I had a chance to talk with a bunch of our vendors at Sea Otter and got to look at new stuff we’ll be bringing in as it becomes available. There was a lot to see, and the pleasant weather on Friday made it all the more enjoyable. Some of the highlights were the new Shimano Saint group, Formula’s Disc brake equipped Colnago, and the new BMC GF01 road bike.
Shimano’s new Saint group looks ready to firmly plant itself at the top of the gravity segment group wars. Now 10 speed, the groupset is refined and borrows much of the best technology from Shimano’s XTR trail group. Now a 1×10 speed group exclusively, Shimano paid special attention to the shifter and rear derailleur. The rear derailleur is radically redesigned with a massively wide link that should make shifting much snappier. It uses Shimano’s Shadow+ mechanism which limits forward derailleur cage motion, virtually eliminating chain slap. The New shifter mechanism rides on bearings and uses Shimano’s multi-release lever as on XTR. The levers are also longer to account for the extra effort required to shift with a short cage Shadow+ derailleur, thereby retaining Shimano’s trademark light-action shifting.
I was disappointed to not see the new Saint rotors in person, which will have cooling fins! The calipers look to be more powerful than ever and use new Saint and Zee specific pads with their own set of cooling fins. The Dual Diameter Quad Piston system remains and the pistons are now made of ceramic material to keep heat away from the fluid in the caliper and line.
Some great looking Saint pedals are due to replace the long running DX. A wider and thinner platform makes them all the more desirable.
Formula’s Disc Brake Colnago has been spotted before, but seeing it in person allowed me to get some nice close-ups for you. Colnago and Formula tag-teamed to make a road bike that could actually handle the power and heat of hydraulic disc brakes. Consequently the fork and rear triangle are totally redesigned from a standard C59 and Formula designed their own hoods and levers to give the system the same feel as a traditional road bike. Formula uses it’s R1 master cylinder in the new hoods and essentially took the Di2 shifter internals and planted them in the their own levers. The calipers are Formula R1s also. I can’t help but think what this will do for carbon clinchers without the need for a fancy brake surface.
BMC might be a little late to the comfort road bike party, but given the high quality of their race oriented bikes, it is a welcome addition. The GF01, though designed to provide more comfort than BMC’s other models, separates itself from the competition by being a truly “rough road” race machine. The GF01’s stiffness at the head tube and BB junction are on par with BMC’s Team Machine, yet the taller head tube and Angle Compliance tube shapes lend it more comfort for long rides and rough roads. That high level of stiffness is what helped it to a podium spot on the ultimate long distance rough “road” race, Paris Roubaix.
Cycle through the gallery to see pictures of these hot new products as well as some other nice looking bits we’ll be getting in soon.