More of the year's hottest new cycling products

Best of show: Trek's new tri bike was based on Lane Armstong's TT bike
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IT JUST MAKES SENSE

HED 10-speed Shimano cogset capable freehub body: Yes, we know Shimano doesnt have a 10-speed yet, but company president Steve Hed knows its coming, so hes created a 10-speed Shimano cassette for his ultra-thin HED three tri-spoke composite wheel. Talk about getting a jump on the competition.

Visit their Web site or call (651) 653-0202.

Giro Eclipse helmet: Replacing the Helios in Giros line of helmets, the Eclipse has a more swept than flared look in the back than the Helios had, and features 24 fat vents (to the Helios 21) and the Roc Loc 2 rear helmet retention system.

It sits just below the top-of-the-line Boreas and will retail for $99. A great-looking helmet and a solid value. Visit their Web site or call (831) 457-4476.

Shimano Tiagra group: Replacing the burly eight-speed RX100 group, the new nine-speed (and 100 gram lighter) Tiagra is the step below the mid-tiered 105 group. This should be a hot component package for the triathlete looking to get their first bike.

Shimano has also taken women into consideration with the design of this group. By creating a shorter hand reach to shift down the entire STI brake lever from the hoods, they have created a shifter similar to Campagnolos Ergo lever, which sits inside the brake lever at thumb level. It is also Flight Deck compatible. A great value for the same price as what RX100 was last year.

Visit their Web site or call or 1-800-423-2420.

Kestrel EMS Pro fork: Were the folks at Kestrel agog about the cool-as-hell new unidirectional carbon layering on their 500 EMS? Nay, it was a fork.

This fork is the single most exciting item we have coming out next year, says Kestrels Valerie Sinnott. As with any Kestrel fork, its a gem with 4.3-degree rake, increased tire clearance and threaded or threadless option.

Yet the EMS Pro will set you back only $199. Its a great way for all of us on a tight budget to get on one of their renowned forks.

Visit their Web site or call (831) 724-9079.

THEY WOWED US

Mavic Ksyrium: This is the wheel that Lance Armstrong used to dance away from his opponents during the pivotal Sestrieres climb of the 99 Tour de France. Lances buddy and former teammate Bob Roll summed it up nicely at the show: Lance said these wheels have legs.

Mavics Steve Driscoll says the new wheel is best described as an all-everything wheel; aero as the Cosmic Equipe, light as the heralded Helium and stiff as a standard three-cross spoke configuration. Instead of having three different wheels, this one does it all, Driscoll says. The wheel is available in 700c (no immediate plans for a 650c yet).

In addition to the bladed aluminum spokes (50 percent stronger than stainless steel ones, says Mavic), the wheel is made further aero via Mavics Fore technology, by which the spoke is placed into a tapped and threaded rim hole, instead of using a standard spoke nipple that extrudes from the rim surface. (Imagine the material normally drilled out of a rim being pushed back into the rim hollow, then threaded internally.)

Mavic says the result is a stiffer wheel, decreased rotational mass and the elimination of need for eyelet holes or rim tape. The wheel is also radially laced on the rear wheels drive side. Clever boys at Mavic.

On top if it all, the thing looks hot just standing still. A first for any Mavic wheel. The pair retails for $799 and is available now. Visit their Web site or call (978) 469-8400.

Northwave Evolution Multisport: The Evolution Multisport, brand new to Northwaves successful line of shoes, is a solid effort aimed directly at the triathlon market. And with Hunter Kemper and Michellie Jones in their stable, Northwave aint messin around.

With its renowned snug heel cup, the shoe features more Lorica than Northwaves standard road shoe (which molds better than mesh to the foot and doesnt rot), ports in the sole for great water drainage (key on a long ride) and two easy-out Velcro straps. Well done.

Expect to pay $245 a pair for the Evolution Multisport with a super-stiff carbon sole or $220 for the Fibra resin sole. (Fashion-forward readers take note: these bright yellow and blue shoes match, unlike some in their line that have opposing color schemes on the left and right shoes. Whew.)

Visit their Web site or call (206) 762-2977.

Rudy Project Kerosene sunglasses: The Italians at Rudy Project dont play around when it comes to busting out the techno aspects of their shades and making them look 100 mph at the same time. Theyve done it again with the Kerosene, available for $99 to $114, depending on lens option.

These shades have the interchangable smooth swept lens like others in their line, but they can be clicked up or down along the frames outer edges to open a vent hole at the top of the frame.

The earpieces are aluminum with rubber inners, and the gummy rubber nose pads, which snap into an adjustable copper-beryllium nosepiece, are replacable. Expect to see Jennifer Gutierrez and Michellie Jones sporting these 1.25oz bad boys. Visit their Web site or call (888) 860-7597.

Softride Road Rocket: For those who prefer drop bars to the cowhorns and want a tri bike that can be taken out on regular road rides, Softride introduces the Road Rocket.

Utilizing the in-demand aluminum beam incorporated in last years tri-specific Rocket Wing, the Road Rocket features a longer beam and relaxed 73-degree parallel seat and head tubes.

A Road Rocket outfitted with a Shimano Dura Ace gruppo and Spinergy Spox will run you $3,799. The sleek, matte black and yellow Y2K issue is due out Jan. 1, 2000. Visit their Web site or call (800) 557-6387.

And finally

BEST NEW ITEM OF THE SHOW

Treks new multisport bike line: Give a frame engineer, who happens to be a triathlete, free reign to create a new product; add instant product recognition thanks to a Tour de France win, spec the bike nicely and at a great price and, bingo!, youve got a hot product.

Trek unveiled its entry into the triathlon market with the Hilo 2000, and its little brother, the Hilo 1000. The bikes feature a sweet double-butted aluminum frame with a 78-degree seat tube angle, aero down tube and bladed Kinesis carbon fork. Frames will be available in 50, 54, 56 and 60cm sizes.

It was a lot of fun to work on this one, says age grouper and Trek frame engineer Mark Andrews. We (poured) a lot of technology from the construction of the Postal time trial bikes into this bike. We didnt cut corners; its speced the way it should be speced. The best way to describe it is that its ready to race, out of the box.

Differences between the two bikes are small: The 2000 is outfitted with a Shimano Ultegra group, Rolf Vector Pro 650c wheels, a Flite gel saddle and Thomson seatpost, while the 1000 has the Shimano 105 group, Rolf Vector wheels (a higher spoke count than the Vector Pros) a Flite XO gel saddle and Treks subsidiary Icon seatpost. All it means is that the 2000 is a bit lighter.

Yeah, its another bike, so whats new? Its the price for what you get. Trek, known for putting nice component groups onto bikes for solid prices, continued the trend with the Hilo.

Consider the Cane Creek threadless headset, Rolf wheels, Syntace Streamliner aerobars. Consider the lifetime warranty. Now consider the price: $2,199 complete for the 2000, $1,699 for the 1000. Race ready. All you need are pedals and youre on the road. Good deal.

Visit their Web site or call (920) 478-2191.

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