Still more new and cool gear to ogle at Sea Otter. If you missed our other product news and photos, you can check out our other Sea Otter cyclocross product galleries here.
In addition to a new cyclocross wheelset, Kore has a new cyclocross crankset with a unique 36/48t chainring combo, offering more range than most cyclocross offerings. It’s halfway between a true compact setup (typically 36 or 34 / 50) and typical cyclocross rings, and may be good for the spinners or those less inclined to run the short hills. It features 110 bcd compact spacing for the chainrings, weighs 830 grams and retails for $150 bucks. Currently available in 170, 172.5 and 175 mm sizes, but there should be 177.5 and 180 options soon.
Crank Brothers has already unveiled the new lineups of pedals. Now the company is showing of its new Cobalt stem. Though intended for mountain bike use, the Cobalt’s unique wedge clamps should work great with oversized carbon drop bars and carbon steer tubes. 137 grams (for 100mm model), made from 7075 aluminum with a 31.8 (oversized) bar clamp. Available in 80-120mm lengths with a 6º rise. Colors are: black/gold, iron/blue, iron/black, black/silver. 5 year warranty, MSRP $130
Fallbrook Technologies has released Nuvinci N360, the second version of its internal continuously variable transmission hub. The Nuvinci hub was displayed on a flat bar cyclocross bike. Car makers such as Honda and Suzuki have employed continuously variable transmissions in their cars, but Nuvinci employs a transmission called continuously variable planetary drive that utilizes friction drive technology, which has been used in torpedoes. We test rode it, and it was unique in its ability to shift either way under load and to micro-adjust the equivalent gear-inches. The hub offers a wider range of gearing than a typical compact crank drivetrain, and you move that range taller or lower just by switching the one cog (16t is standard). The hub weighs five pounds, and is said to add two pounds over an equivalent chain drivetrain – too much for the serious racer, but it could be interesting for the commuter that dabbles in cyclocross. Keep your eye on further developments as this has some serious potential if the weight gains are minimized. It’s maintenance free with initial efficiency losses compared to a clean chain drivetrain between 5-10%, – however Nuvinci claims that it has efficiency gains over dirty drivetrains. Currently for flat bar shifters only, but the company is looking into making road bar shifters. MSRP is $399 for the hub only. Your local bikes shop can order it through distributors QBP or Seattle Bike Supply. More info on Fallbrook Technology’s website.
Fizik has its new Cyrano seatpost available – with some cool features for ‘crossers. It offers the convenience of a one-bolt system with the security of a two-bolt post by using a thumb dial to adjust the angle. A wide platform supports the rails well for repeated mounts (even carbon), but the narrow top clamp allows a ton of fore/aft adjustment. It runs at 214g in the 270mm length, with a cool leather ring to mark seat height. The clamp is designed to offer easy saddle installation – no puzzle to solve here. The company also has a Microtex bar tape that offers great grip and nice cushioning for the ‘crosser. If you want even more cush, there is the company’s bar gel to place under normal bar tape.
New Bend, Oregon-based Cycle Soles was doing custom-molded footbeds at Sea Otter. The company measures leg length differences, knee angle, cleat position and pedaling motion before building custom soles to a rider’s foot. Stay tuned for a full review.
Salsa had its new titanium La Cruz cyclocross bike on display. Retail is $1800 for the frameset which is made by Lynskey, but it offers features unique to Salsa, including the same geometry as the steel La Cruz, good tire clearance, a replaceable derailleur hanger, etched graphics, a higher grade of brushed titanium finish and different tube shapes. The company’s scandium Chili con Crosso returns unchanged this year, but the company won’t be sponsoring the Elite Clif Bar team for the 2010/2011 season.