The new Hilo RXL (Warren Rossiter/BikeRadar)
On Friday in Frankfurt, Germany, Trek
launched a wide range of new parts and gear from their Bontrager brand.
Highlights include an adjustable saddle, tubeless tyres and some
With the increasing popularity of
‘noseless’ saddles for triathlon and time trials with the likes of Adamo and
SMP, Bontrager’s new Hilo RXL Speed Dial takes this shape to a more adaptable
The Hilo RXL Speed dial is longer than
some at 265mm, claimed to offer an ideal balance of ‘off-the-front’ riding
position and a more traditional seated style, with an extra 20mm of fore-aft
The real story is the nose section, and
the broad, twin-body, channelled design is adjustable with a hex key at the
nose, enabling you to ‘tune’ the front end width by 16mm. The heavily padded
hull uses a multitude of density foams, and a hooked rear lets triathletes hang
their bikes in the transition area for a fast getaway.
The fully featured Speed-Dial model
tips the scales at 340g, but there is also a 255g RXL model without the
adjustable nose and hollow ti rails.
For road riding, Bontrager’s new flagship
Paradigm comes in three widths (128,138,148mm). The contoured shape is size
specific, and the deep central channel becomes a hole at the rear third. With a
wide fore-aft span, the oversized carbon rails allow for a huge amount of flex
in the carbon-reinforced polymer hull.
The Paradigm tips the scales at a
remarkably light 145g-155g, depending on width. The RXXXL will be available for
£179/$279 with a RL version with hollow ti rails and a weight between 175-185g for
a more affordable £89/$139.
The team issue saddle, as seen on Fabian
Cancellara’s bike this season, has a similar profile to Fizik’s Aliante with a
twin cutaway rear shape. It continues into 2013, and its standard 270mm by
135mm with solid ti rails weighs in at 215g and a price tag under £100/$156.
The range topping
Paradigm RXXXL saddle tips the scales at just 145g for the 128mm width
Bontrager’s top-of-the-range Oracle
helmet has a carbon skeleton, which adds strength whilst allowing for big vents.
The rear retention is vertically and horizontally adjustable with one hand. The
only downside to all this tech is the price; at £139/$217 it’s a little too
premium for most of us. That’s where the Spectra comes in, utilising the same
design features as the oracle – large vents, deep internal channels and a
structural skeleton, but with glass fibre instead of carbon. The rear retention
system is simplified but still uses a rotating adjuster. It has three vertical and
two horizontal adjustment settings. Priced at a penny under £100/$156 and weighing
in at a decent 300g (M 54-60cm) it looks promising. An XR version is also
available with a removable peak for £109/$170.
affordable take on the Pro level Oracle, the new Spectra helmet
TLR Tubeless System
Bontrager are committed to road tubeless
tyres. Whilst the technology has been around for awhile from Shimano and Campagnolo/Fulcrum,
limited tire choice and high prices have kept many riders away. Bontrager’s new
TLR system comes on all their aluminium low profile wheels, from the entry
level Race’s (£220/$343) up to the superlight Race X Lite TLR (642g fr, 798g r).
The TLR system comprises of the
compatible wheel, a rim strip with a beadlock and TLR sealed valve, a choice of
R2 or R3 tyre in 23c or 25c, and TLR sealant. Bontrager’s newly developed
sealant uses a blend of traditional sealant infused with particles of mica.
This speeds up the bonding at the puncture point, sealing the hole before too
much pressure is lost, Bontrager claim.
Both tyres feature a puncture
protection strip. The premium R3 version uses a supple 120tpi casing and the R2
a 60tpi. Trek were keen to point out that this is the first wave of the
tubeless system and they’re in the process of developing it throughout the
whole wheel line.
Bontrager recently launched their 2013 wheel line in Belgium.
tubeless tyre is available in R3 and R2
R4 Aero Tyre
With the R4 Aero tyre and its ‘wing’
above the bead, Bontrager are claiming to have the “world’s fastest” aero-specific
tyre — a claim we’ve heard recently from Continental and Specialized. The
new R4 features a super supple 220tpi casing, weighs a low 175g whilst still
retaining a puncture protection strip. The tyre isn’t intended for daily use.
Aero Bontrager claim is the worlds fastest tyre
With the new RXXXL, Bontrager aimed at
paring down a race road shoe to a bare minimum, while still retaining a highly
adjustable mechanical closure. Every key element was put on the strictest of
diets. The formed heelcup on a standard shoe is usually lined inside and
covered by material on the outside too. These however bond the heel core
section directly to the sole and the outer material. The exposed heelcup has
been shaped and lightened with a mesh-like construction.
The heel’s rear is lined with a
sharkskin-textured material to prevent your heel from lifting. The main body of
the shoe is a complete mesh, as opposed to the traditional method of mesh
panels providing ventilation.
The coloured graphic finish appears at
first glance to be like a traditional shoe but its actually a polymer bonded to
Bontrager’s new Platinum series carbon
sole has internal ribs and ridges for rigidity. The straps and mechanical
closure are bonded to the inseam side of the shoe with a tongue-less design
underneath – the tongue actually being a continuation of the shoe’s main body.
With a 1.5mm increment mechanical main closure matched to two offset Velcro
straps, the fit is highly adjustable. At just 225g it’s amongst the lightest shoes
The XXXLs are available now for £279/$435.
The RXXXL Shoe is a full
mesh outer with the solid sections ‘printed’ directly to the mesh