these are baseline features of quality sunglasses. The lack of distortion around the wide lens is again what you expect for sunnies in this price range – around AUD$190 . The 006 model comes with two lenses, a clear lens for pre-dawn or low light rides and the mirror coated lens for use during sunny days. The mirrored lens is certified to UV400 and block UVA, B and C rays.

I found swapping over the lenses a bit tricky, initially I popped out one corner of the lens then the nose area, it felt like I was going to break the polycarbonate lens or the frame. I thought there had to be an easier way and a quick online search found that you are meant to pop out the nose area first – there was no mention of this in the instructions that come in the glass case.

IMG_2692 smallSalice 006 with clear lenses – as seen all over Europe

I wore Shimano and BBB glasses for many years and one thing I noticed when I started wearing the Salices was how well they gripped on the nose. They just stay in position on your face and do not require adjusting while riding. The soft rubber nose piece is not adjustable on this model so perhaps with a smaller/wider/flatter nose they may not sit as well, but for me the 006 and my big nose were a good match. The side arms also have rubber grippers to provide added hold. The lightweight frame and lens combination results in a very comfortable set of glasses, even over dead or pot-holed roads.

When I ride and race I assume a tucked position with my head down to affect the most aero position, this results in you having to move your eyes up in order to see the road in front. Hence my key criterion when purchasing a pair of bike sunnies is whether the frame of the glasses inhibits vision while in the tucked position. With the Salices, the frame sits a little higher on your face resulting in no obstruction to your view – tick.

The vents on the side of the lenses help prevent the inside of the lens fogging up when you are stopped at traffic lights – or on a tough climb for that matter – and also provide cooling ventilation on hot days. The lenses are treated to help repel water – called “hydrophobic technology” by Salice – which is helpful during light rain or heavy sweat.

IMG_2717 smallSalice 006 side vents prevent misting

The glasses come in a nice semi-rigid protective case, which holds both the glasses and the spare lens. There is also a cleaning cloth. The 006 range IMG_2709 smallcomes with a choice of standard multilayer mirror lenses, Polarflex (polarised lens) and Photochromatic (light adjusting lens) and dozens of colour combinations.

The lack of changeable nose pieces, to fit different shaped noses may put some people off and you don’t get the customisation of say a pair of Oakley Radarlocks but the Salice 006 provide a set of reasonable priced quality glasses that will please most discerning eyes.

 

– Lachlan Mackay

 

 

Kit for a King – Babici Squadra Veloce

Squadra Veloce JerseyIn a world of mass production, the new Babici Squadra Veloce is kit for a king. Crafted from no less than three of the finest Italian fabrics, the SQV jersey and knicks are to cycling apparel what Georgio Armani is to suits. SQV sets the industry benchmark for pro level kit. It’s born of style and class and makes you feel fast!

In addition to the smart design and styling, the concept behind SQV is to craft a pro level kit, make it available to everyone, and create a global virtual cycling team for the aspiring pro. Babici have advised, that in the near future, by racing in SQV kit, team members have the opportunity to be part of a global initiative and be rewarded for their hard work.

 

The Design
According to Babici Founder, Kev Babakian, it is the attention to detail which sets his garments apart and the SQV is no exception. In fact, when I picked up the kit from the Babici studio, Kev made a point to check the packing, the labelling, but most importantly the garments themselves, to confirm the final design changes were carried through and the quality was as expected.

The SQV is designed in Australia by Babici, and they sources the finest textiles from Italy’s most advanced mills. The main jersey material is high wick and ultralight but able to support crisp and sharp colours and artwork. Given the ultralight weave you’d be forgiven for thinking you might need to wear sunscreen underneath but, again, the unique properties of this fabric provide a SPF of 50+. The side panels on the jersey are made from an ultra-breathable fabric that extends up under the armpit and down the inside of the sleeve, resulting in an remarkably cool jersey void of that heavy perspiration-soaked feeling.

 Squadra Veloce Kit

Babici Squadra Veloce – Pro Grade Kit

The grippers on both the jersey and knicks are light and stretchable, but also rigid and durable through the use of carbon fibre woven into the gripper itself.

The SQV knicks employ a one piece 3D chamois made by Dolomiti in Italy. It is laser cut from a single piece of high tech foam which provides moisture transfer, ensuring you never get a wet chamois. Even after several hours of riding I found the knicks to be as comfortable as when I started riding and certainly dryer than any other knicks I have tried.

