Madison is one of the biggest bicycle trade distributors in the UK, supplying bike shops with everything from Shimano components to Saracen and Genesis bikes and much more in-between. We took a wander around their house show, iceBike, and picked seven of the most interesting new bits.
1. Genesis Fugio
Genesis was one of the first bike brands to get on board with the do-it-all road/adventure bike concept, with bikes such as the Croix De Fer quickly becoming classics. The Fugio takes the same ingredients of a steel frame and drop bars but marries it to 650b wheels shod in fat 50c rubber, sporting through axles front and rear plus flat mount disc brakes.
This is the £2000 Fugio which comes with a Shimano 105 groupset with hydraulic disc brakes, but there's also a Fugio 1x model at £1550 that has a SRAM Apex groupset and TRP mechanic discs. Both share a double butted seamless cromoly steel frame with carbon fork and you get plenty of mounts for racks and guards.
Genesis deserves some special credit for their pun-tastic colour names. The colour scheme of the bike pictured is 'Asphalt of the Senses', while it's redder brother is 'Chris de Burgundy'. Well played.
2. Milkit's Tubeless Booster
Swiss outfit Milkit is best known for their clever tubeless valve and sealant system that uses a special syringe and clever mouldings to make setting up and checking the state of your tubeless sealant much easier and less messy.
They've now added to their range with this rather natty device that aims to make seating your tyres a doddle as well. It works pretty much like any other tubeless booster on sale, by charging up a reservoir with high-pressure air using a pump and then allowing you to release it quickly into your tyre to help seat it on the beads.
The real part trick is that their design uses a reinforced version of a Sigg-style water bottle, so if you're a sort of far-flung bicycle explorer, it'd be possible to take this system with you on a conventional bottle cage and have no tubeless seating related worries while you're in the back of beyond. It's also possible to use the Booster bottle as a regular water bottle when you're not busy pinging tyres onto rims.
The Booster Bottle comes in two sizes, 1l and 0.6l, which cost £43 and £40 with a Booster head fitted respectively. The Booster head on its own costs £25, while the bottles without the head are £20 and £17.
3. Finish Line's Tubeless Tyre sealant
Okay, so it might look like we have some sort of tubeless obsession at the moment, but this is pretty cool. Finish Line's new tubeless sealant claims to last the life of your tyre, which is impressive as we usually end up peeling chunks of dried up sealant out of our tyres every six months or so - usually after it's failed to seal a puncture.
There's no latex or ammonia in there and it's CO2 cartridge friendly too. Finish line says that it won't damage carbon rims and cleaning it up is as easy as washing it off with water. It's also got little chunks of Kevlar in there, which are said to quickly and robustly plug holes and tears. At the show, they were busily demonstrating how well it worked by repeatedly stabbing an inflated tyre in a fashion that makes a prison shanking look like a friendly tickle, so there's some confidence there...
4. Pearl Izumi's X-Alp Launch clipless and SPD shoes
We're suckers for a shiny new trail slipper here, so the sight of these new X-Alp (L) and the X-Alp Elevate (R) drew us in like moths to a flame. Once we'd finished bumping our heads uselessly against glass cabinets and the like, we found that the X-Alp range has something to offer for those that like to be clipped in as well as flat out and free. Both get a Vibram Megagrip sole, but the SPD version has a 3/4 length composite shank to reinforce it. Both use a seamless bonded lightweight upper to keep weight low and durability high.
The X-Alp Launch costs £110 in either flat or SPD, while the X-Alp Elevate is £150, with both men's and women's versions available.
5. Shimano go enduro with the Unzen Enduro Pack
You might not be aware that Shimano has had riding luggage in their range for a fair old while now, but their cross-chest-strapped backpacks have been sitting away in the background. Curiously, Madison also imports the similarly strangely strapped USWE range, so there must be something going on there.
Either way, this is the 14l capacity Unzen Enduro and it's got some tidy features, such as the full face helmet strap, space for an additional water bottle on the front strap of the pack as well as a hydration bladder space - not included. There's also loads of organised storage and the back gets 'sculpted air mesh' to stop you getting sweaty. It'll cost you £110.
6. The new Bliss ARG Minimalist+ knee pads
As well as having a hilariously onomatopeic name, these new lightweight pads have a cunning trick up their sleeve (leg?) in that the shock absorbing flexible armour at the front and sides is now moulded in a 3D form rather than being flat, so that they sit more comfortably and securely on your knee.
Having had issues with similar designs moving about or becoming uncomfortable as you ride, we reckon this has to be a good thing as the whole protective knee sleeve idea is a solid one for anyone that doesn;t want to bulk or a full on pad or scabby knees. These will cost £60 a pair, so they're not too spendy either.
7. The new Saracen Traverse 29er trail bike
The latest addition to the Saracen Bikes range is this carbon framed 120/100mm 29er. We had news of it shortly before the show but it's certainly a fine looking thing in the flesh, with a neat unidirectional carbon moulded swing link driving the shock and the kit lists looks about right for a £3,000 carbon trail bike, with Fox Performance suspension and a Shimano SLX1x11spd transmission.
We're aiming to get our hands on one at the first opportunity either way...
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