At EuroBike 2016 Stages enters the head unit game, Moots unveils the Baxter and Castelli goes sailing.
The Peloton Service course continued its search for interesting new road and gravel gear among the e-bikes that now dominate the halls of Euorbike. With the European market gone mad for e-mountain bikes this bike show is now truly half a motorcycle show – the e-bikes a bigger, more powerful and faster than ever. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of compelling new products for those of us that still pedal under our own power.
Moots and the Baxter
Moots HQ in Steamboat springs, CO is only a few hundred yards off the Tour Divide route and every year many of the riders will stop in at Moots, especially if they are riding a Moots. Moots took a mental inventory each time, “What are these guys riding? How are the bikes set up? What’s working out there?”. The result is the Baxter, named after Moots’ shop dog. It’s as if Moots put a Vamoots RSL, a Psychlo X, a Routt and a Farwell in a blender.
The Baxter is a 29″ drop bar bike with room for 2.25″ tires and geometry that can accommodate a rigid fork or even a 100mm travel suspension fork. Moots does say a flat bar can be run in it, but we’ll pretend we didn’t hear that. With adventure in mind Moots spec’d it with Shimano XTR electronic for massive gear range, but shifts it with R785 levers. Electronic on an adventure bike? Yes, Moots was amazed at how many Tour Divide riders used electronic and raved about its reliability. Little touches, like maximizing frame clearance for packs, ensures the bike is ready for any adventure. And it’s Moots Ti, so it will last forever.
Stages Covers All the Bases
For three years now Stages has made power numbers more accessible to riders of every level, from Tour de France winners to first time riders emerging from spin class and Stages continues to mate its left side only meter to more and more cranks, trying to ensure it has a power solution no matter what group you ride. It has relied on others to display the numbers and tell riders what to do with them. No longer. At Eurobike 2016 Stages announced what it calls a ‘Stages Ecosystem’ and has launched a new head unit, the Dash, as well as an online hub called Link. The Dash head unit is designed with function in mind. The display is incredibly customizable and can even be used in landscape or portrait mode. It is large, clear and black and white only to maximize battery life – 30hours we’re told. It has simple navigation tools as well. It communicates with ANT+ and Bluetooth (no WiFi for auto-Strava upload yet) and works with third party sensors. Look for the Dash in early 2017.
Link is much more than an online repository for your data displayed in pretty, but indecipherable, graphs. Based on the coaching platform Today’s Plan – which we have used extensively- Link takes your data and tells you in clear language and easy to interpret metrics exactly what your workout did for you. It can also give you a road map to getting faster – of course that will come with a TBD monthly subscription fee. If its pricing is similar to Today’s Plan, it will be very inexpensive.
Castelli and Some New Fabrics
Castelli’s new Vela vest uses sail cloth called Dyneema to be unbelievably tough and completely windproof and waterproof in an incredibly packable size. Dyneema has very limited stretch so Castelli ensures its legendary fit and some breathability with stretchable panels on the back. A size large weighs only 59grams and takes up less than a jersey pocket. There is no reason to leave it at home.
Looking for more protection than the Vela? Castelli’s newest rain jacket uses new Gore-Tex Active fabric for a complete barrier against rain and wind, yet with stretch and breathability. It features Castelli’s aero fit so it won’t waste your energy flapping in the wind and, like the Vela, it packs down incredibly small and weighs just 123grams.