SQV - Detailed Design

Squadra Veloce – Detailed Design

The Style

The SQV jersey and knicks ooze style. Ignoring the high tech features and materials for a moment, the kit has the understated simplicity and sophistication that Babici do so well. Babici has a worldwide reputation for exceptional style and quality, and the SQV kit has enriched this reputation even more.

 

The FitSQV Knicks Rear

The SQV kit is a race fit, meaning the jersey is tight fitting and a little shorter than normal, to eliminate jersey drag and to producing a comfortable fit even after considerable time on the drops.

While we tend to focus on the technical benefits of jersey and knick materials – such as the jerseys’ wicking ability – the excellent fit of the SQV is due to both the innovative cut and the performance textiles used. Make no mistake, the jersey is a snug race fit and unless you are lean and trim, it might be a drawback for some cyclists. Then again, that’s what SQV is all about, providing pro race kit.

The pro grippers on both the knicks and jersey result in excellent garment retention on the legs and arms. I noticed this more on the arms as, like most cyclists, my arms are skinny and often the sleeve grippers hang off and flap in the wind.

 

The Value

The SQV jersey and knick set retail for around $350 (AUD). When it comes to how much you pay for kit, most cyclists tend to look for mid-range apparel or whatever is on sale. The SQV has shown me that for an extra $100-$150 you can get the best AND feel the best. Considering the many thousands of dollars cyclists spend on bikes or wheels, $100-$150 does not seem like much of a premium to pay for comfort, performance and style.

  SQV - Experience the BestSquadra Veloce Jersey – Experience the Best

Be Inspired

The Squadra Veloce pro race kit is inspiring! Think of your favourite jersey or knicks, why do you love them? Because they feel great, look great and work great. Without one of these key attributes they won’t be your favourite. The SQV seamlessly integrates these attributes to produce something that inspires you to ride your bike, the kit makes you want to train, to race… to be your the best.

 

– Lachlan Mackay

 

Let’sa Go! – EVOC Bike Travel Bag

What do you do when you’re at the post-ride café and you and your mates dream up that next big bike holiday in Europe?

Well apart from saying “I’m in” without consulting you partner/financial minister, the first thing you need is a bike bag. And let’s face it, we love our precious steads so we want to make sure they get to our final destination in one piece.

The EVOC bike travel bag is ostensibly a typical modern bike bag, designed for transporting your bike to races, weekends away and to the far flung corners of the cycling world.

evoc Bike Bag

The EVOC Bike Traveling Bag

Use and Key Features

To pack your road or mountain bike into the EVOC, all you have to do is lower your seat and remove your wheels and handle bars. I have found you can leave your pedals on although EVOC suggest you remove them as well.

  • Can fit road or mountain bikes including 29ers.
  • Only requires the removal of the wheels and handlebars.
  • Uses a padded block that the bottom bracket rests on.
  • Includes extra frame and folk padding.
  • 2 separate wheel compartments on the sides.
  • 3 separate compartments for smaller parts (pedals, quick release skewers, tools, etc).
  • 8 carry handles (2 on each side) for smooth handling.
  • Wide, stable heavy-duty undercarriage with smoothly running skate wheels (replaceable).
  • Lockable zips.
  • Collapsible to size 135 cm x 38 cm x 30 cm.

evoc with bike

The EVOC with road bike

Bike Protection

The main feature you want in a bike bag is protection for the bike itself. For a soft shell bag the EVOC is outstanding.

The EVOC employs the use of PE plastic, glass fibre and plastic rods to reinforce the key parts of the bike. The frame is protected by well-placed glass fibre rods and PE sections in the lining of the bag while inside the frame and forks are protected from bumps and scratches by foam protectors. The separate wheel compartments are padded and reinforced with plastic rods to disburse any impact to the rim of the wheel (rather than the spokes) and the hubs are protected by PE pads.

evoc protection systemThe EVOC Bike Protection System

Good Points

  • Very good mobility and stability. This is important when you are making your way through airport check-in lines and taxi ranks!
  • Plenty of handles for lifting the bag in and out of cars, hotels etc.
  • Quality zips which enable easy access.
  • Can stuff the internal voids around the bike frame with clothes, bike kit etc
  • Can be folded up and collapsed into a compact size for storage.

