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Re-Usable Gel Packets, Vegan Energy and Saddles We Love: IceBike 2017

A glimpse at some of the cool new gear coming your way

The cycing industry loves nothing more than a good bike show (ok, most of us like a good bike ride best) – and with the summer of 2017 fast approaching there have been plenty of opportunities to soak up all the new gear in preparation.

We headed down to the bike bling haven that is distributor Madison’s own creation: IceBike, to bring you a glimpse at what’s newly on offer (or soon to be) this season.

Furnishing the bike world with kit from over 70 brands, Madison distribute kit from giants such as Garmin, Shimano, Pro, Lazer and Pearl Izumi as well as offering own brand creations such as Madison and Genesis bikes.

Here’s a look at some of what was on offer…

Mule Bar: Vegan and Vegetarian Bars, plus Re-Usable Gel Packaging

Mule Bar have always impressed us with their yummy flavours and natural ingredients. But they impressed us even more today with their brand new Vegan protein bar in Almond and Strawberry Flavour, as well as their vegetarian friendly energy bar, in Raspberry-Blackcurrant.

Even cooler was the brand’s new approach to gels. Being a member of the ‘Top 1% for the Planet’ group, they wanted to find a way to care for the environment even more. And what better way than creating a reusable energy gel packet, that can be bought in conjunction with a large container (a bit like a runny-honey dispenser) with which to re-fill. A cap on the top of the packet means that there’s no risk of the gel residue leaking into a jersey pocket: a common excuse many people give for dropping them on the ground. Chapeau!

Pro Stealth Saddle

At TWC, we’re pretty into saddles – because we know the right one can make or break a cyclist. This ‘Stealth’ saddle is a unisex model (and we can’t help but comment it looks a bit like the Specialized Power we know and love), launched towards the end of 2016. It’s ideal for people who race or like to sit in an aggressive position. With carbon rails, it comes in at £179.99 with a carbon reinforced base and lightweight EVA padding. There are two widths on offer: 142mm or 152mm.

Lazer ‘Walter’ Glasses

Got a narrow face and struggle to find cycling glasses that fit? Personally, I mainly wear Oakley Junior glasses, because all other options are too large. However, these have been designed to fit narrow faces, and they slipped on for me just fine. They come in at £99.99 – and apparently have been so popular that the over-catered-for wide faced contingent are calling for their own version. They get everything, don’t they?!

Genesis Prototype All Road/Gravel Bike

Gravel bikes, adventure bikes, all road bikes – whatever you want to call them, they’re big news. Madison’s brand Genesis are working on their own version – currently named ‘Prototype’. They’re aiming for 50c tyres, with some ‘clever frame engineering with asymmetric dropped chain stays’ to allow for mud clearance, flat mount disc brakes and a steel frame. Expect to see these available for 2018.

Genesis Carbon 29er

Another model currently called, rather affectionately, ‘Prototype’, this carbon 29er will be Madison’s first attempt at combining the frame material with this wheel size. They’re going for a full on race machine, with lightweight being the aim of the game.

Garmin Fenix 5 Bundle

Activity trackers just keep getting smarter! This watch will analyse your exercise, and your recovery – recording your heart rate and even your oxygen consumption to advise when you’re fit to train hard, and when you need a break. Want! Cost? £559.99 – £649.99.

Pearl Izumi Escape Shorts

Pearl Izumi’s Escape chamois has seen a major overhaul. The pad now features two layers – with the pad closest to the short (pictured) able to move freely against the top layer that sits on your skin. This reduces friction as the top layer can sit comfortably without moving. The design was two years in the making, and tested over 378 hours of riding – apparently 84% of testers reported an improvement on previous Pearl Izumi bibs.

Pearl Izumi have also developed some great looking jerseys for summer 2017 – the a range of styles which really took our fancy.

Finally, they’ve also invested in ‘PI Dry’ – a unique waterproof material technology which claims to maintain its performance for up to 100 washes, as opposed to standard DWR finishes that reduce to 80 per cent efficiency after 20 washes. We’ll see this fabric come winter 2017 – and Pearl own it exclusively in cycling for two years.

Madison DTE: Defy the Elements

We’ve always been impressed by Madison’s MTB apparel, and they’ve outdone themselves this year. We particularly loved their super cosy looking ‘Defy the Elements’ jacket.

For summer, there have been lots of alterations, with a cleaner, less cluttered look on many items, a range of colour schemes and a great new pattern on the ever popular Flux waterproof.

On the road side, their halter bib has now been incorporated into winter tights ready for the colder months of 2017, and the neck strap has been made stretchier to cater for taller riders.

A few other bits and bobs…

Pro's new tubeless tyre inflator, at just £49.99, will make short work of what would otherwise be a massive faff
New dropper seat post from Pro weighs 520grams and offers infinite travel
Adventure bikes have joined the ranks with two electric bikes - a men's and women's model
Handy new lights, which run off the power of an electric bike
SP Gadgets phone mounts - for the rider who wants to mount their phone anywhere

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