Bad Points

  • The bag’s net weight is around 8.6kg. Although lighter that a hard shell bag, the EVOC is heavy for a soft shell. Once you pack your bike the gross weight will be over 15kg for the average road bike and even more for a mountain bike.
  • The padded frame block that the bottom bracket sits on is not ideal for road bikes, especially if you have a Di2 battery mounted under the bottom bracket – you’ll have to remove the battery and the battery bracket from the frame.
  • Large bike frames greater than 57cm will struggle to fit in the bag. You will definitely need to remove the seat and large bikes with integrated seat posts may not fit at all.

Recommendations

If you are using the bag for a road bike:

  • Definitely get a road specific aluminum frame stand. This will avoid the bottom bracket/battery problem mentioned above and will provide additional support and protection to the bike.
  • Get the chain cover. This is easy to fit and saves you the messy cleanup if items move around in the bag during transit.

Road Al standThe EVOC Road Stand – A must for road bikes

So now you have your bike, bike bag and plane tickets – Let’sa go!

– Lachlan Mackay

 

* Images courtesy of www.evocsports.com

Giant Propel Advanced SL 0

 

 

The Giant Propel is an awesome looking bike. Aesthetically it simply looks futuristic, fast and fun. When I first saw this bike I thought, finally a Giant bike that looks good! Don’t get me wrong, for many years I have admired Giant bikes for their consistent quality, wide choice of models and price competitiveness. It’s just that in the road range the compact design introduced in the late 90s has never appealed to me. But looks aren’t everything in cycling… OK they’re pretty important, so what does the Propel offer apart from great looks?

The Giant Propel Advanced SL 0 – one awesome looking bike

The Propel is Giant’s first road bike purposefully designed to be as aerodynamic as possible. Giant claim that at 40 km/hr, the Propel saves 12-36 seconds over 40 kilometres when compared to other leading aero frames such as the Cervelo S5, Specialized Venge, Ridley Noah FAST, and the Scott Foil.

The Propel is distinguished from a time trial bike in that it’s designed to be ridden on the road under all conditions (not just a time trial). The R&D team at Giant designed not only an aero bike but one that handles well in and out of corners, up and down hills and on the flat. And they did this without sacrificing stiffness or increasing weight. To achieve this, Giant tested over 88 design iterations before they arrived at the model you see today on the shop floor.

Giant tested the design in the wind tunnel using a dynamic mannequin/dummy (rumour has it the dummy was actually Danilo Di Luca) to simulate real life performance and this led to some very interesting design features:

Frame
The head tube is contoured and shaped as you’d expect and houses the 1 1/4-inch top and 1 1/2-inch bottom headset bearings. The forks themselves integrate perfectly to the frame. The top tube is thick near the front to provide strength and stability and then to save weight, tapers to be very thin at the seat mast. The horizontal top tube is a departure from the sloping top tube Giants have become synonymous with. Again the reasoning for this is improved aerodynamics, according to Giant the sloping top tube increases drag.

The down tube shape provides less drag when using a standard drink bottle

The seat mast is fully integrated with the frame, while the down tube hugs the rear wheel for best aero performance. The rear triangle of the seat and chain stays is small and extremely strong allowing maximum power transfer from the massive bottom bracket (a BB71 press fit).

Perhaps the most distinctive aero feature is the down tube which starts off aero shaped near the top but then quickly morphs into a more traditional cross section half way down. This doesn’t look aero, however Giant tests have shown that with a regular round drink bottle this shape provides the least drag.

Brakes
The Giant-designed, TRP manufactured brakes on the Propel are designed to be hidden from the wind, the front brake is tucked away nicely behind the fork and the rear is mounted on the short seat stays. The brakes themselves are essentially V-type brakes typically found on mountain or flat bar bikes. While not as smooth or powerful as standard dual pivot callipers I found the brakes to be more than adequate.

The Propel’s proprietary SpeedControl SLR brake system – designed to be aero

Components
The bike is beautifully complimented with some class components. The Propel SL 0 comes with the Giant Contact SLR Aero Integrated Giant bars. The drops have a comfortable compact curvature and the flat tops provide both aero performance and plenty of real estate for your hands. The Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 11 speed groupset is simply excellent, providing quick, confident gear changes, while the Zipp 404 Firecrest carbon clinchers are proven performers and worthy of carrying such a fine frame and ensemble. The Fizik Arione R3 saddle does the job. Again it is a proven component that, while not my favourite saddle, is well matched to the sleek design of the Propel.

The Propel frame is matched with worthy components

The Ride
The Propel is an excellent handling bike; it is sharp and crisp in and out of corners and feels solid under accelerations. Overall the ride is very firm, more so than your average top end road bike, but certainly not harsh like a time trial frame.

Weight
The Propel is testament to the ongoing marginal gains in frame technology. This bike out-of-the-box and no pedals weighed in at just 6.91kg.

Price
The Propel Advanced SL 0 retails for around $9,999.

Overall
At the end of the day if you can’t average 40 km/hr for 60 minutes (I can’t) the 36 second aero benefit may not matter to you. However I still recommend this bike as a top end road bike, based on its fantastic ride and handling… oh yea, and on its great looks!

Performance 8/10
Quality 9/10
Value 7/10
Overall 8/10

 

– Lachlan Mackay

 

*images courtesy of www.tbsm.com.au

Louis Garneau Course Shoe

Louis Garneau ShoeThe Course 2LS – Light, Stiff and Comfortable

Hailing from Canada the Course 2LS is the top of the line road shoe in the Louis Garneau range. “Course” meaning “race” in French and 2LS indicating the use of two BOA Lacing System dials (this models uses L5 dials). Out of the box these shoes are impressive and rival the best shoes in the cycling world. Aesthetically the bright white microfiber upper catches your attention and the clean logo-limited design is appealing to the eye.

The Course is packed with features

The importance of a proper fitting cycling shoe cannot be over stated. Each of your feet has 26 bones (half of all the body’s bones) and more joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments than any other part of the body. Given the foot’s complex range of movement, getting a good and secure fit is one of the more difficult things in cycling. Numb toes and hot spots are common complaints. The Course addresses these issues by the use of a number of key design points.

Retention System
The most obvious is the use of the BOA retention system. BOA is used under licence by LG and is also employed by the likes of Specialised, Lake, and Scott. These days the majority of shoe manufactures have at least one shoe in their range which features a wire like closure system, for example Bont and DMT use the ATOP system, Sidi use their Techno buckles and most recently Northwave have introduced the new SLW2 on the Extreme Tech Plus shoe. The whole idea behind these wire closure systems is to reduce pressure points on the foot while retaining as secure a fit as possible. Two secondary benefits are the reduction in weight compared to traditional strap/ratchet systems and the ability to easily adjust the shoe tension whilst on the bike.

Many shoes over the past few years have gone down the path of heat moulding where you stick your shoe in the oven and then on your foot, to produce a personalised fit. The major disadvantage has been the additional weight of the heat mouldable material and the resulting stiff shoe upper. In addition to using the BOA lacing system, LG have been able to achieve a personalised fit by using a narrow shoe (called Elite Fit) and by employing a different, more subtle material for the upper. In the heel area the Course makes use of spandex and reinforced injected nylon to secure the heel from slipping.

A patented ventilation design

 

Ventilation
Perhaps the most innovative feature of the Course is the patented ventilation system. When you consider your feet contain hundreds of thousands of sweat glands (10-15% of the body’s total), the ability to keep your feet cool is very important. Like most shoes the Course provides breathable areas by using micromesh on the shoe tongue and on either side, but where the Course differentiates itself from its competition is the venting system in the sole. The system works by taking air in just behind the toes, channels it along the sole of your foot and then expels the air out the back near the heel. This cooling system is enabled by a perforated/breathable insole and can be disabled by using the red “winter” insole (that comes with the shoes) which blocks the air and can be used in cold conditions.

Features
The Course is packed with standout features including:

  • ELITE FIT
  • Exo-Jet Carbon outsole with patented multivent system: Designed to increase stiffness and provide excellent toe-to-heel airflow – only company in the world to offer true airflow from toe to heel. LG hold patent on venting further down the shoe allowing hot air to exhaust out of the shoe.
  • Stretchy anti-slip unidirectional spandex: Provides a good support and prevents heel lift
  • HRS-300 reinforced injected nylon: Secures the heel in place, optimizes fit, and reduces loss of power from slippage
  • BOA L5 double rail quick attachment system: Quick attach, distributed pressure and ultralight
  • Microfiber and mesh upper: Provides better support through a rigid upper
  • Polyurethane spandex inside heel cup: Enhances heel support
  • Ice Fil Ergo Air Cool Stuff blue double density EVA and Hot Stuff red antibacterial insoles: Patented system for riding in all weather conditions
  • Heel reflector: Improves visibility
  • Cleat position indicator compatible with SPD-SL, TIME, LOOK and SPEEDPLAY cleats
  • Shoe bag included
  • Approximate weight (size 42/1 shoe): 240 g/8.6 oz
  • Ergo air insoles interchangeable

As used by Thomas Voeckler

Weight
The Course shoes are incredibly light. I weighed the size 46 shoes under test (with inserts but no cleats) at 270g each.

Price
The Course 2LS retail for around $369. These shoes are more price competitive than rival models such as the Sidi Wire or S-Works.

Overall
LG have created a shoe packed with great design features. This means the perfect fit for your foot is now achievable. If your feet suffer from numbness, hot spots or other foot complaints, then these shoes are definitely worth a try. Just try to keep them clean!

Performance 8/10
Quality 8/10
Value 7/10
Overall 8/10

– Lachlan Mackay

Enve SES 3.4 Clincher Review

Green with Enve – SES 3.4s

The Enve 3.4s are a great looking wheelset and after putting them through their paces it is obvious these wheels are best of breed.

My first impression was that the wheels were very smooth. The smoothness results from the vertical compliance provided by the all carbon rims. They are also very stiff, this was evident in the front wheel when climbing out of the saddle, while during an all-out sprint the rear wheel just felt rigid. I’ll stop short of calling these wheels bulletproof only because I cannot vouch for their longevity, you really need to ride wheels for some months (not weeks) to observe how true the wheels remain and if any spokes twang under heavy training and racing schedules.

SES 3.4s are Best of Breed wheels

The 3.4s (like their big brother 6.7s) are designed to be very aero. Enve explain this is achieved by looking not just at the wheel itself, but also taking into account the tyre width and the frame aerodynamics. Further the front and rear wheels interact differently with the bike as the air flows past the wheels; the front wheel experiences more stable air but is more sensitive to cross winds, while the rear is typically exposed to more turbulent air. This results in different rim shapes and profiles:

  • The front wheel is wider and shallower to improve stability and reduce drag in any wind condition.
  • The rear wheel is deeper to reduce drag where stability is less affected.
  • Wheels were tested on multiple frame designs in order to produce the maximum drag reduction. The result is a wheel system, which handles predictably, and displays superior drag results when installed in multiple bicycle frame designs.

The stability of the wheelset is excellent. I did not notice any issues under cross winds and this is testament to the research, development and wind tunnel testing undertaken by Enve and Simon Smart of Mercedes F1 fame.

Front wheel is wider and shallower for stability; the rear is deeper to reduce drag.

Weight The 3.4s are very light considering they are a medium profile wheel. With DT Swiss 240 hubs the wheels weighed:

Front: 693g Rear: 792

You can also get the 3.4s with DT Swiss 180, Chris King R45 or Chris King Ceramic hubs.

Braking Fact: These wheels have excellent braking performance; as good, if not better, than most alloys. However I was a little disappointed with the stopping power of the 3.4s. I suspect my disappointment was due to the fact that I had very high expectations for the 3.4s, as I had been so impressed with how good the 6.7s were.

Price The wheelset retails for around $3,599. For that you get a class leading wheelset, which is very strong, stable and light. They are suitable for just about any kind of training or racing.

Overall Like the 6.7s, these wheels are market leading in their class. The high price may deter some but it buys you speed on the flat, uphill and accelerating out of corners. I would class these wheels as an outstanding “all-rounder” with predictable linear stability.

Performance 9/10
Quality 9/10
Value 6/10
Overall 8/10

These are high end wheels with a high end price, but they are worth it… you just need to convince your other half.

– Lachlan Mackay

The Magellan Cyclo 105 GPS Bicycle Computer

The Magellan Cyclo 105 is a versatile GPS cycling computer recently released to the market. However Magellan is not a brand name often associated with cycling, so who are Magellan? They are one of the oldest GPS navigation companies in the world, being founded in 1986. In 1989 they released the world’s first consumer handheld GPS receiver, the Magellan Nav 1000.

Based in Santa Clara California, Magellan has been at the forefront of GPS receiver innovation and development for over 25 years.

Backed by such a successful history in GPS it comes as no surprise that the Cyclo 105 is an excellent product. It is designed by a company that understands GPS and this is evident by the Cyclo being packed with all the standard features we’ve come to expect of a modern bike computer, such as:

  • Anti-glare 1.8 Inch screen, with a 128x128px display resolution.
  • 14-18 Hour Battery Life
  • SIRFstar III High Sensitivity GPS
  • Waterproof to IPX-7 Standard
  • ANT+ Sensor
  • Barometric Altimeter and Electronic Compass
  • Customisable Dashboard Screen
  • The computer records your time, speed, distance, height, calorie consumption and your tracks with the built-in GPS.
  • Portrait and Landscape Mode
  • Personal workout partner
  • Magellan Desktop Software

But the Magellan also comes with a few additional features that are worth looking at if you’re in the market for a new computer.

  • Portrait/Landscape mode allows you to quickly change the display which is great when viewing some of the display screens.
  • Trackback Navigation is a breadcrumb-like graphical feature that allows you to track where you have ridden, allowing you re-trace your route back to your starting point.
  • The GPS Info screen displays all the satellites the computer is receiving signals from, along with their relative position and their signal strength.
  • Graphical compass display which uses the built-in electronic compass so you can navigate by bearing should you desire.
  • History allows you to display your previous rides including all the data, it even displays graphs of speed, heart rate etc.

If you are familiar with the market dominant Garmin Edge range then you will find the Cyclo easy to use. The Cyclo unit is very similar to the shape and size of the Garmin 500 and the button layout and function are almost identical. I normally use a Garmin 500 so I found the initial configuration and setup of the Magellan straight forward.

 The Magellan is very similar to the Garmin Edge 500 in size and shape

Installing the device on your bike is simple; you zip tie the rubber mount to your bars or stem and then twist the computer into the mount to lock it in position. Further, the Magellan’s quarter turn mount is compatible with SRAM and Garmin so you can use your existing mounts with the Cyclo. This is especially useful if you already have an out-front mount. While the 105 does not come with any peripheral sensors such as a heart rate monitor, it is ANT+ certified meaning it can be used with any ANT+ device such as a heart rate monitor, speed and cadence sensor and power meters. In fact I tested the Magellan with my Garmin speed and cadence sensors and they connected seamlessly and operated without issue.

The Magellan Cyclo also comes with its own PC based software (named Magellan Desktop PC Tool) that allows you to upload to you PC and analyse and graph your ride data, even if you are not connected to the internet. And of course you are able to upload your data to all popular online apps such Stava, MapMyRide, Training Peaks etc.

Performance 8/10
Quality 8/10
Value 9/10
Overall 8/10

 

– Lachlan Mackay

This article was originally published on TBSM

Not Normal – The Enve SES 6.7 Clincher Road Wheelset

ENVE wheels have built a reputation of being the best of the best, so when I took these wheels for a ride I had very high expectations. But halfway through my ride the thing I noticed most about these wheels was – nothing.

Let me explain. Deep section wheels are fast in a straight line and still conditions but one of the biggest drawbacks has been the wheel stability under crosswinds. The wind catches the deep section rim and applies sideways force, which is both disconcerting to the rider and also a waste of valuable watts. In the past, riding a set of deep section rims in windy conditions meant you had to grab the bars tightly and concentration on just staying upright! As I rode I was concentrating, waiting to catch the wheels and bike from being pushed sideways but nothing happened, even in 30km/hr winds – not normal.

Where did these wheels come from? Several years back ENVE set out to improve on their already impressive ENVE Classic range. They teamed up with Simon Smart, an aerodynamicist who boasts over 14 years of experience in F1, specialising in aerodynamics and wind tunnel testing. The result was the Smart ENVE System (SES) range of products including the 6.7 model. The 6.7 wheelset is named so because the front rim is 60mm deep and the rear rim 70mm deep. Further, the front rim is 26mm wide while the rear is 24mm. These different size combinations provide the best stability when tested with a number of common frames (see point 4 below) under a wide range of conditions. The result of the extensive wind tunnel testing produced a wheelset with the following key points:

  • In SES wheelsets the front wheel is wider and shallower to improve stability and reduce drag in any wind condition.
  • Also, the rear wheel is deeper to reduce drag where stability is less affected.
  • The focus on steering stability resulted in improved handling and confidence in varying crosswinds
  • SES wheelsets feature in-frame design in the wind tunnel around the Specialized Tarmac, Cannondale Super Six, Cervelo P3 and Trek Speed Concept frames.
  • Rims are not painted, sanded, filled or polished.  Each rim therefore has its own ‘fingerprint’ or carbon character.
  • The vacuum bag is removed after they are moulded.  No excess material left inside the rim to deaden the ride feel or add weight.
  • Proprietary moulded spoke hole technology means the spoke holes are moulded not drilled through the carbon fibres.  This results in the ability to run higher spoke tensions.
  • Moulded conical nipple beds allow better nipple to spoke alignment. Like a ball and socket joint.
  • Drive Side spoke tension 120-140kg/f Radial spoke tension 100-120kg/f
  • ENVE designed brass nipples manufactured in the USA.
  • Textured braking surface allowing for a more positive engagement and better braking in wet conditions.
  • 5 year warranty and lifetime crash replacement.

 enve 6.2 photo 2

 

Weight

With deep section rims, these wheels look heavy, but the 6.7s weighed in lighter than expected:

Front: 720g

Rear:  870g

These weights mean the rotating mass is comparable to most alloy wheels. These wheels came with DT Swiss 240 hubs and were fitted with 25mm Continental GP4000 S tyres. You can also get the 6.7s with DT Swiss 180 or Chris King R45 hubs.

Braking

The poor breaking performance of carbon wheels (carbon breaking surface) has improved dramatically in the last few years to the point where these 6.7s outperform alloy rims in the dry! I did not get a chance to test the 6.7s in the wet so I cannot comment there.

Price

Considering these wheels retail for around $3,700, I asked Chris Till (ENVE product manager at Monza Imports) who buys these wheels? Chris said “generally there are two market segments, one is the serious cyclist or triathlete who competes regularly at the high end of their sports, the other is the cyclist who just loves cycling and the kudos that comes from owning a set of these wheels”. For the money you also instantly gain 15-30 watts and that reassuring carbon hum beneath you.

enve 6.2 photo 3

Overall

These wheels are simply one of the best wheelsets on the market. Although they come with a hefty price tag, the fact they perform so well in all conditions means these wheels should definitely be considered as an everyday riding wheel. Likewise, due to their relatively low weight these wheels are just as suitable for climbing as most alloy wheels out there.

Performance

10/10

Quality

9/10

Value

7/10

Overall

 9/10

These are high end wheels with a high end price, but with the ENVE 6.7s you buy stability, confidence and most importantly – watts. Oh and a lot of ENVIE at your local café!

– Lachlan Mackay

This article was previously published on www.tbsm.com.au

 

Spot the Difference – Focus Izalco Team SL 3.0

Lighter and stiffer than the previous model

Bursting onto the international scene in 2009 with Team Milram, the Focus Izalco has carried riders from many top pro teams including Acqua & Sapone, Jelly Belly, Netap, Katusha and AGR2-La Mondiale. Over the past few years the Izalco has won so many “Bike of the Year” awards that it’s got everyone talking, and the new SL 3.0 EPS model is no different.

When I first saw the SL 3.0 it struck me that it looked just like the 2012 model. Take a look at the two bikes below, the first is the 2012 Izalco Team 2.0. The second is the new 2013 Izalco Team SL 3.0. Both are Izalcos, but can you spot all 15 differences between the two bikes?

An award winning bike for Focus

Focus Izalco Team 2.0 – 2012

 

Lighter and stiffer than the previous model

Focus Izalco Team SL 3.0 – 2013

 

Some of the differences are obvious, others not so.

Izalco   Team 2.0 – 2012 Izalco   Team SL 3.0 – 2013
Obvious differences
Colour Black/Red   (Gloss and matt) Black/White   (Acidgreen)
Wheelset Mavic   Ksyrium SL Fulcrum   Racing Zero
Rear   & front derailleur Shimano   Dura-Ace 7900 Di2 Campagnolo   Record EPS
Crankset Shimano   Dura-Ace 7900 Campagnolo   Record
Brakes Shimano   Dura-Ace 7900 Campagnolo   Record Skeleton
Saddle Prologo   C-One 50 Prologo   Zero II TR
Not so obvious differences
Frame Focus   Izalco Team Izalco   Team SL Carbon
Handlebar FSA   Wing Pro Road FSA   Wing Comp
Gear   ratio Race:   front 53/39, rear 12-25 Race:   front 53/39, rear 12-27
Number   of Gears 20 22
Satellite   Shifters Yes No
Seat   Clamp Two   bolt One   bolt
Bottom   Bracket BB30 PF30
Same Components
Fork 3T   Rigida Team T4 carbon 3T   Rigida Team T4 carbon
Stem FSA   OS-99 CSI Black FSA   OS-99 CSI Black
Seatpost FSA   K-Force Black FSA   K-Force Black
Tyres Continental   GP4000S Continental   GP4000S
Frame   Dropout Full   Carbon Full   Carbon

The Izalco is the result of German engineering and continuous improvement. The biggest improvement to the new SL is the new carbon lay-up, the all-carbon BB shell (now PF30) and all-carbon headset cups. Graeme Moffett of Derby Cycle (the company behind the Focus brand) says “the new frame is manufactured using a silicon mould instead of the normal bag mould, to achieve greater compression of the carbon resulting in reduced wall thickness but greater strength”. The new design reduces the frame weight by some 200 grams (on average 960 grams depending upon frame size) and this is evident with the Izalco EPS model weighing 6.93kg out of the box. The frame is designed with internal cable channels and is groupset agnostic – meaning any groupset whether electronic or not can be easily accommodated by this clever design. The internal cabling makes the bike more aesthetically appealing, but more importantly, the internal channels add strength to the frame. Visually, the SL retains the distinctive thin seat stays, broad flat down tube and elongated “liquid” shaped top tube.

One of the secrets of success for the Izalco has been its overall package and price. While the frame might be the biggest influencer of how the bike rides, it can be let down by inadequate wheels or lower level components. The FSA stem, handlebars and seat post are quality components and the performance of Fulcrum Zero wheels matches the frame perfectly.

The Ride

I couldn’t wait to test ride the bike to see if it rode differently to the 2012 model. Even before I had clipped in, the new SL 3.0 felt familiar and it only took a few hundred metres before I felt completely comfortable with it. The bike is a dream to ride, the handling is what you’d expect of a world-class bike. High speed cornering is stable, predictable and one of the most enjoyable aspects of this bike. The frame together with the fork provide absolute confidence, you simply lift your inside knee and you’ll find the bike is already going where you want it to. There is no jumping or skipping of the back wheel, while the stiffness of the frame provides nimble responsiveness. At low speeds the bike performs just as well due to the relatively short wheel base and the distinctive frame angles that the German engineers at Focus have perfected.

In a straight line the bike feels fast and smooth like it’s gliding over the surface of the road. The highly compliant seat stays, together with the 3T Rigida fork, cut the sharp vibrations and provide a smooth ride regardless of road surface. Accelerating hard out of the saddle the bike is super responsive, there is no spongy feeling. The Fulcrum Racing Zero wheels perform amazingly well and only a set of carbon wheels would produce a firmer ride.

The Groupset

The groupset on the SL 3.0 is Campagnolo’s new electronic Record EPS and just like Di2, EPS is awesome. Gear changes are crisp and faultless and trimming of the front derailleur is a thing of the past. Compared to the 2012 model running Shimano 7900 Di2, the gear lever feedback is a more definitive “click” making it similar to the feel of traditional cable. The gear changes appeared slightly slower than the Di2, however the precision gives immediate confidence even under full power. The gear lever position near the hoods had me moving my hands a little from time to time and proved a little distracting but this is largely due to where I rest my hands on the bars (personal preference). What I really missed on the EPS were the satellite buttons I’m used to with Di2! The ability to change gear from the top of the bars without moving your hands to the hoods is a significant advantage of Di2 over EPS.

If you are looking for a world-class bike with Campagnolo EPS then this bike should be on your list. And considering the price, this bike has to be near the top!

After writing this review I realised there were five more differences between the models pictured above (not including the pedals and Garmin components). Can you guess what they are?

– Lachlan Mackay

This article was previously published on www.tbsm.com.au